Doctor Who series 12 finale review

Aractus 02, March, 2020

Since I haven’t done a full series review, you may want to read my Series 11 review to understand my overall gripes with the Chibnall era. Spoilers are ahead.

Chibnall's Gallifrey

Ascension of the Cybermen

This was a good episode. I really enjoyed it, it set up some very interesting plot threads to be concluded in the finale. It actually had me excited for the finale. Lucky I wrote out my theories about the finale ahead of time on Reddit. You probably think “why’s that lucky when almost everything you thought was wrong” – well because I had clearly envisioned and articulated how the series could be wrapped up in an exciting, and also satisfying way. What we got instead was Chibnall taking a shit.

I’ll have to edit this later and fill in the good points about Ascension of the Cybermen, all I can think about right now is the shit that I’ve just watched.

The Timeless Children

There’s no “timeless children”, there’s just one.

Despite establishing there are legions upon legions of Cybermen in the previous episode only a small handful bother to go to Ko Sharmus’s planet to kill the three humans on it. And they can’t even achieve that. Also, despite the fact the Cybercarrier goes through the boundary to Gallifrey without landing and with no opportunity for the two companions and the other humans on it to get off first, despite that they show up on Ko Sharmus’s planet to save Ethan. And oh no that’s not the only plot hole.

Plot Holes

Let’s talk about all the plot holes for a moment.

  • Firstly as mentioned, there was no opportunity for Graham, Yaz, Ravio, or Yedlarmi to leave the Cybercarrier before it got to Gallifrey.
  • The boundary makes no coherent sense. It’s also shown to be the boundary that the “timeless child” falls through to an unknown planet – it makes absolutely no sense that it connects to Gallifrey if that’s not where it was connecting to before, and it makes no sense that the Master was ready for it to appear so he could jump through it.
  • We also do not know where the humans that went through the boundary ended up.
  • Despite Brendan clearly being shown to be on the same planet as Ko Sharmus by way of falling off the cliffs onto the same rocky beach where Ko’s habitation is, it’s revealed to be nothing more than a Matrix simulation.
  • Despite the Master telling Doctor Who this in Spyfall: “If you’re seeing this, you’ve been to Gallifrey. When I said someone did that, obviously I meant I did. I had to make them pay for what I discovered. They lied to us, the founding fathers of Gallifrey. Everything we were told was a lie. We are not who we think, you or I. The whole existence of our species built on the lie of the Timeless Child. Do you see it? It’s buried deep in all our memories. In our identity. I’d tell you more, but… but why would I make it easy for you? It wasn’t for me.” Noting is buried in “all their memories”.
  • What the Master discovered wouldn’t have motivated him to commit genocide and destroy Gallifrey.
  • Doctor Who has scanned himself/herself many times, he/she is 100% a Time Lord/Gallifreyan. It is literally impossible that Doctor Who is another species and doesn’t know it.
  • The Cybermen can’t shoot straight.
  • The Master could not have destroyed Gallifrey without any help.
  • You know when “Ruth” told 13 her job was “not one you apply for, and not one you can ever leave”? Well guess what – we’re shown her applying for the job, and we’re shown that you can leave but the price is you have your memory wiped. Whoops.
  • Why the pre-Hartnell Doctors called themselves “Doctor” makes no sense.
  • Why Ruth’s TARDIS is a policebox makes no sense. As far as we know she never went to the 60’s and encountered in-use police boxes. Plus the prop used is the exact one used in Twice Upon a Time aka “Bradley Box II” which canonically is impossible.
  • Ruth’s Doctor leaving the Division makes absolutely no sense.
  • Ruth killing Gat also makes no sense.
  • The Judoon show up and arrest Doctor Who in her TARDIS at the end of the episode. Cold case. But wait a second: we have literally seen classic Doctors working, albeit against his well, for Gallifrey. We also know that Ruth, or an incarnation after her, must have had her mind wiped at some point and forced to regenerate as a child, and was then brought up as an orphan on Gallifrey. So why do the Time Lords still have an outstanding arrest warrant contract with the Judoon on Doctor Who? For that matter…
  • Since when do the Time Lords hire Judoon to arrest their own kind in the first place?

Chibs taking a shit on HartnellThe Master creates a new Cyber race of Cyber-timelords. This would be really interesting to see again, if they weren’t all destroyed a mere 20 minutes later.

The Cybermen do nothing. Nothing at all. They can’t shoot straight, they kill poor Bescot in the first 5 minutes of the episode and that’s it. They do nothing else whatsoever.

As pointed out by Council of Geeks, Doctor Who literally does nothing for the entire episode. Nada, not a thing. Also to share a quote from CoG: “the only reason the Gallifreyans can regenerate is because of the Doctor. No. NO.”

They use something called the death particle to destroy all organic life on Gallifrey. This is a concept not introduced or in any way established until the episode where it is actually used. I mean this is atrocious storytelling. Anyway it destroys all life on Gallifrey, including the Master’s. This means the Master is now permanently gone, he can never, ever, not ever return to the show. Gallifrey is also completely obliterated – now we know Rassilon and the High Council were banished in Hell Bent so they can still return in the future, but Gallifrey can not.

Actually this is not the case about the Master, I re-watched the scene and he clearly does escape with the Cyberlords as he yells at them “all of you through here now” right before Ko detonates the death particle. So seems he and the Cyberlords are coming back…

Chibs has now canonised the Morbius Doctors as well as countless previously unknown pre-Hartnell Doctors including “Ruth”.

A character introduced for the very first time in the finale, Tecteun, is a previously unknown founding father of the Time Lords. For that matter so is Doctor Who really.

The whole episode is condescendingly mansplained throughout, as per usual.

Another very apt observation, again with full credits to Council of Geeks, was Ruth mansplaining to 13 that “you’re still the same person”. That literally means that Doctor Who can never, not ever, have any character development whatsoever. Because he/she never changes. Never grows as a person, never develops.

So Doctor Who’s previous “job” working for Gat, for which she applied, was working for “the Division” which specifically allows for intervention in other worlds and times, against the strict policy of the Time Lord’s. What does this mean? Well it means that Chibs has canonised that Doctor Who doesn’t intervene because he is altruistic and wants to rebel against the Time Lords, no, he literally does it because he was trained to do it under Gat by the Division.

Oh and you know the Cyber Leader? His plans come to naught in short order.

So how much Doctor Who lore did Chibnall just take a shit on in order to deliver this episode? Well almost all of it – and he didn’t even produce a decent episode to justify it.

Fuck you Chibnall.

One comment on “Doctor Who series 12 finale review”

  • Andrew Fairbrass says:

    DOCTOR WHO SEASON 12 : The Timeless Children.. So that happened then ..

    I’d been forewarned of one thing by someone who’d seen it prior to transmission and that was “its filmed well” .. and it was, it looked spectacular, all very low rent Rise of Skywalker but high stakes for the Beeb, but yes it looked stunning in places (Don’t mention they Matrix bits) .. and, well, anyway… Let’s get to it .. The episode itself

    So it’s true then, the rumour mill got it bang on & confirmed the fact that Chris Chibnall doesn’t have a decent original Who related idea in his head
    All that taken from and made to to justify the floating extra heads in The Brain of Morbius and nothing more. Just nothing more than that

    Dreadfully scripted, with atrocious dialogue, shocking and cringe inducing exposition, It was emotionally vapid, totally lacking in genuine Peril, it had no weight, it had no import and was an empty pointless exercise in rewriting of the show’s history
    I’m not tubthumping, I’m not a fuming fan, because I’m not averse to change, it’s the essence of the programme but it was delivered, like everything else he’s delivered with a total lack of conviction

    I half laughed at the ethnic and gender diversity demonstrated in the multiple regenerations of the Child and of course, the Shobogan scientist just had to be a woman.. had to be after decades of Rassilon & Omega and the Fathers of the race, it simply had to be a woman

    So demonstrable was he in his efforts to rectify 50 years of perceived oppression that he literally force fed his correctional processes down the gullets of its viewing public and it’s been handled with an alarming lack of attention to basic principles, like the telling of a good story

    The season finale itself was so self referential with its “Easter Eggs” of Borusa, Chameleon circuits, Deadly Assassin references plus the Matrix that I doubt any casual viewer would have followed it or even bothered with it, it was however killingly tedious and interminably wrapped in lore and when it’s shown in that dull a fashion it unsurprisingly disappeared up its own time vortex

    His sole impressive bad guy, the Lone Cyberman was just thrown away and not developed or explained, The Master was ok even when chewing the scenery
    The robed ornate Cybermen and the forced regeneration made me laugh out loud .. Honestly, and sorry, I forgot they were CyberMasters weren’t they.
    Surely Cyber Lords was the better name Chris ? .. you uninspired fuckwit

    It was his watered down and also unexplained Obi Wan Kenobi who ultimately saves the day, not the titular hero of the programme, of course it wasn’t her, and that brings us to The Doctor, the least impressive incarnation of them all.. The Non Doctor

    Chibnalls handling of the shows legendary hero is nothing short of shameful over two seasons of close on total dross
    His revolutionary female Doctor has been let down by a succession of terrible scripts & dreadful casting of a actor who just can’t carry the part and now that’s diluted the history of a flagship TV show for absolutely no reason, not even a half decent story in the end
    Think on it .. Hartnell.. no longer the innovator, The end of the Tenth Planet no longer a TV revolution, Troughton, Pertwee, Baker, and all the others, just disposable bodies in an immortals lifespan
    The “War Doctor” is no longer the game changer of the show, he’s just another Doctor

    However Big Finish (who make audio adventures set in the shows past) will be creaming their pants.. They’ve potentially got millions of Doctors to choose now, they can just invent one whenever they want..

    Oh but he did explain away the old “Gallifrey.. that’s in Ireland isn’t it?” Gag.. Chibbers you old wag you ..

    Not so much a game changing scenario as promised but an empty and underwhelming & pointless revolution

    I’m really not a fuming bitter misogynistic stuck in the mud old fan at all.
    I’m just bitterly disappointed and rather sad that something that was once unmissable TV and extremely important to me is now something that’s not really worth bothering with

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