Sunday, May 19, 2013

Doctor Who: The Name of the Doctor

“The show must never feel old. It must always feel brand new, and a 50th anniversary can play against that. The show must be seen to be going forward. It's all about the next 50 years, not about the last 50 years. If you start putting a full stop on it, if you start thinking it's all about nostalgia, then you're finished. It's about moving forward. The Doctor is moving forward as he always does, and he wants to solve the mystery of Clara. He's not thinking about all his previous incarnations and his previous adventures, he's thinking about the future. And that, for me, is important.” – Steven Moffat

I don’t always agree with Moffat, and my initial reaction to this statement was, “This is just his rationalization for not including the classic Doctors in the 50th!” But I thought on it, and then thought some more, and realized that wasn’t what he was addressing. No producer of Doctor Who wants to see the show die on their watch. A big part of the Who producer’s job – even if it’s not implicitly stated in the contract – is to keep the show healthy, and keep it moving forward, so that there’s something for the next person to work with.

“The Name of the Doctor” is that kind of story. It’s less about summing up this season, and more about looking towards the future by showing us the Doctor’s eventual fate, revealed by pointing the spotlight on the place his remains will end up at the close of his mind-bogglingly long life. The death of the Doctor is of paramount importance at this stage of Doctor Who, and it’s central to this particular story in which numerous characters die and are brought back to life, which I didn’t care for, but we’ll get to that. Right now I want to discuss a specific fanxiety I’ve felt since the series started again in 2005, and how “The Name of the Doctor” has helped alleviate it to a degree.

Read the entire recap for Doctor Who's Season Seven finale by clicking here and visiting Vulture.