‘Doctor Who’ Season 7 Finale Review: The Impossible Reveal!

Published 1 year ago by , Updated May 20th, 2013 at 8:17 am,

doctor who season 7 finale gallifrey Doctor Who Season 7 Finale Review: The Impossible Reveal!

Showrunner Steven Moffat returns as writer of the Doctor Who season 7 finale, “The Name of the Doctor”, where 50 years of mythology and mystery is used to craft one of the most ambitious episodes of television ever written. Now that all is finally revealed, has the wait been worth it? As River Song would say, “Spoilers!”

When a prisoner from 1893 attempts to trade information about the Doctor’s “secret” for his freedom, Strax, Madame Vasta and Jenny convene with River Song and Clara in an attempt to figure out what it could be. And when an old foe returns as deadly whispers in the night, the Doctor finds himself going where he should never, ever go: across his own timeline, to his grave on Trenzalore. But when the lives of the Doctor’s friends lay in the balance, the first question, the oldest question in the Universe is answered, and the Impossible Girl is created.

It may have been a long time coming, but “The Name of the Doctor” finally delivers on this season’s mystery of the Impossible Girl, revealing how – and why – a girl named Clara continues to appear in the Doctor’s timeline. This, surprisingly enough, is the least significant event to occur, though, as the series’ vast mythology is tapped to deliver an exceedingly compelling and successful finale tale that will delight fans, old and new.

doctor who season 7 finale doctor name Doctor Who Season 7 Finale Review: The Impossible Reveal!

As if it were, in part, a love-letter to fans from the series’ origin, the Doctor Who season 7 finale begins at, well, the beginning, with William Hartnell, the first Doctor, brought back to life through digital manipulation, escaping from Gallifrey on a TARDIS with a “knackered” navigation system, a TARDIS that will soon become and forever be known as a beacon of hope in the Universe. Other past Doctors appear as well, through the same means as Hartnell. And though their return by digital effects is only as successful as a television budget would allow it to be, the triumphs of the finale, which absolutely include the brief returns of former Doctors, are never once lessened because of it.

The story that follows is, as one would hope from Moffat, as inspired and fulfilling as any (now) frustrated fan would demand it to be. This past season of Doctor Who has been a bit hit-or-miss for the revered scribe, with Clara’s story being a continuous miss, so it only makes sense that the man who helmed this turbulent seasonal story-arc returns to (as some would say) make things right. But because of everything that has previously occurred, as well as the announcement of a new executive producer for season 8, there are reasons to have doubts about Moffat reaching into the depths of the series’ mythology for a resolution.

At times, there are triggers from past episodes, like Strax, Madame Vastra and Jenny taking lead at the start, or the return of the Great Intelligence, which will (albeit briefly) cause fans to remember when underwhelming conclusions were the result of such character inclusions; however, everything that’s included, from its characters to its far-reaching legacy elementals, wholeheartedly compliments the story at hand, and is instrumental in evolving the series and its mythology in many new and exciting ways.

doctor who season 7 finale grave Doctor Who Season 7 Finale Review: The Impossible Reveal!

By reaching so far into the series’ past, and by attempting to provide answers to questions that many fans agree should never be answered, Moffat is asking viewers to put their trust in him that the show, and any stories that may come in the (far distant) future, will be able to remain true to the series after his exploration into the mythology has concluded. And since Moffat has yet to truly undermine the canon, why not give him the latitude to reach for the stars, so to speak? After all, it may have been Russell T. Davies who wholly rejuvenated the show through his exuberant storytelling, but it was Moffat’s episodic gems throughout which helped the series reach new heights, by showing viewers how beautiful and tragic and romantic and awe-inspiring a journey across time and space can be.

But in the end, was the wait for Clara’s mystery to be explained, or the “name” of the Doctor worth it? Absolutely, especially for longtime fans – but it took an incredibly bumpy ride to get here. The explanation of the Impossible Girl is as magical as any companion’s tale could hope to be, yet, still, there are many aspects of the finale’s resolution that feel like a slight diversion from what’s expected – as if they were but a way to entice fans to do what they would have done already, which is to watch the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special. And though this element may lead viewers to think about the poorly-laid seasonal story-arcs which may have, at times, been frustrating the episodes themselves, they were still enjoyable as inclusive adventures of their own.

Moffat is, for all intents and purposes, a storyteller, first and foremost, and any rocky paths this season may have taken does not change that; what it does show, however, is that even a great storyteller can fall prey to the unrelenting expectations of an ongoing television series. But when you put such sidesteps aside, Moffat is still able to single-handedly, with his own written words, have a strong, powerful and wonderful hold on the imaginations and emotions of all those watching, and this episode is a perfect example of him doing just that.

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Doctor Who returns on November 23 for the 50th Anniversary Special, starring Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt as the Doctor. Doctor Who? You’ll have to wait and see for yourself (maybe).

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  1. Hurt looks awesome as the new Doctor. It’s obvious what he did too, I mean just look at what occurred between the Doctor Who movie and the series revival in ’05. He created The Moment. He is the dark side of the force if you will, which is great since John Hurt plays such a great “I love to hate you” kinda character. The 50th will be fun with him there.

    • He’s not the NEW doctor, matt smith is doing another season.

      • Pretty sure he meant ‘new’ as in ‘one we haven’t seen before.’
        He clearly states that he thinks this is a Doctor who existed between the movie and the start of the 2005 series.

        • He’s the Valeyard, the dark incarnation of the Doctor that is supposed to come between his Twelfth and Thirteenth incarnations [practically giving the Doctor a way out of the '13 regenerations only' rule]. The Sixth Doctor faced him before in ‘Trial of a Time Lord’.

          You know, I don’t see the problem with many of the answers not being given during this episode. I honestly always thought the last Doctor incarnation River will meet is the Twelfth so to me this wasn’t supposed to be the time of the ‘Fall of the Eleventh’. That might still be in the future.

          • So far they’re still stuck in the Doctor’s timeline, and if John Hurt is playing the Doctor between the movie and the series revival, doesn’t that technically make David Tennant the 11th Doctor? John Hurt is confirmed for the 50th anniversary special, and because they’re in the Doctor’s timeline, that would explain how David Tennant would become a player. Originally Moffat wrote in Christopher Eccleston too, so it would be the 9th vs the 10th, 11th, and current Doctor. Also the fall of the 11th would refer to David Tennant then instead of Matt Smith.

            • John Hurt isn’t the incarnation between the movie and the revival. John Hurt’s the Valeyard, the Doctor’s dark incarnation from the future who gave up his name. So that means no problem with the numbering.

              • Where are you getting this theory from? We’ve seen the Valeyard, and he doesn’t look like John Hurt – and since the Doctor knows what John Hurt’s Doctor did, the implication was that it happened in the past (relative to the Doctor’s timeline) as opposed to his future. Just because the Valeyard was name-dropped doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be him – in fact, I thought the Valeyard was a Doctor gone evil, whereas Hurt’s seems to be a Doctor who had to do something bad for the greater good (which sounds very Time War-y).

                I’m not sure it’s a Time War incarnation of him. But it sounds more likely to me than the Valeyard. We never saw McGann regenerate into Eccleston. And if he was an incarnation between the two, it need not mess up with the numbers either – the Doctor disassociated him with his chosen name, so technically there would still be 11 ‘Doctors’ + Hurt’s Doctor (and of course, they’re calling him the Doctor because there’s nothing else we can call him yet).

                • the got a different more household named actor to be the Valeyard the original actor Michael Jayston may not be available or willing to do it
                  something happened and the doctor went evil during the end of regeneration number 12 in an effort to extend his life past 12/13 whichever way you want to count it he came up with the trial of a time lord plan (the doctor if found guilty was to forfeit/loose all his remaining regenerations and the valyard was going to steal them and be evil from regeneration 7 up to whenever he hasnt been seen or mentioned since this story but the fans remembered and questioned what happens after the guy after matt leaves… and they are answering
                  most likely they will come up with a way for the doctor to extend his regenerations way past 12 so the show can go on for as ever long as it can

                • Not only was he name-dropped but the Doctor mentioned the scars in time were not only from his past incarnations but his future ones as well, which includes the Valeyard.

                  Since when has Moffat dropped a reference only to not use it either within the same episode or later on in that series arc? He might not use the reference the way you thought it would be, but he does end up using it.

                  Plus, we’ve had a ton of episodes where either databases are accessed or memories are shown about the Doctor’s past regenerations and there has never been one showing John Hurt’s incarnation. Remember the memories that the David Morresey faux Doctor had downloaded into him? No extra regeneration between McGann and Eccleston. Remember how the alien jailers the Eleventh had to face during his first episode looked for info on who the Doctor was? No extra regeneration between McGann and Eccleston. I don’t know, just saying.

                  • Plus, Clara said she had seen 10 Doctors before Eleventh and hadn’t seen that one [John Hurt], possibly because that incarnation is a future one. If we know the Valeyard is a dark future incarnation of the Doctor and the Valeyard was name-dropped during the same episode and instead of being called The Doctor he has a different name… well, if he walks like a duck and quacks like a duck.

                  • Well since Doctor said that he wasn’t deserving of the title Doctor, then maybe info searched for would not bring up John Hurt.

                    • Personally, I’m of the opinion that Hurt is The Valeyard; that said, it is possible for Hurt to be playing the regeneration before Eccleston. Since he didn’t do it “in the name of the Doctor” it’s reasonable to assume to Matt Smith is the 11th Doctor, but the 12th regeneration.

                      In fact, it’s possible Hurt was the “Doctor” who ended the Time War.

                  • I’d think that Hurt’s version, if it were a past regeneration, wouldn’t be included in known information about the Doctor precisely because the Doctor has gone to lengths to separate himself from it. But that’s just me. I do agree with you that Moffat does not name-drop things for no reason (generally). Plus the fact that the Valeyard was largely ignored after Trial of a Time Lord (because to be honest, it was a pretty restrictive piece of canon and they may have hoped everyone would forget about it) makes it somewhat significant that Moffat would use it here. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.

                    This reminds me of some other stuff the episode didn’t answer though. For one thing: Who on earth gave Clara the number to call the Doctor in The Bells of St John? I assumed it might’ve been River at the time, but we were never told here. And it’s not a minor detail either, since the only reason Clara could be who she now is, is because she managed to call the Doctor on the phone that isn’t even supposed to work.

              • You were saying?

      • Spoiler. He is NOT doing another season.
        Check your facts, that is not happening.

    • I think Hurt’s playing the doctor before the doctor took the name “Doctor” to compensate for whatever it is he did with some timelines. Which means Gallifrey will show up in the 50th.

      • I mean he took the name “Doctor” and role of a healer in order to compensate for whatever it was he did that will be depicted by John Hurt. D*** maybe too timey-wimey to explain right.

    • but that doesnt make sense, that means there are 12 doctors not 11.

      but i think youre right. i think that man was supposed to be Christopher’s doctor but he was suborn cause he had a bad relationship with crew during his run. or something like that. so he chose to not return for the 50th anniversary

      • wait, i just realised. they say he isnt ‘the doctor’, he chose to betray that name because of what he had to do during that war and the doctor doesnt do that.

        i think thats why he isnt counted for.

  2. November seems like an eternity away, but since my birthday is in November I will have quite a present.

  3. This last Dr. Who was wonderful, sad. Thank you for River, they were together again, as it should be. You never should have added Clara, she brought the Doctor down. He is wonderful, loving, please do not get rid of Matt just because of that flake Clara. I knew from the beginning she (Clara) was bad for the show. Not your fault. We all want this Doctor back, and we want River with him. I cried, and was shocked at the end. Please continue with our Doctor and the lovely River. They are the show stoppers and will be successful.

    • River’s not done, that was just the end of her timeline. we still haven’t seen him give her the screwdriver and the picnic at asgard. try remembering things before jumping to emotional conclusions. Also, Clara is one of the best companions the show has ever had, and I have thousands of people that agree. Also, they never “get rid” of actors who play the doctor. And they never leave because of the companion. The casting process for the Doctor is so long and perfected that they always make sure they have the perfect one, and don’t just toss him away because an actress says so. Matt’s doing another season, (at the least) and Jenna too. Get used to her, shes not leaving. Polls register that 86% of fans enjoy Clara while 45% enjoy River Song. just saying. John Hurt is not the new doctor, he is just “A” doctor. settle down and read the web more.

      • I couldn’t agree with you more! I feel like Clara is a huge improvement over Rory and Amy. This episode was a triumph.

        • thanks Gil! Clara’s probably my favorite except Rose. So the fact that those two companions are the ones we’ll be seeing in the 50th just makes me riggle with joy.

          On the other hand I’d just like to point out that while Rose and Clara are the best, the person who could play off the Doctor the best was Donna, but that was only because Catherine Tate is an amazing actress. Also Clara plays off him second best, even better than Rose did. Their chemistry is fantastic, (especially in the Snowmen), and Jenna was such a great choice.

          • Praise for Tate?.. for any reason?

            You’ve just completely invalidated your comment.

      • Calm down pal, no need to be arsie.

      • I also agree, I very much enjoy Clara and did from her very first appearance. Something I haven’t been able to say since Rose.

        On the other hand River Song never grew on me. When it comes to that character I always took the Arrested Development standpoint, this is to say…

        “…her?”

        That said November can’t get here fast enough.

        • ME TOO!!!! I think Rose remains my favorite companion, but Clara comes second. I gotta be honest and say that I have never really liked River much especially because I felt like she was replacing Rose as the love interest, Alex Kingston is so much older than Matt Smith and the story / screen time was really lacking between her and the doctor so their love was just not believable, except for this last bit and the part where the doctor healed her wrist in the angels take manhattan. It felt genuine then and just now but it’s already over. Oh well, I whole heartedly accept Clara.

    • I’d much rather have Clara on the show than River Song (the latter being an excruciatingly annoying character imo)

  4. Great finale, loved the tribute to older episodes. Glad we finally got a conclusion to River as well. So I’m assuming that John Hurt is the reincarnation that was during the time war, which is what we are going to see in the 50th? Does this sound right?

    • The Eighth Doctor was the incarnation during the Time War or at least part of it. At some point during the Time War the Eighth regenerated into the Ninth [the reason why Eccleston's Doctor seemed a bit brooding]. John Hurt’s incarnation is the Valeyard, I think. Only thing that makes sense.

      • I agree. I’m sure the Eight Doctor fighting the time war is cannon, and the Valeyard was namedropped by Withnail aswell.

    • We had conclusion to River! It was in the Library!

      Right at the start!

      It was clever and sweet and wonderful.

  5. I was pretty torn about this finale. And I wound up disappointed. Not because we didn’t learn the name (no one in their right minds would have expected that we’d learn that) but because it totally dropped the ball on really tying up loose ends. Can we assume that Dorium’s words about him being on the fields of Trenzalore, at the Fall of the Eleventh, blablabla, have come to pass? If so, it felt significantly less prominent than it might have been. When he said no living creature could speak falsely or hold its tongue, I thought of some special ability forcing the Doctor to speak – not a bunch of creatures (whose powers were vague and who were underused) just threatening his companions. Wouldn’t that have been easy – wanna know the Doctor’s name? Just hold his friends hostage! Anyone could’ve done it a long time ago.

    So assuming the whole prophecy has passed…so what? What’s changed? The Silence seemed desperate to stop the Doctor from answering the question, but he didn’t even answer it, technically! What I’m getting at is that they didn’t give us answers – period. Why blow up the Tardis in season 5 – just to kill the Doctor? By wiping out the whole universe as well? What makes his name important, such that answering the question would mean that ‘silence would fall’? It’s pretty frustrating, because I really trusted that Moffat was just taking his time in tying up these loose questions – some of which we shouldn’t even have to ask about now.

    The only way I can justify all this, is to say that the prophecy hasn’t actually happened yet. He hasn’t yet experienced ‘the Fall’ and he hasn’t been forced to reveal his name yet. Perhaps that has something to do with the battle where he dies? It’d make more sense. Either way, we weren’t told here – the whole episode seemed more like the first part in a two-parter with the 50th Anniversary episode – so that one had better be great.

    It’s not that I completely hate the episode. The callbacks to classic Who were awesome, even though I haven’t watched much Old Who. The revelation of Clara’s role in the Doctor’s life was very neatly, very well explained – without being convoluted or overly complex, as many of Moffat’s reveals usually are. Vastra, Jenny and Strax were great this week – for the first time we see some vulnerability with them. River Song was also much better, given she’s more low-key and subtle rather than loud and over the top.

    And John Hurt at the end – did not see that coming.

    But still, I can’t help but feel like we deserved a little more. The ideas Moffat put into this were brilliant (Trenzalore being his grave, the concept of wounds in his Timeline, the Whispermen, the Great Intelligence) but the execution sort of fell flat, and didn’t have time to breathe. It’s got grand ideas but the episode felt surprisingly small scale, in a way. If they’d have split this into two episodes, tried to give the moments more impact, and at least answer more of the questions we’ve been asking for two seasons, it would’ve been near perfect. As it is, it fell short in my opinion.

    • Ya, I think a two part ending might have given it more room to be epic. Also I’m assuming all prophecy related to Trenzalore is related to the battle and whatnot that was mentioned.

    • I agree with everything you said, especially the season 5 TARDIS thing. Davies used to wrap everything up nicely, why can’t Moffat? jeez. I think Moffat did use this as the prophecy answer thing and ignored the Silence’s involvement entirely. disappointed. very disappointed. NOT AS DISAPPOINTED AS NIGHTMARE IN SIL-SHOULD’VE BEEN BETTER, but still disappointed. WTH Moffat, dont turn into Damon Lindelof and not answer any questions you ask. if Doctor Who turns into LOST than my whole life has no meaning.

      • I think you’re too late.

        We now have Doctor Lost.

        New companions to be Jack, Hurley & Sawyer as they try to solve the mystery of why every TV show has to have a mystery in it.

    • Yeah, I agree. I mean, RTD sometimes had to shoehorn in stuff, and was over the top, but at least he wrapped up stuff. So despite me having a love/hate thing with The End of Time, I could at least say I didn’t have any nagging questions bothering me by the end of it. This, though, is absolutely annoying.

      I really do hope the Trenzalore prophecy is about the battle. BUT if it is, and since we know it concerns the very end of the Doctor’s timeline (his death) that also means we’re probably never gonna see it, or not gonna see it any time soon… sigh. Well, I could forgive this episode for stringing us along IF the 50th anniversary one does wrap up stuff and deliver awesomely. I mean, if it’s gonna feature John Hurt (and they’ve already explicitly said he IS the Doctor in some capacity, and that he’s related to why his name’s a secret) there’s no way they can evade addressing the issue, so here’s to hope.

      • Maybe the battle will happen in the 50th and trenzalore is actually the remnants of Gallifrey? The battle could be the last battle of gallifrey after the planet’s destruction, and the doctor who dies could be John Hurt, making it the Doctor’s “grave”. And then you can fulfill the prophecy that way. It could be some sort of revelation that the Doctor hadn’t fulfilled it yet in “The Name of the Doctor”, and still has it waiting for him. Also, does the fact that the TARDIS interior is the same one as right now mean it’ll never change again?
        And if the rest of the universe believes the Doctor died by Lake Silencio, where’s THAT grave supposed to be, if in fact some people (GI) know where the Doctor’s REAL grave is?

        • Yeah, I noticed that too. It’s probably for continuity, but it’s weird that the Tardis looks the same – I expected it to be a little different at least. As for the prophecy – I suppose so, yeah.

          Oh I don’t think the Doctor got a grave for his Lake Silencio ‘death’, seeing as they gave him a Viking funeral and all. Maybe a monument, put up somewhere else by some other people? But how the GI knows about Trenzalore is a huge question mark too. I mean sure, people know the prophecy, but he knew an awful lot about what had happened there. It’s weird, because you could tell the GI was being set up as a recurring villain after appearing twice previously, and then he just jumps in here, and then disappears. Bit crammed in if you ask me.

    • @Nick, very well said.
      I can’t say I hated this episode (I thought it was ~okay~), but I was expecting much more. Like you said, aside from Clara, they really didn’t explain anything – only more questions.

      I think Moffat is digging his own grave with all of this. To me it feels as though he’s just coming up with half baked ideas, and doesn’t even know how to finish them off neatly. I hope I’m wrong though. I guess we’ll see what happens, but I have a sneaking suspicion that that man will cause huge problems for the future of ‘Doctor Who’ canon.

      As for the prophecy: I trust it hasn’t actually happened yet. The battle where the Doctor dies might have something to do with that hopefully…

      • I’d always pegged Moffat as the guy who has a plan, based on the usual quality of his scripts. But his stuff this season has been a bit of a letdown so you’re definitely not alone in thinking his stuff feels half-baked.

        Well, good and bad eras of Doctor Who come and go under different showrunners. The key I suppose is to make sure no individual showrunner takes too much of the mythology into their own hands and gets it all tied up for future writers.

        Oh and is anyone else annoyed they didn’t tell us how Clara managed to call the Doctor back in The Bells of St John? Or why her ’100 Places to See’ book had some years left out? Or were those Moffat’s red herrings designed to make fans scramble on a wild goose chase?

    • I actually think this episode explains why the Silence believe his name is so dangerous. I think it all ties in to this episode. If the Doctors name is spoken it can open his tomb. If it opens his tomb you can do what the GI did and change all his victories into defeat. Like Vastra said, “Who has saved more worlds than the doctor?”

    • I agree totally. As someone that grew up watching some of the classic Who, it was nice to see the past Doctor’s turn up. I haven’t really grown to like Clara in the same way I did with Rose (although I don’t dislike her), but they did resolve the impossible girl story arc really well. I think it was unnecessary though; whatever happened to the Doctor just meeting normal people and going off having adventures, rather than them having to have some deep and meaningful secret connection to him? Ah well.

      I was thinking the same about the Tardis blowing up, the disconnected telephone ringing and The Silence. Someone else has mentioned the show Lost, and I agree; do not, I repeat, DO NOT try and make this into one of those shows that has threads and unanswered questions all over the place. Annoying and frustrating for the fans, especially when they go unanswered for too long.

      John Hurt makes everything better, so it will be very interesting to see who he is playing. I know general consensus is that he is The Valeyard, but one theory I’ve heard is that maybe he is playing the original Galifreyan who then regenerated into the first Doctor (William Hartnell). That wouldn’t mess up the numerology that we know, and as he hadn’t taken the name “Doctor” yet, it would explain Smith’s comment that what he did wasn’t in the name of the Doctor. It could always go onto explain why the Doctor’s real name is a secret; whatever act he did (that he had no choice in) maybe his name is the code that will undo it causing unspeakable evil and turmoil in the universe. Just a thought.

      I, for one, have liked River Song, but I think her character was overused. Like the weeping angels or some of the classic Who villains (daleks, cybermen etc) less is definitely more. If you look at a show like Star Trek – the borg in the next generation were great villains, sinister and creepy. However, they were overused in Voyager to the detriment of the threat they posed. That’s the last thing that should happen in a show like this where we literally travel to any point in time and/or space (so, Mr Moffat, less 51st century – as he always seems to put his future episodes – and less Earth bound stories – lets see some more aliens in outer space)

  6. Overall the finale was awesome. Nice tribute to the men who played to the Doctor in the past. Can’t wait for the 50th Anniversary episode because I think John Hurt is going to be awesome in it. He had a nice little introduction at the end of this episode. Really looking forward to hear the story of his incarnation of the Doctor.

  7. Dragged until the last 10 minutes then everything was rammed into it.

    From what i gathered from the interaction at the end is the ‘dr’ is like the batman identity but john hurt was the one regeneration who didnt stick to it and killed.

    One thing i didnt like was the bodge job of getting clara into the past episodes and how the G.I died and was changing timelines then clara goes in and everything is normal

    whos to say john hurt isnt just the G.I

    • Because it says at the end: Introducing John Hurt as The Doctor.

  8. Hated this episode.

  9. I enjoyed this episode immensely it was very entertaining and the addition of hurt is awesome. I also learned something today, when I watch the episodes week to week this season I am slightly disappointed each week(not this episode though) but they replayed the episodes all day on bbcamerica and I really enjoyed watching them all again in a row, I dunno but watching them all in one shot was much more satisfactory….also I’ve been on board with Clara since she was introduced but that probably has a correlation with how sick I was of the Amy/Rory story which was, IMHO, the plan of the writers. they had been getting us ready for them to leave for some time. In conclusion this episode was awesome and I cannot wait for nov. 23rd!

    • I agree. I watched them back to back vs weekly and I can see how the weekly watchers, if they didn’t rewatch the episodes, would miss out on the flow of the stories.

  10. Sorry but this episode, like most of this season bar 1-2 episodes, was an absolute mess. It just confirmed how unwatchable the show has become.

    Both Matt Smith and Louise Coleman are engaging and likeable actors. The effects look better and better. It’s the pacing and more importantly the writing tat are way off. Lacking any coherency it’s hard to know what’s going on or what the stakes really are. Everything seems so rushed and jumbled together and most of the time it barely makes sense.

    Better storytelling and writing and this could be an awesome show.

    • I agree. The writers cough *Moffat* cough seriously need to get their $#!* together.

    • Thank god others agree with me.

      There’s just no sense to any of it any more.

      So many plot holes. How was Clara even still alive after The Doctor’s work was undone?

      How could The Doctor hold River?

      How come he could cope with all that paradox, eh?

      Is John Hurt not The Doctor, but the Self-Captioner?

      If this is the standard of even basic plot & logic I’m going to have to give up on my favourite show.

  11. I have pretty much hated the entire series 7 except for the first three episodes and the finale.

    The finale was great, the story was consistently moving forward with tension which is what Doctor Who is all about. For me, the Doctor visiting his grave, and it being the one place he could never go etc etc, was VERY cool and unexpected. Such a good concept, and the music kicking in when he was co-ordinating the TARDIS to go there and all that jazz, was too very adrenaline filled. The way the graveyard and scenary was laid out to be all grim and depressing. Very cool and intriguing.

    To be honest, to start with I was against the whole revealing of his name. But I have to admit, when the GI was persisting the Doctor reveal his name or his friends die, that moment was very tension filled and engaging. I am glad they didn’t give a name, but rather explored his ‘doctoryness’…if that’s a word. My memory probably fails me, but I have never before seen in Doctor Who a villain touch the Doctors face menacingly with his hand and threaten him up close. Again, very tension filled, and serves a very gripping story.

    For me, seeing River is always a ball ache. Though when the Doctor caught her hand and revealed he could see her was cool. That moment was short lived when he snogged her though *sigh*. Also, Strax, Jenny and Vastra (I am ashamed to remember their names..hey it only took two series) need to go. They are far to disinteresting, and make the show seem like a blend of Doctor Who and some spin off about those three.

    The John Hurt reveal was plain wicked, his chilling voice suits a dark side to the Doctor, and 11′s plain despise toward him really makes me interested in the 50th anniversary. 10 and 11 together, mouthing off at the new 9, will be something to be eager for.

    I hope this is the start of the show only getting better from here on out.

  12. I am confused. How does River know the Doctor’s name since he never said it? Will he tell her at some later point?

    Clearly she knew it before the events of the silence in the library since she whispered it in his ear, and those events happened before this story since this story took place in Rivers timeline after she ‘died’.
    Also what did the Doctor shout out just before the door opened? I re-watched it but I still couldn’t hear.

    Also, do you think that this episode was what Dorian was talking about at Trenzalore? When no one could answer falsely? Or are those events still something to come?

    • Maybe you should go back and watch the episode called The Wedding of River Song again to get your answer…

      • If I remember correctly, he didn’t actually tell her his name. That was the “look into my eyes” line where she realized he was in the robot thing.

    • River was The Doctor’s wife.

      Also, when the door opened, he yelled “Please” again.

      I said it in the preview article yesterday but I’ll say it again here.

      Having stopped watching the show 3 episodes into Smith’s tenure as The Doctor and deciding to watch due to nothing else on TV and curious about this name business, I was still disappointed, both by Smith’s acting and Moffat’s writing.

      It was nice sort of seeing the older Doctors (got excited when someone dressed as the 9th ran past, Eccleston is still my fave Doctor) but shoe-horning Clara into his past like that seemed like a bit of a cop-out.

      The sidekicks were just as poorly written and acted as others on this show and Torchwood so hopefully they won’t appear in the 50th anniversary special. The only part of the episode I liked were the aforementioned Eccleston lookalike and John Hurt at the end.

      It would be amazing if they could get John Simm back as The Master somehow since they’re screwing around with The Doctor’s timeline and showing his previous selves. Especially since he is the General Zod to The Doctor’s Superman (or for manga/anime fans, the Vegeta to his Goku) as the last of their kind locked in battle for eternity.

    • I believe he shouted,, “Please!” NOT a name if that’s what you were wondering.

  13. Well, the mistery has been finally revealed.

    Now we know how much bigger the TARDIS really is.

    • I don’t think it had reached its real size yet. The Doctor said the TARDIS was still dying and as it died the whole bigger-on-the-inside effect started to leak out, meaning it hadn’t reached that its real size yet.

  14. I am hoping that the whole Christopher Eccleston will not appear in the 50th Anniversary Special is a hoax. I reckon that at the end of the 50th anniversary special we will see John Hurt’s Doctor regenerate into CE’s Doctor. I think that would be pretty neat.

    • I would love to see Eccleston’s Ninth appears on the show, but, alas, Paul McGann’s Eighth regenerated into the Ninth. John Hurt’s Doctor is a future incarnation, possibly the Valeyard.

      • *appear

        • I read somewhere online, can’t remember where, that John Hurt’s DW is actually the real 9th Doctor. Hence making CE 10, DT 11 and MS 12. This made me think that the 50th special involves the doctor stopping an act he committed himself in the past. I guess we will have to wait and see. The 50th anniversary episode should be great!

          • Then why the mention of the Valeyard by the GI and the Eleventh’s references to his timeline including all past and future incarnations of himself? They’re obviously setting John Hurt up to be the Valeyard and that’s a dark future incarnation of the Doctor.

            • Matter of fact, I think he’s the only future incarnation of the Doctor we know of for sure. He showed up during ‘Trial of a Time Lord’ during the Sixth Doctor’s time.

  15. It was very unsatisfying. I don’t think that Moffat is a bad writer at heart, as he’s written many of my favorite episodes as well as season 5, my favorite season, but as a show runner he’s become increasingly inconsistent. All the imagination in the world doesn’t mean much if you can’t properly build a story to support it, which hasn’t been the case for a while now.

    Much like when River’s origin story was revealed Clara’s entire existence now revolves around the doctor. I don’t like how Clara was splintered throughout his timeline to save him because I feel like that takes away from the importance of his other companions. While DW changes with each show runner and lives off of fresh blood, it still has to feel coherent as a world, but it doesn’t anymore. Clara doesn’t feel like a real person, much like River and for a time much like Amy (which may have been the point at first but seeing it happen to other characters as time has gone is not a good thing). This was the event that the show had been building up to for a while… I’m not even really sure what to say… I really want to like DW recently but outside of just entertainment value it’s hard to. And it doesn’t surprise me that the reviewer is a fan of Moffat considering they’re also a fan of what Jeremy Carver has done with Supernatural, who suffers from some of the same problems.

    • I agree with most things you’ve said, except about Amy, I found her character good.

      But Clara’s been almost not real for most of the series since Xmas. I assumed she was some kind of robot.

      Too much TV is now hung on mysteries that get worked out at the final minute and make no sense.

  16. Anthony, did the comma, button, get, stuck when writing?

    Also I loved the ‘scream’ of the TARDIS when the Doctor forced it (her) to go to Trenzalore. Nice subtle touch.

  17. The wife and I loved the finale. It answered the questions surrounding Clara, the Impossible Girl, but it posed more questions too….. For instance:

    Who was that guy in jail that knew EVERYTHING about the Doctor? How did he get that knowledge?

    And of course the mystery of the “new” Doctor played by John Hurt.

    Looking forward to the 50th anniversary special!

    • The guy in jail was a minor plot device which made little sense.

      John Hurt is John Hurt, it said so right there on the screen within the show itself.

  18. The finale (and series) was badly written, horribly plotted, and added to the pile of ongoing unanswered questions that have loomed since series 5. Clara’s reveal was weak and the show has tried to make her more important than she really is. Since David Tennant regenerated every finale has focused, in some way, on the Doctor dying. Is there no other finale worthy stories besides the Doctor dying? This series made me lose all interest in the show and has left me unexcited for the 50th.

  19. I love Dr Who as a Sci-Fi event but I have never been so frustrated as I have been with this seasons episodes. I think Matt Smith is great as the doctor but I have found the shift of focus away from the Doctor to his assistant (again) tedious. I sorely miss the multi episode for the story and not this multi arc approach. I do fear the BBC is making this program for TV lands across a big Pond (no pun). I do feel it has been dumbed down. I also felt the actual episodes felt cheap: in how they were shot and the special effects. Dr Who has always been about story and dodgy effects but the BBC makes a lot of money off this.
    To conclude this episode was the best of the series and very touching. Hers to new producers and hopefully some new ideas.

  20. Doctor Who, well I love this episode, and I think we’ll get more answers in the 50th anniversary. Looking forward to the 50th anniversary special

  21. im gonna be honest, this season wasnt that great. but this has made up for it. i am super hyped for the 50th anniversary.

  22. Fun finale. Had a real funereal atmosphere, like the idea of the doctor travelling to his own grave, we all probably thought ”hey, the doctor’s a time traveller, his future self’s grave could be out there right now in the present” but, not sure we should’ve been shown or told as much as we were about his future or his death, The Moff won’t be the showrunner forever and it’s important he doesn’t take up too much of the mythology into his own hands and inadvertantly get it all tied up for future writers. Keeps as blank a canvas as you can. Time can be rewritten and all that.

    But I’m really not sure how I feel about 10 & 11 together in the 50th. Apart from the multi-doctor stories feeling a bit contrived anyway, If it’s the 10th doctor from shortly before the end of time, then how exactly does he ‘get on’ with 11 as MS & DT claim in that (brilliant) short clip of their interview? At that point, the 10th doctor would want nothing to do with any of his future incarnations, particularly the one directly *after* him, surely? Again, if RTD hadn’t written 10 so bitter towards the end, we wouldn’t have a problem, so that isn’t really The Moff’s fault. If it’s 10, then I’d rather It be the Doc from post series 4, pre specials, up till that point he didn’t seem too phased by the idea of regenerating or bumping into his future self, even.

    It also doesn’t help that 10′s regeneration was played so much like an actual death, what with the big music and the ‘i don’t want to go’. After that big send off, seeing that seing that particular version of the doctor again will just feel a bit strange.

  23. I actually think this episode explains why the Silence believe his name is so dangerous. I think it all ties in to this episode. If the Doctors name is spoken it can open his tomb. If it opens his tomb you can do what the GI did and change all his victories into defeat. Like Vastra said, “Who has saved more worlds than the doctor?”

  24. So i’ve watched the finale twice today and been reading a whole bunch of different articles to try to figure the whole situation out. There are two possible conclusions that i’ve come to.

    FIRST POSSIBILITY.

    John Hurt was the 9th regeneration of the doctor, but not the 9th doctor. Meaning, when the 8th doctor regenerated during the time war, he turned into john hurts doctor, but making the decision he did to end the time war, killing thousands and putting a time lock on the war, made him greatly upset cause as he said, he had no choice. This guilt made him renounce his title of the doctor, and pick up the title Storm or the Valeyard, as The Great Intelligence mentioned. When John Hurts character regenerated into Christopher Eccelston, he took back his title “the doctor.” Eccelston would still be the 9th “Doctor” but not the 8th regeneration. The reason Clara never saw this “doctor” before is because John Hurt didnt identify as the doctor and when clara split into fragments there was no john hurt doctor to help. By the new order Eccelston would be the 9th doctor 10th regeneration, Tennant 11th regeneration 10th doctor, and matt smith 11th doctor and 12th regeneration, thus making the “fall of the 11th” prophecy still hold true.

    The second possibility is that John Hurt is an older version of the 8th doctor who has aged badly due to guilt of the time war. The 8th doctor could have changed his clothes into hurts when he deemed himself no longer the doctor and coud regenerate the same way as the first, due to age.

    Also I tried to find a photo of Hurts full costume. Managed to find this.
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IzKFd6nGFno/UXY_E77oqpI/AAAAAAAAAME/Fp6QMAAN53A/s1600/387298_10151567824944516_1711203383_n.jpg

    • and remember, the doctor lies

    • Third possibility – they just thought it would be cool and there will be a nonsensical explanation later on, but it will have good lighting and some old cast members will feature, so most viewers will love it as they have no critical faculty.

  25. I’m imagining the 50th anneversary episode as an inception type inside the Doctors timeline/mind type escape sequence deal. John Hurt looked great as the Doctor though, so if he ever gets a full series it will be something to look forward to.

  26. I’m getting tired of this show ramping everything up to 11 only to blow a fuse and end up with a massive plot mess.

    It’s happened over and over again under Moffat.

    So little makes any sense, nothing that’s dropped in early relates properly to what it ends up being about – the Silence ended up being a bit nonsensical and this was even worse.

    And yes, it does need to make some sense else internally. It’s not just a show that starts and ends in the same place each week.

    I’ve never been so disappointed in a show as when Hurt’s caption came up with in the show itself.

  27. I’m afraid all the signs are Moffatt is fudging the Silence issue. The fact that there was no mention of it at all on the Doc’s first visit to Trenzalore bodes ill. And given that the battle there was/will be presumably the fall of the thirteenth doc, not the 11th…

    The one possibility I can think of is that the “answer” is not the doctor’s birth name but the name John Hurt uses. If the maker of the prophesy considered the Hurt persona the “true self” of the doc, the prophesy could mean something like “silence will fall when the world discovers the doctor’s true self.”

    The emphasis on Hurt as the doc’s secret chimes with this. This implies that the 11th will “fall” fighting – or helping – the Hurt character, the latter implying more of a moral fall.

    So yeah, that’s possible. But I think it’s more likely Moffatt just hoped we’d be so happy to get the answer to the Clara question that we wouldn’t notice him quietly dropping the silence question. Sigh.

  28. As someone that grew up watching some of the classic Who, it was nice to see the past Doctor’s turn up. I haven’t really grown to like Clara in the same way I did with Rose (although I don’t dislike her), but they did resolve the impossible girl story arc really well. I think it was unnecessary though; whatever happened to the Doctor just meeting normal people and going off having adventures, rather than them having to have some deep and meaningful secret connection to him? Ah well.

    I was thinking the about the Tardis blowing up, the disconnected telephone ringing and The Silence. Someone else has mentioned the show Lost, and I agree; do not, I repeat, DO NOT try and make this into one of those shows that has threads and unanswered questions all over the place. Annoying and frustrating for the fans, especially when they go unanswered for too long.

    John Hurt makes everything better, so it will be very interesting to see who he is playing. I know general consensus is that he is The Valeyard, but one theory I’ve heard is that maybe he is playing the original Galifreyan who then regenerated into the first Doctor (William Hartnell). That wouldn’t mess up the numerology that we know, and as he hadn’t taken the name “Doctor” yet, it would explain Smith’s comment that what he did wasn’t in the name of the Doctor. It could always go onto explain why the Doctor’s real name is a secret; whatever act he did (that he had no choice in) maybe his name is the code that will undo it causing unspeakable evil and turmoil in the universe. Just a thought.

    I, for one, have liked River Song, but I think her character was overused. Like the weeping angels or some of the classic Who villains (daleks, cybermen etc) less is definitely more. If you look at a show like Star Trek – the borg in the next generation were great villains, sinister and creepy. However, they were overused in Voyager to the detriment of the threat they posed. That’s the last thing that should happen in a show like this where we literally travel to any point in time and/or space (so, Mr Moffat, less 51st century – as he always seems to put his future episodes – and less Earth bound stories – lets see some more aliens in outer space)

    I’m glad that Moffat is leaving the show, as my interest started to wane during his second season in charge. Before that (with Eccleston and Tennant) there were a number of memorable episodes and memorable moments within episodes. Since Moffat took over, this has happened less and less. I like Matt Smith, but he can only be as good as the material he is given. For that I blame Moffat – overly complicated lacklustre story arcs, female characters that beforehand were feisty, independent, sassy and kickass and then go all googly eyed when they meet The Doctor. And don’t even get me started on the lack of diversity in the show now. I’m sure my excitement for November will grow as it approaches, but for now, my interest is more with who is going to be the next Doctor

  29. and a pity they were perfect together
    river and the eleventh doctor a couple breathtaking
    we would have views of the beautiful
    with two brilliant minds so
    river and the doctor thinks for a bit if they had children
    of children with a higher than normal intelligence
    would have been even greater than their rocking
    I wish that Steven Moffat took all this into consideration
    we’ll see
    you never know he is so unpredictable

    it would be fantastic
    I will not even
    that this pair
    river and the doctor to separate

    river and the eleventh doctor
    to imitate a pair ready to give our lives for one another
    for me this is true love

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