Advertisements I guess I liked this episode better than most, while not liking the 50th anniversary special as much as those same people because I didn't think it was that much worse. I enjoyed this special almost as much as the 50th anniversary, but the problem I had with this one was the same as the other: I thought it fell short in its attempt at being something truly epic. And even though I didn't mention it specifically in my post in the 50th anniversary thread, I think the core issue I have is that both episodes boiled down to being solved by Clara giving a motivational pep talk. While I support Clara having an influence, I would have preferred that she be the catalyst for the events rather than the center point around which those events revolved. That's why I preferred my alternate 50th anniversary ending of the Doctor deliberately deciding to erase his memory. In that case, it wouldn't be the Doctor deciding to rewrite history simply because Clara gave him the "remember who you are" pep talk, but rather him deciding to take action because of it. It might seem like a subtle difference, but to me it's the difference between the Doctor doing something completely different absent Clara's uplifting speech and his mind simply being opened to a new possibility. Similarly, in this episode the Time Lords are sitting around doing nothing until Clara tells them, "You know who the Doctor is." And then they suddenly decide to give the Doctor a whole new set of regenerations and close the rift. Really? That's all they needed to hear? Some random alien telling them to believe in the Doctor? I would have preferred something else to have been the primary factor in their change of heart. My alternate ending would have had the question "Doctor Who?" being repeated in the room with Clara and the rift. Then Clara would have walked over to the rift and said, "You want to know who the Doctor is? This is who the Doctor is." And with that, she would have shoved her hand in the crack, and flashes from her various incarnations would have been shown, letting us know that the Time Lords were seeing the Doctor's life from her perspective while she had been split across his timeline. (Something that Clara herself would not have been capable of doing, but would have been made possible via Time Lord technology/abilities and the effects of the rift unraveling events in space-time.) Seeing the Doctor's life would not only let them see what the Doctor was capable of, but also the effects of the Time War from his perspective. This would allow them not only to understand why they couldn't return now, but also to realize that they could put their hope in the Doctor to find a way. And that would be their ultimate motivation for giving the Doctor a new set of regenerations and closing the rift. Of course, we would also need an explanation for why Clara didn't die or get erased from history after touching the rift, so instead of the regeneration energy coming straight from the rift and going to the Doctor, perhaps it would instead go into Clara, reviving her. Then she would walk up to the Doctor and transfer it to him. After that, the rift could open in space and swallow the Dalek mothership, which would not only remove their threat, but cause the rift to collapse. With this ending, Clara would still be important because she would need to be willing to sacrifice herself for the Doctor. But at the same time, it wouldn't just be about what she said, but who she was. She wouldn't be just some random alien, but someone whose history with the Doctor would play a vital role in making her case to the Time Lords. All of that buildup of Clara being the Impossible Girl could have paid off in a big way in this episode, and I feel that it fell short by ignoring that aspect of her. Instead, we are left with the last reference to that aspect being a bunch of flashbacks of her saving the Doctor throughout time, which was nice, but not something we really got to experience. Any of the Doctor's companions could have made the same speech that Clara did. Heck, a lot of the townspeople could have as well. It would have been nice if Clara had offered something that only she could have given in order to save the Doctor.