Monday, November 11, 2013

Beyond the End of Time Itself: An Overanalysis of the New Trailers for "The Day of the Doctor"

RASSILON: We will initiate the Final Sanction. The end of time will come at my hand. The rupture will continue until it rips the Time Vortex apart. 
MASTER: That's suicide. 
RASSILON: We will ascend to become creatures of consciousness alone. Free of these bodies, free of time, and cause and effect, while creation itself ceases to be. 
DOCTOR: You see now? That's what they were planning in the final days of the War. I had to stop them. ("The End of Time Part 2")

This weekend, the BBC released another full trailer for the 50th Anniversary Special, "The Day of the Doctor," as well as a short clip from the episode, both of which are above.   If you remember, I already gave my analysis of the first trailer they put out a few months back.  Then the BBC put out this teaser trailer that everyone but me felt the need to dissect and analyze.  Personally, I think trying to learn anything from a trailer that has literally no footage from the episode is fruitless.  It's a cool looking trailer, but it tells us nothing we didn't already know.  But this trailer is an actual trailer that gives us some new information, so it's time to dive in.

If you ask me, it seems pretty clear that this episode is, first and foremost, the sequel to "The End of Time."  "The End of Time" told us how The Time War ended, and this episode is going to show us in greater detail.  I'm not surprised that fans speculated that this episode would be titled "The Time War." I think we're finally going to see what really happened.  Perhaps, we're going to see the very moment when the Time Lords and the Daleks were destroyed.

The 10th Doctor, the 11th Doctor, and True 9 are somehow brought together for this episode.  But the 10th Doctor says in the trailer "Why are we all together?  Why are we all here?"  That means that they didn't just stumble upon each other, or seek each other out by choice.  Something forced them together, a direct violation of the Time Lords' First Law of Time (which they broke when they felt like it).  Furthermore, there's something that never dawned on me before:  If they can meet True 9, then the time lock is broken.

In "Journey's End," we learn that the entire Time War is "time locked," meaning nobody and nothing should be able to get in or out of the time period in which the war happened.  However, Dalek Caan found a way to break through, yet it cost him his sanity (not that Daleks are really sane to begin with).  Then, in "The End of Time," Rassilon found a way out, but it was not easy to pull off.  True 9, as far as we know, only existed in the Time War, and his regeneration almost certainly happened in that war.  This means that either the 10th and 11th Doctors, along with Rose and Clara, are going to be breaking into the time lock, or True 9 is breaking out.  My money is on the former.

It's never been known when and exactly how the Doctor regenerated into the 9th Doctor.  Up until "The Name of the Doctor," it was assumed that Paul McGann's Doctor regenerated into Christopher Eccleston's, but now we know that's not true.  That leaves us with 2 regenerations we've never seen on the show, and a lot of wiggle room as to when things happened.  However, there's one important clue:  In the beginning of the episode "Rose," the 9th Doctor checks himself out in the mirror, and it looks like it's for the first time.  "Ah, could've been worse. Look at the ears. "  So True 9 presumably regenerated into 9 moments before the events of "Rose."  I think it's fairly safe to assume that his regeneration occurred because of the event that caused him to end the Time War.

It's been said that Eccleston was approached to come back for this special, but that he turned them down.  I've been wondering about this:  was True 9 supposed to be in the script, or was he added into the script because Eccleston turned down the special.  Is True 9 playing the role that Eccleston's 9 was going to play?  This would have required Moffat to completely ignore the mirror scene I mentioned earlier, but perhaps the special was supposed to be about how Eccleston's 9 ended the Time War.  Regardless, it's going to be very difficult to do this story without Eccleston, if this is the story I think it's going to be.  How do you not show True 9's regeneration into 9 if Eccleston refused to come back?  Maybe Eccleston is lying, but I doubt it.  He does seem like he's too much of a dick to come back for the fans.  But maybe he's going to surprise me.

The other little clip they released, referred to as "But That's Not Possible!"  Other than introducing a character in the background, who's supposedly going to be named Osgood (I don't feel like unraveling that little puzzle) and who seems to be wearing the 4th Doctor's scarf.  The whole clip seems pretty pointless to me.  It tells us very little.  UNIT (it sounds like Kate Stewart) is showing the Doctor a painting, and Clara sees something that she thinks is "not possible" (a phrase that is used often on Doctor Who and is almost always proven wrong).  I couldn't understand what Clara was shocked by the painting.  My girlfriend said "She saw herself in the painting."  That would be interesting, as the painting is clearly of Gallifrey burning to the ground.  But I'm afraid we're looking at a much more commonplace and tired plot device:  Clara saw the same image in a dream that's in the painting.

Next Saturday, the minisode "The Night of the Doctor" will be released.  The description they've given out says:

"The 50th Anniversary features Matt Smith, David Tennant and a mysterious incarnation played by John Hurt. Only one appears in this mini episode, 'The Night of the Doctor.' But which?"

I'm thinking of the phrasing of this.  "Only one appears in this mini episode."  One of those three?  Or one Doctor?  Moffat said that no other past Doctors will appear in the special.  He said nothing about these minisodes that he's so fond of making.  Furthermore, Paul McGann, the 8th Doctor, seems to have potentially let something slip on Twitter.  Back in October, Paul McGann said on Twitter:

"Spent forty minutes this pm having to imitate Matt Smith’s dramatic delivery in VO. You have been warned….”

After fans got crazy excited, he followed it up by saying:
“I should explain. It was by way of an aural experiment to find out how similar we might sound. We didn’t. And he’s better looking too.”
What the fuck does that mean?  What kind of aural experiment?  For what?  What could that possibly mean?  It sounds like a weird, fumbled excuse that he came up with when he realized he had just said way too much.  Even if Moffat is telling the truth about none of the past Doctors coming back for the special, that doesn't mean that none of them can come back for the minisode.  Plus, he's one of the easiest Doctors to bring back because we know so little about him.  He could have stayed in that regeneration long enough to really, truly age within that regeneration, which would explain the 20 year age difference since the last time we saw him.  You can't really say that about any other Doctor.
I think McGann is in "Night of the Doctor."

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