Archive for ‘Xmas 2013: The Time of the Doctor’
December 24th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

Last year we witnessed the fall of the Eleventh, the clock struck Twelve and Matt Smith sported more looks in one episode than ever before.

Simultaneously the least and most Christmassy of all the Doctor Who Christmas specials, ‘The Time of the Doctor’ is perhaps one of my all-time favourite ‘event’ episodes.

Yes, on Christmas Day 2013, Whovians watched with baited breath as the clock slowly counted down to Twelve – what we saw was, perhaps, one of the most moving regeneration episodes ever to be part of Doctor Who canon.

While the story initially takes a little time to get going, I believe this is deliberately paced to allow the audience an opportunity to drink in both Clara and the Doctor as they go about their lives independently. When the two meet again we have a lot of wonderful gags from Moffat centred around the Doctor’s nakedness – who can forget the moment the Doctor reveals to Clara that her family can’t see his clothes? Brilliant!

While the story ramps up shortly after this domestic interlude, we’re still given ample time to savour the story which is being laid out in front of us; indeed, Moffat and director Jamie Payne do a truly stellar job in adding variety of pacing to the episode, something episodes prior to this had struggled with, either going for glacial or warp-speed in terms of their storytelling speed.

With the introduction of Tasha Lem and the wonderfully bonkers Papal Mainframe we’re given some of the most inventive and original story telling in a very long time making ‘Time of the Doctor’ one of most dazzlingly enjoyable episodes of recent years. Tasha is an interesting, engaging and strong female character who gives as good as she gets – a truly wonderful addition to the roster of new Doctor Who characters.

One of the most impressive balances the episode manages to strike is between heart and humour. Some episodes are moving, some are funny; excellent episodes can do both without it being a distraction from the narrative – the sight gag of “the old key in the quiff routine” is utterly hilarious and the emotional roller coaster that is Handles’ saga are just two examples of how one episode can really keep an audience guessing while still managing to tell a rollicking good story.

When the Doctor lands on Trenzalore the audience know some serious business is about to go down; what many Whovians didn’t expect was a centuries long conflict which would test not only the Doctor, but the limits of modern day prosthetics. With the passing of time we get to see the Doctor in varying stages of old age. These work incredibly well and add to Matt Smith’s masterful performance without masking the actor behind a rubber mask – my one criticism with this is that the first iteration of the ‘aged’ Doctor looks a little false. That said it can’t be easy to age up an actor whose face is a cartoony contradiction of old and young.

Moffat again deploys his clever ‘timey wimey’ technique to show us Clara in the present day and the Doctor as he grows old protecting Christmas on Trenzalore – the fact that the Doctor tries to send Clara back home in a similar manner to how he tried to save Rose in ‘The Parting of the Ways’ was a nice moment of Nu-Who being self-referential which wasn’t so on the nose as other examples have been. The fact that these trips are almost instantaneous for Clara is perhaps one of the most poignant uses of time travel in the programme to date and allow the audience to see a nice reversal of the Doctor’s usual perspective – that of seeing his companions grow old – another example of how ‘The Time of the Doctor’ tugs at the heart strings in more ways than would be immediately obvious.

The montage of the Doctor protecting Christmas is incredibly well done and shows just how brilliantly Matt Smith works with younger actors – the town of Christmas truly comes to life and the original fairy tale tone of Smith’s first series makes a welcome return in his swan song. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was Moffat’s intention all along, given that he seems to be a fan of having arcs come full circle (eventually!).

Perhaps one of the most moving moments of the episode which had this writer sobbing into his cold turkey sandwich was the death of Handles. Any fan worth his salt will tell you that, while he was short lived on screen, he’s actually the oldest serving companion the Doctor ever had – making his heart-wrenching final moments all the more powerful. Who would have thought that the disembodied head of cyberman reminding the Doctor to patch the phone line back through the console would have thousands in tears?! Wonderful work from all involved, especially Kayvan Novak who voiced Handles with a gravitas otherwise unseen in the line of cyborg friends.

As if that weren’t bad enough, fans also had to say goodbye to the eleventh Doctor – a man many had fallen in loved in spite of their initial reservations. Smith had proved himself to be a truly remarkable Doctor, old and young, funny and sad, wise yet foolish – in short, he had played the Doctor in the most truly timeless way we’ve ever seen, harkening back to the golden years of Patrick Troughton and Tom Baker.

We all loved his daft face with his big chin and we all must have shed a tear when he gave his final speech – the speech that, while sentimental, wasn’t half so cloying or whiney as Tennant’s “I don’t want to go” moment.

In short, ‘The Time of the Doctor’ was an episode of the most brilliant contradictions – which, I suppose, is the most fitting swan song Smith could have hoped for.

Written by Christie Inman-Hall

October 28th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

A soundtrack featuring music from the 2013 Doctor Who Specials will be released next month, it has been announced.

The 2 disc album will compile Murray Gold’s scores from the 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor and the Christmas special, The Time of the Doctor.

Released by Silva Screen, it will go on sale in the UK on 24th November 2014, the day after the 51st anniversary of the series. The artwork features reversible covers and you can see them, and its tracklist, below.

DISC 1 – The Day of the Doctor

  1. I.M Foreman
  2. Will There Be Cocktails?
  3. It’s Him (The Majestic Tale)
  4. He Was There
  5. No More
  6. The War Room
  7. Footprints in the Sand
  8. Who Are You?
  9. England, 1562
  10. Nice Horse
  11. The Fez and the Portal
  12. Two Doctors
  13. Three Doctors
  14. Somewhere to Hide
  15. Rescue the Doctor
  16. 2.47 Billion
  17. Zygon in the Painting
  18. Man and Wife
  19. We Don’t Need to Land
  20. We are the Doctors
  21. The Moment Has Come
  22. This Time There’s Three of Us (The Majestic Tale)
  23. Song for Four/Home
DISC 2 – The Time of the Doctor

  1. The Message
  2. Handles
  3. The Dance of the Naked Doctor
  4. You Saved It
  5. Papal Mainframe
  6. Tasha Lemm
  7. Bedroom Talk
  8. The Mission
  9. Christmas
  10. The Crack
  11. Rhapsody of War
  12. Back to Christmas
  13. Snow Over Trenzalore (Song for Four)
  14. Beginning of the End
  15. This Is How It Ends
  16. Never Tell Me The Rules
  17. Trenzalore/The Long Song/I Am Information (Reprise)
  18. Hello Twelve

Browse the latest Doctor Who products on sale now in our merchandise section…

August 17th, 2014

8 months ago we said goodbye to Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor and you can relive his heartbreaking final moments on the BBC iPlayer for the rest of the week!

The Time of the Doctor, which aired last Christmas Day, also featured the debut of Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor in a cliffhanger which will be continued next Saturday.

It’s the perfect way to prepare for Deep Breath so get your tissues (and snow boots) at the ready as you prepare to retrace your steps and return to the land of Trenzalore…

April 19th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

Karen Gillan has admitted that it was “a surreal experience” to film her cameo in Matt Smith’s final Doctor Who episode.

The actress briefly returned to her role as Amy Pond in ‘The Time of the Doctor’ last Christmas for the Eleventh Doctor’s emotional regeneration scene. She has told Entertainment Weekly recently that “it was so weird” to go back. “I spent three very important years of my life on that TV show,” she said. “So to go back and be on someone else’s TARDIS was just a really weird sensation.”

She explained “It was like being on the outside looking in but also knowing that life is OK after you leave Doctor Who. So it was an interesting experience plus it was important to me that I was there for Matt’s final moments – me and Jenna were hugging and crying!”

Karen’s latest film, Oculus, is now in cinemas in the US – watch its official trailer HERE.

April 18th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

Christmas now seems like a distant memory but UK fans will have the chance to say farewell to Matt Smith all over again later today. Just in case once wasn’t enough!

If you can take it, UK channel Watch will be airing ‘Farewell Matt Smith’, a one-off special which was originally shown on BBC America to mark The Time of the Doctor.

Narrated by Alex Kingston, the show celebrates the Eleventh Doctor in all his bow tie-wearing glory.

‘Farewell Matt Smith’ airs today, 18th April, at 5pm on Watch (Sky 109 / Virgin 124). You can see a clip, in which Matt discusses Whovians, at Radio Times. Will you be tuning in?

January 19th, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

Next month will mark the arrival of a digital e-book bringing together four of the Eleventh Doctor’s off-screen adventures which took place during the Siege of Trenzalore.

Tales of Trenzalore compiles a collection of new stories that detail the various terrors and threats the Doctor faced as he vowed to protect the planet and its people from an array of the universe’s deadliest foes. Featuring the return of familiar adversaries, such as the Ice Warriors and the Autons, these are the tales of the monsters who found themselves afraid.

Tales of Trenzalore will be available to download from 27th February 2014. Don’t miss it!

“As it had been foretold, the armies of the Universe gathered at Trenzalore. Only one thing stood between the planet and destruction – the Doctor. For nine hundred years, he defended the planet, and the tiny town of Christmas, against the forces that would destroy it.He never knew how long he could keep the peace. He never knew what creatures would emerge from the snowy night to threaten him next. He knew only that at the end he would die on Trenzalore.

Some of what happened during those terrible years is well documented. But most of it remains shrouded in mystery and darkness.

Until now.”

Featuring the short stories:
Let it Snow by Justin Richards
An Apple a Day by George Mann
Strangers in the Outland by Paul Finch
The Dreaming by Mark Morris

Click HERE to review the Eleventh Doctor’s final adventure in our discussion…

See the latest Doctor Who products on sale now via our merchandise section!

With thanks to

January 7th, 2014

The Doctor will be off our screens until later this year so it’s a good job the Experience is around for fans to get their fix!

While stocks last, the Experience shop is currently hosting a new year sale on a wide range of products so don’t miss out on your chance to bag a timey-wimey bargain.

Meanwhile, props from The Time of the Doctor have been added to the exhibition. The latest additions include Handles, Clara’s Christmas tree and the old Doctor’s walking stick.

Been to the Doctor Who Experience? Share your reviews or book your tickets now!

January 2nd, 2014
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

The final viewing figure for the latest Christmas special, The Time of the Doctor, has been revealed by BARB.

The special, which marked the climax of Matt Smith’s tenure as the Eleventh Doctor, was watched by an official audience of 11.14 million on Christmas Day.

Doctor Who was the second highest rated programme of the day behind Mrs Brown’s Boys. The figure also makes it the 5th most watched Doctor Who Christmas Special to date.

The Time of the Doctor is released on DVD/Blu-ray on 20th January. Pre-order it HERE.

Doctor Who Christmas Specials Viewing Figures To Date

  1. Voyage of the Damned (2007) – 13.31 million
  2. The Next Doctor (2008) – 13.1 million
  3. A Christmas Carol (2010) – 12.11 million
  4. The End of Time, Part One (2009) – 12.04 million
  5. The Time of the Doctor (2013) – 11.14 million
  6. The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe (2011) – 10.77 million
  7. The Snowmen (2012) – 9.87 million
  8. The Christmas Invasion (2005) – 9.84 million
  9. The Runaway Bride (2006) – 9.35 million

Click HERE to review the Eleventh Doctor’s final adventure in our discussion…

With thanks to @DWMtweets.

December 29th, 2013
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

Christmas Day really was the Time of the Doctor as viewers took to Twitter to post nearly 200,000 tweets mentioning the series, Radio Times reports.

In total, 183,550 tweets were generated during the special’s broadcast on BBC One, triple the amount posted during last year’s festive adventure The Snowmen (64,049).

Meanwhile, 7,829 posts materialisied when the credits rolled as fans reacted to the debut of Peter Capaldi’s Doctor.

The statistics make The Time of the Doctor the second most tweeted about Doctor Who episode on record, behind last month’s 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor, which generated over 400,000 to become the most tweeted about TV drama in history.

Click HERE to review the Eleventh Doctor’s final adventure in our discussion…

December 28th, 2013
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

The BBC has released a new behind the scenes featurette to accompany The Time of the Doctor, but get those tissues at the ready because it’s about to get emotional…

The video takes fans ‘Behind the Lens’ to give an insight into how the festive episode made it from script to screen.

Featuring interviews with the almighty Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman plus Steven Moffat, it also includes comments from Orla Brady and Jack Hollington who guest star in the special.

Check out what happened Behind the Lens in the player below. Goodbye, Mr Matt Smith!

And that’s not all! BBC America have released a deleted scene which you can see below.

Click HERE to review the Eleventh Doctor’s final adventure in our discussion…

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