Doctor Who 7.14 – The Name of the Doctor

Let’s be honest. This episode does not make a lick of sense. It’s extremely well made, but it’s the living definition of just going along for the ride and accepting whatever the story throws at you, which include River Song and the Paternoster Gang and the Great Intelligence and several repurposed clips from old stories. So ever so briefly, for example, there was a tear in space and time and the Great Intelligence, wearing Richard E. Grant’s body, did something to prevent the Doctor from saving Gallifrey from that old invasion by the Vardans, and then there was another tear in space and time, and Clara stopped the Richard E. Grant body from doing that.

Eventually everybody goes home, except for the Great Intelligence, which is fractured into forgotten splinters in our hero’s memory, and his weird and ugly Whispermen, who fade into nothing, and River Song, who’s been dead a long time, and we never actually see the Doctor take his pals back to Victorian London. That’s because the episode instead concludes with the thunderous revelation that there’s another Doctor, played by John Hurt.

I told the kid this episode was going to blow his mind and it succeeded. “My brain is flat now,” he sighed, shaking his head. He enjoyed it because it’s all spectacle and danger and he’s very curious to know what comes next. I told him he’ll have to wait just about eight days. And he won’t even have to wait that long to find out who John Hurt is…

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