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Article – Doctor Who’s 50th Birthday: ‘The Day of the Doctor’


Posted December 5, 2013 by

Doctor Who’s 50th Birthday

‘The Day Of The Doctor’

Back in 2005 when Doctor Who stormed across our screens with a new face of the last remaining Time Lord Christopher Eccleston, who’d of thought it would have taken off as it did? Since 1968 from the first ever Doctor, William Hartnell; this programme has picked up quite a following and has now transferred itself onto a whole new generation of Doctor Who fans. Now with the current Doctor Matt Smith, the production team decided to pull out all the stops out for this rather special 50th anniversary. It was so special in fact they decided to cut a deal with Vue Cinemas, obtaining 1,500 cinemas to screen the episode at the same time as the BBC. The episode was simultaneously broadcast across 94 different countries (Yes – 94!) So let’s get to the episode shall we? The Day of the Doctor follows immediately from what we were left with in the last episode of season 7, The Name of the Doctor where a potential other Doctor was introduced – John Hurt.

Not only are we introduced to a new Doctor in this narrative but we have the return of David Tennant as the 10th doctor and Billie Piper as the mysterious Big Bad Wolf/The Moment that was plastered across season 2.  Clara (Jenna Coleman) the current companion and The Doctor find themselves being air-lifted in the Tardis towards the National Gallery. As amusing as this scene is, when they arrive things start to get very peculiar and suddenly everything in the last episode that baffled us comes together rather nicely over the next hour.

This episode has everything and more you would expect from the show. Comedy, tears, heart, fantastically scary Zygons and things that go ding! The relationship between Smith and Tennant was over-flowing with charisma and energy. With both actors constantly trying to out act each other, bouncing off of their lines; playing the part of the Doctor down to a T. John Hurt was also a fantastic asset to this instalment, proving reason to the ever eccentric Doctor he will become. Writer Steven Moffat certainly deserves a mention, creating yet another story that keeps you engaged and certainly keeps you chuckling to yourself! Unfortunately, it isn’t all laughs when it revealed that John Hurt’s Doctor committed mass genocide in order to put the ‘Great Time War’ on hold but sadly destroying his home planet, Gallifrey in the process. We are given even more of an insight into the Doctor’s mind, the Doctor’s guilt about performing such an act. Alas, this new series has indeed changed the whole mythology of the character, but what an achievement to re-write and succeed in such a successful sub-plot as this one.

Having the privilege of watching this in the cinema was truly breath-taking. Viewing this in 3D really added to the cinematic feel of this 50th anniversary show, taking in every frame and detail the writers and director planted in each scene. As usual the acting was outstanding, with guest appearances from all previous doctors, including Tom Baker doing quite the cameo as the Galleries curator. We also have a sneaky glimpse of Peter Capaldi, who shall take over from the eccentric Matt Smith later this year (spoilers, spoilers!).

With endless bowties, fezzes and sandshoes, this is an episode that shouldn’t be missed. Receiving ratings of over 10 Million viewers this was certainly the special episode the fans had been waiting for.

Doctor Who was first aired on BBC One at 7.50pm on Saturday 23rd of November


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Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 20.05.17

Gloria Daniels-Moss
Freelance Contributor


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