Doctor Who – The Time of the Doctor Blu-ray

In an effort to keep the massive[1] Losing it audience as confused as I generally am, I’m moving right along with the next Doctor Who review.

The Christmas episode was always going to be a Big One. There was no way that Matt Smith would be going out with anything other than a bang, and there were plenty of those to be enjoyed here.

A message is being sent out from a planet. Sent to every point in time and space, and it’s a wee bit mysterious and troubling enough for just about everyone to come and investigate: Daleks, Cybermen Sontarans, and that’s just the ones who actually appear on screen. The Doctor is summoned by an old friend, Tasha Lem, who’s running things at the Papal Mainframe, which ties in with all those military church types we’ve been seeing over the last few years. It also ties in with the Silence. And the delightful Madame Kovarian (known and loved by all as “eyepatch lady”). Some people have specualted that Tasha is a reincarnation or some other aspect of River Song, but I’m not entirely convinced of that…

Anyway, the Doctor’s other friend Handles, who’s the severed head of a Cyberman, identifies the message as coming from Gallifrey. This is a bit odd, as (a) the planet quite obviously isn’t Gallifrey and (2) Gallifrey is off in another universe somewhere…

And on the planet, something disturbingly familiar has reappeared: that crack in the universe which is an opening to some other place, and in that place is Gallifrey. And when all the usual suspects realise that, they determine to prevent the Doctor answering that Question, because if he does reveal his actual name, the Time Lords will come back through the crack[3], at which point it’ll be Time War II, and that would be really Bad.

And so the Doctor has to stay on the planet, which is, of course, Trenzalore, in an earlier age than when he visited it in the Name of the Doctor. He stays to fight off all the aliens attempting to destroy it (and kill him, of course), and gets older and older. Clara missed most of the fun, due to the Tardis taking her home. Twice. And the Doctor revelals that he can no longer regenerate – add one for the War Doctor, and that makes twelve. And then add one for the time the tenth Doctor regenerated into himself in The Stolen Earth and you’ve got thirteen. That’s it, no more…

And much fun follows, with Clara once again coming to the rescue..

And so, finally, with the Daleks quite nicely seen off, and with the Doctor getting a new cycle of regenerations[4], he finally does just that…

Perhaps a little rushed in parts, but still lots of fun[5], and giving a nice lead-in for the next batch of episodes, which should be on in the autumn, and will, we’re told, be a continuous run of 13, without any of this split series stuff.

Extras on this one are a behind the scenes, another BBC America item called Tales from the TARDIS and a nicely done Farewell to Matt Smith. As with a lot of such things, there’s some overlap of content between the various extras, but not enough to be annoying.

Oh, and in addition to the usual extras, the package also includes the previous three Christmas specials – A Christmas Carol, The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe, and The Snowmen. I’m not sure why, as most of the target market will already have those epsiodes…

And now we wait to see how the Doctor’s new regeneration will affect him…

[1] Realtively[2]
[2] Relative to a very small thing, that is
[3] I probably need to watch that a few more times to work that one out…
[4] So we’re good for a few more years, then
[5] And probably very confusing to anyone who hasn’t been paying attention for the last nine years

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