“The Night of the Doctor” mini-episode

I’ve been trying to stay away from “The Day of the Doctor” spoilers, so much so that I haven’t watched the two trailers and am very careful about what articles I read. My friend told me that the first of the two recent trailers had no spoilers, but my husband watched it and said that she was wrong. We think that she doesn’t really know enough about the Last Great Time War to recognize that the object in front of John Hurt was the Moment, and that’s a spoiler.

Today, BBC released the new mini-episode, “The Night of the Doctor.”  Here’s the link, because I really hate embedded video.

The Night of the Doctor

Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor

Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor

I’ve only watched it once, because I’m at work and yes, I’m trying to be productive, but I think I’ll watch it a few more times at lunch. I was very pleased to see the Eighth Doctor again. Not that I know him at all – I saw his movie when it was first broadcast in 1996, but don’t remember a thing about it. It’s been moved up to the top of Netflix queue, though.

I know that people will take away from the episode that it’s now proven that the War Doctor (his name in the credits) is the missing incarnation between Eight and Nine, but the most important thing to me about this episode is the Time Lords. They used to be the custodians of the universe, managing time and making sure everything happened as it should, but this episode shows how far they’ve fallen. They are now as hated and feared as the Daleks. The End of Time showed us their corruption in person, but this episode demonstrates their effect on the rest of the universe – how horrible the war was, and how the other races despised them. And, through the voice of Cass, the Doctor realizes that he must get involved, to right all of the wrongs that his own people have perpetrated.

And it’s the Eighth Doctor who stops running from the war, from the responsibility he has as a Time Lord and as the Doctor, and chooses to sacrifice himself to create a Doctor who can save the universe from his corrupted race. For the incarnation that we, as the audience, remember the least, what an incredible legacy.