Notice: this is going to be the least impartial review that I can possibly write. I was trying to be professional and talk about this objectively, but I gave up. I have been looking forward to this moment so badly that I have nothing mean to say.
First biased comment of the article: Steven Moffat is a genius. A damned genius. He literally changed the whole story that had been going on since 2005, the whole background, and it still made sense. I can watch the seven series after this, and it will still fit perfectly. I can’t wait to see his brilliant explanation of how Sherlock staged his death.
I should point out that one of the best aspects of the episode was the chemistry between Matt Smith and David Tennant, and of these two with John Hurt. Though he is a younger Doctor, Hurt treats them like they were kids (“Am I having a midlife crisis?” says when he sees those younger-looking versions, whom he first mistakes for companions) and still, they are the ones who act in the most mature way in the end.
And all the references to the 50 years of history. From the old DW-styled opening and ending credits to the Tom Baker scarf -and Tom Baker himself!-, to “reverse the polarity“.
To explain the plot as simply as possible, the three Doctors meet in the England of Elizabeth I, who ends up marrying Tenth -and they will not meet again until the events of The Shakespeare Code. The War Doctor hasn’t destroyed Gallifrey yet, and the way of doing it is through The Moment, aka Rose’s Bad Wolf. Long story short, a lot of frantic, cool stuff happens in between, with this spectacular turn of events -Moffat, you are a genius- that leads to a momentum when all the 12 Doctors -sorry, 13- freeze Gallifrey to save it. Of course, War Doctor will not remember it. But he regenerates into Christopher Eccleston -which we don’t get to see.
Now the Doctor is heading to Trenzalore –where Tenth doesn’t want to go, breaking all of our hearts once more- and he will probably end up regenerating there, leaving the search of Gallifrey to Peter Capaldi, who made a short, yet mind-blowing cameo that caused a massive round of applause from the cinema audience.
The awaited return of Tennant felt like he had never left. His Doctor was as fresh as the first day, but it also reminded us how much we had missed him, and how much we will miss him now that he is gone again. And worse of all, it made us all remember that Smith is leaving soon, too. After the terrible time I had when Tennant left -like most of us-, Smith had really grown on me, making him my second favourite. When a Doctor leaves, the feeling is always terrible, but we know that the next actor is going to be good. They always make the right choices, and Capaldi is going to be as good as any. Besides, if you miss Tennant and Smith, they are both doing theatre in London, so book your tickets and come and see them.
I must say just one thing that it is going to start as a critique but will turn into a praise: I was really expecting to see the actual Rose Tyler, the Rose that is in parallel London living with the Meta-Crisis Doctor. Instead, we saw the Bad Wolf -remember the end of series 1. It was actually a clever idea, connecting the episode with the very beginning of the show, and we still got some moments, like Tennant’s face when War Doctor exclaimed “that wolf girl”, as he started looking around desperately trying to see her. Emotions, all of them.
And this means that Rose Tyler is the person who turned a mass murder into a world-saving event, so thank you for that, Moffat -did I mention that he is a genius?
David Tennant’s last words were “I don’t wanna go“. Again. Because Moffat just wants everybody to cry with every episode, and he succeeds. Every single person at the cinema went “Awww” at the same time when Tennant repeated the words he had said in 2010 before regenerating. And Smith’s response put the light note: “He always says that“.
The Day of the Doctor was an obvious love letter to the fans, to those people who have grown up with the adventures of this human-loving alien. All the references, the winks to the past -or future-. At the beginning of the episode at the cinema, Matt Smith shows up saying he has just been to the 100th anniversary with all 147 Doctors. Here’s to hoping that is true.
The Best Bits
-“All 12 of them.”
-“No, Sir. All 13!” Goosebumps. Goosebumps.
-“Are you capable of speaking without flapping your hands around?”
-“Trenzalore… We need a new destination, because I don’t wanna go.”
-“This is my Timey Wimey Detector. It goes ‘ding’ when there’s stuff.”
-“I demand to be incarcerated in the Tower immediately with my co-conspirators Sandshoes and Granddad.”
-Eleventh: “It’s a timey-wimey thing.”
-War Doctor: “Timey what? Timey-wimey?”
-Tenth: “I’ve no idea where he picks that stuff up.”
-“Why are you pointing your screwdrivers like that? They’re scientific instruments, not water pistols!”
-Eleventh: “Hey, you! Are you sciency?”
-Eleventh: “Got a name?”
-Eleventh: “Good. I’ve always wanted to meet someone called Yes.”
In the midst of all the excitement about Doctor Who, BBC released a promo of the other Moffat hit, Sherlock. I can’t handle so much at once.