The Time of the Doctor

STORYLINE

A mysterious message is being transmitted from an ordinary isolated planet. No one can understand the message, but it has piqued the interest of most advanced races through out the universe. The Doctor is also curious, of course, but even he is unable to translate the message, even with the help of a reprogrammed cyberman head nicknamed Handles.

In the midst of his frustration, the Doctor receives a call from Clara, who is back on Earth needing a boyfriend for her family's Christmas dinner. Unfortunately when she does meet him at the TARDIS doors, she finds that he is naked. He claims he is dressed for church, but in order to make her comfortable, he applies holographic clothes over his nakedness. Awkwardness ensues when Clara introduces her "boyfriend" to her parents and grandmother. What he neglected to tell her was that the holographic projector was only applied to her eyes, not to those of her family.

Meanwhile, Clara has failed to allow enough time to cook the turkey. Her solution is to put the turkey in the TARDIS console and allow the time vortex to cook it. Since this brings them back to the TARDIS, the Doctor uses the opportunity to return them both to the mysterious planet.

The Doctor asks Handles to determine the name of this planet. After a little consideration responds "Gallifrey". This is patently impossible, but to explore the planet further, the Doctor must get around the blockade the Papal Mainframe has set u around the planet. The Church were the first to arrive at the planet  and quickly set up a no technology shield to keep all others from getting to the planet. The Mother Superior of the church now requests the Doctor appear before her. But no one appears before he church with clothes on, hence the Doctor's state of undress. To accompany him, Clara must also strip and apply holographic clothes.

After an initial greeting, the Mother Superior requests a private meeting with the Doctor in her chambers. Clara is left by herself in the hallway outside the chamber, but she isn't quite alone. She finds herself confronted for the first time by a Silent. Of course she forgets him a second later when she turns away. When two more join the first, she forgets them as well as she flees into the Mother Superior's chamber and interrupts the Doctor and Tasha.

Because Tash and the Doctor seem to know each other very well, she gives him permission to teleport down to the planet, but she won't allow him to take any technology to the planet. She even strips him of his TARDIS key just in case.

Clara and the Doctor both teleport down to the planet where Clara is promptly grabbed by a hand of a weeping angel protruding from the snow on the ground. Seems  a group of angels have also managed to break through the barrier around the planet. Good thing the Doctor has been hiding a TARDIS key beneath the wig he is using to cover his bald head. He quickly uses the key to summon the TARDIS and transport them to safety in the nearby town.

The pair quickly realize that there is a truth field around the town. No one in the town named Christmas can lie. Much like the mysterious message, the truth field seems to be emanating from the tower in the center of town. It is there the Doctor finds a crack in space and time. The same crack caused by the explosion of the TARDIS. A crack he had previously dealt with, but never truly believed he was finished with.

The message coming from the crack. Someone is trying to get through the crack to return to this universe. The Doctor believes it could be the Time Lords. With that in mind, Handles is now able to translate the message. It is a question. The first question. Doctor Who? It is a question only the Doctor can answer. If he answers it, the Time Lords will know it is safe to return. The Doctor knows, however, that if they do return, the enemies around the planet will start the Time War all over again.

Knowing that only something bad can emerge from this mess, the Doctor tells Clara to return the TARDIS, but instead of joining her, he has the TARDIS to return to Earth and leave her there. But when the ship tries to take off without her, Clara latches onto it.

Meanwhile, after learning from Tash that the planer's name is actually Trenzalore, the Doctor decides to stay and defend it from those aliens surrounding it. The Doctor can't leave or his enemies will destroy the planet to keep the Time Lords from coming through, but the enemies can't attack for fear he will say his name and the Time Lords will return. They have a bit of a stalemate. Tash declares that the Doctor will not speak his name. Silence will Fall.

Three hundred years pass as some of the Doctor's enemies occasionally are able to break through the shield, but the Doctor is always there to foil their plans. He is, however getting quite old. Over the years the townspeople had grown to love their mad Doctor. The man who stayed for Christmas.

One day, the TARDIS  finally returns. Seems she has been carrying Clara clinging to her side and the extra effort to protect her from the time vortex has delayed the TARDIS' return. In the intervening years, poor Handles  has reached the end of the Doctor's ability to repair him. But it isn't just Handles who has reached the end. The Doctor is also nearing his end. It seems he is at the end of his regenerative energy. This will be his last regeneration.

Before Clara can process that, Tash requests the Doctor's presence aboard the Church. Once aboard, the Doctor learns it was a splinter faction of the church that blew up his TARDIS in the first place. The Doctor also learns that the Daleks have been making moves while he has been on the planet. When the Dalek stalk begins popping from Tasha's forehead, it is pretty clear that the dales have taken over the Church. As the Daleks burst into the Mother Superior's chamber, the Doctor finds out that Tasha actually died in the Dalek takeover. Even then, however, he is able to reach the real Tasha inside and convince her to regain some semblance of control over her body. She quickly eliminates the Daleks in the room and uses her remaining strength to hold off the rest long enough for the doctor to teleport back to the TARDIS and safety. The Doctor and Clara are safe in the TARDIS just as it appears the turkey is finally cooked. The Doctor lets Clara believe they are returning to Earth to have Christmas dinner, but instead he leaves her again and returns to Trenzalore without her.

The Dalek attack signals that the siege is over and an all out war can begin. The planet is ravaged by the violence. The Doctor does his best to save the people of Christmas even joining forces with the Silence against his many foes.

Now quite depressed at her Christmas dinner, Clara is surprised to hear once again the sound of the TARDIS landing outside. However, it isn't the Doctor at the controls, it is Tasha. More time has passed on Trenzalore, and she believes that the Doctor is nearing death. She has come to fetch Clara, believing the Doctor should not be alone when he dies. Clara finds him in the Tower, even more aged than the last time she saw him. He appears to have very little strength remaining and the Daleks have made their final push. They are demanding he come out to meet them. Knowing he is about to die anyway, the Doctor faces them at the top of the Tower. This is where he will finally die on the fields of Trenzalore. His future can't be changed.

Clara just can't accept this. She makes one last attempt at saving his life. Through the crack, she begs the Time Lords to help save the Doctor. After her appeal, the crack in the wall suddenly closes, but it reappears in the sky above the tower. Regenerative energy flows from the crack and into the Doctor. With renewed strength and purpose, the Doctor uses the explosive energy to destroy the Daleks. The crack is once again closed and it appears the threat to the planet and its people is now over.

In the tumultuous explosions, Clara loses track of the Doctor. She finds him again in the TARDIS, and it looks like the regenerative energy as restored his youthfulness. But it is only a temporary reset position. His body is still in the process of regenerating. He is able to say a quick goodbye before there is suddenly a new man standing before Clara. Just in time too because the TARDIS is crashing again.