**Warning! Here there be spoilers! DO NOT read ahead if you have not watched through Series 6, episode 13 of Doctor Who. If you have, or don’t care, read on, but don’t get mad…**
In the season finale, the Doctor makes his final journey to Lake Silencio, knowing only one thing can keep the universe safe – his own death. But has he reckoned on the love of a good woman?(via BBCAmerica)
As the War of the Roses enters its second year even as London picnickers are warned not to feed the pterodactyls and Charles Dickens is interviewed about his new Christmas ghost special, Holy Roman Emperor Winston Churchill returns to Buckingham Palace from a conference in Gaul with Cleopatra to wonder why it is always 5:02 PM on 22 April 2011. His Silurian physician, Dr. Malokeh, tells him it is always that time, but Churchill has his doubts and summons his soothsayer from the dungeon of the Tower of London. It is the Doctor, who tells him it is because of a woman. (via TARDIS Wikia)
This episode opens on a grand old time paradox, filled with so many anachronisms I couldn’t even catch them all–but I loved it. It was a potpurri of references, everyone the Doctor has encountered and more, all in one place, because time has stopped: the Doctor didn’t die, so the universe is unraveling. Much like “The Big Bang,” this is a fast-paced episode that leaves you a bit winded for all the things packed in–including some references to Rose Tyler and (finally) Captain Jack.
The Doctor is traveling all throughout time and space trying to figure out what he can about the Silence, and how to either keep from dying or to do it properly to save the universe. We meet a lot of people in a short amount of time, but it’s great. There are a good deal of time shifts and switches, but it works, tying the entire season together nicely.
The crux of this episode hinges on the good ol’ switch that the Doctor at Steven Moffat just love to play: nothing is as it seems, but trust your Doctor. Both the Doctor and the universe are saved by a bit of doctor ex machina, in that he’s not exactly where or what you think he is. I think that it was a bit of a stretch–the Doctor dies, but he doesn’t, and the unraveling universe will concede due a technicality. But as I’ve said before, it worked. I’ll watch it again and see.
We’ve had a lot more foreshadowing for next season, still held over from the previous seasons, but with additions. “Silence will fall when the question is asked.” It’s a question as old as time, and it has something to do with the Doctor and, I suspect, his name, which has been alluded to all too regularly this season for it to be a coincidence.
Finally, as River whispers something she knows to Amy which makes them both overjoyed, I wonder if it’s too simple to just be that he’s alive somewhere. There’s always more to it.
We’ll see what lies in store for us in the coming season, which is all too far off.
As this series of Doctor Who comes to a close, I must say that Steven Moffat has done an exceptional job of taking our collective brains and hurling them about the room whilst pulling the rug out from under our feet and then making us thank him kindly for all the tears and confusion. There have been more twists, more secrets, and more reveals in this season than in any other. I’ve been slowly rewatching the first four seasons and, while David Tennant is still my favorite Doctor, Matt Smith is doing a great job. He’s gone from just being whacky and tangential, reigning it in a bit and really using his physical comedy to his advantage. He also plays old and wise well when it suits him. I’m happy he’ll be around for awhile longer.
Just remember: Trust Your Doctor.
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