“What I did, I did without choice, in the name of peace and sanity.”
“But not in the name of the Doctor!”
— The Doctor and… the Doctor?
At last, the Doctor’s greatest secret is revealed. Not his name, or the reason he left Gallifrey — but rather that he has been hiding an entire persona, apparently even from himself.
That never-before-seen face (John Hurt’s face, to be precise) was hidden way down deep at the bottom of the Doctor’s mind, and now Clara knows about it. The reveal of a previously unknown incarnation of the Doctor has shattering repercussions — only the very least being the potential renumbering of the faces we’ve already seen.
We’re down to one last precious episode in series seven, and by all indications it’s a doozy! “The Name of the Doctor” promises to reveal the Time Lord’s greatest secret. I’m just wondering if we fans are jumping to conclusions when we assume that big secret is his name. Still, I love the way Dr. Simeon (Richard E. Grant) challenges him: “What is your name?”
Anyway, to get you psyched for the big show, let’s look at the episode trailers, beginning with the BBC’s “Next Time” tease…
And, for the home team, the BBC America trail…
Is it Saturday night yet?
Could DOCTOR WHO show-runner Steven Moffat be out of ideas already? At first blush, this story looks like a reworking of the 10th Doctor story “The Idiot’s Lantern,” in which a malevolent alien intelligence sucks human faces (and energy) into the then-new technology known as television. In this story, a malevolent alien intelligence sucks human minds into the new technology known as wi-fi. But despite appearances, that impression could not be more wrong.
In fact, Moffat and his partner-in-crime, Matt Smith, are at the height of their powers. Moffat has a firm grasp on the creative direction of not only this season but his entire era as the guiding force of DOCTOR WHO, and Smith has made role so completely his own that it is almost hard to imagine anyone else playing the Doctor. Smith inhabits the role so completely that it’s hard to tell where he ends and the Doctor begins. The result is a perfect storm of creativity, with Moffat serving up big, inspiring stories that Smith knocks out of the park. They are not all perfect, but working together, Moffat and Smith are crafting some of the best DOCTOR WHO stories ever and forging one of the great eras in the programs history. They are the Lennon-McCarthy of DOCTOR WHO.
This is not our Doctor. Not our Matt Smith.
This sullen, withdrawn, fatigued Doctor is not the same man who cheerfully battled Daleks and rode a triceratops like a pony. This Doctor is grieving. This Doctor is pain, and he cannot heal himself. He is a man in crisis. He is a man in hiding. Since when does the Doctor hide?
The morose shift in personality is due to the loss of Amy — and Rory, but… Amy — in the last story, when the Weeping Angels sent them into the past to live themselves to death. Now the Doctor has given in to his pain and doesn’t want to want watch any more companions die — by violence or by simply outliving them. He hates endings. He’s literally hiding from his past in London’s past while nursing two broken hearts.
At least for the Christmas Special, this is the most informative trailer yet released. As short as it is, most of the scenes are brand-new, we hear Sir Ian McKellen’s voice in character (Minor spoiler: It’s awesome!), and we get a sense of how Jenna-Louise Coleman’s Clara behaves.
My favorite part was the bit about Clara dragging the Doctor (Matt Smith) by the hand. (“That’s always me!” Hilarious.) From all the talk of snow, one might expect the episode’s logline to be “Winter Is Coming” — but apparently that one is already taken.
From this and all the other clips and photos seen so far, it would appear that Richard E. Grant does nothing but sneer in this episode; he’s a better actor than that. I really like the music used in this clip; is it from the episode?
DOCTOR WHO’s Xmas present arrives in America at 9 p.m. on BBC America on Christmas Day.
Now we know a tiny bit more about this winter’s DOCTOR WHO Christmas Special — and it’s all good stuff! We already knew the episode would introduce the Doctor’s newest assistant (possibly named Clara), but whom will the new combo be pitted against?
The baddie will be played by none other than erstwhile Ninth Doctor himself, Richard E. Grant! Grant, who voiced the ninth incarnation of the Doctor for the BBC-authorized audio adventure Scream of the Shalka during the Wilderness Years, is probably best known for starring in the movie Withnail and I, but he also has another tie to the DW universe. He played the “Quite Handsome Doctor” in Steven Moffat’s first foray into Who, “The Curse of the Fatal Death.”