Saturday, May 18, 2013

Doctor Who: The Name of the Doctor

Series 7 is in the can. In a series that has been extremely uneven, this was a solid ending. It answered some questions and left a few open, but like the rest of the series; it had its ups and downs.


What bothers me about this episode is how heavily hyped it was. The title of the episode is “The Name of the Doctor” and that's what has been shoved down our throats for weeks. It's all about the Doctor's name. Guess what? We don’t learn it. We learn that his name is important and there’s a reason why he changed it, but that’s all. I feel a little gypped. It's not like I actually expected them to reveal it, but it was so heavily promoted. I don't think there's any way they could have satisfied me except by giving up the name. I wonder if part of why they did this is because the question they were answering is why Clara is the Impossible Girl, and they were deliberately trying to misdirect us. If that’s the case, good job, but I still feel robbed. I wanted a name or much more information about the name. If they wanted to fool us, then they should have focused more on the return of River Song, whose return was also a little bit of a misdirect, but one that made sense.

What kept this episode from being ho-hum and made it very good was the inclusion of the previous Doctors. I don’t want to spoil that for you, but the way Moffat included them and how Saul Metzstein directed those scenes was wonderful. I haven’t watched a lot of the Classic Who episodes (that’s my summer project), but I know enough, and I had the biggest grin watching them.

We're also introduced to the next big mystery - John Hurt is revealed to be the Doctor. Or is he? The way his reveal was handled was great, but I wasn't wowed. Maybe it's because I've been feeling a bit fatigued with this series. I don't know. I'm definitely intrigued and can't wait to find out, but I'm not sitting on the edge of my seat.

Goodbye Sweetie
The other big highlight was the conclusion of River Song’s story. Watching Alex Kingston and Matt Smith act together was something special. I had not been very invested in the episode when it began; I was enjoying it but not invested, at least I wasn’t until they started interacting. One moment I’m okay and the next thing I know, I was gut punched in the feels. I was crying then laughing then crying again. I was a complete mess. This is the evil genius of Moffat. He sneak attacks you with emotions.

If I were rating this episode compared to the rest of series 7, I’d give it a solid 4 out of 5, but compared to other finales, I’d probably give it a 3. That doesn't mean it wasn't a satisfying conclusion. I was happy with the most of the answers I received, but it could have been better. Now I'm waiting for the 50th Anniversary. I think if Moffat builds on what he started here, it is going to be something extremely special. 

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  1. ya know, i wasn't crying at all during this ep. weird. someone else i knew was crying too. but i wasnt/didnt. interesting.

    i was on the edge of my seat trying to see who that was at the end and glad they revealed john hurt but now i'm just more confused than ever. who is he, why is he there, etc. i mean some of that is written in the dialogue but it's not explained which is very moffat and very much the tbc of the episode... sigh. moffat... lol

    1. Each time I've watched the episode I've been ok until it gets to River and the Doctor. That's when I get all emotional. I really liked them together and wished we could have seen more of her.

  2. I felt the season overall was somewhat lackluster, but the finale was better than most of the rest of the season. There is just something with Clara that just isn't clicking with me, though her character portrayal has gotten better the last few episodes.

    I also liked the way they used older footage and glimpses of past Doctors. Not the best finale by far, but a fitting end to a rather meh season.

    1. I felt the exact same way. This season felt fatigued. There were good moments but it was mostly meh. I like Clara and the Doctor's interactions but her lack of character development has made her seem really one-dimensional. I hope as they move forward that she will get to be more than just a character who saves the Doctor.