Last night, I was on my way to bed, when I decided to watch just the first five minutes of the Day of the Doctor (The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Spectacular that I may have been excited about for the past few months).
As you can guess, this did not go as planned.
Especially an hour later when I checked if the five minutes had passed… and decided I may as well watch the last half-hour, since I had gotten that far.
So, I think I enjoyed it. It was fun, it was suspenseful, it was just the right mix of silly and serious we come to expect from a great Doctor Who episode. And it was CINEMATIC!
What We Learned
1. Peter Calpadi made his first appearance as the official Doctor, and he follows in the footsteps of Mr. Potato Head, because he has Angry Eyes.
(Maybe River Song does get to regenerate, and she and the Doctor become Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head…)
2. John Hurt is a loveable Doctor.
He is aged, worn, and reflects the sadness anyone would feel at watching the universe rip apart. This is really his story, and in those 90 minutes he earns his place along side all the other Doctors.
(Although, this would be obvious to anyone who has seen him as The Storyteller.)
*This clip features a young Sean Bean. Maybe he should be the Master to John Hurt’s Doctor?
3. The Doctor can return to old forms so that he can hang out with himself in a museum (And we can have a Tom Baker cameo)
4. The Doctor has appeared so young since the Time War because he feels so old and is trying to escape his regret. (I thought this was a cool addition to his character).
(Also, Matt Smith and David Tennant have excellent chemistry.)
5. The Doctor found a way to save Galifrey from being destroyed, but then forgot about it along with everyone else – except for as the Eleventh Doctor.
Questions And Missed Opportunities
1. How Many Doctors Are There?
According to the original series, there are only thirteen regenerations. However, with the addition of Hurt, this places Peter Capaldi as #13, not #12. (Although, for the avoidance of confusion, I think we will still call him #12.)
As for regenerations left, I’ve never worried about it. I figure whomever is running Doctor Who will come up with a timey wimey solution (which, I love that Hurt’s Doctor points out how childish this word is).
2. What Do We Do With A Problem Like Clara?
Clara has the potential to be an amazingly awesome character. Her rapid-fire dialogue and clever looks are fun, and fit nicely in the silliness of the Doctor Who universe.
Her story as the Impossible Girl means that she has met every single Doctor who has lived and will live, even for a moment. Does she have memories of jumping through his time-stream, or was it too much for her human brain? Even if she skipped over the War Doctor (Hurt), it was a missed opportunity when she met Doctor #10 (Tennant).
What if they knew each other from when she had saved him before, and they had a fun moment of him being as perplexed as #11 upon meeting her again after she had died. This could have been a fun bit of rat-a-tat throwaway dialogue, with #11 (Smith) ultimately giving a few words of technobabble explanation, and #10 doing his always excellent, held out, “Ohhhh.”
She had a few moments of assistance and action, and her entrance into the Tower of London was spectacular. Yet, throughout the special, she was more of an, “And, oh yeah! Clara’s still there,” afterthought.
Clara as a character has yet to live up to the premise of her origin, and her introduction in The Dalek Asylum.
Also, when did she become a professor?
Although, she does get a cool motorcycle.
3. Queen Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I was a powerful and savvy monarch. While Joanna Page does an excellent job filling the part, it is not an excellent part. She is portrayed in a two and sometimes one-dimensional manner, and more as a plot device and an object. It is difficult to tell who is the real Queen Elizabeth because both versions lack the full power and personality we should expect from this monumental queen.
Also, she is somewhat dismissed as a ‘girl in love,’ leading us to…
4. How many wives/girlfriends does the Doctor have?
Here is a brief list off the top of my head:
- Rose Tyler
- Queen Elizabeth I
- Susan’s Grandmother (assuming Time Lords reproduce similarly to humans)
- Joan Redfern (#10 as John Smith romanced her)
- Madame Pompador
- Marilyn Monroe (at least an engagement during A Christmas Carol)
- River Song
The Doctor is nearly immortal and can travel around anywhere in the universe, so can he ever truly be widowed from Elizabeth I and River Song (the two marriages I am sure of)?
If all these women met each other, how would they feel about it? Could you imagine this episode of Jerry Springer?
5. Why didn’t they have just one scene with Billie Piper and David Tennant interacting?
Even though Billie Piper played only a reflection of Bad Wolf Rose Tyler (and excellently done too), it would have been great to just have a glimmer of a moment between Doctor #10 and Rose. If we could just get one, truly sad look out of Doctor #10, it would have been great, even if she did not recognize him.
6. How am I finding all of these problems with the portrayal of women in Doctor Who, when the show has a plethora of strong female characters?
Which brings me to…
1. Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) of UNIT
This woman had complete control and badness (the awesome kind) throughout the show. Without falling into a romance with the Doctor, she was a dynamic and strong female character.
Actually, what if she was a future Doctor? That could be awesome. The scene where she is willing to blow up London to stop the Zygons could just be a ruse to get the other Doctors to take action.
2. It’s Star Wars, but with Dalek Tie-Fighters!
Who cares if these designs make sense! This is just plain cool!
3. Three Doctors are more fun than one!
The best parts of the show were watching the Doctors playing off each other. This is the best example of when it is socially acceptable to talk to yourself.
- What did you think of The Day of the Doctor?
- What do you think could have been better, or was totally awesome?
- Do you always keep a pair of angry eyes packed away for emergency?
Side Note: I was working on my grad school applications yesterday, and discovered this online:
This is the Focus Media Journal, the undergraduate academic publication for the Film and Media Studies Department at UC Santa Barbara. If you turn to page 38 of this publication, you will find this:
Yes, now you can read my one and only academic publication! On film theory, particularly spectator theory and how things like the internet are creating more ownership on the part of the consumer than on the part of the producer.
If we watch how this has expanded over the last 6 years, you can see it with how fandom has exploded.
And to everyone else here in the United States: Have a spectacular and Nerdtastic Thanksgiving!
Side Note 2: Oh, and, just to plug an awesome lady, here’s the latest blog post from my mom’s blog, The Nice People Foundation. I recommend reading with Kleenex.