Doctor Who Review – The Day of the Doctor

Doctor Who Day of The Doctor Preview Doctor Who Review   The Day of the Doctor
Writing an anniversary special is something of a poison chalice at the best of times. Writing a 50th Anniversary special for a show that has to appeal to all ages in prime time and has a rabid fan base who have memorised every detail of the shows inconsistent continuity and will pick it to death is and all of those people expect references to their memories of the show…. Well Moffat was the script writer on the day it wasn’t possible to get it right really wasn’t he?

No, The Day of the Doctor is not the perfect Doctor Who episode. It can’t be, because it has too many roles to fill. But that said, it does a lot of things right.

So let’s just get the weaknesses out of the way at the beginning.

- The Zygon plot is pretty much by the numbers for modern Who and it doesn’t get what you’d call a satisfactory resolution.
- This is a giant honking retcon. If you care about such things.
- OCD fans are going to be foaming at the mouth about numbers
- There are a good number of big ideas that are thrown out there without explanation or follow through.
- The Time War remains largely unseen and while what we do see is an epic battle, it also lacks any actual… you know.. time elements.

All of the above is true and lets be honest somewhat typical of Steven Moffat’s Doctor Who in general. The show was in fact packed with Moffatisms both good and bad. ALthough the longer running time does help to alleviate the over-compression that I’ve felt about recent episodes

Unlike previous multi-Doctor stories, time travel was actually central to the story-telling here and threaded throughout. There are mirror constructs throughout the story as well. Moffat knows his story structure. The story is also meta-commentary on the show itself, another thing that Moffat is fond of.

It’s All About Matt Smith

This is an 11th Doctor story (no I’m not wasting my time on the stupid numbering debate and neither should you) and it follows the emotional beats of Matt Smith’s Doctor as we’ve been exploring them since his arrival.

Other Doctors are present, but it’s made very obvious that this story changes nothing for them. It does however change the current Doctor’s perspective.

By introducing The Curator at the end Moffat both signals a new theme/direction to pursue in future seasons and also (don’t forget the meta) winks to the audience and says.. but guess which actor won’t be there to see it through.

Mirror Structures Everywhere
Right from the beginning we have references and mirror structures. The opening sequence directly copies that of the very first episode. Then Smith hanging from the TARDIS mirrors his first episode The Eleventh Hour.

But that’s just the start of it.

We learn about the Omega Arsenal. And just how bloody were the Ancients of Gallifrey anyway? Later on we learn about UNIT’s Black Archive. Similar anyone? It could also be seen as a direct replacement to the defunct Torchwood.

The structural mirroring goes beyond that though because we get The Moment from the Omega Arsenal and we discover there’s a nuke under The Black Archive. The parallels are obviously not accidental. This is a direct mirror to the Doctor’s intention to destroy Gallifrey. Murdering millions to save billions as Kate Lethbridge-Stewart puts it. But as Tennant responds:

“This is not a decision you will ever be able to live with.”
“What I did that day was wrong. Just wrong.”

There has to be a better way right? After all. This is Doctor Who. There’s always a better way. It’s a central tenet of the show.

And of course there is. In fact the final solution is another bit of structural mirroring being the exact method they used with the Sonic Screwdriver earlier on.

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Nicely done Mr. Moffat.

Meta… Meta… Meta…

Being a Doctor Who anniversary special you have to address the fans directly and The Day of the Doctor does that in spades. In fact there are so many little references I can’t even attempt to catch them all.

-The clock near the beginning that showed the exact time the first episode of Doctor Who was broadcast
- Ian Chesterton as school governor
- Tennant not liking the changes to the TARDIS
- Osgood and her scarf (two for one)
- The way when menaced by Zygons people press themselves back into a corner

But there are much bigger meta-discussion and structures at play here. The direct reference to The Three Doctors is not accidental as this episode is clearly partially patterned against that. Certainly far more so than The Five Doctors.

Here John Hurt (fabulous in the part incidentally) taking a similar role to William Hartnell as the crotchety old man while Matt Smith is clearly The Clown (Patrick Troughton) and yes David Tennant is The Dandy notice how they played up his tendency to woo the ladies? Hurt even gets a Hartnell line near the end when he regenerates.

Hurt serves another purpose here as well. A purely meta one. He acts as an old-school Doctor and directly lobs some of the criticisms that long-time fans have had of nu-Who:

“Am I having a mid-life crisis?”
“They’re screwdrivers. What are you going to do? Assemble a cabinet at them?”
“Timey what? Timey Wimey?”
“Are you capable of speaking without flapping your hands about?”
“Is there a lot of this in the future?” – Referencing Tennant kissing Queen Elizabeth.
“Oh for gods sake! Gallifrey stands” – Referencing Allons-y and Geronimo.

But he also serves as notice that…. it’s changed okay. Nu-Who is not the same as old Who. But that doesn’t make it worse. Throughout the episode he is the odd one out. In several places Tennant and Smith’s Doctor’s are showing working in unison. Clearly parts of the same whole. Hurt stands apart. A different era. Someone whose experiences have shaped him very differently.

And yet in the end he respects the newer Doctors:

“How many worlds has his regret saved to you think?”
“Then all things considered. Time I grew up.”

Yes thats directly referencing the on-going plot but it’s also talking about how the show has changed. In the old days the Doctor did save people. But it was almost by accident. He stumbled into situations and did the best he could. With perhaps the exception of Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor he wasn’t trying to save the world.

Snappy Dialogue

What would modern Doctor Who be without the witty banter hmm? Well we got that in spades and here I think Tennant got some of the best material:

“It’s a machine that goes ding”
“You are basically just a rabbit aren’t you?”
“Compensating?”
“Sandshoes”
“We’re confusing the polarity!”
”Spoilers!”
“The round things! I love the round things! What are the round things?”

I also, incidentally love and miss the roundels. They’ll come back eventually.
We also discovered that when you put the cleverest person in the room in the room three times over they all miss the obvious solution. The door isn’t locked.

Who Is The Doctor

If you were to ask me what this episode was really about, I would say it was an exploration of what it means to be The Doctor.

While fans are busy wasting their time arguing over whether we call him 8.5 or 9 or Theta Sigma they are sadly missing the far bigger points that were being made. Bad Wolf Rose’s dialogue hits the nail on the head when talking about the arrival of the TARDIS:

“That sound brings hope to anyone who hears it. Anyone Doctor. Even you.”

What is the Doctor? According to this episode he’s a promise:

Never cruel or cowardly
Never give up. Never give in.

But above all he is the bringer of hope. He makes things better. And there was one point in his history when he himself had no hope. And the only person who could bring him that hope… was himself.

“You were the Doctor on the day it wasn’t possible to get it right.”
“You don’t have to do it alone.”
“Either I destroy my own people or let the Universe burn.”

Physician heal thyself.

Yes it’s a retcon. It’s a giant stinking retcon. But Doctor Who doesn’t have continuity. It never did. That’s a fan construct. It’s ever changing ever evolving. And while the battle damaged Doctor made an easy entry point for new fans and gave depth to the character for those who didn’t already know his whole history… Well the behavior it really never did sit well with the Doctor’s core character did it?

Stop Sweating The Small Stuff

Fans have a tendency to fixate on the small and largely unimportant details. LIke the correct number of Doctors and the regeneration limit. In this episode Moffat basically tells us to stop wasting our energy. It will all get squared away.

First we have the thirteenth incarnation of the man who calls himself The Doctor showing up. And at no point do they feel the need to actually assign numbers to themselves. Then we have what it’s strongly hinted is a future incarnation re-using a favorite face put in an appearance basically telling us the regeneration limit is no big thing.

“In years to come you might find yourself revisiting a few. But just the old favorites eh?”

Moffat also has Smith explicitly say both that he doesn’t remember how old he is and that he might be lying. So can we stop worrying about exactly what age he is at various stages? It doesn’t matter.

A Few More Thoughts

I really wish we’d had this version of Rose in the Tennant era. She was so much more appealing than the character we actually got.

John Hurt is wonderful as an older and war weary Doctor. As much as I love Paul McGann his Doctor couldn’t have pulled that off. And no… neither could Eccleston’s.

Speaking of which.. really Chris? You couldn’t have come back to give us the 1 minute of footage we needed for a proper regeneration?

The Doctor Is Going Home…. Eventually

So let’s wrap this up in a bow. We get a big celebration of what came before. A re-tuning of where we are going next. Oh and lots of fun along the way.

No it’s not a perfect story, but I don’t think you could make an anniversary special that got any closer.

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183 thoughts on “Doctor Who Review – The Day of the Doctor

  1. November 24, 2013 at 12:21

    Nice review. I loved it and I even got one of the references – the scarf! but then I always thought of Tom Baker as THE doctor

  2. November 24, 2013 at 12:21

    I dug it… I hope the Xmas special and the new season are half that good… If they are they will expunge the drek that was the last half of season 7

  3. November 24, 2013 at 13:20

    I loved the rabbit and the Round Things. (glad the rabbit didn't have sharp teeth and a nasty temper)

    And I miss Rose.
    (Great review, BTW. So there are Zygons running around. And be wary of good kissers?)

  4. November 24, 2013 at 13:20

    An excellent review and it mirrored most of my own thoughts on the special. I found it compelling and delightful in turns with a minimum of the things Moffat does that infuriate me. (Really, Elizabeth? Couldn't you just be strong without the silly infatuation with Ten?)

  5. November 24, 2013 at 13:20

    The only real thing that bothered me is that the 10th doctor already knew that Gallifrey was time locked and not burned because he saw it pulled out of it's time lock around Earth by the Master.

    Unless this happened just before the 10th Doctor was to face off against the Master's story arc.

    However, still… the time streams are out of sync and thus, the 10th Doctor wasn't supposed to be able to remember any of this. Right?

    Other than this, I could look past the little things and actually, really, even this sorta since Doctor Who has never really been about consistencies or any of that nonsense.

  6. November 24, 2013 at 13:20

    +Stuart Duncan The fact that the adventure involves Elizabeth I implies this is directly before The End of Time for 10.  (It's also impossible for 10 to have done this after that.  He became 11.)

    Now, 11 knows all that.  It's among many things that fall into the "Don't sweat the small stuff" I think. (It's one of the large ones for that. End of Time causes issues if the Doctor finds Gallifrey.)

  7. November 24, 2013 at 14:21

    +Stuart Duncan This actually fixed that plot hole for me.  It always kind of bugged me that the Doctor angsted endlessly over killing all his people when it turned out they were just time-locked.

  8. November 24, 2013 at 14:21

    Yes it’s a retcon. It’s a giant stinking retcon. But Doctor Who doesn’t have continuity. It never did. That’s a fan construct. It’s ever changing ever evolving.

    I don't view this a retcon, in The End of Time there's mention by the Narrator/President/maybe-Rassillon's councillors: "But we know his intention. He still possesses the Moment, and he'll use it to destroy Daleks and Time Lords alike." and "All of her prophecies say the same. That this is the last day of the Time War. That Gallifrey falls. That we die, today.".  This is obviously The Hurt Doctor's time zone, just before/during The Moment's/Bad Wolf Rose's activation.  It's already within the Time Lock according to The Tennant Doctor at the end of Day of the Doctor, AND the Presidential Council and Tennant in The End of Time.  The Visionary may have seen the most probable future for Gallifrey, but then again, The Doctor has always been unpredictable.

    As the Time War is already trapped in the Time Lock when the decision is made to store Gallifrey in a painting AND the decision to implant the drums into The Master AND sending the White Point Star to Earth, the only thing that's retconed is The Doctor's memory of DETONATING The Moment and actually burning Gallifrey.  Otherwise, EVERYTHING FITS INTO PLACE JUST NICELY.

    Doctor Who does actually have continuity, it's not as strict as other series, but it is there.

  9. November 24, 2013 at 14:21

    and also, why are you spoiling the story both here and in an amazon review the day after airing?  there may still be people who haven't seen it, you know…

  10. November 24, 2013 at 14:21

    +Sean Elliott What you've described is why it's a retcon. It's a re-working of what we're originally told. Retroactively changing continuity. A good retcon fits everything we've previously been told while simultaneously changing our understanding and the consequences that stem from those events.

    And you need to be a lot less literal on my statement Doctor Who doesn't have continuity.

  11. November 24, 2013 at 14:21

    From how I see the timeline Gallifrey was time locked as is touched on previously with Journey's End and End of Time.

    All the events play out exactly as they were suppose to all along. Fixed point in time and all that.

    The War Doctor DID use The Moment just not in the way it was designed to be use. The Moment is a "weapon" that's so powerful that it can wipe out galaxies, so powerful the interface becomes sentient. It's shown though that The Moment can easily circumvent traditional rules of time to make a point or allow events to happen. Such as bringing all three Doctors together, or circumventing the time lock so all 13 Doctors can save Gallifrey at the exact moment of it's "destruction".

    In this sense The Moment was used by The War Doctor, it allowed him to bring his other selves to him and for all the events to occur after that point.

    There is a moment where all three Doctors are about to make push the button which isn't how events are suppose to happen as The Moment knows them so she shows them those images which leads the 11th to make a decision. At that point I believe the "main" timeline is shifted to him, since it was his decision to "change" things.  In reality the timeline is just playing out as it should.

    The War Doctor up through to the 11th Doctor before this event have to believe they pushed the button and that Gallifrey burned. Otherwise all the people saved since because of that regret would be lost, so their timelines become out of sync by their knowledge they actually saved Gallifrey. To fix this they have to forget those events so the timeline can be preserved.

  12. November 24, 2013 at 14:21

    Yeah, I see "using The Moment" as exactly what did happen here.  It's hinted at in the Aresenal when the General asks, "how do you use a weapon that will stand in judgement over you doing so?" (not sure that's exact)

    You do it by letting it convince you to do something else.

  13. November 24, 2013 at 14:21

    You want to know why I think this special was perfect? It was FUN. The Doctor can have is high drama when needed, but this episode was a celebration! Also, am I the only one who was super excited to see Capaldi show up?

  14. November 24, 2013 at 14:21

    And I'm not spoiling the story +Sean Elliott. This is a review. If you read a review you find out things about the plot.

    If someone doesn't want to know. They shouldn't read reviews

  15. November 24, 2013 at 14:21

    Oh I love that brief appearance from Capaldi +Christopher Seavey

  16. November 24, 2013 at 14:21

    +Sean Elliott Get over it River Song. If you are a true fan, you'll watch and love it anyway. If you're not, you won't give a toss.

  17. November 24, 2013 at 14:21

    +Eoghann Irving it's also possible to write an effective review without revealing plot points.

  18. November 24, 2013 at 14:21

    It was fun. I've heard people say "fanservice" like it's a bad thing, but an anniversary special isn't really for the casual viewer. It's a tribute to the show's history and to the rabid fans that have kept it on the air. It absolutely should make their heads explode in delight.

  19. November 24, 2013 at 14:21

    No, actually you can't +Sean Elliott

    A spoiler free review is a fundamentally different thing. It serves a purpose but in no way could I have done what I did here and made it spoiler free.

    Those types of reviews are labeled… spoiler free reviews. Notice how mine is not.

    The show has aired. It aired simultaneously all over the world. If people haven't watched it that is their choice.

    You don't like how I do things. You are free to piss off as well.

  20. November 24, 2013 at 15:19

    +Brittany Constable Exactly.  If it wasn't full of "fanservice" people would be complaining about that, probably more.  I think it had just enough, while also being a good story on its own.

  21. November 24, 2013 at 15:19

    I tried to get at that aspect in the review +Brittany Constable. If there is one episode where lots of fan service has to be acceptable its in an anniversary special.

  22. November 24, 2013 at 15:19

    +Sean Elliott Also, to avoid spoiling it for myself, I made a point of NOT coming on G+ and reading spoilers as I had to work at the time of the original airing. I've since seen a repeat. Seriously, did you come on the thread to whine on the behalf of others who, like myself, have no idea who the fuck you are? Apart from being irrelevant.

  23. November 24, 2013 at 15:19

    Still, one of the MAJOR flaws in the script that I know EVERY SINGLE WHOVIAN'S going to critique is the fact that they've neglected Rassolin and his plan on destroying the universe. That's what's bugging me the most is because if Gallifrey is just frozen in time, then Rassolin and his plan to escape the "void" doesn't make any sense now. Besides that, they tie up as many loose ends as possible and they do this in an intriguing way. Plus, I actually kind of LIKED how John Hurt's regeneration (which I'm calling him "the Warrior" for short) actually thought of the older doctors. It gave a voice to fan, like me, who really kind of get tired of the love affairs and all of that "wonderful" nonsense. It gets a little excessive and seeing on regeneration noticing that makes me smile a little. (Personally, I love Matt Smith and David Tennant, but it's the fact that they want to make the Doctor a lover so much that kind of gets old after a while.) He should really be more of a moral figure than anything else.

  24. November 24, 2013 at 15:19

    +Matthew Chenault That bugs me but doesn't.  It makes for a potential interesting story if/when the Doctor recovers Gallifrey.  (If they ignore it then, that's an issue)

  25. November 24, 2013 at 15:19

    Great episode, excellent review. Thank you.

  26. November 24, 2013 at 15:19

    +Matthew Chenault I'm not sure it's a flaw. The events that happen in End of Time still all apply. We don't actually know what happens to Rassilon, we assume and the events in the 50th would seem to support the idea that Master killed him.

    Gallifrey's Events could be as followed:
    The Last Day Begins
    Rassilon tries to escape time lock.
    Master kills Rassilon.
    Doctor "uses" The Moment which leads to
    The three Doctors being on Gallifrey
    The thirteen Doctors saving Gallifrey

  27. November 24, 2013 at 15:19

    excellent review and fascinating conversation.

  28. November 24, 2013 at 15:19

    It was fantastic, but two things bugged me. On is serious, the other not so much.
    1. In the Timelord episodes w/ David Tennant, Timothy Dalton(a former James Bond) played the main Timelord role, but he wasn't in the Day of the Doctor even though technically he probably should've been. Why isn't he in it? Is it simply like Eccleston? Did he not want to make even a momentary appearance? I would've like to see him as a Timelord.
    2. Little fan girl thing: Why was David Tennant's hair flat? When he was the Doctor that was never a thing. Not sure I liked it.

  29. November 24, 2013 at 15:19

    +Jessica McGarity That's referenced by the General saying that the High Council had their chance and had failed to stop anything.  I think it was a good idea keeping that separate since really, this did happen at the same time.  (The Doctor acquiring the Moment, probably right after it happened, is referenced in The End of Time)

  30. November 24, 2013 at 16:20

    But then, Rassolin realizes that they are in a time lock, though. That's what's confusing me is just that fact. I think it needs more explaining in order for it to make some more logical sense.

  31. November 24, 2013 at 16:20

    +Matthew Chenault There are 2 separate time locks. The entire War is Time Locked, always was.  (10 mentions this twice in reference to events being impossible.  The Moment basically "drills holes" through it) 

    Rassilon is talking about that one, not the one they use to save Gallifrey.

  32. November 24, 2013 at 16:20

    I'm not sure what happened to save Gallifrey is the same as a time lock. A time lock implies that a certain area of spacetime has been wrapped in a bubble that is impenetrable by Time Travel. It still exists in the same time and space, you just can't get to the events using something like a TARDIS to try and change those events.

    Where as what they do in the 50th seems to have done is just removed Gallifrey from all of our spacetime together and put them in a pocket dimension/universe

  33. November 24, 2013 at 16:20

    I was so surprised about how good the 50th was!

  34. November 24, 2013 at 16:20

    It was awesome, don't take away from it.

  35. November 24, 2013 at 16:20

    A couple of additional points:

    Wikipedia's write-up of The End of Time indicates a different sort of time lock: namely that the Time Lords themselves placed a restriction that prevented time travel in / out of Gallifrey, as both sides using time travel really messed things up: suffered a major defeat? Go back in time and get rid of the leader of the main opposition force before the attack.

    The time lock used in this episode was more like trapping Gallifrey in a time bubble in a planet-sized pocket dimension outside the usual space-time universe.

    Meanwhile, with the comment on mirrors, one you missed: the Osterhagen Project, which bears an uncanny resemblance to The Moment: a chain of twenty-five nuclear warheads placed in strategic points beneath the Earth's crust. If the key was used, the system would be activated and the Earth would be ripped apart. That was also very nearly used in response to a Dalek invasion (The Stolen Earth / Journey's End).

    And with shout-outs to the Classic Series: as well as the school, there was a sign pointing to a junkyard – probably also the same one where the TARDIS was hiding in An Unearthly Child.

  36. November 24, 2013 at 16:20

    +Ben Norwood It was indeed the same one from the original series.

  37. November 24, 2013 at 16:20

    Nicely reviewed, +Eoghann Irving . Thank you.

  38. November 24, 2013 at 17:19

    Here's your line Mr Eccleston: "Fantastic!" Great, that's that done. No, you really can go home now…

  39. November 24, 2013 at 17:19

    I've read a few of the comments here about double time-locking. Maybe that's mirrored by the 'reversing the polarity' gag? One is undoing the other…

  40. November 24, 2013 at 17:19

    (ooc) Saddest part "I don't want to go"

  41. November 24, 2013 at 17:19

    The one good thing, though, is that Rose wasn't the entire part of the episode, for once…. :D I get tired of that jerk of a companion always bad-mouthing everyone else. Now, she's playing a role that doesn't mean she's the entire universe. This time, it was ACTUALLY FOCUSED ON THE DOCTORS! I think that Stephan Moffat did his actual best after all of his "flops" these past two years. Still, there should have been more Daleks in the Episode… a lot more because it IS the 50th anniversary, for crying out loud! Doctor Who came into being BECAUSE of the Daleks. Without the Daleks, Doctor Who wouldn't have gotten as popular as it did so quickly.

  42. November 24, 2013 at 17:19

    +Stuart Duncan Actually, this happened just immediately after the Master-Rassilon thingee: 1) Rassilon enacts his plan when he finds out that the Doctor has gotten a hold of The Moment (but hasn't triggered it yet), 2) remember the General saying "Well, the High Council's plan has failed… I'm not bothering with them anymore" and 3) how the General is surprised when the Doctor contacts them again (which will only make sense after 10th sent Gallifrey back)

  43. November 24, 2013 at 17:19

    Ya!!!!

  44. November 24, 2013 at 17:19

    Ian did make governor, we would call him a principal here, sometime after he had been working as the Sciences teacher. Barb taught History and possibly English.

  45. November 24, 2013 at 17:19

    oihfduisalhd oh Matt bibhiuui just ugh!

  46. November 24, 2013 at 17:19

    +Ben Norwood All right. Take a look at a Classic Who, concerning Daleks and the Seventh Doctor and Ace. All taking place during a not so typical week in the same time period as the original series.

  47. November 24, 2013 at 17:19

    +Hal Guerrero You're mostly right, but you also have to remember that John Hurt's Doctor had left and they were trying to contact him back. Still, your argument DOES make sense and it also leaves the insane Rassilon explained, to an extent, at least.

  48. November 24, 2013 at 18:20

    +Matthew Chenault All the information available points to End of Time happening before the events of the 50th. At least in Gallifrey's Timeline. 

    As I mentioned earlier there's good evidence that Master killed Rassilon with his weird new abilities.

  49. November 24, 2013 at 18:20

    OMG I <3333 THAT EPISODE!!!!!

  50. November 24, 2013 at 18:20

    best episode ever

  51. November 24, 2013 at 18:20

    Well said +Eoghann Irving. A lovely review and commentary on incessant fan detail obsessing.

  52. November 24, 2013 at 18:20

    A brilliant review. Thanks for sharing

  53. November 24, 2013 at 18:20

    It was an awesome special!  I hope I'm still alive for the 100th Doctor Who anniversary too!

  54. November 24, 2013 at 18:20

    +Gregg Levine the principal would be the headmaster, the governors would be the board of education, school committee or school board.

  55. November 24, 2013 at 18:20

    woot woot

  56. November 24, 2013 at 18:20

    +Paul Roberts it really depends on what sort of school we are talking about. Here in the states its sometimes common to find someone doing one too many things. And indeed Ian might have indeed run for that post, but I do believe, but don't have any information to support it, that he started off as the principal (or headmaster) there, after spending too much time as a good teacher.

  57. November 24, 2013 at 18:20

    Great, well-written review. Thank you for sharing.

  58. November 24, 2013 at 18:20

    Man, man, man! This review, word for word, describes Exactly how I feel about the special and the show overall. 100‰ how I perceive DW

  59. November 24, 2013 at 18:20

    Excellent review. I was highly entertained by the 50th Special, and at the end of the day, that's the whole point of Doctor Who.

  60. November 24, 2013 at 19:19

    Great review. Thank you for "organizing" all the references in my head and also for giving me new insights I have missed! :) Have to bookmark this.

  61. November 24, 2013 at 19:19

    We're bring back E Space kids!

  62. November 24, 2013 at 19:19

    +Matthew Chenault rassilon's plans happened concurently and were acknowleged when the general of the time lords said that the council was making its own plans. In a future episode it'll come out that either the master killed the council or the council is still there when the doc rediscovers gallifrey and he'll have to deal with them

  63. November 24, 2013 at 19:19

    Thank you, +Danny Walker, you're 100% correct. The opening minutes of the special brought back the thrill I remember from watching the first episode, 50 years ago. Then it was a simple story of a grandfather and granddaughter having high adventures in time and space. Now it has become this magnum opus of plots, sub-plots, sub-sub plots and enough historical baggage to fill a Tardis. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy it enormously but sometimes fear that simple entertainment is falling further down the producers' list of priorities.

  64. November 24, 2013 at 19:19

    I liked it.

  65. November 24, 2013 at 19:19

    John Hurt had some good lines as well. 'Timey what? Timey Wimey'

  66. November 24, 2013 at 19:19

    Likewise you got the review just right. I felt some of the moments were forced but other than that I agree completely.

  67. November 24, 2013 at 19:19

    I loved the episode. I do however, wish they had a deeper bad guy than the zygons; one which was more crucial to the doctor's history, like Omega or something. But that's ok, it was still very good.

  68. November 24, 2013 at 19:19

    I JUST WATCHED IT BEST MOVIE EVER!!!!!!!!!

  69. November 24, 2013 at 19:19

    John hurt kind-of left David hanging with the badwolf thing, how come that's never brought up again?

  70. November 24, 2013 at 20:19

    Wonderful review, which mirrors a lot of my (warm) feelings towards the episode as well.   As +Dan Pawlak pointed out, bravo for making a point of the call-out about the details being not worth obsessing over, especially in a series where, as the Doctor himself put it, "We change history all the time!".

  71. November 24, 2013 at 20:19

    A superb review!

  72. November 24, 2013 at 20:19

    I was disappointed by the fairly distinct lack of dalek, i mean they only really had a few mins of screentime, even though the episode was partly set in the war between daleks and timelords

  73. November 24, 2013 at 20:19

    +Caleb Cruse They did have a deeper bad guy than the Zygons. The Doctor. This story was not about Zygons. They were just there to help him make his decision. This story was about the inner conflict of the Doctor himself.

  74. November 24, 2013 at 20:19

    oh darn it, it wasn't about 50 years of daleks! 
    it was a wonderful show.

  75. November 24, 2013 at 20:19

    love the way they combine the 50 years & I love that they save there world

  76. November 24, 2013 at 20:19

    My only complaint was that River Song wasn't in it.

  77. November 24, 2013 at 20:19

    +Sir Charles yes! Agreed! She is by far my favourite companion!

  78. November 24, 2013 at 21:22

    For some reason I got an image of Woody Harrelson as an american doctor…

  79. November 24, 2013 at 22:19

    Awesome review, and I totally agree that this version of Rose was much better than the one we actually got. Here she's so much funnier, yet so much more serious.

  80. November 24, 2013 at 22:19

    I am new to Whoville and really enjoyed the show

  81. November 24, 2013 at 22:19

    Summed up lots of my thoughts. I have a love/hate relationship with Stephen Moffat, and I feel he nailed it in many places. I applauded at the end (first time for a TV show) and I cried. He may have missed a few things, but he's only human and besides he helped old and new Whovians alike.

  82. November 24, 2013 at 22:19

    +Polina Tsurikova I liked Bad Wolf/The Moment/Rose but I was disappointed in the heart wrenching moment when 10 asks:"Bad Wolf?" I would have liked to have seen Rose Tyler more Moffat, why must you hate my favorite ship so much? :(

  83. November 24, 2013 at 22:19

    I'm actually glad they didn't bring previous companions into it, because Davies messed Martha's (my fav) story up, and Moffat couldn't have done her justice, he keeps reducing women's development as their series go on.

  84. November 24, 2013 at 23:25

    Sad touching and very clear as to how they became the doctor that were destined to be. David and Matt worked very well as doctors and it was just an awesome episode all together

  85. November 24, 2013 at 23:25

    Excellently put! It was a beautiful beautiful episode!

  86. November 24, 2013 at 23:25

    Nice review. Totally agree with the benefit of a longer running time.

  87. November 25, 2013 at 00:20

    Thanks for the thoughtful review

  88. November 25, 2013 at 00:20

    The Black Archive is not really a replacement for Torchwood.  It was clear that they've been in operation since the First Doctor (Susan) as they have her picture on the wall (they vet all the Doctor's Companions)

    "You couldn’t have come back to give us the 1 minute of footage we needed for a proper regeneration?"
    What more would you have asked for?  In the very first episode of the relaunch we see him checking himself in the mirror for the first time.  That's really the only thing missing.

  89. November 25, 2013 at 00:20

    So basically what you're saying is: "Moffat got all the mechanical storytelling bits right, but he can't for the life of him stay consistent…"

    One thing I loved about the Moffat era so far, was that he was going somewhere, but if all of that can just get turned around at a whim, it just doesn't seem worth it. What does a story matter if you can just change everything. Stories are interesting because we can see how characters cope with the reality before them, when things don't go their way.

    That's why "Just this once, everybody lives!" was such a great moment, because it was only true that once.

    Fixed points, not being able to go back on your own timeline, etc. etc. has all been adressed in the past and has just been waved away like it was nothing. Nevermind that the Doctor destroyed Gallifrey for a very good reason.

    So yeah, I'm a disappointed fan to say the least.

  90. November 25, 2013 at 00:20

    Nobody tell me what happened!!!

  91. November 25, 2013 at 01:21

    I loved it. My only quibble is the "13 doctors" piece. If the "moment" is pulling in every incarnation of the doctor: why stop at Capaldi? The curator scene indicates that we have more regenerations to look forward to – so either stick to the plan of three equidistant Tardis being enough. Or say fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, and then tail off the count while implying that even more doctors are arriving.

  92. November 25, 2013 at 01:21

    +Tony Luck The Moment only pulls in all the original incarnations. Plus from a Meta point, they could only bring in the 13. To bring in say a 14th Doctor and show him on camera would mean they had the 14th doctor picked out already. Otherwise they'd be using some random person that everyone would expect to be the 14th Doctor.

  93. November 25, 2013 at 01:21

    the one thing that ruined the whole episode for me was having piper in it. she can't act to save her life and on tip of that, the character she played could have been done by anyone. in fact, if she was to be a manifestation of sorts for the doctor, it made no sense at all for it to be her, especially when hurt was the only one who could see her. it should have been an earlier companion.

  94. November 25, 2013 at 01:21

    +adam bucci Piper was part of the series for a specific reason. It was not a position that could be done by anyone. The Moment makes it perfectly clear that the form she took was NOT Rose but indeed was Bad Wolf.

    This touches on the fact that The Moment can manipulate time in the same way Bad Wolf could changing all of Time and Space to fit her understanding of how things should go.

    The Moment allowed the Doctors to breach the Time Lock, brought in all the original incarnations, effectively the reason behind all the Wibbly Wobbly Time Wimey in this movie.

  95. November 25, 2013 at 01:21

    +adam bucci yeah I felt that her role was unnecessary and only for the fans. However she is still the most popular companion since the reboot.

  96. November 25, 2013 at 01:21

    +Joseph Dickson I would again disagree. By using Bad Wolf it is further cementing the idea that The Moment is the cause behind the all the time manipulations. The Doctor is "using" The Moment just in a way different than everyone believes it would be used..  That's the whole purpose of her taking on Bad Wolf's form, to give this significance to her ability to manipulate time.

    Sure it was fan service as well, but half the episode was fan service, and to be honest expected, it was after all a 50th anniversary.

  97. November 25, 2013 at 02:19

    +Lexi Milton Russell kinda can't scare up his own story line so he couldn't really screw up your "fav's" story as he and others wrote her story though I hated her whole season but I'm just saying that you can't screw up a story line you created

  98. November 25, 2013 at 02:19

    I enjoyed how Mofatt used Kate Stewart's American time travel joke and the Black Archive to clean up the mess that Torchwood Miracle Day created.

  99. November 25, 2013 at 02:19

    +Joseph Dickson I hadn't realized anything with the Black Archive had anything to do with the clean up of Miracle Day in any significant way. It seemed more like a place to just toss alien tech so it couldn't be exploited.

    I'd love to hear how you interpreted that as relating to Miracle Day though.

  100. November 25, 2013 at 02:19

    Yes

  101. November 25, 2013 at 02:19

    Nice review.. To add to that the time war scenes seemed very cheap!
    I did not feel the time war, poor directing.
    Other thing is, how all the doctors or the doctor forgeting 10 times in different faces when he freezes gallifrey .,?
    I mean non of them remebered ????

  102. November 25, 2013 at 02:19

    I loved the review +Eoghann Irving… To be honest… I'm not a nitpicker, but I enjoyed your analysis.
    Is given doctor who a nice new story line so they can bring his people back. How exciting.

  103. November 25, 2013 at 02:19

    +Joseph Richman after Torchwood Children of Earth and the Hub's destruction there was a Torchwood book released before Miracle Day that basically had military picking up the pieces and cataloging items from Torchwood.

    http://tardis.wikia.com/wiki/Long_Time_Dead_(novel)

    The "Americans and Time Travel" jab was either a direct joke to close the book on Harkness or a laugh at the attempt to Americanize Torchwood.

  104. November 25, 2013 at 02:19

    nice review !!!

  105. November 25, 2013 at 02:19

    Great review. The freezing happened when time was out of sync +Ahmad Al-Amri . So there was no memory of it when they returned to their time stream. They addressed this at the end with Tennant's departure.

  106. November 25, 2013 at 02:19

    Wow

  107. November 25, 2013 at 02:19

    +Abba Studios hmmm, now it make sense, i thought only the three doctors out of sync, thanks for clearing that up.

  108. November 25, 2013 at 03:25

    +Maria Jankovic not sure I understood your sentence. I think we'll agree to disagree, because creators can mess up their own works. I would argue that Moffat does this, as well. It's not just guest writers who throw plot points in that don't make sense, or drastically change character personalities without it being relevant to the central story. No, Davies could not have written this special, but Moffat's trajectory with companions is visible.

  109. November 25, 2013 at 03:25

    I have not seen it yet. I hope it is good!

  110. November 25, 2013 at 03:25

    Why does the Doctor always have a girl companion?

  111. November 25, 2013 at 04:19

    I was amazed at the way, for something called "The Time War", there was no actual clever battles using time as a weapon or tactic, just large guys in american football outfits and daleks. Very poor imagination and done by the numbers.

  112. November 25, 2013 at 04:19

    Nice!

  113. November 25, 2013 at 04:19

    I think any 'amazing' battle tactics would
    a) take too much exposition to set up,
    b) take away from the 'war is hell' message and
    c) distract from the Doctors and the main plot.

  114. November 25, 2013 at 04:19

    +Klaus Teufel at least they should do more scenes of the battle, to make it more believable.
    Its the 50th !!!

  115. November 25, 2013 at 05:19

    Good review of the 50th

  116. November 25, 2013 at 05:19

    This is one of the best analyses I've seen in a while. Noticing the meta mirror construct in the mirror was subtle and I commend you for it.

  117. November 25, 2013 at 06:19

    +Ahmad Al-Amri : Budget. As always with Who, they have more ideas than money. We takes what we gets. And what I got was plenty fine. Not perfection, but bloody good.

  118. November 25, 2013 at 06:19

    Worth waiting for

  119. November 25, 2013 at 06:19

    Great review, you picked up on several things I missed.  Speaking of references to older series, there was a scene with Hurt's doctor in profile where my first thought was "Pertwee?!".

    My only disappointment was with the time war itself.  It looked like a normal war, with Daleks invading the planet.  Not like a time war with timey wimey stuff wreaking havoc across the galaxy.   I guess this was to be the fall of Gallifrey, and the Timelords were about to lose, so they may have been out of options.  Still, you would think the Daleks would have had a better way to win than an on-the-ground invasion.

  120. November 25, 2013 at 06:19

    The Time Lords had probably Time-locked the place so time-travel shenanigans couldn't be used either way;
    And I think Daleks like roving around zapping people. It's what they live for!

  121. November 25, 2013 at 06:19

    I can remember watching the first episode and have been watching ever since.

  122. November 25, 2013 at 06:19

    for me, it was rather weak.

  123. November 25, 2013 at 06:19

    Capaldi in a dark brown shawl collar cardigan.  That can't be good.

  124. November 25, 2013 at 06:19

    Great post. Thank u.

  125. November 25, 2013 at 06:19

    The return of gallifrey is going to make for some great story arcs

  126. November 25, 2013 at 06:19

    sure to be interesting and worth watching

  127. November 25, 2013 at 07:21

    Great review, summarizes much of what I loved about the episode. Not perfect, but what is? And bring on the retcons, if just to drive away the canon-obsessed.

  128. November 25, 2013 at 07:21

    +Tony Luck because it is up to this point in his history, he hasnt lived past this point yet so how would he call future "hims" to this point?

  129. November 25, 2013 at 07:21

    +Shane Smith His future selves have lived up to that point, so they already know that it happened, and can go there.  Timey wimey.

  130. November 25, 2013 at 07:21

    Well said.

  131. November 25, 2013 at 08:19

    Many people keep complaining about not seeing too much of the war, or not having "clever time tactics" show being used, ect ect.  Not seeing enough strategic planning or even not seeing enough daleks.

    What you have to understand is what we see if the final days of the war. We see the fall of Gallifrey's second largest city. We see the soldiers desperately trying to defend the city from Daleks. This was the war at the point of collapse, every last hope was gone. Every single Timelord and Gallifrian were about to die, days from being wiped out. That's what we see, not the mighty Gallifrian army, not the time lords using their awesome technology, but instead a slaughter with the last little bit of resistance against it. It was complete and utter chaos. That's the whole reason the Doctor decided to use the moment, it was the last thing he could do to try and save the Universe, at least at the time. 

    I would love to see the entire time war, but to be honest that would have to have it's own separate TV series. In fact it'd be better suited to a comic book series I think. As it would be amazing but ultimately very risky, since the story will not just follow the doctor, but also many other characters and plot lines. 

    Such as:
    >What are the daleks intentions
    >What's Davros's intentions
    >What about the involvement of countless other villains and bystanders
    >What was Rasalon up to.
    >The Master doing his thing
    >The Nightmare child
    >How long did the war last
    >Where did the war take place, obviously the locations change constantly.
    >Countless other things

    It would not be an easy feat to tell the time war in TV form. 
    It would ultimately be very expansive and could easily be for a very limited audience, at least compared to the main show. Hence why I would love to see it in comic book form.

    And most of all, the episode we saw was all about the doctors involvement, the last day of the war and how Gallifrey Stands!

  132. November 25, 2013 at 08:19

    I didn't see it yet. Don't care about spoilers. Doesn't matter because I miss Elizabeth Slader.

  133. November 25, 2013 at 08:19

    We many not be considering The Moment to it's full power.
    Things to consider before we ponder further:

    Its the only one of the weapons in a forbidden arsenal that hasnt been used.
    "how do you use a weapon that has a conscience and will stand in judgment over you?"

    an answer is you don't, it uses you.

    the impression given is that it's judging Hurts Doctor, but it doesn't, it simply gives a sentence "You will be the only one that lives" if you make this choice.
    What if it has more power than simply getting around the time lock of Gallifrey? (in this one universe or any parallel universe sharing the same causal Nexus) (time lords used to be able to jump between universes)
    It might be passing judgment on the Time lords as a whole

    Speculation
    the Moment is a TARDIS like device. meaning a way to channel a '12 dimensional being' that lives in the time vortex and interact with them.

    maybe its the price those beings set with Rassilon and Omega for allowing Time Lords to see the nexus and travel in time with awareness of causality.
    One of the 12d beings will pose as a weapon and pass judgment on the Time Lords if one of them tries to use it.
    could be the biggest Paradox device ever, from the time its used right back to the creation of the Eye of Harmony.

    Maybe it steered the Doctor into curing the Time Lords as a condition of their release from the time lock.

    its still possible that the Dr is a reincarnation of the Other, what part did the Other have at the creation of the eye of Harmony?

  134. November 25, 2013 at 09:33

    +Aulis Vaara I applaud your passion but could your everybody lives moment not be more poignant by realizing that this was the rule break Moffat had been driving at all along. All the Doctors have had their limits things that they could not accomplish. What if just once by virtue of a higher power they were able to get it right to show just once it can happen when it really counts and in so doing redeem themselves. What if it was all a lesson, played out over hundreds of years, teaching him or his future self how to wield the power of the ultimate moment.

  135. November 25, 2013 at 09:33

    FANTASTIC!

  136. November 25, 2013 at 09:33

    Brilliant! :)

  137. November 25, 2013 at 09:33

    I like this, though I disagree on the Rose part. But you have given the points everyone seems to fuss over the right answer. And well the only one's that could actually fit.

  138. November 25, 2013 at 09:33

    According to Trilbee/ MrTardisReviews, the episode was good, but Stephan Moffat Moffated it up, just like "Asylum of the Daleks."

  139. November 25, 2013 at 09:33

    That's like saying "The author did what the author of a screenplay does, which is put his or her personal style into the episode. Much like he or she did in a previous episode written by him or her." Okay, cool?

  140. November 25, 2013 at 10:21

    He ignored a set basis to really mess stuff up. In "Asylum of The Daleks," he essentially destroyed what the Daleks are supposed to be, which is ruthless killing machines and it led to no real difference because, even though their memory was wiped out, they still want to exterminate the Doctor….. -_- He's messed with the Time War, but it's not to the extent as "Asylum of The Daleks," at least. It is "alright" to add a "little change," but when you totally change the personality of the deadliest monster in the universe, then that's crossing a fine line.

  141. November 25, 2013 at 10:21

    the 50th special was so awesome

  142. November 25, 2013 at 10:21

    I loved it, want to watch it again, but I need to watch all the Dr.s that came before 9, 10, and 11. Loved it so much! Glad to see that David came back to help Matt!

  143. November 25, 2013 at 11:21

    +adam bucci I actually disagree.  In the first episode of the relaunch, Eccleston's Doctor was dead set against taking another Companion.  When he heard her name, he repeated it back to her, as if he remembered it from somewhere "Rose Tyler?" and it was the first inkling that he might take her as a Companion (The Moment did say Rose's name, but then realised that in this form she was actually Bad Wolf.)

    From this vantage point – it feels as though this might have been considered as part of the plan from the very beginning.

    Now, you might say their memories were wiped – however it's clear that bits and pieces carry through.  Remember when the Doctor visited the planet his grave was on?  He knew the name of the planet.  He knew the name because Smith's Doctor told Tennent's Doctor at the end of this episode.  So some information carries through despite the specifics being forgotten (plus also Smith was all like "oh, I remember this" when he saw the Vortex – even if he couldn't remember the specifics)

    My biggest disappointment with the episode was at the end.  They talk about how dissappearing Gallifrey would cause the Dalek's to shoot themselves.  I would have LOVED to have seen that.  They even built up to it when they said "The Dalek's know something's going on – they are getting more aggressive."  What a let down.

  144. November 25, 2013 at 11:21

    A fantastic and academic (good thing!) analysis of what I consider a fitting (both in time and style) celebration! Thanks for this!

  145. November 25, 2013 at 11:21

    Good grief get a life. The episode was perfect!

  146. November 25, 2013 at 11:21

    Doctor Who continuity has always been shaky at best, so in a pure world-building / storytelling sense Moffats decision to basically retcon the Time War out of New Who isn't so outlandish. It's clever and constructive for the franchise in certain ways, and the writing of the episode itself is pretty good.

    My main objection to the Time War retcon is on moral and political rather than storytelling grounds. Davies brought a more mature worldview to Doctor Who, one in which there is often no perfect solution to a given problem and decisions have far-reaching consequences. That's life, kids. Sorry. Not even having time travel means you are beyond experiencing loss and misery. Davies entire thematic arc for Doctor Who – which is much more coherent and planned out than Moffat's – was making this point again and again, a decision which allowed him to bring real stakes into the Doctor Who universe, and therefore real pathos. This culminated in the final revelation that – of course! – the Time Lords were the greatest villains of all, that their attempt to break free of such consequences was a blight on the Universe that could only end in the Time War. They are The Empire, and that is why they must be destroyed.

    Moffat just kinda forgets all this in The Day of the Doctor, and instead he's like "Oh! But there's kids! So we should save them." I'm sorry, but to mix fan-world metaphors, he just fucking cheating on his Kobayashi Maru test, proving he does have the stomach to face what Davies did. I'm all for having a brighter Doctor Who future… if it's earned. But Moffat didn't earn it. He just went back and changed the past so it was never dark in the first place. That's not healing trauma. That's disregarding it.

  147. November 25, 2013 at 11:21

    Can anyone get me a picture of the girl in the Baker scarf?

  148. November 25, 2013 at 11:21

    i feel like there judging me

  149. November 25, 2013 at 12:23

    +Tony Luck

    Bad Wolf isn't pulling in all of the Doctors incarnations. She is allowing multiple Doctors to co-inhabit this space/time frame, but that's not the reason why they're there.

    The reason for needing 13 Doctors (other than to induce nerdgasms with a flash of Capaldi's Doctor) is: that's the number of lives it takes for him to perform the calculations required to place the planet in a pocket universe.

    The principle is explained when the Doctors work out they can open the door (that doesn't need opening) by scanning it with Hurt's Sonic and having Smith's Sonic (which is ~400 years older) use the processed results.

  150. November 25, 2013 at 13:19

    +Toby Jay That's the other thing.  The first doctor didn't have a sonic screwdriver and the fifth's was destroyed.  So unless the calculations are being done by the TARDIS, something's messed up.

    Also, Bad Wolf isn't doing anything.  The Moment is just using the Doctor's (future) memory of her.

    Capaldi also says "All 13" – not "First 13" but All 13.  I have a feeling that The Doctor at least believes 13 will be his last life (even if they pull something to give him more)

  151. November 25, 2013 at 13:19

    +Antonio Molinari Google "Osgood Doctor Who" in Image Search.

  152. November 25, 2013 at 13:19

    I'm just going to echo the criticism here that Rassilon was indeed the reason Gallifrey was thrown into the time vortex. From my understanding of it, how it pertains to this episode, the very same device (or at least method) used to lock Gallifrey in the time vortex would have been used by Rassilon to seal away the entire universe. Hence, the doctor was forced into that decision. (It was why David Tennant's doctor recognized him in The End of Time.) He wasn't simply trying to prevent the destruction of Gallifrey but the whole of time itself.

    One more mirror: we didn't know until now that the name of the device was an invention of Omega, who actually appeared in a previous plot-line in which multiple doctors were featured, The Three Doctors.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega_(Doctor_Who)

  153. November 25, 2013 at 13:19

    +Justin White The screwdrivers didn't matter when they brought in all the doctors it was just a point that if they happened to start something in one Doctors life it could be completed instantly by a future Doctor.

    This means the first Doctor could start the calculations and his 13th incarnation would have the calculations complete some let's see 1500 years later.

    You also have to keep in mind, that from the meta view of it all they CANT bring in any future Doctors because no one has been chosen for those roles. If they brought in 26 Doctors then whatever Doctors they showed would be what people expect.for the future Doctors and they're not going to make a commitment to actors who in 3 or 4 years may decide to pass on the role instead. Or who a decade or two from now will be too old to be the Doctor shown in the 50th.

    Plus if you're to believe what's being said about the Christmas Special Capaldi is the impossible Doctor. 12 regenerations have been used to get to Smith.

    As it's written in Let's Kill hitler River gives up her remaining lives to save him, but it's never said whether she burned through them all to do it or if he just happened to absorb all the rest after one life saved him. Even if he knew he had all her remaining regenerations he could never give them back to her as this would create a paradox in his own timeline. 

    However I do suspect they'll find a way to bring her back properly if they truly wanted. For example a future Doctor slipping in and allowing her to regenerate.

  154. November 25, 2013 at 13:19

    +Justin White

    Sorry, I meant that the princple was the same. They explained it by example of the Sonic and the wooden door taking centuries… the mechanics were different for Gallifrey but the principle the same. i.e. enter the calculations into the computer loooooooooooooooong before you need the result. I guess they did use the TARDISes but not sure if that's actually clarified (or matters)

    -

    Sorry, yes, I'm using Bad Wolf and The Moment to mean the same thing but they are different entities. The Moment is indeed only using Rose Tyler's/Bad Wolf's image. Actually this was Tony's mistake i think =p. Better to have said:

    "The Moment isn't pulling in all of the Doctors incarnations. It is allowing multiple Doctors to co-inhabit this space/time frame, but that's not the reason why they're there."

    -

    And lastly; not sorry (can't give you everything =p). Capaldi may well say "All 13" but that in no way indicates there will only be 13 Doctors. All it says is 13 is the total number of Doctors that Capaldi is aware of at the time he says that line.

    e.g. If I walk in to a room and eat all the pies on the table, I'm correct in announcing afterwards "I ATE ALL THE PIES!". If I return to that room in a few days time and find another or more pies are now present… it doesn't invalidate my previous staement. It just means I have more pies to eat =)

  155. November 25, 2013 at 13:19

    +Shane Smith – I would have been fine with 12 doctors. But Capaldi is a future doctor w.r.t. Matt. The only special thing about him compared to 14, 15 etc. is that the BBC have already named him as playing the part. So either stop at Matt. Or go all the way (obviously without face shots for 14+)

  156. November 25, 2013 at 14:20

    +Matthew Chenault The Daleks were occasionally known to set aside their "exterminate everything" behaviors when it benefited them to do so. Such as enslaving humans to build things for them that they wouldn't normally, or pretending to be "Good" just so they can get the Doctor to identify them as Daleks so they can open up the Progenitor Device and rebirth the Dalek race.

    The idea that they would use the Doctor to help them do something they couldn't themselves do does not surprise me at all. It's not a far stretch, especially if they know it could result in a chance for him to die.

  157. November 25, 2013 at 14:20

    No, but right there, they were "pretending"' to be "good," but what got to me was the fact that they said they had a concept of "love." Technically, though, they're supposed to be PURE DALEKS! They came from a vat of the original Dalek DNA, which means they CAN'T have a concept of love or any kind of emotion BESIDES HATE! THAT'S the reason why it was so terrible, THAT'S the reason why I don't like "Asylum of The Daleks." Instead of using so many resources that have been left over fifty years, instead, Moffat wanted to erase their memory of the doctor to what end? They still want to kill him again…and again….and again. There is a fine line between "pretending" to have other sympathetic emotions and actually HAVING OTHER EMOTIONS!

  158. November 25, 2013 at 14:20

    +Matthew Weise I wouldn't say he forgets all that. If you look at it from the Doctor's time line he activates The Moment. However instead of just destroying Gallifrey and the Daleks The Moment allowed for the Doctor's time line to become out of sync so he could meet his future selves.

    The War Doctor's and 10's time lines were always going to be out of sync because it wasn't really their choice to make but 11's.

    Based on his own timeline 11 makes the choice to save Gallifrey and "freeze it". He remembers events after this because it was his choice. The events that happen after he makes that choice are his not the other Doctors.

    To the War Doctor through to 11 until he makes the choice, all that is remembered is activating The Moment and Gallifrey disappearing along with the Daleks dying which is then assumed by him to have been burning them all as he had originally planned. 10 won't remember the events because he hadn't made that decision yet, to him it was still raw and full of regret he hadn't moved on far enough to make the decision 11 did.

    Yes from a viewer's perspective a huge dark piece of history is suddenly not so dark but within his own timeline in the show nothing has actually changed from his perspective save for the post-50th 11

  159. November 25, 2013 at 14:20

    the only real weakness I saw in the episode was that they didn't adequately resolve the Zygon plotline, beyond that it was an excellent episode.  and to all the people complaining about retcons and poor continuity all I have to say is this, it's Doctor Who!!!!! it's nothing but retcons and shaky continuity!!!!! GET OVER IT!!!!!

  160. November 25, 2013 at 14:20

    I wasn't criticizing the retcon as something which cannot be rationalized from a storytelling perspective. I was criticizing it as something that is childish from a moral perspective. I just think Davies' show didn't turn away from loss and consequence the way Moffat does, and I think that was braver and more socially responsible.

  161. November 25, 2013 at 14:20

    +Matthew Chenault I don't remember the Daleks ever claiming to love. I remember them saying they wouldn't destroy their brethren because they found such hatred to be "beautiful" and in some sense every creature is going to have some ideal to them of what is beautiful. For the Daleks that "beauty" is hatred.

    As for erasing the memories of the Daleks that has to go along with the idea that the Doctor is trying to erase himself from space and time as he's become such a prominent figure. It's also going to lead to more and more things asking "Doctor Who" which all leads up to the question that must never be answered, to the events on Trenzalore and ultimately 11's Death.

  162. November 25, 2013 at 14:20

    They really need to explain this a little further than what they did, though. I thought it was a fabulous episode, but some of the details weren't explained enough or to the extent that they should be. Overall, it was well focused and well executed compared to other Moffat stories lately.

  163. November 25, 2013 at 14:20

    +Joseph Richman Still, once again, if it is "supposed" to be a change, well, why do they still want to Exterminate the Doctor even though they don't know him? Where is that going to lead to? What I'm saying is that the episode was a flawed mess and it should really be remade to iron out those flaws. You should really watch Trilbee/MrTardisReview's channel. He makes an extremely well-educated argument about this and what he says is RIGHT and it MAKES SENSE!

  164. November 25, 2013 at 14:20

    +Joseph Richman  It's not completed instantly – it still takes all 1200 (or whatever) years, it was just running in the background and the doctor didn't know about it.  When Hurt scanned the door, Tennant said "Still calculating.." and Smith saw that it was done.  It wasn't instant, it was always going on, they just never noticed the process was running until just then (and Tennant 'forgot')

    As far as regeneration – Smith is the 12th life , only 11 regenerations had been used.  Capaldi will be the 12th regeneration, and thus the 13th life.  From everything we know so far, he is the last (hence 'All 13')  Time Lords are given 12 regenerations not 12 lives

    As far as 'extra lives' that River may have given him… that's neither here nor there.  The wording 'All 13' suggests that the Doctor believes that is his last life – what a surprise for him if he gets a 14th.

    (Besides, River may not have had that many to begin with, as she's not a true Time Lord but a human whose DNA got warped due to her Mother's time travelling adventures while pregnant – unless you want to argue that The Doctor is actually her father, not Rory.)

    +Toby Jay  "All it says is 13 is the total number of Doctors that Capaldi is aware of at the time he says that line."

    That's exactly what I meant – read what I wrote again "I have a feeling that The Doctor at least believes 13 will be his last life"  You are arguing exactly my point.

  165. November 25, 2013 at 15:21

    +Justin White As far as the out of sync time line is concerned it allowed them to do it all instantly. Yes in a linear perspective it took 400 years. But from their non-linear views it was instant.

    Also you seem to subscribe to the idea that the the limiting factor is regeneration energy, correct me if I'm wrong. But that would put Smith as the 12th regeneration. Tenant uses up one entire regeneration to heal himself and eventually create the metacrisis doctor.

    This means by the time Capaldi comes into play he's already past his 12 limit regeneration. 

    An in universe reason as to why they would only bring in 13 doctors as opposed to infinite doctors + is because perhaps it only take 13 doctors for the calculations to complete. After that point there was no need for 14, 15, 16 etc to show up because Capaldi had all the proper calculations, and the 13 doctors that were there had enough power to make it happen.

    The reason he says "all 13" is because he was responding to the statement of "All 12 of them" so he's including himself in the matter, but it's just a tad underdramatic if he's all like "Yea… well I'm here too… no one's going to count me?"

    Much more dramatic for him to be "No Sir! All 13"

  166. November 25, 2013 at 15:21

    Yeah, I was not satisfied with this special.  I still think it could all have been done with Paul McGann and without John Hurt, though I do love him as an actor.

  167. November 25, 2013 at 15:21

    +Joseph Richman - the Metacrisis doctor is a possible factor that hasn't been clearly indicated either way.  That said, however, the potion that the sisters of Karn gave 8 might also have been a 'freebie'

    He didn't use up a regeneration when he healed his cut hand – he hadn't finished regenerating when that happened and thus it regrew as part of the same regeneration.  Are you thinking of another time that he was healed?

    However I still go back to my statement that as far as the Doctor believes, he only has 13 lives – hence 'All 13'

    As for the rest that I didn't comment on, we'll just have to agree to disagree.

  168. November 25, 2013 at 16:25

    +Justin White Yes but based on the article from mirror (take it with a grain of salt) a "show source" supposedly claims that Tenant is two regenerations which would clear that up.

    Also if you believe the regeneration energy is the limiting factor, which is heavily indicated in the show, then the energy shoved into the hand counts. Which puts Smith firmly as the 12th regeneration.

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/doctor-who-christmas-spoilers-matt-2847509

  169. November 25, 2013 at 16:25

    I am extremely delighted with your post. AT least some one post about the issue of regeneration numbers, it just doesn't matter and my either not going to waste time discussing the redundancy. There's one part that i'd like to mention because I felt you lost between the post. When you say this is a Matt Smith Episode, you are naturally right as far as naturally the whole plot is in the Matt attitude (as the actual doctor). The basis of the Doctor confronting his past regeneration was in true a "test" between the childish and the grown up, Tennant was in the middle (lol). There's a big point in the core of this episode and in fact it's the moral part of it. Morally is it good to be a Doctor? Knowing he killed 2 billion young kids in Gallifrey, even for noble cause, there's a strong moral in the plot and I can't deny it. Loved you post!!!

    Do you have this published on a blog? or website? if yes let me know. If no, can I repost on our blog and give a credits return? Cheers!!!!!!!

  170. November 25, 2013 at 16:25

    Oh I do remember reading someone saying that Tennant counted as two regenerations, now that you word it that way, but still if the Sisters of Karn was a freebie than it balances out.

    And, no, because it's part of the same regeneration – a single hand isn't a full regeneration but only a little bit extra if at all.

  171. November 25, 2013 at 16:25

    +Justin White 

    Agreed, regrowing the hand doesn't count, he was using residual energy from his still recent regeneration.

    However siphoning off all his energy into that hand later would count.

    The Sisterhood of Karn is tricky. They could have given him a freebie but it's never specifically stated either way. So that's still up in the air until the christmas special. Though from the sounds of it they're planning to off Smith in a cliffhanger and bring back Capaldi next season… which will supposedly air in fall of 2014. Seems a very sherlock move if that's what Moffat does. Killing off the character and "bringing him back" only to put off explaining it for nearly a year.

  172. November 25, 2013 at 16:25

    I missed the link you posted earlier, confirming that Smith is indeed the last doctor by those rules, with a shock to be revealed in the Christmas special when he is, in fact, revived.

    I actually thought the 50th anniversary was doubling as the Christmas special – I didn't realise we were getting another show next month.  (Which also explains why I thought Smith was going to die this weekend and… didn't.)

  173. November 25, 2013 at 16:25

    +Doctor Who Most of my posts here, including this one, get cross posted to my website: http://eoghann.com/2013/11/doctor-review-day-doctor

  174. November 26, 2013 at 00:19

    +Jared Bollman Giving it some more thought, I've come to the conclusion that it's not the "twist" that stings, but the fact that they don't address any of the stuff that goes with it.

    What about the timelock? Who put that up, if not the Doctor? What about Rassilon? Didn't the Doctor destroy Gallifrey for a good reason (because they were as bad or worse than the Daleks)? And if he ever revives Gallifrey, won't that reignite the timewar in a different time and place?

    None of that is addressed, and it makes you scream at the Doctor/Moffat: "You did not think this through!"

  175. November 26, 2013 at 02:20

    +Aulis Vaara 

    It can be assumed the the Time Lock, at least the one on the Time War is in fact The Moment's. Since she could lift it I imagine she could put one in place just as easily.

    The Doctor doesn't destroy Gallifrey, but only prevents it from being pulled into reality by Rassilon because Rassilon wanted to make the universe burn. This is mentioned in passing in the movie with the comment "The high council failed, we are still here." It can be assumed that the Master kills Rassilon perhaps at the cost of his own life. As Rassilon plays no part in the scenes on Gallifrey.

    Yes it's quite possible Gallifrey's revival could lead to it reigniting, but this will be touched on in the future.They make a point of saying that the Doctor is on his way home the long way around. Which means in the future (possibly Capaldi Era) the Doctor will seek out Gallifrey to try and bring it back.

    I imagine when Gallifrey is brought back it will lead to some difficulties. You'll have those who wish to continue the war or destroy the universe or rule. Those like Rassilon. But you'll also have those that will decide the war is over and they no longer need to fight, like the commander who said "Do it"

  176. November 26, 2013 at 05:19

    +Justin White

    No I'm not =p

    You're saying by Capaldi saying that, there will be only 13 doctors.

    I'm saying that Capaldi saying that means nothing, except he knows how many lives he's had.

  177. November 26, 2013 at 11:19

    I'm saying that by Capaldi saying that, he believes there will only be 13 doctors, not that there will only be 13.

    Anyways, the point is moot since I now realise because of the fact the metacrisis officially counts there have already been 12 regenerations, and Capaldi makes the 13th regeneration.

  178. November 26, 2013 at 12:19

    +Joseph Richman Those are ALL assumptions. So how exactly is that a counter-argument to those things not being addressed?

  179. November 26, 2013 at 13:21

    +Aulis Vaara Because there's enough evidence on screen to consider them addressed. You also have to keep in mind that the 50th was setting up for a much much larger part of Doctor Who going forward.

    But here's a question, does it really matter who puts the time lock on the war? That doesn't affect the story whether it's The Moment doing it or the 9th Doctor after he regenerates. You're not going to give every tiny last detail on screen. All things considered it was most likely The Moment and it was a result of using The Moment that causes the time lock.

    There's enough on screen evidence to support the idea that Rassilon is now in fact dead. We see the Master attacking him with his new abilities and none of the other Time Lords in the scene move to protect him. The fact he doesn't make an appearance as part of the 50th suggests he's badly injured or dead.

    Though I'm sure they'll touch more on what happens to Rassilon moving forward. They've used the 50th to setup the biggest thing to happen to the new series. They're going to bring back Gallifrey, you should have some patience. 

    If they'd just brought it back in this movie, they'd have lost a season's worth of content, if not an entire Doctor story arc's worth of content. Moffat is just setting up for the future with this. Answers will come in time.

  180. November 26, 2013 at 13:21

    +Justin White I suppose if you mean only 13 Doctors showing up to that event, that makes sense. I had to read that a couple of times and the alternative way I was reading it was a bit disturbing haha.

    A very dark and twisted path would be if there were only 13 doctors. After Capaldi he abandons the name and starts taking on different names as he becomes darker or more mellow. It'd possibly destroy the whole premise of the series though.

  181. November 26, 2013 at 15:21

    The point is – the Doctor doesn't know that he has more than 12 regenerations, so as far as he knows, 13 is his last.

    It seems no matter how many different ways I say this you still don't understand where I am coming from and are arguing a completely different issue.

  182. November 26, 2013 at 16:19

    +Justin White No no no, Capaldi is already PAST the 13 regeneration mark. Smith is the 12th regeneration. He has nothing left to change into Capaldi.

  183. November 26, 2013 at 17:20

    Which is what I said in the comment before the last one I made.

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