Doctor Who’s “The Timeless Children” is an Exhausting, Confusing, and Potentially Shark-Jumping Episode And I Just… Don’t… Understand… The Point

The Master has returned… again. Now he has the Doctor right where he wants her: On the planet Gallifrey which has been destroyed…. again. Except now, he’s got a secret and he’s going to completely blow the Doctor’s mind because everything she knows is a lie and everything is about to change.

**Deep breath**

This episode was a mess. It was one part confusing mish-mash of too many plots colliding together into an explosion of awkwardness and one part unnecessary series rewriting that makes no sense in the long run unless there’s some kind of long game going on that I’m just not seeing.

So, let’s address the elephant in the room. The Doctor is the timeless child: A foundling from another world that the Time Lords took the ability to regenerate from and, for some reason, erases her memories every few years so she wouldn’t know that she’s lived hundreds… perhaps thousands of lives including the enigmatic Rose Doctor from earlier this season.

I have absolutely no problem with revelations that rewrite the base premise of a show, but when a show has been running for almost 60 years, such a thing becomes an act of sheer hubris especially when the point of rewriting an entire show’s premise is completely elusive.

I just don’t get it… why change the Doctor’s history? Why mess with 60 years of a beloved character’s history. Sure, it’s been done before with the War Doctor, but in that instance, it was done with purpose and made sense.

None of this makes sense. Like, at all.

If there was a good reason for rewriting history other than making something from Tom Baker’s run canon when, quite frankly, no one cared just doesn’t work for me. I’m hoping that there is some duplicity on the part of the Master that will explain everything away, but it doesn’t look like that is the case.

Honestly, I think that my brain is broken by this. I really hope that there is some long game being played here, but I just don’t know.

This feels like a mistake. Like painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa.

Other than this obviously major roaring quibblesaurus, the rest of the episode was just a mess to me. So much happening and so little focus. Granted, it was so nice to have some quality Yaz scenes given how little the show gives her to do, but so much going on with the companions and the survivors they were hanging with just bounced off my head like so much filler.

I will say, though, that Jodie Whittaker completely killed it in this episode. She was fierce, she was intense, and she was so Doctorish in so many places, several qualities that the show hasn’t been granting her. Paired up against Sacha Dhawan’s Master really seemed to bring the best out of her, particularly as Dhawan’s Master grew more and more tiresome the longer he was on screen. Granted, Dhawan was having fun, but after a while I got numb to the hammy overacting.

The story struck me as pointless. I don’t understand why Gallifrey had to be destroyed again, I don’t understand why the Doctor’s history had to be rewritten, I don’t understand why all of the characterization of the Master was thrown out the window… it just doesn’t make sense to me.

Written by Jason Gaston

Father, teacher, writer, photographer, artist, actor, male model, and inventor of the semicolon.

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