News Categories
Archives

Best of Matt Smith: The Day of the Doctor

best-of-matt-smith-day

Across the next couple of months Doctor Who TV is running a series of polls to celebrate Matt Smith’s era. We want you to cast your votes on every story and at the end we’ll be comprising a list to find the top scoring.

We continue with the 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor. All you have to do is rate the story with your score out of 10, so get voting and join us again tomorrow for the next episode.

Step back in time...

COMMENT GUIDELINES

Please be civil and keep article comments relevant and on topic. Flag and report any offensive/trolling behavior, or contact us with details.
Please do not post SPOILERS including anything from leaked episodes! Your account could be banned. For complete details on our comment policy please read.
264 comments
Kiki Kiki
Kiki Kiki

I would give it 50/10 but that's not allowed :(

DW_girl
DW_girl

10/10. Unbeatable! I loved everything about it. Eleven and Ten worked perfectly together, offering us brilliant humour and emotion from their performances. The War Doctor was a well-rounded character, considering he has only been in one full episode, and we realised that he isn't at all that bad, and fits nicely into our run of Doctors. Clara was on top form (this is my favourite episode for her)- if it wasn't for her involvement, Gallifrey would never be saved. Her friendship with the Doctor is caring and kind. And The Moment/Bad Wolf/Rose was great, and her quote at the end of the episode: "That noise brings hope wherever it goes, even for you" really made me think that for that one moment, she was truly Rose Tyler. The Time War plot was hugely exciting, and the way that the 3D element was worked into the story was very clever. The Zygon sub-plot was entertaining, but at the same time quite scary, and it kept the episode going perfectly. I have no faults for this episode at all. Everything was wonderfully balanced to create a beautiful masterpiece. The 4th Doctor/Curator's part in the episode was not expected, and the mystery surrounding the true identity of this curator has raised some interesting questions. Also, the idea of bringing Gallifrey back was superb- It has really set in motion the next 50 years of this fantastic show. That scene at the end with all the Doctors lined up, with the 11th Doctor's voiceover ("Now I know where I'm going; where I've always been going. Home. The long way round."), was one of my most favourite scenes in the whole entirety of the show.

StephenCoppins
StephenCoppins

9/10 - Marked down for not including the other living Doctors proper (hiding under the sheets, notwithstanding ;)  ).,

stargazer0118
stargazer0118

Liked it a lot. The 3 Doctors were a true joy to watch, as was Billie as The Moment and T. Baker's cameo. I just didn't truly buy the retcon. It doesn't ring true to what RTD started, IMO. I still enjoyed it a lot for what it was. 8/10

needcomicmoney
needcomicmoney

10/10. Love this story. The only one I own on Blu-ray. When I'm in the mood to re-watch some Doctor Who it's usually this one that goes on.

YaelMoise waits for the trees to take over
YaelMoise waits for the trees to take over

10/10... hell, if I could make it 11/10 I would. And I'll be honest, it's a matter of love. I love this episode. I see its flaws, and I don't give a damn. I could gripe about the poor direction in the scene where the three Doctors decide what to do. I could moan about Moffat reusing the Library idea with his whole "I've been thinking about this for centuries" solution. I could complain about 8th not being the Time War Doctor, and about the need for adding John Hurt (wonderful though he was). I could cry about Ecclestone not being in it, even as a CGI image at the end of the regeneration. I could say that seeing Tom Baker was wonderful... but that it conflicted with Who lore in a way that would make the whole thing ridiculous. I could point out that the CGI at the end could have been better. And I could definitely finish off by mumbling something about how anything with Clara in it makes me slightly queasy. ...

But I won't. I loved it. It was wonderful and I think I've rewatched it at least 50 times since it aired. The rabbit speech... the scene when 10th meets 11th... the scene in the cell... the scene with all the Doctors, when they save Gallifrey... the reference to End of Time (an episode I detest, but hey, continuity is a beautiful thing)... the Brig's call-sign being used by his daughter... the batteries in the birds... the reference to Malcolm (I did say I'm a sucker for continuity, right?)... Coal Hill... the cop at the beginning... the tiny TINY references to the time and date, sprinkled around the episode. It was a gem! So, really, like I said, I love it. Could it have been better? Sure. But I don't care.



commanderthunderushmkii
commanderthunderushmkii

10/10, but I will never understand why the editors chose to cut the War Doctor's regeneration into Nine short. A rotoscoped Eccleston face would have been enough to complete the transition.


Balatsoukas Pavlos
Balatsoukas Pavlos

And the time has come. The Day of the Doctor is up for vote. Actually, 2 stories in one, with the Zygon thingy being stupid as hell, and the Time War business being just excellent. Tennant was completely out of shape, and the Daleks shooting each other is plain rediculous. Another unfair comparison, this time with itself.


However, "DaftDalek" below, just sums it up beautifully: "None of this matters", he/she says, and this could not be more true in this case. A perfect 10/10 for this one.

Diana van der Pluijm
Diana van der Pluijm

Like a few other people who have posted here I feel apprehensive about posting my opinion, because I'm also one of /those/ fans who didn't like this episode at all. Sure, it had a few good moments, but overall I couldn't enjoy it, even though I WANTED to so badly. I tried not to get my hopes up, tried to give it as objective a view as possible, tried to find the good things, but in the end I ended up deeply disappointed by most of the episode. 

And I'm afraid that both sides of the fence will never agree about this episode, so, in essence, this episode only ended up dividing the fans instead of uniting them. I'm pretty sure that I can expect quite a few (very) negative responses to this, since that seems to be the default response whenever someone says they didn't like an episode at all. I'm also expecting a few 'then don't watch the show" and "you're not a fan" to be thrown in at some point, since - again - that seems to be the sort of standard comment fans like me get. 

It's almost as if quite a lot of people/fans don't even want to try to engage in a meaningful discussion or perhaps they don't even know how to do that without resorting to name-calling, accusing people of being 'haters' and other such nonsense. I see less and less critical posts on articles here and I can understand why. What fun is it to share your thoughts when every time you do you get shot down? 

In any case, as I said, I wasn't blown away by this episode at all for numerous reasons (for instance, the way the Time War was portrayed was absolutely disappointing to say the least) and I'm not even sure I'll want to watch this episode ever again. The 50th Anniversary deserved to be so much more.


TheCyberDoctor is in Dark Water
TheCyberDoctor is in Dark Water

11/10 (10) - This episode was completely epic. The scenes were all written perfectly and the direction was amazing. The best bits: original titles and coal hill school, Clara travelling to the Tardis, the Tardis being carried by a helicopter, the opening credits (so uplifting), No More scene, Ten and Elizabeth, the rabbit speech, all three Doctors, the Zygon reveal, the wedding, changing desktops, stopping Kate destroying London, the All Thirteen scene, War Doctor's regeneration, Gallifrey Falls No More (Tom Baker was incredible!), and all the Doctors together at the end.

Yes there were some problems, but none of them really matter in any way. The scene where the Daleks surrounded the Gallifreyan's and their children, was the closest they have come to being scary in a long time, and had they actually killed them then they would've been far more menacing.



The main cast were all exceptional and seemingly on top-form; the guest cast were brilliant and perfectly chosen; and, of course, Tom Baker was first-class!

The Doctor Who team produced an outstanding piece of drama, and truly managed to celebrate the show by looking back and also looking forward. My favourite New Who episode ever!!!

Series 7: 11/10                         Series 6: 9.5/10                         Series 5: 10/10






DaftDalek is Kavinsky, the Great 80's Annihilator
DaftDalek is Kavinsky, the Great 80's Annihilator

This episode is seriously flawed:


1) The Zygon plot was left unresolved

2) The way the Time War was depicted didn't meet my expectations. I mean according to RTD "during the last days of the Time War millions were dying and being resurrected at the same time" and I'm sorry but what we got is nothing in comparison with what we had been told.

3) The Daleks didn't kill on screen ...again. It's the Time War, we have to see them killing!

4) I honestly believe the War Doctor should be a much darker character, someone who wouldn't mind killing and 10th and 11th would have trouble persuading him to change his mind

. 5) Not only the War Doctor, but also the episode itself should be darker. I understand Moffat chose a more celebratory mood to the episode, but it's the Doctor's darkest hour, there should be a somehow sombre mood at least in a part of the episode.

6) The way Daleks were beaten was unsatisfactory. I mean seriously they were all killed by shooting each other beacause Gallifrey disappeared? It seems improbable. Anyway, I believe RTD, would do more justice to this, not because I prefer him over Moffat (although I do, but that's not the reason) but beacause after all Time War was his creation.



So, how much it gets?

10/10, because none of the previous really mattered. The Doctors' chemistry was phenomenal, the dialogue fantastic, the effects stunning, the references pure fan-pleasing, Billie Piper was at her best, the Capaldi and Tom Baker cameos supreme and the moment where all the Doctors united to save Gallifrey incredible! Congrats to everyone who participated in the creation of this episode. It really made the 23rd of November an even better day than it already was!

shots1
shots1

Thoroughly enjoyable , far more more nods to the past than Moff intimated (great) John, Billie were fab together  & really loved the 'no more' ! David did look tired bless him but nice to see him back, but Matt was excellent and hope he returns with Peter for a 10th anniversary of it returning !  I loved the story line and the intro was GREAT ! Gets better for me on every viewing too.

grumpyoldcow
grumpyoldcow

I don't know if I thought he was "better", but I liked Ten in this episode. When I first heard he was going to be in the episode I didn't know who was crazier, Smith or Tennant. The potential was there for one or the other to be over written or over acted - a competition, I suppose. But the roles turned out to be pretty much equal in terms of scripting and acting. I thought Smith was very charitable in agreeing to share with Tennant knowing, perhaps, that fandom would just forget him once Tennant showed up. Or, it could have been contracted and he had no choice. Whatever. I thought they played off one another really well.

But, I wonder about some of Tennant's episodes, now after this episode, and how different I might view them had he been as he was I this episode.

Rani Nose
Rani Nose

Did anyone else think David Tennant was better as the Doctor in this episode than he was during his run as the Doctor?

Maryanne123
Maryanne123

It will be interesting to see if this episode holds up down the track when some of the fairy dust from the excitement leading up to the 50th anniversary has been shaken off. I know I am in the teeny tiny minority of Whodom who doesn't rate this at least 10. - I still think it's great and am completely of the view that the Matt n Moff era is the zenith of all Who but I still think that the whole is much less than the sum of its parts. The zygon story was underwhelming but great to see 10 frolicking and Tennant game to having the mick taken out of him ( still think he looks pasty and ill/tired) but it just sort of petered out. It really did feel tacked onto the other parts as if it was an afterthought by Moffat to give 10 something 10ish to do, ie posture in front of the ladies and shout randomly at objects. The heart of the story with Billie and John Hurt was so tonally different and the conclusion was triumphant but somehow the path narratively from A to B just didn't gell. Clearly Moffat hadbeen working on this script for a long time but it was almost ss if he had to chuck out some pages at the last moment and insert generic Moffatty bits. To some extent I also thought the scenes in the undercroft and in the Tower dragged a little as well. And while I am at it, the stock war scenes/fleeing civilians were so pedestrian and unoriginal in concept when other parts were directed and visualised with such flair. I didn't see it in 3D and am assuming these scenes were only included for that purpose.

I feel like a bad fan for having any criticisms of this episode.......but there you go. I really do think that this will be seen as the least part of the Doctor trilogy in 'time'. I feel like I have to stand in the corner now.

Oh well at least I will be in the clear majority in gasping in awe in front of Matt's performance in the next one.

Doctor What and Where
Doctor What and Where

5 ways The Day of the Doctor could've been improved:

5) The Zygons sub-plot satisfyingly resolved. And sneak in some cameos from them, while you're at it.

 4) Use this to explain why does the Tenth Doctor stop running away from his song's end, and goes to meet with the Ood as seen in End of Time. Would've been neat.

3) The geeky side-character completely removed. Complete with asthma, this is the single most insulting stereotype in this stellar special. Can't stand her.

2) Small snipets of the past Doctors while in action saving Gallifrey (like they did with Eccleston), and with the accompanying VO by them to make the scene work for the older fans even more. Not the way they presented it, more specific. Wouldn't it have been great if Davison-Baker-McCoy were at least heard with new VO work?

1) If it had Paul McGann and Christopher Eccleston as the Eighth Doctor (instead of War Doctor) and the Ninth Doctor (alongside 10 and 11) respectively. OR either of them, instead of the War Doctor. OR, Eccleston's Ninth alongside 10/11 and the War Doctor.

As it is, 8.5/10. Great multi-Doctor story, immensly entertaining. 

DawnTime
DawnTime

Another big fat 10 from me.  So very well made , and very carefully and lovingly written by SM, Made by people from all departments who love this show.  It shows.  It was wonderful to watch it at the cinema, (a point made by lots of people here).  Atmosphere (I use that word a lot)  both by the episode and the crowd I watched it with (Vue, Harrow).  Loved the little intro's at the beginning with Matt and David, shame they were not released in time to appear on the DVD.  But I am sure we will get them on a release in the future. Fab acting too by all.

TheOncomingFish
TheOncomingFish

10/10. A brilliant episode for the 50th anniversary.

IanOTimelord
IanOTimelord

I was apprehensive about this thinking it would only concentrate on Nu Who. I thought it was brilliant. I was never a big fan of Tennant's Doctor but the way he played it in The Day of the Doctor was excellent. I remember when Tom Baker appeared I did a little tap dance in my seat in the Cinema. Brilliant!! I hope they can show more Who in the Cinema.

lukashcartoon
lukashcartoon

There can be no doubt, that this will be considered on of the most important and classic Doctor who episodes ever.

Z

DrIndianaJonesThatsWho
DrIndianaJonesThatsWho

You know what, the first time I watched it I was slightly disappointed. I thought the zygons were in it too much and I wanted to see a bit more of the time war. However, I watched it again yesterday and without the burden of expectation, really really REALLY enjoyed it. It seemed like a completely different episode. The tone is a great balance between humorous and sombre, with John hurt making a great battled doctor and matt smith brilliant as always in a great double act with David Tennant. Story is brilliant, with great cameos and stock footage. Its fantastic.

I really want to see more multi doctor episodes, not just one off special occasions. I'll give it 9/10 only because I think the time of the doctor was ever so slightly better and therefore 10/10

Creepy_Ghoul
Creepy_Ghoul

10/10! It had everything an anniversary needed to have! A good storyline! Multiple Doctors! Surprising moments! (Capaldi, all the Doctors, Night of the Doctor, Capaldi,...) And the opening of the first episode!

mgm1229
mgm1229

If life were fair, the next thing we'd get to vote on would be "The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot." Which was perfect from beginning to end.

ElizabethGreer
ElizabethGreer

loved that it was offered in 3-D at theatres...and loved seeing it on the big screen.  Entertaining, and the chemistry between Matt, David, and John was perfect. 10/10.

JailBanksters
JailBanksters

Had lots interesting segments, but as a whole....

If I watched it 100 times, it still wouldn't make sense.

Galactic Yo Yo
Galactic Yo Yo

This is another episode that I doubt I'll ever be able to view objectively, seeing as I saw it in the absolute best possible condition: in a cinema full of costumed Doctor Who fans, armed with the knowledge that I was seeing it at the same time as millions of other people. Feeding off the energy of a couple of hundred fans meant that all the big moments landed extra hard for me: the glimpse of the Twelfth Doctor and Tom Baker's cameo in particular. However, I still feel pretty comfortable giving this a 10/10. It's easily Moffat's best script since series 5. The decision not to go too overboard on the spectacle and cameos for most of the story is a wise one. Instead of having a giant, congratulatory party for the 50th where everyone comes back but not a lot happens (like "The Five Doctors"), he decided to tell a story worth telling for the anniversary. It's a great examination of the Doctor on quite possibly the most important day of his life. And while it's chock full of references to the past, it's never overwhelmed by them. The ending has been seen by some as betraying the Doctor's character development over the past seven series, but I see it as the culmination of it. The whole point of the story is that the Doctor of the Time War couldn't have saved the Time Lords, but living with the grief for so long turned him into a man who could. It's a great ending to a great story and, most of all, it's a perfect push into the next 50 years. 

grumpyoldcow
grumpyoldcow

Oh how I love Doctor centered stories. And did we ever get one. Make that three.

I've only seen this twice and wasn't one of the lucky ones to see this at a cinema, but on a small tv screen.

I'd say the storytelling here is genius, but that's probably been said about a jillion times. Genius. There said it anyway.

I liked all the hopping back and forth from Elizabeth's time to contemporary time. Liked all the many references to the preceding 50 years of Who. This episode was indeed written for the fans. And written by a fan; it didn't feel rushed in the least.

Tennant, Hurt and Smith all were pleasures. Loved all the funny scenes between them.

9/10. Not perfect, but epic and ambitious, and truly entertaining.

"All of time and space, anything that's ever happened or ever will, where do you want to start?" Doctor shrugs embarrassingly, "unless it's TARDIS-proofed, as that does happen."

troughton who?
troughton who?

@Diana van der Pluijm  I don't think it was that divisive - every story has its fans and every episode has its detractors. Overall, it got quite a good reception, though because it was more prominent than your average episode, I guess it gets more attention - good and bad. I'd be quite interested in what you disliked about it, without giving you grief for your (perfectly valid) opinion.

DW_girl
DW_girl

@Diana van der Pluijm Not everyone will try to break you because you have a somewhat contraversial opinion. It is your opinion, and while I may not agree with it, I respect that everyone can think for themselves.

Rainbow Kidneys
Rainbow Kidneys

@DaftDalek  Although I understand your point, I think what you said in topic 4 is a bit complicated to be done, as Moffat wrote The Day of the Doctor with the intention to change the history: make sure that The (war) Doctor didn't destroy Gallifrey. So, as much as he might have been different from his other incarnations, as he "was made to battle", in the end, he was as good as any other incarnation of the Doctor.

Maybe, John Hurt's Doctor could have been a bit darker in his thoughts and ways, but as the chemistry between both actors and characters in this episode were beyond perfect, I don't think I would change this specific characteristic of the episode.
























Rani Nose
Rani Nose

@grumpyoldcow You've touched on what I meant to say in my original post.  I've been rewatching some of Tennant's episodes lately and it is surprising how often he comes across as "acting" like the Doctor rather than just "being" the Doctor.  Tennant often uses a stage-acting style instead of a more naturalistic one.  It's especially noticeable when he's doing very Doctor-y type things.

grumpyoldcow
grumpyoldcow

I responded to your post, but screwed up and it showed up as a separate post above. Sorry.

grumpyoldcow
grumpyoldcow

Maryanne123, you are best kind of fan - honest. No need to think less of yourself because of how you feel about this episode. For me, it should have been Perfect, it was after all, the 50th Anniversary special, forever to be known as such, so should have been the Best of them All. I wavered between a 9 and 10 and gave in to the 9 rating. I know Moffat doesn't let details bother him, but this was a Special episode, so his "rules" should have different. A lot of fans will hold this episode up as the Standard to judge other specials by and I fear it may not stand the scrutiny.

Great post. Thanks.

DaftDalek is Kavinsky, the Great 80's Annihilator
DaftDalek is Kavinsky, the Great 80's Annihilator

@Rainbow Kidneys As I said in the end nothing really mattered, as the episode was  vastly enjoyable and I agree on the chemistry. It was like there was no script and David, Matt and John decided spontaneously what they would like to say. But, I believe it would be nice to see a antihero Doctor.

Rani Nose
Rani Nose

@ConnorWhite @DaftDalekThat's what I assume.  There was no point in resolving the Zygon plot (they either come to an agreement with Kate or they do not) because that resolution had nothing to do with ending the Time War, knowing that Gallifrey still exists, etc.  By leaving it unresolved it also gives the show a built-in opportunity to have the Zygons, Kate, Osgood, etc. return should Moffat want the series to revisit them.

Maryanne123
Maryanne123

I saw Tennant on stage in Hamlet and his limitations as an actor were on display there aswell. It wasessentially The Doctor Does Denmark. I think the problem is that he lacks the natural spark or talent which is abundant and obvious in Matt and has to fall back on technique, so youncan always see him acting.

What is really telling is that when fellow actors or directors seek to praise Tennant, the words they commonly use are: professional, learned his lines, turned up on time on the set each day, friendly. You don't hear people talk about nuance, emotion, spontaneity or life. Compare the comments the same actors and directors use for Matt - electric, creative, surprising, inventive, chameleon. One is a technician, the other is an artist. I remember listening to Patrick Stewart trying to come up with something positive to say about Tennant's performance in Hamlet and all he could come up with was that he was a nice man.

While I am no fan of Tennant and wish RTD had not cast him as a favour as the doctor, I also feel sort of sorry for him as he can't escape his most famous role. He has a series of failed television shows behind him, althoughhe lucked out with Broadchurch thanks to another casting favour from a mate who put him in a role which allowed him to share screen time with the wonderful Olivia Colman. No director has been willing to cast him in any decent movies and he has only been able to pick up straight to DVD fare and he has called on his RSC links to get on stage. Friends who saw Richard ii said it was a disappointment, with Tennant giving a lifeless performance at its centre. I think Tennant will be the actor who got a wonderful career lift from Who but who will never be able to escape this as the way he played tge doctor is the only way he can act.

Matt, however has the world at his feet and Who has givenhim the lift which he would have got anyway from sheer talent. For David, it has put him at a level of fame he could never had expected in a modest acting career and he is trapped ss he can never be as famous as he was then.

BTW, although Tennant was pedestrian in Hamlet, Patrick Stewart was magnificent!

grumpyoldcow
grumpyoldcow

Tennant was my first Doctor and I thought he was so good that there couldn't be any better representation of the Doctor. Then BBCA began showing reruns of Smith's first series that I 'd never seen and suddenly this actor was the Doctor. I remember forgetting I was watching an actor since he was so believable as the Doctor.

Two actors with two wildly different takes on the Doctor. Now, though, I hardly ever watch any Tennant episodes; I much prefer Smith's Doctor.

Maryanne123
Maryanne123

I agree that Broadchurch is his best performance to date and what makes it work is having Olivia Colman supporting him. I think he lifted his game in this in response to having a quality actress to work with. The rest of his TV work ranges from mediocre to poor. I think the fact that the two shows he was in after Bchurch got 2 star reviews and bombed in the ratings, the political one and the lawyer one, shows that his star is falliing.

To be fair, I didn't see Richard, but friends who go regularly to the RSC did and all expressed disappointment in a dull and static production and a lacklustre performance by Tennant. This was in the first week of showing at Stratford, so may have improved. Both the performance and production were totally overlooked at the recent Olivier Awards nominations as well which indicated that the majority opinion wasn't that strongly positive.

I guess I might sound harsh but four years of uncritical Tennant worship, rather than focusing on the many faults with his performance as the doctor and inadequacies of the RTD era followed by the hateful bile directed at Matt and Moffat by the same people ha soured my view. It is so nice to see how fair and balanced views on this site are.

I doubt Capaldi will draw any such unwarranted hate as most of the Bring Back Tennant Brigade have dropped out of fandom and people who appreciate Moff and Matt justvseem fairer and more reasonable people, looking at the comments on this site. So, quality television attracts quality people!

NowvMatt has sadly left, I'll probably just ignore the Tennant years and wish him well in future endeavours - provided he doesn't come begging back to appear on Who in the future. ha!

Rani Nose
Rani Nose

@Maryanne123  You're much harsher on Tennant than I, and perhaps a bit unfair.  Despite his occasional staginess, I still greatly enjoyed his Doctor.   I also enjoyed him in Broadchurch where the staginess never appeared and his dourness played well against Colman's character.  I didn't see Richard II but the Guardian called Tennant "mesmerising", the Express said he was "still glorious" and the NY Times gave his performance a rave review.   A quick search shows that most reviews ranged from good to great.

Rani Nose
Rani Nose

@grumpyoldcow Smith certainly took to the role like he was born to play it.  I'll be curious to see how he does in other roles.