Re-watching the Special
I had to watch the Doctor Who special a second time. I felt I needed to look at it from a different perspective. Knowing it was going to break the fourth wall a lot and include lots of nods and winks to the past re-calibrated the experience somewhat.
Also, note, spoilers… if you haven’t watched yet, you really shouldn’t be reading The Internets in the first place 😉
It’s still not what I’d consider the usual Moffatt-level fare. The plot wasn’t quite intricate and inventive enough, although there were a few moments it tried to.
On first viewing, in the first moment, I didn’t quite understand what made the credentials the queen had left so special. Clara making such a big deal of the impossible picture.
Sure, it’s unusual to get an oil painting with lasers from the 16th century, but with what you’ve been through with the Doctor, surely that doesn’t rank very high on the unusual-scale.
I wish I’d seen it in 3D in the cinema, because I’m sure that scene would have made instant sense and have been quite amazing. Watching straight into the depths of those oil paintings.
The flashback that follows has a lot of references to Omega in it. I wonder if this is some form of foreshadowing of what we might expect in Season 8. How much Gallifreyan history can we expect?
I hope a lot.
I found The Interface a bit annoying the first time through. But it was actually okay on second viewing. I guess I thought a weapon of that scale should somehow be more serious than she was. Maybe I still feel like that a little. But it does bother me less the second time through.
Most of the plot was actually fairly linear, but with lots of call-outs to earlier seasons and doctors. I cannot even begin to think how many I may have missed.
Showing how he married Queen Elizabeth was a nice touch.
The negotiation scene between the humans and the Zygons is very reminiscent of the scene with the Silurians in “The Hungry Earth” / “Cold Blood”. And the mirroring of the stand-off over the nuclear device under London (would you sacrifice millions? for the whole earth, yes) and the Doctor’s time-war dilemma (sacrificing Gallifrey for the whole universe) was a little too obvious and heavy-handed for my taste. A lighter touch here, I would have enjoyed more.
I did enjoy the solution to the Gallifrey problem though. Having it disappear in a way so that it isn’t destroyed but without being inconsistent with the apparent past works very well.
And Tennant ending on a repeat of his closing line “… because I don’t wanna go” was a very nice touch, and less sad this time around.
“Anything could happen!”
“For instance… a Fez…”
“We’re confusing the polarity”
“Why are you pointing your screwdrivers like that?”
“They’re scientific instruments, not pistols!”
“What are you going to do? Assemble a cabinet at them!?”
“Are you capable of speaking without flapping your hands about?”
Lots of quipery fun.
What I am hoping for now though… is that they will do something with two unexpected viable Doctors that we have gained in the course of this special.
Paul McGann only was the doctor for the tele-movie back in 1996, but 17 years on he could still very easily play the part. It’s a shame he was only in the 6 minute pre-special showing the genesis of John Hurt’s Warrior.
“Where are we going?”
“To the back of the ship!”
“Because the front crashes first…”
But my thinking is… there’s no reason they couldn’t do him a season as well. Why should there only be one doctor on air at a time?
He’d make a great action doctor.
And those bridges to the spire in Arcadia look made for running across.
Maybe another job for J.J. Abrams?
And then John Hurt… another opportunity. He doesn’t really look his 73 years in this special.
Why not expand upon the Time War some more?
A television special. Maybe 5-6 parts?
And something darker and grittier.
After all, Neil Gaiman has written for Who before.
He’d be perfect for the job.
And I’m quietly hopeful for Capaldi as well. All we’ve seen is eyes, but the intensity in them is intriguing. Are we getting something sharper this time?
Luckily Christmas is only a month away.