Do not read below the following picture:
I - The Nature of the Gallifrey-Lock
II - Where the End of Time fits in
III - The Timeline
IV - Misc Plot Issues
a. The Memory Wipe
b. Who was Rose?
c. Dalek Responses to the time war.
d. the ending - deus ex?
Some might question why the timeline is only being discussed near the end, but that is necessary as I and II really have to be determined before a proper timeline can be fitted in.
I- THE NATURE OF THE GALLIFREY-LOCK
The Nature of Time Travel
Let me first explain several versions of time travel that we see in movies/ tv shows. First we have the 12 Monkeys type of time travel; where everything that has happened, has happened, including any time travel. If you traveled back in time to 1950, the 1950's always had you as a time traveller wondering around. There is no version of 1950 which did not have you in it, and then another version of 1950 which did. There is no time in flux and there is no rewriting of time. Time cannot be rewritten. Primer is another example.
The second type is the Back to the Future type of time travel. This is where when you time travel back into the past you are basically entering a world in an alternate universe. This world is exactly the same until the point at which you land there as a time traveller. The events from that point onwards (in the alternate universe) are open to change. Travelling back to the future is basically travelling back to your original universe from which you came. The problem with this is that basically this isn't really time travel. As pointed out by a philosopher who I can't remember, this is really just universe hopping.
The third type is the Doctor Who time can be rewritten type of time travel. Where there is 1950 where everything is as it should be and then 1950 version 2 where you decide to pop in. This is the type of time travel where originally Al Gore was the president of America, but you went back in time, stepped on a fly and then poof Bush is now president.
Time travel in Day of the Doctor
So with that in mind, the issue is which type of time travel are we dealing with when the Doctors travel back to the moment? We can ignore the second type of time travel, because Doctor Who never views time travel in terms of jumping between universes. What happened differs between the first type of time travel and third type.
12 MONKEY TIME TRAVEL: The galaxy wide time lock never happened. The Doctor only thought it did since he forgot about the whole 13 doctors came in to save Gallifrey incident. What happened instead was that only a Gallifrey time lock occured. The Daleks whom the Doctor meets as 9,10 and 11 didn't escape the timelock rather they just weren't blown up by their own fleet.
TIME CAN BE REWRITTEN TIME TRAVEL: The galaxy wide time lock did happen once, but then now because of some voodoo magic by the Bad Wolf (yes I think she's the Bad Wolf, see Part IV), the 2 doctors came back to help John Hurt and they fixed everything and rewrote time.
I would prefer the the 12 Monkey scenario for four reasons:
(1) It would avoid the whole issue about how Bad Wolf Rose can poke holes in the Time War and let the 2 doctors back in.
(2) From a storytelling perspective that makes sense why Moffat would let wardoctor and no 10 forget everything. So that we can assume that what we thought was a galaxy wide time lock was never one at all and the doctor was similarly mistaken. If it was the time can be rewritten scenario, then basically Moffat is torturing doctors 9 and 10 for no reason eventhough they've just saved Gallifrey.
(3) This would avoid the nagging feeling that the authors of Doctor Who can just rewrite anything whenever they want.
(4) And this is the big big big main reason, "time can be rewritten time travel" is simply not logically possible. This is because among the three versions of time travel, "time can be rewritten time travel" is the only one that cannot avoid grandfather paradoxes (where you go back and kill your grandfather...but then you weren't born to go back and kill him.)
The alternate universe time travel doesn't suffer from grandfather paradox because the grandfather you're killing is not your original grandfather but a grandfather from an alternate universe.
I have written an essay once (not for fun, I actually did this for university...no joke) where I show how the 12 Monkeys type time travel can be defended. Read it here. I did try to dabble in physics a bit, but I'm a total novice so please ignore any physics I tried writing in that essay.
So from a logical perspective the 12 Monkey type of time travel should be preferred anyway. The rest of this analysis continues from view point that the Galaxy wide time lock never happened.
[note: Doctor who relies heavily on the time can be rewritten type time travel. It is definitely more interesting than the 12 Monkey type, but unfortunately as I have argued illogical. This shouldn't take away from the enjoyment of Doctor Who.]
II - WHERE THE END OF TIME FITS IN
Here's the major problem if the 12 Monkeys type of time travel is adopted. In The End of Time Part 2, Rassilon and his ilk have arrived back on earth and specifically state that they have been stuck in a time lock and hate the Doctor for it. Now if the galaxy wide time lock never happened, then surely this is a contradiction?
One obvious answer would be that Rassilon and the high council thought that the Gallifrey specific time lock that the Doctor put them through was actually galaxy wide. However, didn't the Doctor inform the military (I assume those guys he was talking to were military since he calls one of them General), that he was doing this to save Gallilfrey?
So how come the information from the military didn't pass on to the High Council? A few possibilities emerge,
(1) the High Council didn't believe the military. At the beginning of the End of time Part 2, the High Council knows that the Doctor has the moment. Perhaps it was to them more probable that the moment was used rather than 13 Doctors came swooping in with a time stasis timey wimey thing.
(2) the High Council know about it but are crazy maniacs anyway and still want to get out of the time lock. After all, why should they just hang around waiting for the Doctor to save them? (remember Daleks on Gallifrey itself were probably trapped in the Time Lock too)
(3) for some reason the military did not manage to inform the High Council about the time lock. I can't think of a reason why...ermmm maybe they all died?
Hence there is perhaps some explanation of why Rassilon still referred to the time lock, I'm not altogether sure whether any of the three are very convincing.
III - THE DAY OF THE DOCTOR TIMELINE
Here's the part I'm sure you all have been waiting for. I'm writing from the reference point of the Doctor starting with John Hurt
(1) time war
(2) War doctor steals the moment
(3) War doctor gets transported to England.
(4) War doctor meets 10 and 11.
(5) they escape from the Zygons in the 16th Cent, go forward in time, and get ppl in the basement to negotiate. war doctor then decides to go back and use the moment.
(6) 10 and 11 joins the War Doctor, but Clara stops them from using the moment. They then save Gallifrey.
(7) War Doctor forgets about it then regenerates.
(8) Enter Christopher Eccleston. He still thinks he time locked the whole Galaxy because Gallifrey is no longer there (despite not remembering anything).
(9) Adventures of no 9
(10) Adventures of no 10.
(11) Somewhere after the horrible ending of Series 4, no 10 goes out adventures solo and then meets 11 and War Doctor.
(12) repeat no. 4-6. No. 10 then forgets about it and then sometime later we have The End of Time
(13) 10 regenerates into 11, and we have adventures of no. 11.
(14) The Day of the Doctor - events from 11's point of reference.
[note: I'm not too sure where to put The End of Time from Rassilon's point of reference along the time line. The dialogue at the beginning of the End of Time Part 2 states that the Doctor has the moment and that this is the last day of the time war. So we know it's sometime during the last day, we just don't know exactly when]
IV- MISC PLOT ISSUES
These are smaller plot issues, which I think if unresolved still doesn't really hurt the enjoyment of the show.
The Memory Wipe
This is something new... it seems that when multiple doctors meet, all but the latest incarnation will get their memories wiped.
1st issue: Is this special to the Day of the Doctor or is does it apply to every other multi-doctor story? I'm afraid only Moffat knows about this one.
2nd issue: If it applies to every other multi-doctor story then it makes sense as to why the later incarnations of the Doctors never remember how the story ends. This is with one exception : Time Crash. In that episode, no. 10 unequivocally states that he remembers seeing himself do the thing and that's how he knows how to solve the problem. So if the Day of the Doctor applies to all multi-doctor stories, then Time Crash contradicts it.
I would personally prefer it that Time Crash were wrong. The memory wipe in The Day of the Doctor, nicely explains why the later incarnations of the Doctors in multi-doctor episodes have no clue as to what is going on. Also Time Crash is just a 7 minute for fun episode with no real added value to the canon of Doctor Who (except as a fan wank). I would have to say that perhaps we should just delete it from memory as well.
Who was Rose
There are two explanations, she was either the conscience of the Moment or she really was Bad Wolf Rose.
I think she was Bad Wolf Rose for three reasons:
Firstly, she can created fissures in time and space. this is consistent with an all powerful Goddess who has seen everything in the Doctor's past and future. I think it is more likely that an all powerful Bad wolf could pull 2 Doctors out of their timestreams (and has the motive to do so) rather than some AI of a weapon having that capability.
Secondly, when the War Doctor says " I could kiss you Bad Wolf Girl", she response with "and you will" [ i paraphrase]. this seems to contradict the earlier stance she had that she was merely mimicking Bad Wolf Rose Tyler.
Thirdly, why choose Bad Wolf Rose instead of Rose Tyler, if the moment was scanning to choose someone from the Doctor's life?
Now, it could be possible that if this weapon could time lock an entire galaxy, then it's AI can pull 2 doctors from their time streams as well. However, I personally think Bad Wolf Rose is more likely for the reasons stated above.
Dalek Responses to the Time Lock
Wait a minute, didn't the Doctor meet several Dalek's before? How come they don't know the Galaxy wide time lock never happened?
Remember in the 12 Monkeys time travel type scenario, only the Gallifrey specific timelock happened. The Daleks exterminated themselves through the cross fire. But of course, some would escape (it seems a bit ridiculous to think that an entire race could kill itself through a cross fire)
Let's examine the previous episodes to see if there is a problem. Took the following transcripts from here.
Dalek -series 1ep 6.
DOCTOR: What does that mean?
DALEK: I am a soldier. I was bred to receive orders.
DOCTOR: Well you're never going to get any. Not ever.
DALEK: I demand orders!
DOCTOR: They're never going to come! Your race is dead! You all burnt, all of you. Ten million ships on fire. The entire Dalek race wiped out in one second.
DALEK: You lie!
DOCTOR: I watched it happen. I made it happen.
DALEK: You destroyed us?
DOCTOR: I had no choice.
DALEK: And what of the Time Lords?
DOCTOR: Dead. They burnt with you. The end of the last great Time War. Everyone lost.
DALEK: And the coward survived.
I think this speaks for itself, also I'm not a big fan of no 9 but this episode was definitely showed some brilliant acting from Christopher Eccleston.
The Parting of Ways - series 1 ep 13
EMPEROR [OC]: They survived through me.
(The lights come up to reveal a large apparatus, which on closer inspection is an exploded giant Dalek casing, and a blue-skinned one-eyed mutant is happy for everyone to see it sitting there as if on its throne..)
DOCTOR: Rose, Captain, this is the Emperor of the Daleks.
EMPEROR: You destroyed us, Doctor. The Dalek race died in your inferno, but my ship survived, falling through time, crippled but alive.
So it seems, that the Emperor doesn't expressly mention any timelock. He simply says that they were destroyed by the Doctor.
This raises an issue though, all the Doctor did was let the billions of Dalek ships attack each other through the crossfire, how come the Emperor says their entire race was burnt? As i've stated above, doesn't seem realistic that attackign each other through a crossfire would do that much damage.
Doomsday - series 2 ep 13
DOCTOR: By fighting. On the front line. I was there at the fall of Arcadia. Someday I might even come to terms with that. But you lot ran away!
BLACK DALEK: We had to survive.
DOCTOR: The last four Daleks in existence. So what's so special about you?
Seems like the Daleks from Doomsday ran away before the whole final battle so they wouldn't have been in the know anyway.
Evolution of the Daleks - series 3 ep 5
SEC: The Cult of Skaro escaped your slaughter.
DOCTOR: How did you end up in 1930?
SEC: Emergency temporal shift.
Again the Daleks don't actually mention that the Doctor didn't use the moment, neither do they talk about Gallifrey disappearing. Can be put down to another piece of miscommunication.
Journey's End - series 4 ep13
DOCTOR: But you were destroyed. In the very first year of the Time War, at the Gates of Elysium.
DOCTOR [on screen]: I saw your command ship fly into the jaws of the Nightmare Child.
DOCTOR: I tried to save you.
DAVROS [on screen]: But it took one stronger than you.
DAVROS: Dalek Caan himself.
CAAN: I flew into the wild and fire. I danced and died a thousand times.
DAVROS: Emergency Temporal Shift took him back into the Time War itself.
DOCTOR: But that's impossible. The entire War is timelocked.
DAVROS: And yet he succeeded.
Here we get very close to a contradiction, the Doctor states the entire time war is timelocked and Davros agrees. But remember! Dalek Caan took Davros out before the fall of Arcadia. Dalek Caan is of course now a bit crazy so we can't tell if he really agrees that the entire time war is timelocked.
So, Moffat defenders can say it's consistent, but I would say it's starting to unravel.
So, Moffat defenders can say it's consistent, but I would say it's starting to unravel.
Victory of the Daleks -series5 ep 3
DALEK 2: One ship survived.
DOCTOR: And you fell back through time, yes. Crippled, dying.
No mention of any timelock.
Asylum of the Daleks - series7 ep1
No mention of the Time War.
CONCLUSION ABOUT DALEKS:
While there is no express denial of the galaxy-wide timelock, it comes very close to it in Journey's End. Also, to deny contradictions between what the Daleks say and the fact there was no widespread timelock, would mean interpreting comments about the entire Dalek race being destroyed as resulting from the cross fire incident (the Doctor making Gallifrey disappear and thus allowing the Dalek ships to shoot at each other). This seems highly implausible which leads us to our next issue.
The Ending - Deus Ex?
Some people have complained that the ending was just a deus ex machina. The definition of a deus ex, from Professor Lynch, is "where an author uses some improbable (and often clumsy) plot device to work his or her way out of a difficult situation. When the cavalry comes charging over the hill or when the impoverished hero is relieved by an unexpected inheritance"
Now I would be cautious in saying that this is a Deus Ex, because the solution was sort of hinted at since the beginning. We already had the time stasis paintings from the beginning and the idea that the Doctor can start calculation programs in his equipment to run over several hundreds of years. Yes the endng wasn't something that we could have guessed would happen, but then again this is sci fi, and not even hard sci fi (the science isn't real!), so you can't really expect more than this.
What the ending does suffer from however is the following situation :
Either (1) the cross fire did injure a few dalek ships, but reasonably you would think at least half of the ships survived. Thus all the Daleks in nuWho that say the Doctor wiped out their race were lying - which doesn't seem like something they would do.
(2) the cross fire wiped out billions of warships. This sounds highly improbable (thus slightly meeting the deus ex requirement). I mean, seriously, maybe a few million warships are taken out give or take, but surely the Daleks will realise that the ENTIRE planet has disappeared and then stop firing at each other. [In that hypothetical we are left with a few other million Dalek warships, who can return out of the TimeWar claiming that they won! Which didn't happen.]
Yes I think the ending was a major plot hole, but you know what, I still loved the 50th Anniversary, and my hair stood a bit at the end when all 13 Doctors arrived. So I am not disappointed in the least (if I was, I wouldn't waste my time writing this very long blogpost).