Final Thoughts from the Doctor Who Episode "Twice Upon a Time"

Synopsis: Dying and longer wanting to go on, the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) refuses to regenerate and is brought by his TARDIS to the South Pole. There, he meets his original self (David Bradley), who is also refusing to change and, together, they encounter a World War I soldier (Mark Gatiss) who has been displaced in time and a group known as the Testimony, charged with recording memories from people in history moments before they die.

My Thoughts:

1. I will admit, Bradley looks a lot like the First Doctor, William Hartnell and, at least from the appearance aspect of the character, was believable. I was not, however, a fan of the way the First Doctor was portrayed. I have only seen a limited number of Hartnell episodes, but I don't remember him being anywhere near as sexist as Bradley's version was. If anything, I would think a Time Lord (regardless of which version it is) would be much more progressive toward gender roles, especially since there's no gender restrictions on regeneration.

2. Peter Capaldi's closing monologue was a bit dragged out for my tastes. I didn't necessarily hate his speech. I just thought it could have been shortened a bit, to give us a little longer introduction to Doctor Thirteen (Jodie Whittaker).

3. I am intrigued by the Testimony and hope their appearance on this series isn't limited to just this episode. They look like they would be a group the Doctor could either end up helping or be on opposite sides with. Not to mention, their glass bodies look pretty darn cool.

4. At first, I wasn't sure if I could really classify this as a Christmas special since, other than snow, there wasn't much about it that really made me think of Christmas. However, the part toward the end, with the Christmas miracle happening on the battlefields of World War I was admittedly pretty moving (especially when I took the time to look up the real events that inspired it). And, again, since the Doctor changed that soldier's timeline to keep him from being killed, it makes me wonder how the Testimony will react.

5. I was really glad to see the Doctor regain his memories of Clara (Jenna Coleman) toward the end. While she, admittedly, wasn't my favorite companion, I was never a big fan of that memory wipe twist and it was nice seeing this episode rectify that.

Final Opinion: To tell you the truth, it wasn't my favorite Christmas episode, mostly because I thought it managed to disrespect the First Doctor and, other than at the very end, didn't feel very Christmas-like. While there were some redeeming scenes, I think I would have preferred it if the series had the Doctor regenerate in the season finale and used this episode to introduce us to Whittaker's version of the character.

My Grade: C


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