Doctor Who #919: The Day of the Doctor

"Good afternoon. I'm looking for the Doctor." "Well, you've certainly come to the right place."
TECHNICAL SPECS: The 50th Anniversary Special is on DVD. First aired Nov.23 2013.

IN THIS ONE... On the final day of the Time War, the War Doctor teams up with the 10th and 11th Doctors to save Gallifrey. Plus, Zygons and Elizabeth the First.

REVIEW: Obviously, one of the most exciting things about this episode was that we'd finally see the Time War and just what the Doctor did to end it. This could have been a disastrous move, but Moffat constructs a delicate puzzle from everything that was established before, even using a formerly innocuous line like "the Doctor has seized the moment", revealing it as the Moment, with a capital M, and... was that the survivor from "Dalek" flying by the camera as Gallifrey "blew"? He manages to recreate the Time War from various lines of dialog, not contradict anything including the bits from The End of Time, and yet, retcon the whole damn thing. It's brilliant. Think of it, we've had this Big Huge Deal that's been talked about all through the new series, at that changed the Doctor forever, and in a single story, it's undone, opening up new avenues for story telling, without voiding the last 7 years of stories whatsoever. And while I didn't quite realize the first time around, Clara is at the heart of it. Three Doctors running around AND Billie Piper as the Moment/Bad Wolf (a brilliant idea for using the actress without bringing back Rose Tyler), and STILL, it's Clara who makes a difference. See, when the Doctor are taken to the end of the Time War, it plays like they finally accept that destroying Gallifrey was the only thing they could have done. The man who regrets and the man who forgets joining hands with the man who did and accepting him as a part of themselves. But as we're often reminded, the Doctor is different when he doesn't have a human companion at his side, and three of him, is still a companionless Doctor. And three Doctor around a big red button would, together, burn Gallifrey all over again. But Clara's there, and it makes all the difference. She asks him to be a doctor, not a warrior, and in so doing changes history. She's saved him once more. Not echoes in his time stream. Her. A great moment.

As multi-Doctor stories go, this is by far the best one we've ever had. The others always had rubbish plots and/or too many elements to check off a list, turning them into a spotter's guide of favorite actors or enemies. There's quite a lot going on in The Day of the Doctor, but it gels together nicely, and the Doctors have good chemistry, and the direction is interesting, favoring dissolves to overlay the overlapping lives of the Doctor. The tradition of Doctors competing with their other selves is kept up, though Ten and Eleven do seem to enjoy each other more than, say, Two and Three. It's really up to the War Doctor to comment on what the show's become and to act as a bridge between the classic and new series. He takes shots at the literal wand waving, the childish techy-babbly and the kissing, and it's hilarious. But it's not just bickering, there's also some great teamwork. Moffat, at his best, sets up the rules to his universe, lets us forget them, and puts them back into play. So the bit where the War Doctor's sonic is made to compute something for 400 years until it's Doc11's is quite clever, but a red herring (the Doctors are crestfallen when Clara just opens it from the other side). You laugh it off as a joke. But that's how the Doctors save Gallifrey at the end too, with the problem implanted in the War Doctor's mind and the solution finally becoming clear to the Eleventh whose technically had 400 years to think about it (Time Lords can probably run computations in some part of their brains they can section off from the rest, no paradox required).

It certainly doesn't hurt that the solution involves quite a lot of eye candy. After all, this is a celebration, so fans can look forward to lots of that, and fun references from the show's past as well. It's expected and required. 3D paintings of Gallifrey (another "rule" set up early and used to good effect), the return of the Zygons (they've hardly changed the design, which is cool), the Doctor's marriage to Elizabeth I finally revealed (it's got its moments, though his mission to seduce what he thinks is a Zygon impostor and easily the weakest part of the story), the original opening sequence, Clara teaching at Coal Hill School with the obligatory referencing of An Unearthly Child (it's jarring to come into this off Name's cliffhanger, but I've come to terms with it), Eleven using Amy's glasses, a UNIT scientist with a long scarf, Kate Stewart's back, "It's wearing a bit thin", that beautiful dream of the 12 Doctors standing together in a cloud, Peter Capaldi's eye stealing the show during the 13-TARDIS sequence, Tom Baker showing up as a the Undergallery's curator (see Theories) giving a soulful performance tinged with melancholy... I'm sure you have your favorite. Or if you're like me, several favorites. The only sour note for me, as far as references go, is Ten reprising "I don't want to go". A minor point, because Day oozes with cool stuff from the show's past, present and future.

So what was all that double-talk spoken by Tom Baker at the end of the episode? Well, I don't know if you noticed, but the wall of the Undergallery has distinctive hexagons with circles in them... roundels? Are we perhaps in a TARDIS? In THE TARDIS? Is the curator, in fact, a future version of the Doctor who's taken a familiar face from the first batch of regenerations, and come to give the 11th Doctor a cryptic message about his Trenzalorian destiny not being set in stone? (The other clue was the Capaldi Doctor's participation in the climax, of course.) If so, there were four TARDISes in this scene, three of them inside another. After all, the Undergallery is a mystery. It's a space Liz I obviously had access to, where dangerous artwork was stored, but we don't know how she even got her hands on "Gallifrey Falls/No More", do we? Did the Curator Doctor visit her to make sure these events happened? And if you need more evidence, there's the fact that Liz' letter names the Doctor as the new curator of the Undergallery. Maybe it's a duty he didn't take to right away, and maybe the Undergallery has been a room in the TARDIS all along (see The Invasion of Time for its first possible appearance).

- It does so much, it could have easily fallen on its face. Instead, it's super-cool, funny and exciting, and changes everything without destroying anything. Great work.


Madeley said...

Bravo to Steven Moffat for walloping it completely out of the park. Had any "anniversary" entertainment been as exhilirating or note-perfect as this one? So many things to praise.

And bravo Siskoid! 50 years of Who reviewed, and only one more episode to go! It'll be a little sad not to be able to read a new one everyday, but what an achievement.

Toby'c said...

"even using a formerly innocuous line like "the Doctor has seized the moment", revealing it as the Moment, with a capital M"

Curiously, I've seen at least two fanfics written long before this episode refer to the Moment as the weapon the Doctor used to end the Time War.

Highlight of this one for me is Ten pulling a Badass Boast on what he soon realises really is just a rabbit. Feels like a callback (forward?) to the scene in The Lodger where he overreacts to the word "annihilate".

Jayunderscorezero said...

"...changes everything without destroying anything."

Indeed. Just wonderful.

But yes! Nearly done! I agree with Madeley above: it's so strange to think this is almost over.

Siskoid said...

Oh there's a little more than a single episode to go from my perspective. Five(ish) is tomorrow, which puts Time Saturday, and then I promised to do the Australian K-9 series.

Obviously, I'll do the new series week to week when it comes on in August.

Anonymous said...

Hoo doggies, I can watch this episode over and over.

Two more rules Moffat established and revisited:

1) Killing millions to save billions is the right thing to do -- but even so, there must be a better way ...

2) ... and that better way manifests itself when there is more than one of you and you are united in purpose and vision.

And Clara saved the Doctor for real; I love it. But I also love that 11 didn't make 10 or the War Doctor look like idiots for not figuring out a better way; just the fact that he'd been second-guessing himself for hundreds of years longer made all the difference.

Maybe it started as an idle thought on an afternoon with River Song, that if only he could have been armed with a fleet of TARDISes in perfect sync ... but no, TARDISes don't sync up perfectly enough, the calculations would have been insane, and in any event, fixed point, it can't be changed. But the thought was percolating in his head all the same, just waiting for the circumstances under which it could be acted upon. (This is all completely speculative but you get the idea.)

Anonymous said...

"She asks him to be a doctor, not a warrior, and in so doing changes history."

The sense I have -- and it can be debated -- is that she changed the Doctor's mind, but she didn't actually change history; the Moment saw to it that Gallifrey didn't get destroyed even on a first iteration. Not that the Doctor saw it that way; all he knows is, he was about to push a big red button, and the next thing he knew he was regenerating in his TARDIS and Gallifrey was gone.

Siskoid said...

Sure. She changes remembered history, or perhaps destiny. The Doctors act like it's a changed timeline, but then, if the clue to Gallifrey's survival is the cracks in spacetime, and those were around when 10 became 11...

It's Moffat's idea of time as a goopy fluid. Don't stare at it too hard.

CiB said...

Impression I got was this was always how it ended, it's just, as the War Doctor said, he wasn't going to remember that he didn't destroy Gallifrey (and so neither did 9, 10 or 11 until it was 11's turn to do so, as only the latest gets to remember multi doctor stories, otherwise they all fall flat on their face)

As for "Had any "anniversary" entertainment been as exhilarating or note-perfect as this one?"- "Light At The End" was even better. My attitude though is that the 50th anniversary special was really several things, of which this is episode is just a part ("Light At the End" being my favourite one, and my favourite multi-doctor story)

I loved this one a lot. Disagree with this months DWM calling it the best Doctor Who story ever (in cording to fan poll) but it is one of the better new-Who stories. I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it.

I like that Curator theory, it would certainly explain a lot.

I'm certainly glad Capaldi's eyes got a cameo for his sake. Can you imagine how awful it would feel to be told "We've cast you as the 12th Doctor- congratulations, you make your first appearance in the episode immediately after the 50th anniversary special"?

Freddy said...

My favourite moment, David Tennants line "Never Cruel or Cowardly". From memory it's a call back to Terrance Dicks talking in the 30 Years in the Tardis documentary. But as you said, one moment among so many.

Siskoid said...

I liked the Oath. Wish Eleven had had his part to say.

Anonymous said...

Not a fan of New Who - tried it and it wasn't for me - but if Tom Baker could come back for this one, so could I.

It was a good story and the War Doctor wasn't the antagonist I was afraid he would be. The Doctors' stunt with the sonic screwdriver and, as you said, repeated with their TARDISes to save Gallifrey - well, I have to give Steven Moffat credit for doing something in a 50-year-old show that I can't believe no one thought of before.

I should have expected that the day would be saved by a plucky, attractive, contemporary Earth girl (and a being using the avatar of a plucky, attractive, contemporary Earth girl). The character of the Doctor is no longer central to the show (even with three of them), he is part of the environment for the telling of the stories of others. (Who I tend not to find as interesting, frankly.) It's this tonal shift, among others, that's turned me off of New Who.

- Jason

Siskoid said...

That the companion had a role to play in this didn't make it HER story. It was the Doctor's arc, his guilt, his redemption that drove the story. Clara just wasn't a bystander and had something to do, which I'll all for.

And for me, the focus on companions is nothing new. It's going back to the show's roots when it was quite literally Ian and Barbara's story. The Doctor and Susan were enigmatic figures, a mystery for them to solve, and the adventures were very much from their point of view. After they left, the show fell into a different pattern for too long, though Ace is a notable (if late) classic Who exception.

Randal said...

I literally jumped off the couch and screamed when I saw Capaldi's eyes. It wasn't the first...or the last...time I did either of those things while watching the episode, but it was the scene that caused me to do both.
Only two things nagged at me. War Doctor sighing and saying "Gallifrey stands" I didn't care much for, but I was horrified by how awfully photoshopped and phony the big pose at the end was. I'll satisfy myself with Four by saying it's a callback to the wax statue of him in the Five Doctors promo, but there's no excuse for the others.

Jeff R. said...

So...what exactly was happening in the End of Time under the new/real version of the fate of Gallifrey, again? I am struggling to see the non-contradictions here, still. I mean, I can see the civilian leadership prematurely decamping to a different limbo, but that doesn't help with the part where the get to drag the whole planet around...

Siskoid said...

The Arcadians specifically mention the Council has its own plans and is doing its own thing back at the Capitol. That's what we see in The End of Time. It's the Time War, isn't it? Reality is constantly being rewritten, with destructive consequences. So the Council's plan brings Gallifrey out of the Moment's influence, whether that's "burning" or being sent to another dimension, and then it doesn't and they return to the last day of the Time War as if it never had. It's a planetary escape plan that's undone by the Doctor and Master.

So if you like, when the TARDISes are doing their thing in Day, the planet might blink out of existence for a millisecond while it goes to Earth and comes back, or more likely, the 13 TARDIS thing happens before they even get the chance to enact their plan, and it never happened except in the Doctor's time stream. Because a lot of stuff never happened in there, which is something we'll certainly discuss come Saturday.

Anonymous said...

I found the special most enjoyable. Moffat's Who can get mixed up in the head but usually gets the heart-stuff right. I never watched the old Dr. Who, but even I felt it when Tom Baker showed up.

- Mike Loughlin

Madeley said...

I hadn't noticed until it was pointed out above that the Fourth Doctor's pose in the group picture is ABSOLUTELY based on the wax statue. Just when I thought I couldn't love this episode more. Randal, you've made my day with that.

Brian said...

I was about to make the same point that Siskoid did to Jason that the Companion-as-Protagonist is the original model of the show dating back to the Hartnell era, but the master of the blog of course beat me to it!

(my personal favorite moment somehow was seeing the name "I. Chesterton" listed as Chairman of the Board of Governors on the Coal Hill School sign at the beginning of the episode -- watching bits and pieces of fifty years of DW, Ian remains my favorite companion for some reason! With Clara teaching there now and another teacher being introduced next season as a recurring character/companion, I dream that still-involved-in-fandom William Russell might make an actual appearance...)

Siskoid said...

I hadn't noticed the wax statue either, which I suppose is a good visual gag if you can't do proper face replacement on fidgeting stand-ins.

And I hadn't noticed Ian's name on there either! Facepalm! Because we spend so little time there, it hadn't even occurred to me Clara had gotten a proper job (companions tend not to have them), and that she was subbing maybe, or getting off some earlier unseen adventure (Moffat implies these all the time), just as a visual reference to the first ever episode. But it makes complete sense, with her English degree, that she might end up teaching at a school. And THAT school. Maybe she got a good reference from you know Who. ;-)

LiamKav said...

Well, if we're allowing the comics that have been in DWM, then the Eleventh Doctor has met Ian and Barbara recently (after the Ponds, but before or during Clara), everyone bitched at each other, and then they all hugged and the Doctor was Ian's best man at the wedding. So yeah, he could have possibly dropped a mention about an aspiring English teacher that he knows...

I love the little bits. Despite some of the fandom (Lawrence Mills for example) dismissing Smith as "Tennant-light", this episode shows their characters are more distinct than appears. The confident way Ten kisses Clara's hand when he meets her, for example. His more easy going "human nature". Even the fact that the Eleventh Doctor didn't say anything while he waited for the Tenth and War Doctors to figure out his plan.

(Apparently Hurt referred to Smith and Tennant as "the boys" on set, which they absolutely loved.)

Serious, this was brilliant. It's placement at the top of DWM's "first 50 years poll" no doubt comes about due to it having been on recently, but I predict it will stay in the top 5 for a good many years. It could have gone so, so wrong. I had been getting more and more put off with Moffat's "big" episodes, but from the 60s style opening titles to the end credits (middle-eight for the anniversary! Everyone's faces!) I don't think I stopped grinning.

Anonymous said...

Everything else being said, well-constructed story and all, what really makes it work is the commitment to hope and the start of something new (and likely even better). You can have Doctors meet Doctors all you want, and they can deal with whatever challenges you like, but if they don't do something that makes the universe better for their meeting, it's not going to feel like a celebration.

Fighting Omega ("Three Doctors"), or the Master ("Five Doctors"), or the space werewolves ("Two Doctors") made for an entertaining adventure, but overall didn't add up to anything. The saving of Gallifrey did. The unburdening of the Doctor did.

Siskoid said...

Well said. It gets to the heart of why neither Three, Five nor Two Docs were very satisfying.

Anonymous said...

One more thing I've been contemplating: the Moment. The Moment was described as a weapon that developed a conscience, a weapon so terrible that it would never be used because it would stand in judgment of whoever used it.

Except, if you have a weapon with a conscience, and that conscience compels it to refuse to kill, it's not really a weapon, is it? That's something neither the Time Lords nor the Doctor understood. What they had on their hands was essentially a magic wishing machine that could bend time, allow for paradoxes, etc provided it was used for constructive purposes. That may not have been the original plan, but that's what the Moment became. At least that's my read on it.

Which makes me think only the Doctor could have even used it. No mere soldier or warrior could use it as a weapon because their intentions would be wrong. The only sort of person who could use it, I suspect, is someone whose conscience was so tormented by war that they were willing to be judged, and doubtless damned, if that's what it took to put an end to war. (Say what you will about the War Doctor being a "warrior", not so deep down he remained the Doctor all along.)

So I'm putting this in Moffat's "clever, brilliant, and perfectly logical" column: the Time Lords were afraid of their most powerful weapon because it was morally superior to them, but it was so morally superior that it would only do the right thing.

Siskoid said...

That's a very good read on the Moment. It likely couldn't even get stolen by a normal Time Lord. One gets the feeling it Let the Doctor take it.

jdh417 said...

Because of this review, I had to go back and watch it. A few things struck me.

It’s a very large story, told in a very small, personal way. That’s very hard to pull off, but done very well here.

Notice when the Doctor meets the Curator, after the “familiar faces” line, Matt winks at him.

When did Piper learn how to act? I saw her in a couple of Masterpiece Theater productions (where Matt was ironically her sidekick) and that Callgirl series (where Matt was ironically a guy she picked up for casual sex, and don’t watch the show, it’s rubbish). There was a Jane Austin adaption that she was pretty good in, but nothing as charismatic or compelling as here (especially given that Haley Atwell was also in it). I’m almost suggesting bringing her back as a villain.

There’s a few disturbing things. The Doctors use the term, “Peace in our time,” in a non-ironic, totally naïve way. Kate’s assistant praying to the Doctor. Given that it happened twice, I assume there’s some kind of statement being made here. Kate/Zygon takes a second to take a cheap shot at America in Black Archive. Finally, tying it all together, this whole story and B-plot were an allegory for the use of nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which the British are apparently very sorry for, since most Americans aren’t. If only the Doctor had been there to figure out a better way.

Anonymous said...

"Peace in our time"

Yeah, it is kind of a loaded phrase any more, isn't it? Even so, people underestimate Neville Chamberlain: he used the time that Munich bought him extremely efficiently to ramp up Britain's arsenal. If Britain had fought Hitler even six months too early, they might well have lost. I think that ANY Prime Minister, if doing his job right, would have had to do what Chamberlain did: take the deal with Hitler and fall on his own sword.

"Finally, tying it all together, this whole story and B-plot were an allegory for the use of nuclear weapons in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which the British are apparently very sorry for, since most Americans aren’t. If only the Doctor had been there to figure out a better way."

Hey, was that a cheap shot against Americans? (It's okay, we deserve it I think.) Funny thing is, we DID have a better way, but we also had other considerations in mind; I say the atomic bombs were intended primarily to send a message to the Soviet Union that they weren't the only power left standing. We are all keenly mindful of the horrors of the atomic bombs, but in terms of sheer damage, we'd done even greater damage to other cities with conventional firebombs; and the Japanese would have surrendered after a single bomb if they were that scared. (So why did they surrender when they did? Probably had something to do with Stalin reneging on his deal with the Japanese and starting to conquer Japanese-held territories.)

Andrew Gilbertson said...

This one... just didn't work for me. I've spoken to people that loved it, but for me, the beginning (with tributes and references) ending (with multiple Doctors) and a few moment in the middle (the scene in the cell, the Zygon confrontation in the vault) were good, but the middle 40 minutes or so falls flat. the 10th Doctor humor tries WAY too hard (the Doctor making a grand speech then realizing he was reacting to the wrong thing worked in the Lodger, but is forced here, as is the insulting the real Queen thinking its a Zygon; while it was nice to see 10 in non-manic-depressive mode, Moffat seems to ONLY remember his comedic side, and fail to write anything actually funny for it. I'm not a 10 fan at all, but even I could see that 10 was poorly served). The Oath was pretentious and silly. There were just so many failure moments...
It did have a nice twist, at least, that this wasn't 10 and 11's unchangable past, but War Doc's changeable future. Clever.

The opening confused me, as I didn't realize it wasn't supposed to be in 1963 at first, and thus thought Kate's assistant (who answered the phone with Kate's name IIRC) was a young Kate who looked NOTHING like the modern-day one. :-)

"the Doctor has seized the moment", revealing it as the Moment, with a capital M,"
I found that to be obvious in EoT (that they were talking about a weapon), so this was no big realization. As TobyC's note on fan fics shows, we already knew that the Moment was some weapon used to destroy Gallifrey. They did say "and intends to use it," after all. Its actualization, however, with Billie Piper playing an obnoxiously-irreverant comedy schtick that didn't fit the tone, was grating.

"not contradict anything including the bits from The End of Time,"
Ummmmmm... see rant on Night of the Doctor for how that's not even REMOTELY true, in facts or intent. Heck, even EoT portrayed the ENITRE Time Lord race as corrupt (maybe 10 was lying to justify his actions), having become monstrous due to the events of the war (indeed, all but 2 vote to destroy the universe!) Now, suddenly, they're mostly good guys and innocent children and it was ONLY Rassilon's council that was evil, which makes the Doctor's decision to destroy the entire race instead of just taking out that council seem monumentally stupid now. :-)

Overall, this felt a lot more like a celebration of the New Series than Doctor Who as a whole; it's kind of shameful for a 50th special to pull almost nothing older than 7 years into it, save an opening sequence and a quick (admittedly-awesome) montage of Doctors at the end. Glad they went for the Capaldi cameo; I've often said we should get a multi-Doctor special with the Doctor-to-come, and the foreknowledge of Smith's departure made that possible this time. But while there are moments that I liked in it, to me, this one fell flat as a narrative (half-good, half-bad) and failed utterly in its purpose (to celebrate the WHOLE 50 years of Doctor Who).

Andrew Gilbertson said...

"As multi-Doctor stories go, this is by far the best one we've ever had."
Okay, see, now I need to challenge you to a duel to the death or something. Look what you've gone and done. :-)
Not even remotely. Not even close. Two Doctors had this chicanery beat by a MILE, much less Three Doctors. The only reason I wouldn't call this the WORST multi-Doctor special of all time is because of the existence of Dimensions in Time.
So much for our quantum lock. :-)
(I think our difference lies in 'having rubbish plots,' and your contention that this story doesn't. That's where we part ways. ;-) )

"He takes shots at the literal wand waving, the childish techy-babbly and the kissing, and it's hilarious."
That, I can agree with. :-)

"with the problem implanted in the War Doctor's mind and the solution finally becoming clear to the Eleventh whose technically had 400 years to think about it"
I thought the implication from dialogue is that ('working on it all my lives') is that he actually sent the need for calculations back to Hartnell/the TARDIS and has been running it (since it requires far more than 400 years) for his entire time traveling (a.k.a. all 50 years of the show).

"Ten reprising "I don't want to go""
I've heard that. For me, it was a nice chance for a bit of deserved self-mockery on a stupid and terrible moment from EoT.

" Is the curator, in fact, a future version of the Doctor who's taken a familiar face from the first batch of regenerations"
That was pretty much explicitly stated.

"So if you like, when the TARDISes are doing their thing in Day, the planet might blink out of existence for a millisecond while it goes to Earth and comes back, or more likely, the 13 TARDIS thing happens before they even get the chance to enact their plan,"
That's something I've said a number of times- if/when Gallifrey returns, they better deal with the fact that Rassilon (and maybe the Master) are still there, all-powerful and spoiling for a fight, ready to ascend Gallifrey and junk, and waiting to be revived... or, if that was resolved while Gallifrey was behind the crack (as time seemed to pass and they could act), how the heck that was resolved beneficially...

Don't mean to seem grouchy. I just found this (like Time of) to be such a failure and a mess; if I sound snappy, I think it's because it vexes me to see it getting praise when it was such an utter disappointment for me. :-) Heck, most of the moments I thought of as worst are singled out for specific praise in the comments. I continue to hold to my theory- that I fell through a crack in time on November 22nd, 2013, and everyone else watched a different Day/Time of the Doctor than I did... ones that didn't suck horrifically. I'm just floored that I'm the ONLY one who sees it as a massive flop. Huh. Go figure.

Siskoid said...

Sorry you didn't have as fun a time as many of us did! To address only a few points...

The other multi-Doctor stories are weak in many ways, not just plot, and I invite you to find my reviews on the site for specific reasons.

The bit with Tom Baker is full of double-talk and cheeky ambiguity. If it's "explicitly stated", then most ppl I talked to are unable to understand explicit statements, which must make life very difficult. No, it's not explicit. It's barely implicit.

Obviously, the nearer we get to the present, the less I get to stand back and analyze, see things several more times, get sick of things or delighted about new discoveries. So the newer reviews are very much going to go with the feeling of each piece and I may regret my words later.

Andrew Gilbertson said...

Or I may. :-)

Well, I would have to review- it seemed explicit to me. Certainly, it was couched as "If a future version of you decided to settle down as a curator..." "That theoretical you might choose to regenerate into a few old-favorite faces..."

I've only watched once, so maybe it wasn't as clear as my memory renders it. Nor, for that matter, this special as bad as I remembered it. I shall have to give it another try.

Duel canceled- you have disarmed me. :-)

fort said...

Another moment (heh) that really appealed to me, having been at the time of the 50th Anniversary reading Lou Rawls "A Theory of Justice", arguably a profound after-the-fact cornerstone in the great edifice of Liberal Democracy: it is the solution to the crisis between the Zygons and Earth! Designing a treaty, or legal structure, or society, in which the everyone receives the fairest treatment, achieved by all sides not knowing (or in the case of the book, pretending not to know as a thought experiment) who was on who's side (again, heh for the pun).

Kaiser The Great said...

I assume the barren planet he was on while playing with The Moment wasn't Gallifrey, since there was no onslaught of Dalek laser fire, in which case The Moment is not a "point and shoot" device. I guess you push the big red button and it kills whatever you want it to kill? In which case...why not just kill the Daleks?

Speaking of killing the Daleks, his plan that saved Gallifrey still wiped out the Daleks (well I guess we know better, but it killed a lot of Daleks.) I know we hate the Daleks, but isn't that still genocide? Where Tom Baker didn't want to put those two wires together, 8, 10, and 11 didn't seem to bat an eye. A couple sentences of remorse might have been nice.

Other than that nitpickery, I do love this episode. Very high watchable, I agree, because I seem to watch it a lot. (And comment about it on posts that are over a year old.)

Siskoid said...

It has to be Gallifrey because that's his family's farm house. The Daleks can't be above every sky on a whole planet, after all.

And the idea was to "time-loop" the War, which would mean Daleks and Time Lords like would effectively be outside time and space, or "never have existed" or "ceased to be". But even if you see it as a genocide (it certainly interrupts two species' histories, seemingly forever, even if they're not "dead"), 9 and 10's entire TENURE was about guilt and remorse. If you're taking Day as a stand-alone movie or something, you might miss that pinch of regret, but let's not forget 5+ series of guilt over this action.

And why not just kill the Daleks? Either the Moment WAS location-specific (but then it wouldn't have affected TLs and Daleks NOT in the area, which it seemed to), or the two species' histories were too intertwined, or most likely, the Time Lords were at this point monsters just as much as the Daleks. That's borne out in The End of Time.

Kaiser The Great said...

The plan was to suspend Gallifrey in time or "a single moment' and when it 'disappears' the Dalek's would obliterate each other in the crossfire. 11 says that out loud. They are not locked in time with Gallifrey, they died.

I'm not sure "never have existed" or "ceased to be" applies, either. Instead of being destroyed, Gallifrey was hidden, but I think it's past up to that point, as well as knowledge of Time Lords and the planet itself by other species, still exists.

Yes, 9, 10, and even 11 did the guilt and remorse thing, but they had faulty "we killed Gillifrey" memories they were being remorseful about. War, 10, 11 all just seemed very happy with this "new" plan that still involved a lot of death. I suppose you could argue that the Daleks shooting themselves is their own fault.

Where was it established that barren place was his family farm? That's awesome, but I must have missed it.

Siskoid said...

Yes you're right. It's been a while for me (well May 2014, evidently).

It's like the Doctor hasn't destroyed tons of Daleks before. Remembrance alone! I think there's a difference between killing the Daleks in the "present", and as 4th was asked to do, rewrite history for countless peoples by preventing the Daleks' existence. Does he have the right? To kill Daleks? Never stopped himself. Of rewriting history to that extent? A harder ask.

The farm house returns in the Capaldi episode, Listen. It's strongly hinted to be the same location.

Kaiser The Great said...

Good point on the Baker differences. That works for me. I haven't seen that episode in so long I forgot it was rewriting existence, not just killing them.

I've been rewatching season 8 and LISTEN is next, so will pay attention to that. Enjoying this season much more on the rewatch, particularly because your reviews are pointing out things I missed the first time around.

Siskoid said...

Glad to help!

I do that too, follow certain series with a review guide in hand, see if my opinions match the reviewer's, etc.

LiamKav said...

Regarding "Genesis", one thing people always focus on is his "Do I have the right?" speech, where he decides not to destroy the Daleks. They forget that very soon after, he changes his mind and walks back into the Dalek bunker with the apparent intention of killing them. He isn't able to do so, but wiping out the Daleks:

"I'm going back to the incubator room. This time I'm going to blow it up."

He fails, but it certainly seems like he's planning on doing what he talked himself out of doing before.

In any event, As Siskoid pointed out, the 7th Doctor had blown up their home planet. And later on he talked one into commiting suicide. By that point, at the latest, he'd clearly given up all hope of reasoning with them. The Daleks have consistently been the race that cause the Doctor to abandon any pretence of pacifism. I think that makes him a more interesting character, personally... for anyone else he tries to see the good side, but he just can't bring himself to do that for the Daleks. They've just hurt him too much. (Look at how he treats Rusty, for instance.)

I don't really see much of a difference between the killing of Daleks in "Rememberence" and the killing of Daleks in "TDotD". The question is whether killing lots of Daleks is the same as killing all of the Daleks. To be honest, I think that, on some level, he knew he wasn't wiping them out.

"They survived, they always survive, while I lose everything..."

(If nothing else, it's a slightly silly idea that every single Dalek and ship would happen to fire at just that second and that there would be another Dalek and/or ship on the exact opposite side of the planet. If nothing else, wouldn't their laser blasts have just hit each other, cancelling themselves out?)

Kaiser The Great said...

Well, certainly 10 and 11 knew they weren't wiping the Daleks out completely, since they've shown up again many times since the Time War. Speaking of one of those times they showed up, remember how 10 got all butt-hurt with Human-10 for blowing up all the Daleks? "Because we saved the universe, but at a cost. And the cost is him. He destroyed the Daleks. He committed genocide. He's too dangerous to be left on his own." Of course, "dangerous" doesn't mean "bad" and maybe so long as you're a happy Doctor, it's okay to blow up lots of Daleks. Or maybe it was just an excuse to dump Human-10 in another dimension.

Siskoid said...

There is nothing about Doctor Blue I can defend, as was borne out in the reviews, I think.


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