10 Things We Learned From "Day of the Doctor" | Fanboys Anonymous

10 Things We Learned From "Day of the Doctor"

Posted by Unknown Thursday, November 28, 2013
Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor commemorated the show's fiftieth birthday five days ago. Following a hiatus, the new iteration of the show, now entering its eighth season, had the monumental task of adding vigor to the aged franchise. The special, then, served as a fitting tribute to both the old and the new, charting massive territory for the road ahead.

Doctor Who celebrates fifty years of history withDoctor Who: Day of the Doctor

Here are our top ten take aways from The Doctor's fifth decade extravaganza. Be warned: extensive spoilers lie below.

10. Moffat Lies

Fourth Doctor Tom Baker makes a surprise appearance in Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor

A special meant to encompass fifty years of television history certainly has a fair amount of expectation with it. With the likes of David Tennant and Billy Piper confirmed early on, it left many to speculate who else among the ranks of past doctors and companions may make an appearance. Despite the retorts of head writer Steven Moffat, legendary doctor Tom Baker, to the delight of many, did in fact return to Doctor Who for the first time since his leaving just for the special.

9. Doctor Who Can Please all the People all the Time

The time war is seen in Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor

The younger demographic is a powerful one in the action/adventure genre. Several franchises have simplified themselves, and subsequently compromised quality, in order to be more palatable to children. While I certainly respect youthfulness, I wondered if this would doom me as an adult fan of high concept stories. Day of the Doctor proved that Doctor Who can tell an adult, nonlinear narrative with wartime action while retaining its own standard of excellence.

8. Who Manages Art Without Its Usual Adversity

The Time Lords team up with The Doctor in Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor

There's a special charm to Doctor Who that stems from its low budget. All through the series production, writers have been forced to be hyper clever in designing high concept, sci fi adventures to accommodate its limited budget. Going into Day of the Doctor I was curious if a bigger budget and longer time slot would result in a slower narrative that relied on effects to entertain instead of strong story. I'm pleased to say the production made the most of the situation and crafted a big story with the big amenities available.

7. John Hurt is The Man

John Hurt adds a new doctor  to the line up in Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor

The season seven finale left fans with the shocking introduction of a new Doctor, though not the one we believed to be coming. John Hurt, who is actually what is now being called "The War Doctor" had the massive task of building a strong character who could add to The Doctor's franchise in a single film. Futhermore, he had to do it while starring opposite of two seasoned and well received Doctors. If nothing else, John Hurt proved to be a formidable talent who certainly managed to make his mark on fifty years of who history in just seventy five minutes.

6. Trenzalore Still Looms

The TARDIS stands as The Doctor's tombstone in the Doctor Who season seven finale

It's easy to gloss over details when you are telling huge stories, (Thor returning to Earth in The Avengers anyone?) While I adored Day of the Doctor, I can say I was disappointed at first that the events on Trenzalore weren't addressed. I then realized that although this special set up several massive things to come, its omission of Trenzalore leaves the shadow of The Doctor's grave over the upcoming season.

5. Something Old and Something New

Classic villains Zygons terrorize Earth in Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor

With seven seasons of the show's rebirth in the can, it's easy to forget that there's a massive hiatus separating new fans from the old. That said, it certainly would have been tempting when making a film for international release to fill it with characters from the new, hit series such as the Weeping Angels. I was pleased to see, then, that they elected to give the seasoned fans a nod by putting the Zygons on screen for the first time in over thirty years.

4. David Tennant's still got it

David Tennant returns as the tenth doctor in Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor

In three short seasons David Tennant built a legacy that had us saying "I don't want to leave" right along with him upon the tenth Doctor's regeneration. It was an absolute pleasure to see Mr. Tennant back in the vertical pinstripes and better still to see he absolutely has still got it.

3. Who Has a Bold Future

The Doctors look up at their home in Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor

The television seasons of Doctor Who have the incredibly difficult burden of telling a strong story while simultaneously building for more. Perhaps no single event highlighted this as much as The Day of the Doctor. Although this began to tie up the elements of the season seven finale, the reveal of Gallifrey's return blows the door of possibilities  wide open for The Doctor's future.

2. Doctor Who's Canon is as Timey Wimey as the Adventures

John Hurt explores Time Lord art in Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor

Although, as mentioned above, Doctor Who is always building for more, The Day of the Doctor highlighted an interesting aspect of The Doctor's history; nothing is sacred. Some events can never change in comics; characters like Uncle Ben and the Wayne parents just can't come back to life. Such a change would redefine who the characters are. Doctor Who, however, is not burdened by such a dependency. In fact, Day of the Doctor proved the show is willing to embrace its manipulative canon to continue the show for fifty years more.

1. The Doctor is Here to Stay

The many faces of The Doctor line up in Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor

While it was fun to speculate who John Hurt's character would be and what past Who stars would make appearances, fans everywhere should remember that this wasn't just an event, it was a test. Following a lengthy hiatus, Doctor Who has undoubtably been on a comeback, but Day of the Doctor proved this comeback is more than successful, it's historic. The film raked in over ten million dollars in just three days, despite it's originally being aired on television the first night of it's screenings. This is made even more impressive when you compare it to The Fifth Estate, a major motion picture with well over a thirty million dollar budget which barely managed to gross nine million dollars. While it would be easy to see this news and begin speculating the meaning of such a massive success, which we will certainly do later, it's important to see this news for the glorious truth it really is, The Doctor has returned and he is here to stay. 

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