Monday, November 25, 2013

Review: Day of the Doctor

This isn't book-related, but so many bloggers are huge Doctor Who fans that I think a review of the fabulous, wonderful, awesome Fiftieth Anniversary special is warranted.

If my adjectives in the previous sentence aren't enough of a clue, here's my three word review:

I loved it!

Here's a breakdown:

The Three Doctors

Matt Smith and David Tennant together was perfection, as I expected it would be. Their Doctors are similar in many ways yet different too. You see the darker differences in one of my favorite quotes: "The man who regrets. The man who forgets." I like that there wasn't a whole lot of bickering. A little competition, but they obviously got on very well.

I particularly loved Ten's speech to the rabbit. And always love Eleven and a fez.


John Hurt was also wonderful. He had a lighter performance than I expected since he was set up as this horrific person that Ten and Eleven feared/hated. Instead, you got a war-weary man who hadn't yet committed the genocide for which Ten and Eleven remember him. He had a sense of humor but didn't wear it on his sleeve like Ten and Eleven.

My favorite scenes of the three Doctors together:

1. Working together to unlock the prison door that...isn't actually locked.
2. Ten and Eleven joining the War Doctor to push the big red button (or intending to)
3. The three slogans: "Geronimo! Allons-y! Oh for God's sake!"

I loved the impression that Ten and Eleven's immaturity and youthful appearances compared to prior Doctors was a result of their subconscious desire to repress the horrors of the Time War and their role in it.

The Companions

I don't have much to say about Clara. She was pleasant. I like Clara, although she hasn't become memorable to met yet.

I liked having Kate Stewart there as a throwback to the Brigadier, although Osgood - the quasi-Fourth Doctor scarf wearing, asthmatic girl stole the show. I'd love to see more of her.

Moving on to my beloved Rose... I am a faithful Ten/Rose shipper. However, I thought Moffat's use of Rose as the Bad Wolf conscience was perfect. While part of me would love to see more of Rose and Ten together, having two Doctors and two companions would have overwhelmed the plot. Plus, Billie Piper struggled to get Rose's character right when she came back in Series 4. This provided a better option. I do wish we'd gotten more of a reaction from Ten when he heard Bad Wolf at the end though. Or if they could have said just one thing to each other.

*Source Anglophenia for the GIFs

The Plot

I think Moffat made the right choice in re-writing the end of the Time War, in saving Gallifrey. Part of me wishes it had stayed the same, because - for whatever reason - I like the fact that the wonderful, peace-loving Doctor was also the destroyer of his own species. It's an interesting contrast. But this gives the show somewhere to go now. The Time War has been done to death over eight Series. Now the Doctor has a new mission. Also, I guessed that Moffat might do something like this.

The Zygons were a fun addition. It felt like they were added in especially for Classic Who fans, many of whom - David Tennant included - have said that they wanted to see the Zygons come back. Their costumes were remarkably similar to the 1970s monster, but I was happy that there voices weren't all whispery and hard to understand as in the Terror of the Zygons. In the end, the Zygon story line was dropped without a resolution. Arguably this is a flaw of the episode, but there was so much going on that I didn't miss it.

There were a few other plot holes. Principally about how Ten and Eleven could go back and interfere with the Time War when it's been stated multiple times that it's Time Locked. But that's what you expect with Moffat and it's pretty easy to justify it in your head.

The Surprises

I was lucky not to be spoiled for the two main gasp moments in the episode (As opposed to Night of the Doctor when some stupid blog announced Paul McGann's appearance in the RSS Feed Title. Irritating).

I gasped and squealed with delight when the top of Peter Capaldi's head showed up just for a second. What a treat to see the 12th Doctor (or is he the 13th?) a month early.

If you're not familiar with Peter Capaldi yet, you must watch The Thick Of It. It is probably the most profane and one of the funniest things I have ever watched. Here's my favorite Malcolm Tucker line (definitely NSFW):

And what a treat to have Tom Baker back at the very end. I have not seen a huge amount of Classic Who, but I've seen enough to recognize Tom Baker. He looks very old, but he still has that otherworldy sparkle to him. "Who knows!" A great nod to the most beloved Classic Doctor. And good of Baker to do it, since he has long been reluctant to return to Doctor Who.


I wouldn't say that I have any disappointments per se. I would have loved to see a few other people in the show: Christopher Eccleston, Jon Barrowman, Catherine Tate, Alex Kingston, the other class Doctors.

It was made pretty clear that Eccleston refused to come back. Perhaps he had a good reason; perhaps he's just a bad sport. I've heard rumors that Moffat originally wrote John Hurt's role intending Eccleston to be the War Doctor. That would've been great, although would be a little odd since it was implied that Nine had just regenerated when he met Rose.

People like Captain Jack, Donna, Wilf, and the others would have been great but they easily would have overwhelmed the show. I loved the Moffat made this a plot driven show not merely a fan tribute.

Other Doctor Who Programs

I mentioned Night of the Doctor briefly. If you haven't seen it, you must. I thought Paul McGann was so much better looking as a 50ish year old Doctor than he was as a 30 something Doctor in 1996. At least he wasn't wearing that awful wig. The plot of the show was great too. It covered an impressive amount in 7 minutes. The Last Day was decent second mini-episode, but unnecessary.

An Adventure in Space and Time

The Mark Gatiss penned movie about the creation of Doctor Who also aired this week. It is beautiful in a different way than the Fiftieth Anniversary special. It tells not only the story of Doctor Who's beginnings, but also hearkens back to a time when it was near impossible for a woman or racial minority to gain respect or position within the BBC. It also is the story of William Hartnell who starts off as a crotchety old man and blossoms into the First Doctor only to begin crumbling as his health failed. Plus, there's a little bit at the end that brought on the waterworks and has done so for almost everyone who's seen it.

Classic Doctors revolt! Since none of the Doctors save Tom Baker and Paul McGann (sort of) were in the Fiftieth Anniversary, Peter Davison wrote and directed a hilarious documentary spoof on their attempts to join the special. It stars Peter Davison, Colin Baker, and Sylvester McCoy principally with a little bit of Paul McGann and quasi Tom Baker. Plus there are loads of cameos. You have Matt Smith, David Tennant, a very pregnant Georgia Tennant (she stopped going by Moffett), Steven Moffat, Russell T. Davies (hilarious), Jon Barrowman (at least he was in something), and many more. I think I laughed harder than I did during the 30 minute special than I did during the Fiftieth Anniversary episode.

What did you think of the Fiftieth Anniversary?


  1. Awesome review! Doctor Who is literally out if this world and this special just helped cement that fact!
    The 50th special was fantastic!

  2. I definitely enjoyed this episode! And LOVED that there were no commercials! Having Ten back reminded me how much I loved him. He was my first and still is my favorite. *huggles Ten* Loved the War Doctor, loved Rose as the interface, loved the bunny.

  3. I enjoyed The Day of The Doctor it immensely. Sure, I'd have loved a Captain Jack cameo, and I wish Eccleston could have been there alongside Rose, but Tom Baker was a brilliant gift to the fans. The Time War itself looked amazing, the chemistry of the three Doctors was great. As for the way they changed their own shared history, I thought that was really quite clever.

    As for An Adventure in Space and Time, I thought that worked wonderfully as both a documentary on the creation of Doctor Who, and as a dramatic piece of storytelling. Hartnell's arc from a grumpy, reluctant star to a proud, starring lead is almost too good to be true, and I challenge anybody not to feel a heaviness in their heart when Hartnell confesses to his wife, upon the end of his tenure, “I don’t want to go!”

    I think we could have done without the Matt Smith cameo there, really, but that's about the only fault I can find. Seeing how the Tardis took shape, how the Daleks came to be, and how the first change in companions so profoundly impacted Hartnell was remarkable, and reminds us of just how much we take for granted in entertainment these days.

    1. I agree that the Matt Smith cameo took us out of the moment of the show, but as a sucker for sap, it was one of the most touching part of the show. Similar to how I love End of Time part 2 for the last 10 minute send-off despite the many problems with the episode.

  4. AMAZING SPECIAL YES. I expected a lot more of Ten, Rose ;___; but it was great!

  5. I agree with those gifs of Ten and the Rabbit. My kids adored it too. I would have liked to have seen Jack , and I agree the scarf girl stole what moments she was in it.

    I did enjoy seeing what doctors that did show up. I would have liked too have ten heard Rose too. I wish 9 would have showed up too, but oh well. I thought it well done .

  6. I too miss Eccelston and would loved to have seen him come back. But when he was first approached about reviving the series, he said no. He didn't want to be the Doctor for the rest of his career. When he finally agreed, he said he'd do one season and one season only. I don't think he'll ever come back (***tears***). I wish I could find that interview where he said that, but I saw it before I ever watched the show.

  7. I really enjoyed the episode and my wife skweed in great joy when Baker showed up at the end.

    I wish Eccelston could get over himself and show up - but I don't think it's going to happen.

  8. I have to say that I enjoyed this 50th Anniversary Episode. I was a bit disappointed that Rose wasn't actually Rose- I wanted to see how Eleven would have responded to her, and I wanted Ten to see his Bad Wolf again. I thought the appearance of Peter Capaldi was brilliant. Seriously!

    I have to say that I also unsure about Clara. I don't believe the chemistry between her and the Doctor. It's weird. I've never been this indifferent about a companion before (Not even Martha, and she's my least liked companion).

    Next up the Time of the Doctor- I expect I am going to bawl my eyes out. This is going to be my first real time regeneration!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  9. Okay, I feel so left out. I have got to watch this.

  10. The accepted admonition signs are apocryphal (engraved) case screws on the caseback,substituting quartz movement for replica watches automated movement,and even acutely abate apartment dimensions.The ambit of Bell and Ross Replica Watches do not,unfortunately,awning all the models anytime produced.As of this writing,their Mystery Architecture alarm for women seems accessible alone in its aboriginal form,at abutting to 5 thousand dollars in the United States.It is one of chanel outlet the a lot of absorbing wristwatches anywhere,with a amphibian architecture that serves in abode of the hour-hand,rounding out the punch every twenty-four hours.Another highpoint for the aggregation is its Hydromax band of waterproof wristwatches rated for underwater plan at eleven thousand meters deep,or about seven accomplished afar - a apple almanac certified by the humans abaft the Guinness Book of Records.The Replica Watches Hublot you can adjustment are your befalling to gucci replica access into the apple of authority and affluence after spending a fortune!Not alone women,even men are actual dainty about purchasing a handbag.They attending for something which is acute and apparel their personality.The assorted varieties accessible accomplish it even added difficult for an alone to baddest the best bag.Louis vuitton handbags are chanel replica not alone affected but they are chic and even accord a chic attending to the owner.No amount what but the absolute appearance account is authentic by a being who has the best handbag.Abounding altered kinds of handbags are accessible by this brand.For archetype for accumulated occasions a backpack of accumulated and austere attending which replica shoes is simple yet classy,for parties adorned and affected handbag,for accidental contest accidental and acute backpack and abounding more.So there are altered handbags accessible for altered occasions.

  11. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well.. |

  12. I'm now not sure the place you are getting your information, but good topic. I must spend a while finding out more or understanding more. Thank you for fantastic information I used to be searching for this info for my mission. |

  13. It is really a nice and useful piece of information. I am glad that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing. |


I love comments. I appreciate every one! Thank you in advance.

This blog is now an award free zone. I just don't have time to pass on the awards as they deserve.