The Day of the Doctor: A Quick Review

[Warning: HUGE Spoilers Below]

Even though I tried to lower my expectations, they were still pretty high before I watched this episode. Luckily, they were surpassed. Others will disagree with me, some will agree, and more than a few people will be thinking “I don’t care. What’s Doctor Who?”

Because I’m too lazy to come up with an actual review, here’s all the positives I thought of the episode, and all the negatives.

The Good: 

  • Billie Piper was terrific. I didn’t want her to return because I felt like Rose had com back too many times. I think series four would have been a lot better if Rose hadn’t been there. But luckily, Piper wasn’t playing Rose! She was playing a much better character/plot device.
  • All the Doctors were exceptional.
  • Peter Capaldi and Tom Baker made a cameo!
  • I liked the Zygons, and the paintings, and how it tied into John Hurt’s decision to press the button or not.
  • The squabbling between the Doctors was well done. That’s some nice protagonist vs protagonist conflict right there.
  • The humor was great, and perfectly balanced between the darker parts of the episode. Did anyone else find that unlocked door part hilarious?

The Bad (Mostly Nitpicks):

  • The opening scene was funny and all, but seriously, why didn’t anyone knock on the Tardis door just to make sure no one was in there? That would be the first thing I would do if I was in charge of Unit. And even if they didn’t, they only got lifted up about a minute after Clara drove into the Tardis. Assuming it takes at least thirty seconds for the helicopter to successfully grab onto the Tardis, the people in the helicopter should definitely have seen Clara drive in.
  • The ninth (tenth?) Doctor wasn’t in the episode. I can’t blame the show for this since Eccleston simply didn’t want to be a part of it for some reason. It’s a real shame because it would have been nice to see his regeneration,
  • I’m a little confused as to how the Zygon story-line ended. Are they all still sitting around in that room?
  • How exactly did they get out of the Doctor’s time-stream in The Name of the Doctor? Did he just walk out of it the same way he walked in? If so, why couldn’t Clara just do that?
  • As much as I like Murray Gold’s score, there were a couple times where it seemed overused, or not appropriate for what was going on.
  • I wasn’t in it.
  • Matt Smith is leaving in the next episode, and that sucks.

Overall Rating: 9/10.

So what did you guys think? Did you like it? Did you not like it? Are you not sure what Doctor Who even is? Comment below. (Or not. It’s not like I could make you do anything.”

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15 Replies to “The Day of the Doctor: A Quick Review”

  1. I really hated how shallow they made Elizabeth I — just not true to the historical character at all, who was an awesomely strong woman…who wasn’t chasing after a wedding ring. I know they have a history of making historical characters a little campy, but that was ridiculous. More Madame de Pompadour style would have been better.

    1. I never a lot about about Elizabeth I, so this didn’t bother me much anyway. She was still a strong woman, I thought—she killed the Zygon version of her, and figured out the zygons’ plan mostly by herself.

      But what about the rest of the episode? How did you feel about the whole “Gallifrey-not-really-being-dead” plot line?

  2. There were a lot of things going on in there, and I feel like the Zygon plot line was dropped a little as the Gallifrey destruction puzzle came to the fore– which it should have been, because Gallifrey is pretty darn important. However, the extermination of the human race might be (slightly?) important as well, and thus we should probably know what happened to the Zygons after that.

    I agree with you on the Name of the Doctor time threads. I watched that episode for the second time just before watching Day of the Doctor, and honestly, it made no sense. GI dies because his mind was split up so many times, but Clara doesn’t because… she has a leaf? Because she’s human, and not simply a mind? Because she has heard a whisper say, a curse is on her if she stay to look down to Camelot? (I couldn’t help but think of that poem every time I heard rhymes about the Whispermen. What a corny villain.) It was actually a really badly written episode. I didn’t really like it.

    However, the Day of the Doctor felt spectacular, heroic, and hugely revealing of the Doctor’s history. I’m immensely glad they waited this long to reveal all his tragic history.

    1. I loved The Name of the Doctor when it first aired, because I figured they’d explain how Clara was able to survive in the next episode. In this they just made it look like the whole thing was no big deal. I also found the Whispermen disappointing. I figured that after the Weeping Angels, the Silents, and the Vashta Nerada, Steven Moffat would have been able to come up with a better monster.

      And on Doctor Who, the extermination of the human race isn’t that important. It threatens to happen about four or five times each season.

      1. Indeed. I haven’t seen the Vashta Nerada yet… I should get on that.

        Our world is just too irresistible, isn’t it? If aliens actually studied us and our culture, methinks they would find another planet to invade and wait for us to destroy ourselves.

  3. Like you, I greatly enjoyed the squabbling between the Doctors, and I loved John Hurt in his role. Billie Piper’s role was also well conceived and well executed. (That particular plot device may be a nod to Quantum Leap and to the reimagined Battlestar Galactica, but I could be reading too much into it.) Really good to see David Tennant again.

    They did seem to drop interest in the Zygon storyline without much of a resolution, but perhaps that means that they will revisit the Zygon storyline during Christmas or in the next season.

    Also, I’m a bit confused: if the Doctor believed that he actually had burned Gallifrey (b/c the Doctors say that they won’t remember what they did), then *from where* did the Tenth Doctor believe that Gallifrey was emerging in The End of Time?

    Overall, I liked The Day of the Doctor, but I thought they kinda dragged out the last 10 minutes or so. I think I might rate The Day of the Doctor as an 8/10 or 9/10, on a scale where a 10/10 would be, for example, The End of Time.

    1. I’m also really confused with the time lock in The End of Time. During DotD I thought that that was where they were going with it — that they’d make the War Doctor forget and Ten would remember when he was 904 so that he’d still have his ‘they all died’ speeches earlier in his timeline but that The End of Time would then also make sense but apparently not. My brother (who is less of a Whovian than I am so is possibly wrong) said that the time lock in The End of Time was something to do with the beginning of the Time War?

  4. I began watching with a cynical point of view since most of the episodes I watched had been rather silly and the Doctor always either ran away (when he could have walked away from the shambling monsters most of the time), or waved his sonic screwdriver like it was a magic wand. I liked this episode though because, despite my opinion that the Zygons were utterly superfluous to the main plot and had no effect upon the Doctor’s decision in the end (that was Clara), it was full of clever references and one-liners. Like when the first Doctor asked what the other two were doing waving around their sonic screwdrivers, “What are you going to do, assemble some furniture? It’s a screw driver!”. Also, it’s entirely logical that the time lords would have some device to enable them to shift their world (and anything else they wanted) to a time and place of their choosing, for however long they wanted to; they’re time lords, so why would they destroy their planet when they could just move it? So I liked the ending as well.

      1. Don’t worry; I just fixed it for you. I liked how the War Doctor seemed to voice all the complaints you from classic fans. The screwdriver has definitely become overused in the last few series, although I thought they were used perfectly in this episode.

  5. I was so glad to see my favourite doctor, Tom Baker, as the curator . I’d forgotten what an incredibly hooked nose he had and really huge eyes.
    My bugbear with the episode is the fact that an entire planet is quite happy to be frozen in a painting. Huh? What? Who would agree to that? And don’t tell me that altering a life-changing decision like that wouldn’t disrupt the space-time continuum and turn everything topsy-turvy. Half the reason the Doctor has so much empathy for human beings is because of what he did to Gallifrey. Are we to assume that he’s less empathetic? This wipes his most famous flaw. Don’t tell me that doesn’t have any universal repercussion!

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