Half of my brain thinks that episode was epic. The other one thinks it should be burned down to ashes.
Let’s start with the stuff I didn’t like. Or downright hated.
*clears her throat*
WHY WOULD YOU SHOW THE TIME WAR AND MOST IMPORTANTLY WHY WOULD YOU EVEN PICTURE IT LIKE A DULL BATTLE BETWEEN DALEKS AND RANDOM SOLDIERS? Seriously, every other reference to the Time War made it sound like a Lovecraftian atrocity incomprehensible to mortals or a reality-warping nightmare chock-full of broken timelines, and now it just looks like Star Wars. Yay.
So yeah, Gallifrey wasn’t destroyed and/or Time-locked. Enjoy your big f-cking reset button. Way to render all the character development about the three previous Doctors virtually meaningless, Moffat. Yeah, I know they’re supposed to forget they saved Gallifrey, but we know they did, so their stories won’t have the same impact anymore. Of course trying to save Gallifrey fits with the Doctor’s usual modus operandi, but that was precisely what made the supposed destruction of the planet so powerful in the first place, it used to show that his usual philosophy wasn’t working at times and that he couldn’t always save everyone. Now Eleven can certainly die happy, knowing that it does work all the time, that he’s all-powerful and that he can meddle with his own past actions without consequences. “Time Lord Victorious” away.
Also I seriously hope the show isn’t going to turn into a quest to find Gallifrey now.
Do you hear that noise? It’s the sound of my teeth grinding during every scene involving Queen Elisabeth the First. I’m not going into details but she would never ever get married. Way to ruin a cool historical figure, guys. It was lampshaded by Ten (who said the real queen would never marry him), but still.
Minor thing: Clara is a teacher now. Apparently you can snap your fingers and be a teacher. Also what the hell happened to her after The name of the Doctor? I guess we’ll never know.
But wait! There’s plenty of really good stuff too!
The comedy. That special episode is endlessly quotable. I love how the different Doctors make fun of each other ("Why are you pointing your screwdrivers like that? They’re scientific instruments, not water pistols!") and even when they’re not together, there’s funny lines everywhere ("It’s a machine that goes DING!").
And that doesn’t mean they don’t take time to confront one another seriously. It’s very satisfying to hear the nickname “the man who forgets” applied to Eleven after everything I said about that aspect of the character (he doesn’t remember counting the dead Gallifreyan children? Ouch).