In the fifth episode with Twelve, we finally get a glimpse of the man we know the Doctor to be–the man who risks it all to help others. While last week’s episode explored the mytharc of the Doctor in an abstract and thoughtful way, in “Time Heist” we see Twelve chose a familiar path, and, although he has been acting very different than Eleven, we are reminded that the Doctor made a personal commitment to help the universe, and he will continue to see that oath through, regardless of the cost.
My British cohort, I call her Dame Dear Collectress, text me Saturday evening asking if I’d watched Doctor Who yet. I was driving home from LA, so I hadn’t, but she assured me it was very “ooooohhhh wweeeeee ooooohhhhh”, I believe were her exact words.
And so it was.
This week, the Whoniverse went crazy over the fourth episode from the 12th Doctor, and for good reason. “Listen” took us to the great mytharc that is the Doctor’s history, it took us to Gallifrey and it showed us that Clara may have had more of an impact on the Doctor’s timeline that we originally believed.
This week, we traveled with Clara and Twelve through time and space to, you guessed it, England. Imagine that? Mark Gatiss penned this episode that reminds Whovians that we are “all stories in the end” and sometimes the story does not tell the whole truth and sometimes, truth shifts over time. The parallels between Robin Hood (whom the Doctor at first does not believe exists and then believes is a robot) and the Doctor (last of the Timelords, the Oncoming Storm) shine in this episode. Even if the plot was a little campy and we didn’t get to see the curious character “Missy”, the overarching plot points subtly woven into this episode are worth discussing.
This is the final installment of the “11 of 11” series and I am a bit sad. I began this series when I heard that Matt Smith was officially leaving DW, and now that it is almost November and with less than a month to the 50th anniversary episode of Who, well, my feels, guys. My feels.
I don’t want Matt to go! As a newly inducted Wholigan, this is the first time I’ve lost a Doctor on the linear time line. If you’ve know my “New to Who” story, you know that I didn’t watch Doctor Who in order, I jumped around in the series, finding episodes that entertained me, all the while desperately trying not to fall in love with the show. It was an unexpected love affair, and it wasn’t until River Song showed up in series 6 that I realized I’d inadvertently become a Whovian. I love David Tennant as Ten, don’t get me wrong. I, too, swoon over the fangirl favorite and adore every episode in which he sexily runs around, fighting nefarious aliens, falling in love with Rose, showing off to Martha and laughing with Donna. I cry when I watch “The End of Time” and never want to see him go. But Eleven. Eleven is the Doctor who fell in love with River Song. He is the Doctor who laughs away the pain of being Ten, Nine and the others, while remaining immensely powerful. He is still the Timelord Victorious, but with a bow tie and new best friends. Eleven never forgot life as Ten, he just refused to fall into a pattern of despair and self loathing. Eleven allowed himself to fall in love with River, to create a family in the Ponds and who, when that family is finally lost, discovered something to live for in the mysteries of the Universe and of Clara Oswald. Matt Smith has played Eleven’s ridiculously huge story arc fearlessly, with finesse that makes the role look easy. He goes from dark and intense to silly and childish in a matter of seconds, never afraid to utilize emotion, physical humor or emotional pain to drive the character forward. Peter Capadli definitely has bigger-on-the-inside shoes to fill. No one thought Matt could do it, and then suddenly, the show is an American hit, a internet sensation and new audiences across the globe are falling in love with time travel and the TARDIS, as Britain has been for years. But Matt Smith is moving on, Whovians. There’s no doubt he will do well after Who. He is young, attractive (in a Timelord-y sorta way) and has range. This episode, Nightmare in Silver, proves it. So, goodbye Eleven. You will be missed, mourned and meme-ed for many years to come.
Whovians love the TARDIS because she is sexy and exciting. We know that she doesn’t always take the Doctor where he wants to go, but she always takes him where he needs to go. In The Doctor’s Wife, famed sci-fi writer Neil Gaiman takes a Whovian dream and makes it a reality by giving the TARDIS a voice and a flesh body. This season 6 story begins with a Gallifreyan hypercube communication device summoning the Doctor to a place outside of the Universe. The Doctor, Amy and Rory travel through the time vortex to an alien asteroid that has been summoning and consuming Timelords for an undetermined amount of time. In a twist of plot that involves shutting down the TARDIS mainframe and stealing her soul, the TARDIS consciousness is transferred into the lovely, steampunky Idris (Suranne Jones), who embodies the Doctor’s ultimate companion in this exciting episode.
First of all, let’s get this straight. I totally ship River Song and The Eleventh Doctor. If you follow The Collective on Pinterest or on Tumblr you know this to be true.
When I first acknowledged my Wholigan tendencies, it was after two very special episodes of Who. Silence in the Library and The Forest of the Dead. I couldn’t get into the first season, didn’t understand the hype with the second season, so I began jumping around to watch episodes that other Whovians suggested (like a Timelord). I enjoyed the hell out of Blink and Tooth and Claw, everything Donna and in the middle of season four, we meet River. I loved her feisty, comfortable banter with the Doctor and then, all of a sudden, this brave, smart woman sacrifices herself for Ten, who cares, of course, but doesn’t seem to understand; Donna doesn’t understand; viewers don’t understand either. Before, I had watched seasons three and four out of sequence, not focusing on the larger story arc because I didn’t watch season one or two and therefore had no idea about Rose and the Doctor or why he needed Donna and why everyone hated Martha (still don’t get that one). In the Library, I began to care about his story; the tale of the Doctor and the TARDIS. I wanted to know who this River Song was, and lucky for me, I was watching on Netflix and didn’t have to wait two years, like the rest of the world.