PodKast Previews Matt Smith’s Final Episode The Time of the Doctor

The Time of the Doctor

This week, we set our sights on Christmas Day and Matt Smith’s sad departure from #DoctorWho. It is, indeed, The Time of the Doctor, and there is much to discuss…

Also, look out for news of Brian Terranova’s new Doctor Who/Torchwood fan film series as well as the latest on our Daleks’ Master Plan graphic novel and our usual recommendations. We also take a look back at 2013 and our favourite Doctor Who moments from the last 12 months (with one stipulation: no 50th anniversary stuff).

James rant warning: lovers of Gallifrey should be aware that in this week James McLean has a bee in his bonnet about fans who want to see Gallifrey fully restored. Be warned…


Incidentally, if you are listening on iTunes, leave a rating and review and help us to bring in new listeners to the podKast!

10 thoughts on “PodKast Previews Matt Smith’s Final Episode The Time of the Doctor

  1. Hating Gallifrey is beside the point. It is a just a reflection of the way the government is viewed by the zeitgeist. In the 60’s (as seen by the people doing the writing) most people believed that government was basically good and powerful enough to effect meaningful change (Wargames).

    By the mid to late 70’s a new view of the government as officious, bumbling drones is what people see. It’s no coincidence that this period coincides with the rise of the conservative movement and our view as government as inefficient and obstructive..

    Flash forward to our current view. Government is full of guilty, evil bastards or enablers who are unable to stop it from the wicked things that it does. Only the military still has honor.

    You basically get the Gallifrey you deserve.

    1. It’s an interesting perspective. I think its certainly an academic argument, I’m not sure I believe it’s an accurate one.I think where you hit the nail is on the analysis of the 70s – I think the writing there could be, and often was, with Holmes and Hulke etc, very social-political trended. I think the zeitgeist model of Government is very much reflected in the 70s. born from the rational of a proactive anti-establishment British hero, it made sense his antithesis would be a establishment of a British class, that proved inactivity was the lesser evil.
      I think for the 60s, I personally feel the idea is more simple – a logical extension of the story. The Doctor’s is running from his own people, the Doctor is the most iconic, unique and powerful person in the show’s narrative, he meddles… his people ergo would need to be more power, more inactive – and perhaps passive personalities you could have. They are really the juxtaposition to the Doctor than imo a social political model. If you are a passionate meddling man on the run, a passive, inactive, powerful society makes sense. Is that a reflection on the 60s? I’m thinking as I type, well maybe, perhaps so far as Doctor Who became to some degree perhaps an extension of the free thinking movement of the era, so perhaps one could argue by extension if the Doctor becomes a measure of the anti-establishment trend, perhaps Gallifrey is the establishment.
      By End of Time, I would say its not an example of social political means or motivations, perhaps more an example how as a society and as writers, we no longer look to the good/evil model in war. Perhaps, again to argue your point, you could say real life does reinforce that idea; the Iraq war was a “just” war was promoted by media and leaders, but the population didn’t fall into line with that model, perhaps we’d outgrown it. In war, good and evil blurs. One could argue that Gallifrey is an example of that, I’d say its probably a more simple extension again of the show’s logic. A Time War with the Daleks, on equal grounds would be considered with a more matured intelligence in writing and audiences, a tough one to do as a magnanimous force for good. Genesis of the Daleks showed where that very line blurred for the Doctor and he refused to step over it.
      I’m not totally disagreeing with your point, more expanding on it as I think it over. Really interesting reply.

    2. I couldn’t agree more. When friends who are non-Whovians ask me about the show – they usually choose to watch it for the first time when there’s a lot of “inside baseball” (or do you say inside cricket in the UK?) references to Gallifrey and the Time Lords – I’ve found that the best way to sum up them up is to say “the Time Lords are an allegory for the British government, or senseless bureaucracy in general”.

      As to what we can expect from the rediscovery & resurrection of Gallifrey, it’s anyone’s guess. If the Grand Moff insists on remaining at the helm, even though it’s fairly apparent by now that his heart belongs to “Sherlock”, I think we can expect the search to take at least a full season, possibly even two, stringing us along with hints & breadcrumbs to the point that the search becomes a running gag; with the conclusion coming in the final 5-10 minutes of an episode, followed immediately by the Doctor saying “oh well” and running off again. I can’t see Gallifrey, its people or its government ever playing a major role in future episodes, but rather have the Council popping up ever now and then to scold the Doctor and/or to act as some impediment to him setting things right in what ever human/alien problem the Doctor has taken it upon himself to resolve.

      1. In my mind, I think the quest for Gallifrey is like peace in the middle east. Something to strive for, work for but one shouldn’t expect it anytime soon. Like Quantum Leap, he’s gotta try and get home, but not soon and it’s not the focus of every episode.(yes, I saw the final episode)

        But since the Christmas episode, we know that Gallifrey is active, wherever they are and trying to get back, Just who is in charge is unanswered as is what they would be like.

        I think Steven Moffat should leave that to his successor, whoever and whenever that is to resolve.

  2. Yes, that’s pretty much what I am getting at with “End of Time.” With the current leadership in the west, you have to wonder how much like our enemy are we willing to become? Clearly the High Council belevies that it must be as awful as the Daleks to win. I do think that part of the reason that the High Council acted like such asses was too help justify the Doctor’s actions in burning them all (sort of justification for genocide). Of course, as as Day of the Doctor pointed out, you can’t just get the bad ones.

    I would say though that the Daleks are about as close as one can get to absolute evil. They have no redeeming values at all. By contrast, even a bunch of megalomaniacs seem to be on the side of the angels.

    Going back to the 60’s I do agree that part of the way they are portrayed flows directly from the needs of the story as you say. They do need to be more powerful but they are also portrayed as nearly omniscient and benevolent. They could just as easily have been portrayed as capricious jerks and the the story would still have been served. I think people expected good and relatively powerful government. The great unity of WWII was only 20 or so years in the mirror after all.

    I can give you another example of this kind thing. Look at the difference between Captain Kirk and Captain Picard and how they resolve conflict. Kirk swaggers around the deck, knows best, breaks rules if he needs to and is ALWAYS in the right. Picard on the other hand follows rules even when it is a terrible idea, he build consensus, he talks it out and while he seldom has a resounding victory he usually walks away with something. Kirk is reflection of America’s belief in it’s exceptionalism in the way the Picard is a recognition of it’s value. Indeed as the STTNG goes on you start to shadow governemnts, spec ops teams and lots of other fractures in the “big happy fleet”.

    Also, I’m not saying these are conscious choice, for the most part anyway, but rather the way the writers of the times view the world and the stories they write for it.

    1. should be: “Kirk is reflection of America’s belief in it’s exceptionalism in the way the Picard is a recognition of it’s failure.”

      Stoopid autocorrect!

  3. It’s interesting that you mention Genesis of the Daleks. I watched that the other week and I wondered if every Doctor from 8 on cursed number 4 for staying his hand. A little more ruthlessness on Tom Baker’s part and no time war. I wonder if the Doctor every regrets that moment of self doubt and mercy.

    1. I recall Davies saying he saw Genesis as the catalyst for the Time War, and I assume by extension, the Hand of Omega being used to destroy Skaro must have been an early example of how Time Lord intervention had brought the Daleks into a far more Gallifrey fixated antagonism. Destroying Skaro must have pushed full scale war closer. In such regards, it would be very interesting to see how Doctor 8 onwards views 4 and 7, from two different ends of the spectrum, one’s refusal to commit to genocide resulting in the Time War, the other’s active potential genocide surely exasperating the conflict!

  4. Where can I hear the Tardis on Teeside broadcast you spoke of? There are no links I can see as promised 🙁 I saw an iplayer version at the BBC site but Americans can’t access iplayer content…

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