Villordsutch reviews Doctor Who – Twice Upon a Time …
Here it is, an ending and a new beginning. The Cloister Bell is chiming in the Doctor Who Christmas Special 2017 for both Peter Capaldi and Steven Moffat, as both gentlemen have served their time in the TARDIS and now comes a change. For Doctor Who fans a regeneration is always an important happening, but this is pretty major; Tom Baker’s words – from way back in 1980 – have finally been taken seriously with this important metamorphosis.
As we observed at the end of The Doctor Falls the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) has begun his regeneration cycle, though due to him wanting to continue to live as the 12th, he’s refusing to allow his Gallifreyan biology to takeover. Oddly enough elsewhere – at the same time – the First Doctor (David Bradley) has also begun his regeneration and he too is refusing this process. With the Time Lords appearing at the South Pole, they soon enter into discussion only to be interrupted by a World War I Captain (Mark Gatiss), who has been torn from battle by a mysterious Glass Woman and then promptly deposited in front of both Doctors.
With this rogue military quandary now arriving at the South Pole, the Doctors are distracted from their regeneration situation. Their problems rapidly escalate when the TARDIS and it occupants are hooked and pulled into the Glass Woman’s ship, where she offers a trade and an ecstatic Bill Potts (Pearl Mackie) is brought to the Doctor, explaining how and why she is no longer a Cyberman. With the mystery of the Glass Woman puzzling the Doctors they make a quick exit; leaving the Twelfth’s TARDIS behind and using the First Doctor’s TARDIS instead, their destination is the most dangerous repository of information in the universe.
With a World War I Captain to return to a war, two regenerations to sort out, a mysterious Glass Woman constantly hounding them and Bill Potts reunited with the Twelfth Doctor at his final hours, this has become a very busy day for our Time Lord who in truth wanted to be alone to contemplate his remaining moments.
This is a curious episode – curious for it lacks practically quite a bit to do with Christmas. Yes there’s snow within it, however we’re at the South Pole so that’s there by default, and yes there is a Christmas moment within it, but if we’re being totally honest this an extra long Doctor Who episode given to us on Christmas Day.
This is not to say that it’s a bad episode, and I have enjoyed the last outing of the Twelfth and Bill Potts. Steven Moffat managed to capture mystery, humour and – as ever with Peter Capaldi – time and tired wisdom within the hour. Though I can see more people talking about the fantastic moments which involve David Bradley portraying an ever so slight pompous First Doctor, especially when it comes to his views of the woman’s role within the TARDIS.
But was this a Christmas episode? In the past we’ve seen true tie-ins to Christmas, but not here. I bet if we looked close enough at the front cover of the script we’d see Series 10 Episode 13 typed in the middle.
Twice Upon a Time is a great slice of Doctor Who, it just lacks the a chunk of Yule Log and a dash of Ho Ho Ho. All this being said I’m now extremely sad to see Peter Capaldi leave, for I feel he’s been an excellent Doctor, and along with this Pearl Mackie is leaving and Steven Moffat too. I hope both Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall know how big the shoes are that they have to fill.
Doctor Who Christmas Special “Twice Upon A Time” airs on Christmas Day over on BBC One at 5:30pm.