Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Doctor Who-The Time Of The Doctor

                         A massive fleet of ships from the Daleks,Cybermen,Sontarans and many other species are converging in orbit a planet to try to decipher a message they cannot understand. When the doctor arrives,with the help of a disembodied Cyberman cranial unit (which he calls Handles) for navigational guidance. While continuing to appear in dangerous places in his quest to discover the message-such as a Dalek ship,the doctor is phoned by Clara who asks him to join her for Christmas dinner with her parents. And to help her with her holiday Turkey,which he places in an active time vortex. When Clara arrives the doctor is naked revealing that,after agreeing to his visitation with Clara's parents for the holiday dinner,he and Clara must appear naked before the Papal Mainframe-a galactic church headed up by Mother Superious Tasha Lem,whom the doctor has previously encountered. Before this encounter Handles informs the doctor and Clara that they planet they are orbiting is Galifrey.

                     After a failed attempt to seduce the doctor aboard the Mainframe,during which which time Clara has an encounter with the Silence that she,of course,doesn't remember,she finds herself and the doctor sent to the surface of the planet to a town called Christmas-surrounded by a truth field so no one can lie. While exploring the planet,the doctor and Clara discover the same crack in the wall that they encounter the same crack in time and space that he originally found on the wall of a young Amy Pond when he first encountered her-that time where the universe collapsed and the doctor was forced to save it by remaining within the Pandorica. The doctor realizes what is happening when he finally translates the mysterious message: asking after his name. He realizes this is a warning from his people. That this crack has always represented Galifrey's presence in another universe and that the revelation of his identity can revitalize his people and world.

                      At that point a holographic image of Tasha Lem appears in the sky to warn the doctor that if he continues on his course to reveal his name,the time war will begin and all of his enemies will hunt him down. To prevent this,since the doctor can no longer lie in the town of Christmas, the the Papal Mainframe has now become the Church Of The Silence in order to prevent the doctor from revitalizing his people-the Silence themselves acting as high priests of that order. Also Lem reveals the planetary location of the town as Trenzalore,where they doctor understands he will be laid to rest. And that she is willing to let the doctor be attacked if it means stopping the carnage should the time war begin anew. In order to prevent the townspeople of Christmas from being destroyed,he remains there to protect them from the onslaught of his enemies for 300 years. He tricks Clara into plugging a device into the TARDIS and returns her home.
                   
                      When Clara arrives back on Trenzalore the now 1500 year old doctor explains he is reaching the end of his lifetime and ability to regenerate. He wishes to die here helping the people of Trenzalore from being destroyed by his own enemies. A meeting between the doctor,Clara and Tasha Lem reveals that the Kovarian chapter of the Silence church had splintered off to prevent the doctor from reaching his current location. Of course the Daleks had turned Lem into a Dalek puppet after being re-educated about the doctor via a DNA sample the doctor tricks Clara into returning home to the TARDIS again. When she re-emerges she finds the Lem operating the TARDIS to return Clara to Trenzalore so the doctor won't die alone. She finds an elderly and infirm doctor still protecting the people of Christmas from his enemies,and soon facing a massive Dalek army. 

                   Clara than pleads to the crack in the wall for the time lords not to allow the doctors life to end. And that the doctor is the name she will always identify him with. Just before his death at the hands of the Dalek army atop the town clock tower,a massive amount of regenerative energy enters into the body of the doctor through another crack in the universe which opens in the sky-which he uses to destroy the Dalek fleet and save the people of the town of Christmas. Clara than finds herself home again,
with the now fully cooked Turkey in hand and missing the doctor at her families Christmas table,the doctor reappears in the TARDIS as a young man again-facing a longer winded regeneration as his current life is being rewritten. He experiences a vision of Amy Pond,the first face he saw,who he finally says the goodbye he always wished to. Then before Clara's eyes,he changed into his 13th regeneration with only one minute problem: he was no longer aware how to pilot the TARDIS.

                  Even though I've seen every regeneration of the doctor in the past tense,this is the first time I've seen a regeneration occur right as it was happening. I've seen a lot of Whovians say you always remember your first. Steven Moffat's 11th (or is it 12th?) doctor episodes have tended to follow story arcs throughout each series. This story showcases that the entire 11th doctor's journey was in fact one long arc that this story covers in the typically epic manner of his era of the show. The Daleks have emerged as a possible adversary,the Papal Mainframe plot line wonderfully showcases the potentially corrupting influence some religions can have bring this story even further into life. We also see the doctor sacrificing many centuries of what he believes is his final regeneration-just to self sacrifice himself for the people in the winter town of Christmas-literally walking on his own grave. Since its been presented this year that Christmas represents extreme changes to many people despite my personal reservations,this story bought home (in more ways than one) the possibilities that lay in positive changes. And the people who remember us. Farewell to Matt Smith in Doctor Who after the fall of the eleventh!
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