Doctor Who – The Doctor Falls and the 13th Doctor ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2

A long term Doctor Who fan gets ready to say farewell to perhaps  the best Doctor of the  modern era. And readies himself for the end – in the knowledge that the future has been prepared for.

The following assumes you have seen all of the last series of Doctor Who. You have been warned.

Series 10 of Nu-Who had a lot to live up to. A  new TARDIS team, an outgoing showrunner, a departing Doctor.

I’m not going to reflect too much on the merits and occasional failings of the season other than to say that Stephen Moffatt produced a series of very enjoyable primarily standalone adventures, full of great character moments and a few scares.

And then suddenly here we were at the Series Finale, a traditional ‘base under siege’ story  with Two Masters, a version of an enemy unseen for 50 years  and Bill, the brilliant latest companion, converted  into a Cyberman.

Great direction by Rachel Talalay complimented a stunning Moffatt script to produce the best finale since The Parting of the Ways 12 years ago.

Often criticised for labyrinthine plotting and quip- giving characters – in general a view I have never shared-  the final episode’s emphasis was on heart, character and emotion.

In a masterful stroke, the tragedy at the heart of the Cyberman concept is made concrete as we switch visually between a Mondasian Cyberman and a non-converted Bill. A heartbreaking performance by Pearl Mackie.

The Two Masters concept is wittily and brilliantly realised in their final scene, when they quite literally stab each other in the back. I’ve loved Michelle Gomez’s Missy and the tragedy that the Doctor will never see her final redemption is a powerful ending for the character.

But at the heart of this story is Capaldi.

Blimey, I’m going to miss him so much. The Doctor I’ve always wanted since the series revival. Heroically battling Cybermen in a final sequence, stunningly directed by Rachael Talalay. But of  course the highlight is the extraordinary speech he makes to the Two Masters, one which beautifully encapsulates the character of the Doctor. Stunning – can someone please give this man a BAFTA? Please!

And so to the ending. A Doctor battling against regeneration. In a beautiful sequence bringing back memories of regenerations past. Tears Bazza?

Well, whilst there are tears there is hope.

And then he’s there –  the First Doctor! Readying us for the end of an era at Christmas.  Very touching.

And so onward we go.

And last Sunday they announced that Jodie Whittaker will be the 13th and first female Doctor Who.

I think I was a little in shock at first. I’m an old school fan and my heart goes out to those who find this change a little too much.

But I’m also aware that my favourite show needs a boost. Change is always in its blood. And in this case perhaps not a moment too soon. Capaldi has really been my Doctor, but  I think it’s fair to say this  era hasn’t quite connected with Joe Public like others. Though I think time will be very kind to it.

Welcome Jodie. I’m tremendously excited.

I hope this new era will be someone else’s favorite.  That a little girl in the playground can now play being the Doctor, knowing they really could be the Doctor.

How brilliant is that?

You see although I know that today  the Doctor Falls. I also know for certain that in future – and indeed ALWAYS…

The Doctor Rises.

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