Well, the day has arrived. After a controversial few years at the helm, Chris Chibnall and Jodie Whittaker’s run has come to an end. So was The Power of the Doctor a fitting swansong for a Doctor who has long been given the short end of the stick, allowing Thirteen to go out on a high?
Yes, we rather think it was. It was a mixed bag, make no mistake, and an overflowing one at that - three major villains, a bunch of companions, a few "freelancers", and, who could possibly forget, a whopping nine Doctors (Whittaker, Tennant, Martin, Bradley, Davison, Baker, McCoy, McGann, and technically, Dhawan). But despite the overstuffing we’ve come to expect from big Chibs, he manages to spin his plates better than he has for the last few years, only dropping a few this time.
Indeed, this story certainly has its drawbacks, but when The Power of the Doctor is running with momentum, it gives us some of the absolute highlights of the Whittaker/Chibnall era.
So join us, one last time, as we see out the Thirteenth Doctor.
12. DOWN - Dan’s Had Enough
The episode drops us straight into the action with the cold open, which sees Thirteen and company attempting to thwart a high-speed space-train heist. It’s a fun set piece, but it does fall back into old habits by once again making the Cybermen look like chumps, as they're gunned down by a security crew.
During the action, Dan is shot in the face by a Cyberman, something that should kill him in two separate ways (death by suffocation, and death by… well, getting shot in the face). But remarkably, he shrugs it off, because he is so done with nearly dying.
He has some fun pretending to drive the space-train, at which point he decides that he has peaked in life, and opts to pack it in ten minutes into the episode in what is possibly the most unceremonious companion departure of all time. The Doctor is so furious that Dan has ruined the flow of her big finale episode that she doesn’t even say goodbye. Then again, this is fitting, given that the two have only shared a handful of scenes since he joined the TARDIS.
There’s just no shaking the feeling that it’s a little weird to remove one of your companions an hour before the entire era has come to a close. The scene itself isn't so bad, and as ever, John Bishop and Mandip Gill have some of the stronger chemistry we’ve seen in recent years.
You come to love a character, and they’re gone before you even knew what you had. Farewell, Dan. Wok a shame.