Sunday, 24 November 2013

Review: The Day of The Doctor, Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special

This is a review of the Doctor Who 50th special entitled The Day of The Doctor . If you have not seen the anniversary special, I advise you not to continue reading until you have watched it. 

See the trailer below: 


Before going to the cinema to see the 50th anniversary, yes I was so lucky to have it shown in my local cinema, I watched all the mini clips and scenes released by the BBC Youtube to get me in the 50th mood. One of the best and most brilliant of the promotional videos was definitely "The Night Of The Doctor" featuring eighth doctor Paul Mc Gann

[Watch it above.] This 6 minute mini episode answered so many of my burning questions, the biggest of which: Where did John Hurt come from and Who is he?  The episode revealed that the 8th Doctor was involved in a fatal accident while trying to save a woman during the time war. He was about to die when he was saved and forced to regenerate into whatever he chose. Because of the Time War he decided to regenerate into a warrior and abandon his Doctor title. He became a warrior and this is John Hurt. 

So technically John Hurt is the 8 and a half Doctor....this was revealed and shown to us in the 50th when John Hurt regenerated and you could see Christopher Ecclestone, the 9th doctor, beginning to form. 

The 50th special was everything I could have hoped for and more. Tennant was back, Matt Smith was brilliant and I loved seeing Hurt portray the older doctors in his grumpy manor. 

I really enjoyed the plot of the special. I enjoyed seeing each doctors take on meeting themselves and trying to deal with an old nemesis, the Zygons, while also trying to stop themselves from committing genocide, something they've never forgiven themselves for. 

I really liked the way they showed the time war. I've always been very interested in the Time War and I was always curious to see if they would make an episode explaining it. Before the special the only information we had on the time war was from the doctor himself, but in this episode we got to see the war from an outside perspective. I enjoyed seeing the council of time lords and how they were in charge. 

Another thing I really liked was that they incorporated the classic who, especially the first season ever of DW, into the special. They used the original TARDIS design in one scene (picture below from An Adventure in Space and Time) and the original opening credits. I loved this small homage to the start of Who, and I'm sure all classic who fans really loved that too. 


I really enjoyed the scenes with the three doctors together. I really liked seeing how different they were and how they interacted with each other. We could see that Hurt was more of the grumpy serious type, which is more similar to early regenerations of the Doctor like Hartnell. Tennant was his serious but not serious self as he was back when he was the Doctor. Matt Smith was Matt Smith, bow ties and fezzes but moments of anger too. My favourite part with the three was probably the scene where they are in Queen Elizabeth's dungeon and they talk about the Time War. Hurt notes that Ten is regretful and Eleven just wants to put it out of his mind. 

One of my favourite side characters in the special was Osgood, a quirky scientist working for UNIT. I loved her homage to Tom Baker's doctor as she donned the iconic scarf. I loved her bravery and determination in this episode. She stood up to the Zygons and was so very admirable. She was a self made hero. Her faith in the Doctor was also something I liked about her . She was just brilliant. 

My least favourite side character was Queen Elizabeth I . I felt her role in the 50th was a little unnecessary if only to act as a means of proof behind the running joke the Doctor has about "wild nights" and marriage with her. Joanna Page did act well as the Queen, but I was a little disappointed that the character didn't provide much to the plot as a whole. 

I was really confused when seeing promo pictures for the special. The pictures showed Billie Piper, but what confused me was How is she back? and Why are all her photos with John Hurt, or looking at John Hurt, and not Tennant? I was glad this question was answered. She was the physical embodiment of the Moment, a time lord weapon of mass destruction. I was also really happy with the reference to 2005, when she absorbed the Tardis and her Ecclestone plot surrounding Bad Wolf. Overall Billie Pipers performance was spot on. 


I really enjoyed the other Who references in the episode such as "Timey Wimey" and seeing Jacks vortex manipulator at UNIT. It made me wonder, did Ten first hear Timey Wimey from Eleven ? I was so glad there was that little homage to Captain Jack as I was so sad that he was being left out of the 50th. Also when Tennant said " I don't want to go", I think everyone in the cinema had tears in their eyes .


Another of my favourite scenes was where Tennant and Smith arrived as Hurt was about to push the big red button. This scene gave me goosebumps as all the doctors worked together and didn't make the warrior walk alone. The feels !!! 


The most monumental scene where there was an audible gasp not only from my friends but also from the entire cinema glued to the screen, was when all 13, yes 13 , regenerations of the doctor had screen time. Although it was archived footage for 10 of the Doctors I was so grateful that they were featured in the anniversary. 

Also when Capaldi came on screen.... I was speechless. I had no idea he was going to be in the 50th at all. I thought the first time we'd see him was Christmas . I was so glad he was featured as now I have no doubt he will make a perfect Doctor. He looks the part and I can not wait for him to be the Doctor. 

I also loved when Tom Baker came back, I knew it was going to be a previous regeneration as soon as Matt said "I'd be a good curator"... and then out walked Tom Baker!! I was fangirling especially as they said : 

And the perfect ending was perfect. 


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