So yesterday Doctor Who did it. It hit the big 50! To mark the occasion a special episode was created, something that looks back over Doctor Who’s past but also sets it in a new direction.
‘The Day of the Doctor’ has been anticipated by fans for months, or maybe it was just me. Not only is it 75 minutes long and go into the depth of the Time War, it also features the return of David Tennant’s Doctor.
It’s said that everyone has their doctor, the one who was on when they were a kid. Well I grew up with David Tennant and I’m thrilled for him to be back. It was wonderful to see the inside of his battered old TARDIS again, see the blue gleam of his Sonic and of course hear his trademark cry of ‘Alons-y’. We also saw Billie Piper return as Rose, a role she’s reprised so many times over the years that it feels like she’s never left.
The Day of the Doctor was very much an episode aimed at the fans. David Tennant was there for the fans, even though he wasn’t really needed. Billie Piper was there for the fans, even though any guest actress could have taken on the shape of ‘The Moment’. The Time War was there for the fans, the Zygons were there for the fans, the past Doctors were there for the fans, the Queen Elizabeth I story arc was wrapped up for the fans. I really feel sorry for the casual viewer due to the sheer number of references to the past that popped up.
These included the opening titles (done in the style of the 60’s titles) and the opening shot which showed a policeman strolling down the road past a sign for Totter’s Lane Scrap Yard. My favorite part by far was Tennant’s reaction to Smith’s TARDIS. “You’ve redecorated, I don’t like it.” A great nod there to the tenth anniversary special; The Three Doctors.
The episode had two plots. One was concerning the Zygons, who are taking over Earth by hibernating in paintings and then taking the places of random members of UNIT. This bit was ok, the Zygons were scary enough however the resolution was a bit rushed, and we never really heard the end due to the whole ‘Time War’ bit. Jemma Redgrave returned as Kate Lethbridge Stewart, a role we saw previously in Series 7 as well as the Classic ‘Home Video’ story ‘Downtime’. Although her role wasn’t huge, Redgrave excelled herself as the UNIT leader who is not afraid of destroying London to save the World.
The second plot revolved around the Time War and John Hurt’s mysterious incarnation of our favorite Time Lord. Here we see the Daleks invading Gallifrey and Hurt repeatedly firing a gun at the wall instead of the Daleks. Hmmm? He then steals the moment and takes it to a remote hut to detonate it. There the moment’s consciousness materialises in the form of Rose and brings the Doctor’s three incarnations together.
Now here is where things turn interesting as the Doctor’s figure out a way of NOT destroying Gallifrey even though we’ve spent 10 year feeling sorry for him for killing everybody. They’re plan was to freeze Gallifrey in a single moment in Time, which then gets hidden somewhere in the universe. Of course they don’t do it on there own and get the help of all the previous Doctors. We were all expecting it, all anticipating it and yes it happened, the past Doctor’s popped up. But not just them, Peter Capaldi’s 12th incarnation also popped up, Moffat just couldn’t resist it could he?
So that’s it, they’ve saved Gallifrey and undone 10 years of countless children’s emotions. Hurt regenerated, Tennant ran off to meet some Ood and Smith met the mysterious curator of the London Museum who happens to look like an old Tom Baker (it was Tom Baker).
All in all, a great episode. It had it’s ups and downs, just like everything does. It was nice to see Tennant back, and even Tom Baker was nice surprise. Here’s to another 50 years!