Doctor Who: The Day Of The Doctor Review

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Doctor Who is one of the longest running television shows and has a large cult following. We have reached a landmark in the show as of November 23rd 2013. It is the 50th Anniversary of the show and to celebrate that landmark we are being given a 75 minute long episode called The Day Of The Doctor. To mark this event the episode features both Matt Smith and David Tennant as The Doctor. It also features screen legend John Hurt as a previous incarnation of The Doctor.

The beginning of the episode did not follow off from the exact last point that we saw the Doctor and this bugged me slightly. If you remember Clara went into The Doctor’s time stream and was rescued by The Doctor. You never saw them leave or how they got out. This only bugs me slightly and I may have missed some important information. It is then not explained why Clara is teaching in a school. Again I don’t think it matters too much but this all seemed a bit too random for my liking. This opinion however does not reflect how I felt about the episode.

The episode starts with The Doctor being brought in by UNIT to investigate something wrong with some paintings. When The Doctor and Clara get to the gallery The Doctor is shown a portrait called Gallifrey Falls. It is a 3D painting and depicts a moment in time. It shows Gallifrey under attack by the Daleks during the time war. The Doctor tells Clara a about the life he does not want to  talk about. We then cut to John Hurt playing The Doctor who is on Gallifrey during the Dalek attack. The Doctor takes a gun of a soldier and shoots ‘No More’ into the wall. The Doctor then breaks into the vaults on Gallifrey and steals a weapon called the Moment. Hurt’s Doctor carries the moment through the desert and prepares to use it. When he tries to use it he is greeted by Rose Tyler who is really Bad Wolf. The two of them talk about what is happening on Gallifrey and what he is doing. Suddenly a portal appears and a fez flies through.

After looking at the painting Gallifrey Falls the Doctor gets a letter from Queen Elizabeth I in order to confirm that it is her asking for his help. We then cut to Tennant’s Doctor in 1562 England and he is with Elizabeth I riding on a horse.. They start to have a picnic and then The Doctor asks to marry her. She says yes and then The Doctor says that she is not the real Elizabeth and is a creature called a Zygon that has the ability to shapshift. The Doctor turns around and realizes that the horse he was riding a Zygon and The Doctor realizes that he now has to marry the queen. After running away from the Zygon it takes form on Elizabeth I and the Doctor is confused to which one is which. Suddenly a portal opens and a fez flies through.

We then cut back to Smith’s Doctor who is being shown that the paintings in the under gallery have been broken from the inside and that something has escaped from them. First he picks up a Fez and puts it on. The same portal appears in the room and The Doctor throws the Fez through the portal. The Doctor then jumps into the portal and appears in 1562 in England. Smith and Tennant’s doctors meet and are surprised to see each other. Suddenly the portal appears and Clara is speaking through the portal. To check that he can travel back The Doctor throws the Fez through the portal but it is not found by Clara and Hurt’s doctor appears from out of the portal.

The queen’s guard arrive and surround The Doctor’s. The Doctor tries to convince the guards that Clara is a witch speaking from the portal. Suddenly the Queen arrives and asks for the three of them to be taken to the tower of London. Meanwhile back in London we discover that the Zygons have escaped the paintings and are under sheets pretending to be statues. The three  Doctor’s sit in the cell in the tower of London talking about how they could escape. Smith’s Doctor puts something in the wall in the cell and at the same time Clara goes to the tower to get Jack Harkness’s time vortex manipulator. We discover that the head or UNIT Kate has been kidnapped and is really a Zygon. Clara is messaged the activation code and is able to warp back to 1562.

Back in the cell The Doctor’s talk about how they could escape by destroying the door but it would take centuries. Smith and Tennant’s Doctor reveal to Hurt’s Doctor that he is the one who destroyed Gallifrey. Hurt’s Doctor asks have they ever counted how many children died on Galiferey that day. Tennant’s Doctor reveals he knows and asks Smith that he would like to know where his future holds as he does not believe he would ever forget how many children died on Gallifrey. Bad Wolf in the form of Rose reveals that is what he will become. She also reveals that they all have the same sonic screwdriver and that Hurt’s screwdriver has been calculating for years. However Clara bursts through the door and reveals that the door was never locked. Elizabeth also comes through the door and reveals the Zygon plot. The Doctor insults Elizabeth again thinking she is the Zygon only to be surprised that it is her again.

Elizabeth reveals that the Zygons want to wait until the future as they believe Elizabethan England is too primitive. The paintings are Stasis Cubes which allow them to remain in suspended animation and can wait until the future. Elizabeth says the Doctor has a promise to keep and The Doctor and Elizabeth get married. The Doctor reveals he will be right back. This is a good connection to the episode The Shakespeare code which is set 1599 in England. It features Elizabeth I being angry at The Doctor but in that episode he reveals he has not met Elizabeth I yet. I may be wrong with this assumption but I personally think that it makes sense. The Doctor’s and Clara then all get in the Tardis and try to get back to the future. The black archive where the Zygons are is Tardis proof and they have no means to get in there. The real Kate and the other humans go into the black archive and activate a protocol that will blow up London in order to destroy the weapons. The Doctor asks Kate to disarm the bomb.

They realize they have no way to get into the room and the bomb will go off and destroy London. Hurt’s Doctor realizes that they don’t need the Tardis. They use the stasis cube to get into the portrait Gallifrey falls. It is revealed that Smith’s Doctor asked for the portrait to be moved to the black archive. The Doctor’s and Clara enter the black archive through the painting shooting a Dalek through and climbing into the room. The Doctor activates a memory wipe so that the Zygons think they are the humans and that they both stop the countdown. They are forced to talk peacefully and come to a treaty. Hurt’s Doctor reveals to Bad wolf that he is ready to make a decision and goes back to the desert to activate the moment. Hurt’s Doctor is about to use the moment when the other Doctor’s appear to convince him to stop.

The Doctor’s say that he is the Doctor more than any of them and they have to use the moment. Hurt’s Doctor was burdened with guilt so the other two decide to do it with him in order to make them equals. Clara is upset that The Doctor is going to kill all these people when they see a projection of Gallifrey. Clara reminds Smith that he is The Doctor. The Doctor then realizes that their is an alternative. They can use the stasis cube to move Gallifrey and to keep it is suspended animation and all the Daleks surrounding the planet will fire on each other thus ending the time war. For the rest of the universe it will be like the events we have been made to believe in the series. The Daleks and the time lords would have wiped each other out.

The three Doctors use their Tardis’ to freeze Gallifrey in the moment. They contact the war room on Gallifrey and reveal their plan. They claim the calculations would take years but the Doctor reveals he has been thinking about this for a long time. Suddenly all the other Doctor’s appear using their Tardis’ in unison in order to safe Gallifrey.We also get a tease to the 13th Doctor and get a quick glimpse of Peter Capaldi as the Doctor. The Doctor makes Gallifrey disappear. Hurt’s doctor knows he will not remember that he tried to save Gallifrey because The Doctor’s time streams are out of sync. Hurt’s Doctor enters his Tardis and then starts to regenerate. As Tennant’s doctor wont remember either Smith’s Doctor reveals that he has been to Trezalore where the Doctor is buried.

Clara then reveals that the curator is looking for him. Smith’s Doctor reveals that he would love to be a curator. The Curator is the revealed to be Tom baker’s Doctor who is old. I don’t know if this is supposed to be his previous incarnation but I like to think it is. Before Baker’s Doctor regenerated he worked as the curator and got the painting of Gallifrey to the gallery in the first place. Smith’s Doctor knows that the picture has two titles Gallifrey Falls and No More. But the curator reveals the the real title is Gallifrey Falls No More. The curator reveals that Gallifrey is still out there somewhere. The episode ends with Smith’s Doctor doing a monologue about his dreams and where he is going. The Doctor steps out of the Tardis and looks upon Gallifrey standing next to all the other doctors.

It was good to see stock footage of the other Doctors and it was great to see Tom Baker have a decent cameo. I personally really hoped that Christopher Eccelston would have reprized his role. We did get the stock footage and some of his face in the regeneration scene but I think seeing him have some brand new scenes would have been really interesting to see. I don’t think not having him in it ruined it at all but Eccelston was my first Doctor and it would have been great to see him in the 50th.

Overall I think this was a really great episode and although it did not answer every question it was a perfect celebration of 50th Anniversary. I do hope that the unanswered questions of this episode will be addressed in the Christmas special and as we know that will be Smith’s last outing as the Doctor before Peter Capaldi takes over. I think this episode was well written and well acted and I felt that is was well explained despite some more questions being asked and some questions that we are still waiting for an answer for.

What did you think of The episode? Please comment below and thanks for reading.

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One thought on “Doctor Who: The Day Of The Doctor Review

    Petition to name newly-discovered planet Gallifrey said:
    December 9, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    […] Doctor Who: The Day Of The Doctor. Review […]

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