Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor

“Great men are born in fire; it is the privilege of lesser men to light the flame.”

Doctor Who

I know this is a little late…but wasn’t the Doctor’s 50th a great big piece of awesome? I don’t even think I can write a coherent review; so I’m afraid today is going to be a List.


Ten Things I Loved About The Day of the Doctor

(Oh, hellfire! I can only have ten?)

  1. GALLIFREY STANDS. Just the most awesome moment in all 90 minutes, that message from the Doctor…apart from all the others, that is…
  2. In a related area, the bit where all twelve of the Doctors appear at the Gallifrey High Council, with respective footage – oh, wait. “All thirteen”! Peter Capaldi, you are going to be awesome.
  3. The sheer Britishness of the thing. How many Americans do you think would understand the reference to Derren Brown? (Yeah, he turned up too. On reflection, perhaps that should have been another point.) Or about the ravens at the Tower of London? There was a British Queen, a British setting, British actors (not an American in sight). The Day of the Doctor was not, emphatically not, an episode aiming to snare new American audiences but one that rewarded generations of British Whovians who have watched the Doctor all their lives. And that is a wonderful thing.
  4. The links and references to fifty years of Doctor Who  – the Foreman school, Ten’s “I don’t want to go” – that surprised and delighted those who understood them yet did not exclude new fans.
  6. The way that the plots were woven together to support one another – the Zygon plot informed the Gallifrey plot and vice versa. Very clever, and very satisfying.
  7. The fact that we get our happy ending – that Gallifrey may stand, that John Hurt gets to be the Doctor for a while – without undoing the work of the Time War upon the characters of Nine, Ten and Eleven. Again, clever and satisfying.
  8. The humour: the audience laughed so many, many times, but it that humour never impinged upon the seriousness that the plot demanded.
  9. Wasn’t the picture thing clever? Especially the title: “Gallifrey Falls” and “No More” (both brilliant, eloquent titles, by the way) which becomes, in a  stroke of genius, “Gallifrey Falls No More”.
  10. The love, the sheer love for Doctor Who that floated around that night. I went to see it with the University Gang in the cinema, and it was wonderful to think that, across the world, thousands, possibly millions, of people were watching and thinking about Doctor Who all at the same time. And at the end everyone clapped, and the Doctor won, and it was just the best thing. The best thing ever.

Dear God. Has Steven Moffatt done something right for once? A miracle indeed.

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