Since the first time I cracked open my first book, watched my first video, or visited the theatre for the first time I have had no problem rereading or rewatching my favorite things. I've read the #Hobbit about fifteen times, watched #ThePrincessBride in the range of two-hundred times, and it's not unusual for me to buy multiple tickets in advance, to see the same movie in the theatre up to five times. So it should be no surprise that I waited to blog about #TheDayOfTheDoctor until I'd seen it at least three times. The first time, I was just in awe the entire time. The second time, I started catching details I had missed. And the third time, I was finally able to assemble the entire experience in my puny brain. I regret not seeing it in the theatre, but that's my only complaint. Mostly.
I'm not gonna give you a full recap. Honestly, that'd be a waste of my time. I'd rather rewatch it (again) than write a scene by scene breakdown. What I will do is mention some highlights, critique the episode as a whole, and share some of my favorite quotations. There are also some questions I'd like to discuss, and some complaints I'd like to address. A warning for the uninitiated. #Spoilers, spoilers and more spoilers. Also, I have three separate sets of notes for this, so at times I may jump around.
Right off the bat, I was hooked. Because I've watched so much of the newer #DoctorWho my brain couldn't help create dialogue I would have liked to have seen during this celebration episode. (All of my made up dialogue got a special "J" notation in my notes, and will be in brackets in this blog.) Clara rode her motorcycle straight into the #TARDIS for her first scene with #MattSmith. Right then, I thought it would have been cool if she'd have said something like, [I ride a motorbike now. Motorbike's are cool.] Because of that absurd, amazing thought I missed something that blew my mind on my third viewing of the episode. The Doctor smiles but pretty much mock-ignores her until after he complains about the draft from the open TARDIS doors, AND CLARA SNAPS HER FINGERS AND THE DOORS CLOSE!!! Holy crap, indeed. #RiverSong told The Doctor in season 4 episode 9 (4x9) he'd be able to do it, he starts doing it, and now, with no further explanation, Clara can do it. Well, she can close the doors, anyway. I don't know what that means, but then again, Clara IS 'The Impossible Girl'.
"Rose Tyler. No. Yes. No? Yes, sorry. in this form I'm called #BADWOLF. Are you afraid of the big bad wolf, Doctor?
I really wasn't thrilled with #BilliePiper returning as an artificial intelligence during my first viewing. I wanted Rose, and I wanted to watch her interact with Matt Smith and Clara. After I had some time to think about it (though not quite 400 years), I changed my mind. We've seen #companions interact before. Think of Donna and Martha, and Rose/Mickey/SarahJane/K9. I don't know that a Clara/Rose meeting would have added anything to the story other than shtick. It also allowed Rose to do and say anything without consequently affecting the story. Well almost. She did accidentally call two Doctors from different times. My #DW brain added a line to that scene. "Ok, I wasn't expecting that. [Oops, I've called too many Doctors.]" She also reminded the Doctors they were the same person with the same #SonicScrewdriver which was a pretty big deal story-wise. All in all, Billie as the artificial intelligence worked pretty well and I can't complain.
I'm going to gloss over the #Zygons, because for story telling purposes, it really didn't matter who the villain was. It could have been #Daleks, #Cyberman or #WeepingAngels and the story would have just needed a little tweaking. I did worry for a bit that the statues were Weeping Angels. #DontBlink those things are damned creepy. The Zygons did provide some entertaining exchanges with Queen Elizabeth I. #DavidTennant, thinking that Elizabeth was the alien changeling proposes marriage to her, and she accepts. "Oh, it was the horse! Oh. I'm gonna be King." A few seconds later she kisses him goodbye and tells him she needs him alive for the wedding. "Oh, good one, Doctor. Nice one. You've already agreed. So much for history." Oh, that Doctor. Such a #rulebreaker.
A lot of old school fans of Doctor Who (they weren't called #Whovians then) don't like Tennant and Smith because they believe they lack this thing called #gravitas. They think he's too goofy, never takes things seriously, blah blah blah. I don't agree. Watch enough of them, and you see how serious #TheOncomingStorm can be. Regardless, I don't think even those old schoolers can dispute the fact that #JohnHurt was bloody brilliant. He made us laugh without being 'funny'. He was sad without being depressing. Above all else he was the #WarDoctor while still being the #Doctor. When Hurt asks Smith and Tennant if they are the Doctor's companions (they get younger all the time), check out Tennant's face. I died. And when Hurt says to them both, "You're me? In the future? Even that one (Smith)?" I died again.
Surprisingly, people still had complaints about 'The Day of the Doctor'. I'll address what I can.
#Moffat threw fundamental rules of #DW out of the window. The Doctor can never cross his own timeline. There can't be more than 12 Doctors. First of all, it's not just the #haters that need a reminder. All of the #sciencefiction nerds that break down #StarTrek #OnceUponATime #Stargate #BackToTheFuture, and every other tv show or movie that deals with time travel need to remember. We're talking about something that's not real. It doesn't have to make complete scientific sense 100% of the time. It's pretend, and it's fun. Stop being a #buzzkill. Also, since you're going to break it down anyway, keep this in mind. Time travel breaks the laws of physics at a fundamental level. That, by the rules of science, implies that there are no rules. Only theories, hypothesis, and guesses. It's a #wibblywobbly kind of thing, and there are plenty of ways to adjust our precepts to fit canon. #Canon being, whatever the writers say is true, is true. Chill. Secondly, DW canon says there can be only 12 regenerations, NOT only 12 Doctors. The first Doctor was just the Doctor. Every subsequent Doctor being the result of a regeneration means there are 13 total Doctors at the end. I have no idea how #PeterCapaldi will be explained or where the story goes next. But it's not my job. My job is to set a block of time aside to watch and enjoy it.
Lastly, before I list my favorite quotations of the episode, I'd like to throw my thoughts and minor complaints into the hat.
1. I really would have liked to have seen #CaptainJackHarkness and River make an appearance. I don't know what more I would have liked, but I wanted more than those little #EasterEggs.
2. John Hurt as the 9th(?) Doctor should totally get a miniseries or something, chronicling some of his adventures as The Doctor.
3. My friend Hayley, and lots of other Whovians, insist you could see John Hurt regenerating into #ChrisEcclston. After three full viewings, and watching the clips repeatedly, I still don't see it.
4. "The Adventures of Galllifrey in the Pocket Universe" Enough said.
5. How did the 3D painting end up in the archive? #TomBaker made a vague reference to it being "..acquired under remarkable circumstances". I can't wait to find what those circumstances were.
6. I think Dr. Osgood would make a pretty cool companion. She's already got the scarf, and she's convinced the Doctor will save her. #SaveTheDay Plus, she yanks the scarf out from under a Zygon's foot. That would definitely land her in a #NHL penalty box for tripping. "I've always wanted to meet someone named 'Yes'."
7. I really wanted to hear one of the Doctors yell, "This planet is under my protection!"
8. This was hard to catch, and it may be pure speculation on my part. Tom Baker says, "Who knows? Who knows (tapping his nose)." I saw it during my first viewing as, [Who, if anyone knows? Doctor Who knows.] Pretty cool, huh?
9. Kate Stewart mentions to Clara that she has top level clearance from her last visit to Unit. Last visit? Um, what? Clara is as confused as we are.
I could go on and on. Suffice it to say, I loved it. If I keep speculating I could ruin the #DoctorWhoChristmasSpecial for myself, and everyone. I'm that clever. I'll leave you with just a few favorite quotations, in no particular order, and wait for you to contact me so that we can ruin it together. Thanks as always for your attention. Fanboy, out.
1. "Would you mind telling these prattling mortals to get themselves begone?!" -Smith
2. "Why are you pointing your screwdrivers like that? They're scientific instruments, not water pistols!" -Hurt
3. "Great men are forged in fire. It is the privilege of lesser men to light to flame, no matter the cost." -Hurt
4. "Alien technology plus human stupidity. Trust me, it's unbeatable." -Smith
5. "Timey Wimey?" -Hurt "I have no idea where he picks that stuff up." -Tennant
6. "Think about it. Americans with the ability to rewrite history. You've seen their movies." -Kate Stewart
7. "Dear God. Three of them. All my worst nightmares at once." -Timelord