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May 26, 2013


Prologue [edit]

"She Said, He Said" is a prologue to the episode, in which the Doctor and Clara each have a monologue about how little they know about each other and that they discovered each other's secret at Trenzalore. It was released on 11 May 2013 on BBC Red Button and on-line. Viewers using Red Button were able to access the prequel between 7:40 until midnight every evening, until "The Name of the Doctor" aired on 18 May 2013.[4]

Episode [edit]

The Paternoster Gang (Madame Vastra, Jenny Flint and Commander Strax) are given information concerning the Doctor by a man convicted of multiple murders in 1893, who speaks to himself in rhyme about "Whisper Men". They use soporific drugs to bring themselves, River Song, and Clara Oswald across space and time to a dream realm as a sort of "conference call". Vastra repeats the man's words: "It is a secret he will take to the grave--and it is discovered," and reiterates the prophecy about the Doctor's name on the planet Trenzalore ("The Wedding of River Song"), as well as showing the planet's coordinates. During their conference, strange faceless humanoids called Whisper Men attack the gang and appear to kill Jenny in her trance. River shocks the others to wake them out of the dream to save themselves.

Clara awakes in contemporary London to find the Doctor visiting her for their weekly outing. Clara retells the events from the conference call, and the Doctor, deeply shocked, decides he must go to Trenzalore to save his friends, even though visiting the location of his own grave is dangerous for a time traveller. The TARDIS resists the Doctor's efforts to pilot the machine, but they eventually arrive after a crash landing at Trenzalore. The planet is covered with tombstones, the result of a great war according to the Doctor, while a future version of the TARDIS, having deteriorated and grown to enormous size due to its failing transdimensional circuits, stands above the graveyard. The duo are attacked by Whisper Men. River, still telepathically linked to Clara but apparently unseen by the Doctor, helps direct the two to an escape route - disguised as her own grave - that leads to the giant TARDIS. River also reveals that she died saving the Doctor, and is now only the echo saved by him (in the episode "Forest of the Dead"). Meanwhile, Vastra and Strax awaken by the structure, and Strax revives the comatose Jenny. The three are surrounded by Whisper Men and meet their controller, the Great Intelligence in the form of Dr Simeon's body ("The Snowmen").

The Doctor and Clara arrive at the TARDIS, and the Great Intelligence threatens to kill the Doctor's allies unless he says his true name to open the TARDIS doors. The Doctor refuses but River, still only visible to Clara, says the Doctor's name (unheard by the viewer) and opens the doors. Inside, a pulsating column of light representing the Doctor's traversal of time and space sits where the console would be. Crossing his own time stream sends the Doctor into convulsions. The Great Intelligence sees the light as a wound in the fabric of space-time and enters it in order to undo the Doctor's past as revenge for all the defeats it's been dealt; though this will kill it, the Doctor will be "destroyed." The Great Intelligence and its Whisper Men disappear, and Vastra finds the stars above are going out. Jenny too disappears, followed by Strax after he forgets his association with Vastra.

Clara, who has had recollections of the erased timeline from "Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS" due to the telepathic link with the TARDIS, realises that she has helped the Doctor in other places in time and space ("Asylum of the Daleks", "The Snowmen"). She decides to enter the column of light to restore the Doctor's timeline by helping to undo all the damage the Great Intelligence tries to do. The Doctor and River try to stop her, but she calls back "Run, you clever boy--and remember me" before disappearing into the light. Clara is seen falling through space-time and appearing throughout the Doctor's past incarnations. She now considers this the end of the "impossible girl." The Doctor, Jenny, Strax, and the universe are restored to normal.

The Doctor prepares to enter the column to save Clara, instructing the others to get away in the TARDIS in case he fails to return, but River yells at him to stop, as it is perilous for him to enter his own time stream. The Doctor finally reveals that he could hear, see and even touch her all along but did not acknowledge it because it was too painful. They share a kiss, and River asks him for a goodbye spoken as if they will see each other again, which the Doctor grants her. After River disappears, the Doctor enters the column of light.

Clara lands in a misty place and sees flashes of the various incarnations of the Doctor pass by her. Unseen, the Doctor calls out to her, telling her that she is caught in his timeline which is now collapsing on itself. He provides her with the leaf that was responsible for her existence ("The Rings of Akhaten") to guide her to him. After their reunion, Clara spots another figure in the shadows which she does not recognise from the Doctor's past. The Doctor reveals that this is another incarnation of himself, but not "The Doctor," explaining that his chosen name is a promise he made to himself, and that this incarnation is his secret: he is "the one who broke the promise." As Clara falls unconscious from exhaustion, the stranger defends himself, stating that his actions were done "in the name of peace and sanity", to which the Doctor replies angrily: "But not in the name of the Doctor!" As he leaves, carrying Clara, the figure (John Hurt) turns to look at them and the screen credits identify him as "The Doctor".

Continuity [edit]

Imagery of all the Doctor's prior incarnations is used during scenes in which Clara and the Great Intelligence interact with the Doctor. Archive footage of the First (colourised, from The Aztecs), SecondThird (both from The Five Doctors), Fourth (The Invasion of Time),Fifth (Arc of Infinity) and Seventh (Dragonfire) Doctors is utilised, with doubles used for some other brief appearances (including all the other Doctors) during the final scenes.[5] The opening scene also includes a representation of Susan Foreman and reference to the Doctor's original exodus from Gallifrey (as a globed city, previously seen in "The Sound of Drums", and later seen destroyed in The End of Time), with Clara directing him to steal the Type 40 TARDIS as it would be much more of an adventure. Audio of the First (from An Unearthly Child), Second (from The Moonbase), Third (from The Time Monster), Fourth (from Genesis of the Daleks), Fifth (from The Caves of Androzani), Sixth (from The Ultimate Foe), Ninth (from "The Parting of the Ways") and Tenth (from "Voyage of the Damned") Doctors is also heard.

The Great Intelligence says that the Doctor has been cruel several times, telling about the leader of the Sycorax, whom the Tenth Doctor kills in "The Christmas Invasion" (2005), Solomon the merchant, whom the Eleventh Doctor sent to his death in "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" (2012), the Daleks and the Cybermen. The Great Intelligence also states that the Doctor will be known as the Valeyardbefore the end of his life. The Valeyard appears in the 1986 serial The Trial of a Time Lord, where he is described as an amalgamation of the darker sides of the Doctor's nature, somewhere between his twelfth and final incarnation.[6] He also mentions the Doctor will be called the Storm - one of the names the Daleks have for the Doctor is the Oncoming Storm. He also mentions that The Doctor will be referred to as the beast. The reason for this is unclear.

Vastra mentions the Doctor dying on Androzani. This is a reference to The Caves of Androzani in which the Fifth Doctor regenerates.

Production [edit]

Lead writer Steven Moffat stated that he wanted to have a new monster in the finale, after the series had seen the reappearance of old monsters such as the Ice Warriors, Weeping Angels, Cybermen and the Daleks. The idea of the Whisper Men came from "the thought of stylish whispering almost faceless creatures" which seemed frightening and appropriate for "an episode that looks forward and back".[3]

Broadcast and reception [edit]

Leak [edit]

On 12 May 2013, a week before the official premiere of "The Name of The Doctor", it was announced that a small number of Doctor Who fans in the USA had received their Blu-ray box set of the second half of the seventh series early due to a production error, and asked for those who had received the final episode early not to spoil it for other fans.[7][8][9][10]

Ratings [edit]

"The Name of the Doctor" received overnight ratings of 5.46 million viewers on the BBC.[11]

Critical reception [edit]

The episode received positive reviews. Mark Snow of IGN gave the episode 9.1/10, praising the final conversation between the Doctor and River Song, as well as the revelation about Clara, however he noted that the Great Intelligence was "a little underwhelming" and "not very threatening", and that while the Whispermen impressed initially, they did not "[make] a great villain."[12] Michael Hogan of The Telegraph said that the episode was "even better" than the previous two. He noted that it was "momentous, moving and thrilling". However, he also noted that the episode had "a tad too much clunking exposition, the odd spot of creaky CGI and some unconvincing metaphors about souffl├ęs and leaves." Despite this, he called it a "breathless, brilliant finale".[13]

References [edit]

External links [edit]