I have a very long and lovely history with this little British show. When I was a freshman in college, in 2005, one Saturday I became bored. It was one of those Saturdays as a freshman in college where you don't want to do anything. You have homework but you can't be bothered to do it. My friends were away and my roommate was out; so I decided to flip through the channels of my incredibly tiny TV and see what I could find. Like all good nerds, I eventually stumbled upon the Sci Fi channel (when it was still the SciFi channel and not SyFy). I was rather puzzled by what I was watching. It was the final moments of some British show, where the main character (who I gathered rather quickly was called the Doctor) appeared to be glowing. I was almost positive he wasn't supposed to be glowing. There was a British blonde chick who was concerned about the glowing because then the glowing got worse and the main character, this Doctor, changed. And I don't mean he turned green. He actually changed into an entirely new actor. But he said he was the Doctor but he clearly wasn't the Doctor. The blonde girl looked like she thought the same as I. If you have no idea what I just said, let me fill you in. What I am referring to is the episode "The Parting of the Way," the season finale of the first season of Doctor Who. I was so utterly confused by the glowing and the changing, but somehow also entranced, that I got my laptop, went to Wikipedia and looked up this "Doctor Who" show.
10 and 11 are not happy to see the Warrior. There is a sense of dread about seeing him again; both have worked their whole incarnations to forget the Warrior, to erase from their minds what he did because it was not done in the name of the Doctor. I have to applaud all three actors and the writing here. The banter between the three of them was spot on. The Warrior's incredulousness about how childish 10 and 11 can be was reminiscent of how the the 1st Doctor reacted when he met the 2nd and 3rd Doctor, horrified at what he would someday be (a Dandy and a Clown). And here is where things are going to get even more complicated because we still have those Zygon's to deal with. The Queen (or not the Queen) surrounds all the Doctors and orders them taken to the Tower of London. Conveintely enough, the Tower is now Kate's office and with some wibbly wobbly timey wimey explanation, she can get the Doctors out of there. Except, there is a hitch. Kate isn't Kate! She's a Zygon! There are Zygons in present day London! The Doctors, back in ye olde London, learn that the Zygon's master plan was to someday invade Earth and take it over, but only when Earth had reached a state of advancement that would suit the Zygon's. In order to preserve themselves, the Zygon's put themselves into paintings, frozen in a moment in time. So those figures from the paintings the 11th Doctor was called in to investigate were Zygon's. While the Doctors and the Warrior are locked in the Tower, waiting to get out, they discuss "the moment." The Warrior wants to know how many children were on Gallifrey that day--how many young souls he killed. Turns out it's 2.74 billion, a number the 10th Doctor has rattling around in his head, but a number the 11th Doctor has forgotten. And that really does sum up the difference between the two: 10 is the Doctor who regrets and wears his scars on his sleeve; 11 is the Doctor who forgets because after the Time War his losses continued to pile up in an alarming amount to the point where it's better to not think of his crimes and misdeeds. 10 is an old soul who thinks too much on his past; 11 is an old soul who refuses to think on them anymore and so acts childlike.
Miscellaneous Notes on The Day of the Doctor
--So many funny or epic piece of dialogue or speeches.
"Stuck between a girl and a box. Story of your life, eh Doctor?"
"Someday you could just walk by a Fez"
The 10th Doctor's entire epic speech to a bunny rabbit.
"Look the round things!!"
"I love the round things!"
"What are the round things?"
"Great men are forged in fire, it is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame"
--Obviously the entire plot was complicated and even with 4 pages of notes, I had to sit and really think all this through. We'll never know what the Zygon and Human solution was, but it was a subplot that was only there to serve the larger story of the Doctors and the Warrior, so I'm ok with it.
--My heart did leap when 10 and 11 realize that The Warrior is talking the "the bad wolf." 10 looked like all he wanted was to see her, and 11 had a sweet smile of remembrance.
--The Christmas special is up next, complete with a regeneration. It is going to be hard to say goodbye to Matt Smith. While it was a long road for me to warm up to him at first after loosing 10, I've come to really care for 11 and loosing a Doctor is never easy.
--That final shot of all 11 Doctors standing next to each other was gorgeous. Thank you Steven Moffat for remembering the history of this show. I've gotten so wrapped up in other shows, like ONCE, that that I forgot just how much Doctor Who means to me. I've been avoiding all spoilers about this episode, wanting to be totally surprised by everything. And I was. It really was one of the best episodes I've ever seen.