People have expressed concern that this would be a celebration of the last 8 years and not the last 50 years. To them I say: don’t worry.

Cast and Crew Information

No roles this time: too many spoilers. Just names. Some filmed live, and others are archival. I’m not saying which are which.

Matt Smith
David Tennant
John Hurt
Jenna Louise Coleman
Billie Piper
Joanna Page
Jemma Redgrave
Ingrid Oliver
Ken Bones
Orlando Jones
Nicholas Briggs
Christopher Eccelston
Paul McGann
Sylvester McCoy
Colin Baker
Peter Davison
Tom Baker
Patrick Troughton
William Hartnell
Peter Capaldi

Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Nick Hurran

Availability Information

This is available in a “season pass” with bonus features from iTunes: US, CAN. It will be available on DVD (Format: US, CAN) and 3D Blu-Ray (Format: US, CAN) on December 10.

Premise

Something very unusual has happened in the Tower of London, and something even stranger is going on in England in 1562. There’s something a previous regeneration would need to see.

High Point

It’s very, very difficult to pick a specific moment. I’ll instead say this: I missed 13 lines of dialogue because they were drowned out by the sound of a Whovian audience cheering and applauding. It must be watched again.

Low Point

Why the Hell did Eccelston make that choice? I love his work on the show, but I’m not sure how he could have walked away from the role offered him in this story.

The Review

This feels original. The Daleks had to be here, but they aren’t the main threat, and even then, the main threat has an entirely new approach to the attack. They promised a new direction for the series, and we’re getting it. I give it 6 out of 6.

The effects were fantastic. Absolutely fantastic. The use of 3D here actually adds to the experience, which is something that can be said all too rarely. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story doesn’t dawdle. In fact, the story does a whole lot of running. Seriously, there is an outrageous amount of running. We get thrown into it immediately following a wonderful nod to “An Unearthly Child,” and we do not stop. It paves new roads, gives us all of the callbacks we want, and does so with enough skill that those who only know the new series won’t necessarily realize what they’ve seen if they’re watching alone. I give it 6 out of 6.

The acting was brilliant. Smith and Tennant both have their characters down, and they work incredibly well together. The big surprise for me was how quickly and easily John Hurt completely overshadowed both of them. I give it 6 out of 6.

The production has only one nit I can pick: there’s an extreme close up that needed to be an extreme close up for practical reasons, but a more distant shot would have been better. Sadly, that would entail spoilers. (In fact, it would spoil decisions which probably haven’t been made yet.) I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response was excellent. I went from laughing to trembling to outright excitement. It took all of my restraint to watch the last 10 minutes sitting down; I wanted to jump and clap and cheer. Or was it the last 15 minutes? Things got all timey wimey; I lose track sometimes. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, they nailed it. They absolutely nailed it. A beautiful tribute. I give it 6 out of 6.

In total, The Day of the Doctor receives 42 out of 42.