Daveosaurus (southerndave) wrote,

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Doctor Who year

So, another Christmas episode is done and dusted, and it's only taken me a few days to convert my scribbled notes into a 'highlights' post. And this time there's going to be a bit of a bonus in the form of some vaguely review-type commentary, as I've been able to actually discuss the show fairly much straight after it happened as intheologus is currently visiting.

"I've got to patch the telephone back through the console unit."

"Doctor, why are you naked?" "Because I'm going to church."

"Nothing does turkey. You'd need a time machine..." "..."

"It's shielded. Nothing can get through to it..." "... Gallifrey."

"Swallow that." "What's this?" "Your hologram projector. You can't go to church with your clothes on."

"On your life, Doctor, you're not going to cause trouble." "I never cause trouble." "..."

"How can a town be called Christmas?" "I don't know. How can an island be called Easter?"

"The Church of the Papal Mainframe apologises for your deaths. Your appropriate afterlives have been notified."

The Doctor has started moving a bit more like an old man. This is rather sudden...

"Where have you been for three hundred years?" ... Well, that explains it.

"I'm furious with you!" "I'm not even talking to you."

"Comfort is irrelevant." "Is that better?" "Affirmative."

Idiot Daleks. They've got the Doctor in range, yet again, and haven't even tried to exterminate him.

"It's done." "What?" "The turkey. Either that or it's woken up."

"Flying the TARDIS was always easy. It's flying the Doctor I've never mastered."

"I haven't got a plan. But people love it when I say that."

Very impressive make-up on the Really Old Matt Smith Doctor.

"Never, ever, tell me the rules!"

Well, so much happened in this episode that the 50th anniversary seemed comparatively sedate. In fact, some of the tying-up of loose ends in this episode seemed a bit rushed.

First a few of good bits. Matt Smith's performance was exceptionally good. And the make-up artist should win some sort of BAFTA award for turning him into an actually quite believable old man. The Papal Mainframe is an interesting idea and they've managed to bring Gallifrey back without having it accessible enough that the scriptwriters will be tempted to actually set stories there. Handles was an entertaining character even though the production team probably owe Jim Butcher a fiver for the obvious reference, and Peter Cappaldi the 14th, I suppose we must now call him, Doctor, made an amusing entrance. "Kidneys!"

And a couple of not-so-good bits. The regeneration calculations and the sudden revelation that Matt Smith was actually the 13th Doctor - not the 11th (as he had been when he started) or the 12th (including John Hurt's Doctor as a regeneration even though he was only revealed earlier this year) came from far enough out of left field that something didn't sit right about them. This seemed too much a pre-emptive house-keeping exercise and not enough of an actual necessary plot point at the time. And the prolonged pre-regeneration sequence - with Matt Smith resetting himself back to 'normal' in the process - dragged on a bit. And somebody should really have tried harder not to hit the Daleks with the idiot ball.

But overall this episode has given fans in general a lot of good stuff to think about and have crazy theories about, which is, after all, one of the entertainments of trying to make sense of fifty years of "Continuity? What's that?". Little touches such as having Handles say "Affirmative.", and the Doctor casually admitting that he's at least three hundred years older now than at the start of the episode (and this isn't even taking into account the time it took him to age from an apparent fifty-something to an apparent eighty-something in general appearance).

And for all that, he'll probably still keep on claiming to be nine hundred years old. Perhaps the thousand-year mark is for Time Lords the sort of mental stumbling block that my own culture has at the forty-year mark.
Tags: tv: doctor who

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