Sunday, April 23, 2023

#AtoZChallenge2023: Doctor Who Day (and Night) of the Doctor

#AtoZChallenge2023: Doctor Who Day (and Night) of the Doctor
Another Sunday special today. In 2013 we were hit with a bunch of Doctor Who special event episodes to celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary of the show. At this point, Doctor Who had never been more popular, and in addition to a series of stories leading up to the 50th, the Anniversary episode itself was going to be shown in select theatres. 

It was all quite exciting.

The Anniversary episodes had always featured all the Doctors. But now we 50 years in. The first three Doctor Who actors had passed, Tom Baker, the Fourth Doctor, was nearly 80 years old. Christopher Eccleston, the ninth Doctor, had already announced he was not coming back. Then we got hit with the big surprise!

The Name of the Doctor

This was the penultimate episode before the Anniversary. In this the Doctor is forced to go to his own grave in the future in the fields of Trenzalore. When a Time Lord dies the scars of all their travels in Time and Space are laid bare; there is no body. Here a former enemy (going back to the Second Doctor days) The Great Intelligence, has set a trap for the Doctor. The plan is to lure the Doctor into his own time stream and collapse it, removing the Doctor Who history.  

The Doctor is, however saved by Clara, who jumps into his time stream, where she interacts with all his past lives. Sometimes he remembers her most times he doesn't but it explains why she has popped up in his life in different times and places. He is further saved by what can only be described as a "time ghost" of River Song. 

In this episode we see all the Doctors (well as fleeting ghosts and flashbacks) but there is one here we do not recognize. Clara says she sees 11 faces, 11 Doctors, but not this one. The Doctor tells us that this ghost is him, but not "The Doctor!"

Introducing John Hurt as The Doctor

And then we had to wait six months!

Night of the Doctor

Our next adventure with the Doctor is almost as exciting. Ok, It actually., and you can watch the whole episode online.

"I'm the Doctor. But probably not the one you expected."

- The Eighth Doctor, Night of the Doctor

Paul McGann is back as the Eighth Doctor! And so are the Sisterhood of Karn and Clare Higgins (well-known to many Hellraiser fans). This also gives the Eighth Doctor his proper regeneration scene, and he regenerates into a young John Hurt who is called "The War Doctor" now.  

The Day of the Doctor

This movie-sized event brings back the 11th Doctor and Clara, the 10th Doctor and we see what the deal is with the War Doctor. I will be going into much greater detail on him and the Time War on "W" day.

The Day of the Doctor

We also get "Rose Tyler" back, or more to the point, "The Bad Wolf." So even Billie Piper was on board. The War Doctor is about to use The Moment to destroy all of Gallifrey and the Daleks, but he is shown his personal future with the 10th and 11th Doctors. He is sent back to Time War to commit the act that "Silences the Universe" (and turns him into the dark legend that the People of the Gamma Forests know as "The Great Warrior" which in their language is "Doctor".)

This time (or originally as the case maybe) the 10th and 11th Doctors meet him there (something they are not supposed to be to do) and all three decide to do it together.  Until 11 has an idea.

Using the stasis cubes used to create "Time Lord Art" (a moment in time frozen forever) they are going to freeze the whole planet and remove it from time and let the Daleks kill each other in the cross fire.

What happens is one of the best Anniversary moments ever.

I mean, wow! Not just all 12 Doctors, but even Nine (from a previous episode like the others) AND a sneak peek at the Twelfth Doctor played by Peter Capaldi who had only recently been announced.

We even get something special in the very end. The Doctors are all headed back to their own time streams while the Eleventh Doctor is still looking at the painting of "Gallifrey Falls" that gave him the idea when a familiar, very familiar, voice is heard.  Tom Baker walks in as "The Curator" but leaves you doubt of Who he really is.

This sets things up rather nicely for the 60th Anniversary coming up. How?

Well here is the last episode we got. Jodie Whitaker's 13th Doctor regenerates into...well let's just say "an old favorite."

Now we have to wait six months. Again!

I am not sure how the 60th Anniversary will be able to top the 50th, but right now it is off to an interesting start.

A to Z of Doctor Who

All images are used with permission from the BBC and are copyrighted 2023 by the BBC.

1 comment:

PT Dilloway said...

It reminds me of those long-running comics like Superman, Batman, or Spider-Man where they build up so much mythology over the decades. That really lends itself to crossover events with time travel or multiverses or whatever device they want to use.