Friday, December 29, 2017

Doctor Who - Twice Upon a Time

"Twice Upon a Time" concludes the run of Peter Capaldi as The Doctor in a Christmas special that reunites the Time Lord with his first incarnation (played by David Bradley). The 2017 Christmas special also marks Steven Moffat's departure as Doctor Who's showrunner. Bringing together the Twelfth Doctor and the First Doctor, both of whom are refusing to regenerate, offers some amusing moments - particularly in Bradley's non-politically-correct comments (although the episode goes to the well for these jokes at least once too often). Mark Gatiss is well-cast as the confused WWI soldier out of time, even if it was far, far too obvious to guess the the man's familial connection to The Doctor. The episode also brings back Bill (Pearl Mackie), Nardole (Matt Lucas), and Clara (Jenna Coleman) as avatars of Testimony (a futuristic computer filled with memories which, since it isn't part of an evil plot, The Doctor struggles with knowing what to make of it).

Like Capaldi's run, his final episode offers amusing moments while lasting bit longer than necessary. As has been the case for every Doctor since David Tennant, the episode drags out the regeneration sequence and final goodbyes before teasing us with the first appearance at the next actor to play the role (Jodie Whittaker). While I don't envy Whittaker having to try and bring together a fractured fanbase whose interest in the show seems to be waning, I do think her casting allows for Doctor Who to attempt stories from a slightly different perspective (although having done some of this with The Master last season does undercut the change a bit). As to Bradley, I quite enjoyed his take on the First Doctor and would gladly watch more of him should Doctor Who decide to remake some of the "lost" episodes with him.

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