The Day of the Doctore Review Thread (Spoilers?)

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by ainmneacha_Nollag, Nov 23, 2013.

?

So what did you think?

Poll closed Dec 21, 2013.
  1. Brilliant: Geronimo.

    188 vote(s)
    77.7%
  2. Very Good: Bow Ties are Cool!

    38 vote(s)
    15.7%
  3. Ok: Come along Ponds.

    10 vote(s)
    4.1%
  4. Passable: Fish Fingers and Custard.

    5 vote(s)
    2.1%
  5. Terrible: Who da man?

    1 vote(s)
    0.4%
  1. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    A few spots of flame vs. every molecule in the galaxy excitated to combustion?

    Actually if I was time lord that wanted to destroy a galaxy, and time was my bitch, I would figure out a way to change the local time of every star in the galaxy so that they are all either occupying the space of another star, or many stars, or the space of the galactic core which is a great deal of super dense black holes which is also moving around all the other galaxies.

    Stuffing suns inside suns. Even stuffing all the suns inside all the other suns, including themselves...

    That's my definition of a burning Galaxy that is dead as soon as the big red button is pushed.
     
  2. DWF

    DWF Admiral Admiral

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    But all he did was to restore the statue quo, the Doctor still dies at Trenzalore.
     
  3. Captaindemotion

    Captaindemotion Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Haven't been on the BBS for a few days, so I'm sure I'm not adding anything particularly new or substantial to the thread, but I have to say, this was just a brilliant, brilliant piece of viewing, with so many wonderful moments.

    From seeing Tennant and Smith interact, to seeing how well Hurt worked alongside them, from the references and winks to the past, to the 'All twelve of them' 'No - all Thirteen!', from seeing Hurt's Doctor getting just about recognisable as Tennant as he regenerated (or was my mind filling in the blanks?) to - best of all - seeing Tom Bloody Baker back in Doctor Who. Wow.

    Just fantastic, as the sadly absent Eccleston would've said.
     
  4. BrEnDoN

    BrEnDoN Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Capaldi will probably stick around for about 3 seasons, I imagine Moffat would leave around then too and we'd get a new Doctor and new showrunner who would then have a few seasons themselves to tell the story of the thirteenth and final Doctor and what comes next (if anything comes next.) Of course, if Moffat didn't leave then, he would be the showrunner for the 13th Doctor and would be in a position to tell the Last Doctor story he so clearly wants to tell.

    Making the 11th turn out to be the 13th out of nowhere, one month before the end, is a slap in the face to all the writers who have come before, who have all picked up where the previous ones left off and continued it before handing it off to the next one, and the ones who will come after. Matt Smith was the 11th Doctor. Everybody who believed in the 'thirteen' rule (not everybody did) knew there were 2 more coming before it needed to be dealt with.

    For Moffat to pull this out of his ass now, so late in the game, so out of nowhere, just screams arrogance. He wants to be the one to end and restart the Doctor's life, the big, epic conlusion to all thirteen incarnations of the Doctor, his own way, literally years before we're even supposed to be at that point, because he might not be around to do it when the proper time comes. He doesn't care about future Doctor Who when he's no longer there, he wants his version to be the definitive one.

    Hanging over their head? I imagine anybody who takes over Doctor Who would be eager to be able to tell that story. Moffat clearly wants it on his head.

    Maybe so, but it was never counted as a regeneration. Even if it was, Moffat wouldn't be able to this without creating an incarnation of The Doctor out of nowhere that was never mentioned before and will never be seen again, which is just a waste.
     
  5. Phily B

    Phily B Commodore Commodore

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    That was a lot of fun, I stopped watching mid-way through Season 6 because imo the show had become so awful, confusing and uninteresting but this was fantastic. I did catch the back end of season 7 recently, and it looked like it was closer to the first few seasons, so looking forward to Capaldi.

    I was confused as to why The Doctor ignored the fact he was terrified of the Time Lords and their whole destruction of creation thing and batshit insane plans, I mean they obviously still used a lot of dangerous weapons. It was almost unanimous the decision, I hope Moffat doesn't handwave it.

    Also was the single Dalek fighter escaping a reference to Dalek?

    I still think "The Moment" was essentially used, it just wasn't a big red button.
     
  6. Starkers

    Starkers Admiral Admiral

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    Well Moffat’s in charge, so he can do what the hell he likes (within reason) the same as RTD could, JNT could, Bob Holmes or whoever else could.

    As for 10.5, fans have been debating since that episode aired whether that actually counted as a regeneration, and I’m not sure writers are dying to address the regeneration limit, much as with fans many would seem quite happy to just hand wave it away, because we all know the Doctor isn’t going to end any time soon.
     
  7. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Yeah, I agree with all that. I don't see the War Doctor as being a stand-in for Eccleston, and it surprises me that people think that.

    That being said, I think his absence is keenly felt. I really would've liked to have seen him in there - I bet the 2,7 billion lives line was line but then given to Tennant (works still, just speculating). He could've worked as the older brother of the three, and maybe Hurt would've recognized him as the Doctor and the next two as his companions.

    Ah, the possibilities...

    By the same token, there's little reasoning behind the stunt casting that John Hurt was. It could just as easily have been McGann, who would've devolved from his TV Movie self to a worn-ou, tired old man. Imagine the reaction, and the potensity of such a decision. Far bolder than anything Moffat actually did in the special itself.

    And it'd make for a nice round-about for McGann - began life in a special, and ended his life in another. Alas...



    I really, really don't agree to that. It added gravitas and a sense of real responsibility for him, to be able to take a decision this cataclysmic. As a man of his experience, he's seen so many things, travelled to many worlds, and experienced every facet of life imagineable. And yet, he STILL couldn't but destroy the Time Lords and the Daleks. It doesn't diminish the character, it accentuates his importance and uniquenees, and showcases a reality that, if we look at DW as a children's show (which I find kinda condescending an argument, as if to shortchange any attempt at dramatic storytelling in favor of a fairytale-like saga), is an important truth: Good guys don't always win. They may have all choices in the world, but in the end, there's only one to make, and its the hardest one. Genocide for his people, or may heavens fall. I don't see how is that bad.

    It shortchanged the Doctor's arc, because I faily to believe the Doctor didn't think of the children*. In fact, the Tenth in fact notes that he still remembers how many they were.

    But thats mute, because the children concept likely wasn't on Davies' mind when he was on the show - as someone who did work in the New Adventures novels, its likely that he respected the Cartmel Masterplan concept slyly, unlike Moffat, who resented the said novels in an infamous conversation with Paul Cornell et al.

    My point is, I think your reasoning "well, retconning the Time Lords' destruction is good because, well, the Doctor is just too good to actually do that" is both flawed and condescending, and largely driven by your own perception on the matter.

    But he did resolve it. Before the second half of series seven, the Doctor had pretty much moved past it. But I don't see child-like being immature, mainly because a behaviour is very different from an attitude. "Don't take yourself seriously, but take your responsibilities seriously," someone said, and thats very much part of the Doctor. He loves life, and doesn't want to die because he does. But Moffat saw it fit to consider his behaviour as being synonymous to his attitude, which clashes with his own storytelling - and as he was the guy that decided to make River Song into Amy and Rory's daughter, probably the most contrived, convoluted and just plain wrong decision he's ever taken for his own material, I'm not a bit surprised.

    And really, the only way to resolve it is to whitewash it? I don't understand the logic to that.






    Its about execution. Waters on Mars is one of the darkest DW tales, and its also one of its best. Midnight is one of the best episodes ever, and its as dark as it can get. Unless you think these stories aren't "real" DW.

    No, it isn't. The Sarah Jane Adventures was a children's show. Doctor Who is a family show that shouldn't, and hasn't shied away from emotions and dangerous situations.

    I guess I'm directly opposed to this fairytale version of Doctor Who. As much as I appreciate Steven Moffat's writing, I find his version a touch too much.

    Oh, so Doctor Who should just not do drama, then? I suppose Adric's death back in the '80's was too much, then. And that morality decision the Doctor had in Genesis of the Daleks was naff.

    As far as I am concerned, DW is a strong enough show to stretch the extent of storytelling to whatever its possible to handle. It works as a fairytale, as a gothic horror story, even as post-war drama.

    The Doctor pretty much said so about the Ninth. In Journey's End he told Rose that the Meta Crisis Doctor is pretty much like the Ninth - one born in battle with the blood of many people in his hands, in need of console like she did for the Ninth/Tenth.




    That doesn't mean the High Council hasn't survived though. It means, in fact, that the Time Lords are still as dangerous as ever.

    But The Doctor didn't make that distinction when Rassilon tried to force Gallifrey next to Earth's orbit. In fact, the first thing he did was grab Wilf's gun and race as fast as he could to stop the Time Lords from emerging.

    Maybe the Gallifreyans didn't deserve to die, but the Doctor knew they had, because the Time Lords were gonna destroy them anyway when they'd become beings of pure consciousness at the expense of reality. When he destroys the white star, he exclaims "Back in the Time War. Back into Hell!"

    Really, the Doctor was prepared to make the same decision, to stop the Time Lords once again.




    Not really. Thats a rather overt statement, since the Eleventh's era largely didn't deal with the Time War, but with the Silence and River Song.

    Come on, wouldn't it surprise if all Doctors stood next to Hurt's Doctor and, at the end of the day, all of them pressed the Moment and destroyed Gallifrey? It'd be a dark ending, but it'd be bold - it'd mean that it wasn't the Warrior's decision alone. That it was made in the Name of the Doctor.


    I dunno, at this stage, I'd have prefered if it were McGann. The only reason its John Hurt as the War Doctor is because Moffat wanted a stunt casting, and because he felt the idea was "kewl". And by his own admission.

    That being said, I utterly loved John Hurt as the Warrior. He more than stood his own against Ten and Eleven.
     
  8. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Casting a talented, charismatic actor in an important, well-written role is not "stunt casting", it's just good casting, and it's not "kewl", it's cool. You even claim to like Hurt in the role, so why the demeaning tone?
     
  9. Allyn Gibson

    Allyn Gibson Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Something that's been irking me.

    Did Murray Gold use his tenth Doctor motif in the score? I didn't notice it, nor did there appear to be a separate War Doctor theme.
     
  10. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Because I think McGann as the Doctor that pressed the Moment would've been more powerful, dramatically. A far cry of the man that started, in the TV Movie, as a romantic adventurer, now a shell of his previous self.
     
  11. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And you made that point very eloquently, but in what way does that opinion make the hiring of John Hurt "stunt casting"?
     
  12. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    Because its John frickin' Hurt, an actor of amazing calibre and reputation, and one of the finest British actors ever. And because Moffat admitted as such.

    "Why not a mayfly Doctor, who exists for one show only? I’d often thought about that. Would it be weird in the run of the series to have the 45th Doctor turn up and be played by Johnny Depp or someone? Would that be a cool thing to do?"
     
  13. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I think we're reading the same quote, but we're not understanding it in the same way. You're seeing "stunt casting" and "kewl", I'm seeing "good casting" and "cool". I thought John Hurt was the right person for the role (though maybe other people could have played it just as well of course), and seeing him in a Doctor Who episode was genuinely cool.
     
  14. Emperor-Tiberius

    Emperor-Tiberius Commodore Commodore

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    But I'm thinking rationally here. The John Hurt wasn't created because there was always an allusion to a secret, hidden Doctor, he was created to cause controversy and anticipation. I understand the thrill of that (I was part of it, same as everyone), but it still doesn't mean that the Eighth Doctor couldn't have fulfilled the same role, and with the same results. The only difference would be that he wouldn't be a secret Doctor, just one that he was ashamed for for what he did in the war. Oh, and obviously it wouldn't up the incarnation a notch, since that seems to be a supplementary motive on Moffat's part - to deal with the 13 lives limit earlier than expected.
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Recognizable as Eccleston, you mean. The progression as we now know it (and as the end title visuals made clear) is McGann/Eighth Doctor -> Hurt/War Doctor -> Eccleston/Ninth Doctor. And again, Hurt's last line about not wanting conspicuous ears was an in-joke acknowledgment that he was about to get stuck with Christopher Eccleston's ears for a while.


    No -- Capaldi is the 13th Doctor. He's still numbered as the 12th for the reasons Gaiman explained in the above quote, but he's the thirteenth life of the Doctor, because there was one we didn't know about until now.


    Or it screams that the Mirror is making stuff up again.


    It was unanimous among the ruling council, not the entire species. The billions of children of Gallifrey were not responsible for Rassilon's decision to destroy reality. What the Doctor has done was to put Gallifrey on hold. It's still there, but it's out of the game, neither threatened nor threatening. And that gives him time to find a solution to the Rassilon problem. He can spend the next 400 years, if need be, thinking up a way he can save the innocents of Gallifrey without unleashing the evil of the Council. Because Gallifrey isn't going anywhere.


    Well, yes. The Moment brought the Eleventh Doctor into the decision so that he could provide the benefit of having 400 years to think up a better solution than destroying Gallifrey. So it was indeed the Moment that brought about this resolution -- just not in so crude a way as detonating like a bomb.



    I agree with what someone said above -- McGann has become a fan favorite through the audios, and it would tarnish him too much to turn him into this. He has his own well-established persona, and given the nature of Doctor Who, if you're going to change the Doctor and give him a completely different persona, it makes sense to cast a different actor in the role.

    Besides, it adds variety. The past three Doctors -- four, really -- have all been so darn young. We haven't had an old Doctor since Hartnell. So I think it's a good idea to add a considerably older Doctor to the mix. And if you want an old, grizzled version of the Doctor, how can it be a mere stunt to cast an acclaimed, gifted veteran in the role?


    I did not mean it as condescending, because -- again -- I reject the fashionable assumption that darkness and despair are somehow automatically better or smarter than hope and optimism. And because I reject the idea that there's anything inferior in quality about children's stories. Surely we owe our children the best we have to offer. And that means giving them reason to believe they can make a positive difference in the world, and hopefully make their world, and their children's world in turn, less dire than the one we grew up in. Telling children stories that inspire them is the most important thing a storyteller can give to the future, and it's hideously misguided to dismiss it as a trivial exercise.

    Besides, it's nonsense to say that only some emotions are dramatic. Drama should encompass the entire range of human experience. Yes, sometimes that includes despair and failure; but sometimes it can include the joy and relief of realizing that despair is no longer necessary. We've seen the Doctor on a journey of despair for eight years; where's the creativity in just continuing that indefinitely, predictably, rather than putting him through a life-changing experience that sets him on a new course? Drama is about personal change and growth, not just rehashing the same emotions over and over ad infinitum.


    Of course he thought of the children, but he believed he had no way to save them. And he spent the next 400 years seeing that as his greatest failure and wishing he could go back and find another way. And because of those 400 years of regret, he did find another way and he implemented it. I don't see that as shortchanging his arc, but advancing it.

    And seriously, if you think a story needs the murder of 2 billion children at the hero's hands to be worthwhile, then you and I will never, ever see eye to eye.


    Except Davies did acknowledge there were children on Gallifrey when he depicted the Master's childhood. So this can't be true. (And the word you want is "moot," not "mute.")


    There's that word "condescending" again. It seems to imply that you think good is somehow inferior to darkness, and that's a bizarre notion.

    It's not about good or evil. It's about intelligence. The defining trait of the Doctor is that he's smart enough to think of solutions nobody else can. Sometimes he fails to make a difference in time because others act destructively before he can talk them out of it, but he never stops trying to find a better way. That's who he is, who he's been for almost all his lives. So surely, given enough time to think of an alternative and given the opportunity to act, he would've tried to talk himself out of making such a hideously flawed decision; and since the person who was ready to make that decision was still the Doctor, he'd be willing to listen to an alternative. I don't see anything "condescending" about wanting him to be true to his character.

    The Doctor has saved so many others over the decades. This was a story about the Doctor saving himself. And that is a celebration of who he is. Which is exactly what we need for the 50th anniversary: a celebration. A victory. Not a funeral dirge.



    No, I just reject your logic. Yes, some good stories are dark. That does not mean that only dark stories can be good. Good writing is diverse writing. It's not just latching onto one thing that worked and copying it forever.


    Yes, and that's exactly why it isn't the "whitewash" or the easy way out that you claim. It's an imperfect solution. There's still danger. But it gives him a chance now.


    There was a time when going dark was bold, because it hadn't been done much. But now it's become the default. Everyone goes dark. Even Superman got a somber, depressing film where he killed a guy at the end. Darkness isn't bold anymore, it's trite and obvious. These days, it's bolder to be optimistic.

    "The Day of the Doctor" started with the expectation of despair and tragedy and a brutal, cruel choice being made. It wouldn't have been bold in the least to give us the ending we were expecting from the start. It wouldn't have been bold just to reinforce the status quo we've had for eight years. It would've been predictable and redundant. Instead, Moffat told a story that transformed the Doctor's view of himself and our view of the Doctor, and that set him on a whole new course in life. He told an anniversary story that wasn't just about revisiting the past but about setting a new course for the future. I find that bold indeed.


    It was used at the very beginning of the Elizabethan sequence, when the camera panned across the lake with the "England 15whatever" caption hovering over it Fringe-style.
     
  16. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    There did seem to be elements of "The Doctor Forever" just before Tennant first showed up and they had the shot of the field with the caption saying "England 1562" or whatever year it was. But no, I don't think there was a separate theme for the War Doctor.

    Personally, I'm a bit annoyed that we saw Gallifrey but didn't hear "This is Gallifrey" or any of its variations, or even have a new variation of it. Yeah, "The Dark and Endless Dalek Night" fits the scene, but I love "This is Gallifrey" and scenes involving Gallifrey should always have that theme.
     
  17. The Mirrorball Man

    The Mirrorball Man Vice Admiral Admiral

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    That you're thinking rationally might be the reason why I can't quite agree with you, to be honest. ;) It's a story we're talking about, it's entertainment: rationality is just one of many elements necessary to create that kind of thing, and it's not the most important. Your argument that the Eighth Doctor may have filled the same role as the War Doctor is, in my opinion, defeated by the fact that they're not the same character, do not behave in the same way, don't have the same past or the same place in the show's mythology. That alone teaches us that you can't just put one in the place of the other without getting very different results.

    In addition, I think you're grossly underestimating what an actor brings to the role. Paul McGann, while a charismatic, skilled and capable actor, doesn't have the gravitas, the natural authority nor the gruff presence that John Hurt has. John Hurt, on the other hand, doesn't have Paul McGann's etheral aura, his soothing voice or his understated demeanor. I'm sure that both men are more than able to play against type, but even then, you can't just pick one instead of the other and expect the same result. If you take Star Wars and ask Mark Hamill and Harrison Ford to swap roles, you end up with a very different movie.

    Which is why, in my opinion, hiring John Hurt is not "stunt casting" (honestly, he's not Johnny Depp), it's just good casting, i.e. hiring a specific actor in a specific role to produce a specific effect. And it's not "kewl" (again, John Hurt is not Justin Bieber), it's simply cool because all of a sudden, you have Kane, you have Winston Smith, you have the Storyteller, you have Quentin Crisp playing the Doctor, and that's something precious and unique and very, very cool.
     
  18. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Can someone explain something to me (apologies if it has been raised before but this is a very long thread!)?

    The Time War - I'd imagined it was an actual war through time. A history and future destroying war. A war dragging in innocent species - The Nestene consciousness, for example, are searching for a new home in Rose). Perhaps one of the first shots in the war being in Genesis of the Daleks. But as presented in The Name Of The Doctor, it was just a "regular" war fought by two species capable of time-travel?

    Apart from that, The Day of the Doctor was brilliant. From the opening titles, through the policeman & scrapyard references to the brilliantly executed finalé, redemption of the War Doctor and guest appearance of "Who Know's?".
     
  19. Romulan_spy

    Romulan_spy Commodore Commodore

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    No, the time war was not just a regular war. Time travel was used a lot by each side to rewrite history, resulting in whole planets and civilizations being destroyed, brought back to life through time travel, only to be destroyed again and again. The Doctor mentions this in The End of Time I think. We don't see this in the Day of the Doctor because it is not showing us the whole war but only a tiny slice of it, one piece of one battle towards the every end of the war when one both sides had exhausted all their unconventional weapons.
     
  20. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Cheers for the explanation. :techman:

    Just wish they could've devoted a season to it alá Trial of.. Instead we got the Ponds!