For those who were looking for The Name of The Doctor (Matt Smith) to be relieved during the season finale will be disappointed; it was only ever spoken by what could be argued to be an imaginary friend. It can’t really be called a letdown, though, because whatever they could have named him would have been dumb, overly complex, retconned in two seasons, or possibly all three; it seems that the only real purpose of the episode was to set things up for the 50th anniversary that is due to air this November. It did manage to answer the questions about the impossible girl, but only in the most convoluted and almost passive aggressive way.
Sadly there were more than a few moments that felt like a teenager trying to write a time travel script after watching Primer, it seems like they just put everything neat they could without really diagraming or proof reading it. The real problem comes from the fact that we all know that Doctor Who is, when at best, more like Back to the Future 2– non-caring about how time travel really works and just more interested in showing off zany aliens who barter with memories instead of money. It isn’t all bad, mainly because it almost felt like Moffat was beholden to resolving the plot than anything– although there were moments that the show seemed to steal neat ideas from episodes past.
Opening with the current active group of Doctor friends, like Scooby-Doo but with more fake ghosts, doing something along the lines of a Google meet-up or hang-out, I forget what they have rebranded the Gmail chat now, for time travelers. The urge to call complete and total bullshit on the entire thing at this point is kind of strong due to the fact that I can think of a dozen or so times that lighting a candle to have a chat with someone would solve a dozen issues, but if we stop here we will never get anywhere. Among those called are the female lizard Sherlock Holmes (Neve McIntosh), her lesbian slave girl (Catrin Stewart), the mongoloid body guard (Dan Starkey [I know, right?!?]), current assistant(Jenna Coleman), and River Song(Alex Kingston). The entire thing seems pointless because the only thing that is accomplished is getting information to The Doctor, which could easily have been done by mailing it to him through Clara instead of drugging her to attend the most useless business meeting outside of any network board room (cancel Arrested Development now Fox!)
So everyone basically heads to The Doctor’s grave and the TARDIS attempts to go to a possibly more interesting episode instead. Like I said before, most of the neat touches are stolen from previous episodes as this was taken from when Captain Jack grabbed a ride to the end of time. I will, though, give props to the best idea I have seen in a while; when a TARDIS dies it becomes the size it should be, which is touches very close to being inspired if I am honest.
This is, also, where the plot starts not really making much sense. The new groups of baddies –the silent men– chase everyone to the spot of Doctor’s death. Now, is it just me or does Moffat seems to have a habit of inventing additional and amazing bad guys when he still has a stable of old ones that he could attempt to salvage? The weeping angels were amazing, until they proved to be popular and managed to be driven into a Statue of Liberty sized hole in the ground. So Instead of trying to use, say, The Silence (personal favorite) he created something almost identical and put it in the wrapper of the supreme intelligence (Richard E. Grant) taking the shape of Dr. Simeon–so that is nice and confusing too. If you don’t know who that is, don’t worry as I didn’t either.
So this is the bad guy from the Christmas special that everyone forgot about; aside from whatever the amazing and wonderful Clara was doing that is. It was entirely forgettable. Snowmen attacked the population of Victorian London, controlled by what was a personality in a jar that closely resembled the snow globes terrible relatives would give you as a present. I love Doctor Who but that information either was gone from my head and replaced with a terrible Harlem Shake Porn Parody or was placed in the same area that I keep the calorie count info on a Big Mac, under useless and not to be consulted ever. It turns out that this guy has appeared several times before (I have learned via Wikipedia), although is seemingly only known for using robotic yetis as body guards. I am glad that Moffat is digging into the back catalog to try and make the time lines seems fluid.
Here is another major issue, all the Supreme Intelligence had to do to kill the Doctor was not jump into his time line and screw with him. If the story is to be believed Clara saves him even when he wasn’t being attacked or messed with, he would have died in the Christmas special and the asylum of the darleks without her– all he did was make her a thing. Also The Doctor clearly has a bad memory as Clara has always been there but it is only when he encounters her three times in a very close proximity that he figured something was up. That sort of has to make you wonder what one needs to do to make a lasting impression on the guy, and why robotic yetis count–insanity factor?
As stated before the impossible girl angle was handed… acceptably. I understand that the special coming up this winter is one of the more important things that has happened to the series in twenty years, but the last ten minutes played more like an Internet teaser trailer for what was about to come than it was the conclusion of a plot line. If more of the episodes followed this logic it would be five minutes of either cases or witty dialog followed by a to be continued bumper with a date.