Doctor Who - "The Doctor Falls" - The Spoiler-Free Review

Doctor Who - "The Doctor Falls" - The Spoiler-Free Review

As you can see from the history of my blog lately, I haven’t posted a lot; Doctor Who reviews from this season have mostly been a spoiler-free review I offered for “The Pilot” and that’s it. I decided to catch the finale considering the entire world was already spoiled with the return of John Simm’s Master and the original 1960’s Cybermen as well the exit of pretty much all of showrunner Steven Moffat’s supporting characters (Missy, Bill Potts, Nardole, etc). The result is a rather good finale, with perhaps maybe a few missteps.

This entire season has literally been essentially an RTD retro-fit; the pacing of the stories, the witty banter between the Doctor and his companions and the complicated relationship The Doctor has with his greatest enemy, The Master. I found myself right around the beginning of Series 6 feeling as if the bottom was dropping out of the show as Moffat began to invest more in the timey-wimey than he did in any kind of emotional impact; Series 6 just seemed too invested in River Song’s story and Series 7 felt a little all over the place.

I attempted to watch the show when Peter Capaldi arrived, but it seemed like Moffat started obsessing with removing the Doctor of any sort of personality and making him dress and sound like Edgar Allan Poe. With “The Return Of Doctor Mysterio”, it felt like Steven Moffat was pulling his head out of his butt and actually making real Doctor Who episodes. Technically a bit of the old gloom and doom bits pop-up in this finale, but only because it serves the story.

There have been discussions since the airing of this episode that this felt similar to the Tenth Doctor’s exit in “The End Of Time” two-parter. In that finale, much like “The Doctor Falls”, The Doctor comes to terms with the price for his life as an immortal timelord and his sometimes-reckless choices. One of the more powerful bits of the former two-parter was his own sacrifice in the name of helping someone else; that bit makes a return here with more restraint and no over-powered (though I did like Vale Decem) orchestra sending off The Doctor.

Nardole’s exit here was a bit of a throwaway, but a welcome surprise. I was under the impression that Nardole’s arrival was not met with the greatest of fan responses. I didn’t really get him when he arrived in “The Husbands Of River Song”; then again, any episode where River Song appears tends to push everyone – including the Doctor, to supporting roles.

Back to Capaldi.

I will miss his Doctor and feel like he became like Peter Davison’s Doctor in that he was a misfire in the beginning with the way his Doctor was written and finally came into his own with his final season. “The Doctor Falls” along with “The Return Of Doctor Mysterio” really are the best Moffat has ever put out for Capaldi’s Doctor and I wish he fired out more like that for him.

The stage has been set for the regeneration of the 12th Doctor in the upcoming Christmas Special, although it’s not without a rather shocking surprise. I won’t tell you what that is as I’m sure you’d rather find out yourself, but it had me excited for his final episode. Here’s to hoping Moffat doesn’t let us down.

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