The Night of the Doctor

by Harry on November 18, 2013

My plan, for the day itself, since we do not have cable, is to go round to my daughter’s friend’s house and watch it there, without a wife to make fun of it or a 7-year-old to interrupt it. Then back to my house to make a dinner for my daughter’s said friend, who wants to celebrate her birthday a day early by having my fondue with numerous other friends. Then, on Monday my daughter and I will go to the local movie theater to watch it again, this time in 3D. We’ve been waiting for this for about 3 years (whenever it was that I realized that November 23rd 2013 is a Saturday).

I have been avoiding the trailers, and any information contained therein — I have already learned more than I want to know. But, apparently this is a prequel, so I watched it; and it does seem like it is worth watching before Saturday (but on your own head be it if you regret it — if it helps, I didn’t regret it).

Oh, and I quite liked the Big Finish special, more for the obvious delight the actors are taking in it than the implausible plot.

How are you celebrating?



Shatterface 11.19.13 at 12:53 am

I’ll be watching it at the FACT in Liverpool, I think.


Shatterface 11.19.13 at 12:55 am

Also rewatching the pilot having met the surprisingly still-sprightly Waris Hussein at the weekend.


Harry 11.19.13 at 3:33 am

He was on the radio earlier this year and sounded like he’s considerably younger than 50… which raises interesting possibilities.


Neville Morley 11.19.13 at 6:41 am

Complicated negotiations with neighbours still in progress, given my wife’s loathing for the entire enterprise.


Nick Caldwell 11.19.13 at 11:20 pm

Waking up shortly before 5:50 AM to view the ABC’s simulcast. Then watching it with friends for the repeat screening that night. And probably at the cinema too. Possibly while wearing a home-made Tom Baker scarf.

When I was a kid growing up in New Zealand, TVNZ devoted a week during the 25th anniversary to showing old episodes I’d never seen before (Dalek Invasion of Earth! The Seeds of Doom!), and a new story, the one we now call “Silly Nemesis”. Oh, dear. At least Australia got “Remembrance of the Daleks”.


Ronan(rf) 11.20.13 at 12:17 pm

I have to agree with Neville Morley’s wife on this one. I never understood the attraction of British TV shows. (Except for that one about the office full of political spin doctors. Ad Peep Show was good for a little while. That must be about it)


Shatterface 11.20.13 at 3:11 pm

Well if you liked the one with the spin-doctors (presumably The Tick of It) you might like Doctor Who when Peter Capaldi takes over…

Oh, and Neville – you might tell your wife Enterprise belongs to a different show :-)


TheSophist 11.20.13 at 8:56 pm

The Enterprise may belong to a different show, but one of its captains (Shatner) has been joining Edward James Olmos and Nathan Fillion in a BBCAmerica promo wishing the Doctor a happy 50th.

Do I get anything sppecial for celebrating my own half-century just ten days after the Doctor celebrates his?


Sasha Clarkson 11.20.13 at 10:03 pm

@8 “Do I get anything sppecial for celebrating my own half-century just ten days after the Doctor celebrates his?”

NO! After all, given the non-linear, wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey nature of progression and causality, 10 days could easily be plus or minus 10 millenia! ;)


Tom Slee 11.20.13 at 10:14 pm

Ronan: I never understood the attraction of British TV shows

I think that’s completely appropriate. Especially with long-running shows like this, we never relate to the actual content being broadcast, but to our own history with the show. My very first experience of TV was watching the first season of Dr. Who at the neighbours’ house before we got a TV, and I was right in the middle of the Saturday-teatime-in-front-of TV-and-hide-behind-the-settee generation, so I am sure that the show you would see and the show Harry or I would see would be completely different.

I’m still not sure if I’m going to watch it though. As Alison P wrote on an earlier post, it might be better just to leave the memories undisturbed.


Ronan(rf) 11.21.13 at 8:36 am

Ah I see what you’re saying Tom.
My problem here is that most of my nostalgic tv memories are tied up in Aussie soaps (Home and Away etc) which I watched from a toddler with my mother, to the dinner table doing my homework after school, to my early 20s (regretfully) so I dont know how that’s gonna come out in the future!


harry b 11.21.13 at 2:43 pm

Oh — I thought everyone hid behind the sofa for the Australian soaps.

Its true that one’s history with the show colours how you view it. For me, my daughter’s adoration of the show, and the fact that, unlike me, for her being a Dr Who nerd just enhances a lot her (already pretty massive) coolness at school, make me see the whole thing a bit differently. Who’d have thought when I was 17 that 33 years later I’d be watching the 50th anniversary with my 17 year old who is cool in the Midwest because she loves it? And cool because she has a dad who watched it 33 years ago? (just to be clear, at that time I had no coolness for my enthusiasm for Dr Who to subtract from, but if I had been cool in any way, my enthusiasm for Dr Who would have more than negated it).

I am currently teaching a (21 year old) student who is named after a companion! (Not Leela, but equally distinctive). How cool is that?


TheSophist 11.21.13 at 3:13 pm

Hmm….Romana? (Please not Adric!)

Many years ago (pre-movies) I encountered a Tower Records (see, I told you it was many years ago) clerk whose nametag read “Anduril”. “That’s a great name,” I said. “Do you know what it means?” she replied. I smiled sweetly (at least I thought I did) and aced the test. “It’s elvish for ‘flame of the west'”. “You’re the second person in my life who’s known that” she said, and, of course, if this were the movies I would have asked her out and we’d have happily-ever-aftered for the last couple of decades, but no, I didn’t.


Phil 11.21.13 at 3:15 pm

Sarah Jane? Tegan? Surely not Adric?

I remember William Hartnell, just, but I went to university mid-Tom Baker* and never got into Peter Davison – let alone any of his original series successors, and let’s not even mention Paul McGann** – so I feel a bit torn about this Fifty Years Of The Doctor malarkey. I was there, and yet not – I still think of Sylveste McCoy as a kids’ performer (with no R) and I’m not entirely sure what Colin Baker looks like. Also, there’s the Stephen Moffat issue (see also **).

Still looking forward to it – I mean, obviously.

*There was one television – for the college. There was no Internet. When you went to university, TV stopped (or else became a very different & much more social experience).
**Your starter for ten: “Paul McGann doesn’t count!” Character(s), series, author?


harry b 11.21.13 at 8:27 pm

Sylvester McCoy? He’s my favourite!



Ronan(rf) 11.23.13 at 12:02 am

“Who’d have thought when I was 17 that 33 years later I’d be watching the 50th anniversary with my 17 year old who is cool in the Midwest because she loves it? And cool because she has a dad who watched it 33 years ago? …. How cool is that? ”

That is cool! I’m going to give it a watch, in the spirit of new experiences and fighting back against my own ignorance!


Tom Slee 11.23.13 at 6:57 pm

“Paul McGann doesn’t count!” Was that Queer as Folk?


Barry Freed 11.23.13 at 11:53 pm

I’ll be celebrating in 8 minutes by watching it.


SC 11.24.13 at 4:51 am

I liked it. Tom Baker is cute. Time Lord art is cool. However, Rose? Hello? I’m not sure I can ask the right questions without spoilers but . . . I found Rose’s role puzzling. Which Rose was that? Why was she invisible to some characters? How was that possible with her known timeline?

Celebration? I think a couple bottles of wine were consumed by the Whovians in the room but I was too busy watching and stuck with water.


Sasha Clarkson 11.24.13 at 10:21 am

@19 It wasn’t Rose – it was a personification of the consciousness of the galaxy-destroyer – a “memory” from John Hurt’s Doctor’s future.

My memories of the show go back to watching Hartnell’s Doctor from behind my grandad’s armchair; (we didn’t get a TV until the following year.) I thought the episode was pretty good, and John Hurt excellent.

But the two airhead presenters on the BBC show afterwards were a complete turn-off, so that’s what I did.


harry b 11.24.13 at 2:09 pm

We watched it on BBC America, and the 15 minutes of lead-in by those cool young people was awful… But — our verdict was that it was great. John Hurt was brilliant. And there was something really delightful at the end, about recognising Tom Baker’s voice, realising that he was going to be the surprise, knowing my daughter was having the same delighted experience and that, simultaneously, millions of other fans were thinking the same things.


SC 11.24.13 at 7:06 pm

“…a personification of the consciousness of the galaxy-destroyer – a ‘memory’ from John Hurt’s Doctor’s future…”

I’m still puzzled about how ‘memories’ from the future work. A timey wimey thing that will be explained later, I assume. (I guess I should be more puzzled by Curator Tom Baker . . .)

Yes, the lead-in, the ads, and so on were awful.


Barry Freed 11.24.13 at 7:34 pm

I was very pleased and thought it was great which was something of a surprise. Moffat was fantastic writing under RTD but has been a great disappointment as a showrunner to say the least. But I thought he hit it out of the park with this one (or whatever the most apt cricket metaphor would be).

What does the addition of the War Doctor do to the numbering I wonder.

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