So, it's the day after The Day Of The Doctor, the 50th Anniversary Special of the world's longest-running TV science fiction show. The day after the world witnessed ( amongst other things ) the terrible events of the last day of the Time War, a coming together of different incarnations of the Doctor, Zygons running amok in Elizabethan England, discussions about Cup-A-Soup, and Billie Piper looking like she'd been dragged through a hedge backwards...
Please don't expect any reasoned, dispassionate critical appraisal of the episode here: I absolutely loved The Day Of The Doctor! Watching it, I felt as giddy and excited as I did when first watching The Three Doctors or The Five Doctors all those years ago. More than just a backwards-looking, nostalgic excuse for a televisual knees-up, this episode was bursting with ideas, Steven Moffatt's trademark twisty-turny plotting, some wonderful acting, beautiful special effects and a genuine sense that the show was moving forward as well as celebrating the past.
Bringing in the amazing John Hurt to portray the mysterious, forgotten War Doctor was a genius move - confronting at last the dread decision the Doctor made to end the Time War... and his suffering ever since. Matt Smith and David Tennant were a joy to see as the two modern Doctors - now enjoying each others' company, now competing, both flipping between excitement and melancholy in a heartbeat. There was also solid support in less flashy roles from Jemma Redgrave and Jenna Coleman, bringing a human perspective to this tale of gods and monsters.
And then there were the cameos and unexpected nods to the past: from the names on the sign outside Coal Hill School, to the photos on the walls in UNIT HQ, to the first glimpse of the 12th Doctor ( fierce! ), to the beautiful final shot of all the incarnations standing tall together, to the shiver-down-the-spine appearance of the mighty Tom Baker. As I said, I absolutely loved it - and so did the rest of the family, even Sophie who hasn't watched a Doctor Who episode in about 3 years. Welcome back... :-)
Happy Birthday, Doctor! Here's to many, many more!