Give it a chance! I’m sorry….I don’t actually have the dvd set here….I agree with one reviewer that to release a set of specials is cashing in a little when you can wait a bit and get the entire season release, but on the other hand they earned every penny they can make on this year’s fare.The reviews I have read here are mixed to say the least, but I have found even in the most difficult and convoluted plots that to watch it more than once is always well worth while. Stephen Moffat has a gift for complex, clever storylines whereas his predecessor was more into characters running down corridors and up and down ladders. We all have our preferences. I wonder how Matt’s Doctor would have been received if he had had Russell T Davies’ sentimentality and running up and down ladders type of stories as David Tennant did? I think both types of storytelling have their place, but I thought this particular story, (THE TIME OF THE DOCTOR), certainly delivered.Yes it was convoluted, and I was not convinced by Tasha Lem, her existence, her presence or her ability to fly the TARDIS, but I did not watch the show for the sake of Tasha Lem. I watched it to find out how that massive monument to the Doctor’s death that we saw previously would be changed into a brand new regeneration that shouldn’t exist. If the Doctor knows he’s going to die anyway, then make it in a good cause, and this story delivered bucketloads in the areas where it mattered. I could complain about the lack of battle sequences that should have been there under the circumstances, the way that the enemies were grossly underused, but that was surely not the main thrust of the episode?We were all there to find out how Matt Smith gets to turn into Peter Capaldi! The Doctor in all his past problems has always been a hero, step in, save everyone and on occasion forfeited a life for his trouble, but this was a lot more heroic, as he knows he will once again die for his cause, but this time there would be no final escape for him, no regeneration. We see him rather as an aged Gallifreyan rather than a Time Lord. Once a Time Lord can no longer regenerate, he is no longer effectively a Time Lord (reference Mawdryn Undead, classic series), so he becomes much more vulnerable than he has ever been before. This is where the story in my opinion rises far above anything else, as we see the Doctor being even more the Doctor than he has ever been, showing how far he is always willing to go in order to live up to his chosen name, DOCTOR.The Time of the Doctor charts the Doctor’s final few centuries as he ages into a very old man whilst protecting the people of the town, knowing that when he dies, this time it will be final. It was beautifully acted and very touching to watch, and if we were going to see Clara again in the future then naturally the Doctor had to send her off home in the TARDIS, regardless of past similarities. As the Doctor himself tells her “If I hadn’t sent you home, I would have buried you centuries ago!”What all this woffling amounts to really is this…to me this was a story as emotional as any of Russell T. Davies’ efforts, and in its own way as sentimental as Tennant’s departure, but refreshingly less self-pitying. A magnificent way to show us all how loyal and heroic the 11th Doctor was. Every time I see it I notice something I missed before and it makes me enjoy it all the more.Non fans will always expect less emotion and more action, whilst fans will each have their own expectations to try and fulfil. Forget all of that and sit back and watch this one again without any preconceived ideas or opinions as to what should be there or what may or may not be wrong with it. Just enjoy it for what it is. Give it a chance!
Ambiguously Excellent! The writers were forced to: create an excellent Christmas special, wrap up the entire story ark of the eleventh Doctor, make the episode emotional – to show all of the elements of the character, write out Matt Smith, create an effective regeneration scene, show the incarnation’s memories for the sake of nostalgia, clear up the regeneration limit, introduce something new for the next incarnation, introduce the new actor (Peter Capaldi), and make the transition meaningful, all in a single – hour long – episode; I think they made an excellent job under the circumstances. But will this set an impossible standard?Some may be a little displeased with the episode, because it’s what they believe to be “unsatisfactory”, but how do you define that? At times, when a T.V show becomes popular enough, the expectations of the fans, go beyond reality – and not even an incredible episode like this one, can meet the expectations of those who can never be happy.Personally, I think that the episode is a magnificent example of creativity, and real emotion. Some may see a couple of humorous elements to be “unnecessary”, but all I can say is to please develop a sense of humor! Comical moments may not always fit the story art exactly, but they add an extra dimension to the show – which is much needed in a lot of others. The ending is also in my opinion touching, and fitting for the incarnation – ending in a blaze of glory, and an emotional speech. Many see Matt Smith’s departure as too quick, and insufficiently dramatic; I however see the actual change from Matt to Peter as an excellent way of allowing the moment to set in, by reminding the audience of the core of the character himself; ironically followed by an almost instant and shocking regeneration moment – this is however separate from the main section of the regular cycle, which involved the glory that I talked about above.This structure of a lack of any transition from one moment and the next, is perfectly represented in this special – compressing everything that was presented in the era, into a single episode. Be it the immediate final regeneration, or the change from almost childish moments of joy, to dramatic moments of shock and almost emotional trauma – fitting for a final episode.To conclude, the episode is a perfect method to end an era, and must be seen by any fan – major or minor – or any intelligent and tasteful person. The standard for the story telling seems to have leaped from sometimes slapdash story arks, to the dramatic storytelling of the Name, Day and Time of the Doctor trilogy; this is likely due to Matt Smith’s departure, following the regular pattern of a temporarily raised story line – in a similar fashion to David Tennant’s era, resulting in the following episodes being terrible due to the comparison. Nonetheless, the standard has been set once again, and due to the significant number of reviews on Amazon, who complain that they are not entirely “happy” with the quality of this epic tale, such standard could backfire on the show, simply because the truth is that it’s impossible to make everyone happy – as I have said before. All arguments aside, I strongly recommend that you enjoy the episode, before being influenced by other people.Please note that I’m reviewing “The Time of The Doctor” only, as it is the most significant of the DVD set, at the time of this writing.
Farewell Matt Smith UPDATED First off this is a bit cheeky getting people to repurchase specials from previous sets. However I will bite because Matt Smiths final performance was truly amazing!As with many overly ambitious episodes of who, this promised more than it could deliver and although it was good they couldnt find the balance. Either make it longer and make use of the weeping angels and other protagonists more effectively or drop them from the story and then make it flow a bit better.That gripe should make me drop this to three stars but Matt’s final speech had me sitting with a lump in my throat as I remembered all the adventures he had taken us on! There was so much variety. Moffat seemed a bit unsure in places with what to do with the plot he had set up but Matt showed what a truly great actor he is at the end. There was no whining self referential farewell, kicking and screaming like the last doctor. Matt was dignified and his leaving really did feel like it was too soon. Though I thought David Tennant was superb, toward the end his doctor was becoming egotistical and self congratulating. More Russel T Davies fault than Davids but I had had enough. Matt brought an energy and innocence as though the Doctor was literally reborn. I know he has had a few poor episodes but for me he is the best Doctor of any series, classic or new. I wont spoil it if you have yet to view it but the final 10 mins are worth the price of the disc. A fitting end to a great 11th/12th timelord! Thank you Matt for giving me a great few years of adventures in time and space.UPDATE: I missed a few things. Having gone back and rewatched it I have a greater appreciation of the episode. There are loads of subtle references to this doctors time in the tardis and also previous incarnations. The battle music played during the silence will fall speech is that of the tenth doctors as an example. This is a love letter to all the fans that bothered to follow the doctor through all the ups and downs. It reminds me of Babylon 5 in that you were rewarded for your investment. I’m sorry some don’t get it but ultimately I feel appreciated for supporting the eleventh and Ifor the negs out there I can only ask you go back and watch series 5-7 again. If you don’t want to do that I understand but base your reviews with that restriction in mind.
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