DOCTOR WHO: ‘The Day of The Doctor’ Review

Let’s just get this out of the way now. There will be SPOILERS in this review. Lots and lots of SPOILERS. If you don’t like that, hit the big red reset button and watch “The Day of The Doctor.” This review will still be here when you get back.

Fairly recently, former “Doctor Who” star Colin Baker seemed bitterly upset that “The Day of The Doctor” would only focus on Matt Smith and David Tennant’s Doctors, with John Hurt’s War Doctor added to the mix. Baker’s argument was that every single Doctor belonged in the 50th Anniversary episode.
He’s right. And they were. All 13 of them. 
I have to say, Peter Capaldi’s cameo as the Twelfth Doctor really caught me off guard with the best “Holy s***!” moment of the show. But really, all of those Doctors had to be there, even if the creative team had to reuse some old footage to make it happen.
When you really think about it, of course the 13 Doctors would show up for the most important moment of his life. This is after all, The Day of The Doctor.
Since the reboot of “Doctor Who” began in 2005, we’ve been given hints about the Time War between the Daleks and the Time Lords that resulted in the destruction of Gallifrey and the near extinction of the Time Lords at the Doctor’s hands. As suspected, Hurt’s War Doctor was the man behind that. He was the man who had to live with that burden.
Hurt’s age and the gravitas he brought to the role only made it more hilarious when the War Doctor saw his younger future selves and he openly wondered if he was having a midlife crisis. That was after he mistook them for his latest companions and marveled about how they were getting younger. That was a truly brilliant moment of comedy.
This special was largely about the redemption of the War Doctor and the Doctor himself. And as it often does, that redemption came about because of the Doctor’s companions: Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) and Rose Tyler (Billie Piper). Except this Rose wasn’t really Rose, she was the Bad Wolf Rose as filtered through the Moment, a Time Lord Doomsday device with its own consciousness. 
It’s a little unfortunate that the real Rose couldn’t be in this episode, but Piper made the most of her scenes. I’m assuming that the way this fits into the Tenth Doctor’s narrative is that he’s still running from his death in “The End of Time.” He did mention something about Queen Elizabeth (Joanna Page) in that episode, and we finally meet the younger queen here as we discover that she’s… the Doctor’s wife?
It was really amusing that the Tenth Doctor only proposed as a way to expose Elizabeth as a Zygone (an alien shapeshifter). When she turned out to be the real Queen, Elizabeth made the Doctor go through with the ceremony.
I also loved that the first time the Tenth and the Eleventh Doctors met, the Tenth immediately put the Fez on his head. Tennant and Smith settled into comedic harmony pretty quickly and it was just a joy to watch them interact with each other.
In the present, we meet Osgood (Ingrid Oliver), a member of UNIT with a fondness for Tom Baker style scarfs. I think Osgood has companion potential, as she figures out where the Zygones are hiding and she’s the only UNIT member to escape their grasp. Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) also made a reappearance as the leader of UNIT, but it was Osgood who left a strong impression.
Meanwhile, Clara is still being fleshed out and we don’t know her that well yet. Apparently some time has passed between “The Name of The Doctor” and “The Day of The Doctor” because when we catch up with Clara, she’s working as a teacher before she reunites with the Eleventh Doctor. And it’s Clara who senses the relative youth of the War Doctor before calling all three of them out on their willingness to share the burden of Gallifrey’s fall. She challenges them to find a better solution that saves their people. And they found it! 
That led to the fantastic sequence in which all of the Doctors past, present and future reunited to do the one thing that they couldn’t do alone. This is a major milestone for “Doctor Who.” For eight years, the Doctor has been “the last of the Time Lords.” That may not be true anymore.
To cap everything off, Tom Baker (the Fourth Doctor) makes a cameo appearance as the curator (or is he somehow the Fourth Doctor as well?) who gives the Doctor his next mission: find Gallifrey. Who knows how long that will take? But “Doctor Who” now has a new direction. And the Doctor is going home.
This was a masterful story that was extremely satisfying to watch. If you love “Doctor Who,” then it’s hard to argue against this special. It delivered almost everything we could have hoped for.
Well done, Steven Moffat and Team Doctor Who. 
Well done.