The Day of the Doctor

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    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @timeloop I like it – someone he saved from the wreckage.

    Timeloop @timeloop

    @juniperfish Yay! Approved!

    Sorry I cannot be more elaborate and fill paragraph after paragraph. It’s a simple idea really. I take comfort from the idea that someone sometime said you don’t really have understood it when you can’t explain it very simple (I’m fuzzy on the details ;D ).

    I do look forward to other proper bonkers theories!


    soundworld @soundworld

    @tardisblue  This ‘Who-nose’ will sniff out the answer…

    I’ve just rewatched the special, and it is just so amazingly well put together, so much more to pick up on in the second viewing (I know, I took my time to get around to it).  So much to watch out for having read through this thread since it was broadcast.  I just loves it 🙂

    @arbutus (and many others) I have enjoyed very much your reviews and thoughts above, which you have expressed far better than I could.

    A minor point perhaps, but as the 3 doctors use Gallifrey and the painting to enter the black vault, that means that Clara was also there on Gallifrey for that time (present-day Clara, or at least present-day-Clara from the viewpoint of the time of the film).  I don’t know if that has  significance? Do they create the painting at that point in order to use it as a portal?

    Also, the camera spent some time lovingly showing us the Cyberhead while Clara was talking to Hurt-Doctor.  Is that Moffat just playing with us, or is it significant?  I tend towards ‘significant’ as earlier in the gallery we also have the painting of the Cybermen on The Raft of the Medusa.  Perhaps to be visited in the Christmas Special – or perhaps never!

    soundworld @soundworld

    @timeloop Simple ideas are often the best – and it works.

    Timeloop @timeloop

    @soundworld I found this video the other day and there is a LOT to watch out for. Pretty interresting and there are 2 parts to it. The origins of the fez for example (2nd Doctor). Hope you like it. Enjoy.

    Anonymous @

    thanks @timeloop  for the Easter Egg review -it showed some things I hadn’t thought of such as the painting, Nightmare of Eden and the Douglas Adam’s story. He talks SO  fast. LOL.

    @Artbutus had mentioned that the scarf probably couldn’t be the same scarf due to it being ruined in a previous episode in the early 80s?

    Not sure to what extent this theory has been definitively ‘ticked’ by the Moff but are we going with Mat Smith as the 13th doctor? Hence the Trenzalore inevitability?

    9 is John Hurt; 10 is Eccleston; 11 is Tennant 1; 12 is Tennant 2  (meta-crisis  doctor); 13 is Mat Smith

    Anonymous @

    apologies above I meant @arbutus not Artbutus -I need to go back to sleep. Typing with one eye 😉

    soundworld @soundworld

    Thanks @timeloop  that was good – especially as I am a nu-Who person, in fact I’ve only seen it since David Tennant (although I’m only 5 years younger than the show, I grew up without TV in an isolated place with hardly any cultural references, and generally have an extremely low TV threshold – I devoured books instead – but Who just speaks volumes to me).

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @purofilion – he’s not the thirteenth Doctor. That said, there could easily be something at Trenzalore that takes the last of his regeneration energy.

    But he’s got regeneration energy; River was so very annoyed when he used it on her broken wrist. There’s also the scene in The Impossible Astronaut where we get a light show to simulate regeneration. I suppose it’s possible he’s the twelfth-and-a-half. That the first Tennant regeneration took sufficient that he’s worried he may not have enough energy left to complete the cycle.

    I have said for a while that the Smith Doctor behaves, somehow, as if he’s not planning to regenerate. On the other hand, his enemies behave as if they’re desperate to stop him regenerating. Then there’s all those Dread Prophecies of Evil – the Beast, the Valeyard etc, etc.

    It would be beautifully ironic and terribly Moffatian if – just as he’s discovered a reason to live (finding Gallifrey) – his enemies team up to make sure he keeps his date with that tomb on Trenzalore. 😀

    Regarding what Moffat has or hasn’t said: there’s a fairly easy confusion that could’ve been confused even more by certain not terribly reliable newspapers. Peter Capaldi is the fourteenth actor to play The Doctor.

    William Hartnell; Patrick Troughton; Jon Pertwee; Tom Baker; Peter Davison; Richard Hurndall (played the First Doctor after William Hartnell’s death); Colin Baker; Sylvester McCoy (played both the Sixth and Seventh Doctors); Paul McGann; Christopher Eccleston; David Tennant; Matt Smith; John Hurt (as the War Doctor, between McGann and Eccleston) and Peter Capaldi.

    Anonymous @

    @bluesqueakpip, thank you for this. I wasn’t sure if it was some sort of ‘almost established canon’ now. I did not believe it to be so, but wanted to check. On other web sites/you tube there seems to be some (typical) vicious debate about the ‘numbering’!

    Yes, the Moff might well deliver bad news just after Dr Mat received hope after “Gallifrey Falls No More”

    ScaryB @scaryb


    Although you could argue he’s the sixteenth, if you include Cushing and David Bradley!  After all, if the TV Movie’s now canon…


    The Krynoid Man @thekrynoidman

    @scaryb the TV movie has always been canon.

    Craig @craig

    Not sure if anyone has posted this yet. If so, apologies. It’s as close to a Confidential as we’re going to get.

    ScaryB @scaryb


    the TV movie has always been canon

    Er… I think you might find that’s rather open to discussion. As is the canonicity of some of the things that are said in it 😉  (In fact you could probably apply “open for discussion” to all of the last 50 years, haha)

    Nice new avatar btw


    And thanks for the vid link @craig

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Re @craig‘s vid link – that’s really lovely. 😆 at Moffat taking photos! And CB milking the “we” for all he’s worth. Shame they didn’t have a “Happy Birthday” from Sylvester – only one* they missed out 😥   (must’ve been away filming the Hobbit (did you know he’s in the Hobbit?! 😉 )


    *well apart from Eccleston, but that wasn’t going to happen

    Devilishrobby @devilishrobby

    Just been rewatching DOTD for oh only the 7th or 8th time and a rather amusing thought has come to mind with all the debate on weather the final scene with the doctorx (possibly) and weather it takes place inside the tardises of docx might not the whole building of the British gallery be a tardis we know a properly functioning tardis is supposed to blend in with their surroundings why not the tardis of a retired future doctor.

    BadWolf1999 @badwolf1999

    @tardisblue thanks for your explanation it has been a great help in understanding the significance of that scene

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @purofilion and @scaryb – it was something that occurred to me when news of John Hurt’s casting leaked. Acting’s a notoriously superstitious profession, largely because it’s so chancy. Whether Hurt was an emergency fill-in for Eccleston or not, they may have used it to sidestep the whole ‘Thirteenth Doctor’ problem.

    Because: the thirteenth actor to play the Doctor is a one-story only Doctor. He’s also the ‘unlucky’ Doctor; the one who got handed the ‘day it was impossible to get things right’ when he destroyed Gallifrey.

    That means the actor with the long term role isn’t the thirteenth actor. Furthermore, because the War Doctor never regarded himself as ‘The Doctor’ (except for about thirty seconds before regenerating back into ‘The Doctor’) – Capaldi can legitimately be ’12A’ instead of ’13’.

    If we’re going by number of regenerations and do count the Tennant to Tennant one, then Capaldi’s ’14’.

    Confused? Good. That may possibly be the point.

    Of course, as with all bonkers theories, this may be blown out of the water by the Capaldi Doctor making a big thing of being ‘Thirteen’. 🙂

    gctv @gctv

    @purofilion I dont agree about it being ok that they only showed a little of the war. Sure they talk about it a lot but the point we tried to make in our video review was that it does not feel that the stakes are high enough to warrant even using The Moment in the first place. If we had seen the Time Lords wipe out a civilisation just to stop the Daleks, if we are shown that they are willing to go to such dire lengths just to stop them then maybe the Doctor would think “right, now i really have to put a stop to both sides”. But we dont see that. Why are the time lords so bad? Tennant says they are bad in The End of Time and we certainly see that Rassilon has an evil plan that will destroy Earth but in the Day of the Doctor they seem like the good guys fighting against an unstoppable force. Even in the Night of the Doctor prequel with Eight the woman Cas seems scared of the Timelords. Why? What have we seen that shows that they should be feared.

    While im taking about the Night of the Doctor, that minisode was pretty much Moffat’s chance to set up why Eight became The War Doctor. Why would a man whose role it is to protect the universe suddenly decide to drink a potion and decide to become a ‘Warrior’? Sure, Cas the woman he failed to save died but does one human’s death drive him to change his entire morality? If the minisode had seen the Doctor give his all in stopping the Daleks from exterminating a peaceful planet, saving them and having his hero moment only to see the Timelords swoop in and destroy the planet in a barrage of fire to kill a single Daek left alive on the surface then that would have given him the emotional drive to change into the War Doctor. That would have been effective and powerful. We would have also seen that the Timelords are just as bad as the Daleks, giving resonance to Cas’ fear of the Doctor.

    Also, John Hurt’s war doctor was built up to be such a terrifying figure from the Doctor’s past but when we see him in the Day of the Doctor he does not do anything remotely warrior like. If he had grabbed that soldier’s gun and blasted the hell out of a Dalek squad then it would have got the point across. Instead he stands in the middle of a battlefield and shoots words into a wall to give everyone a message. We know the Doctor hates guns and would never use outright violence against a foe so what better way to show this Doctor is different that to have him blast the Daleks with a big gun!

    I watched the episode again recently and although I enjoyed it more it still really stands out that using the moment is unnecessary. Sure, if they dont use it the Daleks will probably destroy Galifrey but its almost the mentality that if we can’t win then we will blow ourselves up to stop them. Again it all goes back to that fact that we don’t see the effect of the war on anyone but the time lords and Daleks so why should we care? It’s just like Star Wars the Phantom Menace – Queen Amidala talks about how her people are dying, they say people are being taken to camps and are starving but whenever we see the planet its so green and lush and shiny. Where are the starving people, where is the damage. Show don’t tell. It’s hard to invest in something if we cannot see it!

    Anyway the episode still had its good points but it all comes back to what myself and Richard (my co-reviewer in the video) keep saying after every episode. The writing can be much better! I used to eagerly await each new episode of Who but not i dont get my hopes up because im almost always dissapointed. I really wish I loved the Day of the Doctor and was writing fanatically about how amazing it was but it pains me to say that im falling out of love with Who. Theres a great aricle on io9 about falling out of love with fandom, partiularly when you grew to love something as an adult

    In the end though this is just my opinion. I’m glad so many people loved the episode, in fact I envy you. I want to go back to the days when I was left with a sense of fulfillment after watching Who and hopefully that day will come again. I think The Impossible Astronaut/The Doctor’s wife were the last ones I remember watching with a big happy grin on my face.


    Stewart (gctv)

    gctv @gctv

    @bluesqueakpip I’m absolutely positive that Hurt regenerates into Capaldi! I’ll put money on it! 10 Doctor mk2!

    wolfweed @wolfweed


    Craig @craig


    Did you see this? The person who made it seems to have found the exact shot they used for the Hurt Doctor regeneration sequence.

    gctv @gctv

    @craig I’m still not convinced. If they already had an existing shot to transform into then why not do it? It cuts before we can clearly make out any of Eccleston’s features. They may have used that shot as a template but they must have cut it early for good reason since they have all the rights to use his face….hmmmm. With everything that happens between shooting and the end of post-production perhaps they had planned to morph him into Eccleston before Moffat decided he wanted him to regen into Capaldi instead or even just to keep the fans guessing? Its working! My money is still down on Capaldi!

    gctv @gctv

    Following on from that I’m thinking about something along these lines for the Xmas Special:

    Matt Smith dies and Clara and his companions are all sad, they expect him to regenerate but nothing happens, its all very sad. Then a voice off-screen says: “It was his 13th regeneration, a timelords final life. This is the day the doctor dies. But its also the day the doctor is reborn”. The figure steps out of the darkness and it’s Capaldi! Cut to black. Then we have to wait until August to find out what the frick happened where he explains that he regenerated from Hurt – they will cut to a flashback of Hurt’s regeneration scene from Day of the Doctor and now we see the extended version. He will start to regenerate into Eccleston when the yellow energy that surrounds him flashes a different colour, he cringes in pain as his face violently morphs into Capaldi instead – a new 10 formed due to the changes in the timeline. And to avoid angering the fans and undoing everything from Eccleston’s adventures to Smith’s he will somehow gain the memories and experiences of those doctors.

    Having watched Moffat’s style of storytelling over the past few series I wouldnt put something as crazy as that past him. Either that or Smith will regen into Capaldi who is in his final life and he must find the lost timelords and galifrey (by the end of his series) before he dies permanently.

    Craig @craig

    @gctv The story is, supposedly, that they did a longer efects shot but Moffat didn’t think it was convincing enough. But you could be right. He may have wanted to leave it open. Who gets your money if you’re wrong? 😀

    gctv @gctv

    @craig haha I might put that bet out in the pre-show predictions part of our Xmas Special video review and promise to eat my fez on camera if I am wrong. That could be fun.

    Craig @craig

    @gctv Now that we would definitely post! 😉

    EnglishmaninNC @englishmaninnc


    I just want to say thanks for giving me so much to think about lately.  I have never looked so deep into any Dr Who episode, but just reading this forum on a daily basis has opened up a whole new world for me – so many little things that you guys catch that us mere mortals miss – I need to sit and watch them all again.   Its like a Dr Who reboot for me.



    Anonymous @


    I agree with you that the stakes just didn’t seem high enough for The Moment to be used.  (on that point – how great was it that Billie Piper played a sentient piece of Gallifreyan technology and not Rose Tyler?  so many fans did not see that coming  🙂  )

    There are loads of times in Olde Worlde Doctor Who where it’s clear that Time Lords in general are fairly nasty pieces of work, from our perspective, because they sit around and do nothing to help other worlds in trouble, unless it’s one of their own (The Doctor) and then they star in the world’s longest DW episode being catty and condemnatory (Trial of a Timelord).  But this episode was supposed to be a self-contained TV show which would appeal to those people who just tuned in because of all the hype about the 50th anniversary of DW.  I’ve watched – I’ve been told! – since I was a baby (but don’t remember anything until late Tom Baker), and have a girlfriend who has suffered watching with me since David Tennant.  (‘Suffered’ I say but I had many occasions to be jealous of her fancying of David Tennant.)  She’s pretty much the target audience when it comes to ‘new viewers’ and she had exactly the same reaction as you.  She couldn’t understand why so much was at stake that an entire planet, and all the innocent people on it, would be blown up just based on what she saw in those 75 minutes.

    You’re right, it would have made viewers stand to attention to see The Doctor grab a gun and actually use it to kill someone(-thing) else – it could have been the key to what RTD and SM have been trying to say about their Doctors and how they sublimated the horrific things the War Doctor did (see Nightmare in Silver for the most recent, and clear, example of that).

    One thing I’ve learned from reading this forum over the last couple of months is the wonderful A Raging Sense of Entitlement (ARSE).  So even though I agree with you on your gripes, and I understand why my girlfriend was confused about the seriousness of the situation in The Day of the Doctor, I think we need to say that the show we watched is what Doctor Who is.  It isn’t what we wanted it to be, it’s what it is.  And from what I’ve read on this forum, people have been able to process what they saw and come up with reasons for why it was perfect just as it was.

    Whether those reasons are SM’s reasons, perhaps we’ll never know!  But that is the fun in thinking about the show, and I’ve been motivated to create an account and log in to say that, and I hope I can contribute to the lively discussions here.

    Anonymous @


    Well said.  I’ve always thought of myself as knowledgeable in Doctor Who having watched it for so many years. But I don’t remember too many episode / story names, and I never thought of historical or political context of episodes, like the commentary on Davison’s swansong Caves of Androzani story .

    The analysis on this forum blows me away.  I’ve been reading off and on since about September and I still haven’t read or absorbed everything.

    My work tends to dry up about now until mid January so I’ll have more time myself to read and contribute.  But I want to say I’m amazed that people from this forum got together at a pub over the 50th anniversary weekend.  How many Doctor Who forums would do that?  How many internet forums at all would do that?

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @gctv and @martyB

    I’m just going to throw a little thought into the ring. Both of you would, I think, agree with Marty’s girlfriend:

    She couldn’t understand why so much was at stake that an entire planet, and all the innocent people on it, would be blown up

    Exactly. Now, place all the fans with detailed knowledge as ‘The Doctor’. We know all the background, the stories, the serial numbers of every Dalek ever made. We understand exactly where the Doctor was coming from – all that long war between Time Lords and Daleks, the way the High Council had gone nuts and were planning to destroy the entire universe to save themselves, some idea about the terrible destruction. We know why he’d choose to press the button. Oh, and we’d like to see more of the Time War.

    Now place all the people watching for the Fiftieth Anniversary as ‘Clara’. Reasonable knowledge of the Doctor, at least in the UK – long scarves, police boxes, regenerations, Daleks and wobbly sets are part of our cultural heritage. [There may never have been a genuine wobbly set – it doesn’t matter.] But they have little knowledge of the Time War – they might have watched the Christmas Specials, not much else.

    They will come to exactly the same realisation that Clara comes to in the course of the story. No matter what the Doctor thinks, no matter what he’s come to believe, it’s not worth killing all those innocent people. It’s not worth killing those children. ‘The Doctor’ doesn’t deliberately kill children; ‘The Doctor’ is the person who saves them.

    Using the Moment is unnecessary. It has to be unnecessary – the Doctor wouldn’t go to the extent of ignoring an entire ‘life’, pretending that person never existed, if it wasn’t for that niggling little thought in his head – I made a mistake.

    Basically, Marty – your girlfriend and Clara are right.


    Timeloop @timeloop

    @bluesqueakpip Marvellous. I totally agree.

    Anonymous @


    I have my last pre-Christmas deadline to meet, but I wanted to thank you for replying.

    I will have a cold and lonely Christmas if my Significant Other finds out I joined a Doctor Who forum.  If she learns that she was compared to Clara, I hope my will is in order and that my parents, sister and brothers know that I actually do love them regardless of 40 years of family history …

    I said, “people have been able to process what they saw and come up with reasons for why it was perfect just as it was.”  As you just did.

    By the way your blogs on how time works are amazing.

    Arbutus @arbutus


    Thanks for posting this, there was some interesting stuff in there. That guy is beyond geek! He speaks at the same tempo as my teenage son, whose brain runs pretty far ahead of his mouth at times.  🙂


    Of course, his statement about the origins of the scarf depends on his believe that Osgood is Kate’s daughter, the truth of which depends on where you stand on the mum/ma’am controversy, which came up on this forum after the episode. I stand on the ma’am side of the divide myself. As to the scarf, I would have to have a look at Castrovalva again to find the scene, but I’m pretty sure I remember that scarf reverting to its natural state at some point!


    But he’s got regeneration energy; River was so very annoyed when he used it on her broken wrist. There’s also the scene in The Impossible Astronaut where we get a light show to simulate regeneration. I suppose it’s possible he’s the twelfth-and-a-half. That the first Tennant regeneration took sufficient that he’s worried he may not have enough energy left to complete the cycle.

    This is interesting. It brings up the whole question of how regeneration actually works. I like the idea that it might be a bit like a car battery. The battery doesn’t have to be completely dead for the car not to start!

    I wonder if a Time Lord is born with a certain amount of non-renewable energy, or does it rebuild throughout the new incarnation’s lifetime, again a bit like a car battery? If so, the eleventh doctor having lived for several hundred years, he should have lots, unless he has wasted it faking his own death or healing River’s boo-boos, etc. This would also explain the idea that has come up in a few episodes, that if a Time Lord is killed again while attempting to regenerate, they might actually die.

    It would be beautifully ironic and terribly Moffatian if – just as he’s discovered a reason to live (finding Gallifrey) – his enemies team up to make sure he keeps his date with that tomb on Trenzalore.

    You’re so right. However he departs at Christmas, this timing will make it so much more poignant!

    Arbutus @arbutus

    @gctv  @martyB  @bluesqueakpip

    Personally, I do think it’s okay that they left the specifics of the Time War to our imagination, but fair enough if you don’t agree. Regarding The Night of the Doctor, my take on it isn’t that it was one particular death that pushed the Doctor in a new direction. It was part of a journey that he must have been making for some time. If he has been working to save people, to prevent or repair the damage being caused, he will have seen a lot of devastation. It wasn’t so much that Cass died, as that she died because she refused the help of a Time Lord. This would have helped him to see that in the eyes of the rest of the universe, there was no longer any moral difference between Time Lords and Daleks. Like two superpowers fighting it out cold war fashion, in a smaller country where the local people become the victims.

    In the end, it is exactly because of the fact that not all time lords, not all Gallifreyans, were evil or monstrous, that the Doctor lived with such a burden of guilt afterward, to the extent of trying to eradicate the War Doctor from his memory. I loved the line about “the one who regrets, and the one who forgets”.

    I agree with @martyB that, in the end, the story Moffat chose to tell is just a different story than some were expecting or hoping for. He didn’t really tell the story of the Time War, only of its impact on the Doctor. To do this within the space he had, he chose to leave a lot of back story to be assumed or understood, partly from earlier (but still AG) episodes. I must say that I do think it is reasonable, when making an anniversary episode, to assume a certain amount of knowledge on the part of the audience, particularly from the new series. I don’t think you could effectively write a 50th anniversary story that would please old (and older fans) and also accommodate someone who had rarely seen the show. That would be asking a lot, I think!

    Arbutus @arbutus


    Is the plot the metaphor for the audience, or is the audience the metaphor for the plot?  🙂

    Anonymous @


    (my work deadline stays the same; my calculation for how much sleep is actually required in order to complete the work is ever-decreasing …)

    The Night of the Doctor was compact story-telling at its very best.  There was no need to show endless, countless, senseless deaths from the Time War.  Just show us one person who refused aid from a Time Lord, because what being a Time Lord meant to her.  And it wasn’t good.  She was afraid, our Cass, and she wasn’t getting into the Tardis.

    Too many people think they weren’t given enough slaughter to slake their bloodlust (or to explain the plot) in the 50th anniversary special and its prequel.  As a some-time writer myself, I think what was done in the prequel and the episode itself was remarkable.  If Stephen King were in charge, both would have been bloated 800 page monstrosities that delved deeply into the background of every minor character.  Only for each character to die a senseless (and to the reader, slightly boring and pointless) death.

    What was done here was to compress the headline plot points into the fewest words / images necessary to convey the author’s idea and to drive the narrative forward.  Some people think it was too easy for McGann to choose ‘Warrior’?  Because of one person’s death?  Why wouldn’t the Doctor finally break, as a butterfly on a wheel, over the immediacy of a single person’s pointless death – a person who he should have, as the Doctor, been the saviour of?

    toinfinityandbepond @toinfinityandbepond

    @arbutus @bluesqueakpip

    and what’s the meta for?

    soundworld @soundworld

    @arbutus The whole regeneration thing is an interesting question, relating to the rest of Gallifreyan society.  My apologies if my lack of knowledge of older-Who means these things are already established – I’m not sure that the answers to  these questions have been established?

    Are all Gallifreyan children capable of becoming Time Lords, or do just some exhibit the potential?  Is it family-based thus establishing a highly hierarchical society? Does the exposure to the Untempered Schism charge their ‘ regeneration battery’.  I think its implied in some episodes that long-term exposure to the Schism gave Time Lords their ability, but River Song would tend to show that exposure to the Vortex can do it in one generation.

    On other points: I’m definitely in the Ma’am camp.  I am from the far North of these islands but do have a good ear for accent and idiom…

    @MartyB I agree re compact storytelling.  You could fill entire series with the time war and it would just become tedious.  Tedious enough to make you want to press a big red button and end it all.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Finally, I get to see it in the wilds of frozen Canada. Have been avoiding the site until I actually watched it (and that has been difficult!) So, all the bonkers theorising I came up with here over the previous weeks and months, none of it was right! Hurrah! Why? Because what Moffat offered us was better!

    It was simply fantastic! It was a love letter to the show, it was a love letter to the fans (well, it certainly connected with this one), and it was a brilliant way of setting up the show for the future. In fact, everything he promised. (One of the few times Moffat was not lying!)

    So much to say about it, but I really need to read through the hundreds of comments above (and so many new people on the forum! Hi!) before I do.

    I will say one thing before I go off and set the blenkinsop brain to work. And it is about the way he used the device of familiar faces and duplicates. There was the face of Rose (but who wasn’t Rose), there was the face of Tom Baker (who may or may not have been the Doctor or simply the Curator) there was the Queen and Kate Lethbridge-Stewart and Osgood (who may or may not have been themselves–or Zygons), and of course, there was Hurt and Tennant and Smith who were simultaneously themselves and each other. In fact, practically everyone was playing versions of themselves. This is why I think incorporating the Zygons was such a stroke of genius, as it allowed for that play on people playing themselves. Not only was it a great meta comment on the heart of the show (the Doctor changes faces but is always the Doctor), but it went to the heart of the Doctor’s choice about ending the Time War–beneath our external differences were are all connected, and to kill the children is to kill yourself, because they are part of you.

    Then there was the way Rose/the Moment was alluding to the angel in “It’s A Wonderful Life” who shows Jimmy Stewart what the world would be like without him…Oh, hold on…I said I was only go to say one thing.

    OK, back in a while…


    gctv @gctv

    @martyb Yes it was fantastic that Billie Piper was the moment, I did not see that coming an expected 10 to show up with rose during their first series together. Bit of a pity that Tennant did not get to interact with her but at least we got that little moment where he heard “Bad Wolf”

    I must say that my first real introduction to Doctor Who was the Paul McGann TV Movie and then I obviously watched from Eccleston onwards so I don’t really have too much knowledge of the timelords other than what we have seen since then. I loved their depiction in the end of time as scenery chewing baddies (well Timothy Dalton anyway) so it was quite jarring to suddenly see them different in Day of the Doctor. On that note I loved the reference to the events of that episode in Day of the Doctor when we first see the Timelord command centre they mention that the council has another plan. I like to imagine that Rassilon’s plan to pull Galifrey out of the time lock was happening concurrently with that last battle.

    I understand what you are saying – “thats what doctor who is”, but its not what it used to be. It’s like looking at a bruised apple and saying “thats what apples are”. Weve tasted apples before and they were quite tasty and didn’t have those awful brown spongy marks so why can’t we have those apples again. Strange comparison I know but look at Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon – a two parter which when put together come to about the same length as Day of the Doctor. Yet the writing is so much stronger and it delivers a clever and exciting story with twists and turns. We get the great Silence plot and the way it ties up with the Doctor’s clever plan to broadcast a command to kill them on sight was inspired writing and very satisfying. Compare that to the plan to make Galifrey disappear so that Daleks shoot themselves by accident – the equivalent to someone making a timely duck when two enemies at perfectly opposite sites shoot at you in the centre.

    Now obviously the story that Moffat had to get across in Day of the Doctor was entirely different but at the same time it did not excite me in the same way that many other episodes had in the past. Doctor Who has and can be better than it is right now and fingers crossed we will be back to shiny apples next series. I have so much respect for Stephen Moffat and what he has done with his Who tenure as it is an impossible undertaking to keep everybody happy. There have been so many strong episodes in his few series and the River Song storyline was mind bogglingly wonderful and yet tragic to watch. I can’t wait to see what he cooks up for ‘The Search for Galifrey’ story arc!

    ScaryB @scaryb

    <jumps up and down in joy!>

    @blenkinsopthebrave is back!!!

    Glad the good Doctor’s TARDIS finally penetrated the frozen wastes of Canada! Did you manage to miss the news about T Baker reveal?

    Look forward to hearing your thoughts, but I like your comment about “everyone is playing a version of themselves” – which may or may not tie into the various theories about dualities – alternative timestreams, red/blue bow ties etc

    Any thoughts on @bluesqueakpip‘s question of the thread – Who painted the painting…? 🙂

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Aw, shucks! <blenkinsop goes pink from embarrassment>

    Well, I did not manage to escape every spoiler, but enough to be surprised and delighted when I watched it.

    Will wait for Mrs Blenkinsop to come home from work to watch it again….Oh, well…maybe not.


    ScaryB @scaryb


    Sorry you didn’t enjoy DotD as much as some. Please forgive me having a chuckle at your comment that “Doctor Who isn’t what it used to be“. It’s changed much less since the TV Movie (believe me, that got a few fans in a right tizz!) than it has since 1963!  One of the reasons it’s lasted 50 years is that change is built into its DNA.  But sometimes it’s hard to see beyond the story you want/expected it to be.

    I’m glad you agree that the 50th anniversary show needs to be a bit different from an episode in a series, but sorry you don’t think it’s tightly scripted. You mentioned IA/DotM as examples of stories you like (and I agree with you, they’re among my fav episodes too), and yet you could argue that the plot holes in those are massive! I’m firmly in the camp that everything you need to unpack the details of DotD (and most Moffat episodes) are in the script, the acting and the direction, especially if you include the McGann prequel.  Just how much more graphic can you get than the woman who McGann has rather dramatically swooped in to rescue, in full expectation that she will come with him and be dazzled by his “bigger on the inside” machine, would rather die – in a crashing, burning spaceship – than trust a Time Lord.

    Re Time Lords – Moffat builds on the myth in DotD. New fans and old learned quite a lot of new things about Time Lords and Gallifreyans (might not be the same thing) in DotD.  Some of them seem to be much like earth people – the Emergency Council; there’s a suspicious-sounding little cabal – the High Council – off plotting their own plans, seemingly in isolation.  And I think you are right that’s a reference to Rassilon and co in TEoT (not all the TLs with Rassilon seemed to be as crazy as he was – but they were people who had run out of options).

    Hurt’s performance is effortless in suggesting a worldweary, battlescarred and exhausted man. Until he meets the Moment and starts to reconnect with his old selves, with the person he used to be, and deep down still is.  You want a dramatic big gun – things are so bad he has to use the TARDIS (which he says in BoSJ that he never takes into battle) as a battering ram to splatter the Daleks threatening the kids. (See various posts by others above for more detail)

    But you do need to pay very close attention. I don’t mean that as a criticism of yourself. DotD in particular is designed for repeat viewings, and slow unpicking. Nearly every line/scene has multiple functions, including call-outs to the show’s history.

    ScaryB @scaryb


    A big hi to MrsB as well.

    Did you catch the various prequels?   Night of the Doctor and  The Last Day are really worth tracking down. There are links on here somewhere – can dig them out for you if you need them. And has Advenure in Space and Time made the trek yet? (I sniffled a lot watching that)



    gctv @gctv

    @scaryb you raise some really good points there. I just watched Night of the Doctor again since my first viewing was on my phone at work (dont tell anyone!) and I like the tragedy that he is about to whisk Cas away in his big blue box only for her to fear him and rather die than run off with him.

    I really like a lot of the discussion going on in this foRum. People are rasing points and bringing things up about the episode I totally missed the first time and I think i was still stinging from dissapointment after my second viewing only a few hours after the first. I think I will have to go back and watch it again to see if my opinion has changed.

    ScaryB @scaryb


    That’s good to hear. End of the day some people like some episodes more than others, we don’t all like the same ones. Just as well, or it would be mighty boring around here.  It can also be difficult when expectations are built up to the feverpitch of Who’s 50th.  But I do hope you like it better this time round. It’s probably better seen on a bigger screen than a phone (tho I understand the temptation – fortunately my phone siezes up completely if I try).

    I’m not suggesting you go back and study all the posts on this thread in detail, but it’s worth a skim for discussion on a lot of the points you raise, if you’re interested. (I was just summarising a lot of other people’s thoughts)

    Oh, and just a thought re your apples analogy – there are LOTS of different kinds of apples which can taste and look very different from each other. If you’re used to tart green granny smiths and suddenly get a small aromatically sweet and soft cox’s pippin (or vice versa) you might go Bleurgh initially. But then you get used to the different taste. Sometimes they become your favourite.


    Arbutus @arbutus


    Yes, yes, yes!

    I watched that minisode while bouncing with fan-glee the first time, then watched it several more times to confirm that it was actually as perfect as I thought. It was. The initial set-up: courageous, adventure-seeking young woman rescued by the Doctor, and his obvious expectation that he has found a new friend. Then the punch to the gut: she would rather die than go with a time lord, and she does. Everything that follows from that is unavoidable, making the story a perfect mini tragedy. Of course this would break the Doctor.

    I do understand that some science fiction fans are very big on the special effects, and big space battles with lasers blazing and things exploding. But Doctor Who has never been about that. I’m more interested in story telling and interesting characters, and Doctor Who gives me that in spades (most of the time– I haven’t loved every story, but I’ve loved enough of them). It’s why I was able to enjoy the BG stories, even with the low-budget sets and unrealistic monsters. CGI is lovely, but for me it’s about the story, the romance (meant in the narrative fiction sense, not the relationship sense). Doctor Who is a romantic epic in the best way, especially if you consider the whole sweep of its fifty-year history.

    Arbutus @arbutus


    I’m not sure that anything is established as such. Many things have been suggested over time. I remember BG episodes that definitely suggested several tiers in Gallifreyan hierarchy: Time Lord nobility, Time Lord middle class, and non Time Lord, were definitely all seen at different times. I would guess that non-Time Lords born on Gallifrey would have the potential for regeneration at least. I like your idea about that formal viewing of the Untempered Schism loading them with regeneration energy, but then again, as you say, the existence of River Song interferes with that idea. (What a trouble maker that woman is!)



    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    No, I made sure I watched “Night of the Doctor” and “The Last Day”, and they were excellent set-ups for the show.

    I now have “An Adventure in Space and Time” with me, but I really am waiting for Mrs Blenkinsop to get home before watching that one. As I have said on this board–before I went missing in a pocket universe waiting for the shows to arrive in the blenkinsop letter box–I have been looking forward to “An Adventure in Space and Time” even more than the 50th special. What with Hartnell being my first Doctor, or, more specifically, Hartnell’s Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan being the reason I fell in love with the show as an 11 year old. All that means either I will be disappointed that the experience of watching “an Adventure in Space and Time” doesn’t live up to my expectations (unlikely), or, I will have to watch it with a really, really, big box of tissues close to hand (very likely and highly probable).

    I will report back on the experience tomorrow.

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