The Day of the Doctor
2013
The 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who unites two stars of the series (Matt Smith and David Tennant) as they travel through time to stop a long-forgotten predecessor (John Hurt) from making a grave mistake. Jenna Coleman and Billie Piper also star.

Scott Hardie: “It ruled.”

I don't know whether this should be treated like a TV episode or a feature film, since it is somewhere in between. I saw it in 3D in a movie theater packed full of cosplaying Whovians (with bonus footage to pad the 90-minute running time even further), and it felt very much like what a Doctor Who feature film should be, so to me it's a movie.

Either way, for fans, it's one hell of an anniversary gift. With even more generous helpings of wit and wonder than usual, the film addresses one of the critical narrative differences between the original and revival series, in a way that spins the show off in an entirely new direction going forward, all while tipping its hat to five decades of the series. I could not begin to count the insane number of callbacks to earlier episodes, but I appreciated the joking banter between Matt Smith and David Tennant that played on their differences, while the grizzled John Hurt (who plays both an embodiment of the mature early Doctors and a sort of stand-in for Christopher Eccleston's grim Ninth Doctor) reacted with confusion at their antics, highlighting and critiquing the show's evolution on several meta-levels at once. It's been a while since I've laughed this much at a movie, or appreciated how hard a movie worked to entertain me.

For non-fans, this would still be a joy based on its playful spirit and clever time-bending structure, but sometimes perplexing as the jokes and references fell on deaf ears. Season 1 of the revival series is a better place to get in on all the fun.

− December 9, 2013 • more by Scottlog in or create an account to reply

Evie Totty: I saw it on a big screen in a bar - loved it! − December 17, 2013 • more by Evie

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