Day of the Doctor
It took two days of avoiding anything about it, but I managed to finally see Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor, in a theater, in 3D.
And it was freaking awesome!
It seems only fitting that if I’m going to talk about the 50th anniversary episode, I should precede it with the appropriate warning.
The theatrical experience begins as any movie begins, with the usual warnings about not using cell phones and the like. Except, this is a Doctor Who experience. This warning is delivered by everyone’s favorite Sontaran, Strax. Next up is a greeting by the Doctor (Matt Smith), talking about the 3D experience (along with a warning from the 10th Doctor about jutting chins).
But enough of the preliminary stuff. Day of the Doctor takes place some time after The Name of the Doctor. Clara had a new job as a teacher, but she is still off adventuring with the Doctor. This one particular day finds them taking off, literally, as UNIT picks up the TARDIS to bring it into London. There, The Doctor, Clara meet with Kate Stewart with a message from Queen Elizabeth I, and a most unusual painting. The painting exhibits some unusual properties, which makes sense once the audience learns the painting is of Gallifrey during the Time War.
From here, the story whisks off across space and time, to the last day of the Time War between the Daleks and the Time Lords, and the “War Doctor” (John Hurt). During this battle, the War Doctor steals a powerful weapon from the Time Lords intent on using it to finally end the Time War, a weapon so powerful that it developed a consciousness.
The story returns to the present long enough to bring us to the third part of this story, that of the 10th Doctor (David Tennant) and his relationship with Queen Elizabeth I. It isn’t long before we bear witness to a Zygon attack and the meeting of the 11th and 10th Doctors. In true Doctor Who fashion, they don’t exactly get along, even less so when the War Doctor joins them in 16th century England.
Day of the Doctor is truly a fitting story for the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. The action, the thrills, the drama and the humor are all present in this episode. John Hurt is perfect as the War Doctor, the weary fighter who seeks to end the war before it ends the universe. And Smith and Tennant perfectly play their parts, both aspects of the Doctor trying to deal with what the War Doctor had done. And Jenna Coleman perfectly plays the part that the Doctor’s companions have played of late, the one who sees what the Doctor cannot.
The episode is extremely well written, an achievement of Steven Moffat. Though some continuity issues do arise, most of them are easily dismissed while watching the episode. And while the use of the Zygons may seem like an odd choice for a “monster,” they actually work quite well for the story at hand. And the episode makes a great jumping on point as the series from here takes off in a new direction.
It’s also fun to pick out a lot of the references picked from throughout the series, from locations, quotes, to even cameos.
The theatrical experience ends with a behind the scenes featurette, a nice little wrap up for this special event.
- Doctor Who – Recap & Review – The Day of the Doctor [50th Anniversary Special] (twocentstv.com)
- Doctor Who: The Day of The Doctor (biffbampop.com)
- TV Club: Doctor Who: “The Day Of The Doctor” (avclub.com)
- Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor 3D Cinema Review (blazingminds.co.uk)