I have a feeling that this episode, which technically ends Series 9 of Doctor Who, will be one that is dissected and scrutinized for better or for worse for a long time. As this finale delivered shocking reveals, revivals, rewritings of history…and of course teased the future.
I give major props to Stephen Moffat for ensuring that the events of “Heaven Sent” last week were still fresh on the mind of the Doctor, who for the first several minutes of the show (not including the recap of course) didn’t say a single word! Not to the military, the council, or the president until he was ready. And of what those first words were: Get off my planet!
If this finale was anything, it was a celebration of everything NuWho, as it had ties to every incarnation of the Doctor that had been born (or died) in NuWho. Eccelston, Tennant, Smith, and of course Hurt, along with Capaldi, all were given references and teases in the finale. But as always, the episode boiled down to the Doctor and his companion. Clara.
Did not see that coming, AT ALL! Yes, it was easy to see she could’ve been brought back, this is Doctor Who, but in the way she was? And in the way it was resolved? Wow. Twist!
The Doctor has always been fond of his companions, but the lengths he went to to save Clara, including killing, was very dark. You could sense a bit “The Time Lord Triumphant” in here, as he dared to fight fate, history, rules, and everything else that usually holds him down.
The reveal that the Hybrid was in fact not the Doctor, but the Doctor AND Clara was very surprising…but also very confusing. I can understand why that makes sense, but on the other hand, it felt a bit contrived in some ways. Especially since they did kill Clara two episodes back, and then brought her back to reveal she’s the Hybrid? Also, if this was planned for a while, how did the Doctor not realize that he and Clara were in fact the Hybrid? Like I said earlier, dissected and scrutinized.
But let’s not lose ourselves in what can’t be explained, but rather what can. The Doctor is now free from his past in many ways. He has no “clear” memories of Clara. He has his Tardis back, and a new Sonic Screwdriver (which I’m totally going to get!). With almost no recent history to tie him down, you have to wonder what he’ll do next (after the Christmas Special), and who he’ll run into next.
All in all, the finale was special. It did things many probably didn’t expect, or even think to expect. You thought Gallifrey would be the focus, but it was in fact a big distraction. This was about The Doctor and Clara, and this time, their chapter is truly closed.
Now run you clever boy, and be a Doctor!