The Tenth, Eleventh and War Doctor battle Daleks, smooch a Zygon and seemingly prove that the gun is mightier than the pen in this glorious Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special
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Clara Oswald is a teacher riding motorbikes at high speed into stationary police boxes.
Her friend The Doctor is a noted traveller with a part-time job at a secretive military agency.
Her friend The Doctor also is courting Queen Elizabeth I astride a metamorphic alien horse.
And her friend Sort-Of-The-Doctor is also about to annihilate two races to save the universe.
The Day of the Doctor was the 50th Anniversary Special of Doctor Who and saw all Doctors who had been around up until that time – with the Tenth, Eleventh and War Doctor in the lead – stop the Time War and save Gallifrey in the process. What better way to celebrate half a century of travelling around time and space!
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First question: how did the Doctor and Clara get out of his time stream? Last we saw, they were stuck in it together, and now they seem all fine and casual and not stuck. River suggested that going into the time stream would be disastrous, but apparently not. So maybe we didn’t need to have River and Vastra worried about them going in, last episode. Dialogue to make the viewer worried, but without payout. Bleh.
I liked the rabbit, and the 10th Doctor’s bewilderment about the fez at his feet.
In this episode we learn what the oath was the Doctor made when claiming the name “Doctor,” so now we know what “Doctor” means… and Silence did not fall. Again. Third time’s the charm. I seem to remember more Silence talk in the next episode, the Christmas episode.
They have one more chance to make me think The Original Question plot isn’t meaningless.
In spite of this, I did enjoy this episode more than I did the first time I watched it, so there’s that. And I cheered aloud when Capaldi showed up, something I wasn’t expecting. Apparently I like the Twelfth Doctor more than I thought I did?
It’s the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who. This one needs more than 250.
While some will say Day of the Doctor is one of the best, I’m not so sure. I think it has the same issues that I have with Blink. It’s pretty overrated. I think a few people will agree that it’s overrated now.
But it was still good. The Zygons were done well. It was nice to see a Classic Series villain done well in the modern day. All the references in this episode were well placed. The Tom Baker cameo was also well placed, too.
John Hurt played the War Doctor to perfection. This Doctor fought for centuries in the war. The war robbed him of everything. This Doctor grew old fighting. He saw terrible things. Terrible, terrible things. And he was so close to destroying everything he cared about. John Hurt played a tragic, war torn Doctor. And he did it so well.
David Tennant was alright. Still not a huge fan of his era anymore. But he was good here in what should be during his pre-End of Time tour. Plus the whole stuff with Queen Elizabeth set up in 2007 finally got a backstory on-screen! How often does that happen? Almost never!
Clara and Eleven was okay. I’m still not a huge fan of this pairing. Clara is still making goo goo eyes at the Doctor, but I liked her here more than in previous episodes. She wasn’t unbearable like she was in previous episodes. She seemed to be pushed into the background while we celebrated the show’s 50th.
The rewriting of the canon was a bit funky in execution. Suddenly Gallifrey isn’t gone because every single Doctor (including the soon to debut Capaldi!) came together to put Gallifrey in a stasis cube. John Hurt fitting into the canon was probably done because they wanted Eccleston but couldn’t get him. The massive rewriting of the canon has never been done on such a scale before and hasn’t been done since.
So overall, what do I think? Well, it’s good. It pays homage to Doctor Who’s history while also building upon the future. This episode wasn’t fanwank, or filler like some Doctor Who specials of the modern era seem to be. No, this was just perfect for what it needed to be.
It may be overrated, but I still enjoyed it. 3.7/5
In keeping with the increasingly prevalent parodying of the classic Monty Python Life of Brian “Romans” sketch, my contribution to your discussion around the Doctor Who fiftieth anniversary celebrations can be summed up as follows : “Other than writing one of the most beautiful love letters ever committed to the screen, celebrating all that is good in the world of Doctor Who fandom, bringing together millions of people across the globe as one regardless of race, colour, creed or geographical location and in doing so giving us the geek cultdom equivalent of a World Cup final, and at the same time making us laugh and cry and jump for joy and giggle at that Cromer dating joke, what has Stephen Moffat ever done for us?”
Keep up the amazing work.
The Doctor, The Doctor and The Doctor meet up in the 16th Century to work out some lingering
issues related to multiracial genocide. Along the way, they swap spit with an Evil Starfish from Space, gain a deeper appreciation for the Gallifreyan pre-post-modernist art movement, and unlock the greatest secret in the Universe – the wooden door. Actually that last bit was Clara. Fucking Clara.
For the most part, I thought it was ok. It didn’t quite represent the shows heritage, but Moffat packed it with enough “Doctor Who-y” stuff that, even six years later, left us with an enjoyably nostalgic experience.
Things have changed since the 50th. So much so it often feels like we’re in a different Universe. The feelings I felt watching this special take me back to what I felt when I first discovered the show.
Maybe that’s what Moffat intended.
I don’t have the same feelings when watching the show as it is now. Is that just me, or am I simply looking for jumping sharks that aren’t really there?
We are unlikely to experience another coming together of all those Doctors Who. Maybe, but I am not holding my breath.
But for now, for this moment, they were The Doctors, and there can’t possibly be anymore things left to retcon.
Score: 3.7/5 More than OK, but not nearly OK enough.
– Return of the Zygons. Particularly the – ‘They’re still in the room!’ – moment.
– Time War flashbacks.
– Reversing the reversing of the polarity of the neutron flow.
– “No, Thirteen!”
– The ‘Great Curator’ (Legend). I’m guessing Baker ad-libbed.
– Why bother invading modern day over Elizabethan Earth? What modern amenities do the Zygons need exactly?
– How could the Zygons not realise this was the real Elizabeth? Sisters of Khaaaan levels of stupidity.
– How can you forget you’re a Zygon? I call bullshit.
– The Eccleston shaped hole.
– That is not an effective use of a salbutamol inhaler. The breathing is wrong and you usually need to take two puffs every four hours.
– It’s the United Nations Intelligence Taskfoce, goddamnit!
– It’s just supposed to be a screwdriver, goddamnit!
– Retcon: The War Doctor as a full-on evil Doctor, who gouges out people’s eyeballs for a laugh and wears victims testicles as a necklace.
Summary: Holy Moly.
Rating: 4.9/5 tears of joy as all the Doctors came to save Gallifrey. Clearly, the Seventh Doctor made the critical difference and inched the plan over the line.
There is one thing I cannot believe you didn’t mention: Steven Moffat’s longest running inside joke. Now I know at least Leon is a fan of Moffat’s series Coupling, so go back and watch the season 4 opener “9 1/2 minutes.” Watch the scene beginning at 16:50, and you will see what I mean.