Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the BBC series Doctor Who, and what better way to celebrate than with a rousing adventure featuring two of the most popular Doctors in the revised era, a mystery wrapped in an enigma, and a visit to a time and place that’s never been seen before in any media?
The story features old villains the Zygons, and they’re in search for a new home world due to losing theirs in the skirmish between the Time Lords and their eternal villains the Daleks. It features a particularly timey-wimey story showcasing the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) in his adventures in Elizabethan England with Queen Elizabeth I (Joanna Page), the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) investigating a mystery in 21st century London alongside companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) and the current head of UNIT Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave), and the story of the War Doctor (John Hurt) stealing The Moment in an attempt to end the Time War.
These three stories eventually converge, thanks to the intervention of a powerful being which takes the form of “Bad Wolf” Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), and the story then turns into a modern retelling of It’s a Wonderful Life, but with an intriguing twist. It’s a beautifully written tale with a finale that’s both awe inspiring and heartwarming. It has the right amount of humor and tear jerking to brighten any Whovian’s day, including a couple of cameos that will make your jaw drop.
The chemistry between the principals was incredible, but seeing David Tennant and Matt Smith riff off of each other was spectacular. Watching John Hurt’s evident exasperation was too funny. Jenna Coleman served as the heart of the episode, and her involvement helped to shape the conclusion of not only the episode but so much more. Also, Billie Piper gives an amazing performance as a walking spoiler… plus, she’s incredibly funny and poignant.
This was a beautifully shot episode, with so many bits of scenery porn that it’ll make your head spin. Likewise, the action scenes were shot almost perfectly. I can only imagine how much better it looked in stereoscopic 3D. Steven Moffat has written some great episodes in his day (“Blink” is still an amazing piece of work), but this is one of his greatest episodes yet.
I’ve been careful to avoid spoilers in this, just in case people want to be kept in the dark until they see it themselves. However, if you do want to discuss it in more detail, fire away in the comments section below.
Thanks for a great 50 years, Doctor Who, and here’s to the whole of space and time to come.