Friday, December 27, 2013

The Time of the Doctor

So I recently watched the Doctor Who Christmas special, "The Time of the Doctor".  And I've got to say, it left me pretty confused.

Oh, as a side note:  I love gifs, and I finally found out how to make them, so beware, my posts will probably have a lot of gifs from now on.  Many of them will most likely be of the Nostalgia Critic's many priceless reactions, like the one above.  Why, you may ask?  Because I've been a fan of him for about four years, he's my favorite comedian and my favorite film critic besides Roger Ebert, plus he makes the most hilarious facial expressions ever.

Anyway, back to Doctor Who.

I'm not a Steven Moffat hater.  In fact, I love nearly every episode he's written in the past.  Every time someone bashes every single thing he's ever contributed to Doctor Who, I have to resist the urge to roll my eyes.  I'm tired of fans hating on whatever he does.  And I think a lot of those same haters probably love the episode "Blink", the tenth episode of series three (from David Tennant's era), which was written by Steven Moffat.

But The Time of the Doctor is very confusing.  I've been caught up for a while now - I've watched all of season five, six, and seven, but I could hardly understand what I was watching.  Warning:  there are spoilers ahead, so if you haven't seen the Christmas special yet, I suggest you don't read anything of what I've written below.

I don't mind the story in this episode.  I find the idea of the Doctor growing old in a town called Christmas to be interesting and heart wrenching.  For me, heart wrenching is good.  Intense stuff is the stuff I like best.  I want a story to make me feel, and to leave an impact on me.  Comedy is great and always helps to lighten the mood, but I need substance.  And for me, drama has substance, it's what makes a story stick with me.

I mean, it bothered me a little bit that the Doctor spent three hundred years of his life in one location (it seemed a little wasteful in my opinion, and frankly, very hard to believe), but overall, I was okay with it.  However, the whole episode (or special, whatever you want to call it) seemed messy and confusing.  I think Moffat is a good writer.  He has a lot of talent.  But sometimes his episodes seem a little messy, and they leave me with more questions than before.

Unfortunately, accidentally going on Tumblr kind of ruined the special for me.  It's silly, I know, but it's true.  One day I went on Tumblr and saw a picture or gif (I can't remember which) from the special before I had seen it.  It didn't ruin anything for me, but it reminded me that I would have to avoid Tumblr, and probably the internet all together, if I didn't want the special to be spoiled for me before I got the chance to watch it.  And, naturally, the next day I completely forgot that I should be avoiding Tumblr and carelessly logged in.  And there, the first thing to appear on my dash, was an entire set of gifs of a scene from the special, in which Amy tells the Doctor, "Raggedy Man, good night".

I've stated a few times on my blogs that I am not a crier, that I don't cry easily.  And yes, that's usually true.  I get it from my dad.  We're as cold as ice sometimes.  But it's not that I don't feel or am not emotionally affected by things, I'm just good at keeping it in.  I could cry if I felt like it, but for some reason I hold it in.  There's not really a reason, I'm just naturally like that.  I deal with my emotions by keeping them in.  I guess it probably has to do with my introverted and reserved personality.

It also depends on the day.  Sometimes I'm emotionally invested and cry easily when I watch a sad scene in a movie or T.V. show, then other times I find it hard to get emotionally invested.  Sometimes things just don't affect me very easily.  Only things that are incredibly powerful to me, like the ending of the Pixar film Wall - e (which makes me cry every time by the way, I don't know why) can penetrate the wall I sometimes put up and make me cry on the spot, whether I was invested before or not.  But I have to see the story from beginning to end for the sad scene to make an impact.  Maybe it's like that for everyone, I don't know.  If I watched a random sad scene from a movie, I wouldn't cry at all, because I did not watch it from the beginning.  I have to be invested; I have to see the story build up to that moment in order for it to make me cry.  So, seeing the scene with Amelia and Amy Pond before I saw the special from the beginning, lessened the emotional impact it could have had on me considerably.

I think the best scene was when Amy Pond said goodnight to the Doctor.  It was like the ending of a bedtime story, which reminds me of this quote:  "I'll be a story in your head.  But that's okay, we're all stories in the end."  That may be my favorite Eleventh Doctor quote of all.  Then, there was this moment, when Eleven dropped his bow tie.  It was quite a powerful scene, one that seemed to carry a lot of emotional weight.

The reason I am bringing all of this up is because I did not cry during "The Time of the Doctor" like I thought I would, and I'm trying to figure out why.  I have come to the conclusion that I am in denial.  I often go into denial when I try to deal with emotional stuff, or rather, not deal with it.  It's my natural coping mechanism.  I don't want to believe Matt Smith's left, and I don't feel like dealing with it.  It hasn't really sunk in.  Originally I predicted that it would not sink in until Eleven actually regenerated, but he has regenerated, and it still isn't sinking in.

Eleven's regeneration scene, or the scene right before he regenerated, was very touching, but his actual regeneration was far too fast.  He regenerated into Peter Capaldi so quickly that there was no time for it to leave an impact on me.  I'm looking forward to seeing Capaldi as the Doctor in series eight, but to me Matt Smith will always be the Doctor, and he will always be my favorite.  To say I am sad that he is gone is an understatement.


  1. Aw, sorry you saw spoilers. I didn't cry either, but when he takes off the bowtie, and the speech after nearly got me. That was good, but I thought most of the rest of the episode wasn't so good. It had some great parts, but the plot was off somehow, and as you said, confusing, and it didn't have a classic mind-bending ending I was looking forward to. I guess I need to watch it again to figure out what's wrong (or decide nothing's wrong). I loved the bit with Amy too, I found it very revealing of Eleven's character. (Oh and I've seen some people mistakenly quoting it as "goodbye" and that's not nearly as awesome.) And the regeneration scared me! It made me jump it was so abrupt! And now the long wait for series eight begins...

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts! :)

    1. I think I could forgive the rest of the episode for it's confusing plot if the actual regeneration scene was done a bit differently. What bothered me the most about the special above all else was that Matt Smith regenerated into Capaldi in the blink of an eye (literally, I think if you blinked you would miss it). :/

  2. I agree with you completely about the Moffat haters. They annoy me to no end. They are often irrational with their hate.

    But on the episode. I agree, it was confusing. It took a second viewing to try and understand it better.

    I know what you mean about being in denial. I felt that way when the Code Geass TV series ended, and I kind of feel like it with Smith being gone now. I do not think it will sink in until I see the new Doctor.


    1. I think what some fans hate about Moffat is how he writes female characters. I disagree with some of the things they've said on that subject but they do sometimes make a good point. His writing is admittedly sometimes messy, but I don't understand why they hate him so much. He has contributed so much awesome stuff to Doctor Who, like the Weeping Angels and the Silence, two of the best Doctor Who villains in my opinion.

      I have only seen the episode once, so maybe I should watch it again and see if it makes more sense the second time around.

      I am starting to think that it will also not sink in for me until I see Capaldi as the twelfth (thirteenth?) Doctor.