I have so many feelings about this episode I was compelled to write about it.
Things I loved:
Capaldi Capaldi Capaldi. LOVE him! I think I said that to the Whovian coven every 5 minutes. “Why do you need three mirrors? Why don’t you just turn your head?” “Once upon a time. The End.” Hilarious. I love his grumpy, no-nonsense, no-people-skills Doctor. Also, the Doctor using a normal screwdriver because the sonic doesn’t work. Funny.
Thank you gods for this no-flirting Doctor! It’s actually nice that he talks to Clara like she’s just a normal person and not someone he has to trade quips and smartass dialogue with every darn time. As a result we’re starting to get to know her better. (Ish. More on this later.)
The War Doctor! Yay. Those snippets of his other selves are always so cool. Like seeing an old friend again.
The baby Time Lord! Awww. Yet another of those moments where I just teared up all of a sudden. Don’t you just hate when that happens while watching Doctor Who? Moffat, most times I need to prepare myself. I’m also going to be honest about this part – that casual “He’ll never make a Time Lord” sailed over my head the first time. By that point in the episode, there were too many things nagging at me that I missed it.
It was a good episode, and I loved how it played out like a psychological thriller. I had my hands over my eyes in that scene at the children’s home. I was scaaaaared.
But Clara bugged me. There, I said it. First of all, why did she not tell the Doctor about Rupert from the beginning? Granted, the episode may have been over in 15 minutes if she did, so I can accept that they had to add some drama. But maybe they could have at least given an explanation?
And that reveal at the end about how she comforted the young Doctor (after scaring him shitless) BUGGED. So basically, Clara made the Doctor who he is? She has that humongous significance in the Doctor’s life? I know she spliced herself and jumped into the Doctor’s time stream to save him, but I guess I didn’t fathom the depth of that action until now. And it bugs. I feel that no companion should out-companion any companion in the Doctor’s life. Every companion should be important and have a purpose. And it doesn’t seem right that someone can be that huge in the Doctor’s very existence. Like suddenly everyone else now is just useless. They’re not Clara. And when Clara inevitably leaves, the Impossible Girl will be Impossible To Follow. This is still Doctor Who, right? Not The Clara Show?
I don’t hate Clara. Ok, maybe I did in the beginning. But I was starting to like her after Deep Breath and watching Series 7b again. And I was happy that we were finally getting to know her more. But now it’s like “Whoa Moffat, get ahold of yourself.” We were subjected to a one-dimensional Clara in Series 7 and now suddenly she’s the most important being in all of the universe? Suddenly she’s the one who made the Doctor brave? I wanted character development, but surely it’s not too much to ask for believability too? We’re back to her being the Impossible Girl, and only the Impossible Girl, again.
It feels kinda lonely to be my salmon-y self, swimming against the stream and being the only one to not gush over this episode. And I’m not really mad or ranting. I am just genuinely bothered, more than anything else. Please reassure me because ugghh.