We need to talk about the Series 7 Finale. So. Spoiler Alert.
I said... SPOILER ALERT.
Was Trenzelore what you expected? It wasn't what I expected. I didn't think it would be the Doctor's grave. Seriously. The idea never crossed my mind. I envisioned an actual field that was like... filled with some overwhelming power that compelled anyone who stood there to answer truthfully or something.
Nope. Doctor's grave. And he had to answer the question or his friends would die. Only he didn't. River did. Oh River...
But first let's back up and shout joyfully over the amazingness that was the appearance of all the previous Doctors. That was amazing. And Clara's storyline is a perfect one for the lead up to the 50th. She really is the girl who was there for it all... like the fans. In some ways you could say she is us, the ones calling out warnings to the Doctor that he could never hear. (Except when showrunners read tumblr and took ideas. Statue of Liberty I'm looking at you.)
And it was rather awesome that the secret was not the Doctor's name, but ---
Backing up again.
Where were the Silence? They wanted to keep Trenzalore from happening, but why? Fans are muttering about this seeming slip. My rationalization is this: the danger of Trenzalore was the Great Intelligence erasing the Doctor's victories, and thus half the universe. Of course the Silence didn't want that to happen. Maybe they didn't have all the details, but they knew that the most dangerous thing that could ensue was the Doctor's name being spoken at his tomb, thus opening it and allowing anyone to destroy what he had done to save/change so many lives.
That's my headcanon anyhow.
Speaking of headcanons, have we seen the last of River? This blogger thinks not, and I am rather inclined to agree with her. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but not impossible. That aside, let's soak in the heartbreaking beauty of that goodbye scene. Oh man. I love the Doctor/River. I want more than one episode (and two minisodes) of them as an alive married couple. They can't be over... can they? River MUST be coming back for the 50th!
I really got a kick out of seeing River and Madam Vastra interact. Maybe, if we get a Paternoster Gang spin off, River can be a guest star there? It was also great to see River and Clara meet. After all the fan speculation about how they'd tear each other's hair out, it was great that they were working together... although Clara had some truly awesome reactions.
Speaking of Clara. It's interesting that the whole season we knew her as the impossible girl, but at the end, she was an ordinary girl who sacrificed herself for the Doctor, and thus proved that ordinary is the best extraordinary. Yes, she's also the impossible girl, who touched every corner of the Doctor's life, defeated the GI and saved history. But that's not the Clara we'll know. That wasn't the Clara of season 7, and it's likely she won't remember enough for it to really change who she is in season 8. Good call, Moffat.
Now we've got to talk about John Hurt. I'd read the internet rumors prior to the episode, so I at least had some idea of what the whole thing was about, but the other viewers with me were completely baffled. There was plenty of screaming though.
I'm glad that the big deal wasn't about the name, but about the secret. And I think it's a great secret. We've been wondering for 7 years about the Time War and the Doctor's role in it, and now we're due to get it. But who is John Hurt playing? From what we gather, he's between 8 and 9, but whether he's an older version of 8 or a whole new 'forgotten' regeneration between the two, it remains to be seen.
We know he was the one who broke the promise to be a healer and a helper, so initially he went by "The Doctor." But then he broke that promise, so it seems the Doctor does not consider him to have a right to that name. Which is why he called himself the '9th' regeneration during Eccleston's run. He's the 9th Doctor who was living up to that name.
Or not. We won't know any of this until the 50th. November 23rd is MUCH too far away!