‘Doctor Who’ 50th Anniversary Special Review: A Tale of Epic Proportions

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doctor who 50th anniversary review hurt tennant smith 570x294 Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special Review: A Tale of Epic Proportions

What began with a beautiful look back in An Adventure in Time and Space continued with a tale of the most epic of proportions, in the “The Day of the Doctor.” A story centuries in the making, combining the powers of the Hero, the Warrior and the Doctor to tell the greatest story never known, providing a superb conclusion to a Doctor Who milestone that couldn’t have been more perfect.

In ‘The Day of the Doctor,’ written by Steven Moffat, the fan-favorite storyteller masterfully weaves a complicated – and likely controversial – adventure through the heart of the Time Lord’s darkest moment, bringing together all of the forms of television’s iconic time traveler to provide an unnecessary update to what was thought to be the demise of Gallifrey, and the Doctor’s most defining decision. Unnecessary, yes – but worth it? Absolutely.

The demise of Gallifrey – which has since been revealed to be anything but – is the end result of this anniversary special; however, this is not not its greatest accomplishment. Instead, it’s Moffat’s confidence in his ability as a storyteller which stands out and makes this complex adventure work, as his attention to detail and passion for the franchise shines throughout, wholeheartedly earning its use of such weighty elements from the series’ fast and ever-growing mythology.

doctor who 50th anniversary review tennant smith 570x294 Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special Review: A Tale of Epic Proportions

With Moffat’s carefully crafted words at disposal, Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt each shine as their own, defined versions of the Doctor, while also tagging enough of the others’ sentences with quirky remarks to remind those watching that, although different, these men are one and the same – different versions with different experiences to add, or forget, as with the case of Matt Smith’s Doctor.

An explanation for the personality of Tennant’s Doctor, too, was surprisingly included, and is a perfect example of how the immense attention to details justifies everything needed to tell this impossible tale. Tennant’s Doctor – the man who regrets – and Smith’s Doctor – the man who forgets – help provide a wonderful bookend to the evolution of a character so defined by a single decision from his past. This allows audiences to believe, albeit momentarily, that the two actors’ unique cadence wasn’t simply birthed in an audition room, but that it was a calculated move to convey the stages of the Doctor as he attempts to cope with the self-inflicted genocide of his entire race.

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Surprises in the storytelling are not the only thing, however; the 50th Anniversary also includes more than enough onscreen surprises which raise the same goose bumps, including, but not limited to: Billie Piper’s Secret Diary of a Call Girl-fueled version of Bad Wolf Rose Tyler and Tom Baker’s magical appearance as the Curator - who also happened to leave Smith’s Doctor with some curious clues about possible returning faces.

As with anything, questions must be asked, and the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary is no different: “Is it worth it?” is likely most common and, perhaps, most important. “The Day of the Doctor” adds a surprisingly happy twist to the Doctor’s darkest moment, and Moffat’s use of a clever time travel twist, to keep the integrity of the former Doctors intact, does little to change the fact that Smith’s Doctor now knows the truth – and for what purpose? Two Better questions may be: If not Moffat, then who? If not now, then when?

doctor who 50th anniversary review daleks 570x294 Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special Review: A Tale of Epic Proportions

If the modern world of film and television has taught us anything, it’s that the medium deems a franchise is only as important as the money it makes. If it doesn’t make money, it goes away, only to return in another form – perhaps then led by someone who might care about the franchise, but who doesn’t have the ability to project such passions onscreen. Good intentions only go so far in storytelling, and a poor tale told to such a dedicated following is not easily forgotten.

So why not Steven Moffat? If the man who created the terrifying Jekyll because of his love of ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ – who created the imaginative Sherlock (with An Adventure in Space and Time writer Mark Gatiss) because of his love of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic detective tales – who, in 2006, wrote a short story for a Doctor Who magazine which he then turned into the fan-favorite episode “Blink” – wants to take on a Time War tale which he, himself, said was too impossible of a feat, why not let him?

Why, indeed. Perhaps the answer to all this, after seeing ‘The Day of the Doctor,’ is: because he can, completely and passionately.


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Doctor Who returns in December for the Doctor Who Christmas Special – Matt Smith’s final appearance as the Doctor.

Follow Anthony Ocasio on Twitter @anthonyocasio
TAGS: Doctor who
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  1. Just watched this for the second time and liked it a lot. Despite the narrative jumps it’s actually one of the most straightforward pieces Moffat’s produced in a very long time. I’d grown increasingly exasperated with the over-complicated, over-plotted, overly-portentous “Oncoming Storm”/”Silence Has Fallen”/”The Name Of The Otter” tedium of the last couple of seasons, none of which I could bring myself to give a tinker’s toss about. Way too much attention was focused on this frantically-paced but ultimately meaningless peripheral nonsense, and on the companions, leaving Matt Smith – whom I’d always bought as an older presence in a younger body in a way I never did with Tennant – no breathing space to do anything except turn into a flailing caricature.

    If anything has kept this show alive for half a century, it isn’t just the characters (and it certainly isn’t the fake promise of some pretentious overriding story arc), it’s the concepts. Without those, the characters have nothing to play with, nothing to react to, nothing to offer. The Day Of The Doctor had a pair of brilliant concepts: Time Lord art that literally freezes and preserves a moment in time, and a weapon so powerful it develops a conscience-driven interface. The latter could have come straight from the mind of Douglas Adams – almost the opposite of the talking bomb in Dark Star that has to be persuaded not to explode – and was in turn an inspired way of using Bad Wolf Billie, not clingy, weepy, “Doomsday” Rose Tyler. Who would undoubtedly have become bored with her parallel world not-quite-Doctor and thrown this TARDISless loser out on his emotionally-scarred ear after about six months, but that’s neither here nor there…

    Personally I couldn’t care less if this story somehow retcons the outcome of the Time War. It cheapens nothing: Hurt and Tennant’s Doctors are left with the belief that they did indeed commit genocide, which is somehow even worse, and I always found the post-2005 “lone Timelord” situation an unnecessary and melodramatic contrivance anyway.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the interplay between the three Doctors, particularly Hurt’s mystified scorn of the others’ eccentricities, and a humble and endearing Tom Baker showing up was the icing on the cake. Nice touch having Ian Chesterton on the Chair of Governors at Clara’s school as well. Bring on Capaldi, and let’s hope Smith bows out in the Christmas Special with a little more dignity than Russell T Davies allowed David Tennant during his maudlin, uncharacteristic, drawn-out departure. Which is something people tend to forget when slagging off Steven Moffat.

    • Oh, and a tip of the hat to Nick Hurran’s direction and Liana Del Giudice’s editing. Some of the best work I’ve seen on the revamped series. Even Murray Gold’s score was uncommonly restrained, and all the better for it.

      • I respect your opinion and the polite, controlled manner in which you expressed it, but the main point of argument is right at the bottom of your comment: it’s pretty obvious that you wouldn’t have a problem with the retconning of the “last of the Time Lords” approach to the show if you didn’t like that from the very start.
        I happened to enjoy that (so I like characters with emotional baggage; sue me), and so, it seems, did a lot of other people. You are no doubt able to understand that our reaction comes from the same place as yours, albeit directed in the opposite direction.

    • Actually alternate reality 10 has a Tardis. Prime 10 gives him a piece in an unaired bit of footage…

    • Completely agree with all this. It’s as though you’ve been in my head and read my thoughts.

  2. Just my two cents..

    I think The Moment didn’t pick Bad Wolf Rose, but the other way arround.
    In this way, the first time arround the war-doctor did press the button. Bad Wolf Rose offered a different path.

    It would also explain why 10 en 11 where “chosen” to help and why the Time-lock wasn’t an issue. After all, Bad Wolf would have had the power to do so.

  3. I can’t believe some of the positive
    Comments being made about this dross.
    The best part of it was Tom Bakers
    Appearance at the end.
    At least when the sets were made of
    Cardboard and wobbling all over the
    Place it possessed a rational which
    Made Sence in the “DR” Who universe.
    This was complete cobblers.
    Badly written, badly cast, and to
    Paraphrase Matt Smith, the script was
    All timey whiny, wibbly wobbly

    • In your opinion. Which, judging by the response from fans on many other sites, is firmly in a tiny minority.

    • Then why don’t you go back to your prehistoric cardboard sets? You’ve already stated your dislike once, are you just gonna troll this thread?

    • @paul
      Can you please repeat yourself a few times, after all it’s not as if you’ve got anything else going on.

    • I’m hugely surprised at the negative posts here too considering the episode vas a solid one.

    • Hyperfans will always love everything. Regular fans will love or hate various incarnations and writers/directors/sources/producers as they will.

      You say Who forums just about all love it. Well, that is to be expected, it’s the Who forums. You say the haters hide here? Rather it’s the opposite, those who do nothing but talk Doctor Who will congregate with like, and those forums become an echo chamber. If someone didn’t really truly properly superlove Doctor Who, or only casually like it, you wouldn’t end up in the Doctor Who forums, would you? And if they did, they’d be driven out because of their lack of deep knowledge of the subject

      • Have to agree with Whither Whither here.

        The overwhelming positivity of pretty much ANYTHING, regardless of the actual quality of the thing they’re talking about, is to be expected on sites dedicated to that subject.

        For instance, I was a moderator on Dave Bautista’s website back before he retired from wrestling and the staff were the only people on that site speaking negatively about the guy’s promos and matches while the thousands of members were always positive about everything he did, even if it was complete crap.

        We called them out on it a lot too.

        Personally speaking, I haven’t seen the show since 2 episodes into Smith’s turn as The Doctor because he wasn’t enjoyable and neither was the writing but I enjoyed this episode, even if it wasn’t as great as some people say it was. Opinions will always differ.

  4. Being honest about how bad this was
    Seems akin to telling a five year
    Old there is no such thing as
    Father Christmas.
    Grow up.

    • In your opinion again. Which, thankfully, is not one shared by the majority of fans.

    • Grow up yourself! You don’t get to call yourself “true fan” and dismiss the vast majority who happens to disagree with you, including a number of people who are just as much “true fans” as you. Who the hell appointed you the be-all-end-all of taste?

    • NO father Christmas???? What??? AH, man…

  5. A true fan could handle the truth!

    • Not when it’s only someone’s personal opinion. Not “the truth.” So, you’re saying 85% of fans on all the other forums who thought it was fantastic are lying to themselves and therefore are not “true fans”? Please, give it a rest.

    • I hope you get blocked for being an @$$.

      • I’m sorry, but it’s true, how on earth could you consider that a “true fan” can handle the truth? That’s like me saying I’m a true ice cream lover because I can judge what flavours I like or I’m a big fan of ice cream. That makes no sense, in fact, what does a “true fan” mean? So no, he’s not being a jerk, he’s telling you the truth.

  6. Just started watching this show (out of sequence) and I must say, Im digging it. I’ve only seen a couple of episodes with Matt Smith’s incarnation of the Doctor, but I think I want a more comprehensive understanding, how far back do I need to go to get a good handle on the show?

    • For newer fans it’s best to probably just start with Christopher Ecclestons 2005 series as the ninth Doctor, that’s when the show was revived after its sixteen year absence (nine if you include Paul Mcganns Doctor Who movie). You don’t HAVE to watch the classic episodes but it definitely wouldn’t hurt, every portrayal of the Doctor gloriously shined in their own individual way.

      • I think watching Paul McGann would fit well enough with the new stuff, and you’d get a taste of the last serial Doctor (McCoy); he did start the kissy-kissy stuff

    • Ditto. Eccleston’s run is where I jumped in after becoming a fan of Billie Piper thanks to Secret Diary of a Call Girl. I still haven’t seen anything made before 2005 and it didn’t prevent me from understanding everything or enjoying the nods to the previous Doctors. The 2005 “reboot” was specifically designed so that new viewers wouldn’t get confused. Be warned though, the first seasons of the revived show were a bit lacking in the FX department but if you’re able to get past that, you’re good to go.

      • Heustis, are you father Christmas?? And would you care for a jelly baby?

  7. Look at the Screen Rant opinion pole above…. 77% loved the 50th Anniversary Special.

    4% hated it.

    And it seems every one of the these 4% haters are posting multiple comments on SR.


    • @Heustis,
      well, I can’t say I HATED it but it seems that the Zygon plot line was never resolved. What was the point of it all? I am DEFINITELY not in the 77%. I will buy it though. Why? Tom Baker, of course. I am a TRUE Tom Baker Fan. I have everything WHO he did. and this will certainly be no exception. But it is the same reason I will buy Star Trek Into Darkness, because of Leonard Nimoy’s Spock. But I hated the movie.

      • Never resolved? The Elizabethan Zygons’ fate is resolved in the 1975 episode Terror of the Zygons. As for the modern ones who escaped from the pictures, they wouldn’t know how to transform back anymore. Also, this wasn’t the last Doctor Who episode, only the latest, so it’s entirely possible this plot is continued in a future episode.

  8. I always liked Peter Cushing as Dr. Who in the two movies he starred in.

    • Arrrrgh! :P

      Peter Cushing played did not play The Doctor. He played a human; an English Grandfather with a time machine. He hada docterate and his surname was Who.

      He was not The Doctor, a Gallifreyan.

      It was just a money making grab, an attempt to get things on the big screen. Although interestingly Tennants Doctor does reference the Cushing movie where hte Dalek’s invade Earth :)

      Just for those who maybe confused by the reference to Peter Cushing.

  9. Best multi Doctor story ever!! Juggling several incarnations of the Doctor in one plot line has got to be very difficult to pull off. Most of the previous stories failed utterly. The Five Doctors was just ok.

    This time? Perfection!

  10. I love how people defend the episode in response to people who did not like it by labeling them “haters” and saying “there’s more of us!”. Seriously, who cares? You should have enough conviction to stand by your liking or disdain of the show regardless of what others think.

    Anyway, while usually I just don’t get Doctor Who, I actually did enjoy watching this special. I did not like the magic time-travel retcon introduced in the climax but that is not a determinate to the episode, just the series as whole. It was an adorably well crafted episode that passed by an hour and a half.

  11. it was awesome

  12. Surely if the war doctor couldn’t remember that he’d saved gallifrey none of the other doctors could have known to be there? And gallifrey should have burned?

    • My thoughts as well. It is implied that all Doctors were summoned to the Time War (which wasn’t, by the way, supposed to be time-locked?), acted, and then immediately forgot about it all as soon as each of them returned to their original timelines. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but it’s not the first time.

      • Yes it is supposed to be Time Locked and it was mentioned by Tennant, however the assumption is that as the Moments conscience assumed the form (and powers?? Glowing Eyes) of Bad Wolf (Rose filled with the power of the Time Vortex itself) then there is literally NOTHING that she couldn’t do so allowing the Fall of Gallafrey to be released from its time lock is a simple thing.

        • It was indeed mentioned, which is something that had escaped me upon my first viewing of the episode. It was actually kind of lampshaded, really, but I’m not complaining (too much). The fact that the Moment could apparently assume the form of an omnipotent being is a bit too much of a deus ex machina (quite literally, in this case!), but you take what you’re dealt.

          • That’s Doctor Who in a nutshell though, great big humongous loopholes, plus the question to be asked…. is it the Moment’s conscience or is it simply the Bad Wolf herself summoned by the Moment.

            That said the Moment must be pretty powerful itself if it can accomplish whatever the will of its welder can imagine, I mean erasing two entire races from all of time is a pretty neat trick, the Moment must be tied to the time vortex to achieve that sort of effect…. hell you could even go as far to say the conscience IS Bad Wolf and always has been and that’s how it achieves what it can achieve.

            Okay, brain shut up your over thinking things and starting to ramble…..

            • I thought the same thing (the Bad Wolf merely manifested herself THROUGH the Moment, causing Time Lords to believe that the weapon itself had developed a conscience), but it’s explicitly stated that this is not the case: the Moment clearly tells the War Doctor that she has taken the form of someone from his future. Of course, she could be lying, or just confused about the mechanics herself; but since we’re likely not going to see her or normal Rose in the show ever again, I don’t think there would be any reason for that kind of ambiguity on a storytelling level.

              On a different topic: was it actually stated that the Moment can do “anything” its user wants it to? I think the Time Lords just called it a “galaxy eater”, which to me just implies that it’s a weapon of destruction on a cosmic scale.

  13. At last a proper classic Dr Who – Less Frantic Babble – more Dalex – Good Acting and good old fashioned Space Monsters.

  14. I realise “Dr” Who is science
    Fantasy not science fiction, however,
    The secret of good writing is to stay true to the Character and the idea behind
    The character, Moffett seems to be
    Incapable of doing this.
    There has to be an inherent logic
    Even in the “Dr” Who universe.
    Otherwise there can be no emotional
    Investment in the show on the part of the
    I repeat that this 50th episode was badly
    Written, badly acted (Tennant in particular), and threw away the legacy
    Built up since the reboot began.

      • “threw away the legacy”

        Shut up, you clearly have no clue what the hell you’re talking about, fundamental changes to the back story have happened since the shows inception.

        Doctor Who has always made massive changes to the legacy, the first doctor was adamant that you should never meddle with time, ever! 2nd completely went against that, the fist (and 2nd) also was never called a time lord either and the word gallifrey came about much later.

        Doctor Who has always been about traveling in space and time? Yes, well apart from the third doctor who did very little of either.

        The doctor had no limits on regenerations, that is until it was stated during the fourth that he did.

        The Doctor is 100% asexual and would never have a relationship or even kiss a human, that is until 8/9/10/11 did.

        The point being if you don’t like fundamental change you are very much watching the wrong show because change has been the main theme running through its entire 50 year run

    • Would you care for a jelly baby?

    • Sheesh… The man who wouldn’t let go. Heh, that sounds like a Doctor Who episode!

  15. my opinion is the hype was greater than the special. Perhaps I expected too much but I saw several elements which were, again, in my opinion, lazy storytelling. Rose Tyler could have been completely edited out of the special and it would have played the same. I think her being there was a simple nod to the fans. I was glad when I heard she was going to be in the special but I think her as a voice of reason was a bit of a letdown. The relationship and chemistry between her and Tennant was amazing during her run but there is a tradition with these multi doctor stories to have the companions off doing something else while the doctors do their thing. As a bit of a continuity purist I honestly don’t see why they simply didn’t get Paul Mcgann to play Hurts role instead of hitting us with this silly mystery doctor. If this new number 9 doctor never shows up again I will be quite sad at the fact that the showrunners felt like they needed to throw a surprise in there just for the sake of it. But I am hopeful. I understand the show must evolve and as a fan of both the new and classic series it’s just fun to think about this stuff. Nothing is ever truly perfect and the special was a lot of fun. Geronimo!

    • Missing a few points.

      1. Bille was needed for the story to work as the Moments conscience took the form and powers (Glowing Eyes) of Bad Wolf to enable the Fall of Gallefrey to be released from its time lock, mentioned by Tennant. This IS pure supposition but logical conclusion from watching the episode AND knowing about Bad Wolf

      2. Watch online the mini episode Night of the Doctor where McGann regenerates into Hurt, that shows why we have the War Doctor / Warrior.

      In the original time line the War Doctor pushed the button to destroy the Daleks and Time Lords (or did he!!!! maybe NOTHING has been changed and we now know the truth……. hmmmm) McGann’s Doctor wouldn’t of been able to make that choice.

      • We know virtually nothing about McGann’s Doctor, so saying he couldn’t push the button is wrong. That fact only integrates into canon after “Night of the Doctor”. As they started planning the 50th anniversary special before that was written/aired, they could easily have made McGann’s Doctor into a warrior, being the result of the Time War. The last time he was seen, he had just regenerated, and was still in a futz, so what was seen in the movie could easily be explained as regeneration wibblywobbly mentality.

        • Er what? McGann has an absolute ton of audio books, comics and novels about his time as the Doctor. He also has hte longest tenure of any other Doctor in the role ;)

  16. To all the continuity nazis out there, think of it this way:

    Have you ever been in a relationship? Been married? Engaged? Seriously enamored with your significant other? I’m thinking that most of us commenters here on SR are, or have been, in a committed relationship.

    Do you always understand your partner/wife? Probably not right? Do you love them any less for the confusing moments? The little inconsistencies? No, you love them anyway right? The positives outweigh the negatives most of the time.

    Bottom line? If you didn’t completely enjoy the 50th Anniversary Special then I recommend you get divorced from Doctor Who right away and don’t look back.

    • So, basically what you’re saying is that you have no right to be part of a fandom, any fandom, if you aren’t fanboying/fangirling over it all the time, never questioning the showrunners’ choices. You basically want to be part of a herd of watchers who just take whatever is thrown in their direction without asking questions.

      I liked the special upon my first viewing, and loved it on my second viewing. I absolutely hate retcons, even when they’re as clever as this. Still, there was so much in the show to be happy about, and so much for me to be excited about the show’s future. That doesn’t mean I’m going to chant Moffat’s name in the streets.
      I’m not going anywhere, and if that upsets you, I consider it a job well done.

      • Amen brother.

  17. To all those who take issue with
    My comments let me rephrase my posts
    In a language you probably understand.
    MOO MOO MOO!”.


      • That’s not what he said,he said,’moo moo, moo moo moo, moo moo moo moo.’ Which is is quite rude, I’m surprised SR allowed it.

    • I respect the opinions of others. You didn’t like it… fine. You’ve stated that… fine. However I don’t see the need to keep stating it over and over gain. You just look like you’re trolling.

      It’s interesting that you seem so passionate about the episode to popup in this thread every few scrolls :P

    • Are you lonely?

  18. Exactly, now you’re getting it!

    • can I pull on your udders lol

      • NO! its for the baby adipose.

  19. listen, no one is supposed to like EVERY doctor. each doctor has a story that best fits him. David’s doctor was supposed to be dealing with his past and to understand himself, mats doctor was about knowing that there are sacrifices to be made (flying the pandorica into the TARDIS explosion and almost being erased from time, letting river “kill” him to keep the timeline in check) one of the classic doctors got banished from gallifrey, tom bakers doctor had to search for a key, and I think capaldis upcoming doctor will focus on his fear of walking in his last regeneration.
    doctor who is meant to have different stories, different doctors with different personalities, and companions to compliment them.

    also there is no such thing as a true fan. being a true fan would mean you understand everything about what the show should be, which in turn doesn’t make you a true fan but the original producer of Doctor who. and lets be honest, none of us know what the original producer knows about the true heart of the show.

    I can enjoy the 2005-???? series because moffat was kind enough to (no pun intended) regenerate the series.

    I don’t wish to one up anyone here, I just want to express why I think you all are just a little too stuck up about what doctor who “Needs” to be and what is lazy in the story or what just doesn’t interest you. I love doctor who from its beginning to now. Eccleston was my first, tom baker is my favorite classic, and David Tennant and matt smith are tied as my favorite all time doctor.

    someone who enjoys doctor who isn’t fooling themselves, but some are a little too forgiving of parts in a couple story lines that don’t fit.

    in a nutshell I think one half of you should be less forgiving and another half should be a little more forgiving. remember when peter Davidson came in? everyone was so scared of a young doctor. and I think even to this day there are a lot of whovians that still disapprove of him.

    and if you don’t agree with anything I said that’s fine. I wont force you. your opinions are as good as mine. but at least be glad that they are casting an older doctor again. maybe you’ll like him. tune in to the Christmas special to see at the end what peters doctor will be like, he might surprise you.

    • +1000 thank you for speaking some sense, this thread got a bit out of control. though my favorite Doctor is the youngest, I’m very excited to see an older Doctor back in the drivers seat.

  20. Most people liked it….a few didn’t…
    I liked it. It had the story. It had the moments. It was epic in scope. It was so epic, that now, after sooo many years, the doctor has an actual destination to travel to. The new series, after this special, has such enormous potential (those eyes…capaldi!).

  21. The Douglas Adams analogy for Rose being the interface to the bomb is very apt. His last sentient iteration of the Hitchhikers Guide had to work out which way its user’s time went, in the same was as the bomb got confused that Rose was in the Doctor’s past. So many little touches in this episode – well worth the re-watches – as are Adams’ own episodes.

    • It’s also a concept used very well by writers such as Alastair Reynolds and Iain Banks.

  22. The only disappointment was that Tom Baker didn’t offer him a jelly baby.

    • well said sir.

      • indeed sir

        • Agreed -_-

          A fantastic opportunity missed!

    • Maybe he will in the future. Who knows? Who ‘nose’?

  23. Oh, yeah. Tom Baker played a future Doctor, since he said the regeneration process could reuse faces(but just the favorites), that means the Doctor is now Immortal.

  24. Day of the Doctor was good as a regular episode but as the 50th anniversary special it was crap! they should have had the other classic doctors in it as well not just Tom Baker! I understand the first 3 doctor not being in it because the actors who played them are sadly no longer with us but the remaining doctors are still alive! they could have easily brought them in and use the same explanation that was used in Time Crash!