The second part of the 7th (33rd) series of Doctor Who has been uniformly good. From claustrophobic haunted house episode, ‘Hide’ to much derided fantastical sentimental ‘The Rings of Akhaken‘ – which I hope is reconsidered as it resonates beautifully with the final episode journey of Clara – they have all been strongly written by Steven Moffat, Neil Cross, Neil Gaiman and Steven Thompson with Matt Smith continuing to be terrific as The Doctor and adding so many dimensions (sorry) to the performance that it does not get repetitive or jarring while Jenna Louise Coleman continues to impress in her burgeoning role as someone The Doctor does not fully understand.
The final episode ‘The Name of the Doctor’ was terrific. The opening montage of Clara being The Impossible Girl who is meant to ‘save The Doctor’ was poignant and well done. The Doctor was forced in to travelling to Trenzalore – the one place he could never go, his own tomb – to save Vastra, Jenny, Strax and Clara from the Great Intelligence. We were told we would finally get to know his real name. We were excited. We were anticipating a huge reveal. The ONLY way to enter his tomb was to say his real name – or all of his companions would have their hearts tickled to death (we were never quite clear about that) by the Whispermen – henchmen of the Great Intelligence. It had to happen. Then and there. Yes. Finally. The name of The Doctor. Doctor Who? DOCTOR WHO? DOCTOR WHO!?!?!?!?!? We still do not know. We did not get it. A copy of dead River Song post ‘Silence in the Library’ suddenly appeared to say his name off camera to gain access to the tomb of The Doctor (a massive TARDIS by the way). Normally this would create an almighty backlash as the fans would feel cheated. However, this was a terrific episode and lays bigger storylines.
The Impossible Girl was impossible. She was a regular girl who saved The Doctor to rescue all of the universe from a vengeful Great Intelligence who had entered The Doctor’s dead body (his entire living history contained in the form of a giant time travelling lava lamp, apparently) to contaminate his past and kill him before he could win his past battles. So all of his history would be rewritten and the universe would be taken over by Cybermen, Daleks and those little pieces of fat in boxes that had Sarah Lancaster as a babysitter. With The Doctor dying in front of her eyes along with history being rewritten and destroyed Clara followed the Great Intelligence and was instantly splintered in to millions of realities to save The Doctor, every single doctor.
*************BIGGER SPOILER ALERT**************
At the end we found out that Clara did not die. River was there and The Doctor (ridiculously) was able to hold her and kiss her despite the fact she did not exist in reality in what was a very moving scene where the hurt of love took its emotional toll on both her and the ‘God’ she could never truly have. So The Doctor followed Clara in to his own dead body (bit weird) and joined her in a reality of all previous 11 Doctors…or so we thought…standing in front of them was the twelfth doctor…John bloody Hurt…as what was implied to be a war-mongering Doctor who murdered his way through life. The darkness begins here…? The speculation certainly will begin furiously as to who, what and how. All I can say is bring on the 188 days (I looked it up ok) until the 50th Anniversary Special.