#THEY DON’T WRITE EM LIKE THIS ANYMORE
I need to stop and talk about this for a second.
This is a Doctor who (ha) is so filled with pain and remorse and guilt over what he did to the Time Lords that he can absolutely not bring himself to repeat the terrible choice he made. He knows what it’s like to live with a choice like this, and he cannot bear to have this blood on his hands.
This scene is the true ending to The Day of the Doctor. He doesn’t know that he didn’t destroy Gallifrey - he “knows” that he did, that Gallifrey burned. This is the result of that knowledge.
But then Rose, beautiful, Bad Wolf Rose, shows up. She appears in a blaze of white light and not only absolves him of his guilt, but rescues him from having to make that terrible choice at all. She erased the Daleks and saved the Earth, and the Doctor never had to live with the pain of getting it wrong, when it was impossible to get it right. Do you see where I’m going with this?
This is why the Moment chose the Bad Wolf as its image. It chose the Bad Wolf, because it knew its significance and its power to save him from himself. For the second time - or the first time, depending on your point of view - the image of the Bad Wolf appears to the Doctor when he is forced to make the most terrible choice, and she absolves him of his crime, by preventing him from ever committing it. It’s a perfect parallel.
But because the Doctor doesn’t remember saving Gallifrey, he still lives through centuries of pain, of trying to come to terms with the choice he made, and we come back to this scene, right here. The War Doctor was rescued by the Bad Wolf so that the Ninth Doctor would be able to help create the Bad Wolf. The Doctor’s grief in this scene creates a force that will eventually be the key to absolving him.
Basically, Moffat got this so, so right, and if you don’t think this paradox is the tightest writing ever, then I don’t know what to do with you.