‘THE DAY OF THE DOCTOR’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
“Gallifrey Falls…No More!” – Celebrating 50 Years of ‘Doctor Who’
23rd November 2013!
It’s so strange to think how much time has passed since ‘the day of the Doctor’. We’ve had the 50th anniversary! It’s come and gone. So much had happened in the lead-up to that special day in the history of ‘Doctor Who’. I was in Chichester for the weekend when I watched what was on that night.
The original DVD of ‘The Day of the Doctor’ was a 1-disc DVD set. ‘The Day of the Doctor’ has now been re-released as part of the ’50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition DVD’ of ‘Doctor Who’ and is on Disc 2.
So, did I enjoy ‘The Day of the Doctor’ by Steven Moffat? Yes I did, on some level. But to be honest, I enjoyed ‘The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot’ by Peter Davison more as I found it better than ‘The Day of the Doctor’.
This story celebrates the new series of ‘Doctor Who’, whereas ‘The Light At The End’ by Big Finish celebrated the classic series. This is a shame as I wanted all the Doctors and companions to be in the TV story.
I liked how the story opened with the original William Hartnell 1963 titles and music. I also liked that opening shot of a policeman at 76 Totter’s Lane and of Coal Hill School to match ‘An Unearthly Child’.
The TARDIS gets picked up, as the Eleventh Doctor and Clara are taken to the International London Museum by U.N.I.T. They have to solve a mystery involving a Time Lord 3D painting where they meet the Tenth and War Doctors.
I enjoyed Matt Smith as the Doctor. I’ve grown to like him and he has improved for me over the years. I love his relationship with Clara. He gets to wear his fez and I liked it when he meets the Tenth Doctor. There’s a sense of friction as well as being brothers between these two young Doctors.
I was so pleased to see David Tennant return as the Tenth Doctor, as he’s one of my favourite Doctors. It’s like David has never been away. He has a flirtatious relationship with Queen Elizabeth I and I liked it when he meets Matt’s Doctor. I liked the comedy moments between the two Doctors.
I love Jenna Coleman as Clara. She’s so lovely and it’s a relief to have her as a clear character and a good friend of the Doctor, compared to when she was the ‘impossible girl’ in Series 7. I loved Clara’s scenes with Matt Smith’s Doctor and she has her own voice throughout this 50th anniversary special.
Billie Piper returns as well, but she’s not playing Rose Tyler I’m afraid. Here she plays ‘The Moment’, a weapon of mass destruction that the War Doctor steals from Gallifrey. She takes the form of Rose and challenges the War Doctor in the decision he has to make to blow up Gallifrey in the Time War.
John Hurt guest stars as the War Doctor. John Hurt turns out to be the 8½ Doctor between Paul McGann and Christopher Eccleston; and is the Doctor who fought in the Time War. John is a great as the War Doctor, but I would have liked Christopher Eccleston to be in this as he was supposed to be.
The Daleks make an appearance in this 50th anniversary special as they fight and exterminate the Gallifreyans during the Time War. The battle scenes with the Time War and the Daleks are amazing!
There’s also the return of the Zygons, the shape-shifting monsters who appeared in ‘Terror of the Zygons’. It was amazing to see the Zygons in this and they have a diabolical plan to invade the Earth.
The story’s guest cast also includes Joanna Page as Queen Elizabeth the 1st; Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart (the Brigadier’s daughter) and Ingrid Oliver as Osgood, who works for Kate Stewart in U.N.I.T.
A highlight for me was the Black Archive where we get to see U.N.I.T. photos of the Doctor’s companions on display, both classic and new. There was a lovely photo of Sarah Sutton’s Nyssa there.
At the end, all of the Doctors appear to save Gallifrey. This was a nice gesture, but I felt disappointed as I didn’t feel the classic Doctors appeared in this story as they were cameos mostly from archive footage of previous stories.
Tom Baker makes an appearance, not as the Fourth Doctor but as the Curator of the London Museum. It’s great to see him in this 50th anniversary special of ‘Doctor Who’ and he has a nice scene with Matt Smith’s Doctor.
The episode ends with a dream sequence with all the Doctors standing on a cloud. It was a nice way to end the episode, although I could tell the Doctors weren’t the real actors and had CGI make-up on them.
After seeing ‘The Day of the Doctor’, I saw the ‘BBC Three Live After Party’ featuring many of the Doctors and companions. It was a rather rushed and poorly organised programme, but I was glad to see the companions including Sarah Sutton who put a smile on my face.
After that, I enjoyed seeing ‘The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot’ by Peter Davison. You can now see this in the ’50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition DVD’. This made the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’ for me as many of the Doctors and companions were in it, both classic and new.
The DVD special features on this episode are as follows. On the original ‘The Day of the Doctor’ DVD, as well as ‘The Night of the Doctor’, there’s also ‘The Last Day’ prequel. There’s also the ‘Behind the Lens’ making-of documentary; the ‘Doctor Who Explained’ documentary and two anniversary trailers.
On Disc 2 of the ’50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition DVD’ of ‘Doctor Who’, there’s also the ‘Script to Screen’ behind-the-scenes featurette; two ‘Cinema Intros’ with Strax and the Doctor and the ‘Tales From The TARDIS’ documentary (also on ‘The Time of the Doctor’ DVD).
‘The Day of the Doctor’ was the highlight of the 50th anniversary for many ‘Doctor Who’ fans. For me personally, I don’t think it’s the best anniversary special I’ve seen. But I enjoyed seeing David Tennant and Matt Smith’s Doctors in it. ‘The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot’; ‘The Light At The End’ and the ‘Destiny of the Doctor’ CD series made the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’ for me!
‘The Day of the Doctor’ rating – 7/10
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