Who Review – The Day of the Doctor
Happy Doctor Who Day Evil Geeks! It’s finally here, the day all Whovians have been eagerly anticipating, the day of the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor! The Tenth and the Eleventh, Tennant, Smith, Hurt, the Bad Wolf and the Impossible Girl, all together for the first time ever! Seriously, if you told me a year ago that we’d be doing this today, I’d never have believed you. An episode this epic just didn’t seem possible, yet here we are. Hopefully you’ve been lucky enough to catch some of the BBC’s coverage, which has been an absolute Whovian’s dream over the past few days; culminating with Friday night’s premiere of “An Adventure Through Time and Space” the story of the real life drama behind the origins of the Doctor Who TV show, the season 7 marathon and ending finally with the jewel in the crown that is The Day of the Doctor. Will it live up to the hype? Let’s find out shall we? GERONIMO!!!
The last time we saw the Doctor and Clara, back in The Name of the Doctor, things weren’t really going all that well. The Great Intelligence, wearing the guise of Dr. Simeon from the last Christmas special, manged to lure the Doctor to Trenzalore; site of the Doctor’s grave. Simeon (which is how I’ll be referring to the Great Intelligence from now on, simply because it’s shorter than writing out the Great Intelligence) enters the Doctors time stream and proceeds to go about undoing every single one of his victories. He’s killing the Doctor, over, and over, and over again in order to exact revenge for all the times the Doctor has defeated him. Just when it looks like the Doctor has finally been defeated for good, Clara sacrifices herself by throwing herself into the Doctors time stream as well, to counteract the effect of Simeon’s meddling. This explains why the Doctor’s met Clara several times before in different tines and places. It was the real Clara, there helping to save the Doctor’s life, most times without him even realizing she was there. We find out the Clara’s been helping him out, even before the First Doctor stole the TARDIS. Clara figured herself for a goner, but the Doctor enters his own time stream in an effort to save her. Seriously, I know when Matt Smith regenerates it’s going to be a real tear jerker, but MAN do I get misty eyed every time I watch the scene at the end of The Name of the Doctor when the Doctor is trying to save Clara and he says “All those times you saved me, just this once, just for the hell of it…let me save you!” Holy F-ing All The Feelings, that gets me every time. The last thing we see before the end of the episode, is a mysterious figure, whom the Doctor tells Clara is a version of himself that didn’t live up to the name Doctor. He turns and we’re greeted with the words “Introducing John Hurt as the Doctor”. Still a mind-blowing scene even as I’ve seen it a bunch of times already. Who is the mystery Doctor? Well, thanks to Paul McGann’s incredible mini episode, we see that the mystery Doctor is in fact the Doctor who fought during the often mentioned, yet never scene Time War. He’s the version of the Doctor responsible for killing all of the Time Lords. Just his alone in the story means that the stakes could not possibly be any higher than they are for The Day of the Doctor. Shit’s gotten so real, that we’re going to need at least two Doctors to get this one squared away!
I’m going to try my damned hardest to keep this as spoiler free as possible; I’d hate to ruin some of the jaw dropping moments this episode offers up, but I will have to drop a few, so be warned. If you haven’t watched it yet, seriously just go do it now, then come back and read this. You’ll thank me. To boil the episode down to the very basic premise, the beginning of the episode finds Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor working with UNIT regarding a letter left for the Doctor from Queen Elizabeth and a strange painting of the final moments of Gallifrey. While investigating the matter, the Doctor ends up jumping through a rift in time, which leaves him in Elizabethan England with none other than the actual Queen Elizabeth, who is out on a day date with her beloved paramour, the 10th Doctor. The 10th really isn’t into her all that much, he’s just there to take care of a little Zygon invasion. Meanwhile back on the front line of the Time War John Hurt’s War Doctor (John Hurt’s War Doctor will be opening up for Sumatran Monkey Fist this weekend at Chuck’s Roadhouse in Waukeegan, Illinois. Mention this article and get two for one well drinks all night) on the precipice of what is THE defining moment of the Doctor’s incredible long life. The Time War is the event that separates old school Who and the new Who Revival and the War Doctor is about to do something he’ll end up regretting for a long, long time, but it’s the only option he can think of from keeping the Time War from spreading out to the rest of the universe. In a kind of screwed up version of A Christmas Carol, the War Doctor is visited by a “Ghost” of sorts, who ends up transporting him to the future versions of himself before he has the chance to make his fateful decision.
When I said before that it would take two doctors to get this mess sorted out, I was wayyyy off. The War Doctor lends a hand to the two older Doctors, until he is ultimately convinced that doing the terrible thing he’d been contemplating, was his only option. The episode is about the darkest moment in the Doctor’s entire life and his pursuit of redemption from that atrocious act. He’s give a do over for something he’d been thinking about for hundreds of years and the only question is will he allow history to repeat itself or can the combined brains of the three Doctors find a sensible way out of the situation. In the end, it will take every one of the Doctors incarnations, working together, to not only save the day, but to also change the past present and future. Overall it was an incredible episode, not only because we got to see some old friends again, but also because the story is such a game changer for the future of the show. It’s pretty clear where the 11th is heading at the end of the episode, but as we know because of Matt Smith’s impending departure, things might now work out so well for him. Still the end leaves intriguing possibilities for future story lines, and I can’t wait to see the 12th Doctor take on the challenge. It was so great to see David Tennant back as the Doctor again. His portrayal hasn’t lost a step and it’s great to see his version of the Doctor interact with Matt Smith’s portrayal of the character. In a perfect world, we’d get an action/comedy, buddy cop show featuring the two Doctors, with each one of them trying to out joke and out quip each other, but in this world we just get the harsh reality of seeing David Tennant leave the role behind again. And DAMNIT, don’t you know it, his final line will leave a tear in your eye while at the same time putting a smile on your face. I can only hope that someday he’ll don the overcoat and Chuck Taylors once again. Maybe in an adventure with Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi as well. Billie Piper has an unbelievable line near the end of the episode that truly struck a chord with not only me, but I’m sure millions of other Whovians as well. She asks the War Doctor if he knows the sound of the TARDIS and if he knows that sound means hope to millions of people who are lost all over the universe, even himself. Pretty much nails what the Doctor means to so many fans. Hope; that no matter what, everything will be OK. A truly fitting anniversary show if there ever was one. When next we meet, it will certainly be a bittersweet affair, as we’ll be saying good-bye to Matt Smith. On Christmas no less. Crying on Christmas? Jeez, thanks for the crappy present Matt. Check back here on the morning after for some emotional support. Until then Evil Geeks, ALLONSY!
Wanna catch up on past trips in the TARDIS? Read On…
Posted on November 24, 2013, in Features, Geekology, Reviews, TV, Who Review and tagged 10th Doctor, 11th Doctor, bbc, BBC America, Billie Piper, Clara Oswald, David Tennant, Doctor Who, Jenna-Louise Coleman, Matt Smith, Rose Tyler, Sci-Fi, sonic screwdriver, Tardis, The Doctor, Who Review. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.