The Day After The Day of The Doctor   5 comments

Yesterday was, as I am sure you know, the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, the longest running sci-fi TV show ever.  The occasion was capped off with a brand new special, Day of the Doctor.  The special was so very very good (I’ve already watched it twice), but now that half a day has passed I can sit down and think about what wasn’t perfect about it.  A criticism, yes, but a loving one.

via Wikipedia

via Wikipedia

If you haven’t seen the special yet, now is your chance to turn back.  Here is your spoiler warning!  If you have seen it you can find my thoughts behind the cut.  And if you haven’t watched the series, you will have no idea what I am talking about!

1) A Return to Status Quo 

One of the major shifts from the classic series to the new series is the destruction of Gallifrey at the hands of the Doctor.  This changed him, made him a very different character than the one people knew before.  He was broken, he was sad and he was driven to make up for his deed.  With the conclusion of Day of the Doctor we learn that this major character development was all for nothing , because in the moment when there was no right answer he… found the right answer.  He will never again have to feel the weight of his decision because he saved the day, like he always does.

There was such a wonderful weight to The Doctor because he carried that burden.  Every actor who has had the role had to show us how he carried that weight, and it is one of the reason I found the character so compelling.  Now, he is an infallible hero again, secure in his choices, having never had to push the Big Red Button and I fear that weight is gone.

2) This Was a 9th Doctor Story Without the 9th Doctor

It kills me that Christopher Eccleston is not interested in returning to the series.  More than any other version of the Doctor the 9th was the most haunted by the events of the Time War.  You could see it in every action, every decision, every interaction.  He was the veteran who never made it back from the war.  He may have had the shortest run of the 2005 series Doctors, but he set up the show for stories like this one.  Even though he wasn’t there, this story was about him and I found his absence glaring.

3) This Could Have Been an 8th Doctor Story

While 8th Doctor was short lived on screen he has earned a hugh fan base from the his appearances in other media. How he died was one of the big mysteries of the 2005 series, finally answered in the webisode Night of the Doctor.  We learned that he was given a chance to control his regeneration and became the War Doctor.  I think that it would have been a more meaningful if he had become the War Doctor, not through regeneration but through action.

Take a moment to remember the last scene from Name of The Doctor when the War Doctor turns around and every one watching the show went “WHO THE HECK IS THAT?”  Now imagine if had been the 8th Doctor instead.  Older, broken, absent for 17 years, but recognizable. The mystery of the War Doctor wouldn’t have been “Who is this person?” but instead “What happened to this person I once knew?”

The 8th Doctor never got his chance to shine on screen and this could have been it.

That said, John Hurt nailed it, and War Doctor was great.  If the producers find  a younger look-a-like and do a War Doctor series set during the Time War I would be sure to watch.

4) Dangerous New Plot Device That Could Lead to Lazy Writing

One of the most clever moments of writing in the special was when the War Doctor realized that he could set his Sonic Screw Driver to do long form calculations and they would be ready for use in one of his later incantations Screw Drivers.  I loved that! Such a cool idea!

BUT! Remember at the end of Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey when they realize they can go back in time later to set up things to help them selves in the final battle? Then the final fight plays out as a series of sight gags? Well… that is pretty much what we just saw in Day of the Doctor.  And it worked, but now if they ever write them selves into a corner they can use this trick to get back out of it. Good once, lazy ever after.

5) The Doctor Crossed his Own Time Line A TON with No Negative Consequences

Wasn’t the whole plot of Father’s Day that if you cross your own time line and change things that bad things happen? Wasn’t the Time War a fixed point? Shouldn’t a bunch of Reaper’s show up to eat the universe or something? The story was awesome, but it bugs me when established time travel rules get ignored.

Those are five quick thoughts after my fan boy high.  What did you think? What was awesome? What could have been better?  Tell me below!




Posted November 24, 2013 by atomicsam in TV

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5 responses to “The Day After The Day of The Doctor

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  1. Just wanted to point out that they got around the “you can’t cross you own time stream by introducing the spacial rift which meant “any thing could happen.” This goes with your 4th point. Let’s hope not to see another one of those.

    Totally awesome TV though

  2. haha, I have just seen it the once.

  3. I honestly believe the only reason “John Hurt” even existed in the first place was because Chris did not want to be part of this. They had to write IN a whole doctor to precede the 9th in order to make a movie about the Time War…. and now the 9th is actually the 10th… and so on and so fourth.. It would of been “fantastic” and exceptionally very clean if we simply replace John Hurt’s role with the 9th and 10/11 “Save Gallifrey” only after the 9th departed in some way.

  4. Spoiler alert (kinda): Justin, you should go watch the Christmas special. In classic Doctor who fashion they have written themselves out of this corner.

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