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This Is The Worst Doctor Who Finale, According To IMDb

It takes a special kind of nerd to appreciate Doctor Who. Even if you forgo the 862 or so episodes from the original run, you've still got 12 whole seasons to get through if you want to catch up with the revamped series. That's 147 episodes just to stay up to date with the iteration of the show that's designed to be more accessible. Starting Doctor Who as a first-time fan is intimidating. Finishing a season is an investment.

And it's understandably frustrating when that investment doesn't pay off. Sure, art's subjective, but when the Doctor gets out of a season-long inescapable, predestined, immovable-point-in-time death sentence by sending a robot that looks like him to sub in for him during the last 10 minutes of the finale, the audience doesn't tend to think it's cute. Generally speaking, wibbly-wobbly time heals all wounds, and viewers look back at these moments through rose-colored glasses in the years that follow, but what about when they're in the moment? When they're all fired up and ready to let the internet know what they think through the cutting blows of an IMDb review? Strong words get thrown around.

And maybe that's why season 12's "The Timeless Children" has such a terrible rating.

Or maybe it was just really, really bad.

Doctor Who's The Timeless Children has already aged poorly

Change is hard to accept — and doubly difficult in the nerd world, where our ability to correct someone else's read on niche canon is as close as we'll ever get to street cred, so the big reveal from Doctor Who's season 12 story arc was always going to be controversial.

See, traditionally, the Doctor has been portrayed as a member of the Time Lords, an ancient race of hyper-intelligent, occasionally psychic humanoids from the planet Gallifrey, capable of traveling through time via extradimensional sentient ships called TARDISes and able to cheat death by regenerating a new body whenever grave harm comes their way, but only 12 times. Only twelve times. It's pretty boilerplate stuff.

What "The Timeless Children" posits, however, is that the Doctor was actually a child from another reality, discovered by the Time Lords' less spectacular forebears and possessing a natural ability to regenerate. The proto-Time Lords went on to harvest this from her in order to allow themselves that same gift so they could stave off death and become a prominent force on the universal political map, which is, you know, just silly. Also, there were some Time Lord Cybermen with very large collars thrown in there, and something about an allegorical immortal Irish police officer named Brendan.

Delete. Delete.

The final tally for "The Timeless Children:" 5.1 stars out of 10 on IMDb, with choice quotes in the comments section ranging from "60 years killed in 60 minutes" to "I made an IMDb account specifically so I could spread the word of how awful this episode was." One especially incensed viewer even went so far as to ask "is (showrunner) Chris Chibnall the Meddling Monk?" That's an absolutely breathtaking "shots fired" moment if you're caught up on ancillary characters from low-budget British sci-fi serials circa 1965. "The Timeless Children" became not just the worst-reviewed finale in the show's 50-plus year history, but also one of the most poorly received episodes of Doctor Who in general.

Technically, it's actually tied with the season 11 finale "The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos," which IMDb users described varyingly as "dull as dishwater," "a barely plotted runaround,"  and, more forgivingly, "a barely adequate episode." That one gets a pass for at least including the tooth face guy from "The Woman Who Fell to Earth."