Raggedy man, goodnight: A Review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special

In May, Mat Smith announced he was retiring from being the Doctor. And, to be honest, most of the fandom felt sad about it. He was our hip, young, cool Doctor. Then Peter Capaldi was announced as the next regeneration. Again, most of the fandom reacted positively (especially after seeing gifs of him in In the Thick of It). So of course, we all expected a great, wonderful, amazing send off for Matt, as great and heartbreaking as we got for David Tennant.


Moffat, you let me down again.I was perfectly fine with the beginning of the episode, with Clara having the Doctor pretend to be her boyfriend for family. That was actually kind of cute. And, shockingly, I loved Handles, the Cyberman head the Doctor carried around for the whole episode. But the ship started sinking from there.

It’s been a really, REALLY long time since The Church was mentioned. And then TA-DA, they’re the ones helping the Doctor get down to Trenzalore. Last I checked, The Church hated the Doctor. But I mean, I guess since it’s Christmas, it’s the time to forgive and forget, right? Also, the Mother Superior could have been such a great character. Note that I said “could have been.” And The Church was considered to be the reason for everything. But then it’s just a throwaway in the end.

The Weeping Angels, the most terrifying creature in the Universe, grabbed hold of Clara. And she stayed put. She didn’t poof away like everyone else does. Why? Because she’s the Impossible Girl? That just…I don’t even know where to start with that element.

We have another slightly cutesy scene where Clara admits she fancies the Doctor because of the truth field. And here is where I’m gonna digress for a hot minute. I get that the Doctor is charming, and wonderful, and funny, and clever, and everything a twenty-something would want. But he’s something else. He’s a man apart from us. Yes, he’s supposed to represent heroism and being clever and using brains and not braun to win wars. But I am so, so tired of the companions falling in love with the Doctor. Can we please have another Donna-esque character? Or another Rory, without Amy (I do love Amy, don’t get me wrong)? Just…no more romantic elements, please. *hops off soapbox*

I can understand the Doctor fighting to save the town of Christmas. I really do understand. And I can understand showing him aging, showing him growing old and weaker. But did Moffat just forget that he had River, the main woman he created, the Doctor’s wife, sacrifice her remaining regenerations to the Doctor in “Let’s Kill Hitler”? Yes, she’s only part Time Lady, but I’m willing to bet she had more than three regenerations. But I guess he needed to somehow find a way to show that Gallifrey still loves its missing son. I don’t even know.

The only true redeeming part of the episode was right at the end. Right before his time is up. He sees his little Amelia Pond, the clever little girl he met when he previously regenerated. Then our grown up Amy appears to send him off. That was where I started crying. Because he was her imaginary friend at the beginning, and she became his at the very end. And if that doesn’t give you feels, then you might need to make sure you’re still alive.

I’m excited for Capaldi. He was a fanboy when he was a kid, and we know how great it turned out when a fanboy was the Doctor last time. But please, Moffat. I beg of you. Stop retconning your own material. Please.

With only a few shining moments, the rest of this year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special was a bit of a let-down. It seemed like it was rushed to tie up every loose end Moffat created during Matt’s run. I give the special 6 out of 10 genetically modified clergymen. (You deserved better, Matt.)



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