290 of 311 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2013
This could have gone so very wrong. There are so many elements that shouldn't have worked, but in the end the Doctor's 50th anniversary was a rousing success. I'm going to start this review off by saying that I will offer no spoilers beyond the confirmation that, quite regrettably, Christopher Eccleston does not appear in Day of the Doctor. It is disappointing but thankfully Smith, Hurt, Piper, and Tennant more than make up for his absence.
A phone call from U.N.I.T. sets off a fascinating chain of events that eventually brings 11, 10, and the Warrior together. The action is fast, the story is fun, the Doctors are an absolute joy to watch, and by the end of the special, the series will be headed in a bold new direction. There are several other surprise appearances that I will absolutely not spoil. Suffice to say that fans, new and old, will be very, very happy with them.
This special was as close to perfect, without Eccleston, as it could get, though I do wish the villains were a little more threatening, though that is nothing more than a nitpick. Smith and Tennant are simply marvelous together, and John Hurt only makes them more fun to watch. All in all, The Day of the Doctor is a fantastic tale that no Whovian should miss.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
An Entertainment Milestone was reach these past few weeks and it was so big, it made the history books…again…read on…however, I am warning you….there are spoilers ahead…..
* On November 23rd 1963, a worldwide phenomenon started broadcasting from the BBC. It was called “Doctor Who”. The ambiguous title along with a very eccentric, ambiguous, cantankerous, old, young, funny, witty, gadget orientated, sportsman-like, tall, short, blonde, brunette, dark haired, white haired skinny, chunky straight-haired curly-haired….main character otherwise known as ‘The Doctor’, has traveled through time and space for last 50 years in an original Police Box of the late 50’s and early 60’s. These Police boxes were commonly seen around the streets of England way yonder when. Why a Police Box? The T.A.R.D.I.S. (the Doctors time machine which is an acronym for “Time And Relative Dimensions In Space’) broke its chameleon circuit which is designed to shape the TARDIS into the background environment wherever it goes so as not to be seen or distracting. (But, then was fixed only to be set back again to the Police Box setting by the Doctor himself – for ‘sentimental reasons’ he says.)
This year, on November 23rd, 2013 (in America on the 25th) – 50 years to the day - a worldwide event occurred both on the small screen and the large (silver) screens in Global Geo Sync for the first time ever. ‘The Day of the Doctor’ was first presented with a wonderful behind the scenes treat for the fans before the screening itself and an intro that introduces the audiences to 3D! A “Doctor Who” first! In 660 theatres across the US, $4.77 million was made for one night for one showing. Detailing precise arrangements through the BBC with Fathom Events, that translates to $7,155 per location and over 320,000 tickets sold making this Fathom’s biggest and most successful synced event ever! In every theatre, wherever ‘The Day of the Doctor’ was playing, it was the number 2 box office gross on that particular Monday night showing nationwide.
Now in the Guinness Book of World Records, “Doctor Who” is already been noted as the longest running Science Fiction Television show in history, it has now received another Guinness award for being the most watch single episode of any TV show event worldwide – ever! Beating all the viewers of the broadcasts of The Academy Awards and the Superbowl yearly! For 75 minutes, on TV, in the UK alone 10.2 million viewers watch ‘The Day of the Doctor’ at the same time as the rest of the world did (add another 5.2 million viewers for the second showing during primetime that evening making it 15.4 million viewers). On Twitter it broke the most Tweets ever over a period of time during its actual first run airing, it became GetGlue’s most downloaded show on ITunes for BBC America within 24 hours of its release beating the former record holder, the “Breaking Bad” finale and finally setting a new record on Tumbler for the highest level of activity for any televised event in Tumbler’s history!
Enough with the stats…why you should watch the show (or get the Blu-Ray version, also available in 3D on December 10th, 2013), simple; It’s simply the best, up-to-date action, adventure, shocking, surprising, plot-twisting, villain filled, humorous, whirlwind of a roller-coaster ride of exciting Science Fiction story telling you’ll ever see.
SPOILERS (If you have seen it – stop reading here and go to the last paragraph):
Technically Director Nick Hurran (Sherlock, Me and Mrs. Jones) did an amazing job of taking a Steven Moffat (Sherlock, Tin Tin) script filled with plot twist, time anomalies, aliens, companions and three (actually 4) Doctors of the past, present and yes, future, and making the entire mini-movie (episode) exciting and funny and just pure heartwarming fun all in 75 minutes!
Speaking of the cast….Matt Smith is our 11th (or 12th) Doctor and currently needing the assistant of two of his other selves. Doctors # 9 (Hurt) and Doctor #10 (or 11th who is Tennant). Matt has taken on the role and over his four year run has become adored by fans. His quirky, over the top and broad theatrical skills have cemented him as a fan favorite. With only one more episode to go, his four run is almost at an end and in this episode the actor has publicly proclaimed he was delighted and thrilled to work both with Tennant (his predecessor) and John Hurt. Matt is colorful and serious and above all fun with all his adventures and his comic keen timing with both Hurt and Tennant is spot-on!
Fan favorite Doctor and brilliant actor David Tennant (Hamlet, Harry Potter) returns as his personification of the 10th (11th) Doctor who must join forces and collaborate with himself, the 9th and the 11th (12th) Doctor to save Gallifrey once again because ‘The Great Time War’ between the Daleks and the Timelords has not occurred. But, yes it has. Confused? You won’t be, it’s exposition at its best. And it’s all done with relatively real logic and a lot of humor. Having been the favorite of the newly rebooted “Doctor Who” for four years prior, it was like watching David slip into a comfortable pair of old slippers. His performance was sharp and witty as well as brining back his ‘Tennantisms’ of fast dialogue and third person repartee with no one there. Just pure fun!
John Hurt (The Elephant Man, Alien) is the 9th Doctor (In between Paul McGann and Christopher Eccleston but everyone past him up one – go figure!). John is a superb actor and there’s no arguing that, but this role he just seemed to delight in. I’ve never seen him more happy, perky and downright funny. That’s what he made of his character who was obviously playing that he was ‘not that impressed’ with his future incarnations (i.e. Smith and Tennant) extremely well. John was wise and regretful but with a twinkle of wonderment making the three of them like a nuclear bomb of talent and excitement!
Jenna Coleman (Captain America, Death Comes to Pemberly) is riding on as the current companion known as Clara or the ‘Impossible Girl’, and Jenna has the best job of all, even with her wonderful modern-day kick and attitude of how a real person today might react to the personalities that are The Doctor, she gets to play tennis with three of the most diversely different performers you could think of. And showing her acting chops, Jenna is a pro tennis player bouncing and providing the exact response each Doctor needs. Bravo Jenna.
Billie Piper (Foxtrot, Penny Dreadful) is back and she looks a lot like Rose Tyler but calls herself ‘The Moment’. Yet another talent, Billie a former pop star turned actress, thanks to Eccleston/Tennant mostly, she gets to play a wildly bizarre character with voice inflections and a Yoda-like wisdom while still bearing the cute charm of what was once the first companion in the Doctor’s reboot back in 2005. Billie must have had a ball doing this and when you watch it again, watch her eyes. So cool!
Jemma Redgrave (Howards End, Unforgiven) is back as Kate Stewart, the Brigadier Stewart’s daughter who only heard stories of her father talking about the many incarnations he has seen of the Doctor over the past decades. Jemma is fun and what better than to play a duel role. That of a bad guy (a Zygon) and that of a good guy (head of UNIT). Again another actress who plays like a pro and gets to bounce two personalities she is playing with three amazing actors. (Remember? Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt!)
Joanna Page (Love Actually, From Hell) plays Elizabeth the 1st with lots of heightened energy, but the only down side for me is she played it more modern and I would expect an 18th century Queen to be more regal and stern. Joanna is obviously having so much fun because most of her scenes are with Tennant.
BIG SPOILER – DON’T LOOK! – DANGER – DANGER! : Tom Baker (The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Little Britain) is in this production. For those of you just joining the planet, Tom is playing ‘The Curator’ (Or is it really Doctor #4). Yes the oldest living Doctor of the thirteen actors who have played the title character makes a wonderful, heartwarming, charming and funny last appearance. Back in the 70’s Tom was the most popular Doctor for having had the role for the longest which was for 8 years! He and Matt performed magic together with their unique twinkles in their eyes and an almost tear-jerking smile between the two of them. It was a cherry on top of a big delicious cake. Yum! Seconds please!
Again, the Doctor or Matt Smith will return for his final performance in the Christmas Special which always airs on Christmas Day worldwide we’ll see the end of yet another Doctor (era) and start the legacy of another. “The Time Of The Doctor” will introduce us to Peter Capaldi as the new 12th (or 13th) Doctor on Christmas Day! A sneak preview for the episode was shown after the simulcast of "The Day of the Doctor", confirming the appearance of the Cybermen and revealing the inclusion of the Silence, Daleks, and Weeping Angels, as well as confirming the Doctor's return to the planet Trenzalore. Don’t miss it!
Oh and the best shot is when Matt Smith walks out of the TARDIS with a wonderful voice over narration and we see all 13 Doctors! Now on DVD/Blue Ray this episode “The Day of the Doctor” has already gone down in history and if you have never seen “Doctor Who” and you want to see what this 50 year old legacy ‘tastes’ like, buy this episode. Yes buy it, don’t just watch it, it’s that good!