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- Episode: Day of the Doctor (Anniversary Special)
- Starring: Matt Smith, David Tennant, John Hurt, Billie Piper, Jenna Coleman, Tom Baker, Jemma Redgrave, Ingrid Oliver
- Written By: Steven Moffat
- Directed By: Nick Hurran
- Network: BBC, BBC America
- Studio: BBC
Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor Review
The BIG 50th Anniversary Special
By Kimberly McCall
November 25, 2013
I have decided I am way too much of a fan to properly review Doctor Who. I love every episode because, to me, I am seeing another true piece of a giant story I've been watching and loving since I was a little girl. It is for this reason that I have to actually search for technical things to criticize for your reading and fellow criticizing pleasure. I'd appreciate you, Maniacs, keeping that in mind as you read the following.
In watching the long anticipated "Day of the Doctor", it is almost impossible to put into words all the different things it does to the head of a fan. First, let's get the obvious focal point out of the way.
Yes, John Hurt makes another, longer appearance as the...wait...what official number Doctor is he now? Anyway, the immeasurably talented actor opens a vastly important door into the world of Gallifrey and what happened to its people in the war. The only thing that we, the audience, really knew about Time Lords is that the Doctor is (now) the only one left.
We know that the Doctor has seen the ins and outs of the universe and its inhabitants. We know that he has, somehow, lost his home and his kind. We also know that, despite his lighthearted nature, he has suffered greatly. John Hurt brings a face to the “warrior” side of the Doctor that has dealt with that massive loss and pain. He is the Doctor who has burdened his future selves with the agony and regret we often forget he has. Hurt's time traveling trials are a welcome and fascinating addition to the story and a window into an alien race we, as Whovians, know so little about.
On the other side of things, going back to the old, it is lovely to see the Zygons return. Though not exactly the Doctor's greatest foe, it is nice to see them paid proper tribute with updated makeup that remains true to the original monsters. Fast camera cuts keep them from looking too ridiculous, and their whispering threats are as menacing as ever. There is plenty of “exterminating” action as well, including some geek satisfying combat with Matt Smith, David Tennant, John Hurt, and Daleks.
The three Doctors worked wonderfully off each other (something fans were worried about) as they strive to save both Gallifrey and the rest of the universe. With the help of every regeneration (including a triumphant, but brief appearance by Peter Capaldi), the Doctor Who universe is given an explosion of much needed hope. I suppose the same can be said for fans. For no matter how well we all think we know the stories of our beloved characters, there are scores of boundless adventures yet to be discovered.
Oh, and Tom Baker might just have stolen the whole episode in only a brief moment of screen time, though I wish it was he who was wearing the scarf.