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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews The Doctor Who Series 13 Finale: The Power Of The Doctor!

October 24th, 2022 by Todd Black Comments

And so ends the life of another Doctor. For me, this is my third. Smith was my first, then Capaldi, then Ms. Jodie Whittaker. Oh, and to be clear, I got to see all of NuWho thanks to Netflix, it was quite a summer binge. Anyway, both Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi had dynamic and unique exits for their runs. But the question honestly was, would Whittaker get her chance to shine in the end? I’ve loved Whittaker’s Doctor since the moment she fell from the sky, but the writing for her run wasn’t consistent, and many have made that known and felt. So “The Power of the Doctor” had a lot of pressure on it. Did it deliver? Mostly.

I’ll start off with the good because there was a lot of it when it was allowed to shine. For example, as part of the centennial celebration for BBC, they went all out to make it clear how Doctor Who had been around for quite a long time. It was the 60th celebration in its own right for the series, and they showed it in the most beautiful way…by bringing back past Doctors! The 1st Doctor (via the modern age’s take via David Bradley), 5th Doctor, the 6th Doctor, the 7th Doctor, the 8th Doctor…and one more I’ll get to later. I know some of us are likely mad we didn’t get Smith and Capaldi to show up for a cameo, but in this rare case, it’s better they didn’t show up. They were the “original Doctors” from the original run of the show (plus the TV movie with McGann). They were where the series stopped and then “NuWho” came after that. So it was poetic for them to be in the “Doctor’s consciousness” and guide Jodie’s version.

Plus, it allowed for some beautiful moments. Because aside from the Doctors, we got the return of two classic companions via Tegan and Ace, both of whom had complicated feelings about their Doctor, and the one they now met in the “present” and they got the resolution they deserved. Seeing “their Doctors” interact with them and note how they were so proud of them, and that they would never forget them was very touching. I only knew of their adventures from special looks at the Doctors, but seeing them interact was special. And for those fans who had watched their adventures, it served as the perfect epilogue for their adventures as a whole.

Jodie, I must say, was in top form. I honestly worry that she won’t be as fondly remembered as she should be due to the quality of the episode’s themselves. But make no mistake, she’s a great Doctor, and she showed it here. There were multiple scenes in “Power of the Doctor” where she shined, even when she was just a holographic AI! Plus, her “goodbye” with Yaz, and the sunset ending was great. “Tag. You’re it.” felt so perfect for her. I will miss her dearly, and I hope we don’t have to wait another 50+ years for another female Doctor!

The other part of the ending, with the “Companion’s Anonymous” group was honestly rather brilliant. Graham bringing everyone together from the past was great. And I hope that this isn’t the only time we see such a group, because there are a lot of stories that could be done with them. Including the Doctor calling them all together not unlike what happened at one of the endpoints of a certain NuWho Doctor’s run.

As for the overall plot of the episode, it felt like a Doctor Who episode. I definitely felt it was the strongest of the “three specials” we got this year. And there were moments that were both powerful and terrifying. The Cyber Masters were nice with their regeneration powers. The Lone Cyberman’s return (despite him being a clone) was a nice touch and added extra menace to Kate’s capture. And The Master “becoming” The Doctor for a brief time was a nice touch and definitely felt like something they would do to try and finally win.

Sadly, there were some down points that couldn’t be ignored. And while I know it’ll be a hot take: The Master is one of them. From the moment that this new Master was unveiled in Jodie’s run…I was miffed. Don’t forget, the bulk of Capaldi’s run had him dealing with “The Mistress,” and it ended with her killing herself and a previous Master to save The Doctor. Then, all of a sudden, this new Master shows up and none of that mattered. Ok… It didn’t really add anything, and now, that’s two Doctor’s back-to-back that died due to The Master in some shape or form. Plus, because of the length between this ending and the last time we saw The Master, I don’t understand how he killed her. I don’t recall that device, it’s been that long. And it honestly made things feel cheap for Jodie because she was a”one-hit-KO.”

Furthermore, due to us “knowing what came next,” we knew that The Master wouldn’t stay as The Doctor. And it was frankly a bit too easy for it to be reversed. Further cheapening both the plot and the resulting death of both characters.

Plus, there were many moments that were just…there, and we were just expected to be ok with them. Like the return of a character from Nexus who just “happened to show up from a wormhole.” Ok… Or a Dalek traitor (which Jodie’s Doctor wasn’t buying despite what happened in Capaldi’s run with Rusty). Or Graham just showing up right where Ace happened to be, and so on. There’s random, and then there’s random ladies and gentlemen.

I also have to note that while I did love “companion’s anonymous,” there are a LOT of fans who aren’t going to understand some of those deep cut references. I didn’t know that Ian, for example, was the first companion of the Doctor. Some might recognize Katy Manning, but maybe not Bonnie Langford. That scene was very much for older fans who “get the reference.” And I was grateful they elaborated more on Ace and Teagan otherwise they would’ve been just window-dressing.

Finally, there are the two newest companions, both of whom I felt got the shaft. Dan going out right at the beginning was honestly jarring. I had whiplash and was like, “Wait, what?” As for Yaz, they built up Jodie’s Doctor and her having an “emotional moment” together, and maybe even having them kiss (which would be a first for the series in terms of female characters, I could be wrong about that.) But instead…all we got was them having ice cream and looking at the Earth. Given what they did with Nexus and having Yaz admit to Dan that she loves Jodie’s Doctor, and then nothing really coming from it…made me sad. Yaz was a great companion, she deserved more than, “Let’s not say goodbye.”

…oh, you thought I forgot about the REAL ending? I didn’t. I’m honestly not sure what to think about it. Jodie’s regeneration into David Tennant’s form was…a choice. Some will be happy, no doubt, as he’s one of the most popular Doctor’s ever. But it’s raising all sorts of questions. Ones that we won’t get an answer for until November 2023! That’s a long wait! Another fault of this current series to be honest. It’s already been confirmed that Tennant is “the 14th Doctor” while the upcoming Ncuti Gatwa will be the 15th Doctor. Tennant will star in three episodes next November, but to what end? It’s all very confusing, and very Doctor Who.

In the end, “The Power of the Doctor” had its moments and strong points. But sadly, they went for some deep cuts of nostalgia, and telegraphed the plot to the extent that certain moments lost their value and punch. Still, I felt it was a nice end to Jodie Whittaker’s run. I wish her the best, and hope she gets to come back eventually. After all, if others’ could come back, why not her?


Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!