i did something semi-quick bc im still so torn up about eleven regenerating. while im so ready for capaldi’s doctor, I LOVED ELEVEN/MATT SMITH. and the writing for that last episode was really great and i cried, eras ending always make me cry.
I Am the Doctor, the iconic theme most associated with the Eleventh Doctor, was nowhere to be heard in this episode. Gone was the clever, devilish, “Just you watch me get myself out of this one,” with a wink and a jammy dodger Doctor, the Doctor that almost always appears with a cunning solution whenever this music plays.
Instead, the Eleventh Doctor of this episode has come to terms with his fate and become set in his ways as a literal old man, and it’s not he who pulls out a solution and saves everyone at the end of the day: it’s Clara, when she asks for help through the crack.
It also seemed worth noting the fact that little Amelia’s theme played when the Doctor spoke to the young redheaded boy Barnable, who wished to fly away with the Doctor in the TARDIS if he was in fact leaving the town. Centuries later, the Doctor mistook another young man as Barnable, and continued to refer to him as Barnable, which seemed symbolic of how he forever could still see Amelia within Amy, and Amelia within any lonely child looking for adventure.
The music, a bit from the track titled The Sad Man With a Box, is the same bit that plays during the Series 5 finale, when Eleven says his goodbyes to little Amelia at her bedside as she drifts off to sleep, knowing that once she is asleep she will never again remember who he is, like a metaphorical death of sorts to him.
(If you recall, he tells her to “live well and love Rory,” which could also be seen as a spookily literal and premature final goodbye to her, as Amy eventually leaves him forever to live well and love Rory in another time.)
And what happens just before this music plays and Eleven drops his bow tie?
Amy Pond appears to him, and she tells him goodnight.
Instead of the Raggedy Man tucking her into bed to say his goodbyes (presumably) forever while this theme plays, it’s she who sends him off to sleep this time.
Eleven told little Amelia during that moment that “we’re all just stories in the end.” And here, in this new scene, I think that the significance of that line is apparent once again.
Because with the removal of that bow tie and that regeneration, he’s ready to grow up and move on: there will be other ways to be childish, other ways to change into new people without forgetting about the ones that you were, and new twists to add in the stories that we all become in the end.
(edit: Sadly, this post has been edited to remove the gorgeous bit of music in question, and instead replace it with a few seconds of silence. This has been done in order to avoid any sort of copyright infringement due to the recent panic of account termination across Tumblr. You can listen to the song here.)
when the Doctor regenerates:
lots of unnecessary drama, has to comment on one of his body parts, complains about not being ginger, needs to eat fish fingers and custard, is totally useless for a whole episode
when the Time Lord General regenerates:
gets back up immediately, eyeliner already on fleek, is relieved she's not a man anymore, business as usual