Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor

Posted on November 24, 2013


John Hurt and Billie Piper in Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor

Let us state this clearly, so there’s no confusion: The Moment was absolutely Bad Wolf and the Old Curator was the Doctor, very late in his life, recycling some old favorite faces. We will brook no argument on this.

Ah, we so love opening sentences like those. Separates the lookie-loos from the real fanboys and fangirls. Well, pull up a chair, fanboys and fangirls. Let’s have this thing out.

GLORIOUS, amirite? What a wonderful (and painfully brief) hour-plus. What a beautiful balancing act achieved, of serving the needs and desires of a half-century of ardent fandom while at the same time giving us a story for the modern era; one not bogged down in too much minutiae. In fact, the theme could not have been more straightforward. It was the opening line of the story, provided to us by Marcus Aurelius (by way of the newest teacher at Susan Foreman’s old secondary school, Miss Clara Oswald): “Make no more argument about what a good man should be. Be one.” Moffat was making a very clear declaration here: We’re done with the mopey Lonely God character. We’re on the brink of something new. And by God, he did it.

But before this devolves into a pile of bullet points and quotes, let’s get back to The Moment and The Curator, shall we? The Moment was Bad Wolf and Bad Wolf was Rose Tyler. We will hear no handwaving about this being an interface who plucked an image from The Doctor’s future and took its form. No, that was Rose, right down to the smart-alecky playfulness and sheer joy in seeing The Doctor pull off another miracle. Yes, The Moment is sentient and has a conscience, but something more was going on there. “I hear you,” it said to the Doctor. Now sure; this sentient weapon might have coincidentally taken the form of a god-like being who could bend time to her will and then proceeded to spend the next hour actually being a god-like being, bending time to her will (opening time rifts and removing the time lock surrounding the Time War, something that would seem beyond The Moment’s capabilities, but right in line with Bad Wolf’s), or we can cut right through this Gordian Knot. Bad Wolf appeared briefly all along the Doctor’s timeline before flaming out. This was just another of the stops along the way for the entity; the most important stop of all. Rose, at the time of her becoming Bad Wolf, would have known how much the Time War cost the Doctor and how much he wished things went differently. “Bad Wolf Girl, I could kiss you!” “Yeah. That’s gonna happen.” Moffat loves his word play; loves for you to figure out that what you think is being said is not what’s being said. The Moment wasn’t being sarcastic there. She knew that it was going to happen, because they did kiss.

No, this was absolutely Rose Tyler, reaching through time and space during that brief moment when she became a god, and fixing her dearest friend’s pain. Witness her face when she tells him how the wheezing sound of the TARDIS brings hope wherever it goes, to anyone who feels lost, even him. Look at the sheer joy at seeing the other two Doctors come to save him from himself. Sure, that weapon has a conscience, but there’s no reason for it to be feeling so much affection and concern for The Doctor. That was all Rose. And kudos to Billie Piper, who did her best ever work on the show here. She was playful, soulful, deadly serious, and even melancholy. You could feel the power and the sadness in her voice.

As for The Curator, come now. He stated outright that someday The Doctor might return to a couple of his favorite old faces. And Queen Elizabeth I appointed The Doctor Curator of the Under Gallery. It’s not too much of a leap that he might have taken that and run with it in his old age. Of course, this opens up a TON of questions about the Doctor’s future. It was implied that The Curator was much older than eleventh Doctor, which would seem to indicate many more regenerations and adventures down the line, not to mention the implication that he somehow achieves true old age and retirement instead of dying in battle. He’s said more than once that he’d prefer the former for his future and here he was, letting himself know it was going to happen. It was a scene designed to give goose bumps and boy, did it ever. Tom Baker was wonderful in his few moments; twinkling, rambling, nonsensical (“Who. Nose.”), smarter than everyone else in the room, and with perhaps a bit of an ego. He was, in every sense, his old self; the Fourth Doctor. “Ohhhhhh, you have a lot to do.” And with that, the oldest of the Old Guard pushed the show into its next half-century of storytelling and gave the character its new sense of purpose. No longer is he merely an adventurer or hero; he’s a man who’s looking for a way home.

But we’re dancing around the main event here, which was watching Tenth Doctor David Tennant and Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith go at it, old school rap battle-style, tearing up the scenery and having a hell of a time playing off the other one. We can safely say that no companion ever had the chemistry with either of these actors as they had with each other. What a pleasant surprise. We had every reason to expect them to be good together, but they exceeded every single expectation. Like two virtuosos playing a duet. We couldn’t possibly pick a favorite quote or moment, but we did love that Ten saw a fez on the ground and the first thing he did with it was to put it on his head, illustrating wordlessly that no matter how different the Doctors may be on the surface, they really are the same person. And the screwdriver-measuring moment was utterly hilarious. “Compensating?” “For what?” “Well, regeneration is a lottery.” “Ohhh, I see! I’m the cool Doctor! Look at me, being all cool! Oh wait; I’M WEARING SAND SHOES!”

Even better, Moffat used the War Doctor to make some rather scathing commentary on the modern version of the character, and how he’s both too child-like and too romantic (“Does this happen a lot in the future?” he asks Eleven at Ten’s wedding. “It does start to happen, yeah.”) for his tastes. While it would have been wonderful to see Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston in this special, John Hurt more than made up for it, by playing the most scarred and wounded version of the character to date, bringing tremendous gravitas to the story. We couldn’t have asked for a better person to play this character and have no problem seeing him inserted into the official history (although it seems the numbering on subsequent Doctors will not be changed).

Other things we loved: The cameo of the Twelfth Doctor (or at least his eyes), which was a total FUCK YEAH! moment. “The Man Who Regrets and The Man Who Forgets.” Moffat likes these types of titles (“The Girl Who Waited”) a bit too much, but we have to admit, an involuntary “Ohhhh, that’s good” escaped our lips when that line was uttered. Maybe it’s a little trite, but it does sum up several years’ worth of storytelling nicely.

Also loved the ways in which War and Ten both instantly accepted Clara. Any companion of a Doctor got to be one because she’s earned the right and neither of the other two men thought for a moment to question who she was or why she was there. We have to say, though, Moffat tends to make his companions The Most Important Companions, which gets to be a bit old after awhile. We accepted everything about her here, but felt that moment when she tearfully pleaded with her Doctor to find another way felt just a little unearned. We haven’t spent enough time with this character to really buy her as someone that influential on him. Then again, that’s the whole point of companions: to save the Doctor from himself. On that level, she was continuing a long tradition.

Things to note: All three Doctors leave this adventure and head straight to their “deaths.” War regenerates immediately into Nine; we know that Eleven’s next adventure will be his last one; and at the very start of Ten’s last adventure, he mentions that he just got married to Queen Elizabeth I. Moffat is letting us know that, even though this was a very happy ending, all three Doctors paid the price for tampering with their own timeline.

On the other hand, the existence of The Curator creates a fixed point on the Doctor’s timeline, all but ensuring him a happy ending. The real world implications of this are interesting: It means we’ll never see the endpoint for The Doctor. Tom Baker will not be around to portray the end, whenever it comes, which means it will never come. It’s kind of a nice thought. Not only does the Curator give the Doctor a happy ending, he ensures that we the audience will never see that ending. He will continue indefinitely.

And hey, just for some time paradox fun, try tracking the trajectory of the fez. It’s never less than 450 years old throughout its existence. In fact, it’s always 450 years old.

This is already running a bit ridiculously long and we never managed to touch on the Zygons or the return of UNIT or the almost uncountable number of callbacks to the past. But really, that was all just window-dressing. For us, it was all about seeing Ten and Eleven play with each other and Moffat did not disappoint. We’ll just close with our favorite quotes from what has probably been the wittiest episode of the series:


  • “Look at you. Stuck between a girl and a box. Story of your life, eh Doctor?”
  • “ASAP. Pronto. LOL.”
  • “Someday, you could just walk past a fez.” “Never gonna happen.”
  • “Venom sacks in the tongue.” “Yeah, I’m getting the point, thank you.”
  • “They’re scientific instruments, not water pistols!”
  • “Are you capable of speaking without flapping your hands about?” “Yes. No.”
  • “Brave words, Dick Van Dyke.”
  • Timey wimey?” “I have no idea where he picks that stuff up.”
  • “Do you have to talk like children? What is it that makes you so ashamed to be a grownup?”
  • “Okay, so. Backtracking a moment just to lend some context to my earlier remarks.”
  • “Aaaah, it’s his grunge phase. He grows out of it.”
  • “Hey. Look. The round things.” “Oh, I love the round things!” “What are the round things?” “No idea.”
  • “Oh, you’ve redecorated! Ooh, I don’t like it.”
  • “This is not a decision you will ever be able to live with!”
  • “Gentleman, I have had 400 years to think about this. I’ve changed my mind.”
  • That moment when the other two doctors figured out Eleven’s plan: “Oh! Oh! Oh! I’m getting this too! That is brilliant!”
  • “No, sir! All THIRTEEN!”
  • “I don’t want to go.” “He always says that.”
  • “I know where I’m going. Where I’ve always been going. Home. The long way around.”



[Picture Credit: BBC America]

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  • majorbedhead

    Excellent summation. I think the reason Clara has so much influence on the Doctor is because she entered his timeline and saved him so many times thru the years.

    I wish Eccleston hadn’t been such a diva about the role and come back, even for a little cameo.

    • thehousesparrow

      Agreed. Maybe he’s both sore and afraid of typecasting. I wonder if there’s more to why he won’t return than what he says?

      • majorbedhead

        I think there is. I’ve heard rumors that he didn’t get along with anyone involved in the running of the show. So they may not have asked him at all. I know when I’ve seen him interviewed (which is rare), he’s not very forthcoming about his time as the Doctor.

        • otterbird

          They did ask him; he was cordial about it, but said no. One of the Doctor Who articles on io9 has a discussion thread that went into some of the rumors about his time on the show (so take with a grain of salt; it’s rumor). One person posted that he actually had issues with one of the directors they used a lot in that first season who had a reputation for being awful with the cast and crew (who hasn’t returned to direct episodes in any of the following seasons). If I remember the discussion thread right, there was an accident during the filming of “Rose” that nearly killed a crew member and Eccleston was very angry about it, feeling that the show wasn’t taking the safety of the crew seriously enough. Just rumor, but if it’s true, it does seem like he was less being a diva and more choosing not to continue with a work environment he didn’t consider safe. For what it’s worth, I also read (again, rumor) that things had improved a lot by the end of his first season, but he’d already decided to leave.

          • majorbedhead

            Yeah, after doing a little reading on the Bad Wilf website, it does seem like he had issues with the director and crew bullying people. I’m glad that seems to be the truth behind it, because I didn’t like the thought of him being above returning.

          • otterbird

            I hope that’s the case, too. Not because I’m glad that he was unhappy, but because I developed a HUGE crush on him after seeing “28 Days Later” and I didn’t want him to be a diva. While it sucks that the first season was a rough environment, I give him props for wanting everyone to be treated respectfully.

            Yes, that’s right. It’s all about me and my crush.

          • The comments he made when he did The Dark Is Rising, shitting all over the fans of the books, made me fall out of love with him and suspect him of being an arsehole.

          • otterbird

            That’s too bad, because I do love this quote from him (when he talked at an acting class about leaving Doctor Who:

            “So, that’s why I left. My face didn’t fit and I’m sure they were glad to see the back of me. The important thing is that I succeeded. It was a great part. I loved playing him. I loved connecting with that audience. Because I’ve always acted for adults and then suddenly you’re acting for children, who are far more tasteful; they will not be bullshitted. It’s either good, or it’s bad. They don’t schmooze at after-show parties, with cocktails.”

          • Did he really think Doctor Who was for children? That seems like a misstep too. It was when we were kids, but the audience now seems to be mostly adults.

          • otterbird

            I think it’s intended as a family show, though certainly family shows are more sophisticated in structure now than they were when we were younger (really, so are all dramas). I think it’s props to the show that they have created something that is appealing to both kids and their parents- I know a lot of kids, my three-year-old included, who like the show a lot (Matt Smith is his favorite, he has informed me), and I think a big section of the young fans today started watching as teenagers (ergo the enduring popularity of Rose, heh). Even The Sarah Jane Adventures was more sophisticated than the kids’ shows from my youth (and now I’m sad all over again about Elisabeth Sladen. 🙁 ).

          • XMom

            My six year old has been watching Doctor Who with me for years. She was literally jumping on the couch when David came on screen and yelling that ‘her’ doctor was back. And I must admit that I gave a little squee of excitement myself when Tom Baker appeared. 🙂

            I think it appeals to the whole family. My eleven year old was equally enthralled when we re-watched it the next day for him. 🙂

          • lundibleu

            It’s definitely a family show. My two kids ( 6 & 8) got into Doctor Who via the Sarah Jane Adventures first of all, then the main show. We’ve been introducing them to the older doctors too and they love it.

            I remember Russell T Davies shows (Dark Season & Century Falls) from my childhood and they always struck a chord with me. Amusing to think now that one of them was one of Kate Winslet’s first major roles.

          • otterbird

            That’s really cool! I got the first two seasons of The Sarah Jane Adventures on DVD because I was such a Sarah fan when I was a kid, and I’m excited to share them with my kid.

            It is great that there’s a sci-fi family show that actually is entertaining for the entire family.

          • lundibleu

            I love it, it’s great that the kids love it too 🙂

          • AnnPopovic

            I think at heart the show is for children. Not little little children, but that age where the world of reality doesn’t hold all the possibilities your head thinks it should. It’s never anything over PG and there’s always a moral keel mixed in with all the fun and adventure. My oldest is in 7th grade and whether or not you’re a Whovian is actually a clique.

          • Interesting. I was so terrified of it when I was a tween that I’ve never totally recovered.

          • I was quite scared of the show as well, though I was in grade school at the time of the 4th Doctor’s show airing. Yet I still watched, and my parents did not object. I actually felt a little chilled seeing Tom Baker again, some of that grade school fear reaching me from so long ago.

          • People in the entertainment industry have long considered fantasy and scifi to be “Children’s Fare” when it comes to how they disrespect the material.

          • Too true. As does my mother in law, sadly. She thinks I basically can’t read because I go for genre.

    • Super_Red

      That’s an excellent point- while we may not have been witness to the relationship growth over time, canon does have her as a constant part of his life.

    • Sam

      I think the Doctor and Clara have a mutual respect for each other as well….their relationship is less romantic than that of Amy or Rose’s with him, and more like Donna’s. More like siblings who enjoy going on adventures and understand each other in a way that many other people never will.

      • Elizabeth Szubert

        You have hit the nail on the head for me about the Doctor and Clara. They do seem more like brother and sister than anything else. Thank you for that.

      • GenieinTX

        I feel like the Doctor and Clara have a more father/daughter relationship. They are more huggy than brother and sister, and they feel protective, but no romance. I think the romantic feelings he has this regeneration are for River.

    • MilaXX

      Not sure I’d say Eccleston was being a Diva. I seem to vaguely recall he left under less than pleasant circumstances.

    • Well if you look closely at Hurt’s regeneration it appears to be an Eccelston face he’s regenerating into, probably just a still shot instead of video….or I imagined it….

      • lundibleu

        I think it was too, was sure that I’d seen it. I suspect what they used was footage from the Eccleston -> Tennant regeneration.

      • Scott Snyder

        I didn’t see this at all when I watched the show, but I have since seen a repeating animated GIF, and you’re quite right; it’s clearly Eccleston. It had never previously occurred to me how different two men’s eyebrows could be.

    • BookishBren

      Agree with your comment on why Clara has earned that importance. I actually said the same thing aloud as I was reading that part of the blog. haha

  • thehousesparrow

    Completely happy with this episode. They did the 50th well.

    • ellisd123

      I absolutely agree. I was thrilled with seeing the little homages throughout, as well. And seeing all the Doctors show up to transport Gallifrey was delightful! Also, seeing the old TARDIS… It was just all around fabulous.

  • Super_Red

    this episode was utter perfection. Moffat has disappointed me in some area’s in the past- I haven’t forgiven him for Angels Take Manhatten- but holy crap this was so good. And everything surrounding it was SO GOOD. Did you boys watch An Adventure in Space and Time? It was beautiful. I was bawling like a baby at the end.

    And then to have this… this amazing tribute, this perfect episode. It would have been lovely to have more of a nod to Eccleston- I have always loved him- but at no point did it feel like something was “missing.” All the callbacks were wonderful nods to the fans and the legacy and it was clear at all points that everyone involved absolutely LOVED being involved.

    From the prequels- Paul McGann, SQUEEE- to the episode itself. *sigh* just perfection.

    My only dislike was the stupid BBC America prequel hosted by people who didn’t seem to be Whovians. At one point the lady host referred to the Doctor as Doctor Who – as though it was his proper name- and my eye started twitching. =p

    And watching 10 and 11 together on the Graham Norton show was also a pleasure- must-see youtube for any Whovians who missed it.

    • MilaXX

      I think the host gal is popular in the UK, I don’t know her but I think she was used before for announcement of Capaldi as the next Doctor.
      Ten & Eleven were great on Graham. That was one of the better Graham episode’s in general. I loved Robbie & Olly’s updated jazzy version of the song from Jungle Book.

      • Corsetmaker

        Her dad was… he was a kid’s tv presenter in the 70s. But the general consensus on her seems to be ‘annoying’. I have not got a clue why they got her presenting this and the Capaldi announcement. In fact I don’t have a clue why they had to make these very bad, over the top shows!

    • Was I the only one who was waiting for Catherine Tate to show up on Graham Norton’s show because of the scene in the commercial showing her with one of the Doctors?

    • MilaXX

      Yes Night of the Doctor was good as well. Thankfully after watching The Doctor’s Revisited series I’ve made my peace with 8 so I was happy to see him in this.

    • Ramon Figueroa

      10 and 11 were absolutely wonderful, but even though it is not really pertinent, Emma Thompson was an absolute riot in the show. In fact, everyone was just on that night.

      • Tatiana Luján

        Emma Thompson was great and so was Robbie Williams. One of the best shows of Graham Norton I’ve watched (and the bar is set high, Graham Norton is an excelent host)

    • Tatiana Luján

      An Adventure in Space and Time was beautiful. I cried at the end, watching the scene with Matt Smith.

    • porcupie

      I completely agree; I loved this SO MUCH. It was perfect and magnificent; I laughed and cried and went through the whole spectrum of emotions. And 10 and 11 are so utterly perfect together that I cannot handle it. And although I’m glad I didn’t have the BBC America prequel, I did have to watch the first half an hour on a malfunctioning, constantly buffering iPlayer, as I’m away from home. It nearly drove me insane. But it was absolutely worth it.

  • Nonmercisansfacon

    I LOVED IT. Moffat has redeemed himself in my eyes; after the way he sent away the Ponds and tied up the River Song story, I had just about enough of him and his female characters and repetitive story-telling. But this, this was glorious, fantastic, brilliant and so much fun! I I still cannot believe Ten made a short penis joke at his own (albeit future) self! I have to say, the mini episode featuring Paul McGann was also fabulous.

  • Scot Meacham Wood

    massively brilliant.

  • jdens

    I think my favourite line was Matt Smith’s “Yes!” to John Hurt’s, “Even that one?”

    • jdens

      It was just so adorably indignant.

  • Faerie Nuff

    I agree that at least the current Doctor tends to be a little child-like at times. I could not be more excited about Peter Capaldi taking over the part. I cheered when they showed that brief glimpse of him, and I get chills whenever I see a screenshot of it.

    • Patricia Groves Dobrowski

      That moment got punctuated with a punch in the air from me! His eyes were so delicious – I can’t wait to see what he’ll do.

  • redhead with tattoos

    With you 100% on Bad Wolf and Rose Tyler and the utter gloriousness of it. Just perfection, especially from Billie. With you 100% on the gloriousness of Matt and David together and the utterly fantastic chemistry they had. With you 100% on the utter joy of seeing Capaldi’s eyebrows. With you 100% on the unearnedness of Clara’s moment, and the flaws in the way Moff has written companions, robbing them of a three dimensionality (which was RTD’s forte) that would make those moments feel real and earned. With you 95% on John Hurt.

    Not into The Cheat.

    I understand the impulse to move the show forward. I even can get behind the weird solution to put Gallifrey in, essentially, e-space (even as Ten heads off to The End of Time and, I guess, what the High Council was doing while the 13 Doctors were sending Gallifrey to e-space). But the execution is swiss cheese. In the 24 hours since the special aired — and I totally enjoyed it in the moment and delight in bits and pieces of it now — the more I think about The Cheat (because that’s what it is, in the end — another cheat in which the Doctor no longer has to deal with consequences), the more it falls apart. What of the Daleks still on Gallifrey? What of all the OTHER parts of the Time War — a war that stretched out across the universe, that destroyed hundreds of planets (as we’ve heard referenced throughout the previous 7 season, especially the first 4), and the Nightmare Child and the Could-Have-Been-King? The Time War was never just Gallifrey and the Daleks, which was part of the reason the entire war had to be time locked — to stop the destruction that stretched across the stars. How does e-space help any of that?

    It doesn’t. It doesn’t because it was not thought through, not really.

    And so while I enjoyed this special immensely in the moment (and almost cried when Tom Baker showed up at the end) – and continue to enjoy PARTS of it immensely a day later – it also put the nail in the coffin in terms of my investment in the Moffat era. I no longer care about Eleven, Trenzalore (Trenza-snore, y’all), and what happens to him. Nothing has consequences anymore. Nothing has weight or repercussions — there is always a cheat to get out of it. The core idea of this special, of The Cheat, is a solid, good one. The execution was sloppy. So I’ll keep watching — it’s still a fun show, and should be more fun now that I no longer expect anything from it — but it will take a change of showrunner before there’s a chance it can get me emotionally invested again. Which is a shame, cuz I’m genuinely excited for Capaldi stepping into the role. He’s a fantastic actor; I hope he has the chance to work with a better showrunner soon. And Moff should go back to his real strength, which is writing episodes not running the show.

    Still I enjoyed it more than anything in the last 2 seasons so there’s that. AND BAD WOLF.

    • Nonmercisansfacon

      I agree in part with you about the Cheat. I think they tried to waive it off by saying that once Gallifrey disappears, and the billions of Daleks around it kill themselves, the universe would think the Daleks and the Time Lords annihilated each other and thus the Time War was ended/ would end. However, that’s still leaving some big holes: what about the Daleks that were not attacking Gallifrey? And what about the problems with the High Council and Rassilon? Maybe the next showrunner will have to detangle the knot but yes, I think the Moff should pass the baton soon.

      • redhead with tattoos

        Yeah, it’s just not a properly fleshed out idea. I’m sure if you sat down and thought about it hard enough, like REALLY worked it over, you could figure out a way to make it work. But Moffat has been all about the flash and the showing off and is clearly less invested in making his ideas work properly. In this case, making such a bold change, it really works against him because if you think about it for more than just a minute, the whole thing starts to fall apart. Which is a shame.

    • Violina23

      I enjoyed the special immensely, but I kinda struggled with that aspect of it as well. I mean, I really do need to watch it again, but am I correct in my understanding that basically the end result is that the world is exactly the same as how we entered the reboot in series 1, except for that Gallifrey is preserved in “e-space”. I mean, even the doctors have no memory of it, and therefore Doctors 9/10/11 (and presumably 12) still carry the memory [and guilt] of having committed this genocide that they managed to not commit? I mean, I see why they couldn’t remember or else it would change everything, including the personality and decision making, for these future doctors (especially Eccleston’s tortured one), but the whole thing didn’t leave me feeling quite as triumphant as I feel like it was intended to, if that make sense, It’s as if the whole goal was to maybe give Moffat a new world of Time Lords to play around with for the upcoming seasons?

      Oh, and another thing — what defines whether something is a “fixed point in time” or not? I mean, we keep hearing how those fixed points in time can’t be messed with (although often they do anyways). Because I’d imagine that the War Doctor detonating that device to commit double genocide would be a pretty damn big fixed point in time violation, right?? Or does he get away with it because, from the perspective of the rest of the world, nothing has changed?

      But ahhh, I’m with you on having thoroughly enjoyed watching, even if everything didn’t totally make sense. I’ve come to accept most of the time-wimey-ness. And yes, watching Smith & Tennant banter just made me oh so happy! Can’t wait for the next season, my first watching in real-time with the rest of the Whovians, as I only recently binged on the entire series 😛

      • redhead with tattoos

        For Moffat, NOTHING (apparently) is a fixed point in time — everything can be cheated by saying “timey wimey” and “the Doctor lies.” Which is why I haven’t been invested in his version of this show in a long time. No stakes, no consequences, no nothing. Sound and fury, signifying nothing.

        It has taken real effort on my part to focus on the parts of this special I loved and not on the emptiness that cut through it, the emptiness of meaning that has characterized all of Moffat’s run.

        • Violina23

          I feel like RTD also addressed the idea of messing with fixed points in time — the Water of Mars episode jumps out at me. But RTD definitely attached higher stakes to the idea — the [10th] doctor was genuinely torn on it, and that it was a big friggin’ deal that he opted to go in and change it. But, yet, despite the Doctor “breaking the rules” to save these handful of lives, the ending sort of had the whole “the universe will right itself” kind of deal since the impact of those events on the future remained [presumably] the same.

          But then, I remember back in the first season, there was the episode where Rose tried to save her father, and all hell broke loose because it was a fixed point. I remember that was one of the early episodes I struggled with because I couldn’t get a grasp on what the “rules” are of the universe. I can definitely get on board with a little bit of timey-wimey, but sometimes a little consistency would help me not to get bogged down with those kinds of things. I can’t shut off my brain completely, ya know?

          In general, I find Moffat to be a much more EXCITING writer/showrunner (I love a good arc, and series 5 was really exciting from beginning to end), but the way he kinda writes in these all encompassing trap doors to get out of sticky situations somewhat diminishes the impact over time. I felt this a lot with series 6, which towed the line of soap opera to me. RTD had his share of “convenient” resolutions & McGuffins as well, but he did seem a bit more careful with the ones that had huge impacts on the main characters.

          • redhead with tattoos

            To me, the biggest difference between RTD and Moffat is their ability to write characters. Moffat doesn’t have that ability. He comes up with good ideas, good twists, great villains, but not a single one of them has come to a satisfying conclusion for me. He also doesn’t have as expansive a repertoire as he has a reputation for — the number of times he’s used “paradox reset” is fucking embarrassing, to be honest. He’s hugely reliant on tropes and uses them so frequently I often feel like I’m watching the exact same episode with a different cast and setting (I mean, how many times do we have to literally talk about a big red button? He’s been talking about big red Get Out of Jail Free Card buttons for years now.)

            RTD did this too — every sci-fi writers does — but the characters he populated his universe with are so rich and so three dimensional, whether you like them or hate them, that THEY imbue even the hokiest (I’m lookin’ at you season 3) of premises and plots a very real, very emotional core that they need. Science fiction is not just lasers and space and pew-pew-pew and aliens; science fiction only works when the emotional core of the story is compelling enough to give it stakes and weight. Moffat’s characters haven’t felt like 3 dimensional characters with stakes in years (partially because of how heavily he relies on tropes like universe reset and time travel paradox reset — there are never consequences) and so what do I care about them and what happens to them? What do I care about anything?

            I think Moffat’s best writing happened during the RTD era because he was given a fleshed out, 3 dimensional world and cast of characters to work with, thus allowing his bombastic ideas to work. In this universe he’s created, populated by caricatures (not characters) of his own design, I haven’t found anything to hang onto.

            As for the Father’s Day paradox, it’s actually pretty straightforward (and boy, have I spent a lot of time yelling “FATHER’S DAY!!” at my screen during the Moffat era): In order for Rose to meet the Doctor, go traveling with him, and thus go back in time to meet her father in the first place, she must live a life in which her mother was a single mother living on an estate, in which she dropped out of school because of a boy and had to get a job in a shop where she’d be attacked by mannequins come to life and would meet the Doctor who would invite her to travel through time and space. If her dad lives, he negates that timeline, thus making it nearly impossible (at the very least extremely improbably) that Rose is the one in Henrick’s who gets attacked by the Autons, gets saved by the Doctor, and travels through time. And even if in the most unlikely of timelines that all DID happen, she would have no reason to go back to visit her father because she grew up with a dad, he’s at home. So she would never save him, which means he would die, which means she’d go back to meet him, which means she’d save him and on and on and on. Paradox. One version of events can’t happen without the other but the second version of events makes the first version of events impossible and so time eats itself because the two things must simultaneously coexist and simply cannot.

            In effect, the moment of Pete Tyler’s death becomes fixed the moment Rose meets the Doctor. You could argue it’s in flux before then — if the Doctor happened to save him long before he met Rose, for instance. But because it’s one of the most defining features of Rose Tyler’s life, it could only be fixed without her knowing, without her being involved. It is a fixed point in her — and then, once she meets him, the Doctor’s — timeline.

            Make sense?

          • Violina23

            Yeah, it totally makes sense, but I think when you play with the whole Butterfly Effect thing, then nearly ANYTHING can turn into a fixed point. But I see your point in that Rose was messing with her OWN timeline, which makes it a bit different from most of the other timey-wimey things that got changed. From the beginning of the series I struggled with the doctor’s mission statement really, what was OK for him to go in and “save the day”, and what wasn’t. The series 5 finale was so much fun I was able to forgive Moffat almost completely, because like with Harry Potter 3, I love when time travel is depicted in a way where the outcome of the SUBSEQUENT visits to the time period play out in the original traversal and as a viewer, it becomes SO much fun to watch it all fall together.

            My husband corrected me on the special — that the War doctor & the 10th doctor will NOT remember what transpired due to crossing their time streams, but the 11th doctor DOES remember moving forward. I can see this working thematically for the show, and logistically because our 11th doctor can’t become who he is without the War, 9th, and 10th’s doctors adventures transpiring as if the genocides occurred, but it still kinda bugs me, to your original post. I’ll get over it and go with the flow, but I’m still scratching my head.

          • Dora Kishinevsky

            It does make sense, and if it helps you enjoy the episode, that’s great, but I think there’s a reason the “fixed point” thing wasn’t explained this way (or any other way really) in the script. Pompeii is a fixed point and so is the doomed Mars mission with no time-traveller paradox involved in either, or at least, no more of a paradox than many other events the Doctor has visited. The Tenth Doctor has hinted that fixed points are natural phenomena which Time Lords, unlike other species, have the natural ability to sense (i.e. they can say whether a certain event can be changed or not). But even that has not been said very clearly.

            Basically, the writers have taken care to keep fixed points as this joker for whenever historical events need to be unchangeable for the purposes of the specific episode. I think this is how a lot of Doctor Who works, and it works for me, as long as writers don’t get lazy and abuse this freedom (I’m looking at YOU, Moffat).

          • redhead with tattoos

            Actually, I think there is a difference between the fixed points as defined by Pompeii and Bowie Base One and a point of causality which induces a paradox. You’re right in that Time Lords have been shown to be able to “sense” fixed points in history, moments where certain things MUST occur in order for history to proceed the way it’s supposed to. But that’s different from a fixed point of causality which would create the kind of paradox we see in Father’s Day or which Moffat tries to use (in the most absurd and insulting way possible) as a reset in The Angels Take Manhattan. As we see in the Waters of Mars, saving Adelaide and changing history has a dangerous ripple effect but because Adelaide takes her own life (which I agree is not the neatest of RTD’s solutions) history is able to essentially proceed as it would have before then. Likewise, Pompeii had to blow because if it hadn’t the ripples across history would have been SO vast and SO damaging that life as we know it today would not have happened. Those are moments the Doctor senses.

            That’s different from the fixed point of causality in Father’s Day. The events of Father’s Day CANNOT HAPPEN, from beginning to end, unless Rose’s father dies. Her father MUST die so she can meet the Doctor and, more importantly, ASK him to go back and meet her father, at which point she saves him. Those two things cannot happen at once — if Pete lives, Rose never goes back in time to save him. The universe eats itself because the two things must be simultaneously true and cannot be simultaneously true at the same time.

            So the two things are distinctly different. Rose’s fixed point in her timeline is not so much one of those Fixed Points the Time Lords can sense, but a fixed point in the sense that it HAS to happen that way for ANYTHING after that in her personal timeline to happen, which then leads to meeting the Doctor, which leads to her going back to meet her father, and loop and loop and loop. That’s why the episode (really brilliantly — it has among the best VISUAL learning tools of any episode in DW I think) features the car that hits Pete driving down the street over and over and over again. The car MUST hit Pete and Pete MUST die for Rose to get there in the first place. Time immediately tries to correct itself, to avoid being eaten by the dragon things, and gives the opportunity over and over and over again.

    • CommentsByKatie

      I felt the same, and I thought there would be a lot more outrage on the Internet about it. Moffat just rewrote one of the most crucial elements of the modern Doctors, the Time War double genocide, and nobody really cares? What gives him the right to undo that mistake, to undo that canon? I thought the episode was great, but I was pretty unsettled by the huge plot annihilation. Timey-wimey, sure, but this is more serious than anything they’ve gone back on before, that I can remember.

      • “What gives him the right to undo that mistake, to undo that canon? ”

        He’s the showrunner and head writer. That gives him the right, just as the same position gave Russell T Davies the right to kill off the character’s race, 40+years into the story.

        We can debate whether Moffat should have done this or whether he pulled it off, but there’s no question, in our minds, of his right to steer the franchise in the direction he wants it to go. And he’s hardly the first person at the head of a long-running franchise with a dense history to undo or change some of it.

        • CommentsByKatie

          Fair enough! Like I said, I really enjoyed the episode and the specials from the whole weekend, I was just shocked that they would do something that drastic. But what more appropriate time than the 50th, I suppose. 🙂

        • MoHub

          As a vintage Whovian, I always thought the Time War was a lame idea, and it was just the beginning of my disrespect for RTD.

      • redhead with tattoos

        Much of the fandom IS outraged, if that helps. I’ve seen a lot of it. I would be able to go along with it if it wasn’t done so sloppily, but I think he calls into question whether he had a right to do it by doing it so badly. If he’d thought it through and pulled it off without it falling apart the second you do more than glance at it, I’d probably be more inclined to run with it.

  • Sam

    I loved this episode. It was the perfect triumph for the Doctor to have for the show’s 50th anniversary. Nothing too heavy or sad and even watching, as you say, all three Doctors go back to their own lives where they’ll all soon regenerate, it was a happy feeling in the air. It warmed my little heart 🙂

    What did you guys think of An Adventure in Space and Time?

    • Spoilers!

      I was weeping like a baby at the end of “An Adventure in Space and Time.” I’ve been bugging all my friends to watch it ever since it aired.

      • MoHub

        This was the right approach to an anniversary special, and it provides perspective to those who believe Doctor Who began in 2005.

    • Tatiana Luján

      I loved An Adventure in Space and Time, very mooving and entertaining.

  • Kathleen O’Shea David

    Have you seen the the Fivish Doctors that Peter Davison did for the BBC? It is half an hour of fun and does bring some other people into it.

    • redhead with tattoos

      Oh my goodness, it was SO FUNNY and DELIGHTFUL! Loved it so much.

    • MilaXX


    • Corsetmaker

      it was great… loved John Barrowman’s secret! LOL!

    • zky

      That was pure joy.

    • By the way, did you hear about this “Hobbit” movie they’re making…?

  • MilaXX

    Weird thing; the moment Eleven was told he had a message from Queen Elizabeth, I tweeted, “Bad Wolf”. I didn’t really see The Moment as being Rose Tyler, but rather using the Doctor’s memories and feelings about Rose as an interface & his conscience. Still for once Rose Tyler didn’t annoy me so it’s not a point I’d argue. I loved every single but about this. The list of little call backs to the classic episodes is too high to number. I pick out more each time I rewatch. Like An Adventure in Time, the ending of this had me tearing up. There’s also a funny short on the BBCA website that features Doctor’s 5, 6 & 7 trying to get into 50th special with loads of cameos from pretty much everyone..
    The minds behind this 50th special did things right.

    • Got a link to that Doctors 5.6 & 7 video?

      • MilaXX

        I’ve sent the link but if you google Fivish Doctors it should come up. It’s on the BBC website.

  • Jumpingjacks

    Seriously?.. no: ‘Geronimo!!’ ‘Allons-y!!’ ‘..Oh, for god sake!’

  • You keep saying “The Moment” had a consciousness of it’s own, but I got the impression it was Bad Wolf herself who gave that Consciousness to the Moment all along! There wasn’t any sort of split personality going on. It was Rose Tyler Bad Wolf all the way baby!

    • The War Council of Gallifrey mentioned that The Moment had its own conscience and the Rose/Bad Wolf figure introduced herself as the machine’s conscience.

      • redhead with tattoos

        No, I think I get what he’s getting at — there was that line early on, when War Time Lord 1 was telling War Time Lord 2 about The Moment, where he said “at some point it developed a consciousness.” I think you could argue (and I love Rose Tyler and thus love this argument) that it developed that consciousness when Bad Wolf cast herself back through time to end the Time War and save the Doctor, so the two things are inextricably linked.

        • Tatiana Luján

          That’s a great theory!

        • We have the winner. That’s where I was coming from.

      • I see Redhead with tattoos has pointed out what I’m talking about. Never argue with a Ginge! 😉

      • You know, deleting the explanations that have been posted doesn’t make your take on the subject correct.
        During the discussion between the two Timelords in the war room the
        first says to the 2nd that The Moment “Became” conscious. There is no
        proof that this consciousness wasn’t Rose’s Bad Wolf as she swept through time leaving a part of herself as Bad Wolf to help the Doctor! I’ll keep posting this if you keep deleting it.

  • Elizabeth Szubert

    This is the best ever review of the episode that I’ve read. I think it’s because I love the way that you two write and because you’re writing it from a fan’s point of view. I didn’t even think that it was the Bad Wolf Rose Tyler but just the Interface being Interface-y. So thank you for that. Just – *bows down*

  • Megan Mackay

    Absolutely agree with most of your thoughts but I’m scratching my head with how you can go from praising Rose as Bad Wolf for becoming a god and coming back to rid the Doctor of his pain, then criticizing Moffat for making his companions The Most Important Companions. I agree that that’s getting old kinda quick, but I personally see Rose as the original offender in that aspect (not that I didn’t like to see her again).

    • “praising Rose as Bad Wolf for becoming a god”

      But we didn’t. We noted that she did so, but we didn’t actually praise Russell T Davies for coming up with Bad Wolf in the first place. It’s a done deal at this point.

    • Dora Kishinevsky

      I think that with Rose, her Universal Importance, just like the fact that her relationship with the Doctor had romantic elements, was easier to accept because it was just that story at that point. With subsequent companions it was like, okay, this one is ALSO the most important person ever and ALSO maybe the Doctor’s soulmate? *yawn*
      Plus, Rose was better fleshed out than some subsequent companions, with a solid background in the real world that allowed for character development. She was the kid with the very humble background who gets pulled into this fantastic adventure and discovers they’re a hero. Her central place in things felt earned that way. Clara is (as TLo say) this cartoon character with a cartoon background and it’s hard to take her seriously.

  • MW

    Damn you, I’m crying again.

  • ellisd123

    I loved, “Sand shoes”, Dickie bow”, and “Grandpa”. Too funny. I can’t wait to see what they do for the christmas special! Next season is going to be fab!

  • lundibleu

    There were so many little things about it that I loved, and little touches and nods to history. And yes, there were/are some gaping plot holes that could be revealed fairly easily. But I really enjoyed it from beginning to end.

    Seeing Kate Stewart again was brilliant – I want her back and to see more of Osgood too (Ingrid Oliver <3), UNIT, the Torchwood theme, nods to ALL the doctors, Capaldi, Tom Baker. All fantastic. Thought it was fantastic that it started with the original theme music and introduction and ended with what may well be the newest version of it.

  • formerlyAnon

    This one bears watching more than once. I just love watching to catch throwaway lines & references I missed earlier.

  • Lattis

    The moment was Bad Wolf and Bad Wolf was Rose Tyler.

    Great line, guys. Love the idea of Rose Tyler as a bad wolf guardian angel healing the doctor’s pain & regret. Also, I loved the exchange between Clara and the Doctor about what the meaning of the name “Doctor” was to him. “Never be cruel or cowardly, never give up, never give in.”

    I always squee when I hear there’s going to be a new Doctor Who series or special and then I immediately start to worry that it’s going to let me down. Damn, this one was good.

    • It’s especially poignant when you take into account that Rose was the first companion to join the Doctor after he regenerates from John Hurt and knows the pain he was freshly dealing with when she becomes Bad Wolf and knows she can now fix it! How more appropriate could you get?

  • Lattis

    PLUS: I could not be happier that Gallifrey is back in the picture. I can’t get enough of red skull caps and capes with enormous collars.

  • Guest

    Also, I could not be more thrilled to have Gallifrey back in the picture because I, for one, can never have too many red scull caps and capes with enormous collars in my life.

  • Nimith

    Taken on its own merits and in isolation I thought it was a good episode but I have a MAJOR issue with the fact that it effectively gutted the narrative arc of The End of Time. The Gallifrey that he’s now looking for is still locked in the last moments before he would have used The Moment. The corrupt and morally bankrupt society that he feared the return of and fought to keep imprisoned on the other side of that time lock. What happens when Rassilon and co. re-emerge?

    • Elizabeth Szubert

      Wouldn’t Rassilon be dead due to the massive blasts of energy that the Master gave him? Because the Master went all “You made me!” berserk rage.

      • Nimith

        Do we know if where that scene sits in relation to the fall of Arcadia?

        • Elizabeth Szubert

          The War Council says that the Elders failed so I’m thinking (along with others) that was the End of Time arc that Ten hasn’t lived out yet in this episode. So it’s before, even though it’s after for Ten. Timey Wimey. 😀

          • Nimith

            True, time has been re-written, The End of Time still has the play out for the Tenth Doctor to die so everything that lead up to the lock still has to take place, the only difference being the Gallifrey wasn’t destroyed. In any case I look forward to meeting the Nightmare Child, the Skaro Degradations, the Army of Meanwhiles and Neverwheres and their Could’ve Been King, the Horde of Travesties, and the Hell that the Tenth Doctor said would be released if the time lock was broken. Unless of course Moffat chooses to retcon that or ignore it all together. ‘The Doctor lies’ won’t cut it for me.

          • redhead with tattoos

            Yeah, Moff’s gonna ignore all that, and I am right there with you: Bad writing, and bullshit. Ah, well.

      • Nimith

        Do we know where that scene sits in relation to the fall of Arcadia?

  • AnguaVonUberwald

    The special was absolutely brilliant, and I loved every minute of it, so glad to see you guys review it here! And your revelations about Bad Wolf/the Moment were something I had never even thought of. Thanks for your brilliant review, just capped off a gloriously Doctor Who-y weekend. I have already rewatched it, and might rewatch it again tonight. Can’t wait ’til Christmas!

  • Corsetmaker

    I loved it, and I was so delighted to see Tom Baker! The only weak point for me was the Elizabeth I sections. I normally like Joanna Page but I didn’t think she worked in this.
    I thought the Bad Wolf/Rose thing was fairly obvious and the Curator part pretty explicit, but reading online comments it seems not!
    I loved the banter between 10 and 11. Thought John Hurt sat into the role perfectly and didn’t mind Clara. Also, all the nods and asides to the past were lovely. From the school at the start to River’s high heels.

    • lundibleu

      I thought Joanna Page did fine, but the writing of the Elizabeth I sections didn’t work for me if I think of it historically.

      • Corsetmaker

        I felt they were going for Blackadder’s Queenie more than anything with her. But generally those were the sections that jarred for me, on first and second viewings.

        • lundibleu

          Yup, that was one of my thoughts too, and much as I like Joanna Page she is not Miranda Richardson. God, I ADORED Queenie.

        • MoHub

          Exactly! It was a rework of Miranda Richardson’s caricature of QE the First and did not channel the historical Elizabeth at all.

  • Frank_821

    Your review was a good one. At first i was happy Billie Piper was not back as Rose but than again I can accept your theory

    I enjoyed it enough. There was a enough servicing to the fans. It wasn’t perfect and I wish someone new would take over the show but it was an enjoyable special. And I got to share it with 500 other people which can really enhance the pleasure

    I loved John Hurt’s portrayal. It clicked in my head how Derek Jacobi played the Master from a time from the Time War. How cool it would have been to see those 2 play off each other as opponents

    I loved the Adventure in Space and Time movie special. Got to attend a screening with no commercials. Truly lovely with cameos of old Who actors slipped in. Touching to an old fan like myself. And they included a quick extra about him including an old interview with Hartnell

  • Diana

    I had a couple more issues with the episode than it seems you did (though I still enjoyed it!) but i don’t want to think about them too much, since my interest in the show has gone way down in the last season for me to care. BUT i did miss seeing tennant as the doctor. He was my doctor and it just felt nice, you know?

  • Sarah Thomas

    Bad wolf doesn’t just mean rose. Bad wolf means rose Nd the TARDIS. Stuck between a girl and a box, indeed.

    • Qitkat

      Your second sentence confuses me. I’m not sure what it means.

  • JauntyJohn

    So wonderful.
    And as usual, whatever issues one may have with Moffat (and some definitely have merit) he uses Time Travel as a story device absolutely brilliantly. The way the storytelling loops, sets up and resolves itself is nothing short of elegant.
    But maybe the best trick of all is that they were able to (in essence) wash the blood off the Doctor’s hands without retconing out the previous characters’ motivations.

    That and the Doctor found redemption by trying to save someone else from making the very mistake he made.

    • Qitkat

      So well put about the use of Time Travel and redemption.

  • Claudia

    I completely dweebed out for this! LOVED!

  • Qitkat

    Fantastic review. I appreciate that so many people loved this episode, but for me there were parts that did not work. I hated everything involved with Queen Elizabeth, just did, none of it felt like it unfolded naturally, felt more contrived to me. I loved everything with David and Matt interacting as Ten and Eleven. John Hurt was totally awesome as the War Doctor, and his interactions with the other two. RoseTylerBadWolf was perfection as the The Moment. The artwork of Gallifrey was superb and would have been nice to see in 3D. There was a lot of silliness that somewhat took me out of the story, and although I hoped I would tear up, I just think that Moffat doesn’t often hit the emotional button for me, as RTD did. I do plan to watch it again, after having read several reviews and comments to take into (re)consideration. Most of all I always love the Timey-Wimeyness of it all, and don’t mind the paradoxes or seeming retcons, but maybe that’s just me. Going forward, it’s both sad to see the end of Matt Smith’s era, and greatly anticipating where the story will now go with Peter Capaldi. I wouldn’t mind if Moffat stepped down, and passed the reins to someone else soon though.

    I haven’t had a chance to watch the An Adventure in Space and Time yet, but look forward to it. The Night of the Doctor and the Fivish Doctors mini episodes were great additions to the celebration, the former intense and the latter funny and sweet.

  • Jasmaree

    I thought it was really great. It’ surpassed my expectations (I groaned when I saw it was written by Moffat himself).

    I don’t agree with you that The Moment was Bad Wolf (I don’t think you have much evidence to support that assertion), but I won’t waste time arguing.

    Loved all the character’s playing off each other. I wish we would get to see more of War in the future because the dynamic between the romanticized childish Doctors and the exasperated old-man Doctor was perfect. If Twelve is more like that, I’m going to love the new season. It pulled off an impressive change to the mythology without messing up any major pre-existing stories, which is a big feat at this point. I did roll my eyes at a couple lines here and there (Ten’s “I don’t want to go” chiefly) and I felt less than entranced with the Zygon plot, but overall I thought it was really good. Looking forward to the next season.

    • Lenora Dody

      I’ve seen it four times now and she specifically says she is Bad Wolf.

  • Lisa M. (ReVoir) Kramp

    I turned into a giddy fan girl with my hands over my mouth in amazement at a couple of moments watching this. And that’s what I call great entertainment. Analyze away, what matters most to me is how it makes you feel.

  • Fred Vaughn

    Beer and college football is an OK afternoon.
    Beer and fresh Doctor Who (with Billie Piper owning the house!) made for a GREAT afternoon.

  • boweryboy

    It’s official. I’m a lookie-loo.

    Then again, I started and stopped watching Dr. Who back in the late ’70s when, as a child, I had recurring nightmares about the Daleks blowing up my neighborhood and then chasing me down the street. But hey, I’m nerdy enough to at least know what a Dalek is, so there’s that.

  • Lanus

    Oh, I do so hope that TLo and ALL the bitter kitten unborn fawns have watched “The Five-ish Doctors Reboot.” It is amazing and funny and a great shout out to all the classic doctors and many people who were missed in the special. Check out the Wiki on the cast after you watch it, the cameo explanations alone gave me so many feels.

    • Tatiana Luján

      The Five-ish Doctors was great!

  • Tatiana Luján

    I agree with everything you said.
    I loved the episode. One pleasant surprise was that Hurt’s Doctor, even though grumpier on the surface, was verty warm and sweet.

  • Coleen

    Seeing Tom Baker made me squeal so loudly I was sure that I woke the neighbors. Just the icing on the cake of this awesome episode.

  • moweezy

    I had the same reaction to the “Man who Regrets” bit, literal gasps. It was a perfect summation of the last 10 years of this show, and it was almost a throw away line! Amazing! This has rekindled my joy in the show, and reaffirmed my belief in Moffat as a writer. I was on the edge honestly about continuing to watch, and now I HAVE to.

  • moweezy

    P.S. did anyone else notice River Song’s red pumps in the Black Archive?

    • Tatiana Luján

      No! I have to rewatch.

    • Juliette Wojciechowski

      Loved seeing that glimpse of River! In my mind, Tom Baker’s closing line was actually “Ahh, well – as my wife says “spoilers.””

  • Cabanas Dunhill

    It was the moment’s conscience.

    You can spin it how you like and take your headcanon to the grave, it doesn’t make your wishes true.

    The good thing is that with the Day Of The Doctor Steven Moffat has completed his 4 year mission to erase most of RTD’s Doctor Who universe.
    In public he may expound on how much he loves Russell T Davies work, but his actions show otherwise.

    Rose Tyler is long gone in all of her forms, Gallifrey is back, all of RTD excesses such as Cyberkings and Dalek invasions have been rewritten using time cracks, and rebooting the universe, and with Capaldi’s arrival and the last of the RTD baggage gone, we will finally see what Steven Moffat’s true vision of Doctor Who is.

    And it wont be one that includes chavy,childish, ratchet shop girls with massive teeth, and a look at me daddy complex.

  • Sam

    After seeing the episode again tonight (in 3D, and surrounded by many amazing Whovians), I was thinking about Clara’s part in the episode and I realized…Clara’s life (or parts of it) are dedicated to saving the Doctor…that’s her job, so to speak. And in this episode she did it again only THIS time she saved him from himself and saved him from the decision he was about to make.

  • ChaquitaPhilly

    THANKS, Guys!

  • Scott Snyder

    Wouldn’t it be something if — y’know, just while they had him on set — they had Tom Baker film a little something for them to use twenty or thirty or fifty years from now, in which he chooses to be the incarnation who has just popped back for a visit? Maybe even something triumphant and retrospective where he finally sets the sonic down, maybe flies the TARDIS back to Trenzalore once more, to fulfill the prophecy?

    I agree with other commenters about the Moment developing a conscience because Bad Wolf Rose went back and instilled it with one.

    Great piece. Enjoyed reading it.

  • Diane_G

    “Why are you waving around your screwdrivers like it’s a weapon? Are you going to assemble me a cabinet?”

  • emw12

    Don’t forget, when Tom Baker regenerated, it was stated “The moment has been prepared for”.