50 years running

50 years running

Alright, Whovians, it’s happened. “The Day of the Doctor” has aired, and, boy, it has changed everything. Well, almost. Out of courtesy for those who have not yet watched the episode, I will try to keep the spoilers to a minimum (I’ll leave the spoilers to Collectiva Diva–she’s better at them anyway.)

Armed with jammy dodgers and hot cuppas, the Collectiva Diva and I sat down with some of our Whovian friends to watch the special–which was simulcast world wide (a very special thank to the BBC for making it possible for all Whovians to enjoy it at the same time). I meant to live tweet throughout the special, I really did, but once we heard the “doo we oooooo” I completely forgot anything else and went on another adventure through time and space with the Doctor.

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Although the Zygons have been touted as the villains of “The Day of the Doctor,” the true conflict lies within the Doctor himself. In the final episode of series 7, “The Name of the Doctor,” we met the War Doctor, played by John Hurt–the incarnation of the Doctor that the Time Lord keeps secret, even from himself it seems. We saw in short “The Night of the Doctor” how the War Doctor came to exist. The crux of the plot rests on the War Doctor’s shoulders rather than fan-favorites Ten and Eleven. Will the War Doctor use the weapon to destroy the Time War–and therefore Gallifrey–or will he not?

Well, if you’ve seen all the episodes of New Who, you know he is responsible for ending the Time War.

Or is he? 

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I talk to God but the sky is empty. -Sylvia Plath

What does a nine-hundred-year-old Time Lord have faith in?

Turns out, not much.

After destroying the Daleks and the Time Lords in the Time War, the Doctor is left to roam the galaxies and timelines without any ties, any anchors, other than his companions. By the time Ten and Rose Tyler find “The Impossible Planet,” we’ve seen that the Doctor relies on facts and logic and data–if there isn’t an explanation then it must be impossible. And if we had seen as much of the universe as the Doctor, we would probably feel the same way. However, on this impossible planet on the brink of a black hole, the Doctor is repeatedly faced with the impossible and is forced to question everything he believes in.

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On this planet, the laws of physics are declared impossible; there’s a language on the wall that is so old that the TARDIS can’t translate it (which is impossible); and there’s something possessing the Ood which claims to be the Devil. All impossible, according to the Doctor.

But that doesn’t stop any of it from happening.

9

In the spring of 2009, I’d run out of Battlestar Galactica episodes to watch, and I was desperate for more sci-fi television. I’d seen the new series of Doctor Who around Netflix, and as a fan of Classic Who, I was immediately wary of the new series’ quality. But one night I got bored, and I clicked on an episode titled “Rose.” Four years later, and I’ve never been so glad to be wrong in my whole life.

As the Collectiva Diva and I countdown to the 50th Anniversary special of DW in our Doctor Who Week, we will be taking a look back at some of our favorite moments, characters and episodes in the rebooted and classic series. To start with, the Doctor who I feel needs a little more appreciation from the fandom (see what I did there?).