This is the last new “Who” until November 23. It’s going to be a long wait…

Cast and Crew Information

Matt Smith as The Doctor
Jenna-Louise Coleman as Clara, the Impossible Girl
Richard E. Grant as the Great Intelligence
Alex Kingston as River Song
Neve McIntosh as Madame Vastra
Dan Starkey as Strax
Catrin Stewart as Jenny Flint

Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Saul Metzstein

Availability Information

This is available now through iTunes (Digital: US, CAN). It will be officially available on DVD (US, CAN) and Blu-Ray (US, CAN) on May 28, although some retailers sold it early causing issues with spoilers this week.

Premise

“The Doctor has a secret he will take to his grave. It is discovered.”

High Point

“Run you clever boy, and remember.”

Low Point

Having to wait six months for the next story.

The Review

This feels original to me. This is a different kind of story, undeserving of the fears that have cropped up in advance. I give it 6 out of 6.

The effects were well done. There aren’t as many as in previous season/series finales. This isn’t a Time War; it’s a minor skirmish on Doctor scales, but it’s enough. The only failings are in montage sequences, which are greatly limited by the source material in ways that are obvious when it is watched in HD. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is well done. I’d still like to know where the Whisper Men come from, but that’s a minor point. The rest does a very effective job of tying together threads that run through the entire reboot from 2005 until now. I give it 6 out of 6.

The acting is spot on. It wouldn’t be a Doctor Who finale without tears of pain and triumph, and we get them all, and every single one is convincing. I give it 6 out of 6.

The production is excellent. This team knows exactly what they’re doing, and unlike most US networks, the BBC allows for significant lead time in production so they can get it right. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is everything it should be. The series puts the characters before the action, even though they are often in the thick of the action. Every moment resonates. I had a heck of a time picking the episode’s high point, since there were just SO DAMN MANY to choose from. I also can’t remember the last time I saw a cliffhanger that threw me for this big a loop. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, this is a great episode. Not just a great “Doctor Who” episode, but a great episode of any TV show, period. 6 out of 6.

In total, The Name of the Doctor receives 41 out of 42.