The Name of the Doctor, the closing episode in the latest run of Doctor Who adventures, is just about the best season finale the show has ever had.
Lots of fans won’t have seen it yet and if you’re one of them, please stop reading now and avoid the spoilers which follow.
Seriously, look away…
From name-checking The Valeyard to the glimpses of past Doctors, the episode was a wonderful celebration of the show’s history which must have had every fan cheering loudly and punching the air with excitement.
While the sight of the familiar costumes and the brief snippets of well-loved lines were real treats, for me the real magic moments were the inclusion of William Hartnell’s First Doctor.
The special effects which allowed the production team to have him meet current companion Clara were truly impressive. Indeed, the end result was more convincing than Clara’s more passive appearances in the Second and Third Doctor’s timelines.
Does the wizardry hint at how past Doctors might feature in the anniversary special?
But of course, the story doesn’t only celebrate the past, it also also nicely sets up the much anticipated 50th anniversary special with one hell of a revelation.
What does it all mean?
The Doctor says the name you take is a promise, so by taking ‘The Doctor’ was he promising to make things better? And if so, is the one who broke that promise The Valeyard?
Or is Hurt’s Doctor an earlier version, one who comes before Hartnell’s and who did such terrible deeds that the subsequent Doctors have opted to forget him and start counting their lives again?
Or does it mean something else entirely?
November 23rd can’t come soon enough….