Home Entertainment The DOCTOR WHO finale – saved by the fans

The DOCTOR WHO finale – saved by the fans

5 min read

If there’s one thing that the Doctor Who TV series is damn good at, it’s keeping secrets. Secrets such as who was River Song really? What is the name of the Doctor? And do Daleks ever shower (EXFOLIATE! EXFOLIATE!)? With the seventh season finally wrapping up this weekend, another big question was also answeered, while at the same time a game changer was introduced at the end of it.

And it was a finale that was enjoyed by all. And it was all thanks to those fans who kept quiet about said season-ending adventure, even though they had seen it a week in advance.


As Kervyn mentioned previously, copies of the series seven part 2 DVD had managed to somehow leak out early, thanks to a snafu in the US of A. In fact, 210 of those DVDs managed to get sent out, leaving the cliffhanger ending to perilously hang over the edge of the internet. But thanks to showrunner Steven Moffat, some kind words and a plea for decency, coupled with hard work by fan sites to supress anyone who actually did try and spoil the ending, the secret was indeed kept secret until this weekend when the show aired.

Speaking after the broadcast in the UK of The Doctor’s Name, Moffat expressed his thanks via the Guardian newspaper;


Well that was all a bit Keystone Cops, wasn’t it? Our biggest surprise, our most secret episode, a revelation about the Doctor that changes everything …

… and we’d have got away with it too, if we hadn’t accidentally sent Blu-ray copies of Name Of The Doctor to 210 Doctor Who fans in America. Security-wise, that’s not GOOD, is it? I mean, it’s not top-notch; it’s hard to defend as professional-level, hard-line secrecy.

My favourite fact is that they’re Blu-Rays. Listen, we don’t just leak any old rubbish, we leak in high-def – 1080p or nothing, that’s us. Every last pixel in beautifully rendered detail. It’s like getting caught extra naked.

But here’s the thing. Never mind us blundering fools, check out the fans. Two hundred and ten of them, with the top-secret episode within their grasp – and because we asked nicely, they didn’t breathe a word. Not one. Even Doctor Who websites have been closing their comments sections, just in case anyone blurts. I’m gobsmacked. I’m impressed. Actually, I’m humbled. And we are all very grateful.

Now you might be thinking, what does all this matter? It’s a plot development in the mad old fantasy world of Doctor Who, why is that important? Well of course, it’s not important, and in the scheme of things, it doesn’t matter at all. Just as it doesn’t matter when you’re telling a joke, and some idiot shouts out the punchline before you finish. It’s irritating, that’s all. It’s bad manners.

Well, no bad manners here! Two hundred and ten Doctor Who fans kept the secret, and many, many more fans helped. I wish I could send you all flowers, but I don’t know where you live (and, given our record, you really shouldn’t be sharing private information with us). So instead, if we can get our act together – and I forgive you for thinking that’s a big if – there will be a little video treat released on the Doctor Who site later tonight.

Ten plus 11 gives you …


And how about that ending, huh? Oh, before we can even speak about that, well…spoilers!





















Right then. So at the end of that specific episode, we saw an unknown version of the Doctor, or at least an aspect of him that was portrayed by John Hurt. See, it’s totally official, because unlike the Doctor, the credits never lie. Behold!

'Urts, don't it

So who is this mystery Doctor? Is the eleventh incarnation the final form of the Doctor, seeing as how Clara only saw 11 Doctors and not 13 in his complete timestream? Is it an unknown Doctor who was responsible for ending the the last great Time War by killing all the Daleks and Time Lords in one massive moment that the series has only briefly  mentioned in whispers before?

Who knows, but apparently, this will be a mystery that can only be handled by two Doctors, hence the return of David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor in the upcoming 50th anniversary episode, that will air November 23. An eighth season has been commissioned as well, with filming most likely to begin in early 2014, so it’s going to be at least another year before weekly episodes of the last Time Lord are seen again. And true to his word, Steven Moffat rewarded patient fans who kept the net spoiler-free with this brief bonus clip starring Doctors Ten and Eleven:

But back to that episode. After some disappointing and uneven stories in the second half of the season, it was good to see the Doctor back to his usual self. And with Richard E Grant back as the Great Intelligence, a brief appearance by River Song and the rather simple summary of why Clara Oswald is the impossible girl, a satisfying finale at the same time. But throwing John Hurt into the mix, with a mystery that will only be answered in November? Now that’s just cruel.


Last Updated: May 20, 2013


  1. It was AWESOME!


  2. Tracy

    May 20, 2013 at 15:34


    So, okay I pretty much figured it out during the episode but the link that Kervyn tweeted yesterday explained it pretty well as well. Are we correct in assuming that John Hurt is actually the 9th incarnation, the one that fell between Paul McGann & Chistopher Eccleston during the Time War? It’s the one that the Doctor “forgot about”. That then pushes Eccleston up to 10th incarnation, Tennant to 11th and Smith to 12th… how many regenerations does The Doctor get? What does this do to the overall canon of the show? Such a crazy twist!

    I do love that they ended the season on a proper cliff-hanger, usually I hate cliff-hangers but now I’m just geeking out about it. November cannot come round fast enough, the 50th Anniversary episode is going to be brilliant.


    • Kervyn Cloete

      May 20, 2013 at 16:12

      Time Lords only get 12 regenerations – so thirteen incarnations in total – which would mean that unless something drastic happens (which probably will), Matt Smith is the final version of the Doctor and can be killed for real now.


      • Tracy

        May 20, 2013 at 16:39

        I honestly think that something drastic will happen, it has to. Didn’t Steven Moffat “jokingly” state the Doctor can regenerate 507 times? He’ll probably use that.

        Also, if Time Lords do get 13 incarnations in total, doesn’t that mean you can have one more after Matt Smith? He’s the 12th. Or is my math not working?


        • Kervyn Cloete

          May 20, 2013 at 18:36

          Er… yeah, my maths-fu was not strong. He has one more regeneration left.


          • Major Commodore 64 Darryn B

            May 20, 2013 at 18:39

            Unless next year Jeremy Irons is revealed to be the other, other Doctor who committed several parking violations in his name.

          • Major Commodore 64 Darryn B

            May 20, 2013 at 18:39

            Unless next year Jeremy Irons is revealed to be the other, other Doctor who committed several parking violations in his name.

  3. Kervyn Cloete

    May 20, 2013 at 16:14

    I loved this episode so damn much. I might just have to rewatch it tonight. I just loved how Clara and the Great Intelligence can now be used to plug the plot holes in any past/future events that at the time happened for no logical reason.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

Doctor Who’s David Tennant returns in a new audio adventure series, allons-y!

In a new series of Big Finish audio adventures, Tennant’s Tenth Doctor will once again tak…