Monday, November 25, 2013

Review: Day of the Doctor

Day of the Doctor
Steven Moffat
Series: Doctor Who, #Uhm . . .
Genre: Sci Fi, Fantasy
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Word Rating: Overwhelmingly Compelling

Okay so this isn't particularly a book review, but come on, think about the amazing writing that had to go into the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special! My brain can't help but ruminate over everything that happened, so on this wonderful occasion (while tumblr is melting down and twitter has fallen), I'll be reviewing the Day of the Doctor.

Okay first of all, let's not bag on Moffat. Why, you may ask? This Anniversary was hyped up to extremes, to the point where expectations spanned the imagination of every viewer. There were countless lies to mislead the audience (which Moffat and everyone involved should be arrested for) but the hype was too intense . . . nothing could ever live up to it. Moffat did his absolute best and in contrast to Series 7-2, where there was individual, particular focuses (which Moffat as a show-runner fails at miserably), the 50th had overarching themes (which Moffat as a writer is absolutely splendid at; Cracks in the Universe and Silence speak for themselves), which made it seem like it was more than it was. Choices and identity and teamwork were themes that were prevalent throughout the 50th, along with nothing being at all what it is (sand is statues, statues are zygons, paintings are war instrument, Time Lock isn't Time Lock), and using this Moffat was able to make three reluctant Doctors work together to 'win' the Time War . . . that dark age between the Classic and New Who that has only been discussed in passing.

People believe Moffat retconned RTD's era by making the Time War bunk, but in recall that John Hurt says "I have to live with that," meaning that the Doctor's feelings up until that point have been perfectly realistic, he really believed he was so monstrous as to make that choice and had 400 years of regret and forget to finally say no. In addition, we can throw off the haters who think that because 8.5, 10, and 11 were the only doctors with a primary role that Moffat is writing off the classics. Really? Did you forget all the references to the classics? Dear Rassilon, it starts with the first episode's title screen and pan shot (Dr. Foreman!) and Zygons! And . . . never mind. Watch the Five(ish) Doctors reboot by Peter Davidson and Behind the Lens narrated by Colin Baker and tell me the classics were written off. John Hurt seemed to represent all the previous Doctors at once, because he hadn't yet made the choice that forsakes the name of Doctor.

Alright, thematic construction and ideals aside, holy shit this was written so well. The Zygon sub plot was admittedly confusing at first but when the three doctors were in the cell and they figured out how to open it by using all three screwdrivers (thanks to Bad Wolf/Rose Tyler/The Moment), it started to come together as the Doctors started making decisions together rather than 10/11 having a pissing contest and 8.5 remarking on their collective madness. The subplot hasn't got definitive ends, and that put me off until I realized neither does the main plot. Ugh everything is so perfect, how does that parallel do that. Ugh. Ugh.

Look at these mofos.

And I just cannot with the witty remarks and the feelings! But I won't be that much of a fanboy. I must be professional. BUT SERIOUSLY UGH DID YOU SEE TEN AND ELEVEN WHEN JOHN HURT MENTIONED BAD WOLF GIRL? DID YOU FEEL THEIR FEELS?

Right, anyway, my favorite part about this special is all the little things you can't possibly pick up on a first viewing. For instance, the sciency girl says that she got Four's scarf from "The Curator," who happens to be played by Tom Baker (notice also that Peter Capaldi's chracter in the Fires of Pompeii was a curator). What exactly Tom Baker's incarnation is. The fact that Meta-Crisis Doctor will always live with the regret. Also, each of the doctors after episode regenerate. Ten remarks in the End of Time that he'd just come from Queen Elizabeth, we actually see 8.5 regenerating, and Eleven's off to Trenzelore.

And omigosh everything just came together so brilliantly, right at the end, "You could say I've been doing this all my life," really absolutely killed me because every doctor was there. EVEN CAPALDI. Those eyebrows, man. Those eyebrows.

Yes. Those. Tell me you are not a Peter Capaldi convert now. Tell me you don't want the Doctor to call a dalek a 'fuckwad'.


How did you feel about the 50th?
Let us know in the comments!

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