The more I think about it, the more I like it.
Behind the cut it is rife with spoilers.
First off, I love a time travel show that takes its own ‘canon’ and beats it to death with a stick. In perfect synchronocity with that, I think they actually did a beautiful job of retrofitting the story so that while yes, retcon (but time travel, so), also not-wildly-disruptive retcon.
Except for the renumbering of the Doctors, though, but I’m personally inclined to leave everybody the numbers they’ve had and go with Capaldi as Thirteen. Because I *want* Capaldi to be Thirteen: I want his story to be Finding Gallifrey, and for the presumably-at-least-reasonably-grateful Time Lords to restart his reincarnations so we can begin with a fresh count and get some women and people of color in there as the Doctor.
Also because his magnificently snarled, “Thirteen!” was actually a thing of beauty.
The thing I missed, the thing I wanted *so* badly and had pretty well convinced myself they’d deliver, having kept it under the hat, was Ecclestone. I wanted him so much that in the scene with the Big Red Button I actively missed him, like an ache. He needed to be there, and although a friend argues that because his choice to not be there was his own and not the creators’ it was still absolutely perfect, for me it wasn’t quite perfect. But very nearly.
On the other hand, Ten’s, “Did you say Bad Wolf girl?” was beautiful. Perfect. Better, frankly, than interaction between them would have been, and while I’m on the topic of the Moment
OH MY LORD I LOVE BILLIE PIPER. I mean, I do: I liked Rose, and I’ve gone out of my way to watch things with Piper in them since, but I think seeing her as the Moment was possibly my favorite bit in this. (“The interface is hot!” “I do try.”) What made it so right, especially, is that the Moment is Rose is Bad Wolf is the Tardis which means the Tardis was watching the Doctor all along, even when he tried to leave her behind–and she knew he was trying. The closed circuit of that just made me *joyful*.
The other thing–no, there were a lot. *A*nother thing that made me happy was…well. They found another way. The Doctor’s terrifying reputation remains intact, but they found another way, and that just…it’s not very damned often that cleverness prevails over violence. I mean, I know that’s a huge part of how Who works, but that even he was forced to commit great evil for the common good is just…devastating. And this from somebody who has no attachment to Old Who but who was carried into the horror of it all so beautifully by Nine. It took four hundred years, but he figured out how to save the children. Everybody lives, Rose. Just this once, everybody lives!
The opening credits. The *original* opening credits. Again, I don’t have any long-term attachment, but oh, that was so good of them. And the Curator, at the end. Oh, my heart. And “I don’t want to go,” / “He always says that.” And all of them together in that final shot, with One behind the others in a place of honor.
There were a *lot* of good one-liners. “This is what I sound like when I’m talking to myself.” Bahaha. :)
I really wish–and this may be the first and last time these words ever come out of my mouth (or fingertips) that I’d seen it in 3D, because the paintings of Gallifrey, particularly, just would have been spectacular. The effect was spectacular enough in 2D!
I don’t know who any of the UNIT people are except the commander, or why the girl was wearing Four’s scarf, but I liked that part of the story and would like to know how it ended (particularly since at least Scarf Girl knew which of her was human!) and hope they get back to that at some point.
I wasn’t especially keen on the portrayal of Elizabeth, although her dress was very good and there were some good moments in there. But eh. That was probably my least favorite part of the show. OTOH, the bit with the door in the Tower was pretty funny, and I did like her resiliance. Also, the “weak woman” line was actually really in keeping with Elizabeth’s own writings and commentary, so I thought that bit was particularly well done.
I have to watch it again. And I have to watch The Five(ish) Doctors, and An Adventure in Time and Space, and … yeah. Just all the little bits they’ve done in association with this. And for the record, I would *totally* tune in for an 8th Doctor spin-off, and just…
They done good.