|The true face of a Whovian.|
It's hard to write about an episode of Doctor Who mostly because of how much actually happens. "Day of the Doctor" is no exception to this. I'm not even going to try to remain vague about my thoughts because to do so would make me sound like a rambling madman. So if you go forward, be careful. In the words of River Song... Spoilers.
Firstly, let me say that I loved the chemistry between David Tennant and Matt Smith. A lot of Who fans were turned off by Smith's portrayal when he was first introduced, seeing him as too over-the-top in the role but I've always enjoyed Eleven. I like the energy and humor he brings to the show but seeing him on screen with David Tennant was just amazing. The two men play off each other well, with both of them being so completely in touch with the character of the Doctor. Granted, both of them have defined the Doctor in their own way, giving him unique personalities in their times in the role. And even though, for the most part, Ten and Eleven are so completely different, they share a lot of the same characteristics. And this really shows during this episode.
"Day of the Doctor" brings John Hurt's Doctor to the forefront. Introduced to audiences at the end of the Season Seven finale, there have been questions surrounding where Hurt's Doctor fits into the timeline. In that episode, Eleven tells Clara that he's the face of a broken promise. While dramatic, it didn't really shine any light on who he is. But "Day of the Doctor" changed all that.
Hurt played the role amazingly, so very much different from the jovial, light-hearted Doctors of Tennant and Smith. He is run down, tired, ready to do the unthinkable for a moments peace. In essence, given where he fits into the time-line, Hurt's portrayal was spot on.
The way they attacked the plot was...inventive, to say the least. Moffat took a defining moment in the life of the Doctor and basically negated it, without changing a thing. Given the change, the Doctor would still develop the way he was meant to, becoming the man that has appeared throughout the show these last 50 years. You would expect not absolutely nothing different, even though the history of the Doctor is completely different. It was clever and ridiculously entertaining.
But what does change is the numbering. Knowing that Hurt was the face of the Doctor before the death of Gallifrey would mean that everyone ascends. William Hartnell would technically be the second Doctor, Patrick Troughton the third, with Matt Smith being number Twelve."Day of the Doctor" also recognizes this, making a reference to thirteen total Doctors, which would include Matt Smith's replacement, Peter Capaldi, who will make his debut in next month's Christmas special. So is the change in numbering going to be agreed upon? Given the voracious nature of Doctor Who fans, I doubt it will be accepted lightly.
Billie Piper. Rose Tyler is arguably the best Doctor's companion of the series so to hear that Piper would be included in the anniversary special was great news. But, technically, Rose Tyler didn't appear in the episode; Piper plays an interpretation of Rose that tries to convince the Doctor of a major mistake he will make. The episode is essentially an interpretation of A Christmas Carol with Piper acting as the Ghost of Christmas Future. It was by no means a detriment to the episode, but I was hoping for the real Rose.
It was also great to see Tom Baker again.
released on Blu-Ray on December 10, just in time for Christmas. I know my wife has already put it on her list to Santa.