Writer: Steven Moffat
Director: Saul Metzstein
Release Date: May 18th, 2013
Rating: 5 out of 5
Summary: “The Doctor’s greatest secret has been discovered, leading him and his friends to the one place he should never go.“
Anyone who writes reviews knows that it’s significantly more difficult to write a review for something you like versus dislike. If you dislike something, you can pick out what hurt the story and expand upon it. If you liked it, everything eventually just boils down to the word “awesome.”
Which is right about how I’m feeling at the moment. The plot took many a turn that I simply did not expect; with how Clara scattered herself along the Doctor’s timeline, with how Trenzalore was the Doctor’s grave site, and most mysteriously, with the new Doctor character portrayed by John Hurt. (I can’t even tell you how much I screamed when his role flashed up on the screen, but it was a lot. A lot.)
Out of everything, out of all the “awesome” and plot twists and creepy Whispermen, (I most assuredly had nightmares after seeing them), here’s my favorite thing out of the entire episode; the Doctor’s name. To him, it is “The Doctor”. That’s his name. No other ifs, ands, or buts about it. Granted, it might not be his birth given name, but it’s a name he chose as a promise to himself. It also means that everyone else who knows him should stop prodding him as to what his “real name” is. The name of “Doctor” is what he uses to separate himself from who he wants to be, and who he rejects being. John Hurt’s Doctor shows this; Eleven doesn’t recognize him as “The Doctor”, because he didn’t behave as “The Doctor” would have. So in a sense, we did learn the Doctor’s name. And it’s just what he’s been telling us all along.
My only nitpick has to do more with this season than this episode in particular. I wish there’d been more of a common thread linking this season into one cohesive plot line, instead of only a handful of episodes contributing to the overall scheme of things. The best example I can think of off the top of my head is season one, where you could see a reference to “Bad Wolf” scattered almost everywhere. Come season finale time, I could look back at every episode and go, “Oh! That’s what that was!”. The season laid hints of what brought it all together. Still, since that is more of a dislike regarding the season as a whole and not this one episode, I won’t dock any points for that.
Due to the episode’s plot twists, mystery, and general “amazing” factor, this episode earns itself a full 5 out of 5.
Until November 23rd, my friends!