I’ve talked about everything else in The Day of the Doctor, let’s talk about the Doctor and his multiple regenerations.
The first time he meets another regeneration is when Eleven jumps into the time fissure and runs into Ten. That scene was brilliant! Sizing each other up was hilarious. Seeing how skinny Ten was from “the outside” was a nice touch. I love how they start off a little…judgemental, but then the glasses come out (“Oh! Lovely!”) and some common ground is found and it just gets better from there.
Although I do have to wonder if Kate was taken aback when she heard Ten’s voice because she recognized it, from video of course, or because it was another regeneration.
Anyway, they continue to be two regenerations who had not met yet (“How can you forget this?”) and make a great reference back to their shared history by reversing the polarity. Squee!
“We’re both reversing the polarity.”
“Yes, I know that!”
“There’s two of us. I’m reversing it. You’re reversing it back again. We’re confusing the polarity!”
Then, the War Doctor arrives. “Well, who are you boys? Of course! Your his companions!” The look on their faces was hilarious. Which really was a great lead in to the three of them interacting. One of my favorite lines from the whole thing: “What are you going to do, assemble a cabinet at them?” Aside from the hilarity, it really made me realize that the Doctor really did brandish it like a weapon instead of the scientific instrument that it is. Granted, any scientific instrument can be a weapon, but that’s a whole different post.
The three of them in the tower was beautiful. First off the War Doctor just sat back and observed Ten and Eleven, who were interesting to observe. It was a great scene that showed how different the two were, even near the end of their regenerations. Throughout that I had to remind myself where both of them were in their lives. Ten was trying to run away from his death and trying to figure himself out. “The Time Lord victorious” was a scary thing and he’s running from it. Eleven really has grown-up by this point. In the beginning he really did seem more like the boy running around having some fun than the centuries-old Time Lord. I know some people loved it, but I definitely prefer him in the last season. The scene also reminds us how much closer to the Time War Ten is, and how much has happened to Eleven that he could move on.
Then the Moment steps in and a stroke of genius happens. Centuries in seconds. Only on Doctor Who. That is part of why I love this show!
I do find it slightly amsuing that Ten didn’t blink at Clara knowing who he was. Maybe he remembered other times where he encountered multiple regenerations and companions.
Anyway, the way the three went on and worked together so well was brilliant. Although, everyone in Ten’s TARDIS was great. Seeing that old console room was wonderful. Then we got to see the War Doctor’s for a few seconds, which gave us a great fan moment:
“Hey! Look! The round things.”
“I love the round things. …What are the round things?”
I just look at Ten and wonder how much of that was acting and how much was David letting his fanboy show.
But all of that was leading up to some of the best moments in the show.
First there was the painting. That shot of the three of them turning around to take out that Dalek was so awesome! I can’t think of a better word to describe it. And as much as I love it, I do agree with Clara that their entrance into the Black Archive was a little showy. But the three of them striding in and Kate not being phased at all was great. I think she handled it better than her father would have. I can see the Brigadier making some comment about there being “three of them”.
Then the way that Ten and Eleven worked together like they had rehearsed it was just beautiful. I just love that the two of them worked together so well. They’re kind of like the opposite of Two and Three working together. I’ll go into that episode later.
Finally, they all end up back on Gallifrey, much to Ten and Eleven’s surprise. And on Gallifrey we see why the Doctor always needs a companion. And it was the moment where I really liked Clara. She did something that I could easily see Donna doing. Basically smacking him on the back of the head and making him realize he’s not an idiot. Suddenly he starts to think and comes up with the most brilliant plan in the history of the series! Like I mentioned before, they could have done it better, but “You might say I’ve been doing this all my lives” still gives me goosebumps and I want to squee! I was hoping that was the plan, but seeing “All Thirteen!” (goosebumps moment!) TARDISes flying in around Gallifrey was a stroke of genius.
The three of them going their separate ways in the end was done quite well. We got to see the last unseen regeneration. I loved “I hope the ears are a bit less conspicuous this time.” Great line! I just wish they could have shown a bit more of Nine before cutting out. But one line we really could have done without. “…I don’t want to go.” Seriously! Did we really need Ten to say that? Then, of course, the Curator and the Doctor had a conversation.
I will admit, I didn’t recognize the voice the first time. I know! I should have! But, in my defense, I hadn’t watched much of Four at that point. But (again), I did recognize the back of his head. That scene was a wonderful love note to all the Classic/20th Century fans. A great nod from the past to the present and the future. Now that I’ve watched a lot of Four, that scene is so much more fun. If you haven’t seen the Fourth Doctor (which is possible, people!), go watch some of the stories. It will improve the scene.
Finally, there was the amazing ending to the whole thing. That final scene with Eleven’s speech and the music building was so amazing. It was so beautifully done and topped off with that great shot of all twelve of them at the end. I love how War, Ten and Eleven all interact a little with all the other regenerations there. And having One by himself behind everyone was exactly where he should be. He’s the one who started everything and the one all the other regenerations respect. He really is the One.
I have yet to be tired of watching this amazing special. I’m looking forward to having it on Blu-Ray one of these days. I’ve heard that the Blu-Ray includes The Night of the Doctor as well as that wonderful little piece called The Five-ish Doctors.