Given this thing previews the first paragraph on all my social media feeds, I’ll start with some non-spoilery language for all of you who can’t figure out how not to spoil things for yourselves.
First off, I hate Jelly Babies. There, I said it. We picked up a couple bags in England for the 50th and the Christmas special, respectively, thinking it’d be a great way to celebrate the show. Not so much. They’re all the worst parts of jelly candies put together. And I love jelly candies.
Okay onto the episode.
As an episode, The Day of the Doctor was… problematic, in the most Moffat-y way possible. Once the “holy crap they’re all together” goggles came off, the episode itself is very choppy. If it was supposed to be about the end of the Time War, why bring in the Zygons at all? Sure, their homeworld was ruined in the Time War, but so were any number of others. The terrifying nature of the Zygons is completely missed in this episode, simply because there’s just not enough time (Ha! See what I did there?) to deal with them in addition to everything else.
As an anniversary episodes, The Day of the Doctor was brilliant. It tied up so many loose ends I didn’t even realize I needed tied up (The line about the children of Gallifrey, especially. And that rather throwaway line about Elizabeth I from The End of Time finally coming full circle). The banter in the episode was The Three Doctors-style brilliant. The War Doctor’s repeated castigation of the youth of Ten and Eleven is exactly what we need going into Capaldi’s regeneration. Timey-wimey? Yeah, I’m excited for an adult now, too.
Tom Baker’s appearance made me deliriously happy, mostly because of all the classic doctors, he deserves the most to be there, and they managed to do it in a way that wasn’t insulting to the character of Four. That being said, the Night of the Doctor really should have been a part of the special itself. There’s just a bit of the entire arc that’s missing by not making Eight’s fall a part of the main event.
And who doesn’t want more McGann?
Speaking of people that should have been in the special, where was Timothy Dalton?? Seriously? Rassilon was the one pushing for the Moment, and he doesn’t show up for the end of the episode. Madness.
My brother brought up an excellent point when it was all over – the TARDIS is the one that often takes the Doctor to his destinations, rather than the Doctor choosing his next spot. And given that the War Doctor and Ten really won’t remember the events of The Day of the Doctor, it’s fascinating to realize where is the next spot that the TARDIS takes the Doctor? London.
A face he instantly trusts with no reason to do so. With no memory as to why. And then when Nine saves Rose from the Autons, he says “Forget me, Rose Tyler.” Not realizing he’s already forgotten the Bad Wolf.
Suckerpunch to the gut.
Also, not going to lie, Ten’s slight freakout that no one really paid attention to about Rose was awesome. Way better than some shmaltzy “But I left you in an alternate universe!” wangstfest that could have easily happened.
Overall, I’m pleased. There’s a little wiggle room to bring Classic Doctors back in new and exciting ways. There’s a goal for the show again (the show has felt rudderless since, well, RTD left). And the Brigadier made an appearance. Awesome.