I had been carefully managing my expectations, because The Day of the Doctor couldn’t possibly live up to the hype, excitement, and full weight of the 50 year history, could it?
Yes it could.
|the 11 Doctors – but actually it should be 12!|
We now have a continuous timeline of regenerations, filling in the gap between McGann and Ecclestone. Which leads to the question: what is the official numbering now? (That certainly promises oodles of fun for pedants in future pub quizzes!) And the problem to do with the 13th regeneration has been acknowledged, so we have that to look forward to.
But most important of all, it is a great story, playing on the existence of time travel and time paradoxes, examining the great Time War and the Doctor’s dreadful role in it. It is a marvelous episode, full of fun, pathos, wit, momentous moral decisions, and gorgeous nods to the 50 year history, from the cheeky opening shot in Totter’s Lane to the epic final battle around Gallifrey. Tennant and Smith work excellently together, playing off each other. In a clever twist it is these somewhat childish later Doctors who are the living with the memory of the terrible deed they have done, while the older, more adult Doctor (Hurt) has not yet committed the act that will scar the Doctor throughout his future regenerations.
|Three Doctors – the Daleks don’t stand a chance!|
Who would have thought, 50 years ago today, that the future would hold something like this?
So, I wonder: what the diamond anniversary will hold?