Reviews, Television, What to Watch
Nov 25, 2013


Being a nerd by definition means that you have a love of something very particular that, often times, isn’t shared by everyone. There was a time not so long ago when loving comics and Star Trek were considered unfashionable. Not so anymore. The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special is the perfect case in point.

For those that are unaware, Doctor Who is the longest running science fiction series of all time. It has run, on and off in various forms, continuously since 1963. Since it first aired the show has gone through many metamorphosis (or regenerations). After being abruptly canceled in the late 1980s it once again found an audience in 2005 when it was revived with a new style and a new Doctor. Since then it has grown in popularity, quite a lot more than anyone ever imagined.

Indeed, the 50th anniversary special was simulcast around the globe to 75 countries both on TV and in select movie theaters. Literally millions of people from every race, age and gender gathered together to show their love and appreciation for a television show that has managed to stay relevant even five decades after its creation.


And they were more than rewarded for their devotion. The special, called “Day of the Doctor” was a true celebration of all things Doctor Who. Everyone knew (from the poster itself) that it would be a multi-Doctor episode, a staple of the show’s anniversary specials, but no one expected anything quite so fantastic. Indeed, showrunner Steven Moffat managed to not only introduce a new Doctor into the fold but completely change the mythology of Doctor Who forever, all in the span of 75 minutes.

One of the special’s greatest triumphs though is that it manages to be completely relatable to anyone that hasn’t seen a single episode of the series. Like a Time Lord painting it is fun on the surface but all the more enjoyable if you add time into the mix.

Fans who have only seen the modern series will love the interaction between David Tennant (who really needs to come back for a few more episodes) and Matt Smith. The chemistry between the two is extraordinary and the viewer almost becomes giddy watching them banter. If you’re a fan of the classics however there is plenty in there for you as well. Keep a careful on every frame as there are easter eggs and fan nods throughout.

The anniversary marks not only the end of an era for Doctor Who but the beginning of a new one as well. “Day of the Doctor” marks the second to last show for current Doctor Matt Smith who will have his farewell episode on Christmas Day. The show seemed to acknowledge that fact with a very quick nod to the next in line, Peter Capaldi who makes a blink (don’t blink) and you miss it appearance in the final 15 minutes.

As both a fan and a critic the BBC and Steven Moffat delivered many times over. No longer do Who nerds have to appreciate in secret. The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special proved what many had known for awhile now, that there are more of us out there than ever before.