3 out of 4 found this review helpful.
The time has come, and the moment has been prepared for, as it always is. The question, the oldest question. Is it a suitable regeneration story for the twelfth doctor and can it also serve as a decent multi doctor story?
Well...let's start with the fact that I love all of the multi doctor stories in the series run, The Three Doctors, The Two Doctors and the Day of the Doctor are in my top fifty stories at the very least and the Five Doctors is like a big wedge of cake on your birthday.
But, is a doctor's regeneration story really the best time to have a multi doctor story? I am not sure if it really is. It's meant to be one last run with the doctor before he bows out and the next one comes along.
Still, to be fair the two part finale of World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls, which was originally meant to be his regeneration story and makes much more sense as one.
However, as a coda to that story it's a lot less egregious and having David Bradly playing the First Doctor is certainly an interesting take, though not one I would have personally replicated as his replications of the First Doctor's scenes...well, he was clearly cast as William Hartnell and not as the First Doctor
Another issue is the First Doctor's characterisation, it seems to always be more an issue with the First Doctor than any other as he is always the one who seems to be reduced to a few traits. Specifically that he's a grump and he's sexist.
Well, yes he was that. He was also a gentleman and a scientist and loved his granddaughter and could be the warmest of all the doctors and had a great sense of humour and all of that, sadly he is reduced to this for the sake of a few jokes, most of them not very funny.
Now I am actually quite a fan of Steven Moffat's writing, I love Hell Bent even more than Heaven Sent for example. But the First Doctor is my third favourite and seeing him portrayed this way is difficult for me and makes the overall story harder for me to enjoy.
With that said he does have a few excellent moments, his conversation with Bill standing out to me as they speak about why exactly he ran away from Gallifrey, it's not something William Hartnell's incarnation of the first doctor would have spoken off, for several reasons, but it is sweet and I was utterly caught up in it.
Speaking of Bill, she had returned for the twelfth doctor's last episode and I am personally glad of it, I loved Bill and Peral Mackie just fills her with such a sense of likeability and inner confidence that she worked great alongside Twelve.
Their is of course also the Captain, as played by Mark Gatiss, who I personally found a bit of a non entity. I kind of guesses his identity as did a great deal of people but he did have the most poignant line in the entire story.
I also like that this is a much smaller story in scope, not every regeneration has to be about fighting off entire armadas and fighting off fleets of daleks. It's almost entirely character driven and that is an amazing feet.
I also love the ending, some will say it's a problem with Moffat personified but I found it very sweet and I think it almost sums up his run. The Universe may generally fail at being a fairy tale, but that is why there is the doctor.
And of course, we can go no further without speaking of Peter Capaldi. An amazing actor and doctor and while he never personally over took Matt Smith as my favourite new series doctor, he did take a damn good swing at it.
Funny, Angry, Sad, full of Compassion. Oh, and Kind. So Kind. It's a script which gives Capaldi so much to do and I do think it is him at his best and for a moment, I didn't want him to go.
His speech was one of the best in the history of doctor regenerations in my mind and it was a beautiful moment, a state of grace before the light and the change and there she is. The new woman.
All I can say is this, hello Jodie. You're the Doctor, and it is going to be brilliant.