Warning: May Contain Spoilers
First broadcast on BBC One on 25 December 2013. Written by Steven Moffat and directed by Jamie Payne.
The Time Lord has some unfinished business to settle before he can regenerate. The massed forces of the universe’s deadliest alien species are being drawn to a quiet planet by a mysterious message echoing out of the stars.
“It’s a proper finale for Matt Smith. It’s the story that we’ve been telling since he first put the bow tie on. A lot of stuff we’ve left hanging we tie up there. And it’s Trenzalore!” – Steven Moffat.
Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans, Weeping Angels, The Silence, Amy Pond and a regeneration; this Christmas special has just about everything bar the kitchen sink. (Though there are scenes set in the kitchen of Clara’s flat.)
The episode addresses several of the plot threads developed during the Eleventh Doctor’s era including the prophecy of The Silence, the Doctor’s fate on Trenzalore and the regeneration limit established in The Deadly Assassin.
Moffat has written an exciting and, at times, emotional swan song for Smith particularly the cameo appearance by Amy Pond (Karen Gillen).
When Smith took over the role of the Doctor, I had my doubts about his ability to carry it off. However, over the years of his tenure, I have warmed to his interpretation.
If I still have a problem with Moffat’s handling of the series it is the long running plot arcs. I don’t mind one that is wrapped up over a single series but can’t get on with those that take several years to be resolved.
Although I will now miss Smith, I am looking forward to the new era with Peter Capaldi and whatever that may bring.
A full feature on The Time of the Doctor, from before scripting to post broadcast, can be found in Doctor Who Magazine Special Editon #38 (August 2014).
And for more details of the Doctor’s battles on Trenzalore read Tales of Trenzalore from BBC Books.