Gallifrey fell the first time round. Seriously, how is there any other interpretation?
If Moffat’s intention with “Day of the Doctor” was that the Doctor had never destroyed Gallifrey to begin with, he really messed up. Because there’s no indication in the actual episode itself that this is what had always happened. Actually, almost everything in the special itself suggests the exact opposite.
THE MOMENT: They’re you. They’re what you become if you destroy Gallifrey.
Right there, she straight up says she plucked Ten and Eleven from a future in which the Doctor had done the thing she was trying to talk him out of.
ELEVEN: You were the Doctor more than anyone else. You were the Doctor when it wasn’t possible to get it right. But this time, you don’t have to do it alone.
Because last time, he was alone. Last time, he didn’t have anyone to stop him. Hell, even with two other Doctors with him, Gallifrey was still going to burn. It was Clara who prevented it. That Moffat interview suggests that the Doctor could never have blown up those kiddies on Gallifrey in the first place because he’s just not that kind of guy (*cough*Pompeii*cough*), but all three Doctors were totally going to do it.
THE DOCTOR (I can’t remember which one, sorry): You’re not saying we change our personal history?
I just don’t see how “Gallifrey never fell in the first place” can be the correct interpretation, given that pretty much everything in the special suggests otherwise.
"Gallifrey Falls No More?" Only makes a lick of sense if, once, Gallifrey didfall, but now it falls no more.
In order to believe that this is what had always happened, it requires you to believe that the Doctor had a gap in his memory between acquiring the Moment and Gallifrey suddenly being gone, and assumed that he’d done it. You have to believe that every single instance of the Doctor saying something like, “I saw it happen. I made it happen,” was him just assuming that, hey Gallifrey’s gone, so it must have been him wot done it, right?
Or that the Doctor has a false memory of having pressed the Big Red Button, because reasons.
But when the three Doctors are all going their separate ways at the end, War and Ten are stated to be about to forget saving Gallifrey because of the “time streams.”
Yes. Exactly. The time streams where a future in which Gallifrey has been destroyed is now a future in which it never was, and because the only way to save it was for the men who’d originally destroyed it to have second thoughts, causality was preserved by the original timeline erasing their memories of the now-altered past. Timey-wimey indeed, but not nearly as contrived as the idea that this has always been some kind of stable time loop.
(That Moffat interview really is odd, because he’s so unambiguous about this being the One True History, and that’s not not even slightly supported by the text. I wonder if there was a bit of executive meddling with his script to prevent him invalidating the last eight years of the show.)
Personally, I liked the special. But I liked it under the condition that it was about redemption, not exculpation. Redemption is a great story. Exculpation is cheap.