There Are Some Spoilers In Our Doctor Who: Twice Upon A Time Review – Post Episode Discussion
So the annual Christmas episode of Doctor Who just aired and this one is all about our current Doctor visiting his own first form self. Long time fans would know William Hartnell’s Doctor quite well so would likely be excited to see the character return, although this time he’s played by David Bradley.
Much of my excitement for this episode was all for seeing the first doctor back on screen. I know it’s sort of a thing to keep the same actor for all the version’s of Doctor Who, but as far as things go, I guess these Doctors are more like characters now than they are just actors who played them. I think it’s an interesting path to take to bring back the first doctor as a character and I welcome this type of thing in the show.
Basically what’s going on with the story for this episode is that our current Peter Capaldi Doctor is trying to evade his death and doesn’t want to face it. In doing so, he randomly comes across his old first self who is doing exactly the same thing and just doesn’t want to die. It’s an interesting take to make for the show as the first Doctor’s death would have been the biggest one thematically in the show’s history, but maybe wasn’t covered at all.
The two Doctor’s resisting this moment though, have caused time to break and this creates an issue. A soldier arrives at their snowed in location lost about what has happened. We find out later that he is a relative of the Brigadier, which fans will know as a long time character in the show. I’ve never been the biggest fan of Brigadier as a companion, but I know he’s quite popular, although I would have liked it in this episode if we got more screen time for the first Doctor instead of the Brigadier plot line.
The themes in this episode are strongly towards the theme of death, which I think has really been one of the stronger themes for much of the new series of Doctor Who. In this it’s done quite well and the monster in this episode is a sort of preserver of someone’s memory. They travel through time to the point someone might die, then copy their memories and store a copy of that person in their database. It’s actually an interesting idea and isn’t the usual type of Doctor Who villain that the Doctor must stop.
There’s some interesting banter between Peter Capaldi and David Bradley and their versions of The Doctor. I enjoyed it quite a bit and the First Doctor’s interactions with Bill (Pearl Mackie) were quite funny, particularly the line about the spanking. This is the sort of stuff that I like from Doctor Who and Steven Moffat did a great job with this episode.
The big thing that comes about from this episode is the ending. We see a little of the next Doctor, which we all know from reading much of the show’s news is the first woman Doctor. Jodie Whittaker will be playing the character and although we didn’t really see her do anything at all except fall out of an exploding TARDIS, I’m keen to see what the new direction for the show will be.
I will miss Peter Capaldi who I did really enjoy, but I always thought that for some reason he didn’t seem to get the best scripts for his character, with many silly episodes during his time. But as a Doctor, he was great and was excellent actor throughout the entire time he was there on Doctor Who.
Overall this was a fun episode of Doctor Who and it was filled with a lot of moments for long time fans who pay attention to the show to enjoy (like seeing the original TARDIS). The banter between Peter Capaldi and David Bradley was great and I’d be happy to watch more of David Bradley’s Doctor in the future if it was possible somehow. Going forward for the rest of season 11, I’m excited to see what they might be able to do with Jodie Whittaker, who I’m sure has a lot of fun adventures ahead.