The Last Day.

TV This was the other prequel released just before The Day of the Doctor and bit of a cock up as releases go, originally put up on iTunes accidentally with a charge in the UK which didn’t exist in the US, then without a charge leading to refunds and then ultimately put up on YouTube, it was an example of the BBC experimenting with distribution streams before ultimately ending up with the one which has otherwise worked up until now. Now a few people will no doubt view this as that thing they nearly paid £2.50 for.

Which is a shame because it’s rather fun. Doctor Who dabbling with the found footage genre, The Last Day offers a glimpse into what it’s like amongst the Gallifreyan guard for the first time since the classic series. The influence seems to be Starship Troopers, especially the underrated straight to shiny-disc sequels with single cast members from the original film that aren't Denise Richards.  This is Doctor Who's Clone Wars.  Perhaps "our" own equivalent of the 501st Legion will be turning up at conventions soon.

It’ll no doubt be considered the poor cousin to The Night of the Doctor, but whereas that was stroking the gene of older fans, The Last Day is aimed squarely at kids and especially young gamers, utilising the grammar of a first person shooter, especially in training mode when a virtual colleague has been pressed into action to offer a tutorial. There’ll be a fair few kids who see this and wish they could be off shooting Daleks not that the BBC would be brave enough to ever license something like that.

The reveal that we’re watching the fall of Arcadia, a piece of nuWho, Time War lore first mentioned in Doomsday is chilling, especially if you’re the kind of fan who's been holding onto such scraps of information across the years. In no way what we might have had in our heads, it probably couldn’t be anything else, which is also fittingly exactly what it was like watching The Day of the Doctor itself. But I’m still not reviewing that so I won’t.

Romola on Legacy.

TV Last night, in what's becoming a surprising routine in my dotage (I'm 39), I actually watched something while it was being broadcast on purpose, which was Legacy, BBC Two's cold war thriller based on Alan Judd’s novel of the same name, adapted by Paula Milne (White Heat, The Politician's Husband) and directed by Pete Travis (Vantage Point, Dredd). They worked together previously on Endgame the rather good apartheid film with William Hurt and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

 This came across like an episode of Spooks in which Harry had entered a coma and woken up in 1974 ala Life on Mars. Excellent performances from the cast and gorgeous candlelit photography (the contemporary blackouts creating a noirish feel) made it entirely watchable as an example of the kinds of single dramas which used to be the cornerstone of the schedules rather than rare experiments. Well worth catching on the iPlayer is you have ninety minutes to fill.

Romola Garai played one of the spies who was married to one of the other spies (Christian McKay in another one of his "I can't believe it's not Orson" roles on this occasion channeling Harry Lime) and has been around giving publicity interview. Here she is on BBC News talking about why she took the part:
"I want to play women with jobs, basically," Garai says of her own career criteria.

"It sounds like a very trite thing, but it's very easy to play female leads where the only thing you know about her is how she relates to the male. Whether or not she is pretty, or good in bed - she has no world of her own.

"If a writer is invested in a character enough to talk about what they do for a living, I think that's a good sign," the actress continues.
She told Digital Spy that during filming she met a real spy who gave her advise on how they make sure they aren't followed:
"There's a very easy way to do that, which is to constantly get to a road crossing, a natural place where you would look for cars," she said. "So you have to constantly cross the road as much as possible. It must be quite weird if you're crossing the road but you're looking behind you, and he said that as if it was an obvious thing.

"There were quite a few times afterwards where I went up to a road and looked left and right for traffic, but was also looking behind me. I thought, actually, it's very hard to do that in a natural way. And I'm not very observant!"
Oh there's wonderful quote at the Radio Times about her approach to acting. In general:
"It’s absolutely hilarious that I would be cast in a role like this. I’m really indiscreet and incredibly stupid and I can’t understand the plot of anything – even this script I was reading, saying, “I don’t understand”. I spend my whole life pretending so the idea of doing something where you'd have to pretend all the time is not appealing to me. We do enough made up stuff anyway. "
Doctor Who's going to be really fun in four years time...

The Battle of Demons Run: Two Days Later, The Inforarium, Clara and the TARDIS & Rain Gods.

TV As with the previous boxed set extras, the minisodes on Doctor Who’s season seven boxed set generally attempt to fill in narrative gaps from elsewhere in the series, either because there wasn’t enough time to relevantly enunciate them within a story or because the content was somewhat implied anyway. Unlike previous releases these aren’t all set in the TARDIS console room and presumably for budgetary reasons whilst they're consequently much more visually spectacular, they're also rather shorter.  But it’s surprising just how much narrative can be fitted into a couple of minutes even though as ever there’s a sense that in a way these are just the kinds of stories the series itself might have benefited from telling.

The Battle of Demons Run: Two Days Later was previously only available on iTunes I think, and explains just why Sontaran Strax is walking around, breathing and in the employ of Madam Vastra in The Snowmen despite the events of A Good Man Goes To War. Like the other two prequels, it’s more of a piece of sketch comedy demonstrating that the BBC need to commission a spin-off featuring the characters as quickly as possible even though they never will and we’ll be eternally disappointed. Does it make much sense?  No. Does it spoil his rather good death scene? A bit. Should we be pleased that unlike so many other great characters who’ve met horrible deaths in Doctor Who that aren’t villains that he was resurrected? Yes, yes indeed.

Set just before the series begins, perhaps, The Inforarium explains one of the ways in which the Doctor manages to wipes the memory of himself from half the known universe and the other half. The density of the writing is such that I missed the Doctor’s justification for keeping the librarian in the timeloop right at the beginning the first time around, but it still seems amazingly cruel recalling his treatment of The Family of Blood (or perhaps its my general solidarity with information scientists). It’s end of a project begun in World War Three when the Ninth Doctor hands Mickey the cd-rom, though it’s worth asking how successful it is if UNIT are still capable of having gathering all of that information about him in The Day of the Doctor.

Functionally, Clara and the TARDIS is doing similar things to the Meanwhile In The TARDIS scenes from season five’s boxed set, with on this occasion Amy being given the once over by her successor. But again this ties into the season as the TARDIS, which has gained a more obvious sentience post The Doctor’s Wife, makes fun of this young woman living within her innards. There’s a dreamlike quality to those closing moments which recall the multiple Worfs in the Trek episode Parallells, or for that matter the multiple Amys in Time/Space and we’re not quite sure if what we’re seeing is Sexy messing about with her internal chronology ala Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS.

Credited to Moffat but written by Neil Gaiman, Rain Gods is the scene which was left out of The Doctor’s Wife, reworked to feature River Song instead of her parents and a rare chance to see another one of those adventures with those two which presumably fill up their diaries. “Have we done the planet of the rain gods yet?” That sort of thing. Of all these stories, it’s the one which suggests the road not travelled which would have been River Song taking over as the companion rather than Clara for the final eight, the possibility of seeing the two of them in adventures which are simple romps and not about some ruddy great plot point, in other words, him taking her with him as teased in The Angels Take Manhattan.

A viewing. reading and listening order for the Eighth Doctor.

TV(ish) Renewed interest in the 8.0 model of the Doctor played by Paul McGann fuelled by The Night of the Doctor - see above - three million views - have led some to look at his appearances, in the comics, in the books, in the audio adventures and wonder. "Which order? Which?" Possibly.

A search online leads to a range of opinions and chronologies, many chronologies.

Glance through those and you'll find many ingenious ways they've found for the various often contradictory series to intersect, entirely ignoring such things as character development and that any shared-universe fiction will contradict itself no matter what happens (I'm looking at you Lucas).

But really it's all terribly simple, especially since all three media have pretty much their own internal continuities.

1 The TV Movie

Which is inevitable. Can't be helped.

2 The Eight Doctors by Terrance Dicks

The first of the BBC Books which follows on directly from the TV Movie.

3 The Dying Days by Lance Parkin

Bit of a controversial one this. The last novel published by Virgin Books before the BBC revoked their license, it's also the only one to star the Eighth Doctor. Has to go here, but because it's from a different publishing company and it's retrospectively explained that his new companion Sam has been left at a Greenpeace rally. He's gone for three years part of which is spent on ...

4 The Radio Times comic strips

Usually forgotten but important since his companions return in one of the ...

5 The rest of the BBC Books

All of them in order.

6 The Doctor Who Magazine comics

All of them in order.

7 The Big Finish Audios

All of them in order, which is Shada, then Mary's Story from A Company of Friends (see below), then her trilogy, then all of the original series with Charley Pollard as the companion, then the follow on series with Lucie Miller then Tamsin as the companion, then these new Dark Eyes boxed sets.

8  The Night of the Doctor

See above.

Which seems simple enough.

Except, for various reasons some fans like to think that the comics and audios happen in the three year gap we've just discussed. Not least because the version of his home planet Gallifrey which appears in both is rather different to the one which develops in the books.

Except, coincidentally both the books and comics ended in similar circumstances in the wake of the new series with most of their plotlines resolved and the Doctor and his companions heading off into an unknown future.

Plus The Name of the Doctor, in which Eighth makes a point of mentioning the audio companions suggests that they're very recent for him. If The Gallifrey Chronicles or The Flood had just "happened"? Wouldn't it have looked a bit like this?

Which means that there's nothing to say that at some point between the close of the books and the start of the comics, and the close of the comics and the start of the books some event or other might have caused the changes to be rolled back, the Doctor left travelling alone again ready for the next set of adventures to start.  Not everything will quite make sense but as I've said before, Doctor Who's continuity ebbs and flows.  None of it really makes sense or is internally consistent.

Nevertheless, thank goodness DWM didn't follow through with the original plan of showing the regeneration.

And having the audios last, from the first, Shada, through to the latest season means that we fans of 8.0 can enjoy a series of ongoing adventures which are edging ever closer to another time war (there are several) and the events of the new series, still filling in a gap, but one which ends in the story which was once only in our heads and is now available on Youtube, the iPlayer and a forthcoming home release.  For goodness sake.

Oh and the various short stories and comic flashbacks, including the rest of the audio anthology The Company of Friends, fitted in whenever it seems like they should be. There's not the room here for that.

Now, wasn't that interesting?

[A version of this post was originally published here on the occasion of Paul unveiling his Dark Eyes costume.  It seems even more relevant now that the audios at least have become noticed.  No one would blame you for skipping most of the novels.  There are hundreds and it took me nearly eight years to read through them.]

BBC 1963: December.

The Chink in the Wall, 31 December 1963
"Two years after the construction of the barrier between East and West Berlin, special permission was granted for visits by Westerners to the East for a period of five days over Christmas. In this programme, people - some of whom hadn't seen their loved-ones since the rapid construction of the wall in 1961 - describe what these visits mean to them, what life was like before the wall went up and the arduous process they had to go through to obtain visitors' permits."

Six Days to Saturday
"... a film made in 1963 about Swindon Town F.C. by the legendary film director John Boorman." (viewable via a Realplayer link at the bottom of the page)

Tonight: Moslem University
"BBC clip 'Moslem University' from Tonight tx 02.12.1963"

The birth of African Kenya
"People in Britain had begun to question whether conflict in the Empire was worthwhile when the whole idea of Empire seemed so out of step with world opinion. Kenya gained independence on 12 December 1963 and African Kenya was born. Little by little the rest of the Empire peeled away, leaving Britain to be just another country on the map."

The Reith Lectures: The Fulfilment of Lives: Albert Sloman: A University in the Making: 1963
"This year's Reith lecturer is Dr Albert E Sloman, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex. He was previously Gilmour Professor of Spanish at Liverpool University and Dean of the Faculty of Arts. Dr Sloman explores what is needed to make an institute for higher education in Essex in his series entitled 'A University in the Making'."

BBC 1963: November.

BBC News: Rare footage of JFK's arrival in Dallas emerges
"A rare, high-quality colour film of US President John F Kennedy on the day of his assassination has been released to the public for the first time. The film shows the president and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy arriving on Air Force One at Love Field airport in Dallas, Texas on 22 November, 1963. It was shot on 8mm film by William Ward Warren, then a 15-year-old student, who recalls his memories of President Kennedy's arrival."

Letter From America: Assassination of J F Kennedy, Sun 24 Nov 1963
"The assassination of John F Kennedy, the first president of the television age, and the style, grace and fun he brought to the White House."

The Reunion: The Kennedy Assassination
"In this special 100th edition of The Reunion recorded in Dallas, Sue MacGregor reunites five people who were intimately connected to the events surrounding the Kennedy assassination: Clint Hill, the former Secret Service agent who frantically climbed up the back of the presidential limousine as the shots rang out; Gayle Newman, who stood with her young family in Dealey Plaza and became one of the closest eyewitnesses; Hugh Aynesworth, then of the Dallas Morning News, who reported on the events in November 1963, Kenneth Salyer, who was part of the medical team at Parkland Hospital, desperately trying to revive the President; and James Leavelle, retired Dallas Homicide Detective, who was famously handcuffed to Lee Harvey Oswald when he was shot by Jack Ruby."

Outlook: I Should Have Taken JFK's Bullet
"Clint Hill was assigned bodyguard to American First Lady Jackie Kennedy from 1960 to 1964. On the day that President John F Kennedy was shot, Clint was riding in the car immediately behind the President and his wife. He leapt onto the car to try to protect the President from the bullets but was unable to save him. In an amazing and moving interview, Clint tells Matthew Bannister how his inability to save President Kennedy has haunted him for fifty years. "

Witness: Lee Harvey Oswald and the USSR
"Lee Harvey Oswald, the man accused of killing President John F Kennedy in November 1963 had spent more than two years living in the USSR. He had defected there after serving as a US Marine. He got a job in Minsk, and got married but was then welcomed back to the USA."

Woman's Hour: JFK
"Everyone can remember where they where when they heard the news. For two sisters, Clare and Mairead O'Connor, from County Laoise in the Republic of Ireland, the fascination with Kennedy began when he visited their country just months before he died and it has remained a life long ambition to visit the sites associated with the first Irish Catholic President. After much soul searching they decided not to cancel their trip after the terrorist bombings and accompanied by reporter Mary Harte started their journey in Boston."

Talking Movies: Shooting history: Parkland's untold stories of JFK's assassination
"Almost 50 years since the assassination of US President John F Kennedy in Texas, a new film is exploring the shooting through the eyes of ordinary people. Parkland examines the events of November 22 1963 from the perspective of the medical staff who treated the president, the detectives who sought his killer, and the man who filmed that dramatic moment in history."

Desert Island Discs: Gordon Pirie
"Roy Plomley's castaway is athlete Gordon Pirie."

The Public Ear: The Beatles
"In February 1961, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best played their first gig at the Cavern Club as The Beatles. Just two years later, and after a change of drummer, they were the biggest band in the UK and global domination was just a few months away. Allan Scott meets friends and relatives of The Beatles to discover the roots of the band and learn more about their early years. Contributors include former drummer Pete Best and Millie Sutcliffe, mother of original band member Stuart Sutcliffe. Note: this recording has been edited for copyright reasons."

After the after party.

TV One of the more bewildering moments in the now fairly notorious BBC Three After Party was the massed Doctors and companions singing happy birthday out of sinc with a band while cutting a TARDIS cake. Well, avert your eyes because you may find the following scenes even more disturbing:

Basically this whole after show thing keeps getting worse and worse. As one of the findees notes:

Doctor Who now has its own Live into 85, though I admit that is a bit unfair considering some of the montages:

The jump cuts between the TV Movie and Rose are breathtaking, aren't they?

The Day of the Doctor reviewed by someone else.

TV Because I didn't, if you want a proper review of The Day of the Doctor which covers all the bases and even has some screenshots, let me direct you towards Frank Collins's on his Cathode Ray Tube blog:
"The final scene of David Bradley and Matt Smith in An Adventure on Space and Time is rather like the Tenth and the Eleventh respecting and legitimising the actions of the War Doctor, acknowledging the debt they owe to him in The Day of the Doctor. John Hurt is or becomes the Doctor because they take responsibility for him. The Day of the Doctor's wonderful cameo featuring Tom Baker as 'the curator' also operates in a similar way. The past and the future overlap. One cannot exist without the other. Tom, as elder statesman, is saying to Matt, and similarly the Fourth Doctor is asking the Eleventh Doctor, not to forget those whom have served, whether in the Time War or in Lime Grove D. These scenes don't just serve as a kiss to the past, they - to put it in Moffat-ian terms - positively snog its face off and use tongues."
In case you're wondering I still haven't watched it again. It's almost like I'm running away from it.

BBC 1963: October.

Woman's Hour: Edith Piaf
"When Edith Piaf died in 1963, two million people came onto the streets of Paris to mourn her. In the 1940s and 50s, her name became synonymous with intense songs of love and death. Piaf’s life was as eventful as her songs – her early years were spent in her grandmother’s brothel, her first mentor was murdered, and the love of her life died tragically in a plane crash."

The Reunion: National Theatre
"Sue MacGregor presents the series which reunites a group of people intimately involved in a moment of modern history. She brings together some of the original members of the National Theatre to remember its birth in 1963 under artistic director Laurence Olivier. Her guests are Sir Michael Gambon, Sir Derek Jacobi, Dame Maggie Smith, Dame Joan Plowright and Bill Gaskill."

Night Waves: Landmarks: Oh What a Lovely War
"It's fifty years now since Oh What a Lovely War was first performed and this evening Night Waves pays tribute to Joan Littlewood's revolutionary anti-war musical. In a programme recorded before an audience at the Theatre Royal Stratford East where the show received its premiere, Samira Ahmed and her guests, the critic, Michael Billington, Erica Whyman from the RSC, the historian, David Kynaston and Murray Melvin from the original cast, discuss how Oh What A Lovely War changed Britain's theatrical landscape and redefined the way the think about the First World War."

Document: Guyana
"Mike Thomson investigates how Britain covertly manipulated the democratic process in its South American colony, then known as British Guiana in the run up to its independence in 1966. Mike discovers new documents which show that they deliberately scuppered the outcome of their own conference organised to determine the country's future. [...] On the face of it the conference, held in London in October 1963, was designed to confirm the constitutional future for what was then British Guiana. Publicly Britain encouraged the country's Prime Minister Dr Cheddi Jagan - who had been fairly elected in 1961 - and the leader of the opposition Linden Forbes Burnham to agree terms for independence. However, behind the scenes, the documents reveal that the British were working to a different outcome - to ensure that agreement was never reached."

The Prime Ministers: Harold Macmillan
"Nick Robinson, the BBC Political Editor, continues his series exploring how different prime ministers have used their power, have responded to the great challenges of their time and have made the job what it is today. The sixth of Nick's portraits in power is Harold Macmillan, prime minister between 1957 and 1963. "

Monitor: Prince of Denmark
"Huw Wheldon bravely referees this clash of the titans as Peter O'Toole, Orson Welles and veteran thespian Ernest Milton compete to present the definitive analysis of 'Hamlet'. The atmosphere and some of the language used reflect this progamme's original late-night timeslot. This programme is incomplete and has some audio drop-out."

BBC News: An Interview with The Beatles
"The Beatles prepare for their appearance on 'The Royal Variety Performance' as Peter Woods asks them about their expectations for the future."

90 by 90: The Beatles talk posh
"Jolly joshing between the Beatles and a BBC reporter."

Dateline: The Beatles
"The Fab Four are interviewed while at the Gaumont Theatre, Doncaster. To the accompanying background noise of screaming fans, Dibbs Mather talks to each of The Beatles individually and elicits their ideas about future career prospects when their current musical popularity wanes. These plans vary from being a ladies' hairdresser to having 'a little business', although Lennon's answers are less straightforward. "

South Today: Winter of 1963
"Alexis Green investigates the severe winter of 1963"

BBC Magazine: The BBC's first Man in Moscow
"The BBC tried to open a bureau in Russia during World War II but only succeeded some 20 years later - in 1963. Erik de Mauny was the obvious choice for the BBC's first resident correspondent in the USSR. Not only did he have plenty of foreign reporting experience he also had a university degree in Russian. De Mauny's son Marc still lives in Russia, where he is general manager and executive producer of Perm Opera and Ballet Theatre, one of the country's oldest and most successful musical theatres. Marc de Mauny spoke to the BBC's current man in Moscow, Steve Rosenberg, about his memories of his father's time there."

BBC News: Good Morning Wales marks its 50th year of broadcasting
"This weekend marks 50 years since the first edition of Good Morning Wales on BBC Radio Wales. The breakfast programme has been on the air, in one form or another, since 1963. BBC Wales arts and media correspondent Huw Thomas has trawled through the archives and spoken to some of the people who have helped to keep Good Morning Wales on the air for all these years."

Sir Alec Douglas-Home's first address as PM
"Sir Alec Douglas-Home makes an address from 10 Downing Street after becoming prime minister in October 1963."

Face to Face: Dr Martin Luther King Jnr
"First transmitted in 1961, Dr Martin King Jnr talks about his childhood experiences and the incidents that led to the Montgomery bus boycott. These events shaped King's life and led to him becoming a national figurehead and civil rights leader."

WHO 50: The Final End:
The Day of the Doctor.

TV Right then here we are. It’s the evening after the night before, Adele’s on, and I really don’t want to be here, which I appreciate isn’t the best way to start any review, but when it’s a review you really don’t want to write, it’s probably perfect. You know when … I mean when … well … there we are. See, can’t even get my words out. But yes, if ever there was a time when I didn’t want to be sitting at a keyboard tapping away it would be now. There are certain moments in a fans life when they’re facing up to the fact that having made a promise earlier in their life, they want to do everything in their power to break it. So when I promised myself of all people that I’d review my way through all broadcast nuWho (and it’s spin offs), you know as a bit of a challenged, I’d be faced with something as patently unreviewable as The Day of the Doctor.

Oh no I mean it’s reviewable. I could sit here and knock out ten paragraphs relatively easily given the episode's general richness, metatextuality and all of that sort of thing, but the point is, I don’t want to. Even though I wasn’t with all the people throughout the country in cinemas dodging spectral Dalek stalks and multiple sonic screwdrivers and in my usual spot at home alone in front of the television I won in the competition, the experience was so, well just so, and the episode, well just, so, that I don’t want to spoil things by picking it apart. I probably will. When I watch it again (which I haven’t yet), I’m sure I’ll be looking for things to dislike, moments which are gloriously brilliant because they’re so gloriously wrong, the nuWho equivalents of Sarah Jane falling down a short incline. But in this moment when I’m still enjoying the glow of the memories of squeeing for an hour or so I just simply can’t or won’t.

How do I put this into words? It’s a bit like trying to review a party. Imagine, and yes, I know there are people who're keeping quiet becuase this is their job, but this is really talking about the rest of us, imagine if you’d been to a very good party and then someone the next day asked you to write a review. For a start you’d essentially have to relive the thing, memories of conversations and dancing and the snacks, if there are snacks, bubbling back to the surface (in various ways) and although this obviously isn’t quite the same, especially since it’s entirely possible to experience this party in HD on a screen somewhere, possibly in 3D, by piecing together your memory of the experience, you’re bound to find the flaws, because life’s like that. No moment is perfect, there are always flaws, because perfect moments are generally unreliable because they’re supported by a scaffold of hopes, dreams and possibly alcohol.

Parties, especially if they’re the kinds of parties I used to be invited to when I used to be invited to parties tend to go something like this: the uncertainty of whether drinks will be supplied by the host or yourself so that when you bring a bottle of wine as a present, you’re wrong and you end up drinking water from the tap all night because you don’t drink wine. There are the people too, the friends you know will be there, those you hope will be there, the old friends who’ve decided to surprise everyone and those who haven’t shown and you know will be regretful and always wonder about what they might have missed. There are the decorations which dazzle, the music some of it familiar, some of it not. Plus there’s the after party which are rarely a good idea, followed by the taxi back to someone’s flat when all that’s left is to giggle at each other’s jokes and hope the night won’t end.

Yet despite all of that, the following morning, even if you have a hangover you’ll be smiling because all you can remember are the good things, the general feeling of belonging to something and if not that the images, when everything became slightly unhinged and you’re sure you saw someone walking around in a rubber outfit wearing a crown or some such. But if you do remember something that doesn’t quite make sense, like the person who’s behaviour’s disappointed you or when everything you thought about someone else is turned upside down or someone you’ve had your eye on is unexpectedly married, then what you have to do, and what I’m going to do is not worry. Forget about it. Leave it to one side and above all, don’t analyse. If I’ve been guilty of anything in my life it’s overanalyses of everything, especially conversations, especially conversations with other people and it’s never done me much good.

Do you feel the same? I wonder if you do. Certainly the people who have reviewed The Day of the Doctor, particularly the professionals, have been all mentally over the place, partly because for the first time, they watched it for the rest of us, the entire globe it felt like, all watching Doctor Who at the same time, which is magnificent. Some of those are barely reviews too, either lists or a three paragraph synopsis or what amounts to an observational piece that wouldn’t be out of place on the late, lamented Home Truths. I’m not just saying this because he’s a friend, but the best review I’ve seen so far is from Neil Perryman and Sue his wife in space, who live blogged the episode on The Guardian’s website because it captures the experience of watching the thing, of attending the party. That’s also true of this piece from the New Yorker that captures the reaction of fans in a downtown bar.

So if this isn’t a review, if I am, forgetting about it, how does this manifest itself, in other words, if I was to give myself the latitude to mention anything I might have mentioned in the review that this isn’t, what would that be, what should we be forgetting, how do we cope? Well, obviously it’s Gallifrey, of course it is. No longer a ball of smouldering rubble, it’s now, utilising one of the preventative strategies from another Time War in the Eighth Doctor novels, sitting in a pocket universe somewhere waiting to be discovered and the Doctor is absolved of his survivor guilt and for extra measure no longer a child murderer, which until last night, I hadn’t ever consider he would be, because in the classic series, although Romana mentions being a Time Tot, I didn’t consider the implications of that. The mythology which underpins nuWho has changed fundamentally. Moffat himself says so to Buzzfeed of all people.

At which point, narratively speaking, nuWho should unravel because it’s been retconned. We can’t watch any of it again with the same eyes. The survivor guilt of the Ninth or Tenth Doctor (this is going to be confusing) which underpinned that first season is now the product of a faulty memory and considering that the Ninth (or Tenth) Doctor is there at the end helping to carry Gallifrey into that pocket universe, a really faulty memory. The End of Time makes practically no sense now. I mean it didn’t make much sense before (White-Point Star) (the drumming, the constant drumming), but how can Gallifrey be dragged through time out of a timelock if it’s in a pocket universe, and well, Gwen’s face in Torchwood’s Miracle Day’s End of the Road. You know the one. The one which is swiftly followed by an expletive. As retcons go, and this is a retcon, it’s an especially juicy one.

Yet, and oh yet, you can forget about it. I know you’ll be wanting some reasons, so here are some reasons. Firstly, Doctor Who isn’t like other franchises and the brilliance of Doctor Who is that unlike most other franchises, reboots, retcons and mythology changes are inbuilt. From The Time Meddler to The War Games to The Deadly Assassin to, well, make a list, across its fifty years, the show hasn’t just changed its lead actor, the ship, and the way it tells its story, it’s changed that story. Across the format, no single item of Doctor Who has an internal consistency, everything contradicts itself and the reason its lasted fifty years is because it’s entirely capable of that. Six years into the original series, the otherwise mysterious Doctor was given a race and a home planet, massive paradigm shift. Now, audaciously, eight years into the new series, we have something approaching the same thing.

It’s not quite the same thing, because it seems to change the narrative of what we’ve seen before. Genesis of the Daleks is probably a better example in which, thanks to the Doctor’s meddling, all of the Dalek stories beforehand happen in a different way if at all, because he’s set their development back a thousand years, which is why whenever someone attempts to put together a chronology of the Daleks its all over the place. On a smaller scale, Mawdryn Undead messes up the dating of the UNIT stories of the seventies even further because the Brig is supposed to be working in that blasted school at the same time as when the original production team assumed he should be still fighting the Bok, giant maggots and the like. One of the ref works, the Radio Times 20th anniversary special, I think, when explaining various bits of mythology is filled with the qualifications, “Before Mawdryn Undead” etc.  Retcon, after retcon.

None of which makes Doctor Who impossible to watch. We don’t rewatch the Pertwee era trying to work out if Day of the Daleks “happened” or if The Green Death happened in the same way, or at least we shouldn’t and we shouldn’t treat the everything leading up to The Day of the Doctor any differently. Some people will and some people already are. I’ve seen “Moffat has ruined Doctor Who” type comments online, people clutching the Russell T Davies era like a sacred relic, which it obviously is because it’s the reason I’m not writing this review, but they’re getting Doctor Who wrong. Moffat’s looked at the past few years and decided the soulful last of the timelords business has run its course. As he said to Buzzfeed, the Doctor needs a new goal, whatever his face looks like, even if as he doesn’t say, it turns the series into Red Dwarf, the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon, Ulysses 31 and both versions of Battlestar Galactica.

Secondly, you can forget about it if you treat the narrative of the show in the same way I do, with the reboots, retcons and mythology changes not just inbuilt but hardwired into the narrative of the show because of all the time travel, because, sigh, time can be rewritten. My post back in July explains this in greater detail, and better than I’m about to, but essentially, everything before The Day of the Doctor happened as is because in that version of history the Doctor think he killed all the children. Now we’re watching a version of history where he doesn’t. There’s possibly different version of The End of Time in which the Tenth/Eleventh Doctor regenerates for slightly different reasons which we can only imagine (unless someone produces an audio). In some ways it strengthens the earlier narrative because it now has an undercurrent of the Doctor not just learning to deal with his own whimsiness again but also why he was wrong.

Like I said, if I’ve been guilty of anything in my life it’s overanalyses of everything, and I think that’s just expressed itself again. Sorry about that. But isn’t that also true of parties, even if you’re not in the hypothetical situation of being asked to write a review, you simply can’t help yourself and can’t help rationalising what happened?  Unless this is just me and my neuroses.  Or Jeff Goldblum’s character in The Big Chill who says, “I don't know anyone who could get through the day without two or three juicy rationalizations. They're more important than sex” and even though Tom Berenger notes that nothing is more important than sex, Jeff replies “Oh yeah? Ever gone a week without a rationalization?” I haven’t been able to go five minutes probably especially when faced with something as secretly complex as The Day of the Doctor or my feelings about, well, no indeed, let’s keep that for another time.

All of which apologia should explain why I’m not reviewing The Day of the Doctor in the hopes that I can keep the memory of last night locked, wishing that Tennant could be Doctor at the same time as Matt Smith for real, jumping up and down and squeeling and pointing at the screen when Capaldi’s eyes appeared, of coring at the sight of Tom, the Dunkirk spirit on Twitter during the aftershow on BBC Three and then giggling for a solid half hour during The 5(ish) Doctors Reboot, more than I have at anything comic all year and the general feeling of belonging to something in a way which I never really did when I was flirting with religion in my mid-teens or at the kinds of parties I used to be invited to when I used to be invited to parties, even though I was in my usual spot at home alone in front of the television I won in the competition. Why would I want to spoil that?

BBC 1963: September.

Witness: Duke Ellington Plays Kabul
"In September 1963 the jazz legend gave a concert in the Afghan capital. In those days the city was open to all sorts of cultural experiments. Hear from Faiz Khairzada, the man who organised Duke Ellington's appearance."

Parkinson: Duke Ellington
"Duke Ellington talks to Michael Parkinson in 1973 about his Kabul concert, and plays a number with the house band"

Witness: 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing
"On September 15 1963, four young black girls were killed in a racist bomb attack against a church in Birmingham, Alabama in the US. The Baptist church at 16th Street had been a centre for civil rights activities in the city. Sarah Collins Rudolph was badly injured in the attack, and her sister, Addie Mae was one of those who died. Listen to her story."

16th Street Baptist Church bombing, 1963
"Racist whites bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, which had been a rallying point for the civil rights movement. Four young girls were killed, the first fatalities in Birmingham. Activists who were there discuss the bombing and its aftermath."

Heart and Soul: The Wales Window of Alabama
"In 1963, racist bombers blew up the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, four teenage girls were killed in the blast and the murders were a new low in the fight for civil rights. he news of the bombing spread around the world, sitting in his studio in Wales was the sculptor John Petts, as he listened to the radio in his studio, he became so upset he resolved to do something about it..."

Radio Newsreel: Tom Driberg
"This interview with Driberg was recorded in 1963, shortly after Burgess' death from a heart attack in a Moscow hospital at the age of 52. Almost an apologist for Burgess, Driberg views his espionage as an activity that could be interpreted as a kind of patriotism."

BBC News: Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg marks 50 years
"A Welsh language campaign group has been celebrating its 50th birthday. But what will middle age bring for Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg? Vaughan Roderick of BBC Radio Wales spoke to two men devoted to the future of Welsh - the Conservative MP Guto Bebb and the writer and founding member of Cymdeithas, Gareth Miles. Mr Miles began by recalling how it all started with a minor traffic offence."

BBC News: Freedom of Plymouth: Royal Navy parade marks 50 years
"Thousands of people have attended a parade in Plymouth to mark 50 years since the Royal Navy was given the freedom of the city. About 550 serving personnel and veterans took part in the parade. The freedom of the city was first granted to the Plymouth Command of the Royal Navy in September 1963."