Um, I'm just going to put it out here, but I don't like what Moffat's doing to Doctor Who right now. (Season 5 was mostly good though.) Now before you rush to yell and cry at me, please read ahead before assuming things. Firstly, Moffat's individual or two part episodes in RTD's era were always part of my "fave DW episodes per season" list. I am also a huge fan of Sherlock and his writing with Gatiss in that is exceptional. I have no doubt that Moffat is a talented writer with exceptional storytelling skills.
But this Christmas special just was the peak of mediocrity.
Revelations about the Silence and the Church and the cracks were fantastic and tied the series up nicely, however they would have been better resolved in Seasons 6 and 7. Season 7 itself was also terribly mediocre, apart from Asylum of the Daleks and the 2012 Christmas special. I think Moffat would really have benefited in his writing to move some of the scenes in The Time of the Doctor to earlier seasons.
So onto this episode itself. Parallels between Clara and Rose in the finale of Season 1 were evident, as well as nods to the aging of Tenth in the Season 3 finale. Not surprising, as honestly I think Moffat's purpose with Clara is to create another Rose Tyler, but often she comes across as a Martha Jones type character (I feel like Clara, though YES she is not as developed a character as other companions, is hated mostly for being not-Amy, much like Martha Jones is often hated for being not-Rose). Randomly, I really loved Handles and wished that there was more development of him.
Back to my point. Basically, it felt like too much was shoved into too little time. The revelations, the visit to that Gallifrey-wannabe planet with the Weeping Angels (also further proof that the ultimate fate of Time Lords is to become Weeping Angels), aging 300 years in Christmas, Trenzalore... that could have been all expanded on. Through several episodes. In previous seasons. These would have undoubtedly made Moffat's previous seasons stronger.
And I'm going to say it. I didn't cry. Not one tear, no watery eyes. I don't know though if that's because Joss Whedon has desensitized me with BTVS or if it really wasn't that sad. I did feel nostalgic, and I think that Matt Smith is an excellent actor who has made the 11th a memorable doctor in his own way, but I didn't feel nearly as bad as I thought I was going to feel. Which was surprising, because this is Moffat we're talking about. Tumblr's King of Feels? The Overlord of Tears and Emotions? Where's my dose of psychological agony?
And then there was a guest appearance by Amy Pond. Heartwrenching perhaps, but a little forced. And awkward, when you consider that's the second time the 11th Doctor has been with someone who wasn't actually there (the first was snogging River Song in the Season 7 finale).
I feel Moffat needs to step up his game. I know other writers are involved in the episodes (that's not really an excuse considering that this was also the case in RTD's era...) but recently, DW has just been a mediocre rollercoaster of plotholes and continuity issues that are only resolved several seasons later, which is frankly not good enough. I hope that with Peter Capaldi (am super excited for twelfth btw) there will be an improvement because I don't doubt that Moffat is incapable of writing good shows. There should be really no excuse for the next season, actually, especially since Season 3 of Sherlock would have long since finished airing.
Till next time.