my good God. I’m so glad I didn’t watch this immediately, it would have
spoiled my Christmas buzz. This was not only a total shambles of a
story that packed in a whole bunch of unnecessary sexual innuendo, but
it revisited almost every reference from Smith’s tenure that annoys me.
Ordinarily this is where I would say, “but it was all worth it for the
twenty seconds of Peter Capaldi at the end”, but seriously, it wasn’t.
start with, the relationship between The Doctor and Clara continues to
be confused, with her confirmation she “fancied him” whilst bringing The
Doctor in as a fake boyfriend despite him originally getting the wrong
end of the stick and pretty much saying he’d be up for the real deal. I
must say I am hoping for a dramatic reduction in this sort of thing with
Capaldi as Twelve. It’s just so boring.
innuendos fly thick and fast in the opening minutes. I mean, what was
the deal with the hologram clothes? The concept of being nude in church
is an interesting one, being bare before God and so forth, but with no
explanation, and in combination with Tasha Lem’s alter-shaped bed, I’m
left assuming that it’s just there to poke fun at religion by
It’s not the
first time I’ve sensed this kind of jab at organised religion in a
Moffat story, either. Previous appearances such as The Time of Angels / Flesh and Stone and A Good Man Goes To War saw
The Church as largely Anglican, and the prominence of openly gay
couple, The Fat One and The Thin One was either a reference to the
already evolving Anglican Church (female ministers etc) or just a cheap
gay joke. With Moffat it’s hard to tell. Now we see The Church as being
somehow related to a very Catholic sounding Papal Mainframe.
Doctor and Tasha Lem’s sexual banter was so overt that I found myself
waiting for the reveal that she was somehow a regenerated River Song.
When did The Doctor have the time to develop this kind of long-term
sexual relationship with a woman who wasn’t River? It clearly wasn’t as
Eleven, so was Ten putting it about even more than we realised? It was
all so unnecessary though. None of it added to the story one iota, and
the flash of naked Matt Smith at the start seemed pure fan-service.
we have a case of too many monsters, although it did seem to make more
sense as to why they were there than some episodes. I worried when the
teaser came out because it was cut in a way that made it seem the whole
thing was a set-up, much like the Pandorica plot-line. The teasers also
had me face-palming at the return of the Silence, but again, in context
they were relevant. I actually liked the idea that they were
professional confessors, but after a second thought, It doesn’t make
much sense because half the point of confession is the act of
confession, so even if you are getting some kind of post-hypnotic
suggestion of penance, you’re losing all the psychological benefits of
confession by forgetting that you’ve actually done it. I was also quite
upset for the Sontarins, who seem to have been relegated to comic
relief. Don’t get me wrong, Strax is a great character and pulls off
comic relief well, but to make all Sontarins appear inept and stupid is a
episode just seemed a ham-fisted attempt to tie all of Eleven’s season
arcs into one grand overarching plot. Unfortunately instead of a
mind-blowing climax to everything we’ve seen the past four years, all we
got was a self-referential mish-mash with no real direction beyond
tying up all of the loose ends. But you know what? Sometimes loose ends
are a good thing. Case in point, the only thing that wasn’t resolved was
the return of Gallifrey. In a way I am looking forward to that being
The Doctor’s main objective moving forward. I hope it can be left
unresolved for a long time, much like the holy scriptures in Monkey.
whole thing just seemed to drag, and when I wasn’t groaning because of
some fresh innuendo or the reappearance of those thrice-damned Weeping
Angels, I was checking to see how much longer it had to go. By the time
we got to see the regeneration, I was over it. Capaldi’s final line was a
I won’t be rushing out to watch this one again.