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“The Day of the Doctor” – What to Expect?

November 2013 is a very exciting time to be a nerd. We have the Ender’s Game movie (which is good, by the way–you should go see it), the new Thor movie, Catching Fire, the first ticket sales for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, and season 3 of Sherlock (though only in the UK–those lucky twerps). And, last but not least, November 23 marks the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who.  How many TV shows have ever made it to their 50th anniversary? If I were at all involved with the making of this show, I’d want to do something big to celebrate.

And they are. In addition to various expensive festivities, a special anniversary episode will air simultaneously in Europe and the U.S., and on November 25 it’ll even be playing in 3D at certain movie theatres. There’s been a lot of hype about this episode, especially since the Season Seven finale left us with a boatload of questions that demand to be answered. The BBC has finally released a trailer for the special, titled “The Day of the Doctor,” but it didn’t give us nearly as much information as this poster:


WIthout giving away any spoilers for those who haven’t seen the episode “The Name of the Doctor” yet, here’s what I learn from this poster:

1) DAVID TENNANT IS BACK!! A lot of Whovians are already predicting this episode will be a huge letdown, mostly because the BBC has revealed it will only be 75 minutes long–just half an hour more than an average episode. And yes, it will be tough to live up to all that hype. But it’s David Tennant and Matt Smith playing the same character in the same story! There is no way this won’t be fun to watch.

2) John Hurt is also back. And apparently, he likes blowing things up. It’ll be interesting to see what the writers do with him…hopefully something that makes a little bit of sense.

3) This episode will have Daleks. No surprises there.

4) Bad Wolf. BIG surprise there! I wasn’t expecting to see that again. Looking at the poster now, I think it might just be symbolic–a nostalgic reminder of how this era of Doctor Who started. Also, Billie Piper will be in this episode, so it could just be a sign of Rose’s return, like it was at the end of Season Four. But…it could be something more. What if Rose, as the Bad Wolf, changed the Doctor’s past, or future, in ways we haven’t seen yet? If she could disintegrate the entire Dalek army and make Captain Jack immortal, there’s no telling what else she might have done. Perhaps she even changed some events in the Time War? Just a theory. But whenever Steven Moffat mentions a story thread that began before he was head writer, I pay attention. There’s usually a good reason.

5) Is the TARDIS exploding? Again? I hope this doesn’t turn out to be a repeat of “The Big Bang.” Or “The End of Time,” for that matter. From the scanty information BBC has released about the episode’s plot, it sounds like the Time War may be “coming back” again. I’ve always been fascinated by anything to do with Gallifrey or the Time War, but I hope they come up with a creative angle on it this time. We can’t have Gallifrey crashing into Earth again. And if the Master shows up, I may have to throw something at the TV. (But wait–plot twist! The Master was really an alternate version of the Doctor all along!)

Overall, though, I’m excited about this episode. You can’t really pay tribute to 50 years of television in one hour-long special, but I’m sure it’ll be entertaining, at the least. Steven Moffat gets a bit carried away sometimes, but he’s come up with some absolutely brilliant stories. Here’s hoping “The Day of the Doctor” will be one of those.


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