Page 327/365 : Doctor Who 50th Anniversary

This was it, after fifty years and eleven incarnations (that we knew about) it was time for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special.

I went to Cineworld to watch it in a packed cinema in full 3D glory.

Ever since the last episode of the last series, everyone has been wondering who the new Doctor was and why there’s be this John Hurt character appear. Well everything was answered in The Day Of The Doctor.

Warning…the following contains major spoilers…so if you ain’t seen it yet, don’t read on.

John Hurt was “The War Doctor”. Paul McGann’s 8th Doctor regenerated into him after drinking a potion which turned him into a warrior. When we caught up with him in the special, he was bang in the middle of the Time Wars, fighting off a Dalek invasion of Gallifrey. But as all felt lost and without hope, he was set to make the ultimate sacrifice. He was about to blow the whole planet to smithereens, taking everyone with him until the interface of the device being used took the form of Rose Tyler and went about showing him the error of his ways. This led to a meeting of John Hurt’s 9th Doctor, David Tennant’s 10th (but now technically 11th) Doctor, and Matt Smith’s 11th, now 12th incarnation.

It was up to them to stop John Hurt doing the dastardly act, whilst also dealing with some Zygons who were causing carnage with Queen Elizabeth in London. And this is where I found a pitfall in the anniversary episode. For me the whole show should have been about the Time Wars and the relationship between the War Doctor and two of his future selves. But too much of the episode was taken up with the Zygons storyline, taking away what could have been even more amazing.

Having discussed with others who watched, the feeling also seems to be the same. For me, there needed to be more animosity from Tennant/Smith towards Hurt, all aimed at the carnage he had caused and the hurt and distress the subsequent Doctors had felt. The newer Docs just seemed to give in to Hurt’s Doc a little too easily and they all became the best of friends.

The first half of the episode clunked around in the Zygon storyline way too much, when most of the intrigue and real spectacular stuff needed to happen within the Three Doctors’ storyline.

We did end up back at that though, and when all three were about to make the decision to blow Gallifrey up together, only to be stopped by Clara, who have the Doctor and idea, everything went fan-boy crazy.

First up was the three doctors speaking on screens in the war room announcing that they needed to fly their Tardis’ around Gallifrey to cause it to disappear. That they did…but they needed the help of ALL the Doctors. Cue shots of all the old guys in their respective Tardis making the necessary moves. William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston were all helping…and then Peter Capaldi turned up to support. All thirteen Doctors making Gallifrey disappear!

Then we had a lovely scene were the three main ones all moved on. Hurt left, beginning his regeneration into Christopher Eccleston, followed by Tennant (saying “I Don’t Want To Go!”) and leaving Smith with the curator of a gallery, played by Tom Baker who had a very touching moment with Matt Smith.

The final verdict was that it was amazing…but it could have been better if there had been more focus on the Time War and the struggle between all three Doctors instead of playing on laughs instead.

I still loved it though.

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2 Responses to Page 327/365 : Doctor Who 50th Anniversary

  1. Thomas Pitts says:

    It needed the laughs in order to lift it from a doom and gloom it could have become. Doctor Who, especially the Doctor, has always had that element of fun to it. It was amazing. I wouldn’t have changed a thing about it – despite the little niggles. The Zygons were a necessary distraction and were weaved in well. It was their threat that lead to the plan in the first place as they were placing the same choice upon those from UNIT. The other area is that it set up so much for the future. Immediately, you have 2.47 billion children on Gallifrey who are all Time Lords. The Doctor is no longer alone. For saving them, surely he will be granted more regenerations – The Master was for doing far less after all. Then there’s the possibility of his family still being alive. And the hunt for a missing planet (although that strikes as a little Red Dwarf-ish and is more than likely to fall flat in the long run as it’s too tangential to fill a longer period of time in my view). There may be other things that I’ve lost from my head…

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