Timestamp: Series Ten and Twelfth Doctor Summary

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Doctor Who Series Ten and Twelfth Doctor Summary

Timestamp Logo Twelfth

Peter Capaldi’s final run was nearly on par with his last set.

This group of stories kept up with Series Nine‘s continuing mission to analyze the human condition in the science fiction tradition. Series Ten focused less on vengeance but kept a focus on the consequences of what came before. In a beautiful narrative loop, we found the Twelfth Doctor suffering from the loss of Clara and River, finding hope in Missy and Bill, and then coming right back to the top of the clock with the intent of giving up so he didn’t lose anyone else again. Thankfully, he faced his fear (with a little help from his friends) and decided to carry on with brave hearts.

The big miss in an otherwise strong thematic season was the Monk trilogy – Extremis & The Pyramid at the End of the World & The Lie of the Land – which took a strange sideways adventure that didn’t really have any consequences aside from opening the door on Missy’s vault. It also brought to bear several questions about regeneration after the big reset in The Time of the Doctor, including why the Doctor chose not to spend a little energy to restore his eyesight.

Bill and Nardole were amazing as the Doctor’s combined conscience, almost acting in the same style as the classic Star Trek Kirk-Spock-McCoy pathos-logos-ethos triumvirate. I absolutely adored Bill’s wide-eyed innocence when it came to the Doctor’s adventures, and her growth was evident when she saved his life and then told him point-blank to move on. She’s probably one of my favorite modern companions.

Overall, Series Ten comes in with a solid 4.0 score. That ties with the classic Twelfth Season, and places this set at fifteenth among the thirty-eight seasons (so far) in the scope of the Timestamps Project. That’s not too bad at all, particularly for a group of stories that I wouldn’t mind visiting again in the future (with the exception of the Monk Trilogy).

The Return of Doctor Mysterio – 4
The Pilot – 5
Smile – 4
Thin Ice – 4
Knock Knock – 4
– 3
Extremis & The Pyramid at the End of the World & The Lie of the Land
– 2
Empress of Mars
– 4
The Eaters of Light
– 4
World Enough and Time & The Doctor Falls – 5
Twice Upon a Time – 5

Series Nine Average Rating: 4.0/5

Timestamps Twelfth Doctor

Following tradition…

The First Doctor was a wise grandfather, the Second a sly jester, the Third a secret agent scientist, the Fourth an inquisitive idealist, the Fifth an honorable humanitarian, the Sixth a squandered cynic, the Seventh a curious schemer, the Eighth a classical romantic, the Ninth a hopeful healing veteran, the Tenth a bargaining humanitarian, the Eleventh an irascible runner…

…and the Twelfth Doctor is a principled warrior.

It’s evident that this Doctor grew over his lifetime, and while he faced a lot of loss in this lifetime and his previous regenerations, he faced the threats before him with a hard line drawn at his feet. He stood as a sentinel to protect the innocent, the memories of the Last Great Time War fresh in his mind, and he kept his fury close to the surface as a warning to any who would challenge him. He cared for his companions to a fault, and those losses hurt him, but in the end he knew that he needed to soldier on for the sake of the universe at large.

While it’s easy to find a place for the Twelfth Doctor based on the scores I have assigned over three series, it was far more difficult to weigh out how I feel about him as a character. That took a lot of thought, and while the rankings are very close among the top ten in the “by character” list, I feel like that ranking is true to how I feel. I’d watch any episode with those Doctors on a whim.

Series Scores
Series 8 – 3.6
Series 9 – 4.1
Series 10 – 4.0

Twelfth Doctor’s Weighted Average Rating: 3.87

Ranking (by score)
1 – Eighth (4.50)
2 – Tenth (4.34)
3 – Ninth (4.30)
4 – Eleventh (4.17)
5 – Third (4.00)
6 – Twelfth (3.87)
7 – Second (3.67)
8 – Fourth (3.67)
9 – Seventh (3.54)
10 – First (3.41)
11 – Fifth (3.20)
12 – Sixth (2.73)
N/A – War (No score)

Ranking (by character)
1 – Tenth Doctor
2 – Second Doctor
3 – Ninth Doctor
4 – Eighth Doctor
5 – Third Doctor
6 – Fourth Doctor
7 – Twelfth Doctor
8 – War Doctor
9 – Eleventh Doctor
10 – Seventh Doctor
11 – First Doctor
12 – Fifth Doctor
13 – Sixth Doctor

As I’ve mentioned before, the top ten spaces on the character ranking are really, really, really close. I’m always tempted to simply rank them all as a first-place tie, but I find the real challenge to be actually thinking it through and placing them.

Next up, the Timestamps Project continues to the Thirteenth Doctor’s era. Without any spinoffs on the docket, it’s a straight shot from here through her journey to the franchise’s sixtieth anniversary.

UP NEXT – Doctor Who: The Woman Who Fell to Earthcc-break

The Timestamps Project is an adventure through the televised universe of Doctor Who, story by story, from the beginning of the franchise. For more reviews like this one, please visit the project’s page at Creative Criticality.

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