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What’s the Story?

The Doctor is going to die. Must die. It is a Fixed Point in time. It must happen. And if it doesn’t, the universe will collapse/implode/destroy itself.

At the moment when he should have been shot, however, the person who must kill him doesn’t. This… sort of… breaks existence. From that moment on, time doesn’t exist. All times exist together. And the universe is ending.

Yes, that's the Doctor in a toga speaking to the British Emperor Winston Churchill. What of it?

For once, the Doctor knows the cause of the problem and knows what must happen. He isn’t working it out or improvising or awaiting plot developments. From the first moment, he knows that his entire mission is to find his murderer and convince them to save the universe by killing him.

 

What’s the Problem?

Another Steven Moffatt extravaganza

In the season 5 finale, the universe had just exploded and the episode took place in the “time” as the universe wound down; the last part of the universe to collapse. Because time and space and regular reality had been destroyed, Moffatt could do whatever he wanted in the episode. Characters blinked out of existence. Paradoxes were no longer a problem, because time no longer existed.

This still happened, however, unfortunately...

It’s a fun twist because it pushes the usual ridiculousness of the show to an even further degree, but it makes it hard to really understand what’s going on because logic doesn’t hold. The world works as it does because it is convenient to Moffatt and his story. It doesn’t have to obey any other rules. Twisting logic can be good, but in this case it doesn’t quite make sense because

Amy remembers

and she shouldn’t. Or, if she does, so should everyone else that was there. Which was, actually, everyone in the universe. I imagine Moffatt is using his “Amy is special because of the hole in her wall” get-out-of-gaol-free card again, but if se he didn’t spell it out very clearly (especially since he hasn’t mentioned it all season). Amy just seemed to remember because she needed to for the story.

Not that, really, she needed to. If she hadn’t, nothing much bad would have happened. It would have eliminated one comment between her and River about Amy feeling guilty about killing someone in the alternate/frozen-time universe (River rejects her guilt anyway, correctly telling her it happened to another Amy in an aborted timeline). But why does she remember at all? Unless Moffatt is putting this in to play with next season (and I wouldn’t put it past him), it’s a needless complication.

Complicated? This show? No! What makes you say that? Now shut up and put on your eyepatch.

 

What’s the Solution?

Amy doesn’t need to remember. And two seasons in a row ending in an alternate/aborted reality? Getting a bit tired. Still, it was a nice idea having the Doctor not scrambling around looking for a brilliant idea but rather spending the whole episode trying to get his murderer to kill him.

 

Pictured: the Doctor, somewhere between the first and second time he is shot.

 

Worth Seeing?

It’s hard to say. I like this kind of stuff, but for the episode to make real sense you need to have seen at least the first two episodes and episode seven of this season (and preferably all of it and part of season 5). That’s a lot of watching the Doctor faff about if all you really want is this episode. If you’re already watching, though, or have an idea about the show, go for it.

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