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?”
We’re confus­ing the polar­ity!”
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.

Amazon​.com: http://​amzn​.to/​1​c​a​f​NAZ

About Eoghann Irving

Overly opinionated owner and author of You can get updated on his posts directly on the blog here or through the usual social networking suspects. What? You expected me to say something interesting here? That's what the blog posts are for. Eoghann has often wondered if people read these little bio things we have to fill out everywhere on the internet and, assuming they do, why?


  • 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?)

  • 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?)

  • 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.

  • +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.)

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • +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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • +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.

  • 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.

  • +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

  • 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.

  • +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)

  • 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.

  • +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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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…

  • The one good thing, though, is that Rose wasn’t the entire part of the episode, for once.… 😀 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.

  • +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)

  • 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.

  • +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.

  • +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.

  • +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.

  • +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.

  • 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.

  • +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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!”.

  • 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

  • +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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • +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? 🙁

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • +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.

  • 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.

  • +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.

  • +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.

  • +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

  • +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.

  • 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 ????

  • +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.


    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.

  • +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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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

    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?

  • +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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • +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.

  • 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.

  • +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.

  • +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)

  • 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.


  • +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.

  • +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 =)

  • +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+) 

  • +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.

  • 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!

  • +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

  • 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!!!!!

  • 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.

  • +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.

  • 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.

  • +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!

  • +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.

  • +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”

  • 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.

  • +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.

  • +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.


  • 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!!!!!!!

  • 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.

  • +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.

  • 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.)

  • +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!”

  • +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”

  • +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.

  • 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.

  • +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.

  • +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.

  • 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.

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