The Day of the Doctor Review

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.

The Day of the Doctor - Smith and Tennant

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.

The Day of the Doctor - DaleksThese 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 Day of the Doctor - The War Doctor

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?

The Day of the Doctor - Rose

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!

An Adventure in Space and Time Review

50 years ago the BBC decided to commission a science fiction series, something to fill the Saturday Night slot, something that would appeal to children. They wanted it to be fun, exciting, scary, interesting and teach the viewers something about history. I’m talking of course, about Doctor Who.

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50 years on and Doctor Who is still going strong. It’s had its ups and downs of course. Who can forget Colin Baker’s era or that pathetic TV Movie that so many of us have had to sit through, however it has remained intact, constantly in the public’s mind. And now 50 years on and the modern audience are given a chance to go back and watch Doctor Who’s humble beginnings unfold in the shape of a new TV Drama by Doctor Who enthusiast Mark Gatiss.

The new drama ‘An Adventure in Time and Space’ tells the story of Doctor Who’s original producer Verity Lambert, who, after becoming spellbound with the concept of Doctor Who, fought very hard to get the show off the ground. It also focuses on actor William Hartnell, who took on the role of the first Doctor after being typecast in many ‘hard man’ roles.

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The show starts at the end of William Hartnell’s tenure as Doctor and, through a variety of flashback we see Doctor Who’s very beginnings. The show was written superbly and is a perfect tribute to the 50th anniversary which is coming up today. Mark Gatiss really must be praised. The writing and very essence of the drama was beautiful and in my eyes he can be finally be forgiven for turning the Daleks into large, robot Jelly babies.

David Bradley’s performance brought tears to my eyes as we see Hartnell’s medical condition overpower him until he had to eventually leave the show. We also see the irritable and abrupt side to Hartnell that has been unearthed in interviews, something I’m glad the writers didn’t skate around.

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My only criticism would be some of the likenesses. Maureen O’Brien’s double was laughable whilst I was particularly amused at whoever they had dragged of the street to play the part is Patrick Troughton. But it’s fine isn’t it. Who cares?

A stunning piece of work and a great tribute to Doctor Who’s early days. Well done Gatiss and happy birthday Doctor Who!

McGann’s Back!!!

paul-mcgann-2013-doctor-whoWe’ve been told by just about every official source, that none of the Classic Doctors will be making an appearance in this year’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations. We’ve been told by the BBC, we’ve been told by Moffat and even by the Classic Doctors themselves. However, it turns out one of them has been lying.

It is Paul McGann who’s donned his costume once more and worked some action with the trusty old Sonic Screwdriver. His appearance is in an online mini-episode; The Night of the Doctor, a prequel to this years 50th. The clip, which is seven minutes long, also sees the return of the Sisterhood of Karn (last seen during Tom Baker’s tenure). The clip shows the events leading to and including McGann’s long awaited regeneration, however not into whom the audience is expecting.

Admitting the short clip is not the best of Moffat’s work. The script seems a tad rushed whilst the special effects department had obviously had their budget cut for this work. However it was nice to see Paul McGann back (currently the shortest-lived Doctor with a screen time equating to less than 90 minutes) and to know that around the world thousands of fan-girls have had their dreams answered in seeing the Eight Doctor Once more.

If you want to take a look at the Night of the Doctor (in my opinion the first mini-episode done that’s actually been any good), watch it below: