First a note. As someone who constantly enjoys things while also questioning them, my internal monologue is in italics.
This will not and can not be a full review and recap of the episode. It had too many timey-wimey intense and confusing implications of the past and future of the show. What it was, was a fantastic episode of Doctor Who. Now, I am a new fan of Doctor Who, after only being introduced to it about a year ago. I have not seen any of what would be considered “Classic Who.” The oldest thing I have seen was the 1996 Doctor Who movie, which by any definition is a terrible film. But being a nerd like I am, once I became a fan of something, I have to become an obsessed fan of whatever it may be, so, I tried to learn all I could about Classic Who without spending the months it would have taken to watch all of the episodes. So I know enough to pick up, I would say, at least 70% of references to Classical Who, whether it be a scarf or a location or a phrase that an older Doctor would have used, what I miss are mentions from specific episodes, for example all of the UNIT stuff the Doctor did when he was stuck on Earth and working for them.
I should also say that the 10th Doctor, played by David Tennant, is my favorite, probably because he was the one I spent the most time with as I was becoming a fan of the show. But I will admit that I have truly come to love the 11th Doctor, played Matt Smith, but the 10th will always be my favorite, even though some of his episodes are horrendous.
What Matt Smith has been able to show as the Doctor is the amazing ability to both look and act young while at the same time communicate almost non-verbally the fact that he is over 1,000 years old. It was incredible, especially in the episode the Name of The Doctor, where you can physically see all those years and all those adventures and all the lives he has saved and lost, and how they have weighed on him as he stands at his burial site, staring at his own timelines.
So you can tell I love this show. So, what happened in the 50th Anniversary episode?
Well let’s start at the beginning. (Remember when I said you couldn’t recap or review the entire thing that was a lie, rule 1. The Doctor lies)
We get the intro music and images from the first Doctor Who episode, which is makes me feel nostalgic for a time period I didn’t even live in or watched (how did they accomplish that?), it already makes me feel like this episode is going to be a great celebration of the history of this great show. We get a policeman walking by a scrap yard just like in the first episode leading to a school where the first Doctor’s granddaughter went to school, which now Clara is a teacher at. (So she is a teacher now? Ok, also how did she get out the Doctor’s timeline? Obviously we are not going to resolve “The Name of the Doctor” in this episode.)
She gets a message that the Doctor is looking for her and with an address in hand she jumps on her motorcycle to meet him. (You got to love modern CGI that allows Clara to ride her motorcycle right into the Tardis. Also, she can close the doors of the Tardis now? When did that happen?) The Doctor, who is reading a book on quantum mechanics in his ugly glasses that he took from Amy, talks about an adventure they can go in ancient Mesopotamia but at that moment the Tardis is picked up by a helicopter with them in it.
We soon find out it is UNIT who has ordered the Tardis to London and that they are sorry because they assumed the Doctor was not in it. Kate Stewart, daughter of the Brigadier, makes her second appearance in nuWho and explains to the Doctor that there is trouble in the British Museum and she has sealed instructions from Queen Elizabeth the 1st. We are then shown some awesome 3d paintings, the first being a painting of Gallifrey taken from the last day of the Time War. This picture is not only awesome, when seen in 3-d it looks amazing. I am beyond myself that we are going to get to see parts of the Time War, it is called the Time War! How can it not be epic! If you looked up epic in the dictionary it would look something like this...ex. The Time War from Doctor Who.
We zoom in on the painting and are taken inside “Last Day of the Time War” and we see some great action sequences of Daleks beating the living daylights out of the Time Lords. TIME WAR! SQUEE!!!
It looks like the Time Lords were about to lose the Time War, it being the last day and all, which changes the equation we have always been presented with, which I feel is important but I am too excited to concern myself with that at this particular moment.
We see the War Doctor borrow a gun from another Gallifreyan solider and shoot No More into a wall, for some reason, as some Daleks surround some Time Lords and Time Lords in training (what do you call Time Lord children?), but they are saved from the Daleks as they sense the Doctor, and the Doctor knocks out all of the Daleks with his Tardis and of course one Dalek explodes for no reason.
We go to the Gallifrey War Room where they explain that someone has broken into the secret room where they store all their secret weapons. Someone has stolen “The Moment” a weapon so powerful that gained consciousness and could judge you (So it is a Jewish mother? ZING!). They have never used it, but the Doctor is going to try.
The War Doctor is on some far away planet, where is going to set off “The Moment.” He starts tinkering with it and Rose appears, but it is not Rose, it is the machine using her image as the interface to the machine, and not even Rose’s image but Bad Wolf (RTD shoutout!). They have some fun interactions. “Stuck between a girl and a box, the story of your life.” She would know. She wants to show him what his future looks like, and she opens a portal to the future, and a fez falls out (which surprises them but not the audience) and we are back to the National Museum.
We get to hear what is in the letter, where Queen Elizabeth the 1st tells her husband, that’s right husband, that he is now curator of the under-gallery, where they hold all the weird stuff, and we get to see a painting of Queen Elizabeth and her husband, the 10th Doctor! BOOM! Mic Drop for the David Tennant!
We go back to England in 1562 as DT and the Queen ride out of the Tardis on a horse and have a picnic. All of sudden the 10th Doctor proposes to the Queen to test her because he is hunting Zygons. He has a machine that goes ding. The problem is that he is wrong, it is his horse that is the Zygon, and he realizes that he will now be King of England. They go running off in different directions, and we get the 10th Doctor giving his epic speech to a bunny that at first he thinks is a Zygon. “I’m the Doctor, I’m a Timelord, I’m from the planet Gallifrey, in the constellation Kasterborous…” I have to pause here, because they are certainly using the 10th Doctor as comedic relief, and I must say, I am on board with it. When DT was funny, he was fantastic. He really had the most comedic situations of any of the nuWho Doctors and I love him for it.
He finds two Queen Elizabeth, when the portal from the past appears and a fez comes out.
Back to the under-gallery, where all the public art too dangerous for public consumption is held. “Are you Sciency?” The Doctor, the 11th, gives a great speech to the science girl about making her study the stone dust on the floor and to give him a report in the morning on his desk, problem is he has no desk. We get to a room of those 3d paintings that have broken glass, but it has been broken from the inside as if something has gotten out. Then the portal to the past shows up, and after complaining about it, he vaguely remembers what it means and he he throws the fez and himself in it and he is back in England with the other Doctor. Both Doctors together! Hooray! Time for a GIF PARTY!
I imagine this is what the perfect drug would feel like. Just stare at Carlton dancing for awhile….
The first few minutes are brilliant. They stare at each other, they compare peni…sonic screwdrivers, and then they try to figure out what the portal is for and what it does. I love the fact that when DT tells MS that one of the Queens is a Zygon, he looks disgusted and then tells DT, “I’m not judging.” So great.
DT orders that both Queens run off in opposite directions and they start communicating with present day England and the fez gets thrown back in and lands in the past with the War Doctor. Returning to the B-Plot, the Zygons are now copying UNIT members. Back in merry Old England the War Doctor appears with the other two Doctors. He confuses them for Companions. He is aghast at their young age. One has to love the meta-commentary happening right now, it both tickles new fans and gives something to the fans of the Classical Series as well, well done everyone.
After being surrounded by old timey British soldiers, one of the Queens reappears and has them all arrested and taken to the Tower of London, which in modern times is the headquarters to UNIT.
In prison they finally talk about what they are all doing here, because 10 and 11 were surprised to see eacher but the War Doctor was looking for them, and they want to know why.
Back in present times we get a visit to the Black Archives, where apparently people get their memory wiped everyday. The Black Archives is Tardis proofed, for reasons.... Here Clara is shown a Vortex Manipulator by Captain Jack. WOOT! CAPTAIN JACK SHOUTOUT! The painting of Gallifrey is now in the Black Archives (how did it get there?), Stewart gets a call that they have found the code the Doctor left all those years ago, when Clara realizes everyone is a Zygon. Whatever is she going to do? Clara steals the vortex manipulator and uses the code to go back in time to England. We all saw that coming didn't’ we?
Back in Prison...The War Doctor wonders why they talk like children, and they look at him with so much hatred and dread. He has not done it (it being murdering billions of Daleks and Time Lords) yet so he does not realize how much they hate themselves/him. Bad Wolf/Rose/UI System asks him to ask them what he really wants to know. He asks if they every counted how many children were on Gallifrey. The 11th doesn’t remember, the 10th remembers and is angry that the 11th has forgotten. 2.47 Billion he says. The man who regrets and the man who forgets Rose/Bad Wolf/Machine says (She is quite the witty conscious isn’t she?). She also tells him it is same screwdriver, so the calculations to get past the door, because the sonic can’t unlock wood doors but it could disengrate the entire door but it will take awhile (This might be important later) so they start scanning the door and, because of time rules or something, so the 11th Doctor’s screw driver should have it ready. They are incredibly clever they say, as Clara opens the door because it was not locked, hehe. This is a fantastic bit of Doctor Who humor and it is funny every time I have seen, which is now 5 times.
The Queen left it opened because she wanted them to find out what the Zygons were up to. The Zygons, apparently had their planet destroyed in the first days of the Time War. The Zygons are putting themselves into paintings because Earth is still too primitive for them at the moment.
Another funny 10th Doctor moment, when he verbal accosts the Queen, because why would she tell him their plan, she must be a terrible villain or…. She is real, she killed the other Zygon in the forest, and their arrogance, being men, they didn’t even question that she was not one of them. She still forces the Doctor to marry her. Great joke about the amount of kissing in his future when the War Doctor and 11 see the Queen kiss 10 to which 11 replies that it does start to happen. They all get into the Tardis. The Tardis starts to glitz because they are 3 of them in there, finally landing on the 11th doctor’s desktop. The Doctors love of the different Tardis configurations is so lovely and wonderful and makes me smile while I watch it. It is very hard to describe all these scenes, because they are truly fantastic and full of inside jokes, and I know that they are not coming out in the review, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry)
We have a standoff in the Black Archives between UNIT and the Zygons, where UNIT has threatened to blow up half of London to stop the Zygons from getting the stuff in the vault, it is really just a excuse to get the Doctors to talk about decisions that you can’t take back. They can’t land because of the Tardis proofing of the Black Vault, so they put themselves into the Gallifrey Falls painting and call UNIT dude from the beginning and have him move into the Black Archives (Ohhh, that explains that). Where they kick some Dalek ass and walk into the Black Vault like pimps. Seriously, this part is amazing, with the Doctor’s theme getting louder and louder…ahhh GIF TIME!
The War Doctor sees the two other Doctors coming up with this great idea and realizes that he does not turn out so bad, so he has decided to end it, to kill everyone. He has seen all he needed to see, the Bad Wolf/Machine takes him back the planet where it all started, and he gets his big red button. He stands over the button, “Great men are foraged in Fire, it is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame.” I now officially love the War Doctor, John Hurt delivers this line so well, it reminds me why I love the character of the Doctor. As he is about to push it, Rose reminds him that the Tardis noise brings hope, even to him, as the other two Tardises (Tardii for Michelle) shows up with the 10th and 11th Doctors. Getting a bit weepy here.
They have decided that he should not do this alone, they now realize that he was right, and they no longer believe they need to forget him, they should not forget him. The War Doctor wants them to go back and make their lives worthwhile. There is something in my eye is all But they are convinced that he is more The Doctor than they could ever be, because he had an impossible situation where there was no way to be the Doctor. But Clara does not want them to do it, she always knew that the Doctor did this horrible act, but she never imagined her Doctor doing it. It is a fantastic moment of why the Doctor needs a companion, to remind him of his, I wish I could come up with a better word, humanity. The machine, teaming up with Clara, shows them all the people on Gallifrey who they are about to kill. There is nothing they can do they believe, it has to been done, it has already been done. But Clara believes there is always another way, she has to remind him/them of who they are, especially the 11th, that they are the Doctor.
At this it appears on Gallifrey like the battle has ended, and Clara asks them why they took the name Doctor and what was the pledge they made when they took that name, “to never be cruel or cowardly,” says the 10th, “never give up, never surrender, I mean give in” says the War Doctor.
They realize that they can change their own history and that they could do something far more risky. I am loving not only this plan but their excitement in coming up with it. The 11th closes the machine, and as they all become excited as the plan sortof comes to them right down the line. The Daleks are surrounding Gallifrey, but what if they froze Gallifrey, then the Daleks would all murder themselves, killed by their own weapons. They send a message to the War Room, all 3 of them, and explain their terrible plan to the War Room, explaining what they are going to do. They are going to freeze Gallifrey in a single moment in time, in a parallel pocket universe, but the War Room says the calculations would take forever to calculate, “They would,” says the 11th Doctor, “But I started a long time ago.” as all the versions of the Doctor appear, all 12 of them, all 13! CALPALDI!
The Daleks increase their firepower, as all the Doctors swoop in their different, but the same, TARDIS, they say their catch phrases as things explode!
They are back in the museum staring at the painting of Gallifrey, discussing the fact that they might never know if they succeeded in saving Gallifrey, but the War Doctor at least feels like they did the right thing, as he figures it is his time to go, at this there is some hand waving to explain why no one will remember this, but the War Doctor is happy to be the Doctor again as he gets in his Tardis and begins to regenerate as we get a digital version of Christoper Eccelston’s eyes. I was hoping for a quick cameo, but oh well.
The 10th doctor knowing he wont remember any of this, he asks the 11th where they are going since he won’t remember, and the 11th tells him about Trenzelore and how that is where they are going, at this the 10th says goodbye, and he says that he doesn’t want to go, apparently they realize how silly that saying was from DT’s last episode. When I saw this in the theater there was a loud ahhhh from all the ladies in the house.
The 11th wants a few minutes alone with the painting, Clara says an old man, the curator wanted to see him, the 11th sits and says he would love to be the curator of the museum, he could retire and be the “Great Curator” as the curator appears and it is Tom Baker! He tells him that the painting doesn’t have two titles but one, Gallifrey Falls No More, what does that mean he wonders, as the 11th Doctor realizes that not only did their plan work, but he should go looking for Gallifrey. As we move into the TARDIS and the espiode is going to end, we hear the 11th say that Clara often asks him if he dreams, and he says that he does, that everyone dreams, and he dreams about where he is going, as we see him exit the TARDIS and stand with all the other Doctors as their stare up at Gallifrey, as the music comes to a crecendo and the episode ends. I imagine Stephen Moffet dropping a mic somewhere.
Maybe it is was all the buildup, maybe it was all the anticipation, but this episode was incredible. It is serious, it is funny, it celebrates where the show has been and sets a coarse for where it is going. Are there plot holes? Yes. Do all of time travel aspects and their implications work? No. But I am a Star Trek nerd, and if that has taught me anything, it is sometimes you just need to enjoy the story. I will save my nitpicks for another time. Excuse me while I call every one of my fellow Doctor Who fans to squee about this episode and Doctor Who in general. Allons-y!
So, I am not a fan of the Doctor Who. I've tried it several times since being first introduced to it about a year ago, and it simply is not for me. My boy, however, has spent that same year transforming before my eyes into the most obsessed Whovian fangirl you have ever met. It has caused some tension between us.
For the record, I have seen exactly three episodes, each carefully selected and screened for me by well-meaning friends: "Rose" (We'll start at the very beginning!), "Blink" (This is the Best. Episode. Ever!), and "The Unicorn and the Wasp" (You LOVE Agatha Christie!). I can absolutely see why other nerds like this show, but at each viewing, I found myself alternately perplexed, bummed out, and horrified. So poor Jesse was reduced to donning headphones and binge watching every episode of series 1 through 7 on his iPad, while I read actual Agatha Christie novels, all blissfully free of the creepy mannequins, statues, and wasp-people who now haunt my nightmares.
I have, however, decided to make one final exception and sit through the live screening of The Day of the Doctor, if only to document, as an outside observer, the moment Smith and Tennant appear onscreen together and Whovians everywhere finally die of Squee (or whatever the British equivalent is - perhaps a brisk throat-clearing and an "I say!").
I expect to come out of the experience feeling perplexed, bummed out, and horrified.
Based on my three previous viewings, appearances of Matt Smith on the Nerdist, and various bits of information Jesse has been unable to prevent himself from sharing (despite the headphones-and-iPad arrangement), this is the sum total of my knowledge about the show going in:
1. The Doctor is an alien Time Lord who travels throughout time and space in his magic phone booth, saving people and whatnot. (Jesse gasps in horror at my very first assertion, explaining that it is a Police. Box. This is going to go well.)
2. The Doctor carries with him a Sonic Screwdriver, which does magic stuff, as needed. The only thing it can't do is open wooden doors, for which one would presumably need a Regular Screwdriver. Irony!
3. The Doctor is accompanied on his adventures by various humans (generally women, usually spunky, young, pretty ones) known as Companions. This arrangement is not the least bit sexual, except when it is.
(Jesse insists that most of these instances were necessitated by universe-altering events. Of course.)
4. The Doctor’s main adversaries are the Daleks, bizarre robots on wheels that cry "Exterminate!" whilst menacing their victims with egg beaters and plungers. This is scarier than it sounds on paper.
5. The Doctor is currently in his 11th incarnation, played by Matt Smith, though not for much longer. The 10th incarnation, played by David Tennant, will also be appearing in this Television Event, along with the mysterious War Doctor, played by John Hurt.
That's it. This should be … something.
Saturday, November 23, 2013, D-Day
2:30pm - The BBC pre-show is in full swing. There is a countdown clock in the corner and various geekery from across the Internets being presented onscreen. I will say this, whatever our genre inclinations, nerds do know how to throw a themed party.
Hardcore Whovians, giddy with glee, are being interviewed by a man with a celery stalk glued to his lapel. He also really hopes everyone notices that he has the exact same glasses as David Tennant. I know because Jesse has the same pair.
2:40pm - Breaking News. Doctor Who is trending on Twitter. Stop. Everything.
2:45pm - Our host informs us that this will be, in fact, “The biggest global event in television history.” Celery guy is Freaking. Out.
2:49pm - Our food just arrived. Thank God, because Jesse was going to have a MELTDOWN if he had to pause this to answer the door.
2:50pm - Let’s do this.
We open with a Marcus Aurelius quote: “Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” Probably won’t be relevant later.
Right off the bat, Clara receives a summons from “her doctor” (“Are you sick??” asks the breathlessly concerned and obviously lovelorn co-worker delivering the message. I bet he abbreviated it as “Dr” on the note, too.) Clara doesn’t have time to address this idiot’s concerns though, because she and the Doctor are off on another wacky adventure! But wait, something is wrong with the Tardis and they can’t take off. Oh no, The Claw has them!!
The Tardis, along with a now dangling Matt Smith, is being flown past All the Landmarks in London via helicopter (a scene which Jesse cannot resist telling me was shot ON LOCATION in front of REAL PEOPLE), by Secret Government Agent Blondie, the daughter of someone everyone but me seems to know. Her excuse for this little mix-up is that she had “no idea” the Doctor would still be inside the Tardis. She's the one in charge here?
Anyway, upon their dramatic arrival, Agent Blondie presents the Doctor and Clara with sealed orders from Queen Elizabeth... the FIRST (DUN!)
Along with her mousy, bespectacled, asthmatic sidekick, Scarf Girl, Agent Blondie takes them inside the National Gallery to see the Queen’s “credentials,” which turn out to be a painting... of the day the Doctor’s home planet was destroyed... in glorious 3D!! (DUN! DUN!)
The Doctor deduces from the painting that whatever is going on must have something to do with a previous incarnation of himself: the one who fought in the Time War and the one who he has tried hardest to forget (aka John Hurt, aka the War Doctor, aka He Who Must Not Be Named).
3:00pm - We zoom INSIDE the painting, swooping past futuristic towers being attacked by Daleks flying Imperial TIE Fighters. The city is being defended valiantly by a force of clearly outmatched Robocops, while civilians scurry about looking like nothing so much as pitiful Dickensian ragamuffins (but that might just be because they’re British and covered in soot).
You Know Who himself appears and commandeers a gun from one of the Robocops, not to, you know, fight, but to spend several minutes carefully and precisely shooting the message “No More” into a wall while the Robocop looks on in utter bewilderment. Well, that’ll… show them? Fortunately, his presence does distract the Daleks long enough to facilitate the escape of a group of terrified ragamuffins they had been menacing. The Doctor, his mission of cryptic gunshot graffiti complete, flies off in the Tardis, plowing through a herd of Daleks in the process.
One very confused Dalek surprises everyone with a rather poignant death scene (“What are these words...? Exp...lain...?”) before we jump to the War Room where High Commander Grouchypants is being informed that You Know Who has, apparently, stolen from the weapons vault a device so powerful it actually achieved sentience and developed a conscience. It’s known as “The Moment” or “The Galaxy Eater” or “The Skynet.” He’s going to use it to destroy the planet and wipe out everyone, (Gallifreyans, Daleks, Rebels, Alderaanians, everyone) in order to end the Time War once and for all.
Cut to You Know Who lugging the aforementioned weapon into a barn on some otherwise deserted planet. The barn has curved rafters inside, so you know it’s not an Earth Barn. The weapon is housed in a fancy box with clockwork gears on the top and one side that looks suspiciously like one of those wooden marble labyrinth games. If my experience with those has taught me anything, it’s going to take awhile to get this thing working. Another hour at least.
3:05pm - The Moment / Galaxy Eater / Skynet has now taken corporeal form (as sentient weapons of mass destruction are wont to do), assuming the image of Rose Tyler - “No sorry,” she clarifies, “in this form I’m called... Bad Wolf.” One of the interviewees on the BBC pre-show was wearing a shirt that said “Bad Wolf.” I’m pretty sure that guy just became the first Squee casualty of the day.
Bad Wolf / RoseNet opens a time window to the Doctor’s future in order to force him to reconsider his decision - and a fez comes bouncing through, surprising and perplexing both RoseNet and You Know Who, but probably no one in the viewing audience, including myself. If you aren’t aware of the 11th Doctor’s penchant for fezzes and bowties, I’m not really sure what Internet you’re living in.
Back at the museum, Number 11 himself opens the letter from Elizabeth, which directs him to the “Under Gallery.” He heads there with Agent Blondie, through a secret door hidden by a painting of Elizabeth and... Tennant?! (Dun Dun DUN!)
Cut to the happy couple in question enjoying a picnic in the year 1562. Tennant suddenly jumps up and proposes marriage to the Queen, which she giddily accepts. “Aha! Gotcha!” he cries and accuses her of being a Zygon, which, he exposits in case we haven’t seen the relevant episode, is basically a shapeshifter with a hideously ugly default form. The proposal was just a test, you see, because the real Queen would never have accepted, or some such. Sounds to me like they’re going to need a better test before this thing is over, unless Tennant plans to just run around proposing marriage to any and all suspected shapeshifters.
Hilarity ensues when it turns out that the hideously ugly shapeshifter detected by Tennant’s Machine That Goes Ding was actually the horse, and not the Queen. The former-horse-now-Zygon chases them into the forest, where they get separated (of course), and while the Queen stumbles about like a terrified co-ed in a horror film, Tennant berates an innocent bunny rabbit suspect, and the Zygon takes the opportunity to shift into a copy of the Queen. The “I’m the Queen” “No, I’M the Queen” back and forth is, however, cut short by the appearance of a second time window, and second surprise fez.
3:10pm - Meanwhile down in the Under Gallery, Doctor Smith has made an Important Discovery. There is Stone Dust covering the floor! He brusquely instructs a timidly lurking Scarf Girl (“Oi you! Are you sciency?”) to analyze it. She, being clearly something of a fangirl, is thrilled to have been given this mission, necessitating a steadying puff from her inhaler before she dashes off. The others move on to the next room in the gallery, which is full of broken glass and apparent landscapes, all of which, Agent Blondie explains, used to contain figures as well. Doctor Smith concludes that the figures broke the glass from the INSIDE when they ESCAPED the paintings. (Dun Dun DUUUN!!)
Suddenly, yet another time window appears, causing Doctor Smith to whine "Not now, I'm busy," before realizing/remembering what he needs to do and tossing his fez through. He leaps after it, landing face to face with Doctor Tennant and the two Elizabeths.
3:15pm - It has happened. Two Doctors, One Screen.
Lots of cute back and forth between Ten and Eleven about fashion choices, romantic partners, and relative size of Sonic Screwdrivers. They bicker some more about how best to “reverse the polarity” of the time window so they can get back to the museum and Clara. Instead, though, the window spews forth You Know Who.
3:20pm - Make that THREE Doctors, One Screen.
MORE cute back and forth (and forth) betwixt the Doctors Three, including a totally unnecessary dig at Dick Van Dyke. (We get it, Britain. You weren’t impressed by his cockney accent in Mary Poppins. Move on.) Doctor Hurt lays down an epic Old Man Scolding on his older/younger selves (“You're my future selves? Am I having a mid-life crisis?”) after initially mistaking them for Companions (“They get younger all the time!”), which is just an adorable meta-commentary, but how exactly would he know? Has he been watching the show?
The Queen (or is it???) reappears and orders Chinny, Sand Shoes, and Granddad (as they will henceforth be known) arrested and sent to the Tower of London. This is just fine with Chinny, as he knows he’ll be able to send Agent Blondie a message (through time!) once they reach the Tower, which in present-day London has conveniently become her office.
Back at the museum, Scarf Girl has finished her analysis of the sand. It’s just regular marble and granite from any old statue, she says aloud as she slowly realizes something that anyone who has ever seen any episode of Doctor Who EVER figured out the first time time we all saw this room: the statues under the sheets are not statues but MONSTERS. Rather than calmly leading Nerd Guy out of the room to explain her epiphany, Scarf Girl basically announces to all monsters within earshot that the jig is up. The monsters (more Zygons) emerge from hiding and easily overpower Nerd Guy, but Scarf Girl manages to escape to the hallway.
A Zygon corners her there, while she, fangirl to the bitter end, pitifully cowers and mutters “The Doctor will save me” over and over. Rather than killing her immediately, though, the Zygon shifts into a copy of Scarf Girl and then proceeds to say some pretty spiteful things about Scarf Girl’s asthma and her much prettier sister, for no apparent reason beyond sheer bitchiness. Are these monsters also high school girls? (Trick question.)
But hey! The insults have sparked some heretofore-unseen gumption within Scarf Girl! She handily trips Scarf Shifter, who just happens to be standing on her extra long scarf, and scampers off, inhaler in hand.
Meanwhile, Agent Blondie has taken Clara to the Super Secret Government Storage Room of Dangerous Alien Stuff (aka the Black Archive), where a convenient time travel wrist cuff is under lock and key, for the Safety of the World. They take a moment to name drop John Barrowman and discuss the reasons Americans would make terrible time travelers (Take that, overseas viewership!), before Scarf Shifter and Not Nerd Guy arrive, and Agent Blondie reveals herself (rather grotesquely) to be a Zygon now as well. Zoinks! In classic villain style, though, they leave Clara alone with the magic wrist cuff just long enough for her to escape with it. Double Zoinks!
3:30pm - The Doctors Three have decided to take a break from deriding one another’s fashion sense and have a Serious Moment discussing What Granddad Did and Why. Lots of impassioned acting and blaming all around, with RoseNet driving home the message to Granddad that these younger, haunted, and ashamed versions of himself are “what you become if you destroy Gallifrey.” Ooh, now I see - RoseNet is the Ghost of Christmas Future! It really was Dickensian London after all!
The Doctriad eventually come up with a plan to escape from the Tower, working together to analyze the impenetrable wooden door and congratulating themselves on their clever use of triplicate Sonic Screwdriver Software to speed up the calculation process, until Clara appears, revealing the door to have been unlocked the entire time. Oh, someone on this writing staff has worked in an office full of computer programmers, I guarantee it. Queen Elizabeth (or is it???) follows shortly after.
Also, Chinny has now been rechristened Dicky Bow.
3:40pm - Back in the present, Scarf Girl and her newfound gumption rescue the real Agent Blondie, who to my complete and utter shock was NOT murdered by the Zygon who replaced her. Rather she was... draped in intestines and hidden under a sheet? Because of... reasons? Anyway, she’s alive! Hooray!
Back in the past, Queen Elizabeth (or is it??? Apparently it IS!) has some gumption of her own. She fought off and killed the Zygon in the woods with her sexy garter knife, then pulled a switcheroo on the rest of the Zygon team, playing the part of her own double to learn everything about their plans. She knew they’d never expect a weak human woman to defeat one of them, thanks to “the arrogance that typifies their kind.” Oh, you mean shapeshifters? Nope, Men! Burn!! Girl Power!!
But she also just really, really wants to marry Tennant. I mean swoon, am I right, ladies?
So, after an impromptu wedding, and some more girlish simpering from the Supreme Ruler of All England, the Doctriad set off to present day London in the Tardis (with some obligatory banter about interior decorating choices).
3:45pm - Agent Blondie, Scarf Girl, and Nerd Guy (who has also miraculously survived!) meanwhile confront their doubles in the Super Secret Black Archive, where Agent Blondie announces her intention to set off a nuclear warhead right in the middle of London to prevent all the technology in the Archive from falling into the Zygons’ ... hands? flippers? Whatever. That certainly escalated quickly.
The Doctors are attempting to reach the Super Secret Black Archive, but they can't land there, what with the Tower being Tardis-proof and all. Scarf Girl (the real one) is back to her plan of muttering "Please save us Doctor," when all three Doctors, and one Dalek carcass, burst from the nearby Gallifrey 3D painting, slow-mo hero style, where they’ve hidden themselves after a quick phone call to Past Nerd Guy telling him to move said painting to the Archive ahead of time. Don’t question it. (“I’m a time traveler - figure it out!”) Their big plan is to wipe everyone’s memory, so that no one knows whether they are the originals or the shapeshifter versions of themselves, thus allowing them to negotiate for peace in a completely unbiased fashion. Or something.
Scarf Girls have a bonding moment where they realize that only one of them (the real human version) has an inhaler in her pocket, but secretly agree to keep quiet, in the name of peace, I guess?
Granddad says he’s seen enough and tells RoseNet he’s ready to go back to the barn and Do What Must Be Done. His reasoning is that his actions will allow his future selves to become the tortured heroes they need to be in order to save everyone they’ve saved, including the now peacefully negotiating humans and Zygons.
3:50pm - Granddad is back in the barn, about to press the Big Red Button when Sand Shoes and Dicky Bow suddenly appear, declaring their intention to activate the device together. As a TEAM. Because they ALSO now understand why he/they Must Do What Must Be Done. Clara, however, isn’t buying it. “There isn’t another way, there never was,” pouts Dicky Bow. Clara tearfully reminds them all of their promise as the Doctor to never be cruel or cowardly, to never give up, never give in.
Dicky Bow suddenly has an epiphany, declaring "I've changed my mind!". His idea trickles... back? to his predecessors - a plan to safely freeze Gallifrey in time (just like the paintings!) rather than destroying it, making it look as though the planet has disappeared and tricking the Daleks into firing on themselves.
They announce the plan to the High Council. “Dear God,” Commander Grouchypants groans, “Three of them? All my worst nightmares at once.” (Preach it, buddy. Also, sidenote: surely the plural of Tardis is Tardii?) But wait, there's more. The REST of the Doctors, including the NEW 12TH DOCTOR, appear, eliciting squees from all and sundry. (Commander Grouchy: “I didn’t know when I was well off!”) Anyway, the myriad Doctors execute the plan together, each throwing the switch in his own Tardis and shouting his personal little catchphrase. ("Oh, for God's sake!" scoffs Granddad.) Planet disappears, Daleks explode, good times all around.
4:00pm - Team Doctor is post-gaming at the museum. Over tea. Because British. They can’t be sure everything worked out, but, Granddad says, “At worst, we failed doing the right thing.” “Life and soul, you are,” quips Clara. They discuss the fact that Dicky Bow will be the only one to remember any of this, again because of reasons. The other two head off in their respective Tardii, where Granddad promptly regenerates into Christopher Eccleston, to either placate or further piss off fans of the notably absent until now 9th Doctor.
4:05pm - “By the way,” offhands Clara to Dicky Bow once they’re alone, “There was an old man looking for you earlier. I think it was the curator.” (She’s either being coy, or just incredibly oblivious as to how epilogues work.) The old curator turns out to be none other than Scarf Doctor! Gasp! (But without the scarf, I guess because he’s given it to Scarf Girl?) He and Dicky Bow have an awkward little chat (the kind you have with your crazy uncle when he just keeps rambling on about god knows what and you wish he’d either fall asleep or get to the point) about how the Doctor’s new mission is to go find the frozen-in-time Gallifrey. Which leads to one final squee-tastic “Doctors, Assemble!” moment with all the incarnations lined up and looking heroically determined.
So I guess everything worked out ok with the Great Zygon-Human Peace Summit? Did someone go back and restore everyone’s memories? Are Scarf Girl and Scarf Shifter now BFFs? Do they team up to defeat her bitchy sister? Does she finally declare her love for Nerd Guy?? So many unanswered questions. We certainly don’t see any of them again, so they’re either all good or all dead. Based on my previous experiences with this show and the fact that the only body to drop in the past hour has been Confused Dalek, I think someone should check on them.