DVD Corner's blog

News, dvd and blu-ray reviews

The Day Of The Doctor 3D Review

DW Poster

“The Day of the Doctor” will appeal to fans old and new.

“The Day of the Doctor”

Describing the story of “The Day of the Doctor” would involve far too many spoilers and I’m not the type of reviewer to reveal spoilers. If you really want to know what happens, there are plenty of other reviews out there spilling every little detail of the episode. Personally, I’ve always felt watching a show or film knowing as little as possible is the way to go and that’s especially true of something as significant as the 50th anniversary special of “Doctor Who.” So, with that said, I will just say the story involves Zygons, Rose, The Moment, the Time War, Queen Elizabeth I, time fissures, Time Lord art, U.N.I.T, and three Doctors (10, 11 and the newly introduced War Doctor) meeting for a specific reason. Granted, you could probably gather all of those details from the various clips and trailers, but my lips are sealed about further specifics You’re just going to have to see how all of these storylines connect together for yourself.

Writer/showrunner Steven Moffat is notorious for creating convoluted stories (see the River Song arc) and his reputation preceeds him once again with “The Day of the Doctor.” While I understand Moffat was trying to make this special episode an EPIC tribute to the show’s 50 year history (which I will get to in a bit), he definitely tries to cram too much into a 78 minute plus running time. Did we really need to have the throwaway nerdy U.N.I.T scientist Osgood character (who was clearly representing fans here) and a whimsical Queen Elizabeth I/10th Doctor dynamic taking up valuable screentime? Judging by the first half of the episode, I’d say no as those two subplots bog the story down. Thankfully, the second half of ‘Day’ more than makes up for the shortcomings.

As I mentioned earlier, Moffat set out to honor the entire history of “Doctor Who” and he certainly succeeded in that respect. Without giving away anything, I will say that fans can expect many references to both the classic and new eras of the long running series. There are 2 particular appearances near the end that will have fans tearing up and shouting with excitement (I would know from personal experience). Of course, the biggest talking point here will be the game changing plot twist that will undoubtedly become a major plotline for future episodes. I wish I could say more, but let’s just say that the possibilities of this revelation will have fans gleefully speculating for months (perhaps years) to come.

Now, I’m sure many readers are wondering aloud “What about the cast (namely David Tennant)?” Surprisingly, Tennant seemed to have a bit of trouble returning to the role of the 10th Doctor. He wasn’t his usual jovial self and he strangely didn’t even utter one of his trademark fast talking speeches. With that said, he was still having fun here and was at his best while engaging in banter with the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith). Speaking of Smith, he was in top form here. He could have easily been overshadowed by the other talent on screen, but he always holds his own. Jenna Coleman (Clara Oswald) was Jenna Coleman. You either like her or you feel like she’s tagging along for the ride with little to do. I can’t talk too much about Billie Piper’s role, but she does return as Rose…sort of. You’ll just have to see what that means. Regardless of what she actually plays, it was great to see her back again as she is still the most popular companion of the new era. Last, but not least there is John Hurt as the War Doctor. While everyone else may be buzzing about Tennant and Smith, I was captivated by Hurt’s performance as this new character. While he did seem like a placeholder for Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor (who sadly does not make an appearance here), I was still intrigued by this incarnation of the Doctor. I liked the fact that he was tougher, older, darker, and didn’t use phrases like “Timey Wimey.”  It made a great contrast to 10 and 11 and offered up some intensely dramatic interactions between the three.

The Theatrical Experience
Even though I had already watched the episode live on BBC America Saturday afternoon (along with most fans in the world), I was still looking forward to seeing a “Doctor Who” episode on the big screen with a sold out crowd of Whovians. After all, this type of event does not happen every day. Clearly, I was not alone in my thinking as the fantastic Century Clackamas theater was packed with a sea of fans of all ages sporting DW shirts, Sonic Screwdriver toys, costumers (including Eleventh Doctors and a Pyrovile Priestesses), bow ties, Fezes, scarves, TARDIS and Dalek beanies, and yes, even two kids offering audience members homemade Adipose candies.

Before the main event started, there were THREE never before seen theater exclusives. The first was a pre-show slideshow featuring trivia and factoids from the entire history of the sci-fi program. After that, fans got two hilarious 3D shorts. The first bit involved fan favorite Strax talking about theater etiquette and his love of popcorn. The second segment was a cute 3D introduction by the 10th and 11th Doctors that led into the 3D version of “The Day of the Doctor.”

Despite some rumors floating around, there were no new scenes in the theatrical airing of ‘Day.’ The episode was presented exactly as it was simulcast on Saturday (only in RealD 3D). As far as the 3D is concerned, it was the more immersive type of 3D that filmgoers have become accustomed to as of late. Highlights included the Time War sequences, the TARDIS interiors, the helicopter footage, and the end credits.

Following the end credits of “The Day of the Doctor” was a behind-the-scenes featurette titled “Behind The Lens” (which is available to watch online). This short piece narrated by Colin Baker (the Sixth Doctor) offered up set footage, cast interviews, and a look at the shooting of a few key sequences. It’s a pretty standard extra feature, but it was still worth watching.

Overall Thoughts: While uneven to be sure, there’s no denying that “The Day of the Doctor” was a satisfactory way to celebrate the show’s 50th anniversary. Between (spoiler) and (spoiler), it’s near impossible not to have a giant smile on your face from start to finish. Hopefully, this will not be the only time BBC and and Fathom Events team up to show an episode on the big screen as there is clearly a passionate fanbase who will turn out in droves to watch the Doctor and his faithful companions.

November 26, 2013 - Posted by | News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] already reviewed “The Day of the Doctor” 3D theatrical screening (link here: https://dvdcorner.net/2013/11/26/the-day-of-the-doctor-3d-review/), I won’t be talking about the 50th anniversary special. If you want details about the plot and […]

    Pingback by Doctor Who: The Day Of The Doctor Blu-ray/Blu-ray 3D/DVD Review « DVD Corner's blog | December 9, 2013 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: