I have seen it now!!!!!!! (I saw it the day after it premiered, as I was working at the time)
More like, from almost a month after the event 😛
My initial reaction seems to have been:
“On the one hand – (imagine enthusiastic hand-waving at the awesomeness of words spoken in unison et al.), but on the other (imagine hand-waving in a manner which indicates freak-outedness) how??? WHY???? I mean, I get how, because it gets explained…but WHY? The entire reboot of The Doctor is kinda based on that…”
I have given this quite a bit of thought since then. I think that it was fairly enjoyable – there were certainly some things that worked, and I am impressed with how Moffat managed to turn the fandom on its head, but overall it wasn’t cataclysmic. It wasn’t incredible. There are episodes that I’ve enjoyed more.
And now, for the actual discussion:
Erm. So. First of all a disclaimer:
I’ve realised that most of my reviews tend to focus on the negatives, and so I wanted to say something about that, especially since there were really huge debates going on about people’s takes on The Day of the Doctor after it came out, and whether their responses were legitimate or not. A lot of people had this pre-emptive attitude of “don’t go raining on my parade”, and some fans, one of my friends included, took this very personally and were affronted by what they termed “blatant ignorance” of the issues they saw in the episode. Personally, I don’t think that’s what’s happening. I think that some people genuinely don’t notice the faults, while others do, but it’s in the peripheral, if you know what I mean? It doesn’t detract from the entire amazing experience… and then there are some fans who don’t feel justified until we’ve nit-picked it and pointed out ALL the flaws and then gone, “but it was good, anyway“. It’s just the various ways that people view film. This is where I think a lot of people were coming from; I believe you shouldn’t let these types of faults ruin your overall perception of the show.
I mean, yes, certainly comment on them and explain why you disliked certain things and critique the show if you like, that’s definitely fine and totally justified and a way to expose your views to others and have a good old argy-bargy with someone to justify your opinion, but don’t do JUST that. Take the time to enjoy it, and comment positively as well. And remember that if it was you? You probably would’ve done an awful job at writing a script, so give the poor writers some license there.
People aren’t saying that it was flawless. I’m certainly not about to say that it was flawless. They are simply choosing to overlook the line that sucked to underline that they felt that the 50th was better than it was bad, and that the positive is what people should focus on, a legitimate perspective (and one that I happen to agree with, if not find it a bit hard to act upon). That’s my take on the issue. I would be delighted to hear yours, especially in relation to The Day of the Doctor but also in general 🙂
So, without further ado, my nit-picky review.
- John Hurt was a magnificent Doctor. With a bit more gravitas and exasperation, as well as his commendable eyebrow-range of expressions, he fitted in easily and demonstrated to doubters that the Doctor doesn’t need an actor in their early 30s to do a fantastic job, they just need a fantastic actor. The scene where the three Doctors are ‘locked’ in the tower was a highlight for me – it was really, really, really good. The ending of it was hilarious, too; there were several nifty one-liners in the episode.
- There were a range if little shout-outs to Classic Who fans, some as easy to recognise as the 4-looking scarf, while others which required a bit more knowledge than I have, and was definitely appreciated by those I know.
- Truly epic effects. As a friend said, you can see where the budget went. They spent it all on slow-motion exploding Daleks 😛 The 3D picture of Arcadia falling was especially stunning, as was the opening scene, which was filmed on location with Matt Smith really hanging out of the T.A.R.D.I.S.!
- The conflicting revelation: Gallifrey is saved! On the one hand, I am very excited to see what Moffat does with this; it could be amazing. It was definitely a well-executed manoeuvre, as it opens up all sorts of avenues for the show to explore once again, and to include more Classic Who villains, events and places. On the other hand, it’s kind of strange and hard to grasp. The entire concept of the reboot, the underlying connection of the modern Doctors, is that they have committed genocide and now have to live with their decision and their guilt and their responsibility. It was core to the show. And suddenly it’s been ripped away. So I hope Moffat does this twist justice, I really do.
- Repetition. Moffat fell into this trap a bit, and whilst I definitely appreciated the talking in unison and the entertaining interplay between the Doctors, it seemed to go too far at times, without adding much to the narrative. What was even worse, though, was the Queen Elizabeth/Zygon gag, which was funny the first time, but overdone the second time and just plain boring by the third time.
- I have another issue with our dearest monarch. I didn’t like that line. The ” I may have the body of a feeble woman…” line. Really, I don’t care if it’s a direct quote from the actual Queen Elizabeth, she had a sexist outlook on life as well just because she is a woman doesn’t mean she can’t be sexist – women can definitely be and are quite often sexist – she lived in a society which denigrated women, and just because she said it doesn’t make it okay, doesn’t mean that Moffat can back up his use of it with a “she said it first!“. In saying that. I think it’s taking it too far to say that Moffat is a misogynist. He doesn’t hate women. He just represents them in a way which reflects the sexist undertones of our society, and in a way that I sometimes don’t agree with. That doesn’t mean he hates women.
- Where did all the Zygons go-o? I didn’t understand that little narrative – yes, they stopped the bomb, and then it kind of jumped and nothing was told about the Treaty that was forged or anything…it seemed a bit like a loose thread to me.
- Another loose thread was: where on earth is this in the Doctor Who timeline?? Because at the moment Clara is a full-time companion, whereas in the 50th special The Day of the Doctor, she is a teacher! Which means that it is definitely set after where we left off, and after the Christmas special, which doesn’t make sense! Because the 11th Doctor, played by Matt Smith, regenerates in the Christmas special, so therefore it has to be set before his regeneration, but that can’t be because Clara has never been a teacher in series 6 or 7! (any ideas, anyone?) For other timey-wimey related quibbles, I found that this article clarified things IMMENSELY (read it here and bask in other people’s amazing figuring out skills 🙂 )
Those were my responses, both good and bad, to The Day of the Doctor.
What did you think?
Let’s call me Lily