Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special: The Day Of The Doctor
“What I did, I did without choice… in the name of peace and sanity.” –The Doctor
After The Name of the Doctor’s shocking final scene, we had to wait to wait six long, arduous months to find out exactly what in the name of Gallifrey was going on.
On November, 23rd, 2013, we finally got that answer.
The Day of the Doctor was a thrilling, nostalgic, glorious achievement that was well worth the wait. I may or may not have watched it (the first time) sitting cross-legged, right in front of the TV, chin on fists. The subsequent several times I’ve watched it in a more grown up manner. Maybe.
The dynamic interaction between the current Doctor (Matt Smith) and the 10th Doctor (David Tennant) is a real treat. Throw into the mix the “War Doctor” (John Hurt) and it made for some of the most enjoyable moments I’ve seen in any Doctor Who episode; pure, magical Doctor banter at its very best. This however, also made for my only real disappointment, though not in any way with the episode itself. It would have been nice if the 9th Doctor, Christopher Eccleston could have put whatever issues he had aside and joined the cast for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. For Eccleston it was an opportunity missed in my opinion. I think the way in which Steven Moffat’s brilliant story was written, he would have seamlessly integrated into the fold.
After all “The Moment” did have four sides.
Speaking of which, Billie Piper makes a fantastic return appearance, as the interface of the doomsday device that just happens to take the physical form of Rose Tyler (“bad wolf girl”). The first appearance of the Zygon in 16th century England made me immediately think of a telling comment made by David Tennant way back in the 4th installment of The Doctors Revisited, “The Zygons, when we first meet them…”, though I might be reading too much into that, but since they only had one previous appearance…
The decision not to go through with the destruction of Gallifrey, but instead to come up with an alternate plan and use the might of all 13 Doctors to freeze the planet in another time and place was not only incredibly clever but it opens up yet another storyline for the upcoming series.
So much for “fixed points” in time, eh?
In the last scene, when Clara (Jenna Coleman) gives The Doctor a moment alone to be with the painting (entitled either “No More” or “Gallifrey Falls”) but not before telling him, “there was an old man looking for you, I think it was the curator”, I hoped beyond hope at just who the old man, this “curator” might be. The second I heard that familiar voice I was immediately overcome with emotion. It was none other than the man I had watched with great awe and wonderment when I was a young boy, the incomparable Tom Baker! That final scene was yet another amazing, ingenious touch to such a satisfying piece of science fiction. I could really keep droning on and on about it, but I’ll quit while I’m ahead and leave you to watch and decide for yourselves.
The Day of the Doctor gets a well-deserved 5 ridiculous scarves out of 5.
Greg “Bigger On The Inside” Randolph