The world of “Doctor Who” has many rules and technicalities to the storyline, no doubt adjusted to continue the franchise from generation to generation. Among these are the specifics behind the doctor’s changing appearance through the years since his arrival in pop culture in 1963. Apparently there are a certain amount of incarnations of the same doctor over the years, which explains the change in actors playing him. The episode included in this package, “The Time of the Doctor,” marks the departure of Matt Smith as the eleventh doctor (though he is technically the thirteenth actor to play the doctor, he is eleventh in the actual timeline), as well as the 800th episode in the series franchise.
With the historical significance of this episode out of the way, however, there is much left to be desired in this Christmas themed addition to the storyline. The major plot development in the overall narrative makes this a significant episode, ushering in Peter Capaldi as the next doctor with the news that the Time Lords have a limited amount of regenerations before they die for good. This seems like a revelation that shoots the series in the foot, allowing an end to this endless series inevitable. This isn’t the problem fans seem to have with this episode, however, instead infuriating the dedicated viewers with a convoluted narrative and shoehorned Christmas themes.
The story takes place on an alien planet in a town called Christmas, which is a glaring hint at the direction of the holiday-themed episode. The episode moves quickly, trying a bit too much for an emotional response at the end which is never really earned by the script as much as it relies on previous knowledge of the series. A feeble doctor played by Smith eventually ends his time on the show with a sudden departure after a melodramatic goodbye, leaving us with the beginnings of a new Time Lord exterior. Fans of the show are likely to feel cheated by the sloppiness of the episode’s storyline, whereas everyone unfamiliar with the series is simply bound to be confused by the convolution of the script.
The Blu-ray bonus features include three featurettes: “Behind the Lens,” “Tales from the Tardis,” and “Farewell to Matt Smith.”
Entertainment Value: 6/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 4/10
Historical Significance: 7/10
Special Features: 6/10