After much anticipation, the trailer for the 50th anniversary Doctor Who adventure due for transmission on November 23rd has arrived. Citing all 11 incarnations of the Doctor and stating that the time travelling hero has been running his entire life from one day when he will face the consequences of the life he has led, the ‘Day of the Doctor.’
GROUCH ALERT for the Editorial below
Once more the premise of the series is reduced to one of destiny, something that the program has never been about. The classic series Doctor fought injustice where he fond it, sure, but he was hardly a ‘lonely God’ or cosmic being who answered every call for help and was the one thing the monsters feared. By placing the tone of the program on such a grand scale Moffat has avoided something he has little interest in, actually writing the Doctor in an interesting story (see Terror of the Zygons or Kinda, two stories that excel yet have nothing to do with the Doctor being the ultimate cosmic force of judgement).
Additionally, the previous incarnations are reduced to broad strokes (the Second Doctor is a playful tramp with a recorder, the Fourth is swallowed up by his scarf, the Fifth is throwing a cricket ball, etc). While the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh are cardboard standees straight from a shopping mall. If you look at previous celebratory adventures (Three Doctors, Five Doctors and even Silver Nemesis), the character of the Doctor was built up from his actions and demeanor rather than the author reminding us that he IS such an important figure in all things.
And the sonic screwdriver is now inches away from being the Doctor’s lightsaber.
I am operating under the assumption that this trailer is the total extent to which the previous Doctors will appear in the special. As they have not been involved (though I recall hearing that McGann recorded something), this flipbook of Doctors past may be all we see of the classic series (and Eccleston). If so that is just sad and let me also point out that Doctor’s 5-8 got hosed here, They are all bit invisible in the trailer and the Sixth Doctor looks like a walking fairground!
I want to be excited about the Day of the Doctor but unless there is a massive secret I am unaware of, it will not feature the previous Doctor Who actors (aside from David Tennant) and it also comes with some convoluted baggage in the shape of John Hurt, a Doctor who should not exist. I am still disgruntled that a story that should be all about the program’s past cannot incorporate that into the story (aside from some very dubious CGi work in this trailer) and will instead focus on the return of David Tennant. I’m sure that will boost the already high ratings for the screening and admittedly Moffat wrote exceptionally well for the Tenth Doctor, but I’m still disappointed.
Moffat may pull some tricks out of his sleeves and make this what it should be, a celebration of the longest running sci-fi program in TV history.
But experience has taught me to lower my expectations.