It’s been some eight months since Whovians the world over thrilled to the epic Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor. That’s enough time that it shouldn’t be super fresh in your mind (unless, like me, you’ve been marathoning back through the Matt Smith years before Peter Capaldi takes the stage on August 8). And it’s also enough time to grow just a bit wistful and nostalgic about it, which makes this the perfect time to revisit the Day of the Doctor…in Lego form!
The Day of the Doctor was a brilliant celebration of five decades of Doctor Who. While involving all of the living actors who had played the Doctor proved to be too daunting a task, it did include a brilliant cameo by Tom Baker, the one who played the time lord the longest, and still found countless other ways to honor the show’s long legacy. The crux of the whole special, however, was centered on a “forgotten” Doctor, a “War Doctor” (John Hurt) — one retroactively dropped into the continuity between Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor and Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth. A transitional Doctor bridging the gap between the 1996 Fox Who TV movie and the “modern” run of the show initiated by Russell T. Davies in 2005. But if executive producer Steven Moffat had had his way — and a bigger budget — “The Day of the Doctor” would have also paid tribute to another forgotten Doctor, one who exists outside the canon of the show. One played by Peter Cushing.
With 2013 in its final hours, we decided to look back on the year that was, and remember the moments from science fiction TV and television that really stuck with us, that we’ll still be thinking of years from now. Needless to say…
Kiera Finally Tells Carlos The Truth (Continuum)
In season 2, Continuum found a more compelling and urgent narrative drive. My favorite moment was in the sixth episode, “Second Truths,” when Kiera finally tells Carlos who she is. By this point, Carlos has worked with Kiera for a season and a half, and although she’s an exceptional agent, he becomes increasingly concerned, especially given the VPD leadership’s blatant distrust of her. Carlos can’t fathom how Kiera can look at a crime scene or suspect and get scads of information immediately — more and more, she seems either unhinged, evil, or both.
While there was a lot to love about Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary spectacular, The Day of the Doctor, there were a few things that could have been better. Most noticeable was the absence of Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston, the dude who helped bring the show to its current heights by kicking off a new era of Doctor Who (along with executive producer Russell T Davies). There has been tons of speculation since his single season aired as to why he has distanced himself from the show, but the bottom line is that, for whatever reason, that wasn’t a road he was interested in returning to. So it wasn’t surprising that he opted not to participate in the special, but it was disappointing, and you could often feel scenes where the Ninth Doctor really should have been there, especially since he was the closest of the three modern Doctors to the new guy, John Hurt’s so-called “War Doctor.” But while The Day of the Doctor feels somewhat lacking without Nine, showrunner Steven Moffat has gone on the record to give us some hints of how Eccleston’s Doctor would have figured into the special — and the truth might surprise you.
Listen: it’s hard out there for a classic Doctor Who actor. Here we are, having just celebrated the show’s five — count ‘em, five — decades of life, and when it came time to mark the occasion, did your phone ring? Noooooo. Instead they went with the two newish skinny blokes with the good hair. And when they wanted an older Doctor, did your phone ring? Noooooo. Instead that Moffat sonnovabitch went and invented a new one! A new old one! And called John Hurt! You could have played a new old one. You did a damn fine job playing one of the old old ones back in the day. Still got fans showing up in your costume, asking you to autograph their babies. It’s an outrage! It’s a disgrace! (And let’s not even speak of the one guy they did bring back, that old backstabber. He’s definitely off the Christmas list.) If only there were someone to tell your tale of heartbreak and indignation!
The Day of the Doctor has come and gone, and now we can all settle in to wait for the Christmas special — and with it the departure of Matt Smith and the introduction of Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor. (Okay, technically we already got a very brief introduction to him, but more on that below.) Having rewatched the 50th anniversary special a couple of times, and for the most part we quite enjoyed it. And since Doctor Who is celebrating its 50th anniversary, below we’ll run down 50 things we loved about The Day of the Doctor…and a few we didn’t.
1. The fan service starts early, with the opening shot revealing the scrap yard where viewers first saw the TARDIS way back in 1963’s ”An Unearthly Child.” We also see that Clara is teaching at the nearby Coal Hill School, the school the Doctor’s granddaughter Susan was attending when her beyond-her-years knowledge of history caught the attention of teachers Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright. Their investigation of the mystery of Susan led to Ian and Barbara becoming the Doctor’s first traveling companions.