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"The Day of the Doctor" turned our understanding of what happened during the Last Great Time War on our collective head, while somehow managing not to seriously break previous episodes' continuity. It's not a perfectly clean fit, however: there's one significant Moment of inconsistency, and a completely different portrayal of the Time Lords…

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2 Responses to 2MTL 329: Reimagining the Time War

  1. Henrik says:

    Yup.

    The softening of the Time Lords stood out to me as well. I'll quote a small part of my very very, overly, long comment from the relevant RFS episode blog post:

    "While fighting and monitoring the war one of the Time Lords or Ladies could have mentioned how the Daleks are establishing a beachhead on the neutral planet Karn or wherever and another Lord or Lady could have easily made the decision to wipe it out. Done. It establishes the scale of the war, the power of the Time Lords and how callous they too have become. I don’t know, maybe that would have made it worse or broken the pacing too much. Not doing so however does change the nature of the time war from what we’ve seen in earlier stories and even in the mini episode preceding the special. Maybe it’s fine to rely on the audience’s knowledge of previous stories but I think one line or one exchange could have made the special stand on its own."

    The children of Gallifrey are innocent victims either way and their deaths a tragedy as would be the deaths of those gallifreyans who would choose a different path for the war. They could have cut 30 seconds of war scenes on the streets and added a line that damns both sides of the conflict.
    Of course sticking with the idea that both sides are equally deserving of destruction could be seen as making the choice easier for the Doctor but, again, there would still be those children and so I don't think you'd lose that impact. I also kind of doubt that the relative declawing of the Time Lords was all that intentional. They were portrayed as evil in the mini-episode directly preceding the special and I wouldn't be surprised if they'd still have at least a streak of evil when we eventually see them again. The 50th anniversary special had a lot it had to do so there was bound to be something that wouldn't quite work perfectly.

    It's still probably the best ever Doctor Who special though, maybe tied with 'A Christmas Carol', and without a doubt in my mind a far better 50th anniversary special than anyone had any reason to expect.

  2. Sarah says:

    Hi!

    Oddly enough, while I can't get hold of the River Song timeline and continuity, the timeline of the events of the Time War (as glimpsed so far) are *much* more clear to me.

    It always seemed to me that not all Galleyfrians were complicit in the use of the "forbidden weapons" (whether they are Time Lords or not), but the High Council and a resurrected Rassilon…..well, many classic episodes do suggest that similar to Earth politics the higher up you go, the more likely that you have not always done the best things to get and stay there. And quite frankly, the General in the War Room does seem to be the kind of person who would use any of the forbidden weapons as a means to an end. This still doesn't mean that there aren't children happily playing on a playground however.

    Then the War Doctor stole The Moment, and things on Gallifrey seemed to happen simultaneously. While the War Doctor is consulting with The Moment, Rassilon and associated councilors concoct their plan to free Gallifrey from The Moments' effect and put the first few steps into place. The Doctors snatch Gallifrey into a pocket universe (conversing only with those in the War Room so Rassilon et al don't know what's happening, which is when they make their failed attempt at leaving the pocket universe and destroying the universe in a chance to "ascend" into higher beings.

    I had thought at the End of Time ending that Gallifrey had gone back to the last day of the Time War and been destroyed, but now I believe that Gallifrey instead fell back into its pocket universe where Rassilon is stomping around the Council chamber screaming about how he's going to take all the Doctors hides and tack them up like posters as warnings to malcontent Time Lords everywhere.

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