Wednesday, 3 January 2018

My thoughts on Doctor Who Christmas special Twice Upon a Time


I always wanted to review the Doctor Who Christmas special Twice Upon a time but I also wanted to make sure that I did a few things first. I wanted to watch it at least a second time alone in peace. You see its sort of part of our family tradition that we all watch the specials togther when they are transmited on Christmas Day, its as big a part of Christmas for us as the presents or the dinner, if Doctor Who ever went away it would actually leave a huge hole in the day itself for us, it wouldnt be the first hold or the biggest hole but it would change Christmas forever.

I had been looking forward to this episode so much, my mind had been hyping it up and thinking about everything that might happen, I have to admit I didnt want Peter Capaldi to leave at all, I dont think he has always had the best scripts but I do love his Doctor, I guess I have a special soft spot for every single Doctor but there is this thing about Capaldi, I find him very much to be a bridge between classic Doctor Who and new Doctor Who, he just feels like a Classic Doctor in new Who storys.

Know I have known for a long time that Peter Capaldi was going to be replaced by Jodie Whittaker and that this would be Steven Moffats final episode, so I have had time to come to terms with it, I am not a huge fan of Jodie Whittaker and she is not the person I would have chosen for the next Doctor, I am however going to tune in to all of her episodes and give her a chance. I wont be bashing her just because shes a woman, if she is good then I will acknowledge it and if shes bad then I will do the same, so far having only seen seconds of her there is not a lot I can really say on the subject the only thing I can say is that I think her Doctor Costume that they have released pictures of is very goofy, its almost Colin Baker levels of cringe and although I really liked him the clothes they put him in really didnt do him any favours.

Ok now I have been going on and on I better say that this review will contain spoilers so if you havent watched the episode and wish to do so you might want to pop off now and do that before you read anyfurther. I would like to point out that I dont plan to talk about every single moment in the episode or walk through it scene by scene I just want to talk about it in general and offer a few opinions I have. I fully admit these are my opinions and that you or anyone else might greatly disagree with me one way or the other but hey thats one of the things that makes life intresting right?
Ok so episodes of Doctor Who can be lots of things, they can sometimes be pretty much pure action, they can be morality tales, they can be twisty turny time travel parodox sort of tales and from time to time they can even be described as sort of Horror, sometimes though they are more well for want of a better term philosophical pieces. I would describe this one as a philosophical piece after all there isent really a big villian so to speak.  So what do we have? Well we have a story about two diffrent Doctors refusing to regenerate so I want to start by commenting on them.

One of them is the First Doctor who is being played by David Bradley who is portraying the William Hartnell original Doctor. David Bradley played William Hartnell in the biopic Adventures in Time and Space which showed how Doctor Who got its start and he was brilliant in it, he played both Hartnell and Hartnell playing the Doctor with so much skill and passion that I actually think its wonderful to see him bring the first Doctor back to life for this adventure, he does it with such skill using the same kind of gestures movements and mannerisms that Hartnell did that during the episode I never saw him as a pretender I just saw him as the original  Doctor and I cant think of higher praise than that. There has been a lot of fuss about some of the things he says in the episode and some of the way he has been portrayed, basically he is shown to be very much a product of the era in which the first Doctor would have been on the telly he is shown to beleave that women are weaker, delicate, need protection and that they should be in the kitchen and if they do something wrong then they should recieve a smacked bottom. Some -people have seen this as more feminism working its way into Doctor Who and feel that it is lecturing to them, in all fairness I found it pretty funny. You watch old Doctor Who from back then and there was this kind of diffrence between how men and women were treated and I think it would be wrong to have ignored this, maybe they went to the ropes one to many time with the same sort of jokes for some peoples tastes but it generally got a few laughs out of me in what was otherwise at times a very moving bitter sweet episode.

As for Capaldi well I thought he gave a really strong performance as the Doctor and it made me even sadder to see him go.  For me Capaldi was a bit like a crazy old dad or uncle who could be both a bit silly and a then yet also incredably deep, loving and protective His Doctor felt like it was somehow both having a laugh and yet still taking the critical moments seriously, he really felt like he loved life even if at times the hand he was dealt made him dispare.Seeing this Doctor a 13th regeneration wise but comical against a very stern and serious original Doctor a Doctor who seemed to somewhat disprove of him yet who he seemed to deeply respect and want to be liked by (As shown in him not wanting to admit the electric guitar was his) was also very intresting to watch, after all I am sure all of us have stopped at one point in our life and wonderd what it would be like if we could talk to a younger more naieve and hopeful version of ourselves havent we? This was sort of a theme in this episode as Capaldi's pre regenrataion words were directed at his future incarnation, telling her what she should be and what she should do

It was great to see Pearl Mackie back, although when they said they had someone the Doctor would like to see I was kind of hoping for a grown up Susan, as she was someone that would have had meaning to both of the Doctors, I am not saying I didnt want Pearl Mackie in it but she could have been seen later. It was also nice to see Nardol, at first this character seemed goofy at times and yeah he still is but he is also nice and its good to have someone who is soft and caring and who feels dedicated to the Doctor thats male around, I also didnt mind seeing Clara, sure she has been shoehordned in far too much and given far too much importance at times in my opinion but it really did make sense here and unlike when Matt Smith saw Amy Pond before regenerating it didnt feel like the previous companions apperance made anothers feel hollow and made them feel left out.

 It is intresting to have a Christmas specially where there is not really a baddy, the people the Doctor threatens to stop if they have bad intentions dont actually end up being evil, its pretty much a missunderstanding in a way. Yeah we have a few Daleks who are out of there cases and we have Rusty the Dalek the Doctor accidentally made hate Daleks in an attempt to make him good, but he isent evil, well he does want the Doctor dead but thats sort of because he views the Doctor as kind of evil, he hates the Daleks and he happens to see the Doctor as having some pretty Dalek like qualities. In a way the Doctor is his own enemy its his resistance to regenerating the idea that he might just give up and die instead so that he can have some peace that is the looming shadow of the episode. The idea that the first Doctor didnt want to regenerate and that if he hadnt none of the others would have lived and that the world would have been tottally diffrent is basically what spurs him on to conquer his own fears

There are so many little loving nods and refrences tucked into this episode what with the Tardis windows being the wrong shape, the First Doctor’s insistence on calling the Tardis‘the ship’.
The whole adventure for the first Doctor takes place between the last moments of Hartnell’s final story,. This is pretty neat in itself as that episode titled The Tenth Planet marked the introduction of  the original Mondasian Cybermen, which were actually reintroduced to Doctor Who at the request of actor Peter Capaldi in the episode directly before this special. This sort of wraps up all of Doctor Who from the start to now with a nice little bow bringing it in a sort of circle. I really enjoyed the twist that Mark Gatiss’ character The Captain is the father of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewar. I am a big fan of Mark Gatiss and I cant think of someone who could have played the charcter of a stuiff up a lip British Captain than him and someone who deserves the honour of having played the Brigadiers dad more than him. I really enjoyed his character and I think despite being a small part of a large story he really did shine.

No one has seen enough of the new Doctor yet to pass any judgment, all we got was an excited look and the words ''Oh brilliant''. There was something that really stuck with me in the regeeneration though and that was the point when the ring the previous Doctor had been wearing falls off her finger and hits the floor of the Tardis, there was something almost haunting about the way this happend, it was only an instant on screen and yet it really stuck with me.

All in all I really enjoyed this episode even if I was sad to see Capaldi go, he will always be the Doctor to me, and I wish him nothing but the best for all of time. Ok Jodie its your turn to step up to the wickets and see if you can impress me.

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