Doctor Who Reactions: "The Day of the Doctor" (SPOILERS)

The Last Day:

This is a mini-episode by our Steven that is shown from the POV of a Gallifreyan soldier in Arcadia right as it falls. The link will take you to it, if you haven't seen it yet.

 

In essence, the story is about how the soldier is told how impregnable the city's defenses are, right before they are overrun.  Nothing very deep here, but it set up the doom-laden atmosphere of the end of the Time War fairly well.

 

 

The Night of the Doctor:

This is another mini-episode by our Steven, depicting the last moments of the Eighth Doctor.  The link will take you to it if you haven't seen it yet.

 

1)"I'm a Doctor. But probably not the one you are expecting."  Oh, how happy I was to see McGann again! I'm not always Moffat's biggest booster, but this gladdened my aging fanboy heart!

 

2)"Well, look on the bright side, I'm not a Dalek."  "Who can tell the difference anymore?" I liked McGann's reaction to Cass' reaction to him., especially as one could imagine her being the sort of person who might have gone on to be a companion to him.

 

3)"My sisters, the Doctor has returned to Karn."  A callback to "The Brain of Morbius".

 

4)"Keepers of the Flame of Utter Boredom."  "Eternal Life." "That's the one."

 

5)"Fat or thin, young or old, man or woman."  Be funny if he'd chosen "fat".

 

6)"I help where I can. I will not fight."  Doctor Who and the Evasion of Responsibilities!

 

7)"I don't suppose there's any need for a Doctor anymore."  Actually, there's usually alot of need for doctors in wartime.

 

8)"Charley, C'Rizz, Lucie, Tamsin, Molly..."  These are apparently his companions from the audio dramas.

 

9)"'Doctor' no more."

 

Overall: Really, these was quite good, I enjoyed it alot.

 

 

The Day of the Doctor:

1)We open with a brief bit of the original intro and a callback to "An Unearthly Child" as we see a cop walk past a sign for I.M. Foreman. This is one of the things that I guessed Moffat might do. We continue by cutting to the Coal Hill School, where the sign tells us that the Chariman of the Governors is "I. Chesterton", presumably former companion "Ian" , and the Headmaster is "W. Coburn", presumably a tribute to Waris Hussein and Anthony Coburn, the director and writer of the first episode.

 

2)Clara is now a teacher at Coal Hill - she mentions Marcus Aurelius, so I'm imagining she's a history teacher, mostly because history seems a likely thing for a time traveler to teach, and because it would mean she now has Barbara Wright's old job. We also have the contrast with that first episode of a Coal Hill teacher leaving voluntarily as the Doctor's invited guest.

 

3)The clock outside says 5:16, which was when "An Unearthly Child" first aired.

 

4)They don't address the end of "The Name of the Doctor", so I guess they successfuly got out of the Doctor's timeline without destroying it, Clara recovered OK, and they got Team Vastra back home just fine.

 

5)"Greyhound Leader" - and UNIT hasn't changed their codenames in 40 years.

 

6)There was a UNIT technician called "Osgood" back in the 70's - in "The Daemons", maybe. Perhaps this one is meant to be his descendant.  She's quite the cutie, I think. Always did love a meganekko. And of course, she's wearing a Fourth Doctor scarf!

 

7)Moffat sure does love those goofy scenes of Smith hanging out of the TARDIS, doesn't he?

 

8)What's a "Derren Brown"?

 

9)"You have a job?"

 

10)"It's the fall of Arcadia, Gallifrey's second city."  Arcadia was Gallifrey's Chicago?

 

11)I did like the bit with the War Doctor using the TARDIS to ram the Daleks. "The Doctor is escaping."

 

12)"The High Council is in emergency session. They have plans of their own."  "To hell with the High Council. Their plans have already failed."  I'm assuming this is a reference to the events of "The End of Time".  It does make one think that if the Doctor ever does recover Gallifrey, he'll have Rassilon and/or the Master to deal with again.

 

13)"This is their biggest ever attack. Sir, they're throwing everything at us." It's just my personal feeling, but I feel as though this is almost as desperate a moment for them as for the Time Lords. If they lose this, they're not going to have anything left, either.

 

14)"Why is there never a big red button?"  The idea of a weapon that makes you discuss your reasons for using it is an interesting one. Probably make for alot fewer wars.

 

15)"Are you afraid of the Big Bad Wolf, Doctor?"I thought it was an interesting choice to bring Piper back, and then have her not play Rose, and not interact with the Doctor that she was most famously paired with.  Frankly, Piper impressed me in this more than she ever did as Rose. She's a better actress than I would have given her credit for based on Rose alone.

 

16)The Under-Gallery is an interesting idea. I'm a sucker for those "secret history" kinds of things.

 

17)"England 1562" - The whole thing with Liz One seems like they just wanted to finally pay off that gag from the Tennant Era.

 

18)"What's that?"  "It's a machine that goes 'ding'."  Shouldn't that be "ping"?

 

19)I was amused by the scene with Tennant threatening the rabbit with dialogue from "Voyage of the Damned".

 

20)Smith's not all that hefty himself, to be harassing Tennant about being thin.

 

21)The bit with the screwdrivers and the glasses was amusing, also.

 

22)"Codename 'Cromer" - 70's or 80's depending on the dating protocol."  Callbacks to "The Three Doctors" and the UNIT Dating Controversy.

 

23)"Reverse the polarity".  Had to get that in, I suppose.

 

24)I also liked the War Doctor's reactions to Ten and Eleven. "Are you his companions?"

 

25)"Brave words, Dick Van Dyke."   If there'd ever been an American version of this show, Van Dyke would of made a good Doctor.

 

26)"I think there's three of them, now."  "There's a precedent for that."   Another "Three Doctors" reference. The Bristol Boys ought to get some royalties for this!

 

27)"What are you going to do, assemble a cabinet at them?"  Again, I like the way the War Doctor comments on his successors. Perhaps laying the groundwork for a more "grown up" Doctor?

 

28)"'Timey-wimey'?"  "I've no idea where he picks that stuff up."

 

29)"Sandshoes and Granddad."  Sounds like a 70's cop show.

 

30)The Zygons are well-realized in this, and true to their 70's counterparts.  Although, shouldn't these Zygons be in touch with the oens at Loch Ness? Perhaps they are, who knows? Also, if Zygon Osgood duplicated real Osgood's clothes and such, why didn't she duplicate the inahler?

 

31)The scarf trick that Osgood pulls on Zygon Osgood goes back to similar one that the Fourth Doctor pulled on the ubiquitous Pat Gorman back in "Robot".

 

32)The whole business of wiping everyone's memories every day really wouldn't work for long.

 

33)"Americans with the ability to re-write history? You've seen their movies." I know the movie they're still bitter about, here, but I can't think of the title.

 

34)"1716231163", i.e. "5:16 p.m., 23rd November, 1963", the broadcast time and date of "An Unearthly Child".

 

35)"Do you have to talk like children?"  Yes. yes, they do.

 

36)"For once, I would like to know where I'm going." "No, you really would not."

 

37)"It wasn't locked."

 

38)"I may have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but at the time, so did the Zygon." A riff on something she actually said.

 

39)"Is there alot of this in the future?" "It does start to happen, yeah."

 

40)"Oh, you've redecorated. I don't like it."  Yet another callback to "The Three Doctors".

 

41)"There's a nuclear warhead twenty feet beneath us. Are you sitting comfortably?"  No.

 

42)"Space-time telegraph, Kate."  Another callback to the old show.

 

43)I notice UNIT's got pictures of all the companions, too. Wonder when  they got a picture of Kamelion?

 

44)So, what actually happens with the Zygons? Do they just agree to go away peacefully?  Do we give them some part of the Earth that no human would want, like Western Australia or Delaware?  Actually, if Kate's her father's daughter, the Zygons will be lucky to all still be alive five minutes after the Doctor leaves.

 

45)In the end, Clara intervenes to get them to find another way. I like Clara. Coleman does very wel lin the part.

 

46)"Never cruel or cowardly." A quote from Terrance Dicks! Well, if anyone deserved a quote in there, he did! 

 

47)"Bad Wolf Girl, I could kiss you!"  You will, eventually.

 

48)"Frozen in an instant of time, safe and hidden away." Until he gets them out, and the Time War starts  up all over again.

 

49)"Three of them!"  And "The Three Doctors" again.

 

50)"I started a very long time ago." Maybe later I'll work out what a cluster this makes of continuity.

 

51)"I didn't know when I was well off!"  Seriously, do the Bristol Boys have lawyers?

 

52)"All twelve of them!" "No, sir, all thirteen!"  This is another of the things I guessed Moffat would do. We've never had one of these anniversaries come this close to a change-over in Doctors before.

 

 

53)"Geronimo!" "Allons-y!"  "For god's sake!"

 

54)"I won't remember this, will I?" Well, isn't that convenient?

 

55)Also, it's lucky the Daleks have no common sense whatsoever, or else when they saw the thirteen TARDISes around Gallifrey, they mght've said, "Holy s***, we're screwed! RUN!"

 

56)"Wearing a bit thin." A callback to "The Tenth Planet".

 

57)"Good to know my future is in safe hands."  A callback to "The Five Doctors", for once!

 

58)"I don't wanna go." "He always says that."  "The End of TIme" again.

 

59)"You know, I really think you might."  It was so bittersweet seeing Tom Baker again.  On the one hand, he was my Doctor (Ah, if only Lis Sladen could have been here to be in this - I got misty-eyed as it was, seeing the pair of them together might have set me to blubbering!) and it was fitting that he be there. On the other hand, he's really looking his age, and it's sad to think that this is  probably his swansong in the show.

 

60)The  "dream" scene was nice, as were the closing credits with all of the Doctors' names and faces.

 

Overall: I tend to go easier on these "anniversary run-arounds", but that said, I really enjoyed this. For all that I yap about the show not being what it used to be (which is, after all, an ancient and honored Doctor Who fanboy tradition), I still enjoy the show and am up for another fifty years!

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Ah, I’ve been waiting for your reaction!

I found this special to be quite reminiscent of “The Three Doctors” (and I didn’t find half the call-backs you did). It seems odd, in a way, that Tennant and Smith would be so deferential to the “War Doctor” (their younger self) just as Troughton and Pertwee were toward Hartnell. He’s their “senior” in a meta-textual sense only. It makes a little more sense here, because Hurt is the stereotypical “grizzled war veteran.”

My expectation was that Piper would be playing Rose and Tennant would be the duplicate Doctor from “Pete’s World.” (Maybe they’re saving that for the 55th.) Although it would have been nice to see Rose again, I certainly can’t complain about David Tennant playing the genuine article instead of his doppelganger. Speaking of which, the possibility exists of a future team-up of the current Doctor, the “Pete’s World” Tennet and the “Ganger” Smith. (Yes, it was destroyed but a line of dialogue left open the possibility of its return.)

I like the way the War Doctor comments on his successors. Perhaps laying the groundwork for a more "grown up" Doctor?

I can only hope. If I never hear the phrase “timey-wimey” again it’ll be too soon!

"Geronimo!" "Allons-y!" "For god's sake!"

Tracy is fond of quoting these lines, but I maintain “For god’s sake” was said under his breath. As far as I am concerned, the exchange is: "Geronimo!" "Allons-y!" "(For god's sake…) Gallifrey stands!"

I’m still uncertain how “The End of Time” fits in with this.

The main question I’m left with is how to number the Doctors. Are Eccleston, Tennant and Smith still Nine, Ten and Eleven? Or are they now Ten, Eleven and Twelve? Moffett himself has been cagey on the subject. Tracy has found three contradictory online quotes: one which maintains that the War Doctor “doesn’t count” in the regeneration cycle (because he doesn’t call himself The Doctor, a claim I find to be patently ridiculous), another which says he does, and a third which says that Matt Smith is (inexplicably) already the 13th Doctor and is at the end of his regeneration cycle.

As far as I am concerned, John Hurt definitely counts as the Ninth Doctor (calling all of those “Doctor review” scenes from episodes such as “The Next Doctor” and “The Eleventh Hour” into question), Eccleston is Ten and so on. I’m hoping the Christmas special will settle the matter (as well as clear up what happened between “The Name of the Doctor” and the anniversary special.



Jeff of Earth-J said:

The main question I’m left with is how to number the Doctors. Are Eccleston, Tennant and Smith still Nine, Ten and Eleven? Or are they now Ten, Eleven and Twelve? Moffett himself has been cagey on the subject. Tracy has found three contradictory online quotes: one which maintains that the War Doctor “doesn’t count” in the regeneration cycle (because he doesn’t call himself The Doctor, a claim I find to be patently ridiculous), another which says he does, and a third which says that Matt Smith is (inexplicably) already the 13th Doctor and is at the end of his regeneration cycle.

As far as I am concerned, John Hurt definitely counts as the Ninth Doctor (calling all of those “Doctor review” scenes from episodes such as “The Next Doctor” and “The Eleventh Hour” into question), Eccleston is Ten and so on. I’m hoping the Christmas special will settle the matter (as well as clear up what happened between “The Name of the Doctor” and the anniversary special.

 

 

It makes logical sense that the Hurt Doctor is the Ninth Doctor, and his successors would get bumped up a number. However, for some reason, that rankles me, and for the moment, I will go on thinking of Hurt as the "War Doctor" and Eccleston, Tennant and Smith as Nine, Ten and Eleventh.

 

As for what Moffat has said on-line:  To coin a phrase, "Rule One: The Show-Runner lies."

 

The scene in "The Eleventh Hour" doesn't trouble me,  After all, it was the Smith Doctor who was projecting those images to the Atraxi. I assume he just edited the Hurt Doctor out.

 

The scene in "The Next Doctor" is a little tougher. The images on the info stamp supposedly came from information that the Cybermen stole from the Daleks.  Maybe the Tennant Doctor did a little quick editing on the fly? No?

It makes logical sense that the Hurt Doctor is the Ninth Doctor, and his successors would get bumped up a number. However, for some reason, that rankles me, and for the moment, I will go on thinking of Hurt as the "War Doctor" and Eccleston, Tennant and Smith as Nine, Ten and Eleventh.

For some reason it rankles me, too. I mean, it’s not as if any of the Doctors refer to themselves by number, but by this time 9, 10 and 11 are pretty engrained in fandom’s collective mind (not to mention all those reference books!). I think of Hurt as the “War Doctor,” too, but beyond that I’m leaving the nomenclature in limbo… until the Christmas special at least.

The scene in "The Eleventh Hour" doesn't trouble me, After all, it was the Smith Doctor who was projecting those images to the Atraxi. I assume he just edited the Hurt Doctor out.

Was he? I thought he said something like, “Check your records, then look to see if this planet has a protector.”

The scene in "The Next Doctor" is a little tougher. The images on the info stamp supposedly came from information that the Cybermen stole from the Daleks. Maybe the Tennant Doctor did a little quick editing on the fly? No?

I think the answer to both these scenes (and there’s a third one, too) is that all records of the War Doctor are time-locked and are not accessible by any standard database or search engine.

I don't have the emotional investment that most of you have for the multiple Doctors though I did miss Amy (having a slight emotional reaction to Karen Gillam! ;-) }

However, I did enjoy this special immensely. The chemistry between Matt Smith and David Tennant was amazing and I wouldn't mind if the two of them worked together again. "The man who regrets and the man who forgets" is powerful stuff and an amazing synthesis of the serious and the silly. The contemplation of committing genocide while confronting the consequences of committing genocide played well as well as the horror that the same decision had been made and agreed on by all three Doctors was superb. Clara became the voice of reason, the voice of mercy and the voice of hope. I wonder if she'll continue as the companion of the new Doctor.

John Hurt was, of course, John Hurt giving an excellent performance of a determined, haunted and very different Doctor yet who also recognizable with his drive and grim sense of humor. Makes you think that you missed a series. It's funny because I just watched the animated Lord of the Rings where Hurt was the voice of Aragorn.

As for the numbering of the Doctors, I had assumed that the War Doctor considered himself an almost independent version, separate from the rest. Besides when THIRTEEN incarnations of the same being show up at the same time in the same place, why worry about continuity?

It was a treat to see Tom Baker especially with the ambiguity of "Who" he really was! A magic scene!

All in all, it was a gift to those who watch faithfully and those who will watch faithfully.

On point 50, I've thought of this a lot. I think a lot of it has to do with the nature of a time lord and the relationship he has with time. When Peter Davidson's Dr. encountered David Tenants Dr. in the Tardis, Tennant's Dr was able to remember how to fix a problem because Davidson's Dr. saw it happen. A paradox unless you took into consideration that they were the same person at different periods of their lives and those lives temporarily jumped from their normal paths. The time war seems to have done far more damage than just wiping out the daleks and the time lords, the Zygon's lost their planet and from the events in the mini-episode it seems that there were a lot of side causalities. That sort of stress on time and space could cause a lot of non-normal things to happen. Also if the Moment could bring the three latest Dr.s together she could also bring all of them together, at least mentally at least temporarily. Once the first Dr started on the problem it could have been brewing in the back of his mind for centuries, like Spock arguing with McCoy while still working on his time travel equations. Or like you and me keeping track of time when we are doing something else.
I did like the way they had Hartnell's Dr show up, they must have used a voice double because I'm sure in the old show he never said the word "Gallifrey".

I also think that the End of Time happens just before this and that the high council didn't know what was going on and that the high command wouldn't have listened to them anyway. Rassillon may have burned away a lot of his authority by trying to shift the planet out of the time war. If he's still in charge I'd be surprised.

What I'd like as a way to resolve this is a story where they all find out that the Dr. has sent Gallifrey into Omega's anti-matter world. Sean Connery should play Omega.

I've read that they did use a "voice double" for the Hartnell Doctor.  The word "Gallifrey" wasn't used at all in the old series until "TheTIme Warrior" during the later Pertwee Era.

Here are some good thoughts on the character of the Doctor in the special and going forward: http://www.rpsteeves.com/2013/11/guest-blog-day-of-doctor-analysis-...

“You are not alone.”

How much margin of error is allowed for 5,000,000,000 years (give or take 100,000 years or so either way)? I mean, I always assumed that the Face of Boe was referring to “The Sound of Drums / Last of the Timelords” when he delivered the message above, but what if he was referring to “Day of the Doctor”? Hell, he could have been referring to “The End of Time” for that matter. A good rule of thumb for delivering messages across several billion years:

Don’t be cryptic!

Jeff of Earth-J said:

A good rule of thumb for delivering messages across several billion years: Don’t be cryptic!

I'll try to remember that.

Re The Night of the Doctor:

Just re-watched this one.  I was impressed by one brief stretch of dialogue that takes the odd turn twice in about five seconds. The Doctor prepares to drink the Witch's Brew and asks ...

"Will it hurt?"

"Yes."

"Good!"

Lots of rich stuff in, what, seven minutes? They really should expand that one to a standard-length episode (or two).

I really enjoyed this one.... and really, really miss Tennant. Ah, well.. time to look around for a way to watch Broadchurch.

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