Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Clock is Striking Twelve's: An Overanalysis of the "Time of the Doctor" Trailer (and Other Tidbits)

If this Silent isn't actually singing in this pose in the episode, then that's just a wasted opportunity.

I haven't talked about "The Time of the Doctor" lately, mainly because of the spoilers that were leaked in The Sun a few weeks ago.  I haven't read the entire list of spoilers, just the summary on  If there are more spoilers in the actual article than what I've read, I don't want to know about them.  I regret what I've read so far.  Granted, a lot of the things in the Sun have been confirmed by the BBC since then, but a few things have not been confirmed.  So I know of about two things that are alleged behind-the-scenes spoilers that have not come out from official sources.  I decided not to put them in this blog.  This blog has a spoiler warning, but that's because I try to dig out things that have been released by the BBC and the producers, not stuff they're trying to save as surprises for us for when we watch the episode.  I trust that if it's been released by the BBC, then it's not something that's going to truly spoil my enjoyment of the episode.  Just the chapter titles, like River would say.  Then I try to guess what's going to happen next.  But I'm not going to try to ruin episodes for you.

Also, whoever told the Sun these spoilers failed to even mention the Silence, who are clearly in this episode, so take the Sun with a grain of salt anyway.

But that doesn't mean there isn't still a ton of shit to analyze.  The recent issue of Doctor Who Magazine, which is completely legit, gives me plenty to work with.  Not to mention the new trailer.

It's Not Susan

In my last blog, I insisted that the actress Orla Brady was going to be playing Susan in this special.  This is because her character, named "Tasha Lem," is supposed to be someone from the Doctor's past.
Well, DWM squashed that hope in my heart.  This is what it said:

"Tasha Lem is an old friend and someone from the Doctor’s distant past. Someone who knows him very well, but we have never met. She’s the Mother Superious of the Papal Mainframe."

So it can't be Susan or Jenny.  But...Susan's mother, perhaps?

The Trailer

The trailer is badass.  It confirms the basic plot revealed in the Sun spoilers:  The Doctor must fight a siege on a town called Christmas (the town's name has been confirmed elsewhere) on Trenzalore from a combined onslaught from the Daleks, Cybermen, Weeping Angels, and Silence.

I have to give Doctor Who TV credit for figuring out something about the trailer that I should have found blatantly obvious:  the Daleks say "The Doctor is regenerating."  Why is this weird?  The Daleks shouldn't know who the fuck the Doctor is!  Totally forgot about that.  What's changed since the end of "Asylum of the Daleks."

Why are these 4 species working together in the siege?  It seems highly improbable.  The Daleks and Cybermen don't get along, as seen in "Doomsday"--although they worked together well enough in "The Pandorica Opens."  The Angels don't really communicate with other species, and they have to murder someone and rip out their voicebox to even do that.  And the Silence are supposed to be trying to keep the Doctor from ever getting to Trenzalore, so I don't know why they're joining in.

On a more symbolic level, though, they represent the best of the old and new villains.  Off the top of my head, I'm pretty sure that the Daleks and the Cybermen are the only active villains remaining on the show who originated in 1st Doctor episodes.  The Angels and the Silence are probably the most iconic of the villains that have originated from the new series, or, at the very least, from Moffat's episodes.  It's pretty appropriate that these four should be the ones to take down the Eleventh Doctor.

The Silence

The Silence are my favorite Doctor Who villain of all time.  They terrified me in the most fun way imaginable.  I had nightmares about them, and then tried to go back to sleep so I could continue the nightmares because I was really enjoying them.  So I was thrilled to hear that they were coming back.  There are still a lot of questions about them that have yet to be answered.

And one that I thought was answered, that apparently was not.

Moffat has told us recently that we should be asking why they're called The Silence.  Um, I thought we covered that.  They're a religious order, or sect, named after their primary belief, that "Silence will fall when the question is asked."  Wait, there's more than that?  I have no idea what that could possibly be.


Doctor Who Magazine says this episode will have a "fair bit" of nudity.  Uh...say what?

Regeneration Breakdown

It seems that, almost daily, I see another new article on my Facebook feed about an interview with Moffat where he either confirms that Matt Smith is the 13th Doctor, technically, or he re-explains the numbering to us.  Maybe some casual fans might still be confused, but if you're enough of a fan that you're looking up interviews, haven't you figured this out a while ago?  Eccleston was the 10th regeneration, but since True 9 didn't call himself "The Doctor," True 9 doesn't count in the numbering.  Tennant's Doctor regenerated without actually changing his face, which makes him technically the 11th and 12th regenerations.  Matt Smith is 13, and therefore the final regeneration, so the regeneration problem will have to be addressed in the special.  Doctor Who Magazine even confirmed this by releasing a small section of the script:
CLARA: But you don’t die. You change – you pop right back with a new face.
THE DOCTOR: Not forever. I can change 12 times. 13 versions of me. 13 silly Doctors.
CLARA: But you’re number eleven, so -
THE DOCTOR: Are we forgetting Captain Grumpy? I didn’t call myself the Doctor during the Time War, but it was still a regeneration.
 There's not even a question of it anymore.  The 13 Doctors Problem will be addressed this Christmas!

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