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.
2. The bit where Susan drives a motorcycle full speed into the TARDIS recalls a similar moment in the 1996 Fox Doctor Who movie starring Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor. In that case, a cop on a motorcycle drives into the TARDIS, screeches to a halt within, and then hauls ass back out and away as fast as he can.
3. Clara can snap the TARDIS doors closed. Remember when only River Song could do that?
4. The colorful scarf asthmatic UNIT employee Osgood (Ingrid Oliver) is sporting is an obvious tip of the hat to the costume of Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor.
5. “As I’m sure your father would have told you, I don’t like being picked up!”
6. This might be a stretch, but on the second viewing I noticed that the coat worn by Kate Lethbridge-Stewart in the early scenes sports some very noticeable golden bumps or buttons. Perhaps a reference to the iconic design of the ever-bumpy Daleks?
7. Lethbridge-Stewart tells Osgood that their cover story for having a helicopter drop the TARDIS and the Doctor in the middle of Trafalgar Square is “Derren Brown.” If the name doesn’t ring any bells, Brown is a British illusionist and skeptic.
8. The ongoing bit about the Doctor having a job working for U.N.I.T., and Clara dismissing his job working for U.N.I.T., was good fun. “Do I have a desk?”
9. The notion of Time Lord art being “bigger on the inside, a slice of real time — frozen.” It’s a clever idea, and I have no doubt the 3D version looked great in theaters.
10. Even though we don’t spend that much time with it, the battle scenes on Gallifrey are nicely done for a show that doesn’t always have the largest budget. I’m sure the BBC allotted a bit more cash this time. It is the 50th anniversary, after all.