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I like Doctor Who, quite a bit in fact, though I’ll be the first to admit that I’m far from an expert. As a kid I watched the classic Tim Lords on PBS when I could, though that was always a hit and miss proposition, and I was lucky to get a random all day marathon a couple of times a year. That said, even with my relatively limited knowledge of the franchise, I know that this mini episode, The Night of the Doctor, is something of a game changer. Watch it for yourself, and we’ll discuss the matter further.
Building up towards the 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor, later this month, we knew that the BBC was going to release this six-minute episode, but we didn’t expect it until this weekend. The title keeps the string of similarly themed titles intact. When we last saw the Time Lord in the final episode of series seven, “The Name of the Doctor.”
We won’t get to see the full special for a little more than a week, when the BBC simulcasts it around the globe on Saturday, November 23. Five decades in the making, The Day is a multi-generational Doctor Who mash-up that will feature appearances from multiple former doctors—if the photos are to be believed, Matt Smith’s eleventh doctor, and David Tennant’s tenth will see the bulk of the action—and John Hurt, as mysterious figure that we don’t know a whole lot about, though he did appear in season seven. Some people refer to him as the Dark Doctor, but now we have another name to call him, the War Doctor, which, to be honest, is a solid badass nickname.
There’s been a lot of speculation about the issue, but watching Paul McGann regenerate into Hurt, it becomes clear that we have, in fact, been miscounting Doctors for the last few years. Hurt is the missing link, so to speak, and, from the look of things, he is the incarnation responsible for putting an end to the Time War. So he’s essentially the one who lays waste to both the Daleks and the other Time Lords, actions that leaves him the last of his kind. And by my math, this revelation also makes Tennant Doctor number eleven, Smith twelve, and new kid on the block, Peter Capaldi, lucky Doctor thirteen. History was just rewritten.
Though The Night of the Doctor is only six-minutes, all of you dyed-in-the-wool Whovians out there have quite a bit to sink your teeth into. You should be busy enough until the 23rd rolls around. You have a grim, ominous tone, and portraying Time Lords as genocidal monsters—Cass, the woman the Doctor tries to save, equates them with the Daleks—gives you something to think about.
What did you think of The Night of the Doctor? Are you pumped for The Day of the Doctor? Let us know in the comments below.