Warning, I am not going to try to be spoiler free in this post. So if you have not seen The Time of The Doctor and are worried about spoilers, stop reading now.
Not sure where to start with this year's Doctor Who Christmas special, The Time of The Doctor. For eight years now we have had a Doctor Who Christmas special, and now that we here in America get to see them on Christmas, it makes for an enjoyable end to the holiday.
The Time of The Doctor was Matt Smith's final as the active Doctor. Yet for some reason it lacked the emotional impact of the last two departures, which includes Christopher Eccleston, who we only got one season to get to know. We have had so many emotional moments of actors leaving the series, so we know what it should be like. There is something missing from The Time of The Doctor denying us the full emotional ride that should have been there.
We had a lot of throw away scenes that did nothing for the story, such as the Doctor needing to be naked to go to the Church. The focus was just not on the story. While we are used to Matt Smith's Doctor being silly and odd, this time it really felt more out of place than ever, wasting time that would have been better used for story. Even the Weeping Angles and the wooden Cyberman were not needed, adding nothing to the story.
The Doctor spends centuries helping to defend the town of Christmas and yet there is nothing given to make us really care about the town itself or the people. All of the information we have been given suggest that millions will die in the battles during this time and it actually seems like the Doctor is making matter worse, possibly upping the lives lost by his involvement. No reason is ever given as to why the people had to stay there. They were innocents getting caught up in a battle of gods and at no point did the Doctor seem to think it might be best to smuggle them out little by little over the long centuries.
We did get a few of the answers we had been promised, but they were mostly just throw away lines that held no real impact. So many mysteries that gave us nothing significant in the end. As with many of Moffat's drawn out storylines, it ended up lacking.
We also get yet another of Moffat's annoying rewrites of the timeline. Not sure why he goes back to this so much, but I think he thinks it is clever, even after it has been way too overdone. This time the rewrite is the Doctor does not die at Trenzalore, which would invalidate all of Clara's time/storyline and make all of the last batch of episodes irrelevant. So a 'fix point' in time where the Doctor fakes his death is so pivotal to the timeline that if it gets messed with time goes wrong, but his actual death is changed and there is no repercussions at all... No it can't work that way. Moffat is already really bad about not following his own rules, but it really felt to me like we crossed a line of justifiability here.
Moffat actually should have had the Doctor die and in truth complete the storyline that has been building up. Do a big funeral scene and let us see the creation of his grave that we saw in The Name of the Doctor. The Timelords have the technology to bring Timelords back from the dead, as they did with the Master. It would be easy as it gets to show a mysterious someone approach the tear in space/time that is the Doctor's remains and do something that would bring the Doctor back. I actually have the whole thing in my head and can picture it scene by scene, which would give some real emotion to the end of Matt Smith's Doctor.
I will say that all in all I do not feel that Moffat has lived up to the expectations I had when he took over as showrunner and I do not believe I am the only one who feels this way. For me the failure that is The Time of The Doctor is a true example of this and only makes me feel that maybe Moffat should step down and go back to what he was brilliant at, writing one or two episodes a season. Maybe then we'll get back to having a regular season instead of this jumping around with the scheduling.