OK Whovians, my take on Day of the Doctor (Spoilers)!

I finally saw this last night and have to get my thoughts out…

Just be warned that there will be spoilers in this post so if you have not seen this yet and you are a Whovian, please do not read my blog today.  I realise though that the Day of the Doctor was actually a few days ago now and most of you would have seen it.  I had not until last night seen it as I was saving it for a 3D screening of the episode at a cinema close to home and a few of us (family, work friend and new friends) all showed up.  My family were the only ones who had stayed strong and not watched a version of the show until last night though.

I had also, reasonably purposefully, stayed away from any of the promo material apart from the short prelude video that showed the regeneration into John Hurt as the War Doctor so I knew very little going into this movie.  As I entered the doors I hoped for the following things;

  1. That all the surviving Doctors would be involved somehow
  2. That they would steer clear of the same old same old (i.e. that it was not a pure Cybermen/Dalek story
  3. That some of the previous companions would make cameos
  4. They would finally reveal all the Time War stuff that had bugged me for so long.
Missing one…
Now, before I go into deeper analysis, I will give you my view as I walked in the door.  Firstly, I was not excited for this.  My wife and daughter were very excited but for me I think I was worried that they would do something that would ruin the franchise for me a little.  A lot, hang on a lot of my love for fantasy/sci-fi and the like stems from this very show.  I never read a fantasy book until I was thirteen, the only show that was not a comedy or drama that I watched on the T.V. was Doctor Who.  I loved these shows and as daggy as Doctor Who was in the eighties I would not have liked to have seen them denigrate that period of my life, or the shows that created the basis for the much higher production quality that they make today.

Again, before I go into too much detail, I will give you how I felt after the event.  As I walked out I was a little stunned.  My mind was racing, going over the events.  It was not until we all piled back into the car and were driving home that someone directly asked me what I thought.  I said “I don’t know.  I know I loved it but there was so much to take in and I need to think over it.”  And that is exactly how I feel about it.  It was great, but a lot of it has me rethinking a lot of what I knew about the Doctor.  Some of it was actually based on the RPG that I have read, but in the main it was just about how this all fit with the past seven series of the rebooted Doctor.
Actually one of my favourites…
Lets start with some detail then.  Not all of my wishes above were met obviously.  There are a lot more surviving Doctors than those listed above who did not appear (apart from archival footage) and that really disappointed me.  Where was Peter Davidson at least, my second favourite Doctor.  The appearance of Tom Baker was a great thing and also ultimately a sad thing for me.  It really was the moment when you realise that all of your heroes are actually mortal.  Here was Tom Baker as an old man, a cane to help him walk.  He still had the sparkle to his eye though and the peculiarities of his Doctor which made me love the appearance.  But I also wish it had not happened, as I would have loved to have seen him only as vibrant as his own Doctor, foraging through his jacket for a jelly baby.

I loved the choice of Zygons for the protagonists.  This was the description of the Time War and yet they introduce us back to the shape shifters who were essentially men in big funny costumes.  And guess what?  They still were men in big funny costumes!  I loved this.  They had not gone the high budget CGI option but allowed the Zygons to appear almost faithfully to the originals.  Their plot was a sideline in the whole event but I truly have to tip my hat to them for this touch.  I love Zygons!  And if you saw it in 3D, the joke about the 3D glasses at the start made this all the more funnier.
Did an excellent job bringing the War Doctor to life
The three Doctors that appeared all did really well.  I was a bit worried as I went and saw this as I had seen a post that said what this event really showed was that Matt Smith was no where near as good an actor as David Tennant and John Hurt blew them both out of the water.  Well, I have to say I only partially agree here.  John Hurt did bring a real depth to the role.  I can imagine him as a Doctor and he now easily falls into the role of an incarnation as I think of the Doctors.  He had the gravity needed for the role and he stole the scene with every second of screen time he inhabited.  But I felt the comment was poor characterisation of Matt Smith.  I actually love David Tennant BUT I also love Matt Smith.  For all the crap he has received doing this role, I believe he has really done a good job of bringing the essence of the quirkiness (like Tom Baker) back to the role.  I for one will be a Whovian that is sad to see him leave the role next year.

This was a good movie/episode, don’t get me wrong, but as far as convergent timelines of the Doctor’s it was not the best.  I have to go back and watch the Five Doctors episodes again but I am certain that I found those episodes far superior to this one.  I will give you that it was an interesting take on the Time War but the Time War is something that I have always felt was forced on us.  It was a retrospective dealing of a decision the BBC took to try and generate interest in the new series and I resented that.  That said, the way the other two Doctors arrived to press the big red button so their former self did not have to face that decision alone.  I loved the human nature inside of this.  How many times would I have loved for another me from the future to come back and say “this is the wrong choice for the right reason” and I will support you all the way.  Had me a little choked up actually but this may be that I, like the Doctor am the last of my kind (last of a family generation) and this resonates with me.
Definitely my wife’s and daughter’s favourite Doctor
I do know that I need to watch it a few more times.  I also know that I will be picking up the 3D Blu-ray for this and watching it a few more times too.  It has given me the urge to revisit a lot of the older episodes again and revel in my childhood indulgence once more.  So, please speak up.  Let me know in the comments what you think of it all.  How did this episode rate with you?  I still realise that I have more revelations to come and those above are just my initial responses.  Hopefully a bit of discussion will help me sort the rest out!  Until next time, keep rolling!

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