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24 November 2013 @ 05:36 pm
Day of the Doctor  

The more I think about it, the more I like it.

Behind the cut it is rife with spoilers.

First off, I love a time travel show that takes its own ‘canon’ and beats it to death with a stick. In perfect synchronocity with that, I think they actually did a beautiful job of retrofitting the story so that while yes, retcon (but time travel, so), also not-wildly-disruptive retcon.

Except for the renumbering of the Doctors, though, but I’m personally inclined to leave everybody the numbers they’ve had and go with Capaldi as Thirteen. Because I *want* Capaldi to be Thirteen: I want his story to be Finding Gallifrey, and for the presumably-at-least-reasonably-grateful Time Lords to restart his reincarnations so we can begin with a fresh count and get some women and people of color in there as the Doctor.

Also because his magnificently snarled, “Thirteen!” was actually a thing of beauty.

The thing I missed, the thing I wanted *so* badly and had pretty well convinced myself they’d deliver, having kept it under the hat, was Ecclestone. I wanted him so much that in the scene with the Big Red Button I actively missed him, like an ache. He needed to be there, and although a friend argues that because his choice to not be there was his own and not the creators’ it was still absolutely perfect, for me it wasn’t quite perfect. But very nearly.

On the other hand, Ten’s, “Did you say Bad Wolf girl?” was beautiful. Perfect. Better, frankly, than interaction between them would have been, and while I’m on the topic of the Moment

OH MY LORD I LOVE BILLIE PIPER. I mean, I do: I liked Rose, and I’ve gone out of my way to watch things with Piper in them since, but I think seeing her as the Moment was possibly my favorite bit in this. (“The interface is hot!” “I do try.”) What made it so right, especially, is that the Moment is Rose is Bad Wolf is the Tardis which means the Tardis was watching the Doctor all along, even when he tried to leave her behind–and she knew he was trying. The closed circuit of that just made me *joyful*.

The other thing–no, there were a lot. *A*nother thing that made me happy was…well. They found another way. The Doctor’s terrifying reputation remains intact, but they found another way, and that just…it’s not very damned often that cleverness prevails over violence. I mean, I know that’s a huge part of how Who works, but that even he was forced to commit great evil for the common good is just…devastating. And this from somebody who has no attachment to Old Who but who was carried into the horror of it all so beautifully by Nine. It took four hundred years, but he figured out how to save the children. Everybody lives, Rose. Just this once, everybody lives!

The opening credits. The *original* opening credits. Again, I don’t have any long-term attachment, but oh, that was so good of them. And the Curator, at the end. Oh, my heart. And “I don’t want to go,” / “He always says that.” And all of them together in that final shot, with One behind the others in a place of honor.

There were a *lot* of good one-liners. “This is what I sound like when I’m talking to myself.” Bahaha. :)

I really wish–and this may be the first and last time these words ever come out of my mouth (or fingertips) that I’d seen it in 3D, because the paintings of Gallifrey, particularly, just would have been spectacular. The effect was spectacular enough in 2D!

I don’t know who any of the UNIT people are except the commander, or why the girl was wearing Four’s scarf, but I liked that part of the story and would like to know how it ended (particularly since at least Scarf Girl knew which of her was human!) and hope they get back to that at some point.

I wasn’t especially keen on the portrayal of Elizabeth, although her dress was very good and there were some good moments in there. But eh. That was probably my least favorite part of the show. OTOH, the bit with the door in the Tower was pretty funny, and I did like her resiliance. Also, the “weak woman” line was actually really in keeping with Elizabeth’s own writings and commentary, so I thought that bit was particularly well done.

I have to watch it again. And I have to watch The Five(ish) Doctors, and An Adventure in Time and Space, and … yeah. Just all the little bits they’ve done in association with this. And for the record, I would *totally* tune in for an 8th Doctor spin-off, and just…

They done good.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

Stephanie Burgis: Dr Who wonderstephanieburgis on November 24th, 2013 05:17 pm (UTC)
Yes! I actually hadn't been letting myself get too excited ahead of time because I've always felt that the Christmas specials tended to be weaker than normal episodes, so this might follow suit…but I ended up LOVING it, for pretty much exactly the reasons you describe! :) SUCH a great episode!
dancinghorse: angryUFOdancinghorse on November 24th, 2013 05:32 pm (UTC)
Did you catch the flash of Nine? He was there, when they were calling in all the Doctors. Almost subliminal but quite large, right across the screen.

So he was there. In a way.
kit: drwho_nine_touchofyourhandmizkit on November 24th, 2013 05:35 pm (UTC)
I caught him, so yeah, he was there, but...but... #heartbreak
dancinghorse: platterdancinghorse on November 24th, 2013 05:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, I know. He and Baker are "my" Doctors. I liked Tennant and Smith just fine, but. But but.
kit: drwho_nine_glowingeyesmizkit on November 24th, 2013 05:42 pm (UTC)
I love Ten, I really do. I loved a lot of his story and fanservice or not I loved the Rose storyline and and and--

--but Nine, it appears, is My Doctor. Rewatching him is just...his depths, his mercurial changes, his humour, I just...he's my Doctor. Yeah.
Deborah Blakedeborahblakehps on November 24th, 2013 05:45 pm (UTC)
What you said, times, like, a thousand. I was so so so very pleased with this show (although now I am really confused about the numbering...is 10 now 11?). Billie as Bad Wolf, the doctors all working together, and OH MY GOD THE CURATOR, which I kid you not, just about made me cry because it was so Damned Right.

I will definitely be watching this one again (and not just because I promised a Doctor Who-loving friend that I would tape it and wait to watch it with her...and, um, lied).

Wow. Just wow.
Kate Kirbykirbyk on November 24th, 2013 06:13 pm (UTC)
Is it wrong to say that my favorite Doctor is now Hurt's? He had such a layered, complex performance. Absolutely brilliant!
irishkateirishkate on November 24th, 2013 06:19 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed it for many of these reasons but mostly because it didn't suck and because the doctor got to find another way.. I missed Nine like a gaping wound but I hadn't expected him so that wasn't soo bad..I loved having Ten back.

Hurt did an excellent job. The special with Eight was lovely and I would enjoy more. I'm looking forward to Twelve/Thirteen now even more..

It wasn't the best ever story or episode but it was so much better than I had hoped for and feared that I was very pleased. It would possibly have been good to see in 3D, certainly I would have enjoyed it at the cinema but didn't organise to do so..

And I look forward to seeing it again too...
kit: drwho_nine_milleniumeyemizkit on November 24th, 2013 07:19 pm (UTC)
We weren't quick enough to see it in the cinema either, though if they chose to rerun it I would be all over that.

I missed Nine like a gaping wound

Yeah. I'm amazed at how much it hurt to not have him there. I'm all like I MUST WATCH THAT SEASON AGAIN RIGHT NOW.
Catherinesharpwords on November 24th, 2013 09:16 pm (UTC)
Watch 'The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot' asap - it's very very lovely.
Lots of fun cameos, including from a couple of places I was in not that long ago.

I loved a lot about 'The Day of the Doctor'. I think I need to rewatch it though.
mevennenmevennen on November 24th, 2013 09:20 pm (UTC)
Hurt was great.

Scarf Girl is possibly Kate Stewart's daughter or Harry Sullivan's daughter (Naval medical officer, worked for UNIT) and her name is Osgood (not 'Yes').

I thought Queen E was a leetle too Blackadder and is she still running about modern London? Do we now have 2 female monarchs? Eek.
Mary Anne: pixelpers1stence on November 25th, 2013 12:06 am (UTC)
Did Scarf Girl call Blonde Unit commander Mom or Mum or Ma'am? Both times I saw that scene, I heard it as Mom but suspect it was "Mum" as in "Ma'am"
Childlightchildlight on November 25th, 2013 12:48 am (UTC)
I am very new to Dr Who. I have only seen a few episodes but I watched The Day of the Doctors and LOVED it!! The last 30 minutes really blew me away. My husband watches it and I thought it was stupid at first but now I am hooked. Ecclestone is my favorite Doctor and I would have loved to have seen him in this as well. It took me a little to warm up to him since I had mostly only seen Doctor #10. And he reminded me a lot of the guy from Restaurant Impossible. But now he is my favorite. I am so hooked I could spend all day in bed watching the reruns.
freyawfreyaw on November 25th, 2013 09:46 am (UTC)
The teeny tiny bit that I like the most is that the school where Clara is teaching has a sign on the front fence, directing you to "I.M. Foreman, Scrap Merchant, 76 Totter's Lane". That's a reference to the first doctor. I didn't get a good look at the sign for the school, but I'm pretty sure it's the one that Susan went to...
freyaw: Fierce unicorn WRKS IT BABY!!freyaw on November 25th, 2013 09:50 am (UTC)
tardis.wikia.com shows me a pic that says yes, it's Coal Hill (Secondary) School in Shoreditch, and I. Chesterton (prior Companion) is Chairman of the Governors :-P
lokifan: Doctors: some things never changelokifan on November 25th, 2013 06:01 pm (UTC)
Yes, yes, to all of this. Nine was really the post-War Doctor, and I really felt his absence in the Big Red Button scene, and felt he needed to be there. (Particularly given my favourite moment of his is "coward or killer?" "Coward. Every time"). But it was gorgeous and YES, omg, it was so devastating that the clever Doctor who refused to destroy Skaro was forced into choosing violence and the fact that they fixed it, that intelligence and romance won over brute force and cynicism, I just. I cried.
Alix (Tersa): Dr Who - Pondering Ten (bibliophile1887)tersa on December 2nd, 2013 05:43 pm (UTC)
I've watched this twice now, once in the theater in 3D (and the paintings were that good in it!) and once from the BBC America showing I recorded, and I agree that I really, really liked it as well and that Eccleston really, really should have been part of it.

I'm not a Rose fan, but I loved Billy Piper in this as well. She wasn't really playing Rose, I think, and that may have been why I liked her more.

Also agreed about this Elizabeth. I was actually put off by how OOC she seemed, especially in her romantic pursuit of the Doctor.

I think the one thing I most object to was the retcon. On one level, it made for a really good story, but at the same time, what new!Eight did imbued and shaped so much of the past however many series of the revival that it feels like a cheat (and cheap) to suddenly go 'lol, didn't happen!'