An anti-squee post for Day of the Doctor (and the Five(ish) Doctors)
To everyone else, I dedicate this post.
So yeah, I didn't expect this to be anything other than "classic Moffat"; I just watched because it's an important episode, everyone else would be watching, and I felt the need for my dislike of it to be well-informed. So key things for me were:
1. Day of the Doctor
So Clara's now graduated from being a nanny to being a teacher. Was she studying before, or have we skipped several years, or does Moffat just not realise that teachers have to be trained? (Like nurses. If Rory is the same age as Amy, and most of their first episode happens when Amy's 19, and getting your nursing degree takes 3 years in the UK, then are we supposed to assume Rory started university at 16 or younger, or are we just supposed to think becoming a nurse is what you do when you're not cool enough to be a Doctor? This is a serious question I need it for a fanfic whose timeline is screwed up because canon is a piece of classist junk.)
I missed the early screening because of technology so my friends who saw it at the movies took great pains to avoid spoilers for me until I could see the evening screening. But they did talk about the audience reaction, and she also said to me "What's the thing that Moffat always does?"
"Put women in boxes?" I said.
"Exactly," she said to my entire unsurprise.
"Huh?" said her husband.
The Woman in the Box this episode was the Moment, wearing Rose Tyler's form so Moffat could include a favourite actress without having to, you know, worry about characterisation or anything. I guess Time Lord technology is all about stuffing sentience into a box and harnessing the results? Anyway Billie Piper got to be all soulful and she's awfully good at being soulful so there was that.
Ten is snogging Good Queen Bess, who is being acted terribly. Okay, I get that not every actress can be Helen Mirren or Judi Dench or Cate Blanchett or Miranda Richardson. But seriously that was bad. When there were two of them, I could tell which was the alien because that one had a tiny bit of the self-pride that Elizabeth ought to have had.
Ten and Eleven compare sonics. Eleven's is bigger, just like his torch was bigger than Rory's in the Vampires of Venice. Yes, Moffat, we get it, you have a big dick. Now stop waving it in our faces.
I liked the woman with the inhaler. Apart from the "asthma as comedic relief" thing. And the thing where, while she's awesome in some moments of extreme stress, in others she's made to revert to "Help, Doctor, please save me!" as if she was fainting in Godzilla's hand.
The 3D paintings were cool and their use in the plot's resolution was tidy. But... it was kind of low key. Thinking about it, I think it's because Moffat (as so often) was distracted by all his other Cool Things that he forgot to keep our attention on the paintings, so there was no weight there to make it really resonate.
I was glad that after 400 years it eventually occurs to the Doctor that there might be an alternative to genocide. It's a bit unnerving that this appears to be the first time it seriously occurs to him: that he hasn't in fact spent the last 400 years in a state of terminal esprit d'escalier telling himself, "Next time I meet my past self I must tell him to do X instead!" But at least it didn't validate the old "I am responsible for the death of billions; clearly no-one knows pain like I do! <single perfect tear>" trope.
2. The Five(ish) Doctors
Summary: A bunch of washed-up actors are neglected by the world in general and Steven Moffat in particular, and nagged by their shrill wives. I stuck with it for a while hoping for something interesting to happen, but then they gave John Barrowman a wife. A shrill, nagging wife. So at that point I closed the tab.