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.
you want a man with a strong jawline so you have a sturdy place to sit
moffat’s companions’ lives are all so strangely ungrounded in reality and i think it’s a good example of his very weak writing. in day of the doctor we see clara teaching - no explanation, no mention of it in the episode, and no build up to it. although obviously this was a (really lovely actually) nod to canon, it’s not the first time this has happened; amy just “became” a model in one episode and was never shown like this again (after her first job was as a kissogram). it’s impossible to imagine this happening with any of russell t davies’ companions, who all had lives incredibly minutely planned out; rose and mickey found their path to success obstructed by class boundaries and working manually, donna worked a succesion of uninspiring office jobs and even well off martha was shown physically working very hard to achieve her medical degree.
this ability to skip through professions as well as change locations and dump family just grounds the idea that moffat’s companions are strange, non-human, undeveloped creatures. their lives, trials and tribulations don’t matter outside of the doctor, and it’s like they’re a succession of barbie dolls; “i can be a model! i can be a teacher! i can be an archaeologist!” with an awful lot of pluck, a cheeky grin, and no substance whatsoever
moffat’s companions’ lives are all so strangely ungrounded in reality and i think it’s a good example of his very weak writing. in day of the doctor we see clara teaching - no explanation, no mention of it in the episode, and no build up to it. although obviously this…