Watch the following first before reading any further if you don't want a really big spoiler (and the internet hasn't already spoiled it for you):
Just a little extra to help push the text down a bit further...
And maybe a little more...
This is not the return for Paul McGann I would have wished for, but at least it's a return! Of all the past Doctors to bring back for the 50th anniversary, my top choice would always have been McGann, and I really would have liked to see him in John Hurt's role. However, "The Night of the Doctor" is pretty gripping stuff, nevertheless.
McGann fits back effortlessly into the role, like he never left. From the moment he appears, there's no doubting he's the Doctor. Even people who have never seen his Doctor (of which there are bound to be quite a lot) will have no difficulty accepting this strange person on their screen. I like, too, that with the update to his costume and a mention of several companions, this short mini-episode has just made all the audio adventures canon too!
While I may often criticize much of Steven Moffat's writing, one thing he is certainly very good at is setting the stage. Development and resolutions may not always be to my taste, but he does have grand ideas to draw you in with. I do worry that seeing too much of the Time War (which this has made clear we're seeing at least some of in "The Day of the Doctor") will ruin it in viewers' minds. The Time War has been heavily mythologised on the show, and it's so large and grand that no rendition of it could ever live up to what's in people's individual imaginations. I hope that "The Day of the Doctor" doesn't try to show us the whole thing, but rather focuses on the personal stories of the Doctor and the people closest to him.
But concerns for "The Day of the Doctor" aside, "The Night of the Doctor" is the kind of thing that makes my inner fanboy scream in utter delight. So much fun!