In what has been a bit of a choppy season we are given a season finale that makes it all worth it! My God! Everything from the episode title to the last few seconds was fantastic. Okay, so the tagline is kind of misleading. Even though Moffat has publicly stated that he will soon be revealing the Doctor's name (which kind of feels like a shark jump considering we are only on Doctor 11 and know there are still more Doctors to come), it turns out he was just dangling a juicy tid-bit in front of whovians faces. Apparently, his name is not the Doctor's biggest secret, but what we find is mind blowing, insanely puzzling and intensely exciting. There is a secret that is answered however, why the impossible girl Clara Oswald is so impossible, and in true Who fashion I don't think anybody could have ever figured it out. If you haven't seen the episode and don't want to know what happened read no further. At the bottom of this post I have theories about the 50 year special so if you wana glaze over the recap be my guest!
Like every season of Doctor Who, season 7 had a repeating question, "Who is Clara Oswald? Who is the impossible girl?" Every whovian had a theory, but I don't think any of us could have guessed why this one girl kept popping up and popping out of the Doctor's life. The episode starts with Clara falling through some sort of time rift, running after every version of the Doctor, screaming for him. In a voice over monologue Clara says "I don't know where I am. It's like I'm breaking into a million pieces and there is only one thing I remember. I have to save the Doctor." She finishes with "I'm Clara Oswald, the impossible girl, I was born to save the Doctor." Well what the hell! All I wanted to to was fast forward my DVR just to see who Clara is, but I patiently sat through the episode. Here is a super quick recap of how we finally find out who Clara is.
Madam Vastra and her band of Victorian misfits find out that somebody has found out the Doctor's biggest secret. Vastra calls a subconscious meeting with all of the people most important to the current Doctor, Madam Vastra, Strax, Jenny, Clara and.... RIVER SONG! She's back and just a naughty as ever, changing a cup of tea into a flute of campaign.
Clara does as she is told and in some beautiful acting by Matt Smith, the Doctor realizes he must go to the one place a time traveler must never go... to their own grave. We find out that the Doctor has been buried on Trenzalore, a name which has been thrown around in quite a few episodes, now we know why. Of course the TARDIS doesn't like this time stream cross and blows up like always, but the Doctor and Clara make it on to this graveyard planet. Here we find the Doctor's grave in the form of a dying TARDIS that has grown, now unable to keep up with the whole "bigger on the inside" thing. Still mentally linked with Clara, River speaks to her without the Doctor being able to see or hear her. For a second you think maybe the Doctor can because he turns and says "River" only to find her grave. But of course, we know that this can't be River's grave, she died in the library a long before this. And that's when we realize the sad truth. Clara is talking to the dead River, the River that was uploaded into the library. Before your heart has a chance to break completely, the Doctor and Clara are attacked by those horrible creepy monsters and River tells Clara that her grave is a shortcut to the Doctor's tomb.
Meanwhile, the Vastra crew have all been brought to Trenzalore as well, where they discover the true nature of these monsters, they are all part of the Great Intelligence from the Christmas episode. Remember all of those minds that were uploaded in "The Bells of Saint John"? Well they fed the Great Intelligence with enough power for him to make copies of himself in the form of Doctor Simian. The Doctor meets them all in front of the TARDIS tomb and Simian demands he open it using his name, his true name. Of course every whovian heart is POUNDING thinking this is it! This is the moment we find out! Every one of the doctor's companions is being attacked by Simian's unfinished doppelgangers and you think, the doctor must use his name! It's coming! "PLEASE!" The Doctor yells and the doors open... his name is please? Oh no, Moffat you dirty genius you, RIVER in psychic form and knowing the name of the Doctor opened it without the audience ever hearing. Whew!
Also, this episode gives pretty good insite to how Smith's Doctor and Tennant's Doctor both show up in the 50 year special. The Doctor has crossed into his own time stream... on the way out does he end up in Tennant's? It makes sense, he was the last Doctor before this regeneration... does he get out of the time stream too soon? That would be my guess but when it comes to Doctor Who I am always wrong. I guess that's a good thing! Welp, I'll see you whovians back in November for a 50 year anniversary blog post!