After months and months of antici…pation, we were finally given the proper Doctor Who 50th special, in theaters. Of course, Day of the Doctor (DotD) was shown on BBC America on Saturday, but like many fans, I waited for the Monday night theatrical release, and I’m glad I did!
While many of my recent movie-going experiences have been less than stellar (a rant for another time), this crowd was great. Obviously, most of the people in the theater were proper Whovians, and those who weren’t were respectful. The cheers, the clapping, all made the experience so wonderful! Also, I saw quite a few fezes…I didn’t wear mine, Mel would have killed me!
While I don’t intend to give an outline of the story, there may be spoilers to come (I don’t know, I haven’t written it yet), so there, you’ve been warned…
I loved the show (is it an episode? is it a movie? I’m not sure), it was everything I think a fan could have wanted in a 50th special, but it raised more questions than it answered…and I’ll get to that…
Now, prior to DotD coming out, the BBC put out a short (less than 7 minutes) film starring Paul McGann, the 8th Doctor, called “Night of the Doctor.” If you haven’t seen it, here you go (it looks fake, but I swear it is not, the special effects just leave a bit to be desired).
This basically serves to setup exactly when DotD takes place in the Doctor’s timeline, which is between the 8th and 9th Doctors (so between McGann and Eccleston). Here we see 8 regenerate into “The War Doctor.” And we have the first question…What!? Or more adequately, What does this mean!?
You see, until now, Eccleston was the 9th doctor (making Tennant 10 and Smith 11), but if John Hurt is the Doctor that 8 regenerates into, what does that do to the timeline!? Does this mean that Eccleston is actually 10, Tennant 11, Smith 12 and Peter Capaldi is 13, the last Doctor?
You see, according to cannon, a Time Lord can only regenerate 12 times, making 13 total incarnations of a Time Lord, but with Hurt as the new 9, Eccleston as 10, Tennant as 11 (Tennant regenerating twice, you know, the one with the hand… from “Journey’s End” really throws a wrench in the gears), Smith as 12, and Capaldi 13, the final Doctor. Or, if we look at Journey’s End, where Tennant’s Doctor diverts his regeneration energy into his hand, which later becomes a ½ Time Lord ½ Human hybrid, essentially meaning that Tennant regenerated twice (once into himself, once into Matt Smith), then Capaldi is actually the impossible 14!
Confused yet? Yeah, me too. But, from what I’ve been reading, it looks like Hurt is going to just be considered “The War Doctor,” leaving the numbering scheme the same, so Smith is still 11 and Capaldi will be 12. OK, so we’ve settled this, the numbering scheme will stay the same.
Now, I feel like without watching it again, which I plan to do soon, that I can’t really write an adequate review of DotD, but I will say this…it was wonderful. I loved seeing multiple doctors working together, Matt Smith and David Tennant play well off each other, and John Hurts performance makes me wish for more (I want to see a series of his Doctor, I’d love to see what the War Doctor was doing before he chiseled “No More” in a wall with a rifle). Frankly, it was everything I’d hoped for.
I am eager to see how this will affect the existing cannon, and where the story will go from here. Will we get to see more of Gallifrey? I have full confidence in Moffat to keep the show running in a great way and I cannot wait to see what the Christmas episode holds in store for us, and I’m also excited to see what kind of Doctor Capaldi turns out to be (I’m sure you’ll see my predictions of that when it gets closer).
I have so much more to say, but I feel like I’m rambling, so I just want to ask, what were your thoughts on Day of the Doctor? Did you wait to see it in the theater, or did you watch it when it aired? Also, did you like the story, or were you upset because it went so far against most Doctor Who rules?
I look forward to reading your comments and hope you Like, Share, and Re-Tweet. Thanks for reading, all, and here is looking forward to the Christmas Special, “The Time of the Doctor.”