In the world of catch-up TV, creating an event or ‘water-cooler moment’ is hard to do. Not everyone watches TV ‘live’, and invent their own schedules. Big drama series can be saved up for weeks and then binged on, soaps play out in a time frame that works for the viewer. the dull bits of reality shows fast-forwarded. TV feels like it is moving from being a communal experience to an individual one, and everyone dreads the risk of spoilers on social network sites.

There are exceptions to this though, one of which is special episodes of Doctor Who. A combination of a 50th anniversary and the regeneration of The Doctor made the show a big enough event to overcome the barriers others have faced. The Day of the Doctor was worth putting time aside for. It was a rollickingly good tale, with cameos, nods to the past and genius little touches that made the whole episode zing. A whole nation screamed ‘It’s Tom Baker’ at the final scenes and the likes of Twitter (bar a few curmudgeons) lit up with joy at the whole affair. It was close to perfect.

So a high bar was set for the Christmas episode, Matt Smith’s swansong. So many questions were to be answered. A chapter needed to be closed. A new Doctor was to be born. And in all fairness, all this was done. But to the satisfaction of the audience? Well, no. Not for me anyway. A number of things disappointed. Which is a shame when you consider what was at stake in the episode.

Firstly, there was the role of The Silence. After being so malevolent in previous story arcs, to suddenly find there were some kind of alien UN task force, charged with preventing all-out war felt disjointed. Yes, their motives and the Church’s were thoroughly explained, and the banter between Tasha Lem (the best character in the entire episode) and The Doctor was brilliantly written – “We created a psychopath to kill you” “I married her” – but still, even as essentially the good guys they seemed far scarier than the Cybermen or Dalek’s.

I also have to say, and I hate myself for doing so, but I just can’t bring myself to like Clara. The likes of Rose Tyler and Amy Pond were always going to be big shoes to fill, but it’s just not happening for me. Bar one scene with her grandmother (Sheila Reid taking second prize for best performance behind Orla Brady’s Tasha Lem), I never bought in to a connection between Clara and The Doctor. It’s telling that The Doctor in his final moments hallucinated about Amy, the dream team of the pair of them with Rory is far more beautiful and nuanced than what Clara can offer.

Finally, there was the regeneration itself. I don’t mind that the Gallifreyan’s last-minute awarding of extra-regenerations to The Doctor was a bit of a cop out. It was a passable solution, and tied in nicely with the lore of the show, with echoes of The Master receiving the same gift two decades previously. It was the length of time the regeneration took. First Smith, who had been aged with all the money the BBC make-up department could muster, was reset to a young man, then after some hallucinations and a few empty words to Clara, became Peter Capaldi. Eccleston’s transition into Tennant, was much stronger, the emotional heft was there, the sense of sacrifice for those he loved so simply yet beautifully told.

There are some good things to report. Firstly, enough of the questions have been answered to satisfy viewers at an intellectual level at least. Also, Handles the Cyberman was a nice touch. Most importantly, Capaldi looks like he is going to be a great Doctor. He has the eccentricity of Smith, with the gravitas of Hartnell. He is going to be a much spikier Doctor, and less of a geek-come-action hero attitude. I hope when he appears properly in the autumn he gets to show what he is made of. Based on the Christmas episode, the show needs a bit of a kick to get it back to the level it needs to be on.