Friday, November 29, 2013

Doctor Who: The Day Of The Doctor (Nick Hurran, 2013) Review

I'm back! Yeah! And what a way to kick off my return with a review of...something that is technically not a film but on the other hand it could perfectly qualify as one (well, it defines the dictionary definition of both 'film' and 'movie'). The main reason being that, if you are a big Doctor Who fan like me, you could see it in the cinema...and I did. The 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who was shown in cinemas so it certainlly qualifies. So what about my 'Top 10 Films of 2013' list...well it would have to be qualify before we even argue about it.

The 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) and his companion Clara (Jenna Coleman) are summoned to UNIT's base in London in order to investigate a painting of the destruction of Galifrey, the Doctor's homeworld. Time portals open to reveal the 10th Doctor (David Tennant) hunting down Zygons in 18th century England and the Doctor during the Time War, known as the War Doctor (John Hurt), having to make a horrific decision. The three Doctors band together to not only stop the Zygons from taking over present day London but to also make sure that the War Doctor makes the correct decision.

I think the first thing that came to mind when watching this is that it reminded me how great David Tennant was in the role and it's excellent to see him return. Matt Smith certainly proves his worth this time around especially if you weren't that convinced by him before hand. Lastly, John Hurt just seems like an actor who will never lose his touch. The three work off each other very well and it's good to see the film make use of side characters such as Clara too. The writing has definitely improved from the series, especially considering that this is a Steven Moffat script which are usually convoluted and a bit too much. The 'film' benefits from a feature-length run time and definitely feels like an actual Doctor Who movie.

I do have a few complaints however. While the primary story about the War Doctor is great, the Zygon sub-story starts off fine but is dropped completely towards the end. We never see an outcome or any kind of resolution to it. I can also see some people getting annoyed by the portrayal of Elizabeth I but it didn't really bug me that much as she did come in handy in the second half. This is a personal point but I do think that we needed more characters for the 50th Anniversary. You could argue that the episode Journey's End was grander but the second half of Day of the Doctor makes up for this with a spectacular finale for one of my favourite cinematic moments this year. I was also a bit miffed at how small of an appearance Billie Piper makes

The Day of the Doctor is a pretty damn good way to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who. The three leads compliment each other very well and work off each other, leading to some great moments (both spectacular and hilarious). The writing is much stronger than the actual show and, while it does have some flaws, was worth watching in the cinema. If I saw this on TV, it would probably be a 7/10 but the grand spectacle of it on the big screen earns it an extra 0.5 as well as one of the best cameos this year next to Thor: The Dark World (not Stan Lee) and a great ending.

A cinematic treat. There are some flaws regarding sub-plots but the surprisingly good writing and great acting makes for a memorable movie event.

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