“Doctor Who” season eight has aired, and it left viewers pleased and bemused at the same time. How did the Doctor do that?
Spoiler warning: The following contains spoilers from the recently aired “Doctor Who” episode, “Deep Breath.”
Yes, it was the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) phoning Clara (Jenna Coleman) near the end of the show. The Doctor called Clara from Trenzalore, where he was understood to be spending his final moments, to ask her to help his new incarnation (Peter Capaldi).
Clara was having difficulty coming to terms with the Doctor’s new face and body. Although both Capaldi and Smith have the same lithe build, they aren’t of the same temperament or even age. Smith is the youngest actor to play the titular role when he first debuted as the Doctor at 27, while Capaldi is the oldest at 56.
Also, the 12th Doctor appears darker compared to the previous ones. Smith and his more recent predecessors, David Tennant and Christopher Eccleston, have an affable air about them. Capaldi, on the other hand, looks stern and imposing. His methods are also questionable, as was proven in the episode.
The previous Doctors would have never left Clara alone and afraid with the enemies, but the new one didn’t seem to mind it a bit. He, of course, did not really abandon his companion; he was just disguised as one of the robots. However, that brief period of abandonment was enough time for the viewers’ doubt about the Doctor’s compassion to settle in.
And just how did the Half-Face Man (Peter Fernandino) die? Did the Time Lord push him to his death? Uncharacteristic of the previous Doctors, Twelve unleashed his fury against the episode’s villain, threatening to kill him if given no alternative. Half-Face Man didn’t seem to be the type to off himself, but it’s hard to know for sure.
Naturally, with the Doctor’s new incarnation’s more austere persona, Clara was uneasy around him. So near the end of the show, Smith made a cameo as Eleven to allay Clara’s fears about Twelve, and to beg her to “help him, for me.”
It was a touching send-off. Fans thought they had seen the last of Smith in “The Time of the Doctor,” that’s why they were pleasantly surprised to learn that that’s not the case. Reactions to his cameo were expectedly positive, with fans expressing their bittersweet feeling on seeing their beloved actor appear for the last time.
— MeshForce (@MeshForce) August 24, 2014
#MattSmith thank you thank you thank you for coming back once more. I'll miss you, & I love you, Raggedy man ❤️
— khaleesi (@Steph_JCB) August 23, 2014
— Seda (@sedaklcsy) August 24, 2014