It’s unsettling when the Doctor doesn’t know where he is. He’s in a position where he has no control at all. Sure, he’s able to make a number of educated guesses, but he can’t be certain. Even more frustrating is that the place he’s locked up in is designed to throw him off. Inside was a creature that was hunting him, but time was freezing. So the Doctor being the Doctor found a way out by throwing himself out of his own cage.
However where he was led in his attempt to escape took him to places even he didn’t quite expect. He was out of his element and it was unnerving seeing the Doctor quite so worried. He generally exudes so much charm it almost doesn’t feel real, but now he was little more than a person doing everything he possibly could to fight his way out as things grew even more complicated. He’d escape from a trap only to find that there was another trap waiting for him. That cycle repeated and he kept working towards finding some sort of answer.
Slowly the Doctor began to realize that the only way out of the mess he was in was to confront his own issues. He needed to confront the problems he had. He needed to face his truths, admit his fears. The more he understood, admitted, and confessed the close he got to actually getting out of there. It was interesting as he went thought this journey that forced the Doctor to look inward to himself. Everything kept repeating forcing him to get through everything again and again. He just kept going through the same sequence and it was painful to watch as he never made any progress, but kept trying. It was his own personal hell stuck repeating the same sequence.
Probably one of the most interesting elements of the episode was how completely he still relied on Clara. She was not just a humanizing element for him. She challenged him and made him strive to be better. More importantly, he needed her as a motivator. She provided him with a sort of strength that he never knew was necessary. I liked that even though she was dead, she was still with him. The things that she had taught him and the experiences she had with him, charged The Doctor. It kept him going forward even though he knew that there would be no Clara once he got out.
Now obviously what this episode was really about was the fall of The Doctor. In many ways, this was the most introspective that the death of a recent Doctor has been (and no it was not a permanent death but one that was part of the cycle). I thought that the end of the 11th Doctor was big in that he was struggling with some real touch problems. However, This time we were forced to dive into the min of the Doctor was he died. He he managed to push forward and come into his own. He was confronting who he was and what Clara meant to him.
The Doctor’s persistence for over 2 billion years paid off as he eventually did make it off. Now that he’s out, he’s in a place where he’s ready to fight.
What did you think of the episode?