Wibbly-wobbly WTF

The Name of the Doctor

Do you enjoy Doctor Who episodes that are almost entirely free of events that make sense?

You'll love The Name of the Doctor, then!

(Spoilers below.)

Never mind the standard weirdness of having a machine that can go anywhere in time and space but, if your friends are being abducted, never just goes to the moment of the abduction so you can open the door and pull them in.

No, in this episode you've got the whole universe's timeline being rewritten and people fading out of existence like in Back to the Future, while other people... don't. Whole star systems are vanishing by the dozen, friends become enemies but for unexplained timey-wimey reasons stay in the same location... but the people necessary to get the plot to where it needs to be retain their previous memories, just because.

(Oh, and Clara can visit Tom Baker and help him out, but she is powerless to de-interlace him. I suppose it's fair that she seems to have been poorly green-screened in, though. I bet some effects guy really wanted to interlace her, too, but it didn't happen.)

And there are more blokes with weird faces to add to the surprisingly long list of New Who's Nattily-Dressed Scary Dudes. And there's some more gratuitous weapon-like use of the sonic screwdriver.

Three out of ten, if you are foolish enough to watch it sober.

9 Responses to “Wibbly-wobbly WTF”

  1. dmanuel Says:

    That about sums it up.

    The screwdriver as magic wand thing really annoys me. Mostly because it's just lazy writing.

  2. Gridlock Says:

    "I bet some effects guy really wanted to interlace her"

    Oh my.

  3. RobL Says:

    Was okish resolution of the impossible girl. Except DrW's writers have caught Hollywood disease and no "good guys" are ever allowed to die/remain strewn across all time. They obviously haven't recovered from Torchwood's Children of Earth ending.

    Question is now what is worth watching until November?
    Benedict Cucumberbatch is probably to busy being evil trek villian for more Sherlock.

    • TwoHedWlf Says:

      Let's see...Let me check my EZTV listings. still a lot worth watching, well...Some varying levels of "Worth"

      Falling Skies is back in a few weeks
      Game of Thrones

      Huh...I think that's actually about it.

  4. RobL Says:

    GoT only has 4 more episodes this season and we all know how it ends :-)

    Have heard mixed reviews of Falling skies, will check out your suggestions thanks.

  5. James Says:

    I think the rule about being unable to alter past events that directly affect your timeline without Consequences has been pretty well established for exactly this reason. They've only really broken that rule in limited circumstances (end of the universe with causality unravelling around them, within the TARDIS - already a great big ball of timey-wimey overquotedness, etc) that I can think of. Otherwise, what's the point of any story in Doctor Who's history at all?

    People get all bogged down in complaining about pointless minutiae in the show an awful lot and it drowns out some genuine criticisms. Definitely, the sonic screwdriver could be used more intelligently sometimes*. The writing is suspect on occasion, but if Neil Gaiman's tales of the writing process for DW are anything to go by it's a miracle the end product is coherent at all.

  6. trutter Says:

    The whole explanation of who Clara was (and why she was the impossible girl) was totally underwhelming, like something a student might make up on the spot if they'd forgotten to do their homework the night before.


    She "jumped in his timeline"??? So many more holes in that than things that needed to be resolved in the first place. Why was Clara all chummy, helping out the past doctors whereas when we saw her other incarnations (soufflé girl, governess) in previous times she not only didn't appear to know she was there to help the doctor, she didn't appear to know who she was (or, in one case, that she was a dalek!)?

    And when a big overarching story arc is "resolved" by inventing some completely new contraption (his "timeline") in the last episode makes it seem even more than the writers didn't know what they were doing. If his "timeline" was such an integral part of the impossible girl story arc, why only pull it out of your ass at the end? Why not develop it so it seems less like a bad repair job?

    Besides that I can't fathom how the "jumping in his timeline" thing even works and why Clara was able to have a number of different incarnations seemingly unaware of each other, what really makes no sense at all is how Clara could then get rescued and then suddenly be a person in a certain place and time again and be aware of who she is again? I dunno, kids these days, I'll never understand their fancy contraptions.

    • dan Says:

      > And when a big overarching story arc is "resolved"
      > by inventing some completely new contraption

      See also, "oh, Daleks have a hive-mind by the way, did we not mention that before?"

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