Violet recaps the 2013 Christmas Special of Doctor Who, titled The Time of the Doctor, where the Doctor is drawn to a mysterious planet sending out a message to the universe, and the Doctor finds himself stuck in a standoff! Following the recap, both Violet and Josh share their thoughts on the episode.
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Episode Recap of Doctor Who Christmas Special 2013: The Time of the Doctor
A shielded planet has sent out an uninterpretable message to the universe, and attracted ships to investigate. As the Doctor is sent first to a Dalek ship, and then a Cybermen ship, Clara calls him and asks him to come to Christmas dinner and pose as her boyfriend. When they bring the turkey to the TARDIS to help cook it, the Doctor’s Cyberman head, Handles, tells him that he has identified the planet – Gallifrey.
The Church of the Papal Mainframe, the ship that shielded the planet, shows up, and the Doctor and Clara visit. While the head of the Church, Tasha Lem, and the Doctor go to another room to speak privately, the Silence approaches Clara, telling her to confess. She runs to the room where the Doctor is, and Tasha teleports the Doctor and Clara down to the planet.
As soon as they land, they are attacked by Weeping Angels buried in the snow, but the Doctor is able to summon the TARDIS with a special key. Then they take the TARDIS closer to the source of the message. When they enter the town, which is called Christmas, they discover that it has a truth field around it, which makes it so that no one can lie.
They find that the source of the message is a crack in the universe through which the Time Lords are trying to break through from Gallifrey in another universe. The Doctor conveniently has a device that he places on Handles, which translates the message to him and everyone else in the universe: “Doctor Who?”
Tasha projects an image of her face down to the Doctor, and tells him that if he speaks his name, the Time Lords will come through, and the Time War will begin anew. She also informs him that the name of the planet he is on is Trenzalore. Meanwhile, the Doctor has instructed Clara to go the the TARDIS and place something in the sonic charger – which ends up bringing her back home and she gets locked out of the TARDIS, which disappears.
As the years pass, the Doctor stays to protect Christmas, as his enemies find ways to enter the town. The Doctor grows older, and after 300 years, the TARDIS returns – with Clara still hanging onto it. They are angry with each other at first, but quickly get over it and have a happy reunion. The Doctor explains to her that it’s a stand off: his enemies can’t attack in case he unleashes the Time Lords, and he can’t leave, or else they’ll burn the planet to stop the Time Lords.
As Clara and the Doctor watch the sunrise, Handles dies. The Doctor tells Clara that he has already used up all 12 of his regenerations. A hologram of Tasha appears and asks the Doctor for a parlay, so he and Clara go up to the ship. We learn that the Silence are professional priests genetically engineered to make you forget everything you’ve told them.
Tasha tells the Doctor and Clara that Daleks attacked the mainframe ship a few days ago, and killed everyone. Daleks are hidden inside of everyone, including Tasha. Daleks come out and confront the Doctor, and threaten to kill Clara, as Dalek Tasha gets her in her clutches. The Doctor insults Tasha, and the real Tasha breaks through, shooting beams at the 3 Daleks in the room. Tasha sends them back, but warns them that the force field around the planet will soon decay.
Back in the TARDIS, the turkey is done, and Clara makes the Doctor promise he will never send her away again. After Clara goes down to retrieve the turkey and comes back upstairs, the Doctor is gone. She goes outside and finds she is back home, then the TARDIS disappears and goes back to Christmas, this time without Clara. The Doctor’s enemies proceed to attack Trenzalore, as the Silence joins forces with the Doctor to fight back.
Clara sadly goes back to her family’s Christmas dinner. She hears the TARDIS return outside, and runs to it. Inside is Tasha Lem, who brings Clara back to Trenzalore. She tells Clara that he shouldn’t die alone, and to go to him. She finds a very elderly Doctor. Outside, the Dalek ship demands the Doctor. He goes outside without a plan, knowing it’s the end, though Clara begs him to change the future. He asks her to stay inside.
Clara goes to the crack in the universe and asks the Time Lords to help the Doctor. The crack seals shut, then reopens in the sky, and sends the Doctor the power to regenerate again. His regeneration destroys the Dalek ship and the Daleks on the ground.
Clara searches for the Doctor in the wake of the destruction, and finds him in the TARDIS. He is young again, but explains this is just the reset before he completes the regeneration. He imagines that he sees Amy Pond, who tells him goodbye. Then suddenly, he is the Twelfth Doctor, and asks Clara, “Do you know how to fly this thing?”
Violet’s Thoughts on Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor
This episode we said goodbye to the Raggedy Man, and although we knew it was coming, that didn’t make it any less sad. I’m not usually a fan of the Christmas Specials, but I actually liked this one. There was just the right amount of humor, as well as action with classic villains, and those sentimental moments that made me realize just how much I would miss the Eleventh Doctor. I never thought that, of all the ways to go, that the Doctor would die of old age. As someone of the rebooted Doctor Who era, I’m not used to seeing the Doctor as an old man, and although I know there have been older-looking Doctors in the past, it never crossed my mind that old age was something that the Doctor could die from.
The question now becomes, is this regeneration into the Twelfth Doctor now the Doctor’s final regeneration? Did this gift from the Time Lords only provide him with one more regeneration? Or did they bestow upon him 12 more regenerations? I guess we won’t really know for sure until this new Doctor nears the end of his time as the Doctor!
Oh, also, if there was a question in anyone’s mind as to whether Clara “liked” the Doctor, we got the answer to that, thanks to the truth field, when she first strolled into Christmas and started to say that she ran off with the Doctor because she “fancied” him. So that answers that!
I liked how we got to hear some background about the Silence, that they’re actually professional priests designed to make you forget what you confess to them! But they were actually working with the Doctor as part of the Church, so how did they become his enemies and decide to threaten him and his friends in other instances? When we’ve seen them in other episodes, they sure didn’t seem to be acting as priests! I suppose that’s a question to be answered another day.
Although I’ll miss Matt Smith, I’m looking forward to seeing Peter Capaldi step into the role of the Twelfth Doctor, and see what he brings to the table!
Josh’s Thoughts: Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor
Scenes from Doctor Who, Season 8 Episode 1: Deep Breath
Here are scenes from the Season 8 premiere of Doctor Who, titled Deep Breath: