[Doctor Who] 50th Anniversary Special: The Day of the Doctor

Watch Date: 2019-09-08

Watched on: torrented download

IMDb link.

Notes:

  • I loved it, and loved it so much that it’s still a little difficult for me to sit down and write all the things I appreciated so much – I’m still in a happy haze.
  • This did all the things that Doctor Who does excellently when it does them well: be funny and have a major moral centre at the same time, weave different story strands and still pull it off, but most of all, deliver an ‘Everybody Lives!’ storyline.
  • As I keep mentioning now and then, the best episodes leave catchphrases and clips all over the internet, and coming to the series this late means some things are well and truly spoiled. This went both for particular lines and reveals; but also the larger themes of “The Tenth Doctor has guilt and grief” and “The Eleventh Doctor is trying to forget it and move on.” And how that was expressed, and how it paid off, was still a surprise to me.
  • And to be honest, two years of trying to avoid spoilers meant that the final resolution of the Gallifrey genocide was also a surprise to me – and what a pleasant one.
  • This episode slut-shamed David Tennant!
  • The Everybody Lives, talk everyone into a third alternative, trickery is what the Doctor excels at ended up being mirrored with both the Zygon / human invasion; and the Gallifrey plotline. Amazing.
  • So… as far as the Tenth Doctor is concerned, this happens after his time with Martha. Between Martha and the Titanic episode, then?
  • The bit with the open door was a hoot.
  • Poor Clara is as badly underwritten as Martha. All that pluck and initiative, but we never get to see it developing.
  • Speaking of spoilers all over the internet, I now know that the opening quote of Marcus Aurelius foreshadows not just the episode, but the theme of the next few seasons. Oh well.
  • The in-between twist of “Hey, you don’t have to commit this genocide by yourself, we’ll do it with you so that you won’t bear the guilt alone.” was probably more moving than the ultimate “We tricked the world out of this genocide.”
  • I get that the War Doctor and the Tenth Doctor forgetting everything keeps the continuity clean for everybody watching, and makes life simpler for future writers, but it’s kind of unfair that the only guy who has the satisfaction of knowing that he doesn’t have blood on his hands is the one who had moved past it.
  • I loved the War Doctor being a grumpy old man, aghast at his future young selves. But the pregnant pause after “What happened that you act like children?” – oof.
  • I’m still annoyed with the S7 finale for not being a proper finale; and more a setup for this special episode; but how good the special episode is sort of makes up for it.
  • Nightmare in Silver also has themes of guilt over a genocide, so I wonder how much Gaiman knew about this special episode – or was told to write in.
  • I was expecting the response to “We’ll have nothing!” be “You’ll have each other,” and not “You’ll have hope,” as it finally turned out. Oh well.

 

2019-09-12 Edited to Add:

  • Yesterday was September 11, and it got me thinking of the quote about the two doctors: ‘the man who regrets’ and ‘the man who forgets’; after all the ‘Never Forget’ furore right after 2001. For many years people didn’t forget, and now, on the 2019 anniversary, everybody born after Sep 11 2001 hadn’t hit adulthood (though that will now start sliding day by day). The forgetting has already started.
  • In that way the line might work as a bit of a commentary on the response to September 11, but really, to any tragedy as time goes by. Regretting, followed by forgetting, no matter how hard you exhort people to never forget.

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