Matt Smith was not the first Doctor I watched, but he was the first Doctor that I started watching live, and he sort of accidentally became my Doctor. When I thought of the Doctor, he was the Doctor I imagined. He was the Doctor I quoted, and he was the Doctor I cosplayed. But in recent episodes I’d become increasingly uncomfortable with the kind of person my Doctor was becoming. I’d hoped “The Time of the Doctor” would be a return to and celebration of the Doctor I’d originally loved. Unfortunately, it was a compilation of all the worst traits the Eleventh Doctor has displayed, and all of the most problematic tropes about women which have been employed repeatedly during Steven Moffat’s tenure as showrunner. Even Matt Smith’s moving speech and Karen Gillan’s surprise return as Amy Pond couldn’t save this episode.
It’s taken me quite a while to write this post because I honestly couldn’t bring myself to even begin addressing the myriad of problems in this episode. Say what you like about Russell T. Davies, he sure wasn’t a saint and his scripts did occasionally employ problematic tropes, but his scripts weren’t as openly and unapologetically misogynistic as Moffat’s have become. It’s as if Moffat created a list of all the complaints his episodes have elicited and decided to provoke every single one of those again in this episode.
So, with great reluctance, below the jump is my review of “The Time of the Doctor.”