So many things to say! Won’t talk in-depth about all of them, so:
First part, odd, second part, rocky, third part, yay!
Why’d they tranq the Doctor, again? To force him to be their President? With his Tardis downstairs?
How’d Missy get suddenly free so fast her guards had no time to react?
Killing off asthma-girl was a low blow.
Once again, it’s the companions who save the day.
Really, it was Clara and her boyfriend who carried the great majority of this episode. Beginning, middle, and especially the end, though the Doctor came into his own for the last moment.
Now, it does make some sense why this Doctor has seemed so sub-par. It seems I hit the nail on the head when I theorized about them taking an entire season to establish Peter Capaldi’s version of the Doctor. Small wonder it took so long, as they had him questioning himself. “Am I a good man?” It would appear that he seemed so weak because, really, aren’t we all at our weakest when we are questioning ourselves?
If that was deliberate, then it was brilliant.
For all the terrible things Missy did, she seemed to have a pure and simple reason for it. Now if only she could have been not-bananas, and not so murderous.
Finally someone just shot the enemy and ended their foul deeds! That would be an unexpected presence on the part of a “classic” Doctor Who character. One I have never seen, but must have a certain respect for.
And what I think deserves the most attention:
The Doctor often dismisses soldiers, yet this episode seemed much like Doctor Who‘s vindication of soldiers everywhere. They do what they do because they have an oath to keep, and that oath has a purpose, and that purpose is a promise. It is what a soldier, an army, a government, is truly for, not to kill people, not to win victories, but to protect, to keep this promise: “You will sleep safe tonight.”
Because a soldier fights for those he loves. He guards their lives, and keeps their souls from the stain of bloodshed.
And small wonder I’d fear Clara Oswald more than the Doctor. She is, it seems, the only one who can control the Doctor. Which makes her plenty fearsome. Even without the boyfriend who can take command of the dead, overriding all of his programming, to protect her.
I can’t help thinking it would have been more fun with… well, any of the previous Doctors I’ve known, but still, I give this season a passing grade.
Plus, end of the episode, when both Clara and the Doctor have lost the most important things to them, and are parting ways…
They’ve used a number of Christmas/winter themes to varying degree and effect, but I believe this is the first time our Christmas special will feature what appears, at least at first glance, to be the actual Santa Claus.
If they kill Santa or have him somehow be a villain, I am going to be very upset.