As mentioned last week, I was somewhat worried about this series finale. The fifth series ended spectacularly, and I loved practically all of the final two episodes. I have faith in Steven Moffat but after seeing the start of this series, my belief system was shaken a little bit. It really shouldn’t have been.
The Doctor has been wending his way towards his death, and we were treated to him repeating over and over that it was a fixed point in time. I very much enjoyed the state of affairs in the broken time stream, where everything was happening past and present, history meeting the future. The trains were excellent, and although the CGI was startlingly obvious, it was fun.
Seeing some old faces is always good, particularly when they don’t hold the key to everything, but are simply there to move the story along. Charles Dickens was a surprising but welcome blast from the past. The Doctor explained the story to Winston Churchill, and to us, and eventually we were at the point where River Song had the choice.
She had to give up the man she loved for the sake of the universe, or let time disintegrate completely. She wouldn’t give him up. And then they got married! The Doctor has a wife. Hmm. This is something I am not going to allow myself to think about until we see how it affects the next series.
It was always obvious that there was going to have to be some sort of cop out to the Doctor’s death. If he does die, it certainly shouldn’t be now, not when we have a whole other series to prepare for. I think I found it to be slightly too much of a cop out. The fixed point in time, that was so very important, can be fooled by a Tesselecta? That seems slightly odd to me.
Having said that, I love that the answer was so simple, and was something that the seeds had been put in place earlier in the series and in the episode itself. Just like the series five finale, the peril is great (end of the universe, end of time) but the answer isn’t overblown and cringeworthy.
It’s also intriguing that the Doctor has not only reset himself for a new series, but has reset himself within the universe completely. Presumably all the enemies believe that he is dead. That brings it right back to the start again – with enemies becoming surprised at the appearance of their one true nemesis. That, in itself, is Moffat genius.
Without making this post ridiculously long, there were also great moments. The return of the Ponds was fab, seeing Amy come back for Rory was excellent – the girl can wield a machine gun! I liked the moment at the end when River and Amy caught up with where they were in each other’s timelines, although hearing her say “Mother” was all kinds of wrong.
Overall, the series had highs and lows. I did not like the start and felt like we were on a cruise to confusion and complication. Whilst I maintain that the first episode had far too many questions without enough story to pull us into the series, the way the arc worked out for those that stuck with it was far better than I’d expected. The Silence remain, they were not wiped out, so we have them to watch out for in the future.
I suppose we also need to watch out for the question, which was another thing so obvious and yet so obscure.