Sunday, 19 May 2013

Review of The Name Of The Doctor

Trenzalore is the most dangerous place in the universe for the Doctor, the one place that he must not go. Clara, the impossible girl who has been in his life forever, must go with him there when his friends are taken prisoner. Someone has a dastardly plan that might end the Doctor before he even began.

We've been critical of these last set of episodes, and of Steven Moffat's reign in charge if truth be told, but the man does know how to write a good episodes and with The Name Of The Doctor, he remembers that fact. 

True, we don't get to know the Doctor's name (which is a promise broken) and true it features the Keystone Cops trio of Vastra, Jenny and Strax (look, if the BBC haven't commissioned a spin-off yet, just give up on it will you?), but those quibbles aside, there was very little you could say was wrong with this episode.

The atmosphere of impending doom was brilliantly portrayed, with Matt Smith's Doctor breaking down into tears and showing real fear at what lies ahead for him at Trenzalore. Richard E Grant is back again as the Great Intelligence and this time he is given something to do. His plan really is nasty and, more importantly, it is the cause of Clara.

Yes, Steven Moffat has made good on his promise to explain Clara and it is an excellent explanation that has been carefully crafted and starts delightfully here with Jenna Louise Coleman appearing alongside almost all of the previous Doctors. The tease of this leads onto the revelations about what happens after a Time Lord dies and how the Great Intelligence intends to strip away the Doctor's entire lives.

Add to that a wrenching goodbye to River Song (as if she will ever really be gone) and some killer one liners and this is the best episode of DOCTOR WHO since ... well since The Doctor's Wife.

But even that wasn't enough. In the dying seconds, the conundrum is set up for the big 50th anniversary episode and now we just can't wait for that to roll around.

We haven't had much cause to say it recently, but Bravo, Mr Moffat, Bravo.

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