So the Doctor Who Christmas Special happened, and it left me confused, sad, excited and meh all at the same time. That's a lot of feelings from one episode. And I don't think it's a good thing entirely. Here's why:
In typical Steven Moffat fashion, we got an episode where the storyline was way overworked and left most everyone going "huh?" I had to watch the episode twice to understand it, and I truly still don't know if I do. Instead of giving Matt Smith a simple beautiful send off story, Moffat had to try and go big and showy, and I think it kind of backfired on him. When I first watched the episode, I kept running through my head, "I'm going to have to re-watch this." But at the same time, when it came to the actual regeneration time, I was a complete mess. It didn't hit me until the day of that I was going to have to say goodbye to Matt. I had been so excited about the 50th anniversary that it really didn't register with me. And now I had got to the part where he's about to regenerate and we again get a big show without a lot of sense, and then a tender moment with Amy Pond which sent me into hysterics, and then blink and you miss it, he's regenerated. And that bothered me a lot. I feel like Matt Smith deserved so much more than the send off he got. He deserved a better storyline, a better regeneration, and a better goodbye overall. At the same time, even though I didn't care for the story, I did feel the emotions behind it all. The fact that he sent Clara away twice wasn't lost on me. He'd done it before with Rose, and it's a self preservation thing more than a saving my companion thing. He doesn't want to see them die in his name nor feel the pain of that kind of permanent loss. There were also a few funny lines, and a few quotes that will stick with me. I'm still unsure why they needed to point out that Matt was wearing a wig by saying the Doctor shaved his head. The wig didn't actually look all that bad, but we did get a nice little line out of it about his delicate eyebrows, which had me laughing. And then the Doctor's final speech just before the fastest regeneration there has been happens, where he speaks of people changing throughout life, but at the same time staying the same person. It's so true and speaks volumes. I think Matt did amazing with what he was given in this episode. He acted his little heart out, and I commend him for that.
So in the end there were good things and bad things about the episode. I think with the Christmas episodes Moffat has been more miss than hit. I'm sad to see Matt Smith go, I never thought he would grow on me as much as he did, and I'm grateful he did. I'm excited to see what Peter Capaldi's Doctor has in store for us. And also thrilled that Clara is the second companion in the Doctor Who reboot to actually watch a true regeneration happen and experience like Rose did, the differences it brings out in him.
On a side note, I guest posted on my dear friend Jordan's blog about all of the past Doctor Who Christmas episodes. Go check it out! And her blog, because it kicks some butt.