The Day of the Doctor

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    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    @jimthefish @jannetteb @blenkinsopthebrave

    The novelisation of Day of the Doctor is an absolute joy. Other books in the range by Russell ‘the’ Davies (a nod to ‘fiveish doctors’ there) and Paul Cornell all seemed to try to go for the Terrance Dicks approach (and why not). Day of the Doctor has a clear authorial voice – if you’ve listened to Moffat speaking, you almost hear him reading it to you. It’s incredibly barmy and all the better for it. The three way narrative between the Doctors as they are transported to the Tower is a thing of beauty. A writer writing for the format (because you can’t do that stuff on TV).

    We actually formed just after the Snowmen in Series 7, believe if or not. Check out that thread and you’ll see us all staggering into the light. All praise our saviour @craig.

    @bluesqueakpip @jimthefish

    We’ve missed a few episodes, mainly the early RTD and Moffat years. We covered a lot in the RTD and Moffat retrospectives, but we haven’t covered episodes like Father’s Day, School Reunion and about 12 – 15 others.

    If we are in need, the ‘best of the rest’ could be an option?

    Mudlark @mudlark

    This was balm to the soul and left me with a terminal case of the warm fuzzies for the rest of the evening. It encapsulates all that Moffat at his best does so well, but in the aftermath has left me painfully aware of how much I now miss that Moffat touch.  It was in every way a worthy summation and celebration of the 50th anniversary.

    And thank you, @phaseshift for the link to Moffat’s twitter commentary, which I enjoyed hugely.

    One small detail bothers me*, and has done since first viewing. Tennant Doctor was quite right to view that rabbit with suspicion, but not because it could have been a Zygon – it couldn’t, because it was a lop ear, therefore completely anachronistic and so in that context unavailable to be copied. The various types of lop ears are fancy breeds which at earliest date only from the 18th century. Rabbits – or coneys as they were then more usually known – which had been introduced from Southern Europe and resembled the modern wild bunny, were at that time barely naturalised in Britain, and mostly either farmed in artificial warrens on manors and the estates of the nobility, or confined to elite hunting ranges. Obviously they had to use a domesticated rabbit for the production, but unless the choice of a fancy breed was a deliberate joke, (which would probably have been lost on the majority of viewers) they could have used one more closely resembling its ancestors.

    That said, Tennant Doctor’s Elizabeth differed in certain respects from the Elizabeth Tudor of history, so this is clearly history in the Whoniverse, and not as the academic community knows it. Although I haven’t the slightest doubt that the historical Liz wouldn’t have dealt with the Zygons equally effectively and in no short order.


    *Yes, I know 😈

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    This is a fan video that Tom Spilsbury (Editor of Doctor Who Magazine)has shared – an expanded and brought-up-to-date version of the ‘Gallifrey Stands’ sequence

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip


    unless the choice of a fancy breed was a deliberate joke

    I suspect it was partly a deliberate joke and partly that they needed a rabbit that would sit placidly where it was put while David Tennant was ranting at it. It was probably an exhibition or show rabbit.

    But I know what you mean; I remember seeing it for the first time and thinking what a huge rabbit it was – but that would be why the Tennant Doctor would think it might possibly be a Zygon. 😀

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Just went back and looked at those first comments on the board in response to “The Snowmen”. There was a tangible excitement in evidence with people discovering their ability to join the site. And lots of familiar, but now alas, distant names. There was an absurdly complicated Blenkinsop theory about Clara and water that sounded good until it was pointed out that I had mistaken CO2 as indicating water, when it actually refers to carbon dioxide! (Ahh, the price of not paying attention in science class at school…)

    I think the appeal of nostalgia will require me going back and re-reading more of the posts of that early, close-knit community.

    Mudlark @mudlark


    That fan video is a wonderfully clever montage, and a worthy supplement to the film.

    @janetteb @phaseshift

    Thanks for the recommendation of the novelisation. I confess that I have never really bothered with the novels and so far casual browsing hasn’t converted me, but that sounds well worth following up. My immune system being somewhat compromised I suppose that I must follow the guidelines, stay in purdah, and order it on line, though normally I prefer to patronise the local bookshops in  person*. But needs must!


    *That is, assuming those in this locality are still open for the duration, which is not certain.

    Craig @craig

    @phaseshift @jimthefish @janetteb @blenkinsopthebrave and everyone else.

    I think there are more watch-alongs planned. In fact I think “Rose” is happening on Thursday” (15 year anniversary – maybe) and then shortly after “The Eleventh Hour” (10 year anniversary – maybe). I’m unsure but will check and have everything in order if it does happen.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    I think RTD injected something quite unique (but utterly different from SM) into his novelisation of Rose but, yes, Cornell very much gives you a straight up-and-down, no-nonsense adaptation. Which is fair enough as it isn’t his story.

    @craig, @blenkinsopthebrave et al

    Yes, I believe Rose is coming up next to be followed by the Eleventh Hour. Definitely up for those. (Must admit those gaps are going to bug me now that @phaseshift has pointed them out. But maybe that’s something for the future.)

    Whisht @whisht

    I know I’m massively late on this but just watched DotD and loved it completely (again).

    Maybe its unfair to compare it to the recent couple of seasons as it feels like a ‘special’ but…. ah, the warmth of writing and acting is just enveloping.

    But also the switches of emotion.

    And as others have said – Hurt’s Doctor is instant. Not sure any have achieved that except Hartnell.

    nerys @nerys

    One of the things I loved about “Day of the Doctor” is how Clara and Matt Smith’s Doctor really connected. I never felt that emotional connection in the regular episodes. And she really clicked with David Tennant’s and William Hurt’s Doctors, as well.

    It seemed such a shame that it didn’t happen (at least, not for me) at other times. Over time, I felt that Clara and David Capaldi’s Doctor did develop a strong chemistry. And then Capaldi’s Doc and Pearl Mackie’s Bill hit the ground running. It’s interesting how that happens … or doesn’t. And maybe it’s all in the eye of the beholder/viewer. I’m guessing that for others, Clara and Smith’s Doc had a chemistry that I missed.

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    I think that’s one of those indefinable ‘lightning in a bottle’ things, partly down to writing but mostly to personal chemistry. I always tend to look at how Liz Sladen seemed to strike off Tom Baker far more than with Jon Pertwee (and also how Adric seemed to be less irritating with Baker than he became with Davison).

    nerys @nerys

    @jimthefish I agree. Chemistry is one of those elusive qualities. A relationship either sparks it, or it doesn’t. Even though they are actors, doing what actors do, sometimes there’s that little extra something that makes all the difference, in terms of believability.

    johnnybear @johnnybear

    The episode was enjoyable and weird to think it was SO long ago now!!! But the problem i have with it, is that it was two different stories going on at the same time! Daleks and Time Lords fighting over Gallifrey in the final days of the Time War and the Zygons who were using Gallifreyan technology to invade the earth! When I first heard of the Zygons coming back I assumed it would be like the War Games cameos or along those lines with the main focus being on the Daleks and the Time Lords own conflict! Strange that it took fifty years to feature them prominently in an anniversary story and even here they are not really the main adversary!!!



    So I have had lingering doubts about The Day of the Doctor for a very long time.

    How come the Doctor never remembers trying to save Gallifrey, if all his previous versions were there together? It was always theorized and kind of surmised that maybe the Tardises did the calculations and the all the saving; and all incarnations of the Doctor were very poor drivers to even notice. But that theory seems kind of lazy. And to be honest 7th was actually a good driver of the capsule.
    Another surmised and kind-of-universally accepted notion is that when multiple incarnations of the same person come together, only the latest version remembers the deeds. All the previous incarnations loose their memory due to them being out of sync with their own timelines. But that should not hold true because none of the other Doctors left the protective fields of their Tardises (only War and 10th). So was it really lazy writing and fanfare? OR is it something else?

    The episode is from the perspective of 11th. But when 12th enters, should it not be metaphysically impossible for him to remember anything!? They did not interact, but they still are the same person, in the same temporal plain of existence. So that should make 12th the oldest among all the Doctors, right?


    This one doubt is kind of extreme and rubbishly thought of and crudely framed. But I think it’s still better than Rory being a Master because of a wibbly-wobbly migraine and Simm-like haircut!
    If the 10th had only the intention to cozy up to the queen for exposing her as the Zygon that he thought she was, and if he forgets marrying her due to the timeline being out of sync, then how does he remember all the flirting and everything that followed (in The End of Time Part 1 he jokingly reveals to the Ood that Queen Elizabeth cannot have the nickname the Virgin Queen anymore). Did he not wait to find out if she was a Zygon before all the snogging!?
    Plus why does 11 not feel weird when seeing the portrait of his earlier incarnation with Queen Bess in what looks like ceremonial wedding gown? This episode is from the perspective of his timeline. Up until that moment, 10th should have forgotten everything except pursuing the possible Queen-Zygon and 11 hasn’t yet lived through The Day of the Doctor episode yet, in and as his own timeline. 10th shouldn’t even remember if the Zygon case was resolved. So who exactly remembers how much!?

    Is there a prose or novelization where 10s story and why he pursued the Zygon is told?

    JimTheFish @jimthefish
    Time Lord


    Those are some excellent points which I fear you’ll never get the answer to. There is, however, an excellent novelisation by Steven Moffat himself which is well worth checking out. It does fill in a lot of the background around the story, although I fear that rather than answering your questions, it will present you with a load of new ones.



    I have heard about that novelization. Turns out they ALL get out of the Tardis in that one. You are right; that is going to make things even more wibbly-wobbly!

    Kudos on the choice of your username though…..

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    The Night of the Doctor
    I love the meta-ness of Eight’s introduction – “I’m a doctor. But probably not the one you were expecting.”
    A nice little mini-episode that establishes why the Time Lords are feared and hated by the galaxy and gives us the background of Eight regenerating into the War Doctor.

    The Day of the Doctor – just some random impressions.
    Re-using the Episode One intro is cool. But I’m glad we got straight into the action.

    The Tardis now responds to Clara’s click of her fingers. That’s a change. Presumably since Clara saved the Doctor (and maybe the Tardis?) by going into his timeline – the Tardis has revised its attitude to her.

    “The ravens are a bit sluggish, tell Malcolm they need new batteries” – classic.
    And “What’s our cover story for this?” “Derren Brown.” “Again?” “We’ve sent him flowers.” Beautiful.
    And of course everyody loves Osgood. Perfectly cast in the role.

    A highlight for me is the scene between the War Doctor and The Moment. “The interface is hot.” “Well, I do my best.”
    And “If I ever develop an ego, you’ve got the job.”
    Interesting that The Moment selected a character from the War Doctor’s future – Bad Wolf aka Rose to be the Interface. “Stuck between a girl and a box. Stoy of your life, eh, doctor?” “I chose this face especially for you. It’s from your past. Or possibly your future. I always get those two mixed up.” Just like the Tardis, eh, Moment? Incidentally, Billie Piper’s looks – specially her eyes – are a perfect fit for a character who has to act as the de facto conscience of the Doctor.

    And the bickering between Ten and Eleven on their first meeting. “Hello ladies.” “One of them is a Zygon.” “I’m not judging you.”
    And adding the War Doctor to the mix just makes it better. 11: It’s a timey-wimey thing. WD (disgustedly): ‘Timey-wimey’? 10: I’ve no idea where he picks that stuff up. (You hypocrite, Ten).

    This episode is crammed full of neat twists. Like the memory wipe on exit from the Tower, Clara having been there before (and not remembering),
    Kate turning out to be a Zygon.

    And The Moment pointing out that the Doctor’s screwdriver has had the necessary 400 years to calculate the co-ordinates to open the door – “It’s the same screwdriver. Same software. Different case.” (The Moment is smarter than the Doctor). And they’re just about to disintegrate the door when Clara walks through it – “Wasn’t locked.” Love it when the Moff subverts his own drama.

    And the Zygon invasion through time in stasis cube ‘art’. Neat!

    “I may have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but at the time so did the Zygon.”

    “Oh, look, the round things.” “I love the round things.” “What are the round things?” “No idea.”

    Nice confrontation between Kate-Zygon and Kate in the Black Archive.
    And very clever the way the Doctor gets the Gallifrey painting conveyed to the Black Archive, then they go back in time and insert themselves into the same painting, to break out. “Hello.” “I’m the Doctor.” “Sorry about the Dalek.” (Clara: “Also the showing off.” Clara’s such a cynic, one reason I love her).

    Interesting that, even though the Doctors have temporarily wiped the memories of the humans and Zygons as to which they are, Osgood and Osgood-Z seem to know – and aren’t letting on.

    This is one of my absolute top favourite episodes. My two favourite Companions, plus Osgood, plus John Hurt, plus a witty script – it’s got everything. And (unlike some episodes that seem to have everything but somehow don’t work), in this one it all comes together perfectly.

    I also (now on about my fifth viewing) can now follow the plot easily and precisely. Though the Moff didn’t hide anything from us, the complexities of time travel are such that it takes several viewings to sort out events mentally. But this means that the episode gets even better with re-watching.

    winston @winston

    @dentarthurdent   I love this episode and I watch it again and again. I love to look at the stuff in the Tower to find it all which I probably haven’t yet. River’s shoes are the best.

    The dialogue between the 3 Doctors is sharp and witty and the discussion over the Tardis interior is a joy for Whovians.  “You’ve redecorated, I don’t like it”  “Oh, you never do” I watch many scenes with a silly grin on my face. This episode helps me find my happy place.

    play safe

    Dentarthurdent @dentarthurdent

    @winston Yes, if I have to choose one Who episode to watch (as a one-off) it’s likely to be The Day of the Doctor. Dramatic and enjoyable to watch.

    janetteB @janetteb

    From the opening scene of the copper passing the fence of Coal Hill School to the final big reveal it is one delight after another. We have watched it many, many times and it never fails to bring that smile to the face and that bit of moisture to the corner of the eye. It is a wonderful tribute to a much loved tv show. I don’t think this episode will ever be bettered.



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