Well, Whovians, I’ve finally done it! I’ve finally been able to catch The Day of the Doctor and I am definitely not disappointed. As discussed with a friend, I will now be rating Doctor Who episodes/specials on a scale of 5 tears (i.e. how often did this episode/special kick me in the feels and make me cry). Below you will find my review of The Day of the Doctor as well as what I think about the fan rumors to have quickly generated from it. And yes sweeties, there will be spoilers!
The Day of the Doctor – Doctor Who
I feel like an awful Whovian since I watched the first 40 minutes then had to wait until The Walking Dead was over. But that’s probably for the better since it gave me plenty of time to process everything that was happening. Usually, the episode follows the Doctor. Just one Doctor. This special followed three Doctors… or rather two Doctors and one War Doctor. But for the sake of keeping things simple, they’ll be referred to 8.5 (John Hurt), 10 (David Tennant), and 11 (Matt Smith). Let’s not debate the numbering of the regenerations just yet, since I’ll get into that later.
Here is the basic layout of the episode: 8.5 steals “The Moment” from the Time Lord High Council, the most dangerous weapon they have which happens to have a conscience. He plans to use this to destroy Gallifrey along with all of the Daleks. Up to this point, we’ve been lead to believe this was true. But I’m getting ahead of myself so let’s get less wibbly wobbly and more timey wimey. After walking miles from the TARDIS (8.5 doesn’t want her to witness what he’s about to do), he settles down in an abandoned shack and is shortly joined by someone looking just like Rose. Or rather, the Bad Wolf. The Moment’s conscience connected with the Doctor’s memories from all regenerations and chose to appear as the Bad Wolf. After 8.5 confesses to her that he does not intend to survive the destruction he’s about to bring, she quickly decides that his punishment will then be that he will survive and have to live with what he’s done.
The Conscience rips a hole in the time-space vortex so that 8.5 can see what he is to become so, quickly, let’s catch up with the other Doctors. 11 and current companion, Clara aka The Impossible Girl, as whisked away by order of U.N.I.T. to view a painting and sealed letter from Elizabeth I. (You mean, we finally find out what happened with Elizabeth I?!) The letter was to be delivered to the Doctor if a certain turn of events put the world in danger. Apparently, this is now happening, though 11 and Clara can’t put it together yet since their only clues are “paintings” with glass broken outwards as if something has passed through the frame. Enter time-space vortex rip.
Since 10 is by far my favorite Doctor, it seems I have saved the best for last. 10 has been romancing Elizabeth I on a picnic and what romantic picnic doesn’t end with you proposing then wrongly accusing your date of being a Zygon? (Sorry, I haven’t been on a lot of picnics.) Luckily, or rather unluckily, the horse turns out to be the actual Zygon and 10 runs into the woods with his now fiance. They separate which can only mean one thing: 10 is left trying to figure out which Elizabeth I he runs into is the real one and which is the Zygon in disguise. Enter time-space vortex rip.
After playing a lovely game of Catch the Fez, 11 in his timestream decides to jump through and see what’s on the other side. Oddly though he seems to remember all of this: “Yes, this is where I come in.” To see if either 10 or 11 can get back through, they throw the fez which ends up in 8.5’s timestream. My guess is he felt a pull by the odd fashion sense of his past regens because he hops right through to find the Doctor. After a great deal of back-and-forth zingers (that I really hope the actors got to put their 2 cents in with), the three are captured by Elizabeth I’s guards and locked away in the Tower.
The best part about all three being stuck in cell together is that it allows Bad Wolf (who only 8.5 can see) to eloquently sum up 10 and 11. 10: The Man Who Regrets. 11: The Man Who Forgets. 8.5 gets to see everything he will do to deal with destroying Gallifrey. More timey wimey stuff here as the three try to figure out how to get out of the cell (after sending a little message to current day U.N.I.T.), but just as they figure it all out Clara busts through the unlocked door. Enter Zygon Elizabeth I (or is she the real Elizabeth I?) and the villain (or?) begins monologing. Turns out, Elizabeth I was a tough broad who knifed down the Zygon in the woods but posed as the leader of the Zygons so she could discover their plot.
It seems in current time, the Zygons had busted out of the “paintings” (or rather moments frozen in time) and were hiding as statues so they could take over U.N.I.T. as well as steal every deadly weapon they had archived there. Just our luck though that 11 had left that little message for them because it turned out to be a code for a device (which belonged to Captain Jack Harkness) that transported Clara just in the right moment to avoid being taken by the big bad. After 10 follows through on his marriage proposal, the three Doctors, Clara, and the Bad Wolf rush to the TARDIS who seems to be very confused by the three Doctors since she tries to focus on the design of each of their timestreams. The TARDIS of 11 wins in the end (much to the chagrin of 10) and we’re off to the then future, the now present so they can save the world from the Zygons but wait… the U.N.I.T. archives are TARDIS proof preventing our heroes from landing. Luckily, they were able to snag the device that allows them to go into a painting *insert more timey wimey stuff here* and they’re now in the archives watching the Zygons and the humans fighting through a voice activated nuclear bomb that will destroy millions to save billions. See where this is going here? 10 and 11 quickly activate the memory devices that are found through U.N.I.T. so that no one remembers if they’re human or Zygon which leads to the nuclear device being shut down with just a couple seconds to go (phew) and the greatest negotiation time has ever seen. 8.5 sits back and admires what he becomes because of the choice he has to make in his timestream as The Impossible Girl notices what’s happening in his head. After a brief talk, 8.5 announces to Bad Wolf that he now knows what he must do and he’s taken back to The Moment. Just as he’s accepted what he must live with, the Bad Wolf calls to his attention the sound of the TARDIS (*ahem* take the damn parking break off lads!) which brings hope, even to him. No wait, she’s not putting the sound in his ears. The TARDIS… or TARDISes (TARDISi?) are arriving with 10 and 11 because they know 8.5 shouldn’t have to do this alone.
Just as all three have accepted what they believe will happen, what they’ve known to have happened, Clara can’t accept that the loveable alien with two hearts would really just give up on finding a way to save everyone. She’s a firm believer in three heads being better than one, and one by one it hits them all that the solution has been staring them in the face the whole time: freeze Gallifrey in a moment in time and let the Daleks destroy each other in the crossfire. In the most amazing couple of minutes you’ve ever seen, all of the regenerations of the Doctor arrive from their timestreams and they use the power of the TARDIS and time cube to freeze and save Gallifrey. Clever boys.
Now that their job is done, the three and Clara admire the “painting” of Gallifrey with cups of tea because that’s just how they celebrate, those crazy time travelers. 8.5 and 10 figure that they won’t remember this whole adventure and head off into their own adventures. The Curator of the museum (did you recognize Tom Baker? Or better yet, 4?) has a chat with 11 about the title of the painting. Apparently they’ve had it backwards the whole time. It’s not No More + Gallifrey Falls. It’s Gallifrey Falls No More. That’s it! 11 know where he must go next and we’re left with waiting another month until the Christmas Special and oh how I hate waiting!
1. 10 and 11 showing up so that 8.5 didn’t have to make the decision to kill everyone on his own. They knew how heavy the burden would be in his future and were willing to help carry the weight.
2. Clara starts crying because she realizes 11 actually was willing to kill his own race (and why wouldn’t he be if all he’d known was that he had already made that decision?). *Extra points for lip quivering action.*
3. 8.5 says “Thanks Bad Wolf girl!” and 10 looks around like “Where? Where is my Rose?!”
4. When the council mentioned all 12 of the Doctors and a pair of familiar (yet unknown) eyes flashed on the screen and he proclaimed “No! All 13!”
Next blog, I’ll give you the second part of this post: The Rumors and What I Think of Them All. Just need to rewatch some old episodes before I can make up my mind on a few things!