I couldn’t help myself. Between seeing a new trailer for the third season of Sherlock and celebrating Doctor Who’s 50th birthday, I simply had to let my geek flag fly by writing up a little something about the Day of the Doctor special that just aired. Well, it actually aired several long hours ago, but I just now watched it online (shhh don’t tell). It’s not exactly a premiere, but I’m going to treat it like one of my Premiere Particulars—simply highlighting what I liked and didn’t like while steering clear of spoilers. Now that we’ve covered that…Allons-y!
Synopsis: “In 2013, something terrible is awakening in London’s National Gallery; in 1562, a murderous plot is afoot in Elizabethan England; and somewhere in space an ancient battle reaches its devastating conclusion.” –www.imdb.com
What I liked:
- Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor. The special reminded me why I’m going to miss him so much. He’s goofy and eccentric, he’s serious and intense, and he’s all kinds of wonderful. Plus, he’s precious with his fez and his glasses.
- David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor returns! I was incredibly sad to see Tennant’s run end, but his return is so effortless and charming that it hardly feels like any time has passed at all. Fair warning: his exit at the end of the episode might make you sniffle.
- John Hurt as a no-nonsense, grumpy Doctor. He’s the perfect foil for the other two Doctors, who are somewhat manic and silly (though wise and solemn when they need to be, in their defense). Hurt brings not only a distinguished touch to the Doctor (which is ironic since he’s actually the “youngest” regeneration), but a face that conveys pain and suffering so well. He’s a hardened warrior Doctor, and Hurt is the perfect fit.
- Billie Piper as Rose/Not Rose. I don’t want to spoil her role, but she’s not quite what you expect her to be. I like it, though. Frankly, I think I like her better in this than I do in a good portion of season one…
- The clever dialogue and interesting plot. Steven Moffat is a genius.
- A surprise cameo from another former Doctor. It’s a very sweet moment.
- The Doctor’s past changes and it’s awesome!!! I can’t say anymore than that!!!
- PETER CAPALDI. There is an incredibly brief glimpse of the new Doctor, but I literally threw my hands up and gasped because it’s the BEST MOMENT.
What I didn’t like:
- The Zygons. Though some interesting things are done with them, I’m always going to be more interested in the Daleks, which aren’t featured quite as much as I’d hoped.
- Some of the solutions. This is an issue I have with Doctor Who in general. Problems are solved at a breakneck pace, and though it’s all very clever, I still often have to stop and scratch my head. Maybe I’m just too dumb and human for all the timey wimey stuff.
- There’s a brief, exhilarating mention of John Barrowman’s beloved Captain Jack Harkness, but alas—he’s nowhere to be found in this special. Seriously, Moffat, what’s your beef with Captain Jack? He’s a huge fan favorite, and he really should be injected back into the series.
- Okay, this is the most superficial thing on here…but David Tennant’s hair. It isn’t bad, but it isn’t the perky, gelled head of hair that Whovians remember so fondly. It’s just…flat. Makes me a little sad.
To Sum It Up: Notice how the good things far outweigh the bad? That’s because this special is delightful. Not only is it a nostalgic trip for longtime Doctor Who fans, but it’s also an intriguing glimpse into the future. The special sets up a potential new mission for the Doctor, and I’m very excited to see how this will be handled. For Whovians, The Day of the Doctor is definitely a must-watch.
My Grade: A