Doctor Who : The Name of the Doctor
The Name of the Doctor started with a bang with the first Doctor being witnessed stealing a TARDIS from Gallifrey (which we had never seen before but it had been mentioned on numerous occasions) and then scenes where Clara appeared with lots of other Doctors including the third, fourth, fifth, six and seventh Doctors.
The rest of the episode led up to the point where the reason why the Doctor had met someone who looked like Clara twice before in the past (and the future) was explained to all of the expectant viewers.
I was actually very happy with this explanation as it makes perfect sense, even if it is not very original in terms of an idea (see City of Death for something very similar), but that that works very well in this case, as does the reasons why Clara ended up doing what she does at the close of this episode, mainly because it really was the only thing that she could have done at that moment in time, and was probably what we all would have done in her place.
The other main shock of the episode was the reveal at the end of a person who is the Doctor, but is not the Doctor which will obviously be explained further in the anniversary special, leaving us fans with six months of constant speculation as to what it can all mean, and exactly who that person in the end actually is.
We get to see the previously mentioned Trenzalore a place which the Doctor must never visit, but being the Doctor, he decides to go anyway despite the warnings that he must never go there. Since when has the Doctor ever done something that he has been told not to do? It wouldn’t be in his nature, and, we wouldn’t love him for it either. Trenzalore itself was very well realised and the explanation of what it is, and what it means, was also very interesting, as is what was inside it.
I thought that this episode was really good and Matt Smith was at his very best in this episode, giving the performance of his tenure in this episode I would say. It was also really well directed and it looked sumptuous.
Vastra, Strax and Jenny also made an appearance in this story and they were as good as ever with Strax getting the best lines as he always does and we also find out what he does in his spare time.
I must admit that it did seem a little strange that the Doctor is such a nuisance to the Great Intelligence when you think that they have only met him on a couple of occasions to go to such lengths as they did in this episode. I am sure that there could have been plenty of other alien races who would like to see the back of the Doctor more than the Great Intelligence, but it was them who we got in this episode.
Richard E Grant was very menacing in the few scenes that he had in this episode it has to be said and it was a shame that he wasn’t more prominent in this episode as he made a really good, and very nasty, foe for the Doctor.
The Whispermen were also quite interesting creations who certainly looked creepy enough (I think it was the lack of eyes) and you can imagine them being quite frightening to younger viewers, and there was something very creepy about the way they tended to speak in rhyming couplets as well.
In general I really enjoyed the episode especially the footage featuring the other Doctors with the scenes between Clara and the first Doctor being the best of the bunch. The others were not as impressive as that one was (which bought a lump to my throat), but it was still nice to see them all, even if the choice of images for them might not have been the best that they could have used, which is a minor thing considering the trouble they went to putting them into the episode in the first place.
The ending of the episode was a superb cliff hanger to end the series with, and one that makes you want the 23rd November to come as soon as possible, even if it just to find out what the hell is going on!