Yesterday, Saturday, 23rd, 2013 at 11:50pm the BBC simulcasted the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special – The Day of the Doctor, worldwide. For you that have yet to see it… click away, click away, now! Thar be spoilers in these waters!
Like a good regular episode of Doctor Who, The Day of the Doctor provides the viewers with a good amount of answers while at the the same time seeding new questions, new possibilities, about the future direction of the series – and does so from the getgo.
In the first scene, we see Clara finishing up teaching a class, when she receives a message from the Doctor to meet. Already, we’re left to wonder what events bridge the end of the Series 7 Finale, “The Name of the Doctor,” with the beginning of this episode. How were they able to excape the Doctor’s timeline at Trenzalore? Were they about to escape at all? If they did escape, were there any far-reaching implications? Will they address this in upcoming episodes? Or are we left to assume that the Doctor and Clara made it away clear and unscathed?
Lines in the “Day of the Doctor” point to the possibility that we’re actually going to see the final battle at Trenzalore on screen. Will this be the site of the Eleventh’s Doctor into the Twelfth Doctor? Well, I guess the Thirteenth Doctor after this special. The conventions are all a bit blurry now. I suppose, though, that the battle at Trenzalore was the site of the Doctor’s final death, presumeably after using up all his regenerations.
And now, that we possibly have a Thirteenth Doctor, are we going to stick to the thirteen regeneration rule?
I much appreciated Billie Piper as the manifestation of The Moment. The characterization of The Moment’s interface as a Bad Wolf/Idris/Gost of Christmas Future gestalt was an interesting choice, one which I enjoyed quite a bit. I, for one, am glad that the shots of Billie that we’ve scene in teasers, trailers, and on set photos ended up not being of her as Rose Tyler. Reason being, for the 50th Anniversary, we needed something bigger than the Tenth Doctor and Rose. That was one, admittedly, major part of David’s run as the Doctor, but the show in its entirety is about the Doctor and his place in the universe, with the help of his companions, and not the other way around.
Continuing in the thread of the Doctor’s companions, I’m really glad we got to see a little bit of Clara just spending time with the Doctor, without us having to wonder, “What is she? How is she the impossible girl?” the entire time. We finally got to see her as a companion, rather than a puzzle. Hopefully, we get to see more of her in this capacity before her time as a companion is through.
It almost goes without saying that things really come to life once we get the Tenth and the Eleventh on screen together. The way Smith and Tennant intereact with each other is everything the fanboy/girl thought it would be. It’s funny, intense, sad, and all around entertaining. I am particularly fond of the new set of nicknames we have to call Tenth, Eleventh, and the War Doctor: Chinny, Matchstick Man/Sandshoes, and Grandpa, respectively.
All in all, this was a great way to celebrate a show with such a long-running, storied history as Doctor Who. I, a fan, am sufficiently satiated.