Jodie Whittaker has ended her time as The Doctor in a jammed packed 90-minute whirlwind of past, present and future.
The return of some familiar faces is heart-warming and (don’t) blink and you’ll miss it; easter eggs keep you glued to the screen. This was a victory lap, topped with a stunning regeneration scene.
While I will say that the thirteenth doctor hasn’t had the best run, with clunky storylines and being overshadowed at times, I can say most long-time Doctor Who fans will genuinely enjoy this episode. One of the best in years and a fitting send-off, Whittaker glowed gold in her final appearance as the 13th doctor, though I wouldn’t be surprised if she makes a cameo in the 14th tenure.
Warning – This article contains spoilers.
Now to the episode itself. From a grand total of eight doctors, nine companions and three of the doctors’ archenemies at a time, I thought the episode was maybe fast-paced or not fully developed at times, but overall a great addition to Whitakers run as the doctor.
This episode is kind of incredible just for the scale of what it tries to do, and so stuffed with easter eggs and nods to the past that I probably didn’t catch half of them. Jodie Whittaker brings a light to the role that she always does and glows gold.
Sacha Dhawan stole the show as everybody’s favourite campy antagonist, The Master. The Dance break to Boney M’s ‘Rasputin’ really lightens the tone from the destruction of the universe, a costume change into the classic 7th doctor garb and having all the best lines, he really is a joy to watch, and it’d be a shame if he disappeared with 13.
The long intro feels like a finale from the start and makes us feel at home. Dan (John Bishop) is funny for the brief comic relief that he is (I confess I never saw much of the last season) but at least the writers remember his house had been shrunk. I much preferred the fun addition and the nod to Graham’s (Bradley Walsh) past with the support group answering the question of what happens after the Doctor leaves you behind. It is here we also get cameos from Jo, Ian and Mel respectively talking about the memories with their doctor and Ian quipping “wait you said her”.
The Doctors’ cameos with McGann, McCoy, Davidson, Hartnell and Baker morphing into each other with sage advice saying “We aren’t finished yet”, and the touching reunions between the 7th doctor and Ace and the 6th doctor and Tegan. It did make me well up, especially with last time Tegan saw the cybermen, she couldn’t save everyone.
Now I mean the holographic AI chip in her shoulder – oh look who clever we are, not quite Moffatt levels of smug but alas. I also can’t help but feeling slightly queer-baity about the whole ‘Yaz (Mandip Gill) loves the Doctor, but the Doctor can’t or won’t do anything about it’, they never got the happy ending they deserve, leaving on that tease.
I think recently Chibnall has vastly improved episodes, which has always looked incredible visually but often fall flat. Hindsight is a great thing, and Doctor Who is usually received better the more it ages. Sunday’s episode still gives off that familiar warmth that we know and love.
“Someone tell me what the hell is going on here?”
Let’s address the elephant in the room, deep breaths…
Everybody’s favourite new gen mischief maker, David Tennant’s 10th doctor is finally returning to the role as my generation’s equivalent of Tom Baker. I was waiting patiently and as we neared the end; I was getting worried. But fear not; what’s one more cameo in this episode, especially for a fan favourite. We see 10 in a similar but different outfit from his trademark waistcoat, trench, and converse but almost older, sharper, a new lease of life. He looked baffled in this new form, but the specials will explain that in the 60th anniversary specials which also feature Cribbins and loudmouth companion, Donna (Katherine Tate).
I am very excited about what Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa will bring to the role, as a fan of his and the show. After the glimpse of the newest iteration in that teaser trailer, I think we’ll be in for a good performance and maybe bring the young crowd back to Doctor Who which it obviously needs. After him saying “Someone tell me what the hell is going on here?”, who knows? But I for one am very excited to find out.
Featured Image Credit: BBC