Well, my goodness, that was very exciting, wasn’t it? So many bits and pieces, but still put together so nicely – you have your bit of a runaround, you have your bit of a base under siege, you have a bit of your timey-wimey, you have your bit of a change of history that doesn’t rewrite everything but still doesn’t end up feeling cheap as it often does; just fun.

I think it’s not spoilery at all to say that John Hurt played Eight and a Half in the Classic Doctor style, which I was entirely happy to see. Best of all, he did it so so well that it integrated seamlessly with Tennant and Smith’s portrayals of their doctors. And did anyone else note the parallel scene with Hurt and Louise-Coleman versus Bradley’s Hartell & Grant’s Carol Ann Ford in An Adventure in Space and Time last night? You can’t tell me that wasn’t intentional.

Well, you could, but I’d mock you pretty fiercely.

Oh, let’s have some spoilers about moments, shall we?

I quite liked the way they brought in every doctor. Yes, it’s fanservice, but it’s the 50th Anniversary Special, when the hell else should you do fanservice? Seeing everyone pop in from their various TARDISes made me unreasonably happy.

Relatedly, though a separate show: An Adventure in Space and Time was just wonderful on every level. With that cast, they could do new first-doctor episodes. Honestly, it came to the point where part of my brain forgot it wasn’t documentary footage and was shot in the current day, so much so that when Matt Smith showed up as himself, I had a moment of outrage reaction at his CGI insert… that, of course, wasn’t a CGI insert at all, having been filmed this past summer.

I adored Billie Piper’s portrayal of Bad Wolf. Scattered through space and time, indeed, and such a better use of the character than in the awful return story we saw thWE NEVER SAW BECAUSE SANER HEADS PREVAILED. shut up, it’s my headcanon and you can’t make me say otherwise.

I like brigadier Stewart more every time we see her. There’ve been a few attempts to bring back in UNIT as an organisation, but her version has been the best, and that she’s getting into some of the same fights with the Doctor as her father did just seems… fitting.

Loved with bit in the peace talks with the Science Scarf twins and the inhaler. What implications does that have for the rest of the show? If you have this peace agreement going on… do we finally have aliens on Earth officially in Doctor Who?

Jenna Lousie-Coleman’s Clara Oswald gets to be clever again, but more importantly, I’m starting to feel like we’re finally getting more personality out of her in her “real life” version. She’s pushing decisions now, and when she’s saying, on Gallifrey, that this can’t be right, it comes from her as a person, not her as a cleverbot. And while I adore clever, there’s more to a person than just clever – or should be, and we’re finally seeing some of it come through. The implicit structure of interplay between her and Bad Wolf made a nice parallel, tying back again back to the whole necessity of having a companion in this series.

If you’re going to retcon the end of Gallifrey and the Time War… this is a way I can live with. Nobody knows things are any different than they have been – because, after all, they aren’t – and it’s still excised from time, and perhaps best of all, you get to let the character lighten back up. Haunted Doctors have been great, but now you’re not stuck with it forever.

ROUNDELS! ROUNDELS! ROUNDELS! God, I’m such a sucker for fanservice. I like Hurt’s TARDIS interior, what little we see of it. So shoot me. XD

And, of course, the Tom Baker cameo. He let it out a day or so before, the bastard ( XD ) but I’ll live with that. It’s hilarious how impish he’s still capable of being at his age.

All in all, I still won’t be sorry to see Moffat go, when he does – and it’s rumoured he’ll be heading out after the Matt Smith regeneration. But after the bad taste in my mouth left by most of the last series, I’m just really, really happy to have such a strong anniversary. Between this and the loveliness – absolutely loveliness – of An Adventure in Space and Time last night, I’m a happy fan again. Let’s hope the Christmas special doesn’t screw it up. XD

eta: Anna also has a reaction post, over here.