The good stuff:
- TENNANT, my adorable wee baby Tennant! With no exact explanation as to when in his timeline this happened, but still - TEEEEN!
- John Hurt was fantastic and a perfect offset to Ten and Eleven and their hijinks. Bonus points for references to his regenerations getting younger, in addition to the other little nods here and there.
- Billie Piper was amazing.
- ... Did I mention Tennant was brilliant? Because TENNANT!!!!
- Seriously though, no explanation for where we were in Ten's timeline? One of the perks of letting this show go as one of my favorites is not having to worry about timey-wimey stuff - I just assume it's all horribly incorrect and illogial because Moffat sucks at timelines and leave it at that. But this, this I wanted to know - when did Ten pop off to have a romance (ugh, we'll get to that) with Elizabeth the First? And also:
- I can't figure out if this thing was supposed to be the explanation/nod to that scene in 302 (and I think other throwaway comments as well maybe?*) where said Elizabeth came in demanding his head and being very upset with him. Because if it IS, then that makes Moffat's bullshit version of her even more bullshitty and still doesn't make much sense, and if not then it's just a giant middlefinger to the whole pre-Moffat series. And this brings us to:
- Moffat's bullshit version of Elizabeth the First. I didn't know her actual story before watching, so I just rolled my eyes at how Moffat wrote another historic woman to be in love with the Doctor (seriously, AGAIN) and had the usual "ugh Moffat" feelings. But then reading about her in reaction posts and finding out the actual historical Elizabeth was a total badass who, most importantly, never married, and Moffat changing that to "she was in love with the Doctor and he accidentally proposed and they're married" instantly just becomes even more gross and wrong and stupid. I have a few historical idols (mainly female pirates - I went through a face) so if anyone did this to someone I admired I have an idea of how I would feel - history is full of badass women but we hear about only a small number of them, and shitting on the ones we do hear about and that people admire is just so ... shitty.
- Not exactly news, but it's still shit that Moffat didn't ask every living Doctor to be apart of this in some way or other. It's clear from the mini-episode and the cameo in this episode that there would have been ways to work it in, and it's just disrespectful as fuck IMO to not even ASK them. Stay classy, Moffat.
- Lest you think I'm all about the Moffat hate: No, I'd also like to direct a special shoutout to Nine/Chris Eccleston for refusing to make an appearance - it felt like something was missing the whole episode and he was it. Still, I can't blame him too much for not wanting to step anywhere near Moffat and his crap writing - especially since the episode basically undermines the way Chris played Nine and everything Nine was all about.
- Speaking of: The retcon. Oooh, the retcon. I mean, RTD did take huge liberties in creating the time war, but when he did it he was reviving a long-dead series - and he did it for good reason, because the time war and the effects of it on the Doctor as a character is a huge part of what made it interesting to me (and presumably a lot of other new-Who fans). Maybe that's why Moffat did it - reclaiming the show for old-Who fans, in which case: well done A+ job, but you needn't have bothered - most RTD-era fans have already gotten fed up and left, or are, like me, watching just to see how bad you'll fuck this up next. This hasn't been the show I signed up for for a long time, and I'm pretty sure it never will be again.
*Appearantly he said something about her not being a virgin anymore in the episode where he dies but I've completely repressed that whole episode so no shocker that I forgot that part too. Still - a special fuck-you should go out to whoever wrote that episode (most likely RTD, too tired to check), because that's also kind of gross.
Good and/or bad?
- No actual Rose, meaning no Ten/Rose, seeing Eleven's reaction to Rose and Rose being badass. On the one hand: BOOO, on the other hand I'm relieved because atleast this way there was no way for Moffat to fuck that up atleast. Unless you count not including her as fucking up, in which case: job well done!