Published on Tuesday, December 10, 2013 by Jesse Baxter
50 years. 50 years of heroes, monsters, sinister plots, and of course, the Doctor and his Tardis. 50 years ago, a crazy idea was conceived that has continued and evolved. 50 years of Doctor Who.
For those who don’t know, Doctor Who is a show about an alien, specifically a Time Lord, from Gallifrey called the Doctor who can go almost anywhere in time and space with his spaceship, the Tardis. Usually, the Doctor takes a companion with him who shares in his travels and helps when danger inevitably appears. When the Doctor is mortally injured he can regenerate, which makes him become a new person, although he retains the same basic morals and memory of his past regenerations.The basic premise of the show allows it to have unlimited possibilities since there are few restrictions, making each episode unique. In addition to this, the regeneration process and new companions allows for new actors or actresses to become a lead character without complicating the story, keeping the show fresh as the leads change every few years.
Doctor Who was created in 1963. Little did the creators know that it would become the longest running science fiction show in the world with nearly 800 episodes. Although it went off the air in 1989 with an additional movie in 1996, the show was continued in 2005. There have been seven seasons since the revival and its popularity has continued to increase.
On November 23, the Day of the Doctor episode premiered for the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. The plot concerned the Time War, which was a war between the Time Lords and their nemesis’s, the Daleks, a species created to exterminate the universe of everything that wasn’t a Dalek. It follows the struggle of the eighth regeneration of the Doctor as he obtains the Moment, a weapon so powerful it could completely annihilate Time Lords and Daleks. He is helped by the tenth and eleventh regenerations of the Doctor, who are pulled into their own past.
Overall, I enjoyed the special, despite the few minor setbacks. One of the major things that bugged me was how the episode changed something that was previously established. Although the show had good plot devices to explain the change, it was still annoying since it was explicitly stated that this event was unchangeable. Another minor issue was that I thought Billie Piper should have had a bigger role in the episode. She was the first companion in the revival but got a pretty small role in the 50th anniversary episode.
This being said, all the episode’s flaws were minor and my observations are nitpicky. Overall, the 50th anniversary episode was great and showed how far the series has come from its small origin. The acting was spectacular as Matt Smith, David Tennant, and John Hurt played the three doctors and blended well with each other. Billie Piper played Bad Wolf, and Jenna Louise Coleman played Clara Oswald, the Doctors current companion, played their roles excellently and meshed well with the Doctors. In short, the acting was fantastic. The computer generated images were brilliant and quite well done for the 50th anniversary episode. However, I think that the writing was the best part as it was witty and funny but serious at the right times, just like whovians have come to expect from current writers.
On the whole, the 50th anniversary episode was a special occasion. The plot changes set a new direction for the story, which is ever evolving. If you are ever wondering what to watch, give Doctor Who a try; you just might like it.