The Timeless Children
Cast: Jodie Whittaker, Bradley Walsh, Mandip Gill, Tosin Cole, Julie Graham, Matt Carver, Alex Austin, Rhiannon Clements, Ian McElhinney, with Patrick O’Kane, and Sacha Dhawan
Writer: Chris Chibnall
Producers: Chris Chibnall, Matt Strevens, Alex Mercer, and Nikki Wilson
Composer: Segun Akinola
Director: Jamie Magnus Stone
Doctor Who was created by Sydney Newman, and follows the adventures of the time-traveling alien known as the Doctor, along with their companions, as they explore and help the universe.
The Master is back yet again, and he’s finally got the Doctor right where he wants her. As her friends and the last humans make their last stand against Ashad and the Cybermen, the Time Lord herself is whisked away through the gateway back to Gallifrey, unable to help. Backed into a corner, the Doctor is forced to confront the truth about Gallifrey and the Time Lords, one so painful that it made the Master obliterate them. Exactly what answers are lying in wait within the depths of the decimated city for the Doctor? What will happen when she learns the truth? And will her friends be able to hold their ground and live to see her again?
It’s honestly very hard to believe how quick this series has gone by in just two short months. Maybe a good amount can be attributed to four of the episodes being two parts of two stories, but regardless, I very much remember how long the wait felt for any new updates on Series 12 last year. Here we are though, striking twelve on the Doctor Who series clock. From the Master’s shocking return, to the Ruth Doctor, and everything in between, it’s been an absolutely insane ride. Last week’s episode was a very phenomenal set-up for the finale, which made me excited, but also worried. So much was riding on this, from the plot, characters, questions, and so on, there was definitely lots on the plate for this episode. I am incredibly elated to say, however, that this finale is probably one of the best in this show since its 2005 revival, delivering on character, story, and shocking revelations.
You all know how many times I’ve said Jodie’s outdone herself and delivered her most shining moments? I’m saying that again here, but I mean it about 5,782 times more. Her range has already been pretty incredible this series compared to her 2018 outings, but my god, she absolutely kills it this episode. Regardless of what some might think of the content (which I’ll talk about in a bit), I’d be baffled to see anyone say that she phoned it in here, as I whole-heartedly this is one of the best performances by an actor in the role of the Doctor within an episode. One scene in particular is not only one of my favorite Thirteen moments, but one of my favorite overall Doctor Who scenes in general. The score played no small part in it as well, as Akinola brings his A-game for this finale, pulling out every trick and motif he’s created so far. No matter what happens, I truly hope we can have Jodie stick around for a long, long time, and reach Tom Baker levels of longevity.
The companions are given a very proper amount of time, not taking too much away from the Doctor’s story, but still going through their own interesting arcs as well. One scene in particular with Graham and Yaz, as shown in this photo, is probably one of the most genuine and heartfelt moments in the show. I’ve adored how much more development we’ve had for Yaz this year, and I definitely have to give props to the creative team for using her far better this time around. The side characters were still very good, probably even better this time around, as we have a solid lock on who the main players are, as well as what they’re like. Also, I can’t not mention how gorgeous the Stone’s directing and visuals are, especially on Gallifrey. Despite its ruined state, Gallifrey has never looked more beautiful, and I truly wonder how much further they can push these visuals in the future.
I feel like I can say wholeheartedly now that Sacha Dhawan’s Master is my absolute favorite incarnation of the character. He has all the fantastic blends of rage, psychopathy, and even some sentimentality, which make his version of this classic character so interesting, as well as unpredictable. I’m very glad we got to have another full story with him, and I absolutely cannot wait to see more of him in the future. As for the story and writing, they’re undoubtedly going to rile so many feathers. This series has been the riskiest of all the ones since the relaunch, and this episode is the peak of that risk-taking. Some people are definitely going to hate it, for one reason or another, and that can’t be changed. As for me? I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Every scene, every reveal, every confrontation had me shocked, engaged, and excited, and to me, that is pure Doctor Who. I’m genuinely happy I loved this story as much as I did, and I am more than excited to see what comes next.
Overall, The Timeless Children absolutely mops the floor with The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos as a series finale for the Thirteenth Doctor’s era. Filled with excellent character moments, high stakes, and shocking revelations, this finale is bold, risky, and engaging, which is everything this show should be. I definitely cannot wait to rewatch this and Ascension of the Cybermen over and over again in the future, as well as the rest of Series 12 (maybe minus Orphan 55). However, I can’t end this without talking about a somewhat spoiler-y overview of this series, so to end the spoiler-free section: this finale was fantastic, and I recommend watching it with an open mind.
SPOILERS FOR DOCTOR WHO SERIES 12!
Final Thoughts on Series 12:
Never in my life have I seen a bigger glow-up than Series 11 to Series 12 of this show. It feels like every little criticism I had has been addressed and vastly improved, making for a fantastic entry into the show’s catalogue. Every character was improved upon in this series, the story arc was interesting and compelling, and the reveals were absolutely stunning and incredible. From the Master, to Ruth, to the Timeless Child in this finale, everything’s been such an improved and interesting take on this show, and I cannot wait to see more. I also love how not all of our questions were answered. We know about the Timeless Child now and who they are, but not about what it means for the Doctor, as well as where Ruth fits into all of this. I’m genuinely excited to see where Series 13 takes all of this, and I’m very much hoping for the best. Also, the cliffhanger for the holiday special was amazing, and I’m hoping for the best from Revolution of the Daleks. Until then, I hope you guys have enjoyed these reviews, and I hope you all enjoyed Series 12 as much as I did, if not more!