5 Outstanding Moments from The Day of the Doctor
Guest contributor Ben Roberts picks out five moments that unleashed the inner fanboy.
The fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who is officially over; with The Day of the Doctor airing on November 23rd in 94 countries around the world both on TV and in cinemas, breaking the Guinness World Record for the largest ever simulcast of a TV drama. It obviously had a lot to live up to, and in my opinion, it did just that. However, I have picked five moments from the special that – for me at least – stood out the most. These are the moments that rendered me unable to contain my inner fanboy – the moments that made me yelp with excitement, sending Jelly Babies flying all over the place.
The Original Opening Titles
I will be honest; Steven Moffat’s claims about the anniversary being a stepping stone towards the next fifty years rather than a celebration of the past worried me. Whilst I agree with him to some extent, it would have been cruel not to honour the past in some way more than a returning monster we hadn’t seen since 1975. However, my worries were gone as soon as the titles rolled – the original titles from 1963! How glorious it was to see them on my TV screen – accompanied with Delia Derbyshire’s original theme arrangement, leading into the first scene, which brilliantly paid homage to An Unearthly Child; a police officer, walking along Totter’s Lane, as the scene slowly fades into colour – It was brilliant! It put a smile on my face right from the off…
The scene with the three Doctors in the glitching TARDIS is one of my favourites in the episode, not least because we get to see Ten’s TARDIS again, or even the fact that we get to see a mix between the classic series TARDIS and the new series TARDIS, (who knew that would look so good?!) but the dialogue in this scene is fantastic. Ten and Eleven go from playfully sniping at one another (“Ah, it’s his grunge phase, he grows out of it.”), to being in awe together (“Look, it’s the round things!”), and back to playfully sniping again in a second, as Ten echoes the now infamous words of The Second Doctor; “Oh, you’ve redecorated! I don’t like it.” Honestly, for a show that’s all about change, I find that kind of ironic…
The 13 Doctors
As if the prospect of saving Gallifrey wasn’t enough to make me scream with joy, seeing all of the past Doctors on screen was the perfect moment. This was everything I had hoped the fiftieth anniversary would be – all the Doctors working together to save the day. Albeit for one brief moment, all twelve Doctors were in the fiftieth anniversary special – but then, the Time Lord shouts “No, all thirteen!”
My jaw dropped at this point, as did millions of others, I’m sure. One single shot of Peter Capaldi’s eyes was enough to send shivers down my spine. I’m even more hyped for Christmas now!
Of course, if Capaldi really is the thirteenth Doctor, what does this mean for the future of the show? Maybe the Time Lords will grant him with a new life cycle for saving Gallifrey? Who Knows…
Sidenote: I honestly didn’t know until I read the credits that The First Doctor’s lines were spoken by a voice over artist – that was one fantastic impression.
If, like me, you gave into temptation and clicked ‘show spoiler’ on the article regarding a certain major returning character a few days previously to the special, then chances are – also like me – you laughed, and dismissed it as the press stirring up rumours to get us all excited (It wouldn’t be the first time, would it?). Needless to say, I was not expecting Tom Baker to make an appearance at the end of The Day of the Doctor at all, but I was over the moon to be proven wrong! My heart jumped into my mouth as soon as I heard Baker’s voice, which is almost as recognizable as John Hurt’s.
It took me a second viewing to understand this scene, but now I understand what Moffat meant by saying that the fiftieth guarantees the 100th Anniversary. It’s this scene in particular, but it doesn’t just guarantee the 100th Anniversary, it guarantees that the show will run forever. At the end of his life, the Doctor will regenerate, choose to wear his fourth body once again, and retire to a job as museum curator. It is highly unlikely that Tom Baker will ever return to Doctor Who again, making it equally as unlikely that we will ever see the end of the Doctor’s life. Doctor Who can run forever.
Of course, if the Doctor can indeed chose his faces, it might explain why the twelfth (sorry, thirteenth?) Doctor looks mysteriously like a citizen from Old Pompeii…
Final Shot/The End Credits
The final scene of the episode is breathtaking; Eleven walks slowly around the TARDIS console, explaining to the viewer how he has a new destination. The monologue itself is pretty epic: “It’s taken me so many years, so many lifetimes, but at last I know where I’m going – home, the long way round.”
But this is immediately followed by the most beautiful shot in the history of TV – All twelve Doctors, standing together, gazing up at their home planet. The poster to end all posters (seriously, poster companies – I want this on my wall!)
And of course, you have to mention the fact that all twelve actors are credited for playing the Doctor – that’s something I’ve always wanted to see, and I’m sure it bought a tear to many people’s eyes…
What do you think of my stand-out moments from The Day of the Doctor? What are your own stand out moments? Would you like a Jelly Baby? I’ll look forward to reading your feedback in the comments section below!