So far the reactions to the Doctor Who reviewers I follow have been over-the-moon positive, and I have to admit I am right there with them. The Day of the Doctor was all we dreamt it could be. I am still in a bit of a shock that they had the balls to just go all out, and give us something that not only changed canon, but also fixed problems we’ve been dealing with since the reboot.
I’m not going to go into what was fixed and what was introduced, except to say that Moffat was lying when he said John Hurt’s Doctor wouldn’t ruin the counting. The counting isn’t technically used “in series”, though I do believe Matt Smith’s Doctor refers to himself as number eleven at some point. From now on, however, it seems he is Twelve, and come Christmas Capaldi is number Thirteen. I could not be happier with this. I know, “Ten-nant” fans might be annoyed they have to change their tags, but we will hopefully get a huge story-arch next season because of this. With Thirteen’s search for Gallifrey, he has to be searching for another set of regenerations. That ticking clock is going to create a lot of tension!
The second big thing I loved was the writing. Every line fell into place, every reference slipped in perfectly without drawing attention to itself, and every relationship was spot-on. John Hurt and Bad Wolf-Rose! Billie Piper absolutely nailed it, even next to a giant of acting like John Hurt.
I could go on and on. The story! So straight-forward (for Doctor Who) with not a single Moffat-twist in sight. The characters. Not a single misstep with any other them. And Tom Baker! The whole cinema gasped when they saw his face. It was amazing, and the implications of his cameo are very interesting. I’m sure there are going to be articles written about it.
I’m still so giddy, I wonder if I dare criticise any of it? There were a couple things I could have done with less of, to put it as mildly as I can. The editing during some of it was a bit much. I could have done without the constant slow cross-fades and the Doctor’s faces superimposed on war-torn Gallifrey. It wasn’t bad by any stretch, but after the first few cuts, it started getting annoying, especially with the 3D. I also wasn’t the biggest fan of Elizabeth I. She was fine, but just not to my taste and I didn’t find her funny. Quick side-note: how did the zygons mistake the real queen for their fake one? Was it not established that they kept their originals alive so they could continue to copy then? A real zygon would therefore not just kill their original, so wouldn’t they question her about that?
Despite these small issues, I am still in shock over how amazing everything was. Considering the time and effort I have wasted waiting for this day, the level of anticipation, and all our theories, it is truly a beautiful thing that the finished product met and exceeded our expectations.
Now, let’s start waiting for Christmas!