Happy 50th Anniversary to Doctor Who!The Day of the Doctor was the 50th anniversary episode, simulcast around the world at the exact same time, shown in movie theaters in 3D and delivering Whovians worldwide a little over an hour of game-changing adventure.
It was, in one word, fantastic.
The first thing my husband and I said to each other when the episode ended was that Moffat solved the problem of the one thing that bothered him the most – that the Doctor, the hero of the universe, destroyed his own planet and people to end a war. The Doctor has been, through the rebooted series, a regretful and damaged man. So how do you retain the weight of billions of deaths on his shoulders while simultaneously making it never have really happened? Well, my friends, that is the magic of the 50th anniversary episode!
I won’t lie and tell you I got all of the Easter eggs. I won’t begin to rundown the plot either, it’s extremely difficult to try and write out (I did try a little). What I would like to do, if you will indulge me, is talk about the things that mattered most to me as a fan.
- The mini-episode prequel with the amazing Paul McGann. Wonderful set-up.
- John Hurt. He was brilliant. He was the physical embodiment of the great weight of making the decision to kill your own people. He was, in the beginning, gritty and ugly determination. Then he was uncertainty. Finally, he was relieved.
- Bad Wolf. I am of the belief, as others are though there is debate, that what we saw as Rose Tyler/Bad Wolf was the real Bad Wolf. Yes it appeared as though the Moment had chosen “Rose” as an interface…but I believe 100% that was Bad Wolf and Bad Wolf alone. The Moment was a prop for her. Could a consciences weapon do the things that were done here – open time-rifts, allow 3 Doctors together in multiple time lines and enact consequences of altered choices? Bad Wolf!
- Ten and Eleven together. It was magic! I enjoyed the hell out seeing Ten again and he seemed to be having a ball.
- Bad Wolf creating the pause with which to consider the decision but Clara tearfully urging her Doctor to make a different one.
- The Easter eggs that I caught. My appreciation for the ones I didn’t. It is my understanding that there was something for everyone, as it should be.
- Tom Baker. I found him delightful. I respect his run as the Doctor, even though I’ve personally only seen a few episodes. His appearance was the cherry on top!
- That every Doctor, including Twelve (Capaldi’s eyes OMG!) saving Gallifrey. Oh, I guess that’s all THIRTEEN actually!
- A happy ending. We are going to say goodbye to Matt Smith very, very soon. It was nice to have a happy ending that was still respectful of the rebooted series arch. Now maybe that Eleven goodbye won’t be so sad because our new Doctor, who I am VERY excited about, has a wonderful adventure waiting for him.
My only druther with this episode was that Christopher Eccleston was sadly missing. I saw a slight hint of Eccleston’s face when the War Doctor was regenerating and I insist I did and won’t hear another thing about it! But that’s not the same as him being there, even if just for a moment.
I found it interesting (and saw it in reading other reviews and write-ups) that all three of these Doctors die and regenerate shortly after the event in this episode. War Doctor instantly regenerates into Nine and we know Eleven is headed for his death and regeneration during the Christmas episode. We also know Ten, theoretically, will leave and regenerate in due time as he told the Ood that he’d married Queen Elizabeth at the start of his two-part final episode. Consequences indeed.
For a fan of Doctor Who, the 50th was a gift. I loved it and I hope you did too. Now, let’s get our tissues ready again for the Christmas episode and get our excitement building for a new Doctor who has a few more miles on his face and so much possibility.