Synopsis: On Arcadia, Gallifrey’s “safest city,” soldiers stand in watch during the Dalek planetary siege.
• A rather dark narrative that not only shows the power of the Time War Daleks, but also the cockiness of the Timelords by the end of the Time War.
• A largely successful application of the found footage theme.
• Few surprises, considering “The Fall of Arcadia” was a line already uttered in the show.
• The dark humor is a bit on the nose: a Timelord saying visions of death “isn’t” a premonition, the 400 sky-trenches being “impenetrable.”
• Does not stand that well on its own, as it does not add much to the 50th Anniversary Special.
Next to “The Night of the Doctor,” this quick special almost feels inconsequential. It does not add very much, as it does not really stand on its own. However, we are given a first-person view of Timelord soldiers on the last day of the Time War. It is genuinely interesting how they are acting, in spite of being under planetary siege by the entire Dalek race. They act like it was no big deal that they are surrounded, because they assumed their shielding was the best in all of time and space. But, their foe was the Daleks, who long-time viewers of the show know will always find a way to strike. As such, there is a kind of dark satisfaction in watching all that cockiness being destroyed in an instant. We certainly feel for the denizens of Gallifrey’s Second City, seeing them desperately trying to survive in the destined onslaught in the 50th Special “The Day of the Doctor,” but the message was still quite clear: The Timelord leadership deluded themselves in the assumption that they were powerful enough to face an evolved race of flying pepper shakers.
Doctor Who Franchise