In my review of 2015’s Doctor Who Christmas special, I speculated that the episode was written in a way to end the story of River Song and that might be a sign that showrunner Steven Moffat is winding down his time at the helm of Doctor Who. One month later, it turns out that I was right.
The BBC has announced that Moffat will be leaving his post as the lead writer and executive producer of Doctor Who at the completion of a twelve episode season in Spring 2017.
Another year, another Doctor Who Christmas special. Fortunately, this year’s special was more focused on the characters than it was the novelty of it being Christmas somewhere in the universe. This year’s Christmas special saw the return of River Song and her first encounter with the Twelfth Doctor.
Another season of Doctor Who has come and gone. With an emphasis on longer stories, the individual episodes of Doctor Who have been very up and down this season. While I don’t think that Hell Bent was as strong as last week’s Heaven Sent, it serves as a fitting sendoff to what Steven Moffat wants us to feel about Clara.
Sometimes, it doesn’t take new blood to do something different. For the penultimate episode of Doctor Who, The Doctor was locked in a castle with one villain who was seldom on-screen. It was a completely different approach for an episode of Doctor Who but it works because of it.
This week on the lighter side of Doctor Who, we have a short little comic featuring one of The Silence. For a villain that can be so scary, The Silence can be the subject of some pretty good comedy right. At least, I feel like I find something funny. I can’t remember what though… Oh, look! A Doctor Who comic!
As someone who watched old Doctor Who reruns growing up, I’m quite fond of the multi-episode arc that Doctor Who traditionally used to tell stories. It’s something we rarely see from modern Doctor Who, at least not to the extent that it used to be used as a story telling device. In fact, this is only the second two-part season premiere of Doctor Who since the revival.
The problem with a multi-episode story arc is that you really need to have a good payoff to the individual episodes and the story as a whole. I’m not convinced that The Magician’s Apprentice and The Witch’s Familiar two-parter really fulfilled either side of that.
Nine months on from Christmas, Doctor Who Christmas is upon us. Okay, I’m not sure what a Doctor Who fan would consider to be the biggest event of the year but it’s my review so I’m going to say it’s the season premiere. With no new characters to introduce, we instead get reacquainted with a couple of The Doctor’s old nemeses. What good is a hero without an equally strong villain, after all.
Like the last couple of Doctor Who Christmas specials, this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special come with some intrigue for the series going forward. Last year’s saw the denouement of the Eleventh Doctor and the introduction of Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor.
This year, the intrigue was all about Clara. Lead actors and actresses on Doctor Who haven’t been particularly long-lived on the show with Amy and Rory being the longest tenured at two-and-a-half season. So while we were all hoping for a happy Christmas story, the whole episode would be about the mystery contract status of Jenna Coleman.
The first eleven episodes of this season of Doctor Who have been absolutely brilliant. We’re used to sporadic good episodes but such a succession of great episodes in 10 of the first 11 weeks of Doctor Who is something that no TV show this side of maybe The Wire or Game of Thrones have been able to match.
The finale would be the biggest test of the course of Doctor Who under Peter Capaldi because finales are typically where the show falls flattest. Could a season that’s been so much better than usual end so much better than usual?
It certainly hasn’t seemed like this season has been on for very long but we’ve reached the end of this season of Doctor Who. After ten weeks, it’s time for the two-part season finale. After all the teasers of Missy and the afterlife, The Doctor and Clara finally stumble upon it after the personal stakes are raised.