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Dr. Who's "The Day Of The Doctor" Reviewed

Who are you

As a fan but not fanatic of Dr. Who -the UK sci-fi action thriller not in its 50th year give or take a hiatus, I am as apt to be as baffled as delighted by the show. Especially the 50th Anniversary episode which has so much backstory you might be excuse of watching with mouth agape and wondering what the hell all that was about.

Dr. Who is a “Time Lord” who wanders the Universe in a blue UK Phonebooth time machine called “The Tradis” righting wrongs and saving planets and in the years he has picked up mountains of backstory. The 50th Anniversary episode, starring Matt Smith as the 11th Doctor and David Tennant as the 10th Doctor meet up with John Hurt as… well, I don’t know what number Dr. Who it is, a War Doctor, finds the trio ready and willing and has done in the past, kill off a planet before going back to the future via a doomsday machine with a conscience, to not kill  off the Daleks and the Time Lords in one fell swoop.

Confused? You will be. With pretty excellent special effects for a Who show and in 3D during special screenings around the world, 10 million people viewed the episode last Saturday and at least one was not as thrilled as he might have been. There was too much damn backstory, unless you cared boatloads more than I do, you end end watching it and wondering what the hell was going on. The in-jokes didn’t work for me (for obvious reasons) and while even I can understand the resonance of having all 12 incarnations of the great Doctor in one scene at the end of show, it neither shaked nor rattled nor rolled me. Except maybe near the very end when Tom Moffat (Doctor # 4) makes a show.

Executive producer and head writer Steven Moffat isn’t much loved by Who fans but I like him fine and fiven the circumstances that is a lightness of touch and as well as horrible looking aliens, twists in time that take you to Elizabethan era England and present day London. Plus a whole new future for Dr. Who to explore (and a new Dr. Who, the great Peter Capaldi) as, oh what the hell I might as well steal it: “The Doctor rewrite history by avoiding the annihilation of his planet Gallifrey, and instead freezing it in time and dispatching it to an unknown place in the universe.”

Grade: B

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