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Review: The Day of the Doctor a.k.a. Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special, or Three Steven Moffat Stunts That Disappointed Some Fans

A nod to the classics.


After a long hiatus, the Doctor is back. This time, it's not just Matt Smith's Eleven. He'll be joined by David Tennant's Ten and John Hurt's… uh, Eight-point-five? Because it's Doctor Who's 50th anniversary, that's why.

John Hurt wouldn't even be here if Christopher Eccleston said yes.

So whose idea was it to bring not two, but three Doctors together? None other than showrunner extraordinaire Steven Moffat, of course. Moffat's always been brilliant, as always, but some fans have been having problems with him lately. Such as:

No, we have no problem with Time Lord art. It's bigger on the inside. 

1. No Explanations Necessary
During Moffat's early days as showrunner, he loved kids. He was consciously trying to bring the show back to children, the show's most unassuming audience. Back then, he used to explain a lot. Nowadays, it's like this:

Solve this anomaly.
TENNANT: These events should be time-locked. We shouldn't even be here.

Why? What does "time-locked" mean? Why shouldn't you be there? I guess it's up to us to figure things out.

2. Rewriting the canon
I guess Moffat was given the greenlight for this. Here are some of his "atrocities".

  • NOT blowing up Gallifrey.
  • Crossing paths with a past/future self
  • The War Doctor

Yes, he has his own TARDIS. I know!

And speaking of the War Doctor...

3. Changing the chronology of the Doctor's regenerations
The canon says that Paul McGann was Eight, and Christopher Eccleston was Nine. Then Moffat introduces John Hurt as the War Doctor, and assures us that he doesn't count as a proper Doctor, so there are still only eleven. Then in the end, he is acknowledged as a proper Doctor. So does that make Matt Smith Twelve? I'm confused.

Would that make Peter Capaldi Thirteen, then? I'm still confused.

The Day of the Doctor. UK. 2013.

Original rating: 7.5 / 10
Bringing Billie Piper back: + 0.05
Zygons: + 0.05
Time Lord art: + 0.1
The nicknames Sandshoes, Grampa, and Chinny: + 0.01 each = 0.03
All Doctors together: + 0.05
Peter Capaldi's eyes: + 0.05
Tom Baker's cameo: + 0.05
Final rating: 7.88 / 10

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