So in the end we're supposed to believe the Doctor does it all to save Clara.
And it just . . . It doesn't work for me.
It worked with the whole Rose story line. The bond between them, his inability to save her and the universe at the same time, the great sorrow at their having to part. So why not now?
Maybe because it has been done already, in a way (and better). Maybe because it becomes ridiculous to believe every companion has this impact on the Doctor. And we did the forgetting thing with Donna, too, only the other way around. So it just doesn't feel fresh at all. In fact, it feels a bit like a messy stew of ideas that didn't get fully cooked properly.
I won't even bother with the details. There was Gallifrey and there was the American Southwest again. There was the Doctor getting shouty and some convoluted logic in taking Clara out of the moment of her death and whatever. They failed in the key point: making me care. With Rose I cared, with Donna I cared, even with Amy and Rory I cared, but this one felt sloppy from the start.
So I'm hoping, just a bit, for some kind of fresh start after all this? Can we be done? Has this been settled? I don't even care if it hasn't been settled at this point, I just want to start over and hope for something better. Like a reset button.
Moffat does small stories very well. His solo episodes like "Girl in the Fireplace" and "Blink" are solid, largely considered some of the best since the show rebooted in 2005. But when he tries to paint a bigger picture, it's just a mess. RTD did it so well, and so even if Moffat were good at it, he'd probably still suffer by comparison. But he's not good at it, so the contrast is even greater.
At the end of the day, out of this entire season (or first half of the season, or whatever it is), I only actually enjoyed the two-parter about the lake. That's a terrible batting average.
And I so want to like this show. I want it to be good again. It's starting to be painful, and if it doesn't turn around, I may have to abandon it. Which I really don't want to do. But sticking it out 'til the bitter end is devolving into hate watching, and I don't want to do that, either.
It's so difficult, watching a show you love wither on the vine. Let's get some irrigation going, stat.