Saturday, December 30, 2017

The Good and the Bad: My Thoughts on Doctor Who's "Twice Upon a Time"

via Doctor Who Wiki.
The good: The crossover between the Doctor's First and Twelfth incarnations. David Bradley's turn as the First Doctor. Twelve's/Peter Capaldi's farewell speech before regenerating. Thirteenth Doctor!

The bad: Everything else.

So let's talk about the bad first. I thought the plot was weak and thin. It's like Steven Moffat went to the well and came up dry. The antagonist, The Testimony, turn out not to be antagonists at all, so there was pretty much no conflict whatsoever. Add to this that they're barely even in the story and it becomes clear that Moffat was just going through the motions. Not much in the way of action either. Really, "Twice Upon a Time" almost felt like a bottle episode. Like, Moffat and Co. had to do a Christmas special but only with whatever money they had left over from series 10 because BBC wouldn't give them a separate budget. I don't know and I doubt that that's true, but the lackluster nature of the special compared to previous endeavors makes it seem like they were making do with what they had.

I also wasn't feeling the reunion between the Doctor, Bill, and Nardole. It felt tacked on. The cameo by Clara was nice, though. 

Now onto the good. I loved David Bradley's portrayal of the First Doctor. I would love to see him reprise the role again. Maybe the Beeb could redo some of the lost episodes with him as The Doctor? His interactions with Twelve were pretty good too. I especially enjoyed the culture clash with One having the sexist mentality of someone both old and from the 1960s versus Twelve, who is much more open and progressive minded. Watching the latter being embarrassed every time his previous incarnation said something sexist had me snickering. The bit where One asks what browser history is while wearing the sonic sunglasses was one of the best of the special.

via Doctor Who Wiki.
Also? The First Doctor looks cool as all hell in Ray-Ban sunglasses.

The best part of "Twice Upon a Time", though, had to be the Twelfth Doctor's farewell speech before regenerating.

It was heartfelt and emotional without being over the top. It was a self-reflection of The Doctor and all they stand for and why people have loved the show for 50+ years. What really hit me was the final line before he regenerated. "Doctor...I let you go" to me sounds like Peter Capaldi talking and not The Doctor. That this was Capaldi saying farewell to a character he played for three series. It was wonderful.
"Oh brilliant!"
(via Doctor Who Wiki)

And now of course, there's the new kid on the block. The major anticipation of "Twice Upon a Time" of course was the debut of the Thirteenth Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker. Much has been made of the fact that we were finally getting an incarnation of The Doctor that was a woman, so seeing her debut was obviously the main draw. We only see Thirteen briefly and we won't see her embark on her first adventure unless late next year (the horror! The misery! The injustice of it all!), but from our brief glimpse of the Time Lady, it should be brilliant!

Weak plot aside, I enjoyed the Christmas special. It served it's intended purpose of both sending off Peter Capaldi's Twelfth Doctor and introducing Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth.

What did you think about "Twice Upon a Time"?

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