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Reaction: Doctor Who 50th Anniversary and prequels, with a few screencaps. - CaffieneKittySpace
('i' before 'e' if you're looking for me)
Reaction: Doctor Who 50th Anniversary and prequels, with a few screencaps.
I got it posted before the Christmas episode aired, yay.

Warning: Contains meta and heavy speculation based on events and references in the original series which may be considered spoilery to some.

[Prequel 1]
Series 7 Prequel -"EIGHT! The Night of the Doctor"

-I would do a whole hell of a lot of things to have not been spoiled for Eight's return. But what can you do, right?

-Awesome to see McGann Doc again, awesome to get the non-televised Eight adventures acknowledged into Who televised canon with the listing on his companions from the novels and Big Finish series.

-Sisterhood of Karn was perfect and I didn't know they were in the prequel until I heard the voice, so that was a nice surprise.

-Eight's regeneration being deliberate and intended to become someone who could deal with the ugly things that get done in war was called by quite a few fans in fic, and having, finally, the connection of Eight's regeneration to formally connect the old continuity to the new was a much needed ceremonial 'Last Spike' so to speak.

[Prequel 2]
Series 7 Prequel -"The Last Day"

-I was wondering what the heck a sky trench was, now I know. I think.

-The thing about any war storyline is that regardless of the actions the protagonists take to eventually end it or what have you, lots of people die. Innocent people, old soldiers, new recruits, and civilians. Having the opening salvos of the Daleks' supposed final attack on Gallifrey seen through the eyes of some of the people who die otherwise unremarkedly in a conflict that killed millions just like them... I find it poignant and important, and a personalizing note to a conflict that like so many fictional conflicts has many faceless people dying very fast, yet only the protagonists and antagonists mentioned or remembered. The Last Day gives the average soldier's viewpoint of the last battle at Gallifrey. That is a rare thing and personally, I think very commendable.

[Doctor Who 50th Anniversary episode]
Doctor Who 50th Anniversary episode -"Day of the Doctor"

-Classic intro, duplicated first shots, Coal Hill School, all the little call backs all through are wonderful, and I won't be listing them all, but they are fantastic. Though I will note this. On the Coal Hill School sign it says, "Chairman of the Governors: I. Chesterton." Ian Chesterton, one of the very first companions and a former teacher at that school, has gone home. :-)

-The Tardis responding to Clara's finger-snap would seem to indicate that the Tardis have REALLY gotten over its issues with Clara. My guess would be that the Tardis had been aware of all the Clara echoes through time and had been unwilling to work with her until the Tardis figured out why. After Trensalore, and finding out that whole Clara jumping into the Doctor's timeline to fix the changes the Great Intelligence was trying to erase him from time with, I figure the Tardis became more than okay with the enigma of Clara Oswald.

-I like the fangirl scientist. I really do. We've had the fanboy scientist (Malcolm) in Planet of the Dead, so it's not like it's a new thing.

-So much grinning at them having flown a Tardis over downtown London with a helicopter for this. Also "Nice scarf." Hee hee.

-Ramming speed! Flying the Tardis through a wall and knocking Daleks down like ninepins was quite awesome. Although I had been thinking the Time War was much less of a shooting and ground-pounding war, but it could be tricky showing a war that consists of two species strategically altering each other's history so that the other is in a more vulnerable position, or at least tricky to show in a single episode clearly enough to be quickly understandable even by viewers who might not have seen the previous seasons (because I imagine a lot of people who don't usually watch tuned in for the fiftieth just because). That said, I am going to handwave both as the Daleks having done something to Gallifrey's past to reduce their tactical capacity to hand held weapons and laser turrets just before the Time Lock went on (keeping them from reducing the military tech levels to bow and arrow, but not before the Time Lords' tactical time attacks (say that five times fast!) reduced Dalek weapon capabilities so they couldn't immediately nuke Gallifrey from orbit) preventing further time attacks, and leaving them both with a ground-based shooting war. *timey-wimey handwave*

-Oh, the High Council is definitely in emergency session and has plans of their own. They're currently getting kicked back from materializing the planet right next to Earth, and also dealing with a sudden influx of really pissed off Master in the High Council chambers. Ooo. Must remember that for later in this...

-Things I noticed on re-watch: The War Council table.
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It's not just the planet of Gallifrey under attack. Those all look like star systems. Dozens of them. Some of them look like they're shooting at each other directly, eek (although those could be transport jumps (I wonder if that yellowish stuff it the Time Lock or the Transduction Barrier?)). I suppose it could just be a 3D view of Gallifreyan writing, but I really don't think it is with all the explosions and little things zipping around. I'm guessing the Daleks had a broader attack going on over several friendly or allied systems, but when Arcadia fell and it looked like Gallifrey was vulnerable, the call went out for all Dalek ships to converge on Gallifrey and take them out. Which one of the guys in the war room essentially says: "All Dalek fleets surrounding the planets now converging on the capital." So. Heh. If that's the case, Arcadia had to at the very least appear to fall to get the Daleks all in the position to be eliminated. So, OW.

-An ultimate weapon that has a conscience and stands in judgement of its user. Sounds like a really good idea. I had a thought about the Moment, and looking back at the episode, I think the idea that the Moment is more than a weapon fits and patches a few questions later on. Which I'll address when they come up, if I remember.

-So I don't think the people I was in the room with watching this noticed but somewhere around when the Doctor was carrying the Moment out into the desert, I had a bit of a brain go 'splody when the math caught up with me, and I realized that technically this Doctor is Nine, which makes Nine Ten, Ten Eleven, and Eleven Twelve, meaning that the Valeyard regeneration is next. But then later I thought about it and this Doctor (who I gather is generally being called the War Doctor, though I think the Hurt Doctor fits well too) is his Ninth life which he got to after his eighth regeneration. Nine(10th life) would come after his ninth regeneration at the end of the War Doctor's life, Ten(11) after his tenth regeneration, but then Ten used one of his regenerations mid-life and fired the remaining energy off into the severed hand to make the Metacrisis Doctor, meaning that was his eleventh regeneration and twelfth incarnation. So, when Ten(12th) turned into Eleven, that was actually his 12th and final regeneration, and 13th life. Assuming they count that mid-life regen for Ten and the Sisterhood of Karn didn't start him up with another full set, either when he was Eight or when he was Four. SO. That makes what might happen in the Christmas episode even more interesting, because by counting regenerations, he's already on his last life (although Day of the Doctor says he's got another one coming from somewhere), and therefore the Valeyard who is supposed to happen in the Doctor's 12th incarnation already exists... Soooooo.... What's the Metacrisis Doctor really up to in that alternate dimension...? O.o

-Oh well. Heheh. "Don't sit on that!"/"Why not?"/"Because it's not a chair, it's the most dangerous weapon in the universe."/"Why can't it be both?" See? Not just a weapon XD. The opening windows to the future is a not-just-a-weapon too possibly, except Time War, so a weapon capable of creating temporal rifts would be practically standard issue.

-Elizabeth I made him the Curator of the Undergallery. Back in some time before she wanted him beheaded. Hehehe.

-The Doctor's phone number as seen on McGiller's mobile is exactly the same number as was used in "The Stolen Earth" when the whole planet was phoning the Doctor to boost the signal. I wonder if it's an actual number set up in the UK with some kind of cool message on it relating to current episodes. Because that would rock.

-I'm quite happy that we got what happened between the Tenth Doctor and Queen Elizabeth the First, because the way it was put in the End of Time made him sound like a leeeetle bit of a scumbag, and it was uncomfortable. This needing to track down a Zygon and spurious marriage proposals business makes much more sense.

-"It's a machine that goes 'ding'." The very serious way he delivers that line. And then threatening the rabbit. Oh I miss Ten so frigging much.

-Ten and Eleven together seem like a pair of bickering brothers and I love it.

-"We're confusing the polarity." ALL THE WIN. "Why are you pointing your screwdrivers like that, they're scientific instruments, not water pistols!" Oh wait there's more win left.

-Heh, you know, since that fez they were chucking through the time portal got left behind in the woods when they were arrested, and since Elizabeth set up the museum Eleven got it from, that was the same damned fez, and since nothing made it and yet it exists in its own closed loop, the fez is a perfect ontological paradox.

-UNIT having offices in the Tower of London would really have complicated Moriarty's attempted heist of the Crown jewels in Sherlock. It also tremendously complicates a crossover WIP I may never post but such is life.

-Visitors to the Black Archive include:
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Rory, Amy, River, Sarah Jane, the Brigadier, Wilfred Mott, Brigadier Winifred Bambera and Ancelyn, Ace, and then it gets too angled for me to make people out. Also Martha and Kamelion from the second shot and a far earlier visit by Sarah Jane, and possibly Peri a few others top left, Tegan maybe judging by the possible airline uniform. There must be a better shot of that full wall. If not in the episode, then in some bonus material.

-I've been trying to figure out what Eleven carved into the Tower dungeon wall because that had to be a reference of some kind, and it looks a little like 231163 with a few extra bits at the front. 23/11/63 being the date the first episode aired.
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The first bit looks like it could be 1716, and I'm not sure, but I think that might have been the original air-time too.

-"What is it that makes you so ashamed of being a grown-up?" And then a verrrry loaded silence. Owww.

-"The man who regrets and the man who forgets." Perfect summary of the two regenerations, and something that makes some of Eleven's actions make a lot more sense to me.

-Ten also apparently has Zygon-blindness or something. *facepalm*

-And so Ten does actually marry Queen Elizabeth the First. Hope River's not the jealous type, ha ha. It could be argued though that when Eleven married River it was a pocket-dimension that subsequently collapsed, and also that it wasn't really the Doctor, so even if the marriage was valid after the pocket-dimension collapsed, she actually married the Tesselector. But I wouldn't argue that to her face. However Eleven did call her his wife and she's called him husband I think, so it's valid as far as they're concerned and that's the main thing. Hm. Does regeneration negate prior marriages, or is marriage more of a 'come one, come all' sort of thing on Gallifrey? Not that any of that would prevent River Song from being jealous.

-"I will be right back." Yeaaaaah that never goes well.

-"Desktop is glitching!" ROUNDELS! \o/ There have to be roundels.

-Meanwhile in the Black Archive of really dangerous alien crap... Are those River Song's shoes?
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Lots of stuff in there looks familiar, but I can't quite place it, but just. Heh. Random shoes.

-"Are you sitting comfortably?" That's a reference of some kind.... Ah. It's a quote from an old BBC radio program, and was also used in the Series 2 Doctor Who episode "The Idiot's Lantern".

-Ah, more of the visitor wall:
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*squints* Adric, Peri, Mel... too blurry.

-Oh and of course:
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Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. Not blurry at all.

-"This is not a decision you will ever be able to live with." Kind of irrelevant for Kate as she'd be at the epicenter of a nuclear explosion and not terribly likely to have to live with anything after that, but there's some heavy silence and intent looks going around that console that mean once again, we're not really talking about the person we're talking to at all, are we, hmm?

-Whoever decided to reconfigure the Tardis so the phone was on the outside wasn't being terribly practical. Although it could be some sort of metaphor for Eleven being hard to communicate with? *shrug*

-One group badass hero strut. As one does.
DW50 09

-Love the little bit between the two fangirl scientists. They now know which of them is which, but neither of them says anything about it. In a way, that's kind of awesome and hopeful.

-Visitor Wall:
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Susan (who let's face it had to be here somehow), Ian and Barbara, Ben Jackson, Polly, possibly Vicki and Steven Taylor, though I'm not as familiar with the First Doctor's companions as I should be.

-And then Clara talks to the War Doctor and does her thing of being Clara, because the echo Claras that spread through time probably didn't get to him, since she didn't recognize him. And yet, she's still there, doing some small thing to give him a nudge to see the direction he needs to go, just like a little anonymous girl on a swing set telling a sad man to find a quiet place to think rather than roaming the universe looking for someone.

-"How many worlds has his regret saved, do you think?" Yep. That too. Ow.

-That whole bit with the sound of the Tardis and hope and all that and the others showing up just EEEEE! But then you think, well, the war is Time Locked, and all that handwavey stuff that kept the Doctor from going back and changing what happened before now. But now is when the Moment wants them there, after the War Doctor has seen the results of his choice, and after Ten and Eleven have met and remembered their former self that they'd been in denial of, and are all in a space to see what's really happening, and find a way around it that doesn't break the observer effect. They're there because the Moment brought them there. Definitely more than a simple one-function galaxy bomb.

-And again, Clara is there when they get all wrong-headed about why they're there and says the right thing to let them figure their own way out.
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Normally, something like that in a character would get really annoying to me, like a permanent deus ex machina, but for some reason, I don't mind that at all about Clara. I really don't.

-"Be a doctor." And the promise. And that whole statement of character elements and just such flailing everywhere, though I don't think it showed in the room while we were watching.

-"Sorry, did you just say Bad Wolf?" Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Poor Ten.

-And Ten's demented gleeful grins. Really miss those.
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-"Dear god, three of them. All my worst nightmares at once." Hehehehehe. Wait for it.

-"Using our Tardises, we're going to freeze Gallifrey in a single moment in time." Or was that 'Moment'. Heh he he. Yeah, that silly drabble I wrote didn't come out of thin air.

-"I started a very long time ago." And I know this isn't really a screencap type reaction, but I have to. Because.
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-"I didn't know when I was well-off. All twelve of them."/"No sir. All thirteen." And then this.
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Commencing the biggest simultaneous worldwide freak-out over a split second shot of one person's forehead there has ever been, or I would venture to say, there ever will be.

-"Geronimo!"/"Allons-y!"/"Oh for god's sake. Gallifrey stands!" Hee!

-I do love that they had the one Dalek ship spinning off and surviving to preserve the continuity of them turning up later.

-Tardises. Hee!
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Also a bit of a giveaway to have the 3D painting of Gallifrey in the room with the roundels on the wall, but there are a considerable number of people who have been inside the Tardis over the years who UNIT either has working for them or has been in contact with who could have suggested the motif as appropriate, and that painting can hardly be on open public display now can it?

-The whole idea of the post-war Doctors having rejected the part of themselves that fought in the war and that, they thought, made the decision to destroy Gallifrey, and them saying he couldn't be the Doctor because they couldn't face that the capacity to choose that option as being part of themselves at all is very intriguing and compelling. It makes me wonder about Gallifreyan psychology too. Every Time Lord has in essence, not a multiple personality, but a serial personality. What happens when there's a break in the line? I get the feeling this scenario is a 'best case' for that.

-"Wearing a bit thin." And that, for those who might have missed it, was also what the First Doctor said shortly before regenerating.

-"I don't wanna go." Now, Ten saying that in reaction to being told that eventually he's going to Trensalore, where he's buried, and saying it now, when the next thing he's doing is probably going off to meet up with the Ood and carry on into End of Time adds a different spin to him saying that during his regeneration. It's a spin that fits better, as far as I'm concerned. He knows on some forgotten level that in his next life he's going to the one place a time traveler is never supposed to go, and it's adding extra dread to his imminent regeneration into possibly his final life. I think anyway, so yeah. I liked it.

-And then Tom Baker shows up and I don't think the screaming was out loud, but if it was I do apologize. Now. The thing that worries me about this revisiting old faces business is... what if the Valeyard is doing it too? Because much as the Curator has all of Four's mannerisms he's got a slightly unsettling air too. Not that Four didn't have that as well. Hm.

-Going home the long way around. And that suits too, because right from the start he said someday they'd return. He did now and then through the years but it usually wasn't his idea, and it wasn't for long. So, going home, the long way around. Given which life he's apparently on, it's probably feeling very appropriate to him too, to restore Gallifrey and go home. Somehow, I don't think it's going to be that easy, but it never is. (Particularly considering when Gallifrey is restored, there's going to be a huge mess in the High Council chambers after that 'emergency session', with either Rassilon or the Master (and any allies they have surviving) standing in the center of it. OH GOODIE!)

-And then this.
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-And this.
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So, that was about the best 50th anniversary episode I could have wished for. The Christmas episode has a few big hurdles to climb to get to the next phase, and I'm looking forward to seeing how they handle it.

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Current Mood: nostalgic nostalgic

4 comments or Leave a comment
lurkingwombat From: lurkingwombat Date: December 24th, 2013 08:42 am (UTC) (Link)
very nice and fun to read :)
I have a theory (my own) about the undergallery :)
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: December 24th, 2013 09:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Cool. :-)
percysowner From: percysowner Date: December 25th, 2013 08:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great summary. I don't know if you caught the Five(ish) Doctors Reboot http://www.digitalspy.com/british-tv/s7/doctor-who/news/a533437/doctor-who-50th-peter-davison-in-fiveish-doctors-rebootwatch.html but it is really cute.

I also thought it was sweet that Matt Smith and David Tennant really liked each other and straight out said that they would love to do another episode together. Something that may not ever happen, but still I love that they are gun ho on the idea of another special episode.
caffienekitty From: caffienekitty Date: December 26th, 2013 09:23 am (UTC) (Link)
I did see the Fiveish Doctors, I think I even made a post here to let people know about it, it's quite cute.

I'd love more Ten. Any way they might let him cross his own time stream again is fine with me.
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