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Before And After, A Farewell To Eleven

So as the title implies, this post was written in two parts. The first part is a summary of my thoughts on Eleven’s tenure and my hopes for the Christmas special, it being Matt Smith’s last episode. The second part will be written after I watch the special, containing my feelings on the episode, as well as some final thoughts on my favorite Doctor. Anyway, I guess all I have to say is,

Eleven won me over in his first episode. “The Eleventh Hour” is a masterpiece and is one of my favorites. Matt Smith was the Doctor from the second he stopped glowing (whereupon he proceeded to invent Yorkshire pudding). He seemed a tad silly at first, with all his twirling and jumping and wisecracking. But his speech to the Atraxi showed he wasn’t to be trifled with.

Full disclosure: Matt Smith was also my first real Doctor. I don’t know how I missed the reboot of Doctor Who, but it could’ve been because I was 15, and therefore more worried about girls and grades than TV. But it was actually a blessing in disguise, because that meant I was able to binge watch all of seasons 1-4. However, once I got to season 5, I had to wait a week in between episodes like the rest of you Sontarans.

And it was so worth it every week. Eleven was animated, genius, and downright mad (though some say those last two are one and the same). Whether he was the absent-minded professor in the tweed jacket, or the manic magician in the coattails, his utter goofiness in any situation, both dangerous and dull, allowed Moffat so much opportunity. Even the most normal situation becomes something fresh and new with Matt’s interpretation.

Or the most abnormal.

And he has not just companions, but friends! People who he can visit and who will support him.

Oh, and there is that whole wife thing.

And the speeches.

And the emotions.

So now we come to “The Time of the Doctor”. I just hope that Moffat had some energy left after the 50th special, and we see something that is worthy of sending off Matt Smith.

You can see above what made Eleven such a wonderful Doctor, and I want to see it all. I want an epic speech that rivals the one in the “Rings of Akhaten”. I want him to be as angry as he was in “A Good Man Goes to War”. I want him to be as silly as he was in “The Big Bang”. And I want him to be as sad as he was in “The Angels Take Manhattan”. Or no, wait, no I don’t. I’ve cried enough for one lifetime.

What makes Eleven great is his ability to combine all of these emotions and make you sympathetic. You feel with him. My one Christmas wish is that we get a story with Eleven that we feel.

So let’s get to it. And there’s only one thing to say in a situation like this.

 

 

 

 

 

Read on only if you’ve watched “The Time of the Doctor”.







All right, first things first. This moment:

Next, let’s talk about the things I liked. I got my silly dancing.

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I got my epic speech.

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I got my sad moment.

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I’m also glad for the exposition on the Silence and Madame Kovarian. I had felt unsatisfied with how we left that story, and now knowing where Kovarian’s motives came from, and what the Silence are, I feel like that story is finally wrapped.

Next, Handles the Cyberman head. This is like a hi-tech version of Wilson in Castaway. Just like Tom Hanks is the only one who can make you feel sad over a lost volleyball, Matt Smith is the only one who can make you feel sad over a dying Cyberman head.

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And finally, the regeneration. I love the explanation on how he is at his limit (vanity issues and all), and then, once his regeneration starts, I’m glad that he has time for goodbyes. His breaking of the fourth wall was similar to Ten with his, “I don’t want to go.” And obviously is a tear-jerker.

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Now to what I didn’t like.

Clara has to save him. Again. This is reminiscent of “The Rings of Akhaten”, where the Doctor’s millenium of experience wasn’t enough, and it was only human ingenuity and compassion that wins the day. I’m a self-hating human, I want the Time Lord to save me from my own bumbling ignorance.

Next, Amy Pond’s return. I’m sorry, but we should never have seen her again. Maybe a passing mention of her and the Roman. But her coming back cheapens the relationship he has with Clara, who’s left standing there looking like Martha Jones (which is an insult). And doesn’t he have somebody a little closer to his heart? Like let’s say, his wife?

And the actual story of the episode. Doctor Who seems to be getting lazy, almost resting on its laurels. Moffat just threw everything people wanted to see, some random mention of Christmas, an Amy Pond appearance, an incomprehensible plot, a couple deus ex machina to fix that, and called it an episode. Which has become a pattern over the last season, and one I hope to see change in the upcoming one.

Finally, why are the Time Lords suddenly the good guys again? I remember in “The End of Time”, Ten said some things about their methods that the showrunners apparently have just decided to brush over. Such as them becoming just as bad as the Daleks and not deserving to return to this universe.

But at least we know what is to come. The Doctor will be searching for Gallifrey, and the fields of Trenzalore still await the death of the Doctor.

So let’s, rather fittingly, end this era with a question.

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See you next Fall.

P.S. Check out the Steven Moffat Story Generator here.