“There’s no point in being grown up if you can’t be childish sometimes,” Baker’s #4 said once. In The Day of the Doctor, Doc 8.5 (John Hurt) can’t figure out why his future selves act so childish, unaware that the decision he is currently mulling over is what will cause all of his future selves to brood about (9), regret (10), and forget (11), wanting to be as unlike Doc 8.5 as possible, rejecting the stoic genocidal persona in favor of unwarranted innocence. Another step in understanding the Doctor’s character, a far cry from the previous season of Doctor Who, which unveiled nothing about anything.
The Day of the Doctor also includes witty banter between Doctors, the return of Piper and Baker for the fans, a flash forward of Capaldi, a classic monster, and some royal wedding backstory on Ten we would have otherwise been without. Concluding Ten’s guest appearance with the sweetly soppy “I don’t want to go,” lost its impact after seeing the surprisingly good An Adventure in Time and Space by Mark Gatiss, in which after being fired from Doctor Who, William Hartnell sobs, “I don’t want to go.” There’s being clever, and then there’s pulling heart-strings for cheap emotional effect. But in all, though The Day of the Doctor was well done compared to the previous season, An Adventure in Time and Space was better.