So. Season finale coming up, and from all the information we have so far, it looks like it'll deal with both the long, long, long-running mystery now, as well as answer the question "Who is Clara" and, to be honest, I'm nervous.
Because how the hell are they going to tell that in ONE episode? "Doctor Who?" and his name is a thing that should, by itself, need an episode as big as "A Good Man Goes to War" (though that episode did reveal River Song's identity too... hm.) to be told. It is, after all, the culmination of all the seasons and episodes of Doctor Who, pretty much since season 2 (when we met Madame du Pompadour and she said "Doctor Who... It's more than a name, isn't it? It's a secret.") and especially since season 4 (when we first met River Song and she told the Doctor his name), as well as the pay-off for the Silence-arc, which started in season 5 with the cracks in the walls, then ran all throughout the insane sixth season. Now, in addition to that, they're going to pack in what's probably the next to last time the Doctor will meet River Song (that's pure speculation on my part), not to mention reveal the whole "Who's Clara?"-plot.
I don't understand how they're going to do it. The next two episodes - "The Crimson Horror" and "Nightmare in Silver" - aren't written by Moffat, so while they'll probably feature hints, I doubt we're actually going to solve any of these mysteries. Are we getting a super-length season finale? Because I don't see how he's going to solve all these things in a 40 minute episode. That's going to be insane to watch. I feel a sort of interesting gleeful fright just thinking about it.
Then to the next part; where the hell do they go from here? I mean, what's next? The 50th Anniversary, then season 8. So we can assume that the 50th Anniversary won't have anything to do with the main plotlines - because Moffat has said it's about looking forward, while acknowledging the past - and because it would just be incredibly hard. Unless "The Name of the Doctor" ends with something Tennant-related happening; either a problem that needs two Doctors to be solved, or at least pulls in Rose and 10, or something happens - a temporary split in the Doctor or something - that leads into the 50th Anniversary.
Either way, in three weeks we may have all the solutions and answers to a storyline that essentially began in the show's first episode, season 2's "The Girl in the Fireplace" or "Silence in the Library", depending on how you look at it, as well as having the solution for the "Who is Clara?"-question that started in season 7. That leaves me with this question; what the hell are they doing in season 8?
I mean, of course there'll be standalones. But are they crafting a new, huge story like this? Are they going for a more relaxed season, like season 7? Or are they doing something like season 1-4, where there's a plot or theme or word or mystery or something that goes through all the first 10-12 episodes, before being solved in episode 13? These are huge questions that would change the nature of the show yet again.
But maybe the reveal of "The Name of the Doctor" changes everything in another way. It doesn't have to be the end of the huge plotline. They can always take a look at the consequences; what happens when people know the Doctor's name? How do people react? Does this become common knowledge? Maybe "The Name of the Doctor" is simultaneously an episode that gives us some answers and reveals huge plots, while setting up the next part of the show?
Either way, I am ridiculously excited to see what Moffat has in store for us.
What's in a name?
Which brings me to this question; what's in a name. Because I'm pretty sure Moffat's intent isn't to say "Yeah, his name is Bob!" or something like that. That sort of name doesn't have any bearing of the show. What's interesting, and what the question is, really, is more... "What does this name mean?" Because obviously, this is a huge secret. A key piece of information, hidden. Something that must never be revealed.
THEORY TIME! The Doctor's name is Cthulhu; he comes from another dimension, used to destroy worlds - humans and these tiny organisms were mere annoyances, like flies are to us or maybe even smaller - and people go mad if they're with him for too long. Then he started studying the smaller organisms, grew a concience, stole a TARDIS, kicked off the Time War and entrapped his fellow Cthulhuians so they wouldn't destroy the universe. Him saving everyone is basically him trying to redeem himself.
However, I don't see the problem with people knowing this sort of information. I mean, if Hitler had stopped his big project in the middle of World War II and turned into a humanitarian scientist who invented a cure for cancer, his past would be looked down upon but we'd also celebrate him for the fact that he saw his mistakes and then saved billions of people. So there has to be something dangerous, something dreadful... Something the Silence is scared of, either because it means the death of them or the death of the entire universe... But we know it's not the latter, because River knows his name and that is, chronologically, after the events of "The Name of the Doctor"... probably.
MAYBE THE DOCTOR DESIGNED THE DALEKS!
MAYBE HE DOESN'T REMEMBER SOMETHING AWFUL HE DID, AND KNOWING IT WILL REIGNITE THAT SPARK!
But no, that latter one doesn't make any sense, because he obviously knows his name - River tells him in season 4 - and he clearly knows what the secret entails and why it musn't ever come out.
I can't help shake the feeling that the introduction of Clara and her whole mystery is going to be the solution to "The Name of the Doctor"-mystery, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how...
Oh well. What do you guys and gals make of all this? I'm very intrigued as to what's going to happen on this show in the coming weeks, then the 50th Anniversary, the Christmas Special and season 8. It's going to be a long, interesting, haul for sure...
EDIT: Okay, I just had to add this; Moffat has said that we'll know "the Doctor's greatest secret". The First Question is "Doctor Who?". The season finale is called "The Name of the Doctor". But still, the Doctor's "greatest secret" needn't be his name. So yeah, they might not reveal his name. Or maybe they do, but it's in Gallifreyan and no one will know how to pronounce it. Then the Doctor explains what it means, and that's it.
But yeah. I'm going to bed now, because this show is killing my brain. And of course I am loving it, but really - I need my beauty sleep as well. :P