The problem with the 50th ret-conning isn’t that the Doctor’s emotional integrity re: his post-Time War angst disappears. Obviously, he really believes he sacrificed Gallifrey, believes all those people burned, etc. He’ll still feel really, really bad about it.
The problems are that:
A) OUR response as the audience to the first seven seasons of NuWho has been compromised because WE know that it’s all a lie. The emotional resonance of those scenes is irrevocably altered because instead of feeling the weight of that choice and empathizing with and/or shuddering at the Doctor’s actions, we become sympathetic — the poor dear just doesn’t know the truth. Don’t worry, though, he’ll find out in time that it was all a lie, the wee lamb.
B) It has fundamentally changed the nature of the Doctor’s character. Before he was actually capable of causing that much destruction. Now he is not. That detracts hugely from the character because it erases one of his flaws — that in the right (wrong) circumstances, the Doctor could be terrible, fearsome; he has the capacity for that inside him. That he chooses to be otherwise, as much as he is able, is what makes him heroic.
Think about the conversation in Boom Town between the Doctor and Margaret the Slitheen. He has her number, absolutely understands her motivation, calls her on all her bullshit, and what does she say? ”Only a killer would know that.” The truth of that moment was brilliant, powerful, and a little disturbing — we are meant to fear him a little because of it. Now we know we don’t need to, we never need to, because the Doctor?
Oh, he’d never do a thing like that.
So this brightly smiling War Doctor regenerates, happy that he didn’t really kill 2 billion children, into Nine who immediately curls over with anguish, scowls and broods and feels insurmountable guilt for what he had just done. It is almost comical if it weren’t about committing genocide
And now the Sherlockians:
I feel like if you asked Moffat to describe Clara he’d be all: oh she’s funny and witty and sexy and actiony and flirty and did I mention pretty??? oh and she loves the Doctor oh and she’s impossible, and she’s bossy and did I mention the dads will love her? did I mention she’s pretty? did I mention that she’s feisty? fiesty and pretty, yeah! basically 10/10 would bang, soooo sexy, her skirt’s so tight! tee hee! naughty clara!
Whereas if you asked RTD to describe Rose he’d end up going off on some three hour love declaration about her flaws and her weaknesses and her beauty and her humanity and her background and her family and where she lived and her past loves and food she enjoys and music she likes and jokes she finds funny and her delicious selfishness but also her immense compassion and her wicked eye make up and her political opinions and her mixed emotions for her father and her strength but also her vulnerability and her uncertainty and her conflicting natures of wanting freedom and love, but also wanting to be there for her mother, and being torn between those two lives and being oh-so-young but so very brave.
And I think that kind of sums up their approaches when it comes to lady characters.
Guys guys guys omgomgomg
Ok so i have patchy internet on my phone so i dont know if this post will work, but im currently at the 50th convention thingy in london
And i just saw a panel with phil collinson on it
And i NEED to tell you what he just said before i forget:
Interviewer: so what did you think of the episode last night?
Phil Collinson a.k.a light of my life replied: yeah…it was good but i dont know about the time war stuff…and the way they changed what we did…but its there now so we cant change it so we’ll have to come to terms with that (or words close to that, i have it recorded so i will double check exact words later if i can hear it all right)
Interviewer: but seeing david as the doctor was good right?
Phil: yeah…but the main thing i wanted to see was him interacting with billie, so that was a shame…
He is literally my favourite person in the world right now
He also spoke about rtd wishing he could be here (personal reasons = he couldnt) but phil’s been texting him all weekend about it
He said that he and rtd argued about the deposition of harriet jones and spoke about how pleased he was when she was in stolen earth (he says that in his head she is still alive lol; he loves her)
Also stolen earth/journeys end were his favourite to work on
Ok im off to queue for another thing now (seriously, there’s an outrageous amount of queuing involved!)