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Just how bad was this year’s Christmas Doctor Who?

Posted by admin on December - 28 - 2013
"Help! I'm stuck in a ginormous turkey. Need a script doctor. Who? Moffat. Nah, I'd rather have Terry Nation."

“Help! I’m stuck in a ginormous turkey. Need a script doctor. Who? Moffat. Nah, I’d rather have Terry Nation.”


Yes, I know it was a few days ago now but I’m still recovering from the trauma. My kids are too. They found the mawkishness so excruciating they had to hide behind the sofa. Just why was this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special so painfully bad?

The easy answer is to blame Steven Moffat. He, after all, is the series producer and he did bash out this particular episode. But I personally think the rot goes much deeper than that. Moffat, remember, is perfectly capable of writing a properly scary, weird, well-crafted Doctor Who episode: viz, the Weeping Angels, one of the greatest ever. But he is operating within a culture of grotesque decadence and complacency. Like some bloated, pox-ridden Mughal Emperor, the whole Doctor Who enterprise has long since grown so delighted with its own charm, wit and quirkiness that it has abandoned all its self-critical faculties. Pampered, cherished and indulged by the BBC, virtually guaranteed decent ratings, Doctor Who now thinks it’s so big and clever it has no need to follow the conventional rules of dramatic entertainment like, say, having a half-way comprehensible plot or coherent characters or a narrative structure. Instead it has become a tedious cycle of mild peril interspersed with escapist whimsy and lots and lots of immensely-pleased-with-themselves in-jokes.

Matt Smith hasn’t helped. His Who makes everything seem so easy you really wonder why you bother watching because you know whatever trouble he gets into – *brief furrowed brow moment* – is very swiftly going to be followed by some fly remark and cavalier trick pulled out of the hat which resolves the problem in a trice. His latest assistant, Clara, is – remarkably – more annoying still. Yes, she’s hot – as many of Doctor Who’s assistants have been of late. But surely the most important requirement of a Doctor Who assistant is not that they act as eye candy for dirty old Dads like me, nor provide chaste love interest for the Doctor, but rather that they get into deep trouble and require rescuing.

Yeah, OK, so it may be very post-modern and PC and Grlll Power, and all, that to have female assistants who are, like, bold, and sassy and totally unflappable in all situations. But where exactly is the drama in that, let alone the plausibility? Clara (at least to judge by her accent and dress sense – though, unaccountably, she lives in what looks very much like a fairly rough council block) is a middle class human girl who – unlike a Time Lord who has travelled through millennia’s worth of space – probably hasn’t grown up seeing Daleks, Cybermen etc as a routine part of her life. Yet not once – in the Doctor Who Christmas Special at least – did Clara display any noticeable perturbation at the divers monstery horrors she witnessed. Well, certainly no more concern that you’d show, say, if you’d gone to Waitrose to buy some eggs and realised they were completely out of Burford Buffs with the extra-delicious, extra-yellow yolks.

And we haven’t even got to the prevailing sentimentality yet. OK, so it didn’t quite reach Song of the Oud levels of dripping mawkishness, but for about a decade now – I blame Russell T Davies for starting this trend – your typical Christmas Doctor Who episode has been so sodden with cheap, easy-won, spray-on heightened emotion it makes the Death of Little Nell look grittier than the ear-removal scene in Reservoir Dogs. This one was no exception.


This is an article from the that has been brought to your attention By the Doctor Who Hub

How do you feel about The Time of the Doctor Christmas special?

Categories: Hub News

181 Responses so far.

  1. Andrew says:

    Its the best Christmas special since the beginning of the new series, but that is only because the ones before it are terrible, the second best probably the next Doctor, I think it was Matt Smith’s best performance as the Doctor, and I like his exit no matter how rushed it was, Its a shame we didn’t get much more than 10 seconds of Capaldi, but he will easily make up for that after the long 8 month wait we now have to endure. Jenna was good as Clara, she is a good actress adn I am glad she is staying on. Overall it was ok, the performances were great, but there wasn’t much in terms of a story for me.

    • Liam says:

      That just shows what the quality of recent episodes has been. The last good episode was Crimson Horror, then last year’s Christmas.

      Which new series are you referring to? Since 2005, or since Matt Smith’s arrival? Because Smith’s Christmases, save for last year’s, were dismal. Tennant’s first few were flawless.

      • Glenn says:

        “The last good episode was Crimson Horror.”

        Please God tell me you did not just say that. There was no overarching masterplot to it, and no crazy intricate mind screwing. It was just a bland, boring, stand alone sci-fi episode.

        I felt the tying together of the time crack and clara saving the doctor (as she is supposed to, though she didn’t die this time.) Were great in this christmas special.

      • Beth says:

        You’ve got to be kidding- The crimson Horror was full of mistakes of all kinds, in my opinion. Not a bad story line, okay presences but above all just sub-standard.

      • David says:

        You’re all gonna have different oppinions of what you all considered a good season/episode, and the odd quirks that annoy you from a part of the story. For me, season 7, although boring in places, had slightly more to enjoy than season 5.
        Then again, I prefer the more emotional storys, like “The Angels Take Manhatten” “The Rings of Akhaten” or “The End of time”.
        Blink was okay, many say the best of Moffat, but for some, it was “okay” at best, but was a good starting point for the Weeping Angels.

        It’s important to remember when we are being the critics of the show, that most of us all have different tastes for the show. I barely cared about the loose ends of some of the plots, like the silence, for example, providing that it was easy to put together after watching all the episodes in the season. Sure, 3 seasons into Smith and we get the Silence over and done with, but I kinda like having plots to return to, especially one’s that have been there since Smiths first episode.

        It was a nice change, with Moffat making longer drawn out plots with hints in each episode, streaming threw the seasons(s) to finally string together the hints in order to fit the pieces of the puzzle.
        My only complaint for Moffat was, forcing everything into single 45 minute episodes, rather than 2 parters. That and some of the Christmas episodes.

        • Janelle says:

          I think it’s silly when everyone fights over who likes what and what episode is best. While I enjoyed the latest Christmas Special for entertainments sake (and because I no longer have any big expectations for the show – I’m just “along for the ride” so to speak, especially since I’ve been watching it since Age 7 starting with Tom Baker). But really, essentially one of the greatest things about Doctor Who is there is something in it for everyone. This show’s writing has ALWAYS been hit and miss, since the beginning! Some storylines are FABULOUS, while others are dismal.

          Companions have ALWAYS been eye candy and personally, while I do enjoy the classic companions, I think they have become less annoying overall.

          Doctor Who has always been hit and miss in virtually every department – yet people still love it. So why is that?

      • Meggan says:

        I agree Liam! Tennant did nothing less than flawless Christmas episodes…too bad Eccleston didn’t get the chance to do one cuz he would’ve blown it out of the water…Sorry but this years was so bad I didn’t really watch it I listened to it more or less…Smith’s regeneration was less than stellar, and honestly the only episode that was any good of Smith’s was the first episode of his term as the doctor…

    • MMJizz says:

      “Its the best Christmas special since the beginning of the new series,”

      Oh, you should burn for saying that…

    • leandro says:

      wow…. i just love the special, i had already watched 3 or 4 times! and then i read this……and i dont get it how can you have that opinion.. wasa great episode and if you dont like it almost you hate it maybe you are watching the wrong show for you. Then stop qq for all over the place and go watch another show. The special was great

      • XXX says:

        I love the show but I still cringed at this year’s Xmas special. Disliking a few episodes doesn’t make you any less of a Whovian; we all admit that being a Whovian means admitting and accepting the occassional dud episode. Just the fact that it was Matt’s last one stings a bit.

        • David says:

          True. Matt should have gone out in a blaze of glory, not with a whisper and a sigh. This xmas episode left me severely wanting. The plot was dismal, and the teases of Capaldi went unrewarded. It was overall a sad, sad episode, especially compared to some of the previous years’ xmas episodes.

      • Beth says:

        Hmm Interesting point- But i don’t think that you have to love every episode to be a whovian?

        • Andy says:

          I’m sorry Leandro, Did you only start watching Doctor Who in 2005 when it came back with Chris E? Anyone could have written a better story than the one used in this Christmas special, in fact I think Moffat got it off the back of a cereal packet it was so bad. I mean come on it was as simple as, I know lets take a story line we have already done to death, say it’s galifrey and send as many baddies as we can to stop them. Then just to make sure lets do the doctor gets old thing again and to top it all off we can use this to get extra regenerations. It was the worst storyline ever since Doctor Who started 50 years ago. I think it is time to say goodbye to Mr Moffat before he causes any more damage.

    • Sabrina says:

      I didn’t think it was awful but I also didn’t think it was great. It was to rushed they could have done half a season with the plot they squashed into an hour. There was also no real build up for the end until that episode when David left they had been hinting about it and giving him prophecies for a good while. This just started as a normal episode and then they rushed in an ending that could have been better. I didn’t dislike the episode and I’m glad we’re getting Peter Capaldi I think he’ll make a great Doctor, I just wish it hadn’t been so rushed.

      • Joshua Hawkins says:

        The did an entire episode based on Trenzalore post war. This is like the other guy on another thread saying the regeneration wasn’t nearly as violent as David’s when Matt took out a ton of Daleks and The Emperors ship. How forgetful some who fans can be.

      • Lauren says:

        I absolutely agree with you! The beginning and the ending were fantastic. It was the middle I have trouble with, it was like they were trying to explain everything and didn’t think they’d have enough time to do it all in or something?
        Loved the ending though. I was teary for the rest of the night,lol. I wonder if they felt like the 50th anniversary special was Matt’s last major performance, so they felt like they just needed to wrap everything up in this special?

      • Danny says:

        What are you talking about Sabrina? Have you forgotten we had an entire season about the silence and leading up to Smiths death? I mean they have been leading up to it on a scale even higher then Tennant’s death.

        • Joshua Hawkins says:

          I think the entire issue here is Moffat took way to long for the payoff for all of this. There was no overarching theme at all really in 7.1 and then in 7.2 we got TGI which to be honest once it actually got back to the narrative everyone was pretty much over the whole Silence will fall thing. I mean it hadn’t even been mentioned since TWORS. Which I think is pretty sad and bad pacing considering how important Doriam made it sound.

      • Cheeseman says:

        First of all, Clara remembers all the times that she was born. And that means she grew up learning about the Cybermen and Daleks plenty of times to know that they were bad news. And some people are right. We are no less Whovian if we all like different episodes. That’s the point of being Whovian, it means that you all have your own Doctor and your own companion and your own monster. But that also means that you have your own episodes, and that’s alright. People who are Whovians are people with thousands of differing opinions. That’s what makes our fandom so special, because our choices of what to like and dislike in Doctor Who are as limitless as all the lives the Doctor has saved.

    • Jungle Boi says:

      Spot. On. I am so tired of Moffat, long for Davies.

  2. Corey says:

    What are you smoking? I thought it was one of the best episodes in quite some time.

    • Josie says:

      I agree 100%. Reading this, I’m thinking “were we maybe watching a different show?” I mean, if you don’t like the show, don’t watch it anymore. Just don’t complain to those true Whovians.

      • Owen says:

        ‘True Whovians’ Just because someone can step back and realise something that they enjoy wasn’t all that great, it doesn’t stop them from being a true fan to it. In fact, it makes them a better fan, that they don’t just blindly follow the show saying all it’s misgivings weren’t so. Moffat’s writing on this one was abysmal the pacing was shot to hell and even the regeneration felt so very underwhelming, that’s how I would describe the episode. Underwhelming.

        • Katryna says:

          I completely agree it was entirely underwhelming. I feel the last few seasons have had their fill of cop out moments but this is the first time I have felt underwhelmed. I expected more from such an important event. I guess Moffat thought it would be funny to give us such a small amount of excitement since he has been playing mind games with us for years. Also, I was not impressed with the beginning of Capaldi. We have had weird, quirky, and fun enough. I want it to go back to the roots of menacing and sometimes kidnapping.

      • CharlieCupcake says:

        Just because someone doesn’t like one episode, it doesn’t make them a fake Whovian.

        I haven’t particularly enjoyed any of Matt Smiths run (Not sure if it’s just because I don’t like his doctor as much as others, or because of the scripts/story line). In fact I stopped watching at the end of his run. I came back and re-watched his first series and those that followed in preparation for the 50th and whilst I did enjoy them more than the first run, there are still episodes I don’t enjoy very much.

        This includes the episode talked about here, and I agree with a few of the points. It wasn’t that well written and got boring at times. I didn’t personally find it too mawkish, and as it happens, I quite like Clara. But I think they could have written it a lot better than they did, I mean what was the point of the Christmas dinner at the start? It felt out of place to me, and could have been better filled with more time for the regeneration or adding to the plot.

        However, even though I dare not to enjoy all episodes, and even not particularly like the 11th Doctor very much (And sin of sins I am one of those rare creatures who doesn’t like Amy Pond very much either) I still consider myself a true Whovian. I still as a whole enjoy the show, and very much look forward to a new series and a new doctor. I enjoy re-watching the new series and watching the classic episodes and Chameleon Circuit is one of my favourite bands (and Teenage Rebel, one of my favourite songs). When staying with a friend in Cardiff, I dragged her to Ianto’s memorial wall and various other Torchwood/Doctor Who common filming spots, and this was when I’d stopped watching the new episodes.

        If you don’t like reading opinions different to your own, don’t read them, and don’t berate someone for having that difference in opinion. It is not just you who watches the show, and hearing criticism of the episode help writers try to improve or change what they write in response to give viewers a better experience.

        Sorry this ended up being so long, I won’t lie, I’m just avoiding studying for a little bit. I also don’t mean to offend, it just annoys me when people try to talk about being a true member of a fandom and what that has to involve.

        • Corey says:

          My issue with the article is basically the flip of what you are saying, this article doesn’t acknowledge at any point the episode might have been good, it’s putting words in the mouths of those who don’t watch the show much.

        • Nerdy3000 says:

          Thank You, your comment makes feel like I’m not alone because I started watching Doctor Who from 2005 and when it got to the 11th Doctor it just didn’t click for me as well and the Christmas special was great in the beginning and the end but in some parts had me confused like there wasn’t much to the Christmas dinner.

      • Bob Someguy says:

        I believe the writer of this piece is a ten year old who has no idea how to put coherent sentences together.

    • Kate says:

      I thoroughly disagree. It was insultingly awful. The mist important points of the whole era were handed to them on silver platters. There was no drama, they just had to show up at church, never mind all the enemies lurking. Clara was no help. What happened to the woman who successfully fought the Daleks from inside one? I just wanted Matt shot by the daleks half way through the episode. At least it would have been something. So much was wasted.

      • Corey says:

        I respect your ability to have an opinion, but I was on the edge of my seat the entire episode. I KNEW he was going to regenerate, I KNEW Clara was going to save him, but I just had to see it for my own eyes. The way they brought the crack back I thought was phenomenal.

      • Daniel says:

        “Clara was no help. What happened to the woman who successfully fought the Daleks from inside one?”

        She got through the Vortex with a little help of the TARDIS and she persuaded an entire species (the Timelords) to help the Doctor with a single speech.

        What did you watch exactly?

        (Sorry about the mistakes, English is not my first language)

  3. Matt says:

    “Clara (at least to judge by her accent and dress sense – though, unaccountably, she lives in what looks very much like a fairly rough council block) is a middle class human girl who – unlike a Time Lord who has travelled through millennia’s worth of space – probably hasn’t grown up seeing Daleks, Cybermen etc as a routine part of her life. Yet not once – in the Doctor Who Christmas Special at least – did Clara display any noticeable perturbation at the divers monstery horrors she witnessed. ”

    Daleks and Cybermen she doubtless saw when she stepped into The Doctor’s timeline, and Not once in the whole special? So I didn’t see her say…running from The Silence in the Papal Mainframe or getting scared of Weeping Angels because it really looked like I did.

  4. Kieran McMullen says:

    He has a point, you’re not allowed to depict a girl in distress even at points where she would that would make total sense. And it is gettting a bit too emotional, that’s meant to be the icing on the cake, but you need a lot of sponge to balance it out, and we’re missing that nowadays.

    Hopefully the new doctor will prompt some more serious writing from the people behind the scenes, I miss the hard sci-fi.

  5. Gemma says:

    Well the part were Clara was not scared was because she has seen them. She has saved the Doctor many times. So she would of obviously run into some kind of monsters and she was scared when the weeping angles started to attack…

    I thought the episode was amazing and explained alot from questions in the past episodes, and showing Amy before the Doctor regenerates made me not be sad for his going as he saw his best friend and his mum in-law before he went… truly hart warming <3

  6. Kim says:

    I’m sorry- but if you can’t spell “Ood” correctly, you have no authority ripping apart Doctor Who.

    • Tiffaney says:

      Thank you. I was thinking the exact same thing!

    • Mike D. says:

      Thank you for bringing that up! I was thinking the exact same thing… If you can’t even spell the creatures name correctly , your whole opinion should be disregarded!

    • shane says:

      Wow look at you guys, smashing this fella like you’ve never spelt a word wrong.. I don’t agree with the article either but misspelling a word doesn’t mean he can’t have his say..

    • Katryna says:

      EXACTLY! Even though I agree that it wasn’t the best episode ever, I expect that anyone who writes a review would be able to spell “Ood” I hope that it is a spell check error and not a personal error! (Fingers crossed!)

    • Vee says:

      Wow, look at all you turbonerds. Spell a word wrong and your ability to watch a show and form an opinion is invalid? What’s wrong with you? It’s the name of a freakin’ alien race, cut the author some slack.

    • bringmeknitting says:

      I prefer correct spelling and I disagree with this article, but to rule an entire argument invalid on the grounds of one typo is both snobbish and ridiculous.

  7. lynn says:

    Thank you for saying it. You have identified my apathetic complacency with the current series. I am interested to see where it goes, but am not going out of my way to do it.

  8. Brenda Sherrod says:

    Then stop watching. As Tegan’s aunt said, “If you stop enjoying it, give it up.”

    I have watched poster after poster want to bash Doctor Who into the ground. First it was JNT, then it was the TV Movie, then it was Davies, then it was Rose, then it was Smith, then it was Moffat. The list is never going to end.

    If you don’t enjoy it any more, go away and let the rest of us enjoy it. I have grown tired of the venom directed at a show I have loved for over 30 years. Nothing you spew is going to change the writer/producer and their vision. Stomping your foot and screaming that they should listen to you isn’t going to change it. Stop watching. Find something else to watch. There is a far larger selection of fantasy shows on the air now than there has ever been. You can find something else.

    Let us enjoy it.

    • Jorel says:

      Well, I did find the TV movie to be pretty bad, but I completely agree with you. Everyone just keeps complaining and complaining. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. Simple as that. We still enjoy it, so why do you want to try and ruin it for us?

      • Joe Black says:

        Because critics are nothing but cynical assholes and will jump on the ‘Doctor Who is crap’ bandwagon or ANY bandwagon for that matter just so their insignificant voices can be heard no matter what. I enjoyed DW in all its regenerations even though my intro to the series was the TV movie, bad as people say it was, McGann was brilliant & I did enjoy the movie, the audio dramas, the new Who and the classic Who. I love all of them. Screw the critics. They know jack s#it.

      • Angela says:

        Honestly I think part of the venom is present because of social media. As Dr. Who’s rampant popularity grows at a time when some older fans become disillusioned we are just plain tired of hearing about the show, seeing the never ending posts(from fangirls especially). It’s hard to block all that from your facebook wall, so while the venom gets no one anywhere, I understand the sentiment. Dr. Who DOES feel like a bandwagon, a massive franchise, not that quirky little show I loved years ago. if Whovians were a little less rabid in their devotion and weren’t shoving it in our faces via social media constantly it would be easier to just walk away for a lot of people.

    • Beverly says:

      Well said Brenda!!!

    • Solanis says:

      I agree, although I watched the movie again recently, and the one thing I can’t forgive in the movie is the “half human” bit. I’ve always considered the doctor to be gallifreyan. But yeah, otherwise just sit back and enjoy the ride.

      • Jonathan stern says:

        Honestly, that didn’t bother me because I knew it was a joke. The thing that bothered me about it was the grotesque regeneration scene and Eric Roberts as The Master. If they had made the regeneration scene less skin-twisting and more light and morphing (like in the old and new series) and cast someone else as The Master, then I would have thought it was perfect introduction to a new era of Doctor Who, rather than a fair movie with one amazing actor.

      • lolguy says:

        dude, watch that scene again, remember he’s just regenerated, is just remembering who he is and also he pulls that guy aside and whispers that part to him because he’s trying to get him to let him near the atomic clock or whatever, so he would have said anything and maybe he’s newly regenerated time lord brain just spouted out I’m half human on my mom’s side without realizing that saying you’re half alien is about the fastest way to make sure a human scientist of any integrity to ban you from getting any where near humanities higher end technology. that’s assuming he believes you which he won’t, so he’ll think you’re a crazy person, whom he also won’t let near his stupid atomic plot (Paul McGann is an effin genius and should be given his own 8th doctor adventures spin off immediately, but just writing about that stupid movie makes me angry). The Doctor lies, he had every reason to lie or say anything that might help his cause since only that guy could just then i.e. motive, he was regen addled, and it was an offhand comment in a moment when he needed to have some connection to this guy. In other words, I always just assumed he was talking out his a$$ and hoping for the best. a pretty typical Doctor-ish-y thing for him to do.

        • Solanis says:

          It wasn’t the doctor that said it, it was the master. It was used as a way to try and explain his affinity with earth. The movie wasn’t too bad otherwise, although it was very typical of 90’s American TV movies. Paul mcgann was fantastic in it. It was just that one point that annoyed me for its complete irrelevance to the entire plot.

    • Linda says:

      Agreed! Don’t like then don’t watch it. Mind you, this man writes for the Telegraph…say no more!

    • Leanne Dahms says:

      Well said Brenda!! I nearly stopped watching when Donna was the companion. I do not like her or the actress at all, but….this is MY opinion only and there are plenty out there who love her. I perservered because I loved the show as a whole. I have liked all of the Doctor Who actors (Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker were my era)and some of the episodes more than others but that’s the way it is. Roll on Doctor Who for those that know there will be ups and downs. 🙂

    • bringmeknitting says:

      I absolutely could not agree more Brenda. I can’t think of many shows where people seem to only still watch it so that they can then bitch about it. Doctor Who is not Hamlet, it’s meant to be fun. Entertainment. If I’m not entertained I don’t watch it.

      And that is not to say that I switch my brain off entirely, or that I automatically find anything Doctor Who flawless, quite the reverse. But in general principle, if I’m not enjoying something on telly, I do something else. After all, there are plenty of others things to do and life is short enough.

    • I totally agree with you just because some people didn’t enjoy the episode and some people did like myself they should let us enjoy it and I thought it was one of the best episodes I have seen

  9. matt says:

    I’m from the US where we don’t get new episodes of anything on Christmas Day. I have no problems with Moffat and Russell creating this weird world full of here and back there leading way over to here and so on.

    As far as trying to wrap everything with a bow, I don’t mind because many American shows won’t do that unless they have a real gameplan. Babylon 5 was one of those shows with a plan.

    As far as Clara goes, Amy, River and her have known more about the Doctor and gotten more out of him than most companions ever do. It was a matter of time before the companions called him out on things.

    I just see it as a way to answer questions that any nerd would want answered about the show before creating new questions.

    • Abbie says:

      Just because your in the US doesn’t mean you can’t watch the episodes, get BBC America and you can watch as they come out.

      • Casey says:

        I think he means that usually American TV shows don’t usually have new episodes air on Christmas Day, so Doctor Who is unique.

    • LJ says:

      Too bad you don’t get it Christmas day but Americans who have BBC America do get it on Christmas day. It showed at 9 pm.

    • adric127 says:

      IM in the US and saw it on BBC America on Christmas Day. Not sure why you cant?

      • Kendra says:

        um did you know there’s such a thing that NOT EVERYBODY has cable??? I don’t have cable and live in the U.S. therefore, no BBC America. I have to find a recording of the episodes online to watch.. geez just because you have cable don’t assume everybody else does..

        • Cheryl says:

          Plus, even if you have cable, you might still not have BBCA. It’s a premium channel, so lots of people don’t have it.

  10. Troy says:

    Your an idiot

  11. Sara says:

    She was phased by all the daleks and cybermen because she has already gone through his timeline and seen all those things before. It wasn’t new to her.

    • adric127 says:

      GOOD POINT! She has been with the Doctor through it all, so she should have even recognized the weeping angels. Even so, you are right she should not be shocked by anything!

      • OsfortheWin says:

        And Clara is not eyecandy. She is not constantly unflappable (example: cold war). She is more related and human in more scenarios except with this Christmas ep-I’m sorry. I like Clara for more than just her looks. She has a bit of spirit, vulnerability, and curiosity. I like her. How did she remember seeing the silence when she turned to face them once more? Wasn’t that the whole point everyone used markers for their arms.

        • Jonathan stern says:

          No, it was to remind them for when they didn’t see the Silent. Basically when you see them you can remember seeing them, but when you don’t see them you completely forget them.

  12. anon says:

    i dont know what your problem is, but you seem to forget that clara is the impossible girl for a reason. she has saved the doctors timey wimey ass for a gazillion times. of course shes not gonna be scared or amazed or anything. she was in the beginning, shes not anymore. Not gonna comment on the rest of your ‘review’.

  13. Neil says:

    That’s why I liked Donna Noble the most, she really made the doctor question his actions and instead of being eye candy she was instead a well written carachter with strong views and wasn’t the damsel in distress like we have seen with other companions

    I loved how they were just mates traveling , having a laugh, saving the world and to some good writing at that! Their stories got answered, I feel Matt’s stories got left like they just thought nah it doesn’t matter about all the work we done with him and his loose ends let’s just tie this up with capaldi doing an awesome intro with the best Dr who facial expression ever!

    • Gaby says:

      I agree with you. I don’t think companions are there to be eye candy or damsels in distress. Donna was a great example of this. She was a woman with a personality, a background and ideas of her own. She wasn’t smitten by the Doctor (when Clara admitted fancying him I went “here we go again…”) and while she was marvelled by all he had to show her and surely considered him the best friend she’d ever had, she also noticed his faults and helped him overcome them. I wish they would flesh Clara out a bit more. I find it hard to describe her in terms of personality.

      I’m really looking forward to seeing Peter Capaldi in action, but I really wish it were under a showrunner that didn’t rely mostly on emotional impact and who didn’t solve everything in a deus-ex-machina, timey wimey sort of way.

  14. Bugaroo015 says:

    How I see it, Moffat is fighting a battle over writing two of the best global British TV shows of the modern era: Sherlock and Doctor who. Attempting to do that would most possibly put one of the shows in jeopardy, and it looks like it’s Doctor who in my eyes. I do not like that at all; I want doctor who to be a grand ideal show for all audiences, not with all the muddled up plot twists and thinks that make you go “Huh?”

    My Advice to him? Moffat should stick with either Sherlock or Doctor who for good, and let another great director for the other (I preferably think Moffat should stick with Sherlock, He’s a legend at making the show with Mark Gattis!)

    C.H. 🙂

    • Bugaroo015 says:

      things (God Google)

    • Evil Snow says:

      Yeah, I think he needs to focus on one and knock the other one on the head. It can be too much managing two popular shows at once, so I think he should hand Doctor Who over to someone else for a bit

  15. tegan says:

    the best part of the ep was getting rid of matt smith. i never warmed up to him as the dr. he was slightly less annoying once they got rid of amy.

    • hiadin says:

      yes amy and river are the only reasons matt smith was watchable. my favorite of all time was when they destroyed the fez!! Matt on his own was either far too dark to be the doctor, or far too comical to be human (picture a rabbit munching a carrot for his alone episodes). when he had ay and rory and river it was great because they added depth to the story, clara was just a stand n for matt and I hope that she develops more as a believable character for capaldi.

  16. Matt says:

    Frankly, I’m a little tired of a lot of Doctor fans. You can never be pleased and just enjoy the ride. I happen to think its a great thing that the people responsible for making Doctor Who are in love with the show. Is it sappy sometimes? Yes, but that is what gives the show heart. Shows with a bit of sappiness (i.e. Firefly, Stargate, Farscape, to name a few)are showing love to fans that love the characters.
    Moffat does everything he can to appease the fans. Filling in major gaps, acknowledging the lore while still trying to keep the show fresh and moving forward. He even regularly consults with Russell T. Davies for advice and to be sure he’s sticking to canon.
    As for Clara, or any companion, the traits they share in common bravery, kindness, and they challenge the Doctor in some way. There are countless adventures we don’t see of the Doctor and his companions.
    I, for one, am still in love with show and look forward to its return next fall.

    • Beverly says:

      I just love Stargate! I get to season 10 and start again. Just like Doctor Who. I never get tired of the sappy reruns. “I like reruns. Reruns are cool”

    • Jonathan stern says:

      Thank you for mentioning Firefly. It is my third favorite show of all time (Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Coupling take up my 1 and 2 spots respectively). I love these shows because of the characters and their relationships. Personally, I think that Doctor Who should always have two to three companions (like the 1st-5th, as well as parts of the 9th, 10th, and 11th.) This gives more personalities to play with, more characters to interact with, and just a fuller universe. Granted, they all have to be good characters, but having more than one gives The Doctor and the audience something to gravitate towards.

    • Dustin says:

      THANK YOU for saying something that I’ve been mentioning to a fair amount of my whovian friends! I personally highly doubt that the issue is the writers, the actors/actresses, and/or (as I’ve had to say to some) the effects. The issue is that too many try to read too deeply into it and expect to see some further foreboding plot-line appear. It is an interesting thing of itself to see it as what the show gives you and surprisingly less confusing when you look at that and take facts from earlier episodes to come to the finality given. When you start to read deeper in, you miss facts that are stated on the surface because you’re looking beyond them. Then again, I’m basing this off of the group that I hang out with and it could be entirely wrong about many others…

    • Well said I totally agree with you

  17. Sam says:

    I think RTD has done a good job. Moffat had had also great moments but I think certainly he isn’t the right man to lead this TV show. I really think he ruins it right now. I mean: Look! the show is as popular as one could only imagine and then there’s season 7 with these stupid plots and I don’t like this whole Clara Story. It doesn’t mean there are no great moments with her but all in all it feels wrong. Where is the TV show which the people love?

  18. John D says:

    A tip to the author of this post: Reviews are opinion pieces. Starting right off the bat with the assumption that everyone thinks the same as you is the mark of a poor writer. If you didn’t like it, then “why I found this episode to be bad” not “why was this episode so bad?”

    That being said, I found this episode to be wonderful. I have seen every episode of “New Who” and a handful of classic serials. But this was the first regeneration I have seen when it came out. This was the first time I truly had to say good-bye to a Doctor. Matt Smith is brilliant (granted, I was not happy to see Tennant go when I was watching all these episodes on Netfliz for the first time. Matt did not sit well with me at the time.) The bowtie hitting the floor made me start to whimper. Clara echoed what I was thinking “Don’t go! Don’t change!” In the end, this episode did everything it had to do, and it did it well. It affirmed that Gallifrey is indeed safe and sound, it tied up all the loose ends from Matt Smith’s era (although they did rush some of that.) And it made me sad to see the brilliant Matt Smith leave his role. He did so tactfully, with a smile on his face, as oppossed to David’s infamous whining. Matt was great, and he got to give one more epic speech before he left. I’ll admit that Clara is not a great companion. I really do not like her that much. But you aren’t going to like every companion that comes along.

    “The Time of the Doctor” gets an 8 out of 10.

  19. James K says:

    I agree 100%. Moffat has let his, and the BBC’s, ego tale control of Doctor Who. Yes we do all love ‘The Doctor’ being; smart, witty, funny, and ever so slightly scary…but it is just not enough any more. I started watching Doctor Who back in 2005 when it returned…and quite frankly it’s been downhill since the show became popular (around the time of Tennants 2nd to last series). I feel that Moffat could only write good, coherent stories, when he only had a one or two episode limit a series and Russell T Davis was watching over him homing his ideas and making them actually fit together with past and future episodes. Moffat should either stick to writing “Sherlock” abd leave Doctor Who to someone new…or give up Sherlock and stop trying to complicate and do something seemingly clever with Doctor Who.

  20. Liz says:

    Oh Gods it was so dreadful. I kept waiting for SOMETHING to happen, like a plot or a point or ANYTHING! The droning on and on of ‘meaningful monologuing’, the cheap sentiment and over the top acting-I couldn’t wait for it to be over. And when it finally was, when all the stupid crap was put away, I couldn’t help wishing so hard for a TARDIS so I could get that hour back. Complete pants.

  21. Joe says:

    I am so confused… if Clara walked into the strand of the Doctor’s time line why is she still here for the 50th episode and the last one? It has become so odd.

    IN The US we do get the episodes as the UK gets them. ON BBC AMERICA same day… but at 9 pm Eastern Time…. no idea what he is on about.

  22. The_Eighth _Doctor says:

    Why do people keep on saying it didn’t make sense. Most if the things they are complaining about were answered in the episode. All you had to do was pay attention, and a basic familiarity of the classic series would not have been a bad thing to have.

    • Nightowlhowl says:

      I’d say the complaint isn’t that it didn’t make sense but that any sense this writer makes he pulls from the deepest parts of his bowels.

  23. Beverly says:

    Christmas specials to me are like a good bed time story about the Doctors escapades. They are different from the normal episodes. This particular special had Doctor Who at the centre of it all. I admit the show was a bit messy and seemed to have some missing pieces, but any Doctor Who “real” fan would know that there’s more to what we see in an episode. Somewhere, somehow along the line there is something revealed that helps us understand better the goings on in the show. Its the simpleness, complications and unpredictability of the show that keeps some of glued to it, among other things. So it wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t a flop either. It seemed as though there was so much that was being crammed into a single show. But one thing about cramming things into a small space is that you cant contain them for long. It only gives me more reason to want to wait for later episodes with the hope of fun, exciting reveals. As for Moffat, well, he has so much room to work in and material to work with. I’m willing to give him a continuing chance hoping he doesn’t fall into the complacency trap. Gallifrey, the Time Lords, the Doctor live!!! Imagine the possibilities of future episodes.

    Matt Smith was brilliant and so were his companions in their own right. You forget that Clara became part of the time stream when she disintegrated in it. For all we know she may even be connected to the Tardis somehow. If they look good then it’s OK. Is that not a “conventional rule of dramatic entertainment” these days?

    Doctor Who is not just about cool entertainment. There are principles behind the stories that fans from long ago get. I started with Ecclestone and feel I’m already grasping the essence of what Doctor Who is about. If the Doctor can regenerate, why not the show. You cant really limit Doctor Who to what we want it to be. After all, “It’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside”. Its different and has plenty of room to improve. Give it a chance.

  24. Laura says:

    I was confused during the entire episode of what was going on. He had to stay in Christmas to protect it, but it wasn’t -clearly- explained in the episode why. If he left, the armies would blow up the planet. If he stayed, they still tried to blow up the planet. If he said his name, the time war would begin again. But the bad guys were trying to stop that by destroying the planet….
    I agree, although it wrapped up everything from Matt Smith’s era, it was confusing to watch.
    However, everything said about Clara- ridiculous.
    I do wish there would have been more time spent on the goodbye/regeneration.

    • Daniel says:

      “If he stayed, they still tried to blow up the planet.”

      But he could help avoiding that for some HUNDRED years more :3 Every life saved is a victory. Staying, he could help.
      “I’m the Doctor. I was here to help.”

      “If he said his name, the time war would begin again. But the bad guys were trying to stop that by destroying the planet….”

      If they had the time.
      Again, obviously.

  25. Austin Saco says:

    For sure, this episode has really split the fandom apart. The Time of the Doctor is something you really love and consider it a great way for Matt to go out, or something you hate and it feels like a total cop out from Moffat’s end. As for me, it’s hard to decide, and a little truth here, I don’t like choosing sides. I want to try to stay as neutral as possible here.

    The Time of the Doctor, in my -OPINION- (if you don’t know what that is, I strongly suggest you leave the page and look it up), is a good way to send off Matt and bring in Capaldi, but it has many flaws and really lazy writing.

    In Clara’s case, I half agree with Mr. Admin. I don’t see her as an annoyance, but more over just empty and generic. Her parents however, are just there for backdrop. If anything, Clara and his family should have been called “The MacGuffins” because that was all they were worth. Sure her granny was really sweet and her mum is a buzzkill, but there’s no other point of her family than just moving the plot along.

    The Doctor:
    Matt Smith’s final performance however is just fine. Remember that he can only work with what Moffat gives to him and even then he gives a fantastic finale. I was so close to shedding a tear when his little Cyberman head pet went kaput :(.

    The Regeneration Scenes:
    Oh yes, the whole Michael Bay looking regen scene. I’m not going to lie, the whole setup for it was really piss poor. Not the scene itself, but how it was built up. Clara pleads to the crack in the wall with Gallifrey on the other side, and it becomes what I think so far the biggest deus ex machina to be lazily put in NuWho. Really? A small speck of energy to reset the whole thing for 13 more Doctors? Goddamnit, Moffat…. Anyway, the whole super duper ultra mega regeneration scene on top of the tower was over the top and it was outright silly. But in the end inside the TARDIS, all we get to go to Capaldi is a sneeze! Seriously?! A little ACHOO and we get new kidneys??

    • Steph says:

      I agree with you. It had its good parts and not so good parts.

      I felt like it tied up a lot of loose ends from Matt Smith’s time, but then created some new ones. For example, It seems like Clara’s Granny had seen or possibly traveled with the doctor at some point. I really have a feeling that this will not be discussed in the series again.

      Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman gave great performances. Especially at the regeneration sequence.

      I do have to say, I feel like the plot dragged in some places and was rushed in others. Like the regeneration sequence. It seemed like it was rushing, then you get to the Amy part and it seems like a good pace, but then when Capaldi comes, it’s really rushed again.

      I don’t know, maybe they used up most of their energy and focus on making the spectacular 50th anniversary, that in comparrison to that, the Christmas special seemed mediocre?

  26. Brian Drake says:

    I don’t understand the hate for Moffat, Smith, et al. I thoroughly enjoyed Smith’s exit and his tenure. Maybe there were too many moments that were dismissed as “timey wimey” and thus not explained but it’s still the best show on TV right now. I’m going to miss Smith very much, but I’m sure Capaldi will carry on the tradition and will win me over quickly.

    • Kieran McMullen says:

      the issue I have is that we went from hard sci-fi with one or two quirks, to complete quirkiness overflow with a little bit of sci-fi, and that divides fans, especially since the “new who” series had stayed rather faithful to the original series in terms of tone, while the moffat era has gone completely off the rails. I’ve never met anyone who thought the series went better during the moffat era, only the fans who were here before the shift who aren’t happy, and the fans who joined afterward to whom this is all they know.

      • Brenda Sherrod says:

        You’ve just met one. I thought the RTD era was a bit too gooey with that silly romance with Rose. She was a good companion until they made her doe eyed every time he was around. I like Moffat and what he has done. I liked Jonathan Nathan Turner in the 80’s, too. Not everything worked but who cares? It is Doctor Who.

        And another thing, Doctor Who has never been “hard sci-fi”. At best, it is a fantasy sci-fi show. You want hard sci-fi, watch Star Trek.

  27. Nick Goroff says:

    I am rather split myself. Its hard not to agree on the points regarding the thick-as-molasses sentimentality and sort of superficiality to the characters, as well the critique of Smith’s 11/12/13th Doctor. Yet at the same time I must admit I rather enjoyed it.
    It came across as an indelibly sappyish good-bye and homage to Smith and Moffat’s steering of the series from their respective positions and the mid point break with sudden exposition offering the all-of-a-sudden backstory that The Doctor had been in the “town of Christmas” serving as its defender for some 300 years, was all a bit tough to swallow. However as with Star Wars and even elements of Star Trek, the ignoring of canon and rather cheap way in which they got around it is something that one must just accept at this point and try to enjoy for what it is.

  28. Cleo says:

    Dear Admin…Was the Christmas special the first and only episode of Doctor Who you watched? Did you missed the episodes showing that clara have been saving the doctor again and again? And when she was a Dalek herself? And Clara is a companion, not an assistant. And the right spelling is Ood not Oud.

    • admin says:

      Hello Cleo, This is an article from the that has been brought to your attention By the Doctor Who Hub

      • James ONeill says:

        Glad you clarified the confusion. (See what I did there?)
        The Telegraph reporter has obviously been assigned to review the Christmas episode and never watched the program befor!

  29. George says:

    Divers monstery horror? I must have missed those. What divers?

  30. Millie says:

    I’m not going to go to far in depth with why I think this review is poor, I shall simply point out that possibly the most concerning of all the statements within this article, is the miss-spelling of potentially one of the easiest Who spellings- “Oud” is not a creature, neither do they have a song. However, the Ood sing a beautifully sad song to 10s Doctor.

    • Zoya says:

      I am pretty sure he meant to type Ood, but accidentally typed Oud. There are such things as typos. Also the Ood do have two songs, called the Songs of Freedom and Captivity, from the episode “Planet of the Ood”.

  31. Alexandra says:

    I have to say that I agree with this particular article. I wonder if no one else noticed that Clara lives in the same building that Rose lived in. Was it a coincidence? I don’t know, there was so much thrown at us in this episode that little of it made any sense in the long run. To have Capaldi’s appearance be so brief was disheartening because to be honest, I was done with Matt’s doctor. I have never warmed up to him. I only liked him in the 50th special and I think it was because of how well he played off of Tennant. I think that DT and RTD spoiled us for any other doctors and Christmas specials. Tennant is just larger than life and Matt had big shoes to fill. I think it was time for someone older. Capaldi should be great now if only they regenerated producers and could be rid of Steven Moffat. I am so sick of his smug face.

  32. Deb says:

    On the money. I thought it was the worst Doctor episode I have ever seen. It was hackneyed, confusing, nonsensical, and insulting to Matt Smith’s doctor.

  33. Jackson_Lake says:

    -The writer of this post

  34. Jeff says:

    I agree Time of the Doctor was not very good, but not for the same reasons as this article.

    The first problem is time of the Doctor was the follow up to Day of the Doctor, which was really good so peoples expectations were sky high and the latest episode did not really deliver.

    The second problem is that they tried to tie up too many loose ends and literally jam as much stuff into a normal sized episode as possible, and it didnt really work.

    The third problem for me is having the regeneration during the Christmas episode. Not only were they shoving as much stuff as possible into the episode, but its all wrapped up in the Christmas theme. Regenerations are a big deal and I dont think Matt Smiths should have been done in this mess. He deserved a better send off.

    As for Clara, I dont really have an issue with her, but Rose and Amy are my favorites. I think Clara has done exactly what she needed to do since joining the show, and yes she is really beautiful too.

    My friends and I watched Time of the Doctor on BBC America and after it ended we all stared at each other like nobody wanted to be the first to say the episode really was not that good in case we were crazy. Yes, the ending was decent, and I loved the cameo from Amy Pond, but I had a far more emotional reaction to David Tennant regenerating into Matt Smith. This one just didnt do it for me and that is disappointing, and may be it is a sign that Doctor Who has become too big for its own britches as was mentioned in the article.

  35. Zoya says:

    I do agree with the point that there was no coherent plot. I think it was too fast paced, so many things were happening at once and it seemed like there wasn’t a lot of connection. I thought that Trenzalore would be a big deal, and the episode would be epic, but sadly, it was a big mess of space time conundrum, and not the good way.
    Also correct me if I’m wrong, but Clara remembered all of the things that occurred when she entered the Doctor’s timeline to save him countless times, and I assume that she would have encountered a lot of monsters along the way. I mean she did turn into a Dalek. But then again I’m not entirely sure if she retained those memories, but in the case she did, that would explain her lack of fear and surprise. And another point, she’s met the Cybermen before, and if I recall correctly, she was quite scared in “Nightmare in Silver”. And the fact that she has encountered them before would explain her lack of fear as well, against the Cybermen at least. But the fact that she wasn’t very panicked at the end of the episode, when the Daleks were attacking, is a flaw.

    • Daniel says:

      “I do agree with the point that there was no coherent plot.”

      The plot was totally coherent.

      “I think it was too fast paced, so many things were happening at once and it seemed like there wasn’t a lot of connection.”

      There was.

      You have the right to think you don’t like the plot or the connections, but saying the plot was not coherent or the connections were not there is simply false.

      Just saying 🙂

  36. Kailey says:

    I wonder why people are always to quick to start ripping a new one when an episode this big happens. I’m not even going to go into your obvious lack of knowledge of the show, but I do want to address something. Doctor Who is supposed to be a show for the Generations. You can learn so much about the past cultures and what they liked by just watching Doctor Who. When I saw the first few episodes with Matt Smith, I HATED him. He was too young, too spazzy, and too weird looking, topping it all off with a ridiculous fez. It took me a while to see that he was the Doctor of This generation. A generation where geeks are now Cool (cooler than they’ve ever been and we’re proud of it), and old things are better than new. His character may have looked young in face, but he was an old, old alien, trying to keep a young heart. I will also say, you can tell a lot about a Whovian by their favorite Doctor. And because Tennant and Smith were the Doctors who reached out and captured a younger generation, we now have More Whovians who will create future Whovians and keep this wonderful show alive. I love the Doctor and I will miss Smith’s Doctor, but I can’t deny that I am excited to see what Capaldi brings to the TARDIS.

  37. RicciS says:

    Bravo for having the balls to say what I’ve been thinking since Steven Moffat has taken over. I will always watch the Doctor as I’ve been doing since 1984. Let me tell you, I’ve suffered through some horrible plots over the years (including the Colin Baker era), but I’ll always be a fan. My loyalty and that of other fans is why they are getting away with such mediocrity.

    However, there is no reason to have episodes that are pawned off as “clever” and “mysterious” when they really are just convoluted and weakly written. I do disagree with blaming it on Matt Smith. I feel he did the best with the scripts he was given and grew on me after mourning the loss of David Tenant. In the middle of Smith’s reign, there was some wonderful writing, but this Christmas episode definitely epitomized all that has gone wrong in the Dr. Who story lines.

    P.S. I’m in the US and had no problem seeing the Christmas episode on Christmas Day.

  38. Redffpup says:

    Totally agree, awful episode as almost ll the Christmas specials have been. This was a padded bad end of season episode.

  39. Lyn August says:

    Dr Who is a family show, it is also fiction. Relax your knickers and read a book, your giving it far too much thought.

    • Kieran McMullen says:

      it’s science fiction, it’s meant to attract and propagate thought.

      • Daniel says:

        And it does. In an amazing way. Especially in episodes like The Time Of The Doctor.

        I agree that “it’s for the kids” is not an excuse. I also think that DW (and The Time Of The Doctor specifically) doesn’t need one.

        This Christmas special has been, in my opinion, clever, intense, exciting, clear and wonderful to see and hear. And much more enjoyable for adults than kids, I think.

  40. Jack says:

    After I get to see the Special, I’ll lay down my opinion, but I do agree that Matt’s Seasons/Series have been more than ridiculous. It’s not His fault though, I think He was great, just Moffats writing is usually terrible. I pretty much agree with most of this article

  41. Sean says:

    In the defense of Matt and Jenna, how is it their fault that their stories of the last few episodes have been utter hogwash, their characters themselves are fantastic. Matt sure he will survive as he always had but with so much cost. People in the town of christmas have been killed and died because of him. It’s his fault and we see that. Which is fantastic. For Clara, in case you forgot, she completely unflappable because she has lived so long and so many different lives, and she remembers each one so vaguley that it doesn’t really cause her so much bother to see lets say a Dalek or a Cyberman. On top of that, having a character that realizes their is no sense in being so dramatic or scared. It is how do we get out, and what do we have to do. She is great. I loved Karen, probably still more than Jenna’s clara, but change happens, and she is the perfect doctor, emotional, sassy, and unflappable. She wants to protect everyone including the doctor. That what she lives for after all. I can’t wait for her and Peter to be together.

  42. Lauren says:

    I was in agreement with you for a while there. I too thought the Christmas episode was a mess. Very little substance and lots of flash they hoped would cover for that. It wasn’t nearly as clever as other DW episodes. It was rushed. Plain and simple. Ever since the second half of series 7 I’ve noticed Moffat resorts to the same old tricks to churn out episodes he imagines are great but they’re not. Moffats ego is ruining the show. Problems are solved too quickly, the impossible is *poof* suddenly possible. Even things that used to be wonderful (weeping angels for example) have gone stale. The Angels were scary and original once but now they’ve been done to death, to the point they aren’t scary. I could go on for ages about my concerns that Moffat will destroy something I love, faults and all, but I’ll stop there because that’s where my agreement with your article ends.

    Smith has been WONDERFUL, just handed crummy scripts. Yet, he has played the crummy scripts beautifully and it’s clear he has talent and is a perfect Doctor. Also, your views on women are disgusting and close minded. Companions should always play victim? What about the fact Clara has been adventuring with the Doctor, saving his butt as the impossible girl who leapt into his timeline, since he stole the Tardis. Of course nothing scares her! It’s old hat! Do you even watch the show? And women are not there for your disgusting self to oogle at you pervert. I pity your wife.

    I’m not defending the Christmas Episode, for the most part it stunk, but it was VERY emotional, and Smith did an excellent job. It ripped my heart out, especially the scene with Amy. Give credit where credit is due, and examine your views on women. They’re barbaric. Finally, it’s clear that if you ever actually watched DW you never liked it. So stop watching.

  43. jim says:

    If you don’t like Doctor Who, don’t watch it. Personally, if a critic pans something then it is usually good. As a rule, critics are idiots and you are no exception. Please die!!

  44. leandro says:

    wow…. i just love the special, i had already watched 3 or 4 times! and then i read this……and i dont get it how can you have that opinion.. wasa great episode and if you dont like it almost you hate it maybe you are watching the wrong show for you. Then stop qq for all over the place and go watch another show. The special was great

  45. Kieran says:

    Personally I think on terms of Christmas episodes it was one of the best Matt Smith Christmas Episodes alongside The Snowmen & The Christmas Carol episode. But as a regeneration episode it did disappointed, not just because it will be the last (for long time) till we see the 11th (or whatever number Doctor he is now) Doctor but as the regeneration itself as if you look at any of the regeneration episodes from the past they have a classy and slightly heartbreaking way for the actor to leave yet for this one it was a real anticlimax as they built it up with the whole thing with Karen Gillan, the bow tie and the speech but instead we feel like all Matt Smith did was sneeze into Peter Capaldi which I feel let down the whole sadness of regeneration and didn’t give much of an entrance for the New Doctor

    • Daniel says:

      So you love the speech about the regeneration not being sad or bad, but you hate that the regeneration wasn’t sad or bad?

      Just to be clear 🙂

  46. Rose says:

    I don’t see what everyone is complaining about. I absolutely loved the Christmas special! I thought it was very interesting, especially since it was Matt’s last episode. That’s why there were the Angels and the Silence and the Dalek conversions. They were going to have Matt go out with a bang. Sure, it may not have been his best performance, but for God’s sake people! He left the show! In all the interviews with him discussing his departure, he is so upset, and is going to miss this! So obviously, it’s going to be hard for him to leave, and I’ll bet you anything, that when he was crying on camera, he was crying for real. So cut him some slack! It was a great episode.

  47. Paul says:

    I think I can agree with most people that this years christmas special was hyped up too much. It was truly dissapointing in my oppinion it was the worst episode since steven mophet became head writer. I think it’s time steven gave up the position of head writer, to someone else who’s got a better imagination.

    • Ricci says:

      But if Steven Moffat steps down, who will star in all the Dr. Who specials???? (Please hear my sarcasm, please hear my sarcasm)

  48. TripAffleck says:

    so tedious. another two-bit, hack blogger who thinks they can do a better job than Moffatt, and won’t stop whining that Matt Smith isn’t as good as their favorite Doctor.
    not that i take this piece seriously; anyone who forces the word “mawkishness” twice in four paragraphs obviously has no business putting his ideas in writing.

  49. Chris says:

    shortsited and just…so, so wrong

  50. I was utterly disappointed by Time of the Doctor. I’ll disagree on your RTD comment. I connected a lot better with his writing than I do with with Moffat’s. His characters were a lot more substantial for the most part. Moffat’s okay when he pops in the occasional episode. He sucks at continuity and has a bad habit of basically saying F-you to suit his own whims when he does long strings of them. I’d be much happier to see more of other writers and much LESS of the Moffat monster. He’s got the whole Mary Sue syndrome going on. (Please bring back Neil Gaiman!!!)

  51. Tony says:

    That whole article was pure trolling. It was am amazing end to an amazing Doctor and I was a massive 10 fan.

  52. Katryna says:

    The episode was far from what I expected and I feel that someone described it perfectly in a previous post. The episode was completely underwheling. The way I see it is that a show that has existed for 50 years is allowed to have a bad episode every so often. We all have our favorite moments, characters, and events and that is what matters in the end. I am looking forward to the future of the series and still enjoying the past.

  53. ambercat13 says:

    I don’t agree with your opinion of the show overall or of your opinion on Matt Smith’s Doctor or Clara. However, I hated the Christmas episode with the power of a thousand suns. I felt like Matt had already let go of the Doctor and had so many weird mannerisms he’d never used before. Poor Clara’s character could have been a cardboard cutout – not her fault, but the writing. And I’m like the easiest fangirl ever. I like EVERYTHING. Ugh, just frelling ugh. I liked exactly 3 brief moments. The totally married her bit, Amy Pond, and every second of Capaldi.

  54. Damian WIlde says:

    love the show and the new episode… you people.. need to get lives.

  55. Raye says:

    I personally think that the episode as a whole was kind of. . .mish-mashed with too many different things going on; however, it had some truly wonderful moments. And those are the moments that I watch again and again rather than re-watching the entire episode multiple times. I don’t think it’s the worst Christmas episode, though. I personally don’t watch the Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe that often. That one is probably my least favorite of the Christmas ones. I think that Matt Smith gave a wonderful performance, though. Out of all of his performances, this one made the largest impression on me. And that’s not because it was his last episode, it was his acting that really touched me. As for Clara, I felt as if Matt’s acting was better than Jenna’s. I especially feel this way toward the end of the episode. Looking at him, I felt as if I were looking at the Doctor. Looking at her, I felt as if I were looking at the actress rather than the character. All in all, I enjoyed the episode. I’ve had enough days after the episode, though, to admit to any flaws I ignored at first.

  56. Kendra says:

    I feel like I’m the only one that was absolutely fine with the episode.. and I’ve been fine with EVERY.SINGLE.EPISODE. Doctor Who is unique. I never have anything to complain about because the episodes always satisfy me.. that’s why I even watch the show. And it’s gotten much better over the past years. RTD had some really cheesy episodes. Though Moffat has some cheesy ones as well. The 2013 Christmas special was well done, though a bit lacking of adventure in my opinion. I enjoyed it and hated seeing my favorite Doctor leave the show. Great acting by Matt. One of his best. (:

  57. Mike E says:

    A Weeping Angel grabbed Clara. Nothing happened. Case Closed.

  58. Meg says:

    ‘Clara (at least to judge by her accent and dress sense – though, unaccountably, she lives in what looks very much like a fairly rough council block) is a middle class human girl who – unlike a Time Lord who has travelled through millennia’s worth of space – probably hasn’t grown up seeing Daleks, Cybermen etc as a routine part of her life. Yet not once – in the Doctor Who Christmas Special at least – did Clara display any noticeable perturbation at the divers monstery horrors she witnessed.’

    Have you actually watched any of the past episodes with Clara? She didn’t flinch at any of these things because she’s seen them all right through the Doctor’s time line.

  59. Thomas says:

    I started with the 2005 season of Doctor Who, Eccleston was and will always be, one of my favorites.Biting,sarcastic and angry but more than willing to sacrifice himself and his ending episode was amazing. Tennant came along soon after and i wasn’t sure if i was going to like him, he was just too different. At the end of Tennant’s second episode, i was hooked. The line, “No second chances” and then letting the Sycorax leader die,let me know that he was every bit as serious as Eccleston’s Doctor had been. The end of Tennant’s run was equally emotional and powerful, sacrificing himself for Donna’s grand dad and then going on a journey to see all of his companions before his end; was heartbreaking but wrapped everything up nicely. Then there’s Matt, a big spazzy goofball. I never got into his Doctor,i felt that few of his adventures went anywhere and there was so much potential. Too many plot holes, too many neat as you can, tie everything with a nice ribbon, endings along with too many River (spoilers,sweetie) appearances that answered nothing. Amy’s leaving didn’t have the emotional end i was expecting nor did it have that kick when she was gone. I like Clara but every episode with her seems rushed, she’s in a state of constant movement just like Matt and the entire episodes seem to flash by with no real coherence. Even Matt’s ending didn’t have the emotional finality that it should have. After watching the 50th anniversary episode and seeing where it left off, i had such high hopes and i think that’s where everyone is right now. I myself am waiting to see the search for Gallifrey and hope that Capaldi will bring some seriousness and an end to the haphazard, rushed feeling episodes.(yes, i know my punctuation sucks, sorry) This has been my opinion and my opinion only. 🙂

  60. BeardedDalek says:

    There are points others have picked apart in your complaint, primarily regarding Clara already being inured to Dalek presence and the Silents frightening her appropriately.

    That said, Moffat wrote himself and Smith into the story too much. For Moffat, the unwitty “talk fast, hope something good happens, take the credit” line sums up his approach to writing Smiths Doc-tor in the last entire season. For Smith, the “when I was the Doc-tor” is an un-subtle breach of the fourth wall.

    The head prosthetics on the Doc-tor’s oldest form were also better suited to VHS era. High definition shows too much of the poorer details in it. The passage of time was also poorly established in the shoddy writing. The Doc-tor barely acknowledged it, and the town was just popped into, not grown.

  61. Alex says:

    I really enjoyed this Christmas episode. Doctor Who is just this little, bright bubble of charm and goodbye-reality that I enjoy no matter the quality of the plot. Mind you, this episode’s plot wasn’t bad, with plenty of clever ideas that tied the entire 11th Doctor’s time on the show together. The last scene was just perfect.
    With reference to the in-jokes, I have to say I love them. They remind us of the long history of Doctor Who.

  62. Alex says:

    There are so many differences in taste and opinion on this thread alone, and yet we’re all devoted Whovians. I think we can all agree that there’s something for everyone in this remarkable show.

  63. Christopher W says:

    I understand why people may be angry about this post because of the scathing underlying tone that it took, but honestly, this Christmas special really wasn’t that great. It felt like the most of the episode was not much more than a bunch of fluff trying to wrap up Matt Smith’s run as the Doctor. This was the only episode of Doctor Who that I’ve ever watched that was so completely underwhelming for me. I remember being about 40 minutes into the episode, looking at how long the episode had been going and wondering when the episode was actually going to start moving forward. I was very happy with the ending and I feel like it was a good regeneration at least, but that was really the only redeeming part of this episode for me.

  64. Dave says:

    I thought it was a weak episode. They were more interested in cramming in all of the popular adversaries from Smith’s era (Deleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels and the Silence ) than there were with coming up with a good, compelling story. There were lots of holes left unanswered and, on top of that, the explanation of adding future regenerations was silly. So, Clara whispers to the Time Lords to give him more lives because people love him and just like that, they do? They’re still trapped in an alternate universe but that can FedEx the Doctor regenerations though a parallel dimension?? Er… Ok. I think Smith is an excellent actor and did a fine job in the role, but the stories are not generally as good as they used to be. Even going back to the David Tennant era they were typically much better. Moffat just seems to rely way too much on popular villains as a substitute for a good story. Very disappointing. I think Capaldi is a decent choice as a replacement, but I challenge Me. Moffat to do 8 straight new episodes with none of the four arch enemies listed above. I’m not sure he can. It should would make for a more interesting season, and bring excitement back when the time comes that one of the big villains actually returns (the way the show used to be).

    • Thomas says:

      Personally i think the regeneration answer should have come from the “Night of the Doctor” special. He died (ending his regen cycle) and was brought back to life by the Sisterhood of Karn. The drink he was given could have in effect re-started his regeneration cycle. A much better plot point which made Hurt’s doctor the first of the new doctors. So many things they could have done, so many directions they could have taken and they chose that one.

      • Reagan says:

        Except this one fits better in with the plot that Moffat gave when he started. The Timelords, seen in another episode, offered The master a new set of regeneration if he saved the Doctor. The cracks were there with Galifrey on the other side and the TimeLords hearing Clara’s call. It makes way more sense with the problem at hand then to get in his TARDIS and go to Karn leaving everyone to die while got more lives while everyone lost theirs. It was well written and everything fits. There are only a few more questions needing to be answered.

  65. Murray Watt says:

    The Doctor Who Christmas special was excellent. I have several favorite episodes for drama. There was drama in this special, but there was also curiosity in seeing how things were going to fit together.

    More importantly it was Christmas and the episode needed to be wholesome and carry the message of hope. When I was a young man I would have been dismissive of the importance of wholesomeness and hope, but I have learned to appreciate both now that I am older.

    • Daniel says:

      And that is why I think this was an episode far more enjoyable for adults than it was for young people.

      (Also, I completely agree with you.)

  66. Augusto says:

    I think this was not the best christmas special but over all it was a good episode. The way they brought back the cracks was amazing, and Matt performance was one of the best.
    I was expecting more after how good was the 50th anniversary. The regeneration scene could have been better not as rush as it was, in my opinion I think that Capaldi should have appear when you see the shoes coming up the stairs. I actually thought it was Capladi when that happen. Also you could have told us more on how did the Kovarians blew up the TARDIS, and more of the battle of Trenzalore.
    In conclusion this episode did not leave up to expectation, it was a rush episode it should have been a two parter or a longer episode.

  67. Cally says:

    I liked it all in all. Bu I found it underwhelming too. When we discover Trenzalore for the first time it really is destroyed so I expected something more spectacular than Christmas town being repeatedly attacked and not as destroyed (even though it is supposed to takes place long before he falls into the Great Intelligence’s trap)
    And what about the TARDIS then? It is supposed to be there, but Twelve will have it, so this is how the show should end then, with the TARDIS in Trenzalore.
    The regeneration was too quick, we maybe had a little time to prepare before when he received the energy, but then he turned too quickly into Twelve, there was not enough emotion for me. Though I was excited when Twelve appeared all confused xD.
    Though “9, 10, 11, 12 the Doctor died and Silence fell” (not a quote from the episode): that was a good part! And the real purpose of the “Doctor Who?” question part: good too! Still needs to be elaborated though. And I loved “And now it’s time for one last bow, like all your over selves. Eleven’s hour is over now. The clock is stricking Twelve’s.”

  68. Jess says:

    I agree with what you’re saying about the culture of indulgence. I hate Eleven, and not just because he followed Ten. He is the abusive boyfriend of Doctor Who, constantly insulting and belittling ALL of this companions throughout, then turning around with a smile and witty line to save the day, and expecting adoration for it.

    But I have to ask – really? You’re going to say Clara should be damseled? The one thing she’s got going for her is that she’s NOT the Damsel in Distress every episode. She certainly doesn’t have any character, for all the *quirky* Moffat keeps trying to give her.

    Which kind of supports your point, when you think about it – because she doesn’t have any character, it isn’t surprising when she’s not asking “What’s that?” about Daleks and such.

  69. noam choseed says:

    I’m still not sure how the church lady recovered so easily from the Dalek conversion deus ex machine.

  70. sassy3000 says:

    Why do so many of the letters ALL sound like they were written by the same idiot?
    Best episode? What are some people smoking? Everything Moffat writes is pure crap! His stories are weak! Overly Contrived. And I just crack up at the STUPID FANS who say the SAME BS over and over again.
    1.OH that was “So Sad” I was moved to tears.
    2.I was “So Scared” that I (or the children) had to hide behind the (stinking) sofa.
    3.This was the Best episode ever. RME
    SERIOUSLY?! Get some new material people! You’re boring, stale and as predictable as Moffat! And that’s NOT a compliment by any stretch!
    Either Most fans are a bunch of idiotic mindless sheep OR the writing staff and their family and friends are coming onto as many different sites as possible to sing the SAME OLD PRAISES of ANY OLD STORY written by Moffat!
    Makes me wonder if he pays them.
    also the attacks against those who don’t like his archaic writing is the SAME OLD BS!
    1.You’re a hater. (No. Don’t hate the man, just his writing. My condolences to those too stupid to comprehend the difference)
    2. You’re a Tennent fangirl shipper. (Get real. Dave is my 3rd fav. Tom is my fav. I like both old and new stuff and I liked the Eleventh Hour. That’s about it)
    3. Your obviously angry. (Uh, no. Disappointed. Used to like the show. Now it’s embarrassingly stupid)
    4. If you don’t like it, why watch it? (duuuuuh! Because I KEEP HOPING it will get better. It doesn’t but I and millions of others, intend to keep the hope alive)

  71. Lapelcelery says:

    Some posters have a point in saying “be thankful we have the show at all”, but if the majority of the fans are just going to be happy with whatever they get, then they are demanding less in terms of quality control from the makers and writers (and from Mr. Moffat in particular). Be discerning. If the shows attitude continues along the lines of “Why NOT have every single monster in every end of season episode and Cybermen made of wood for no reason, it’s a cool idea…” it becomes more about outdoing previous episodes in terms of ‘coolness’ rather than in terms of actual plot and character development. We need people out there saying “The reason you can’t do that is because it doesn’t make any sense and you should be concentrating on better stories, not better gimmicks.” There is still a lot to like about Doctor Who, but personally, I would hope that 12’s tenure will return to the idea of The Doctor being an enigma, not literally the most recognisable man in the universe, who makes his foes run away just by saying his name. The show seems at its best to me when The Doctor works with what tools he has in the specific context of the story, not when he pulls out some technology or ability that only he has at the very end.

  72. Heather says:

    I adore Clara, but my problem with her is that she has seen every Doctor and what they went through. That is why she is not cowering at the monsters. She has seen all of them. She knows the Doctor too well, and I noticed that is when companions leave. They are with the Doctor not only to help the Doctor, but the Doctor also helps them. Clara does not NEED the Doctor. If she did, she would not demand to stay home.

  73. Reagan says:

    Wow, whoever wrote this. You suck. You don’t seem to get it. “It” meaning Doctor Who. The companions have hardly ever been the “Damsel-in-Distress”, they are there for the Doctor as a friend and for moral support. I think the crap you are feeling is that because not everything made you happy and it didn’t totally satisfy you, so you decide to bash it. For what purpose? Because you couldn’t write an episode near that good. First off, that is Matt Smith’s character you knucklehead. He is the raggedy-man. The Mad Man in a Box! He only is serious when he has to be and not a second more. And the reason why he does something out of the blue coming from the innards of his sleeves defeating all the defy him is because, simply, HE IS THE DOCTOR! He is more cleverer than you could ever be. And Second, stop hating on Moffat. He is the reason why you love the show so much. So stop hating on the man, stop hating on the show, we don’t wanna hear your crap, so stop watching the show, and go watch The Twilight Saga. I hope Bella is serious enough for you.

  74. Mary Mondo says:

    I did not really enjoy the episode the 1st time and found it rather confusing, the 2nd time I understood it better and the 3rd time I LOVED it. It did not live up to the hype from Moffat and the BBC. I really wanted it to be the best ever as it was Matt’s last, and was disappointed it was not. I was surprised at the way the Doctor morphed into Cappelli. It had too much in one episode and it almost needs a minisode with Matt and Clara to give us closure.

    ps The more times I watched it, the more I cried.
    I have watched every episode of Doctor Who since the beginning and Matt is my favourite Doctor as he manages to embody the good and bad traits of some of my favourite classic Doctors. I also like Clara as a companion and therefore I was a bit peeved the doctor did not seem to know it was Clara who saved him (AGAIN) and the final moments between them were disappointing. But I do think it was right for 11 to see both Ponds at the end.

    The review makes some relevant points but I draw the line at the companions having to be rescued to be of value. The comparisons with children’s literature is not really relevant in this context as the books he referred to took many years to write – a lot longer than Moffat had to write one episode.

  75. Chris says:

    It was fine, it was good.
    There is a lot of room for improvements, but don’t let it ruin your holidays silly.

  76. William says:

    Haven’t read all the replies simply because there’s too much, but here’s my thruppence worth:-

    The first 15 minutes or so was so obsessed with the Doctor wanting to flash his penis at everyone that many of us older fans instantly hated the story, because it was coming across more like a very poor Carry On movie than what is supposed to be Doctor Who! Add to all that the sexual innuendo going on between the Doctor & that space Nun, & you’ve got an instant hatred of anything from then on in!

    In the case of Clara, she doesn’t actually do much? She’s only there because they need more than one regular in the cast!

    • Daniel says:

      “In the case of Clara, she doesn’t actually do much? She’s only there because they need more than one regular in the cast!”

      [Sarcasm] Yeah, it’s not like she saves the situation (again) or anything. [/Sarcasm]

  77. Steve says:

    I don’t know what you’re talking about. One of the best Christmas specials ever! Doctor Who is on fine form.

  78. Amy says:

    Well i really liked it and i enjoyed Matt Smith as the doctor – maybe you have just gotten to into the grumpy old man role in life!!
    Why oh why must a companion always be in distress – cant they have a brain and actually add something to the doctors day rather than constantly being a pain in the rear tardis?

    • Daniel says:

      Also given that an entire town is the “damsel” in distress for centuries this time, I agree, Amy 🙂

  79. Phil says:

    We all have our favorite episodes and we all have one or two we don’t like – Moffat can’t please everyone. That’s life.

    Personally I loved it. The regeneration was perfect, the whole episode led to it brilliantly, we knew and The Doctor knew he was dying and he made sure his last years were spent doing what he does best, protecting people and doing the right thing.

    Time lords utilising the cracks in time was a stroke of genius. The explanation of Madam Kovarian was a highlight. Moffat really excelled himself wrapping up all the loose ends from series 5 onwards.

    Capaldi’s entrance was understated and new, exactly what the show needed !! Yes, the golden regeneration energy is cool but it would have been too much after Matt blowing up the Dalek ship with it. We have never seen a new cycle of regenerations imbued on a time lord before, it would have been disappointing if it hadn’t been something new !! Not every regeneration has been the same – 1st to 2nd was simple and understated and 4th to 5th was strange and creepy. Do your research guys.

    Also, sorry if this has already been stated but I only read half the comments above, the people in the flat we’re not Clara’s mum and dad !! Clara’s mum died when she was young and unless her dad has been recast it was obviously an uncle and aunt. Grandma was sweet though.

  80. Suzanne says:

    I haven’t read all the comments, so I apologize if I’m echo-ing someone else’s reaction but;

    As christmas episodes go, this definitely wasn’t my favourite one. Indeed, it was too short to fit all those things in there and that made it feel very rushed. I have yet to watch it again, since I was so hyped for the original air date and I was sort of disappointed then. I do want to enjoy it more.. calmly. I was, however, very impressed by how all of the plots came together and I think that’s good. Because now Capaldi can start with a clean slate.

    I thought the way Matt left was beautiful and so very him. It’s sad we only got a few moments of Capaldi, but isn’t that always the case when there’s a regeneration?

    I think the biggest problem with this episode was the hype that was created around it. I think television used to be more fun when you didn’t know what was coming.. (sure you can avoid spoilers, but there’s no way you could have avoided that Matt was leaving).

    Overall I did enjoy it, but it was so rushed that I need to see it again.

  81. Brandon says:

    anyone else just disregard this idiots opinion when the saw him refer to the doctor as “doctor who”

  82. John Smith says:

    Worst Episode Ever? Discuss…

  83. steve says:


    Everything you say is spot on — except for the bit about Clara not being fazed is spot on. Clara, after all, is the impossible girl splintered through the Doctor’s life as a sort of spirit guide.

    This was a terrible insult after the brilliant 50th anniversary special.

  84. Troy says:

    it was one of the best episodes i have seen in a long long time i think a lot of you people are to hard to please

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