Thursday, January 02, 2014

New Year, New Doctor

Well, that's that then. So long Matt Smith!

You are just too adorable.

He had a good run. I have been consistently disappointed in the Steven Moffat era of Doctor Who*, but never disappointed in Matt Smith. From the moment he asked a young Amelia Pond for fish fingers and custard, I thought of him as the Doctor. Did I miss David Tennant? Of course. Did I love Matt Smith. Absolutely.

But even in the TARDIS, time marches on and Matt Smith has decided to carry on with his career. On Christmas, we bade farewell to the Eleventh Doctor (I guess really the Twelfth?) in the special episode, The Time of the Doctor, and said a brief hello to the next actor to take on the role: Peter Capaldi.

I don't want to harp on the episode, for the most part I enjoyed it. But it would be remiss of me not to mention that it didn't seem to make a lot of sense. Plot holes big enough to drive a TARDIS through have been something of a hallmark with Moffat episodes (as well as an annoying tendency to repeat themes and types of female characters), and The Time of the Doctor was no exception.

A town called Christmas? Ugh. I did enjoy the cyberman talking head though.

If I may quote my favorite internet gay uncles (Tom and Lorenzo):
We’re gonna cop to some laziness here, as well as some Moffat fatigue, because we’re not even going to bother listing all the things that made no sense or were left unexplained. If Moffat couldn’t be bothered to write a story that holds together, should we really put all that much effort into showing how it falls apart? Besides, one thing we know for sure, you either loved or hated this special and there’s not a thing anyone can say to convince you otherwise. When someone who hadn’t seen it yet asked us how it was, we told them it was a lot like the Lost finale: nothing made sense but you’ll get a good cry out of it at the end.
I have to confess there was a lot about the plot of this episode that I didn't understand or plain didn't get. The Doctor spends 300 years in this one small town? Really? And I have never been a fan of skipping HUGE periods of time in the course of an episode (something Moffat has also done before with this Doctor), and here it just seemed like a cheap device.

But none of that really matters in the long run, I suppose. If you didn't cheer when the Time Lords zapped the Doctor with some extra regeneration energy (I guess they just have that shit lying around or something), then you don't have a heart. And the goodbye to his past companions was very sweet. The regeneration into Doctor number Twelve was both achingly slow and shockingly quick and from the 20 or so seconds we saw of him, Peter Capaldi did a great job.

While I mourn the loss of Matt Smith from Doctor Who, my takeaway was one of excitement for the new season and the new Doctor. Bring it on, Moffat.

I'm excited!

The new season of Doctor Who (the 8th of the new series) will air in the UK in August 2014. Hopefully, we'll get it on BBC America at the same time!

*except the Neil Gaiman penned episodes and the recent 50th Anniversary special.

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