Rate & Discuss: The Day of the Doctor

November 23rd, 2013
Warning! This article and its comments may contain spoilers...

In 2013, something terrible is awakening in London’s National Gallery; in 1562, a murderous plot is afoot in Elizabethan England; and somewhere in space an ancient battle reaches its devastating conclusion. All of reality is at stake as the Doctor’s own dangerous past comes back to haunt him.

It was the day he’s been running from all of his lives, but was it a day worth waiting for?

Well it doesn’t get much bigger than that! Doctor Who has just celebrated an honourable 50 years of time and space in a spectacular adventure that premiered simultaneously on TV and in cinemas worldwide. Millions of fans over the globe united as the Doctor’s past came back to haunt him and it was three Time Lords for the price of one as the mystery of John Hurt’s inscrutable incarnation was finally resolved. And what a resolution it was…

50 years ago today the Doctor started running and he hasn’t stopped running since. With returning Doctors, companions and villains alike, tonight’s landmark special paid tribute to the show’s spectacular past and also looked to the future as an ancient battle reached its devastating conclusion. There were plenty of shocks and surprises along the way and the stakes had never been higher… Now the Moment’s been and gone, how do you feel?

After years, months and weeks of huge anticipation and speculation, did The Day of the Doctor live up to your expectations? Was it worthy recognition of the Time Lord’s half a century in business? There’s lots to say and one place to say it. Share your views below!

NOTE: The discussion will NOT be spoiler monitored so please do not read the comments if you haven’t seen The Day of the Doctor. You have been warned!

Rate this episode
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(76 Votes, Average: 4.75/5)
150 comments on this article
  1. Grace
    November 26th, 2013 at 6.22pm | #1

    It finally happened to me! I fell in love with Matt and now I don’t want him to go either! Seeing Tom and David (my two most favorite)again was so nice I wanted cry and clap at the same time! This was without a doubt Moffat’s best work ever!

    Now I’m going to go watch it again!

  2. Henry
    November 26th, 2013 at 7.41pm | #2

    Words do not aptly describe the genius of Moffat. The feeling after watching the Day of the Doctor was like that of winning the lottery and looking out the window to see a flying unicorn wearing a fez following a rainbow into the sunset being chased by the tardis with the doctor hanging out of it shouting at the unicorn. I would watch this a thousand times ,.. it was amazing !!!!!!!!!!

  3. Jesse W. Canfield
    November 26th, 2013 at 8.41pm | #3

    The greatest Moffat creation to date (and I’ve see every episode of Who he’s made as well as Sherlock) that will be nigh impossible to top. The dialog was witty, poignant and full of bravado, regret and triumph. The on-screen chemistry between Matt and David was unparalleled, and adding John Hurt into the mix was pure icing.

    As a man, I am absolutely unashamed to say that I cried tears of sadness AND joy at several points along the path upon which this tale led us.

    Moffat continues to weave tales that draw you in, whether you’re a Whovian from ‘63, or new just this year. And, just as Blink and The Empty Child have been used by Whovians to convert the normals, The Day of The Doctor will be winning Doctor Who new fans for generations to come.

    Well done to all.

  4. Jamie K.
    November 26th, 2013 at 9.14pm | #4

    The Day of the Doctor left me speechless! It was wonderful to see the 10th and 11the doctors together on screen. It was great in 2D and spectacular 3D! I wish they could do specials like this once a year, but then I guess they wouldn’t feel quite so special.

  5. Simon
    November 26th, 2013 at 9.32pm | #5

    I loved this special and the fact that it tied everything together from the debut to 2013 and with cameos and references, even though it had nearly 11 million I reckon with the Iplayer and cinema tickets all together it may be the highest episode since the city of death with 15 million but who knows yeah? who knows (see what I did there hehe)
    Ive watched the day of the doctor about 15 times now its brilliant!!!!! I love the ending as well

  6. Ambi
    November 26th, 2013 at 10.09pm | #6

    Words cannot even describe…cannot begin to do this thing justice. Even as a recently converted Whovian, who certainly could not catch all the past references, I was blown away. The complexity of the plot, the witty dialogue, the way in which this changes the entire Whoverse…all I can say is thank you for this wonderful work of art.

  7. Natasha
    November 26th, 2013 at 10.33pm | #7

    Absolutely loved it! Waited for the 25th so I could go see it in my local theater and it was definitely worth the wait! Got to see it in 3D, with little extra bonus material at the beginning (Strax talking about the punishment inflicted on humans who leave their cellphones on during a movie, and David and Matt bickering while “turning on” the 3D effects!). And it was great to be surrounded by hundreds of Whovians while I watched it, some even in cosplay! Really the only complaint I have is that I would have liked Christopher Eccleston to be the “war doctor” instead of introducing a new, “secret” Doctor, but John Hurt did a great job and I was more than satisfied!!

  8. Jaclyn Reynolds
    November 27th, 2013 at 3.40am | #8

    I feel like I need to watch it a couple more times, there was just so much to take in. Loved seeing Billie Piper again, wish Christopher had been in it. We laughed out loud at many parts, seeing 10 and 11 together was a treat!

  9. thomas
    November 27th, 2013 at 6.16am | #9

    the plot was excelent.all the doctors linked together .and it was supprising that baker had a part that started a mew mission for the doctors to come.

  10. Steve
    November 27th, 2013 at 11.10am | #10

    I viewed this as a mixed bag. Certainly this was the Doctor Who equivalent of Star Trek First Contact –
    The opening title sequence filled me with owe and excitement. The original theme updated and remix was awe inspiring mixed with the opening policeman shot. This leading into Coal Hill School was a very shameless nod to the shows start.
    The story itself is a two parter – The Zygon side and the Time War side.
    I though the Zygons were quite insulting to their original intent. Not sure what the throwing up was about! They could be the most dangerous of enemies but were so easy to defeat. I think my disappointment was the casting of Queen Elizabeth herself. Sorry but I did not like Joanna Page as Elizabeth. She was to close to Stacy! The wedding was pointless. Overall these parts were the boring parts set on earth from First Contact.
    The Time War side was amazingly. John Hurt’s exasperation at the childishness of both the 11th and 10th Doctor’s was very funny! The Dalek attack on Arcadia was incredibly well done and the 3D image was beautiful! I would love to see the other Daleks in daylight. They looked dangerous. The Billy Piper character could and should have been any number of previous companions but her comedy timing was very clever.
    The ending, showing in the Doctors in the TARDIS’s was very exciting.
    As for the final shots, I loved seeing Tom Baker back and shamelessly dropping hints.
    Overall, perhaps not hte best of the 3 anniversary stories but still great stuff.

  11. Richard Guga
    November 27th, 2013 at 12.03pm | #11

    I think the day of the doctor was very good maybe some of it didn’t make sense but it was still enjoyable John hurt Matt Smith and David were brilliant Jenna coleman and fantastic as usual and unlike everyone else I’m the zygon is in it I think was a great episode but some of it made it very complicated

  12. SandrineB.
    November 27th, 2013 at 5.23pm | #12

    I loved the episode, it was fantastic!! It was great to see Matt Smith and David Tenant together. John Hurt did an great job too. And seeing Tom Baker at the end was just wouaou!

  13. Teresa Coimbra
    November 27th, 2013 at 6.47pm | #13

    The episode was a great tribute to the classics, much more than I was expecting actually. The War Doctor proved to be as exciting as I expected and I loved how he was becoming more like the actual doctors through out the episode (making jokes and accepting their childish behavior). The relationship between them was amazingly imagined and the dialogues were interesting and funny with great lines to quote.
    All characters seemed good and I do not agree that the girl with the scarf was a bad character. Yes, she was always crying but that doesn’t mean she wasn’t strong. The problem with Moffat isn’t writing girls that live for the Doctor. It’s the fact he ONLY writes girls that live for the Doctor. Girls like boys exist in every possible way: some don’t need man, some need, some are outgoing, others are shy and others cry a lot, some don’t cry at all, some are really feminine, others prefer jeans and hoodies and they all definitely have a life on it’s own.
    The way Rose appeared in the episode while not actually appearing in the episode was probably my favorite Moffat thing. It pays a tribute to the importance of Rose in the Doctor story while not changing the great end of the 4th season.

    About the story itself Moffat was playing with big things. Ok, it’s the 50th anniversary but I could be happy with much less.
    I like big things, don’t get me wrong, and I’m satisfied with Moffat work till now.
    The thing is, my favorite part of my Doctor Who experience is how everything fits together and makes sense in the end. This episode was full of plot holes and things terribly bad explained. Just for starters, the 11th Doctor remember some things but forgets others. How can he remember the fez and marrying the queen, and not remember Clara for instance? The 10th Doctor does remember the queen, there’s no doubt! Also and more important, if Gallifrey didn’t fall how can “The End of Time” be canon? And how can all Doctor save Gallifrey if it didn’t happen for some and the 9th Doctor forgot?
    Of course the fans already collected some lines, built a story and found an explanation. But that explanation was built by US, the fans, and is as canon as the Doctor having a room with green lights (I was going to say a BSDM room, but some people may not like it). If anyone in here is a genius is we, the fans.

    The climax was rushed and bad explained. The simple fact that Clara was crying made the Doctor change his opinion too quickly. Yes, it could have been because of Clara but they could have thought more about it! More than that, the fact that the Doctor forgot everything was just lazy writing, the simplest and laziest solution.
    The side stories were bad explored and just existed to make the Doctors co-work a little bit and present the 3D painting story to the public. The end of the Zygons story was really good and I hoped the rest could be as great, although I would like to know to what king of agreement they arrived. The scenes on Gallifrey could be more, I would love to know about how the War was going and how it affected the rest of the Universe. The lost planets for instance. It would make the War seem more real, instead of just some spaceships firing against a planet.
    The explanation of how they saved Gallifrey was also too sloppy. The 3D painting thing was not something any of the Doctors discovered in the moment. They all knew it existed! In 400 years the Doctor never thought of a way of saving Gallifrey if he had the chance to do it again?
    The end scene while the Doctor said goodbye was beautifully written and I’m happy they didn’t considered it unnecessary. The appearance of the Tom Baker as the curator was not only a tribute to the old days but also interesting to the plot leaving a lot of loose ends I hope Moffat ties.
    Maybe a longer episode could be much better, a 90 or 120 minutes wouldn’t have been that long and it’s still shorter than many movies.

    The part I like, the intellectual part, was not that good in my opinion. Although it’s not that much common, this is my opinion and I, not only respect everyone who has a different opinion, but also agree with everyone who isn’t looking for the same thing as me in the episodes.
    It felt good emotionally and it was pretty but my intellect doesn’t like it that much. I would have preferred something smaller and perfectly put together that could make me wonder of they geniality, and as that it failed completely. In terms of the dialogue and character development I loved it. As a 50th special it was good, just not great.

  14. Sezah
    November 27th, 2013 at 8.55pm | #14

    Actually one of the best episodes EVER…and the Matt Smith and David Tennant moments were priceless!!!!!

  15. Maria Carlson
    November 27th, 2013 at 10.42pm | #15

    Doctor Who has touched my heart with awesomnesss….when David and Matt came together and compared sonic screwdrivers I laughed in the theater!! Steven Moffat is a genius he made me cry,laugh,and smile.

  16. alan shaw
    November 27th, 2013 at 11.37pm | #16

    As one of the privelledged few to have seen the first ever episode back in November 23rd 1963 and again the following week as my 7 year old brain remembers it has been nothing but brilliant the past five decades.The Day of the Doctor was nothing short of inspired,to have John Hurt as the “War Doctor” gave the story real gravitas, also David and Matt were superb as usual. All the nods to all the previous “Doctors” was just nostalgia heaven for me,although I may not be alive for the 100th Anniversary I will make sure my grandson is there to see it,now I will get back to my own Time machine and I will see you in 50 years “Toodles”…

  17. Emilie
    November 28th, 2013 at 11.19am | #17

    I think this episode was fantastic, and so in the spirit of the Doctor. It just seemed /right/. I heard Moffat commenting on it at the live show where he said, he sat down to write about this particular day in the Doctor’s life and he just could not do it. He could not picture the Doctor doing it. And I think Moffat is right – the Doctor found a way, of course he would.
    I also love that it sort of shows that the Doctor cannot be changed deep down. They attempted to regenerate him as a warrior, and a warrior indeed he is (as the War Doctor, as well as 9th, 10th and 11th), but at the end of the day (pun intended), he is still the Doctor.
    Only thing I could have wished for was a slightly more… integrated companion to change his mind. Clara has not really been around long enough, in my opinion. Though, I suppose, one could argue that she has – that she has always been there.
    But, brilliant episode. Brilliant, and just… right.

  18. Sagarika
    November 28th, 2013 at 7.56pm | #18

    I set a timer for the special day, The Day of the Doctor, 213 days to go then 90 days to go then finally a second to go. I absolutely loved the Day of the Doctor, the 50th anniversary;it was amazing. I saw the film twice on the same day once at the cinema and then at home, it was sooo cool recorded on TV. I loved the scene where all the doctors where coming with their TARDIS covering Gallifray and also the very end scene where the doctor says ‘Everyone dreams’, and goes into space where all doctor are standing. It was way beyond my dreams, it was simply fantastic. Everyone’s acting was brilliant, Doctor Who gave a true special moment to all the Whovians and gave them a brilliant day. It was a little like Star Wars, all the spaceships beaming laser lights;it was so cool. I have been watching Doctor Who since 7 years old and I am still watching it, this was one of the Doctor Who best, it definitely has went on my list. The Christmas Special 2013 trailer that was shown made me feel so sad, because Matt Smith is my favourite doctor and always will be because he is cool. Don’t leave please. I am a true Doctor Who fan, I have tons of Doctor Who books, posters, calenders, badges, stickers, magnet, pencil-case and lots more. I loved the Day of the Doctor I can’t use a word to describe it, I was speechless, but it was brilliant, amazing, fantastic, super wonderful.
    Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo

  19. Charlene Wedgner
    November 30th, 2013 at 3.19pm | #19

    Epic emotional amazing episode .laughed and cried and was made even more special as me and my son had been to the convention at excel that day so was really geared up for the episode. X

  20. HanneDAes
    November 30th, 2013 at 3.25pm | #20

    I absolutely loved the 50th anniversary episode, I think I watched it over 6 times now. I just love the fact that you can see how the doctor aged troughout all those years. My favorite part was the end where all 13 doctors save Gallifrey. And ofcourse the part with the 3 tardisses and tea, that’s just the most british thing I’ve ever seen. Yes it was worth all the wait. It’s just sad that Matt has to go but that’s also the fantastic thing about Doctor Who.

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