47 Days of Doctor Who–Day #23: Most Startling Story Conclusion

Welcome to Day 23 of my 47-day series about the revival version of Doctor Who (2005-present). I’ve come up with 47 topics / questions to answer, all of them basically positive and upbeat about the program. Each day (or as often as I can actually write these–so far so good!) I’ll pick one of them at random (using this convenient random number generator) and then write up an answer.

Why 47? It’s my favorite number.
Why Doctor Who? It’s my favorite show.
Why the modern day Doctor Who only? Simply because I remember it better.
Why only positive stuff? Because really, I write enough snark.

So we spin the Random Number Generator, and eventually it lands on 39, which means the topic of the day is

“Most Startling Story Conclusion”

So, we’ve talked about Plot Twists & Shocking Reveals, and we’ve talked about Mid-Story Cliffhangers, but this time we’re talking about those stories which actually ended with something startling.  Originally, this was pretty rare, but in recent seasons this has become more common (especially if you count Face the Raven, Heaven Sent and Hell Bent as three separate stories, which I think they are).  So we’re looking for an episode that ended with a moment that took us by surprise, and which demanded we tune in to see what was coming next, but didn’t count as proper cliffhangers in the way the we we get in the middle of a two-part story.  (And by the way, I’m not going to count the Doctor’s regeneration stories for this, just because I feel like that’s a bit obvious).

Anyway, just like with the Plot Twists & Shocking Reveals, the close runner-up here is Amy being revealed as a Flesh-duplicate in the last moments of The Almost People.  It’s a great moment, but as I think about this, there’s another one that I feel grabbed me even more:

The Closing Moments of The Name of the Doctor

Season 7 was the least impressive year of stories the show had had for a long time, but it went a long way to redeeming itself with one killer moment at the end.  The Name of the Doctor had revealed how Clara had traveled throughout the Doctor’s timeline to save him from the machinations of the Great Intelligence.  She herself almost died in the process, but was rescued when the Doctor followed her and pulled her out.  The story was over & the victory won, but in the closing minute we were hit with a moment that called into question everything we knew of the Doctor…

A shadowy figure lurks at the edge of the Doctor’s timeline.  It’s clear that this is someone that disgusts the Doctor.  As he scoops Clara up and runs away, the figure turns and reveals the visage of distinguished movie star John Hurt, and the words blaze onto the screen

Introducing John Hurt as the Doctor

What the–???!!!

Well, my appetite was definitely whetted for the six month wait for the 50th anniversary special!

Click here for a master list for this series.


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