‘Doctor Who’ Christmas Special review: Matt Smith is now Peter Capaldi; season 8 wait begins

On this fine Christmas Day, we had a chance to catch the “Doctor Who” Christmas Special, and we personally imagine now that it will be forever remembered as something more than just a typical holiday special. This was one of the most poignant, heartbreaking episodes that the series has had. Easily, it was the most moving moment since the end of David Tennant’s time on the show, as we saw Matt Smith say goodbye, and Peter Capaldi entered the world as the 12th Doctor. (Capaldi’s presence was brief, but you could feel that there was something old and new to his version of the character.)

As for how The Doctor is still alive, this was one of “The Time of The Doctor’s” many beautiful moments: It was largely thanks to Clara. The Companion was more than just that, and it was a beautiful moment from Steven Moffat to have this character, who is rarely treated like an equal in any capacity, be the person to turn the tide. It was Jenna Coleman’s performance that really sold how she managed to convince the Time Lords to lend a helping hand, and allow The Doctor to persevere for another cycle.

But while The Doctor lives, he’s hardly the same man that he once was. While his memory is intact, Smith’s version left us with a message that is appropriate for almost any Christmas: Love those close to you, and accept the fact that we as humans are going to change. Everything has a beginning and an end, and you are better served to keep affection and remembrance for all of your former selves. It was with this quote, coupled by the wonderful surprise cameo of Karen Gillan as Amy Pond (brilliant that this never leaked to the press), that really started to get the tear ducts going. This Doctor did not forget how he began, and he will not forget how he said goodbye. He cherished Clara, even if he may not have loved her in the same exact way that she loved him, even after centuries aboard Trenzalore. Together, they changed the future, and now a universe of possibility awaits.

There are times when we can understand the critics saying that perhaps this series doesn’t always make sense, or that it can fall in love at times too much with its own past; but whatever problems there were in “The Time of The Doctor,” the beauty that was there in the closing scenes made it impossible to notice them. This was one of the greatest episodes of the series to us, and one that we will cherish for many centuries to come. It’s rare at CarterMatt for us to give out a perfect grade, but an hour of television that leaves us so emotional affected, and also allows us to internalize and remember why we love this show so, proves itself to be more than worth it. Grade: A+.

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