Welcome back. How are you? There's a park near Clutter Headquarters that I like to visit every weekend, weather permitting. It's at the top of a steep hill so it's a nice bit of exercise to get there, and then I can just relax for a while, whether that means getting a little sun during the summer or enjoying some quiet time in the fall. My trip yesterday made it clear that time is running out for 2013. Obviously the leaves have been changing color and falling for weeks now, but Clutterheads, I swear 75% of this park's leaves dropped in the last week. The place looks completely different now, like the trees are all ready to close up shop for the year. I guess there's no escaping the fact that time marches on...unless you're The Doctor, of course.
Clutterheads, I don't even know where to begin with "The Day of the Doctor." I set utterly unrealistic expectations for this 50th anniversary special, expectations that only grew as the weeks and months went on. I was setting myself up for something between mild to severe disappointment, because really, what program could live up to these dreams? There was just no way that the pairing of Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt, as cool as it sounded in theory, could be that amazing in practice. There was no way that the show could live up to all of the hype and celebrate its history while still advancing The Doctor's amazing story.
Except that it did, and then some.
I like to keep Clutter a "spoiler-free" zone as much as possible, but in general terms, there were so many little treats for longtime fans that were scattered throughout, important names, pieces of clothing, artifacts. I'm sure someone will eventually publish a complete list, and I'll realized that I missed half of them, but each one I did spot produced a grin.
Then we have the performances. In one performance, John Hurt forever secured his place in Doctor Who's legacy. His incarnation is the one that inspired the darker/guilt-ridden/haunted versions of the series re-boot, and Hurt does a convincing job of providing that foundation. At the same time, there's tremendous humor in his interactions with his younger-yet-older versions which is reminscent of The Three Doctors which aired in the show's tenth season. You couldn't have asked for a better performance from a guy who only had one chance to make his mark.
It was fun to see David Tennant back in his familiar outfit. I'd like to have some better sense of where this story took place in the 10th Doctor's time-line, but as always, he brought a great mixture of seriousness and humor to his scenes. It's probably too much to ask, but I'd love to see him back again for the 60th anniversary.
Matt Smith also did a good job. It's funny that he's the "oldest" version of The Doctor while looking and acting like the youngest of the men in the show. There were a few scenes where I worried he might go overboard into the silliness that plagued last season, but he generally pulled back in time and brought the goods when needed.
The story...oh how do I describe the story. It's the story of a man haunted by his past...that has yet to happen. Immense consequences are weighed and debated, and The Doctors come to peace with their actions. It hits a chord with the viewer, because we've all had to do that at one point or another. Had to justify the decisions we've made and what they say about us as people. I'm not ashamed to say that it got a little dusty around here during what I would call a scene of "reconciliation."
We also had several surprises scattered throughout the story that made me break into a smile as if you'd just told me I was going to take a; trip in the TARDIS myself. (Again, it might have gotten dusty in here during one of the scenes.) One of them is a major change to The Doctor's story that should have immense consequences going forward, and I'm excited to see how that plays out. One of the incredible strengths of the show is that there's always a new chapter to be written.
Clutterheads, I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I love this show. Absolutely love it. There's a part of me that still feels like I'm a kid every time it comes on. It's hard to think of other things that have so consistently inspired my imagination as this program has for over 30 years. I've had so many dreams of what it would be like to be on one of these adventures. I always immediately lose myself in any episode I watch. Hell, Doctor Who is even largely responsible for Clearing out the Clutter, thanks to Doctor Who: A Writer's Tale by former head honcho Russell T. Davies. There will always be a special place in my heart for The Doctor, and I hope I'm able to see the 100th anniversary when the time comes.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go watch the recording again. I need something to pass the time with until Matt Smith's final episode in this year's Christmas special!
Where should we go next? (pic via craveonline.com)
See you in a bit. (pic via facebook.com)