The Day of the Doctor, the big 50th Anniversary episode of the iconic science fiction series was written by Steven Moffat and aired fifty years to the day after the premiere episode of The Unearthly Child, 23 November, 2013.
The Doctor (Smith) and Clara (Jenna Coleman) are summoned by UNIT and their commander, Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) to check out a mysterious painting, known as Gallifrey Falls, created with Time Lord technology. It’s three dimensional. There are more paintings but they seem to be broken – something has escaped.
We encounter the War Doctor (John Hurt), who fought in the Time War against the Daleks, and did terrible things. He is contemplating using am ancient, sentient weapon called The Moment. The weapon projects an image that only the War Doctor can see, and it is the form of Rose Tyler (Billie Piper).
She shows him what he will become, and opens a fissure that links the Eleventh Doctor, with the Tenth (David Tennant) and eventually, the War Doctor. As they encounter Queen Elizabeth I (Joanna Page), wrapping up a dangling story thread there, and revealing a Zygon threat.
Dealing with the threat, encourages the War Doctor that perhaps he should use The Moment, but the other Doctors follow him, and Clara reminds him why he chose his name, and together they come up with a plan that can save Gallifrey from the Daleks once and for all.
But it’s going to take all incarnations of the Doctor, which includes a brief glimpse of Twelve (Peter Capaldi), or at least his attack eyebrows.
The episode is a lot of fun, I remember seeing it on the big screen, and love all the continuity and homages that are given. There was a mini-episode that ties Eight (Paul McGann), and a beautiful scene with The Curator, a familiar face in the form of Tom Baker.
It’s a great episode, Yes, it’s filled with fan service moments, but it also tells a great story, has wonderful moments, and it’s fantastic to see Ten and Rose back again.
The Time of The Doctor is Smith’s swan song as the Time Lord. Written by Moffat, this episode aired as the Christmas special on Christmas Day, 2013.
On a planet that seems to be called Gallifrey, is a town called Christmas. The planet is surrounded by countless aliens, and foes of the Doctor. The Doctor, with a Cyberman head he calls Handles is stuck on the planet, stuck in a stalemate, as he learns the planet is actually Trenzalore, and a broadcast coming from it may be a signal from the Time Lords.
In the papal church orbiting the planet, seen over by the Mother Superius Tasha Lem (Orla Brady) is threatening to destroy the planet if it leads to the return of Gallifrey, as that will see the resumption of the Time War.
The Doctor’s presence is staying her hand.
Clara gets pulled into the adventure during a Christmas dinner, but the Doctor sends her home when he realises the planet is Trenzalore, and it is fated to be his final resting place.
That won’t stop the young teacher however, and she returns to Trenzalore only to discover that three hundred years have passed, and the Doctor is incredibly old.
He has no regenerations left.
The episode ties up a number of loose story threads, and deals with the established limit of regenerations (who would have thought the show would have needed to ever address that issue?).
It’s a nice way to say goodbye to Smith’s Doctor, and we get our first full glimpse of Capaldi’s Doctor, whom we join next week with a Deep Breath.