If this is the aperitif, then goodness knows what we’ve got coming as the main course for the 50th anniversary – this is the story that we’ve been waiting for since Christopher Eccleston first talked about the Time War in those early episodes of the revived series.
It answers a lot of questions: which Doctor was it who was involved in the Time War? What happened to the Eighth Doctor? Are the Big Finish stories involving the Eighth Doctor canonical? This is Moffat at his most fanboy… and, as with The Curse of Fatal Death, him demonstrating his love and knowledge of the series. It straddles the classic and new series in the best way we could have hoped for, with the return of Paul McGann at the end of his time in the TARDIS.
While it might have been nice for this to have featured within the main body of the story – so that at least one classic Doctor was in the special – this provides the backstory, and also demonstrates how much the Time War affected the rest of the universe…
Verdict: Seven minutes more McGann is seven minutes more than any of us might ever have expected – don’t miss it. 9/10