The Time of The Doctor


As curtain call episodes for Doctors go, this wasn’t the best but it almost collapsed under it’s own weight of expectation considering how many loose ends it had to tie up from the Smiffy Era. Luckily Doctor Who stories that are about the Doctor are few and far between and this one is all about Smiffy being the “last” Doctor and that means we don’t really give a stuff about anything other than how he gets his new regeneration cycle, thus allowing the show to continue beyond the limits Robert Holmes set for it in The Deadly Assassin way back in 1976.

To be fair to Holmes, that line was only to justify the fact that The Master looked like Skeletor and not Roger Delgado, and I don’t think for a minute that he thought “ha ha, let’s see the buggers get out of that one”. Nevertheless, thanks to a combination of Christopher Ecclestein MNG saying no to Day of the Doctor and RTD’s DWM-inspired fake regeneration for Ten-inch, we hit the Holmes Limitation Effect right here and it’s down to The Mofferator to come up with a solution that doesn’t break canon and avoids the show’s entire narrative collapsing in on itself and ceasing to function.

Prior to the episode TX-ing the theories mostly revolved around River giving him the extra regens when she saved his life in Let’s Kill Hitler but realistically, the Time Lords giving him a new set is the only realistic option. And that possibility was established back in The Five Doctors, thank you Terrance Dicks, when Borusa offered the Ainley Master “a complete new life cycle”. Which meant that the entire story had to be built up around the climax and to be fair much storytelling advice advises that you know where you’re going before you start.

So the entire plot of TotD was predicated on getting to that climactic moment which meant Moff coming up with a way for the Time Lords to gift the Doc a new cycle, which in turn meant finding a way to get them involved in the story so they could. The fact that we’ve had End of Time, Day of the Doctor and now Time of the Doctor all involving the Time Lords only goes to show what a good idea it was getting rid of them back in 2005. If them being trapped in another Universe is meant to set up the next fifty years of the show then that means we’ve got plenty of time to start looking forward to the 2063 Centenary Special The Return of the Time Lords. 

doctor who complete history 10It’s quite ingenious how Moffat has worked in the whole “Doctor Who?” thing into this and other episodes and there is a certain unique thrill of hearing those two words as dialogue within the narrative of an episode. Or is that just me? The whole “he’s not Doctor Who, he’s The Doctor” thing is now pretty much null and void now, he’s both, and it also allows fandom the opportunity to justify Wotan’s “Doc-tor WHO is re-qui-red! Bring! Him! Here!” moment. Almost. But, like Deep Breath, the episode is overlong though I only cut about ten minutes in the end, with most of the cuts coming at either end of the story.

First thing to go was the pre-titles so we can find out about Trenzalore at the same time as Clara, meaning we start with the Tardis cooking the Xmas turkey scene. Next thing to go was all that bollocks about wearing hologram clothes, which is just too silly for words. Clara’s family get the chop since I’m not at all interested in them and I really don’t like the fact that her Dad is clearly not her Dad. The middle of the ep is more or less untouched.

But of course the thing we’re really waiting for is Capaldi’s arrival which was way too sudden. I think it was a poor choice to do a “blink and he’s gone” regeneration, robbing Smiffy of his big death scene but the justification for it being different will probably be that its the start of a whole new cycle, something that’s never happened before. It’s going to be interesting to see if Capaldi will regenerate as quickly when it’s his turn, long may that day be postponed. Finally, I got rid of both Karen Gillan’s gratuitously indulgent cameo and all that bollocks about the colour of his sodding kidneys.



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13 thoughts on “The Time of The Doctor

  1. Pingback: Time of the Doctor Fan Edit |

  2. Good job mate, nothing too big, but you and I had the exact same ideas on how to approach aspects of this edit, especially the hologram clothes being edited out. I’m going to eventually redo my edit of this, I was thinking of using that deleted scene BBC America uploaded with the Doctor and Clara greeting each other outside the flat. I still have footage from the edit on my vimeo page, so if you’d like to see how I tackled Capaldi’s arrival by having Matt regenerate at the belltower, leave me a response.

  3. Hard to believe it’s been almost a year since Matt went, and we are already almost at the end of Capaldi’s first series.

  4. U.K freeview channel 20 Drama is starting a season of ” feature length” Dr who’s starting at 4pm on 16/11/14, with Spearhead from Space.

  5. Looks that way that it’s 4 parters, as the running time, on Drama 4-6pm fits the approx 25 min per episode format (with ads of course).

    As a late Pertwee / all Tom Baker era viewer, i have to admit POM is one of my favorites,I thought perhaps they were going to show the episodes that showcased the first episodes of the “new” regenerated Dr- spearhead/Robot/.Castravalva etc . But it seems not.

    It shows just how slow and plodding those old episodes seem compared to todays show,. Showing just how much “padding” they put in those episodes ( even more in the 6 parters). That you with your edits have managed to cut down, tighten up, and often gotten rid of altogether.

    Or was it that we had more of an attention span back then?. Knowing we had to relish every minute of an episode as we had to wait a full week to see what happened next, and the resolution of the ” cliffhanger”.

    Can’t say i am too keen on the Colin Baker episodes they have chosen, but each to their own ( Doctor) lol

  6. First of all love the work, long time downloader. Particuarly liked Deep Breath

    Here’s a suggestion, for when you’ve got a minute spare-The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood. You can’t skip it if you’re doing a Who Marathon (unlike bloody Curse of the Black Spot) because it’s got Rory’s death, and it’s based on the novelization of Silurians, so a good source. But it’s so bloody awful, Could you cut if down? There’s so much filler. Suggestion: It was originally supposed to start with Amy in the TARDIS forgetting, Rory absent, and the Doctor begging her to remember, then the rest of the episode as a flashback, her trying to remember. Going back to that original version, would excuse any ellipses.

    all the best
    A fan

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