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The Time of the Doctor image

So…here’s my immediate, spoiler-free reaction to “The Time of the Doctor” which I’ve just finished watching. I may so more later when I can talk specific plot points and, frankly, have had a chance to digest (both the substantial number of holiday calories I consumed today, leaving me a bit logy and the huge amount of stuff packed into this episode.)

I really liked the regeneration from Tennant to Smith (Doctor 10 to Doctor 11 for you extreme newbies). That’s not a detour. Yes, I know we’ve got this whole alleged new Doctor numbering system where Smith is 13, not eleven, but I don’t totally buy it.  And, yes, I know a lot of fans dislike have some disagreement withokay, viscerally hate the whole “I don’t want to go” thing. But I actually thought it worked for darker undercurrents of Tennant’s incarnation and the trend of the series at that time.

But what I liked most about that regeneration is that it gave the regeneration event the weight and gravity that it’s due. Regenerations have always been exciting because of the thrill of meeting a new doctor. But Tennant’s regeneration was the first one (except, maybe 4 to 5 and 5 to 6) where the loss of that outgoing doctor really had some dramatic weight. You weren’t watching because you were excited to see who was coming. You were glued to the TV because it was gut-wrenching to see who you were losing.

Matt Smith’s regeneration might have topped that 10 to 11 regeneration. I haven’t quite decided yet. Might have to watch again. There were some scene choices and a few lines that I think could have been done a little better. And a line Smith uttered that I thought would have been awesome last words, turned out not to be. His actual last words were fine, but sort of …meh.

I’ll say this, though: if there was any doubt that Matt Smith was a hell of an actor, this episode put those doubts to rest. I’m really excited now to see him in other stuff. Also, though this “special Christmas” episode was Christmas-y really only superficially, it was the best episode couching a regeneration that I can remember.

A side note: Capaldi in the TARDIS! Cool, right? Yes…but….well, although, as 11 said when he appeared in Amelia Pond’s backyard, it’s hard to know who this doctor will be since “I don’t know yet, I’m still cooking,” I’m a little uneasy about the direction they may be taking this incarnation. But I’ll worry about that next fall when Capaldi really gets t run. Besides, longtime fans know that nervous feeling is normal when the new doctor shows up and it always goes away.

Thanks, Matt Smith. Geronimo!


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