Okay, spoilers. Duh. Big duh.
Though I will say this… out of all the fiftieth anniversary stuff for Doctor Who, I actually liked the An Adventure in Space and Time far better than the actual special episode. An Adventure in Space and Time is a mostly historical drama about the start of Doctor Who as a TV show through the time the first Doctor changed over to the second. It was interesting, and funny, and David Bradley as William Hartnell made me cry like a baby, that bastard. If you get a chance to watch it and you’re any kind of Doctor Who fan, I really recommend it.
Anyway, The Day of the Doctor…
So, to be honest I’ve had a hell of a time giving any fucks at all about Doctor Who since Moffat took over. I’ll try to be fair and say that I can’t blame it entirely on him. RTD had kind of killed my enthusiasm for the series with The End of Time but I did my best to give approach Eleven with an open mind because yay new writer.
But this isn’t going to be a post about the many issues I have with Moffat. This is specifically about The Day of the Doctor, and I have some incredibly mixed feelings about the episode.
I’ll start off with what I didn’t like, just to get it out of the way.
- The whole thing with Queen Elizabeth and the Doctor? That flat pissed me off. And I honestly group it right in with the girl in the 4th Doctor scarf who kept whimpering for the Doctor to come save them as Shit Moffat Does Constantly That Pisses Me Off. And it probably wouldn’t have ticked me off so much if it hadn’t been Elizabeth I. And really, that’s the big thing that kept me from enjoying the episode fully, because it just put me in an entirely bad mood.
- I’m not really sure how I feel about John Hurt being an incarnation of the Doctor that he just “forgot.” Really? I’m really questioning why it couldn’t have been Paul McGann doing all that. I know there’s been a lot of Eight in audio and novelizations–maybe there’s something in those that would require a retcon? But otherwise is really didn’t make a lot of sense to me. And means that suddenly Nine was actually the tenth doctor and wow Peter Capaldi as Twelve is actually the last regeneration. Just…why?
- The Zygons were just such a diversion from the plot, and I get that it was there to show the “War Doctor” something about his later incarnations (and introduce the MacGuffin for the episode), but there was so little time spent on it and the supposed negotiations (so… what even happened with those?) that it felt really disjoined to me.
- The bullshit tapdancing excuse for Ten and War Doctor not remembering all of this and what was that even if made no sense. Yes, I get that they didn’t want to have some kind of massive retcon, but at the same time, couldn’t they have come up with something a little less bullshit than what basically amounted to “because reasons.” And then consider what this does to the character of the Doctor moving forward… basically the one big thing he ever failed, the one problem he couldn’t solve he… magically retcon solved. (And we saved Gallifrey, I’ll note, but not all the rest of the planets that got FUBARed by the war, right? But who cares about them.) For a much more coherent argument on why this is really problematic, please read this. Put so much better than I could ever manage.
- I wasn’t all that excited for how they kind of tried to include all of the other Doctors on the action. I mean, I get why, it being the fiftieth anniversary and all, but… I don’t know.
BUT THEN THERE WERE THINGS THAT I LOVED SO MUCH.
- BILLY PIPER AAAAAAAAAA for a moment I thought she was Rose, but honestly I liked this even better. And oh my god the look on Ten’s face when he heard Bad Wolf was around. Oh gosh. My heart couldn’t take that.
- I might not have been thrilled with the continuity fuckery inherent with the whole War Doctor thing, but John Hurt was fantastic as always, as expected. That man is a treasure in everything he does.
- TOM BAKER THEY GOT TOM BAKER that made everything so very worth it. I just. Seeing him was just so incredibly amazing. And he’s still got it, baby. He’s still got it.
- Extreme retcon concerns beside, I am a bit excited about the new direction for the Doctor is going to be a search for Gallifrey. I’ve had enough of the angsty last (but not really last when you come down to it) of the Time Lords BS. I want Gallifrey to come back. God, and I would kill for Romana or someone like her. (Though I’m not sure if I would trust Moffat with that character.) THIS IS A HUGE DEAL.
Because of this last point particularly, I think I’m going to go back to trying to watch Doctor Who again come the new season. I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep up my enthusiasm, but at least I’m excited to try now.