Monday, 25 November 2013

Doctor Who: The Day Of The Doctor

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!

Soundtrack: All Is Dream by Mercury Rev

7 comments:

Kid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kid said...

"...Except for viewers in Scotland..." as we're used to hearing. They obviously screened a different episode up here.

I thought there were a few nice bits scattered through an overall underwhelming programme. Liked the ending 'though.

Richard Bensam said...

I loved it. About a year ago, the Christmas episode with the Snowmen made me feel like everything I once loved about Doctor Who had finally been erased and I never wanted to watch a new episode ever again. Yes, I really hated it that much. But this one brought me back, and I'm glad it did.

Jon Duckworth said...

I too stopped watching Doctor Who when it became apparent the Sonic Screwdriver had become a deus ex machina get-out for any situation, but since you evoked "The Five Doctors" - something I watched about 50 times on VHS after it was first broadcast, and was, at the time, one of the most amazing things I'd ever seen - and since it won Sophie back...I may now give this a watch and see if it can reignite the old flame.

cerebus660 said...

Thanks for the comments, guys! I've watched The Day Of The Doctor a couple of times now and, if anything, I love it even more :-)
"They're screwdrivers! What are you going to do - assemble a cabinet at them...?"

Kal said...

I have told the story many times how I hated Doctor Who as a kid. It came before Star Trek on PBS on Sunday nights. I had my own little 13 inch tv so I would stay up or try to but usually fell asleep during WHO and woke up when Trek was almost over. Then came 2005 and a hot summer evening and only CBC on the TV in the cool basement and I watch the newest incarnation of the good Doctor with my most beloved Rose Tyler. No, I mean I LOVE LOVE her. Have been a huge fan ever since. Love Torchwood too and Captain Jack and Gwen Cooper. Great stuff all. No one does this kind of stuff like the BBC.

cerebus660 said...

Rose? She ain't all that...
:-)

Who am I kidding?

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