The Day of the Doctor review
by, 24th November 2013 at 09:11 AM (822 Views)
6 months... 6 LOOONG months... but it was worth it to see an incredible anniversary special of Doctor Who that puts "The Five Doctors" to shame. BE WARNED. THERE ARE MAJOR SPOILERS HERE. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
The plot intertwines three threads related to present day England, Elizabethan England, and the fall of Arcadia, Gallifrey's second city, and the last day of the Time War.
At Coal Hill School, Clara Oswald receives a message from the Eleventh Doctor and returns to the TARDIS, which is by royal order airlifted to Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery. Preserved instructions from Elizabeth I of England (revealed to have been married to the Doctor) are shown to the Doctor, along with a 3-D portrait of the Last Day of the Time War, entitled No More or Gallifrey Falls, and other 3-D paintings. The instructions also name the Doctor the National Gallery's "curator", to protect treasures Elizabeth I felt no one else could preserve. The other 3-D portraits' glass has been broken from within and figures in the paintings have disappeared. It transpires that the shape-shifting Zygons, preserved in old images, are invading. To defeat them, UNIT plan to detonate a nuclear warhead in London, from within their base, which contains a number of artifacts and is TARDIS-proof.
In the meantime, in the midst of the Time War, the War Doctor—a hitherto-unknown "hidden" or "dark" incarnation of the Doctor (who bridges the gap between the original and 2005 series, and is unrevealed until this season)—watches Gallifrey falling to a Dalek invasion, and decides to trigger a weapon of mass destruction called the "Moment", which is described as a "galaxy eater" and will destroy both races completely. The weapon is sentient—it appears with the form of future assistant Rose Tyler (companion of the Ninth and Tenth Doctors) to challenge whether this mass killing is truly right, by showing him what will become of him and the consequences, if he proceeds.
In Elizabethan England the Tenth Doctor and a young Elizabeth I also find themselves under threat from Zygons. He is joined by the War Doctor and the Eleventh Doctor, and all three are locked in the Tower of London, where the Moment encourages the War Doctor to form a plan centred around doing calculations which would take "centuries" on the sonic screwdriver, starting the calculations on the War Doctor's screwdriver and finishing on the Eleventh's, four hundred years its senior. Eleventh Doctor communicates to his present-day companions the code to activate a vortex manipulator—previously owned by Captain Jack Harkness and donated to UNIT following one of his deaths—at UNIT, which allows them to escape the Zygons. All three Doctors enter UNIT by entering a picture in the same way as the Zygons. The Eleventh Doctor triggers a memory eraser, causing humans and Zygons to forget which of them is human and which merely shape-shifting human appearance, forcing them to discuss peace rather than extreme solutions.
The War Doctor, believing he now knows the consequences and has decided what is right, proceeds with his intention of detonating the Galaxy Eater. His other two present incarnations appear with the intention of detonating the device alongside him so that he doesn't have to do it alone. Current companion Clara Oswald convinces the Eleventh Doctor to "be a Doctor" and change his mind and seek an alternative resolution. Subsequently, with advice from The Moment, they summon all of the Doctor's incarnations (including a not-yet-shown future incarnation seen fleetingly) who, working together, time-lock Gallifrey in an unknown location leaving the Dalek invaders of that planet to destroy themselves by the intensity of their own attack, now without a target. The War Doctor expresses approval of the incarnations he will become, and both he and the Tenth Doctor depart in their respective TARDISes, and the War Doctor is seen beginning to regenerate, echoing the First Doctor by saying that his body is "wearing a bit thin". Due to the disruption of time streams, they know they will not remember the War Doctor saving Gallifrey; both will remember him as destroying it.
At the end, the Eleventh Doctor meets the mysterious curator of the museum — played by Tom Baker — and is told that the painting's actual name was neither No More nor Gallifrey Falls, but the singular Gallifrey Falls No More, and "'Who' knows", hinting that the plan to save Gallifrey had worked, and the Doctor's future involves finding it. The episode ends with a nod to the series' history when the Doctor describes a dream he's had—one where the entire range of the Doctor's incarnations are seen together and the Doctor determines he will seek out Gallifrey once more.
VERDICT: An incredibly written piece, intertwining three gripping storylines. I loved it, and any Whovian would love it too. The surprise appearances from Peter Capaldi and Tom Baker nearly got me fainting. :3
There were laughs galore, in the cinema the jokes got raucous laughter and the film got thunderous applause. I gave it a standing ovation. This was no ordinary anniversary special. Usually it's written to make people say "Oh, it's a lovely special birthday thing!" Not this one.
13/10. That's right, it's above the mark.
NEXT REVIEW: "Silence Will Fall"
PS: The seven episodes of Marco Polo were found yesterday, apparently! This has been a great year for Doctor Who.
Total Trackbacks 0