What To Expect: The Day of the Doctor

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Guest contributor Gustaff looks at some of the things we can expect to see in the 50th


It’s that time again ladies and gentlemen – when fanfiction and fanservice come together and make a baby and pump that child full of every form of butt-kicking, jaw-dropping, badass boasting, TARDIS stealing, Dalek beating awesomeness imaginable! But just what can we expect from this wondrous child entitled The Day of the Doctor? Let’s find out!

Stock Phrases!

The-Day-of-the-Doctor-Extended-TV-Trailer-(37)Most Doctor Who Anniversaries feature a set of things that fans feel have to be said or risk them reaching for their pitchforks. Expect things like: “So you’re the latest model eh?” and “Contact”. We mustn’t leave out Contact! It’s also been confirmed that Ten will say: “I see you’ve redecorated” at some point, followed shortly with “I don’t like it”, so that one can be ticked off the list. It’s not really tradition, but Are You Pondering What I’m Pondering could very well come into play between the Doctors at some stage given that according to reports, the Doctors interact quite well with one another.

Traditional Special!

The-Day-of-the-Doctor-Extended-TV-Trailer-(41)Watch the special and tick off all the Continuity Nods you recognize because there will be tons of them! Expect dozens of Call Backs to previous stories also. Well…even more than usual. We already know that The Bus Came Back for Tennant and Piper and Moffat Dropped a Bridge on Paul McGann’s Doctor in the prequel, so who else can we be expected to see. Who else has been cloaked from the radar? If you suspect nobody, then try and recall how well Jenna’s involvement in the Asylum episode was kept a secret. Be reminded that there will be a lot of Fanservice in the episode. No! Not that kind of fanservice! Well, given that David is back and that we’ve seen Paul McGann after 17 years, it may very well be that kind of fanservice. Also, expect a certain degree of I Hate Past Me from the Eleventh Doctor or Future Me Scares Me from the Tenth Doctor and probably Other Me Annoys Me in respects to the Hurt Doctor. Time is relative after all! Anytime there are two or more different Doctors on-screen, you can probably write a promise on a cheque that at some stage they will have a Ham-to-Ham Fight. Yes. That last one wasn’t a typo. IT – WAS – HAM!

Expect Deadpan Snarking. Yes. We must have Deadpan Snarking between the Doctors. It won’t look quite like Two and Three going at it, but it’ll still be very entertaining nonetheless. Since Moffat is penning a script with at least three Doctors, he might have the Doctors play around with the Finishing Each Other’s Sentences trope.

Traditional Tenth Doctor!

tennant-day of the doctorKeep in mind that the Tenth Doctor is quite fond of the Batman Gambit, often combining it with Obfuscating Stupidity (fancy talk for playing dumb); especially if he wants to talk to the Big Bad. It won’t feel like the actual Tenth Doctor either unless he Apologizes A Lot. When things get stressful, expect Gibbering Genius to come into play and if Moffat remembers the Doctor’s timeline correctly, we can expect to see the Doctor back in his Pop Cultured Badass days.

Traditional Rose!

day-of-the-doctor-tv-trailer-(23)-rosePersonally, I’m hoping Moffat forgets about nearly all of Rose’s character traits from Series Two and makes her likable again. No Clingy Jealous Girl or It’s All About Me. From what we’ve seen though, Rose will have Glowing Eyes at some point, which could mean that she’ll unleash some kind of No-Holds-Barred Beatdown shortly afterwards.

Daleks, Zygons & U.N.I.T.

day-of-the-doctor-tv-trailer-(18)-zygonFor those of you who do not know the Zygons, let me break it down for you: They are not Immune to Bullets, use Organic Technology and have Voluntary Shapeshifting abilities. There’s also a real strong possibility that we (the audience) will have to Spot the Imposter somewhere in this story as well! Expect the usual Kill ‘em All attitude from the Daleks, taken Up to Eleven since this is the Time War, as well as their usual graduation from the Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy. UNIT on the other hand will suffer from A-Team Firing should they get into a gun fight, which then leads into Five Rounds Rapid.

Explosions Equal Plot!


Thank you for activating the Self-Destruct Mechanism. This ship will detonate in three minutes. In the meantime, please enjoy some random explosions and blasts of steam. Human Resources thought it would make things more dramatic than a red light and a klaxon. – TV Tropes

From what we know, the Doctor followed Clara into his very own Portal to the Past and they met a Doctor who wasn’t a Doctor (if that makes any sense) and the episode ended without us seeing how they got back out of the Time Scar. If they do show us how the duo got out of the Doctor’s timestream, then it’ll most likely come down to Impossible Task Instantly Accomplished. It is Moffat’s style after all.

day-of-the-doctor-tv-trailer-(39)Given what we know, there are three distinct storylines intersecting in this special. First we have Gallifrey Just Before the End, fighting a Hopeless War against the Daleks, so expect to see people Dying like Animals, unless there are none left because the Daleks have already dropped a Depopulation Bomb. If not one of those, then some kind of giant Beam Spam weapon. Typical of Earth Shattering Ka-Boom scenarios, expect the Big Red Button that causes this Delayed Explosion to be in the form of the Moment. Hey, it’s not a button, but it is colored red! Hurt’s Doctor is seen tracking through a desert, so All Deserts Have Cacti might come into play here and since we’re dealing with an interstellar war, there’ll be loads of Impressive Pyrotechnics and nearly everything will be Made of Explodium.

Secondly, we have the Tenth Doctor encountering Elizabeth I, but it doesn’t look like God, Save Us From the Queen will apply here like it did at the end of The Shakespeare Code. Given that there are only two categories available, expect Liz I to be The High Queen here.

The story concerning the Eleventh Doctor is still somewhat mystified though. We know he experiences a This Cannot Be moment when he examines a painting in the museum and there’s an explosion concerning Kate and her men which may very well have been caused by the Readings Blew Up The Scale while Osgood is seen sporting a Fourth Doctor scarf, so she’s clearly a Fangirl.

Although the Daleks and Zygons are confirmed to be the villains for this story, what I have noticed is that all the Anniversary Specials have featured a Time Lord or Time Lord-ish villain as the Big Bad. Large Ham Omega from the 10th, Be Careful What You Wish For Borusa from the 20th, Evil Diva Rani from the 30th and Enemy Within Zagreus from the 40th. Big Finish’s The Light at the End even had the Master as the head villain, so is it possible that Hurt’s Doctor might be the evil one here, or maybe it’s the mysterious man who holds the title of The General.


Oh! Shiny!

The bunch of returning Daleks and Zygons may point to multiple fast paced time and space hops, unlike the setup Doctor Who used for its 20th Anniversary. This could also lead us to a Race Against Time or Journey to the West type of storyline. We can expect to see what Necessary Evil the Hurt Doctor committed that enraged the Eleventh and what act turned the former into He Who Fights Monsters.

What Steven does best!

If there is one thing that Moffat loves beyond torturing fans with red herrings and cruel teases, it’s a time travel plotline and now he has two (or three) Doctors to fool around with. I can’t even begin to imagine the timey-wimey chaos that’s about to ensue! Can you?

As usual, Never The Selves Shall Meet will be rendered moot here and nothing scientifically/theoretically bad will happen when the Doctors meet up. As this is a Multi-Doctor story, My Future Self and Me applies to all Doctors pre-Eleventh. The Doctor and company had also better be careful stepping into Butterfly of Doom scenarios and we can expect Laser Guided Amnesia directed towards certain Doctors at the end of this story. Here’s hoping that some character will get Time Travel Tense Trouble somewhere along this story just like Six had in The Two Doctors. My money is on Clara.

As this is Steven Moffat, there will of course be Temporal Paradoxes galore and a massive Time Wimey Ball at the end of it all. If Moffat chooses to have the story cut back and forth between the Doctors in different plotlines, separated by time and space, then he’s playing with Meanwhile… Back at the Future. If the characters send messages to one another across time lines, then we have a case of Write Back to the Future. Also, Moffat just loves scenes where the Doctor gloats about how great he is, coupled with the fact that he is writing for two of the most boastful Doctors out there, so expect one huge Baddass Boast somewhere.

Actually, to end this article, I’ll say expect one hell of a story, worthy of a fifty year celebration!