Sunday, December 8, 2013

A Look Back at Whovember

I apologize for my absence these past two weeks--but real life conspired against me in the form of an old friend coming into town for a very brief time, and then Thanksgiving weekend and all the family craziness that comes with that.   I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving as I did.  Growing up, Thanksgiving was never my favorite holiday, but now it is one of my favorites because I get to see all my family.

My Three Brothers
Before I move on from Whovember, I wanted to dedicate a post to looking back at the 50th Anniversary, review the "The Day of the Doctor" and talk about my overall experience watching the episode at the theater.  In that, it was perhaps the most fun I've had at the movies ever, and that includes marathoning all three extended editions of Lord of the Rings in a single day (Yup, I'm that hardcore when it comes to LOTR).

So, "The Day of the Doctor," did it live up to its insane levels of hype?  Where the minds of Whovians across the world blown by the sheer awesomeness of the episode?  Did I literally jump up and down in front of my mom's television and squee with joy?  The answer to all three of those questions is, for me, a resounding "OH MY GOD, YES!!"  It's been two weeks, and I'm still riding the episode high.  Just, gah, this episode made me so unbelievably happy.  

Me, after watching the episode.
Warning: Major Spoilers for the "The Day of the Doctor" ahead.  Steer clear, Cap'n, if yar don wish to crash into one. 

I don't really intend to summarize the episode, because I figure if you're reading this blog, you've already watched it at least 5 times and probably don't need a summary.  All I can say generally about it is that I was in love the moment the original credits appeared on my screen.  I want to talk about briefly, my favorite moments from the episode, and then, afterwards discuss things I wish had happened, and what this episode might mean for the future of the show.

Really, the whole episode was one big favorite moment from start to finish, but especial highlights include:

1. The Fez

Clara: One day, you're just going to walk by a fez...
Doctor: Never gonna happen. 

I burst into laughter at that line.  At the theater, people were too busy clapping and cheering from when the Doctor put the fez on, that they missed the lines, but it's okay, because they can watch it later. 

And then later, when Ten put on the fez, that was a fantastic bit of humor.

I'm wearing a what?!

2. The 10th Doctor

Everything about David Tennant in this episode was wonderful.  It was so great to get to see him as the 10th Doctor again.  He plays the Doctor so effortlessly, so many of my favorite lines from the episode came from him.

The Doctor: [pulling out a device] DING
Elizabeth I: What's that?
The Doctor: It's a machine that goes...ding.  Made it myself.  Lights up in the presence of shape-shifting DNA. Also it can microwave frozen dinners from up to 20 feet.

3. The War Doctor Speaking for the Classic Fans

War Doctor: Are we having a mid-life crisis?

Every other line out of the War Doctor's mouth was priceless.  From his initial mistaking his future selves for companions, to him asking the 11th Doctor if he was capable of speaking without flapping his arms about, the War Doctor was able to fondly poke fun at the 10th and 11th Doctors.  But in the end, he recognized that they were great men in their own ways, and I loved the three of them coming together to figure out how to save the day.

4. All the Doctor's Cameos

I literally jumped up off the couch and shouted with excitement when all the Doctors began to appear at the climax of the episode.  The footage of Nine particularly made me squee with delight.  Just the sheer rush of seeing all the TARDISes come swooping in to save the day, with the archival footage of doctors 1-8,--Moffat really delivered on this episode.

5. Peter Capaldi's Eyebrows

Just when you think the climax can't get anymore awesome, we are treated to a brief shot of Peter Capaldi's 12th Doctor! *faints from awesomeness overload*

Yes, his eyebrows have a tumblr.  They're that intense.

I seriously cannot wait to see what Capaldi will bring to the role.  I will miss Matt Smith, but I'm ready for an older, more mature Doctor again.  One who obviously knows how to harness the supreme power of the intense gaze.  Just look at that gif.  *faints again*

6. Tom Baker/The Ending

What a perfect note to end the 50th Anniversary on.  Tom Baker (the 4th, and arguably, the most popular and iconic Doctor) sharing a scene with Matt Smith.  I was spoiled on Baker's appearance before watching the episode, so I knew he would be there, but I wasn't sure how he would appear.  I adore the little whimsical scene between him and Matt.  And what a treat for Classic fans to get to see Tom Baker again.

And then the ending, with all the Doctors lined up in the sky, just, wow.  So heartwarming.  I felt all fuzzy and happy inside watching the 11th Doctor stride out to stand among his past selves.  It was the perfect way to end the episode.  

I promised myself I wouldn't cry... *sniff*

So overall, yes, I LOVED the episode.  It is easily now my favorite episode of Doctor Who of all time. Steve Moffat really came through for the fans, both Classic and New, and delivered a story that was both hilarious and game-changing for the show.  Brilliantly done sir!

Don't worry, I'm sure we'll be back to hating you soon.

However, as much as I love the episode, there were a couple of things I wish it could have done...

1. More than anything else, I wish we could have gotten a full regeneration scene of the War Doctor regenerating into the 9th Doctor.  That tease was really, really, cruel.  Especially, since after The Night Of the Doctor, when we all got the surprise appearance of the Eighth Doctor, a surprise appearance of the Ninth Doctor suddenly seemed like it could be possible.

When the War Doctor begin to glow with the regenerative light, I was literally on the edge of my seat, saying "Ohmygod, pleasepleaseplease..." Even more so than seeing Peter Capaldi, seeing Christopher Eccelston would have been the absolute best.  So when the scene cut without showing the complete transformation, that was the single most disappointing moment in the show's entire history.

*sobs* Why do you play with my heart so?

2.  While I enjoyed John Hurt's take on the Doctor--overall I am disappointed that they didn't have Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor in the role.  Was a previously unknown incarnation of the Doctor really necessary?  Now all of our counting is screwed up, because technically now Hurt is the 9th, Eccelston is the 10th, etc. (except they're not because Hurt doesn't call himself the Doctor, (except he does in the episode, soo...what? *confused face* )).  

Fans have long assumed that the Eighth Doctor was the one who fought in the war.  Imagine how much more awesome the episode would have been if it had been the Eighth Doctor interacting with the Tenth and Eleventh?  It makes me want to cry for that missed opportunity.  Plus, McGann has always shown a love for the show and an willingness to appear if asked.  At 54 he would be old enough to be the gruff, older Doctor that Hurt played to Tennant's and Smith's younger ones.  We have so little actual footage of Eight, this could have been his chance to really shine, without being bogged down by a terrible movie.

Don't get me wrong, I thought Hurt did a wonderful job--it just didn't seem necessary to me.

No hard feelings War Doc...

But Eight would have been more awesome.
(Paul McGann's striking good looks plays no part in my reasoning, I'll have you know.)
(Okay, so maybe it does.)
(A lot.)
(Like, he is ridiculously good looking.)

Other than those two points, I really found I didn't have a problem with the episode at all.  I was definitely surprised by the decision to 'un-destroy' the Doctor's home planet of Gallifrey, but it was handled in such a way that it doesn't screw up the continuity of the previous seasons, and I admit I am very curious to see where this plot development  takes the show in the future.  Will the Doctor be able to find and rescue Gallifrey?  I suspect eventually he shall, as the story-lines that would open up would be intriguing and exciting.  Imagine getting to see different Time Lords?  Then maybe we could have a Time Lady travel with him again, and shut up all this crazy talk about how the Doctor needs to regenerate into a woman.  Speaking as a strong, independent woman, the last thing I want is to see the Doctor portrayed by an actress.  But I digress... 

Overall, I feel fans couldn't have asked for a better celebration of our beloved show.  Watching it in the cinema, (sold out showing at 10:00pm!) was so much fun.  People were cosplaying, there was the buzz of sonic screwdrivers in the air.  I wore my TARDIS t-shirt and earrings. : )  I met my friend who got me hooked on Doctor Who in the first place and hugged him. (He was cosplaying as the 10th Doctor and looked awesome.) 

I'm seriously jealous of his Cosplay powers.

Though, my TARDIS t-shirt is pretty sweet.
It was an absolute blast.  I always love watching a movie with true fans, because they aren't afraid to express emotion when watching.  All throughout the episode we were clapping and cheering, laughing, gasping, and when Ten said his final line of "I don't want to go," an 'Awwww' swept through the audience. There was a definite sense of camaraderie in the room.  We were all Whovians and all super excited to be at the theater with our fellow fans. As I said, most fun I've had at the movies in a long time. : )

Happy Anniversary Doctor Who!!  Here's to another 50 years!! 

Fun Fact: "The Day of the Doctor" set a Guinness World Record for the largest ever simulcast of a TV show.  It was shown simultaneously in 94 different countries.  Whovians rock! : )

TTFN! Ta Ta For Now! 

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