A disclaimer first. I was never a huge Dr Who fan. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great show. It never grabbed me. Gave it a chance and watched an episode a few years back. It had David Tennant as Dr Who. He was charming, witty, funny, and intelligent. He pulled me into every scene he was in.. hell, he captivated me. He’s my Doctor Who, you know?
So when I went to watch the 50th anniversary special, I went in with only cursory knowledge of the series. I’ve read up on the basics of the series… like the Tardis, the sonic screwdriver, and how the Doctor regenerates after death. And believe it or not, I was able to follow everything that happened.
I have nothing but good things to say about the Day of the Doctor.
So, why did I love this movie/episode?
I was able to follow everything. Like the Moment and the appearance of that old Doctor who acted as the curator of the art museum. The dialogue was more than enough to tell me that there’s a lot of story significance to these characters. The moment the Moment appeared, talking about how she knew the Doctor… wow. I don’t know if the actress was just that good or the writing was some of the best I’ve ever seen… but for someone who has never seen the character before getting chills when she said ‘Bad Wolf’… wow. I knew that statement carried a hell of a lot of meaning. Though what, I have no idea.
The interplay between the three Doctors
David Tennant and Matt Smith. Dear god. Wow. They played off of each other like old friends. And when you add in John Hurt, the interactions became so much more meaningful.
I’m pretty sure it’s every Dr Who fan’s dream to have the various Doctors meet and team up. Wait… are Dr Who fans called Whovians? Wait… seriously? I mean… seriously? Whovian? Huh. Well anyways, I don’t think there could have been a better fit than David’s and Matt’s Doctors. Both of them were child-like in their own way, wanting to do what was right. David was clearly the heroic type who couldn’t stop sticking his foot in his mouth. Matt was a charmingly awkward, never quite sure of his place in the world. That came through with him forgetting about a surprising amount of things, as if he was subtly rejecting the world and his own part.
From their interactions, I got a good sense of what the Doctor’s regeneration was like. It was easy to imagine Dr Who being this strange and otherworldly being that manifests itself with a new form and personality.
And the way they had the same mannerisms. Oh man. Genius. Pure genius. It added to their charm.
John Hurt added the needed tragedy to the entire episode. His Doctor Who came before David’s and Matt’s. Strangely, John’s Dr. Who did something so horrible that the other two have done everything they could to forget about him. There was something heartbreaking about watching Doctor Who reject himself like that. But without John’s Doctor showing up like that, the episode would be nothing more than fan service rather than making a serious attempt to bring together many Doctors from different eras of the show.
I had no idea who that curator was when watching the episode (I looked it up afterwards), but I still got a sense of why he was important.
Bringing back these older characters for cameo appearances may have just been for the Whovians (still, SERIOUSLY?? That’s the best nickname you can come up with?), but it gave me something very important as well. Just like everything else, it added to the sense of history and wonder. And since I saw it at the theatre in 3D, the crowd’s reaction made the moment that much cooler.
Oh, and how could you not mark out for this moment here?
There’s a lot more that I would love to talk about, but I’m really trying to keep spoiler free. So I’ll just try to wrap it up with my final thoughts.
The episode/movie made me laugh, think, and come close to tears. Seriously. There’s one part that is so touching… Matt’s and David’s Doctors coming to John’s Doctor because they don’t want him to be alone when he makes his decision. They were all willing to take responsibility for the decision. What followed from that scene was heroic that had to be worthy of Doctor Who.
And my last thought.. WHOVIANS??????? Are you Doctor Seuss fans or Doctor Who fans?