Once again Doctor Who explores a mystery from the pages of history itself, what happened to Legio IX Hispana? As The Doctor and Bill and Nardole journey back to second century Scotland to find the Ninth Roman Legion, they discover a more sinister threat awaits them. Meet me after the time jump for my thoughts on “The Eaters of Light.”
“Doctor Who” showrunner Steven Moffat certainly knows how to launch a series with a cliffhanger. When last we saw The Doctor and his unconventional entourage, things were looking very bad indeed. Missy AKA The Master and Clara Oswald had been exterminated by Daleks, The TARDIS has been destroyed, and The Doctor has been confronted by his old archenemy, the dying Davros, at the dawn of the Daleks, with a chance to end the Dalek threat forever… but what are the real consequences? Meet me after the time and space jump for my thoughts on “The Witch’s Familiar!”
Finally the wait is over. Several months after the end of the Matt Smith era back in “The Time of the Doctor,” the new era with Peter Capaldi as The Doctor begins. What kind of Doctor will he be? What kind of adventures will he have? It all begins with a great Jurassic roar over the streets of Victorian London, as we enter an exciting new chapter in the history of “Doctor Who.” Meet me after the jump for the first episode of Series Eight, “Deep Breath.”
One of the most controversial elements of the “Doctor Who” mythos is the dreaded TV movie. Made by Fox with the cooperation of the BBC and Universal, and intended to spin off into an American TV series, the Doctor Who movie in 1996 starring Paul McGann is almost universally hated. Let’s find out why, and why now might be time to reconsider it, after the jump.
The Doctor has many secrets, but not the least of them is his real name. Other than The Master and other Gallifreyans, few folks are aware of it. River Song knows it, and she’s back in tonight’s season finale. Will we at last learn “The Name of The Doctor”? Find out in my review, after the jump…
Did you hear that “squeeeee”? Yeah, that was me watching the pre-credit sequence of this episode. We see The First Doctor, yeah baby, William Hartnell, and his granddaughter stealing a faulty TARDIS on Gallifrey… before being stopped by Clara Oswald. Then it gets better.
Her voiceover claims she was made to save The Doctor, and then encounters the Colin Baker version, Tom Baker, then Sylvester McCoy, Jon Pertwee, Patrick Troughton, Peter Davison, then finally Matt Smith, then the other shoe drops.
She says she entered the world on a leaf, the leaf that caused her parents to meet, fall in love, and have her. She’s the Impossible Girl who was born to save The Doctor. Roll credits. If the rest of the episode holds up to the opening, Steven Moffat, you are The Man.
Through the magic of dreams, ‘where time travel has always been possible,’ several old friends return in a magical unconscious conference call. Among them are Madam Vastra, Jenny, and Commander Strax (where’s our spin-off??!), as well as Professor River Song and Clara Oswald.
A murderer has traded his life for a secret to Vastra, one of The Doctor’s secrets. Unfortunately, new monsters, called The Whisper Men, attack the conference call and capture our Victorian London trio. Once again, Moffet has created couchworthy monsters.
Clara returns to The Doctor, relates the tale of a secret The Doctor will take to the grave, that is discovered, and of the place called Trenzalore. It upsets him greatly. Of course he’s upset. When you’re a time traveller, there is one place you must never go. Trenzalore is where The Doctor’s grave is. Whoa.
Hard to get there, as the TARDIS refuses to go, but eventually The Doctor and Clara arrive on Trenzalore. There, surprise surprise, the villain of the second half of season seven reveals himself, Dr. Simian, possessed by the Great Intelligence. He’s holding Vastra, Jenny, and Strax captive in the tomb of The Doctor.
Once inside the tomb, which is the TARDIS of course, albeit super-sized because all the paradoxes that make it bigger on the inside are broken, they encounter The Doctor’s corpse. It’s not a body, but an energy signature of all his trips through time, an open wound in the fabric of time itself.
The Great Intelligence, in a bid to destroy The Doctor once and for all, enters the wound, destroying all of The Doctors all at once, reversing all of his victories into defeats, and erasing The Doctor from history. If you’re following along, you know what happens next.
Yeah, enter the Impossible Girl. She counteracts the Great Intelligence at every turn, saving The Doctor as we’ve seen her do multiple times in different incarnations – and as we saw in the pre-credits scenes of this very episode.
Just when we thought even in death, River Song gets the short end of the stick, she gets a proper goodbye and a hot goodbye kiss, along with a juicy ‘spoilers’ line. Then The Doctor jumps into his own timeline after Clara. Yeah, crazy sumbitch thinks he’s going to save her.
That’s when things get bad. While The Doctor is looking for her, she keeps seeing ghosts of old Doctors. These visions, as well as those in the beginning, including colorized versions of the first two, are very well done by the way.
The Doctor finds her, inside his own time stream, haunted by ghosts of the past and the future. That’s when they encounter John Hurt, credited as The Doctor, and whom Matt Smith names as not acting in the name of The Doctor. Could this be another evil future incarnation of The Doctor, like The Valeyard referenced earlier this episode? Or could it be the incarnation who performed unspeakable acts in the Time War? Time will tell.
The Doctor (perhaps several different ones) returns in November for the big 50th anniversary, and hopefully some answers… And if you can’t wait until then, you could always go see Star Trek. What’s that you say? You missed Noel (Mickey Smith) Clarke in Star Trek Into Darkness? You better get to the theater and see him, great flick!