REVIEW - Doctor Who - S07E13

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The Doctor has a secret he will take to the grave.  It is discovered.”

While the Doctor did have a secret it certainly wasn’t what we thought – well those of us that managed to stay spoiler free after the Series 7 DVD’s were incorrectly shipped early. Spoilers drama aside there is so much to say about this episode and I have absolutely no idea where to start.

As the episode begins with Clara – the impossible girl – let’s start with her shall we. I haven’t been silent about my disappointment with Clara’s characterisation and while this episode didn’t make me fall in love with her it was definitely a satisfying conclusion to the only mystery worth solving. The way they inserted Clara into past Doctor Who adventures could have been gimmicky yet somehow it was practically flawless but that might be the nostalgia talking. So far, I have re-watched that scene 7 times and I’m sure I’ll watch it again before I finish writing this review; I’m in awe.

Then there was the inclusion of my favourite occasional guests Strax, Madam Vastra and her wife Jenny. And the fact that they interacted with the always-brilliant River Song was icing on the cake. While we’re on the topic of River Song, I have to say this is the first time since Series 5 that I felt her character was done the justice she deserves. Alex Kingston sizzles on screen and the chemistry between her and Matt Smith is electric.

Other notable aspects included the return of Richard E. Grant’s The Great Intelligence, some seriously scary looking monsters that can literally stop your heart and the fact that we never did learn the Doctor’s name (thank goodness). Of course Clara saved the day, as companions always do, and her sacrifice was actually rather emotional but that had more to do with Jenna-Louise Coleman’s performance than anything else. And I can’t praise Matt Smith enough because my words are inadequate, that man can act.

This episode was everything it needed to be, a fantastic final filled with near death experiences, tear-jerking goodbyes and mind-blowing revelations. It’s basically everything I wanted and it almost makes up for the fact that the last two Series lost some of their heart in order to set up this epic final, and the upcoming 50th Anniversary Special.

We did not learn the Doctor’s name but this episode reminded me why I fell in love with this show in the first place. It’s somehow takes these complicated crazy storylines and makes them relatable. So while I was disappointed with this series as a whole – not that I hated it just didn’t live up to pervious expectations – “The Name of the Doctor” did enough to renew my excitement for not just the 50th Anniversary Special but the next full series as well. Besides now that Clara’s finished her life as a plot device she might actually become a real person.

Well that’s it for Series 7, there is not much else to do now except try to survive the anticipation of Matt Smith and David Tennant teaming up in the 50th Anniversary Special.

Review by Yvonne Popplewell

More of Yvonne’s work can be found at her blog.


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