The Doctor: His Name. His Day. His Time
Guest contributor Brayde Wikaira examines the 2013 Doctor trilogy.
Have you ever thought what it’s like to be wanderers in the Fourth Dimension?
– The Doctor (An Unearthly Child)
50 years later…
This is the story. The story of the Doctor. His Name. His Day. His Time.
What an explosive year! Doctor Who blasted on to our screens earlier this year with that fantastic wi-fi blockbuster, The Bells of Saint John, and to conclude Moffat gave us the chilling finale, The Name of The Doctor. Today, I won’t be talking all about Series 7, but the amazing recent trilogy that is soon to end. We’re having a different look at the Doctor’s Name, Day and Time.
The 18th of May 2013 saw the broadcast of the thrilling The Name of the Doctor. Millions of Whovians just couldn’t wait to watch the finale. Some fans thought the Doctor’s real name would come out. Well, did it? No, in fact Moffat tricked us. He didn’t lie to us, he said that the Doctor’s greatest secret would be revealed. And surely we all crackled when we found out that this secret was none other than John Hurt – a forgotten, regretted incarnation of the Doctor.
But the whole purpose of this article is to define the Doctor, to showcase the Doctor. After all, this is his year. So what did we see in the Doctor here? We saw a darker Doctor. A Doctor scared of what was to come, what was to happen and what was not meant to happen. But that’s not all, we saw a Doctor that cared for his companions. Matt Smith brings out the Peter Davison in him, and what a performance he gives. He is willing to risk his life just for his friends. We know that the Doctor is still the loving kind.
This was the grand question: would the Doctor be able to say his name? To protect his friends? Do you think he would have? Well, that’s a question for you to think about. Now, what did the Doctor think about saving Clara? Well one, he didn’t want her to go in the first place, and two, he risked all his lives and not knowing what would happen, to save her… to save his impossible girl. Sweet Doctor. But then it takes us, from sweet to bitter as the Doctor changes. Pretending that the War Doctor wasn’t him. An intriguing start to the trilogy.
November the 23rd, 1963. 50 years ago Doctor Who aired its first ever episode. An episode about two teachers who are concerned about one of their students, their search takes them to a junkyard. That’s when the journey began, that’s when the adventure started. That was also the day the Doctor made a promise. A promise that he kept with the help of his companions. Without his companions Doctor Who wouldn’t be Doctor Who (I am so, so sorry.) And this is evident in The Day of the Doctor.
The Day of the Doctor is a grand episode. Even for anyone who hasn’t even seen Who before. But it’s also written for the fans. I can remember many Whovians were feeling left out in the last series – they felt that the show seemed to be focussing more on gaining new viewers. Well this special was a love-letter to the fans. Just seeing all 12 Doctors blew me away, even just the TARDISes alone!
Let’s talk about the Doctors first. Where is 11 from? Presumably after Name. 10 is pre-The End of Time, judging by the fact that he’s not travelling with companions and the funny speech in The End of Time’s opening. And then we’re with John Hurt, the War Doctor. We find that we are on the Last Day of the Last Great Time War. Great! So what did we see in the Doctor (or in this case, Doctors?) We saw a wealth of comedy, a great deal of showing off, some seriousness, and a little bit of sadness.
One key thing I would like to bring up is the Doctor’s sorrow. For 400 years, he was drenched with all the blood he had seen. Billions and billions of innocent lives dead. A impossible choice. I’d like to reiterate what Moffat said before: when they made Doctor Who, they didn’t give him a weapon or a laser gun. They gave him a screwdriver, to fix things. They didn’t give him a tank, or a war machine. They have him a call box, so you can call him. They didn’t give him pointy ears, or lasers. They gave him two hearts, so that he would care for the universe. This was who the Doctor is.
His companions define him too. He needs them, they bring out the humany-wumany love. Without Clara or Rose (or the Bad Wolf) he would have burned Gallifrey. He would have sent many to their doom. This brings to mind The Fires of Pompeii, an episode I just finished watching (at the time of writing) Donna yelled and yelled and yelled at the Doctor, to save one, just to save anyone. The Doctor sees things as fixed, or opened, or still. He sees things because he’s a Time Lord. Without his companions, he is dark. Darker than the universe’s most darkest foes.
The Day of the Doctor defines the Doctor. It’s the reason why I chose to write this article. If you can think of one episode that fully defines the Doctor, it will be this one! It brings out the reason why he’s the Doctor, why he needs companions, why he travels around in a small blue box, why he fixes things. The Day of the Doctor pays tribute to the man. For once, the story is all on him. There is no bad guy. While a debate for the Zygons can be made, the Doctor’s real enemy is himself. A mission the Moment was blessed with. The whole story was about changing one’s mind, and giving the Doctor a whole new lease of life. For once, he would really like to know where he’s going. And he knows now. He knows what is to come, and what is to be.
And now here we are. His time. I usually dub this, The Day After. No doubt we are going to see some things. We are going to be seeing some truly epic things, and huge revelations. This is the Doctor’s time, his time to shine. We have seen how things were in The Name of The Doctor. We have seen a changing point in his life with The Day of the Doctor. Now it’s time to see what happens next and in the future.
Did the Doctor learn from his mistakes? Is he going to save the day? I’m going to redirect to the following wording: Doctor Who? What does that mean? Doctor Who? Does it mean his name? His future? What he is? Here’s what I think: I think Doctor Who is who he his. It’s his purpose. Every time someone asks him the question, Doctor Who?, it reminds him who he is. His purpose: never cruel nor cowardly. Never give up. Never give in. I could be wrong, but who knows? Who… knows.
What are we going to see in The Time of the Doctor? Well, we know that Matt Smith regenerates. We know that Peter Capaldi is the next Doctor. We know that 11 returns to Trenzalore for the Battle of Trenzalore. A bitter, endless war… against the 11th. Will we find out how Silence Falls? The plot thickens. And so, we shall see. On to Christmas Day!
I see conclusions as boring. Worthless summaries and unnecessary words. It’s just all wordy. So this is how I’m going to conclude:
My journey is the same as yours, the same as anyone’s. It’s taken me so many years, so many lifetimes, but at last I know where I’m going, where I’ve always been going. Home. The long way around.