(Experimenting with a blogging client, so excuse any weird formatting or anything.)
I still can’t believe that we’ve actually hit the mark, Whovians. That’s amazing. And I won’t say too much about it here, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. The past handful of specials and this past season have been a bit hit or miss for me and I was honestly expecting a much more… haughty? Self-congratulatory?… thing. But it wasn’t and I was surprised and blown away with how much I liked it during my second watch through.
Because I have a terrible habit of being spoilery when I talk about things that I like, so I’m not even going to hide it right now. (Also, I can’t figure out cuts in this blogging client. So… there’s that.)
CLICK AWAY NOW IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE SPOILED
- The Opening - Hello, gorgeous. I have missed you, swirly black and white stuff. And you too, slightly lagging 1960s theme music. :D And the school! It made my heart ache fondly for Barbara and Ian and Susan.
- TARDIS along the road - I couldn’t quite pick it up, but was the TARDIS parked along the stretch of road where they picked up Tegan? It’s how I remember that road looking because there was nothing around. And then that made my poor little Whovian heart ache for Tegan.
- Kate Stewart - I feel like she should have a title. Does she have a title? I don’t know. But I love her dearly and hope that we will see much more of her in the future (though I could do with a little less UNIT Burying Nuclear Warheads in Troubling Places). Of course I’m terribly biased because the Brigadier is one of my all time favourites, but she has so much potential and she’s made such a fantastic impression already. The ravens are looking a little sluggish, indeed.
- The Black Archive’s Companion Board - Featuring KAMELION! I’m pretty sure my dad was ready to punch me after the noise I made when Clara turned her head and Kamelion was RIGHT THERE. I mean, most of the companions are easily remembered for being the first at something or staying on for a long time or doing something extraordinary that makes them stick out in your mind. Some of them slip by the wayside because they didn’t appear very much (poor Grace - she barely had a chance) or were kind of annoying (shut up Turlough and I’m sorry Mel, but your voice hits all the wrong buttons in my brain), but I always felt like poor Kamelion was forgotten while on the show. I mean… the Doctor brings him aboard after he’s been used by the Master at the end of a story and then we don’t see him for, what…. five more stories? And then when he does appear he gets killed? It’s TRAGIC. Shape shifting alien robots should have had a better run than that, but he got THE PLACE OF HONOR right in the middle of the screen while we’re focused on Clara and it brought ridiculous fanboy joy to my heart.
- John Hurt - I cannot say enough about John Hurt. Seriously. I honestly think that if he was in the line up previously, he would be my Doctor. The temperament of Three with the energy of Two with just the right blend of condescension of Six and One and that kind of dry sass that would become Nine. Brilliant. I mean, it’s a shame that we couldn’t just have Paul McGann doing all of this because I think Eight would have been magnificent in this role, but if we couldn’t have him, Hurt is the perfect bridge.
- How many Doctors does it take to screw in a lightbulb? - Apparently, however many it takes until one of them has a friend with some sense. Fantastic. And my favourite type of Who gag.
- Zygons!! - The thing that I have consistently loved about the past couple of seasons is the revival of the classic monsters. Silurians, Ice Warriors, the Great Intelligence, and now Zygons? BRILLIANT.
- “There’s precedent for that.” - Thank you for that, Ms. Stewart! I laughed so hard. I’ve honestly been trying to stay away from the hype leading up to this episode because I know myself and I know that I can’t just scroll past a comment about having more than one Doctor in the same time and place. I know I’m in the minority because I’ve watched everything I can get my hands on like a crazy person and I know a lot of people I happen across online have only watched the post-2005 stuff or have not watched much before that. But KATE STEWART, I love you for mentioning that this has happened before AND mentioning the episodes where the Brig met himself (asking on the phone for one of her father’s files from either the 1980s or 1970s, depending on how it’s filed). But, yes. This has happened before and it’s wonderful that it was acknowledged.
- Everybody lives! - I’ve seen some folks writing about how they’ve had problems with the Time War ending and how this changes the Doctor and what retconning those consequences mean, but I’ve pretty much given up on timelines. Wibbly-wobbly and all that. All universes are true for me at this point, otherwise I can’t figure out what happened to Susan in 2000 or what happened during any of those other years that end up overlapping in the show. So, bendy time. Again, I know I’m in the minority, but at this point, as long as time kind of makes sense in the story arc, I don’t care how it fits into the “bigger timeline.” It was just nice to see Moffat write a happy ending.
- No Doodads of Rassilon - Is this the first story that takes place on Gallifrey that doesn’t involve a Thing of Rassilon? Or Rassilon? I have the feeling it might be and that was AWESOME. I mean, after a Tomb, Gun, Key, Sash, Rod, Harp, Black Scrolls, etc. etc. I was wondering if we’d ever run out of Rassilon’s stuff. It was nice to see that not everything revolves around Rassilon.
- The Caretaker - Christ, I couldn’t stop smiling for ages after hearing his voice and seeing him on that screen. It was absurd and wonderful.
I’d better stop there. I’ll probably watch it again soon and find more details that I love, but this is probably the best thing that New Who could have put together for the 50th that would have hit the right spots in my brain. Even though I spent the first viewing nervous about how this special was going to break something and disappoint me, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself enjoying just about every minute.
If you saw it, what’d you think? I’d love to know your favourite bits.