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The Day of the Doctor (TV story)

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The Day of the Doctor
ThreeDoctorsTDOTD
Doctor: Eleventh Doctor
Companion(s): Clara
Featuring:
Main enemy: Zygons, Daleks
Main setting:
Key crew
Writer: Steven Moffat
Director: Nick Hurran
Producer: Marcus Wilson
Release details
Story number: 239
Premiere broadcast: 23 November 2013
Premiere network: BBC One
Format: 1x75-minute special
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Doctor Who television stories
The Last Day The Time of the Doctor
Production order
The Name of the Doctor The Night of the Doctor
Official trailer
The Day of the Doctor The Second TV Trailer - Doctor Who 50th Anniversary - BBC One01:20

The Day of the Doctor The Second TV Trailer - Doctor Who 50th Anniversary - BBC One

Memorable moment
The Day of the Doctor A Preview - BBC Children in Need 2013 - BBC02:07

The Day of the Doctor A Preview - BBC Children in Need 2013 - BBC

Another memorable moment
*PLOT SPOILERS* Tom Baker returns in The Day of the Doctor - Doctor Who 50th Anniversary - BBC02:37

*PLOT SPOILERS* Tom Baker returns in The Day of the Doctor - Doctor Who 50th Anniversary - BBC

One more memorable moment
*PLOT SPOILERS* The Doctor's Destination - The Day of the Doctor - Doctor Who 50th Anniversary - BBC01:07

*PLOT SPOILERS* The Doctor's Destination - The Day of the Doctor - Doctor Who 50th Anniversary - BBC

Behind the scenes video
Dr Who 50th Making Of 201305:34

Dr Who 50th Making Of 2013

More behind the scenes stuff
The making of The Day of the Doctor (full episode) - Doctor Who Behind the Lens - BBC13:28

The making of The Day of the Doctor (full episode) - Doctor Who Behind the Lens - BBC

Another behind the scenes moment
Matt Smith's Final Panel - Full Q&A - The Eleventh Hour - Doctor Who 50th Anniversary30:30

Matt Smith's Final Panel - Full Q&A - The Eleventh Hour - Doctor Who 50th Anniversary

The Day of the Doctor was the fiftieth anniversary special of Doctor Who, the first full-length multi-Doctor story of the BBC Wales era, the first Doctor Who adventure shot in stereoscopic 3D, and the first adventure to be broadly available in cinemas in a number of different countries.

Moreover, it was shown at literally the same time round the globe on 23 and 24 November 2013 on television, prompting the Guinness Book of World Records to certify it as the largest ever simulcast of a television drama. In all, it was viewable in some 94 countries and 1,500 theatres worldwide.[1] Domestically, the British Broadcasting Corporation's 2013/14 Annual Report cited it as the most watched drama on the BBC in 2013, with 12.8 million television viewers, and an additional 3.2 million iPlayer requests.[2] It also broke or neared viewing records in a number of other regions around the world. Because of its theatrical run and subsequently strong home media sales, it is the single adventure with the highest gross worldwide sales in the history of Doctor Who. The success of this release led to the Series 8 premiere, Deep Breath, receiving a similar theatrical simulcast as it aired on television on 23 August the following year.

Amongst fans, the story was exceedingly popular. In a 2014 poll by Doctor Who Magazine[3] which ranked all of the Doctor Who television stories aired to date, The Day of the Doctor ranked as "DWM readers' favourite adventure of the first 50 years". (DWM 474)

The episode featured the return of David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor and the appearance of John Hurt as a previously unknown incarnation of the Doctor: the War Doctor, in what was the final chronological adventure for his portrayal of the Doctor. His only full-length adventure on screen introduced a new iteration of the sonic screwdriver and a unique TARDIS control room predating those seen in Series 1.

Furthermore, the War Doctor's regeneration was shown, into what appeared to be the Ninth Doctor, completing a missing link in the chain of incarnations that started when Christopher Eccleston debuted in the 2005 relaunch of the series, Rose. The process of resolving the regenerations issue was being enforced by executive producer Steven Moffat, as he wished to have a "complete set" in time for Matt Smith's upcoming final episode.

Moffat also chose to requisition actor Paul McGann for one more outing as the Eighth Doctor in a mini-episode production, The Night of the Doctor one week after production wrapped on the anniversary special, resulting in a second former Doctor returning to the screen as part of the festivities. McGann filmed his own regeneration into Hurt's version of the Doctor, cementing the lineage of all Doctors up to Smith's incarnation onward.

Actor Billie Piper also returned for the special, but served in a different role than the Doctor's former companion Rose Tyler. Instead, she portrayed the Moment, an ancient, sentient Gallifreyan device first mentioned in The End of Time.

Much like the earlier episode Cold War had reintroduced the Ice Warriors after several decades of absence from the show, The Day of the Doctor saw the return of the Zygons, last seen in the 1975 Fourth Doctor serial Terror of the Zygons, 38 years after their initial debut. Zygons were previously mentioned in The Power of Three .

The special also included the surprise debut of Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor, noteworthy for being an early cameo before officially assuming the role of the Doctor with Matt Smith's departure in the 2013 Christmas special The Time of the Doctor, as well as a cameo from an elderly Tom Baker, the former Fourth Doctor, whose role was kept ambiguous as either the Doctor or someone else entirely — the Curator.

The Day of the Doctor provided a chance to reveal a missing element of the Last Great Time War that dramatically altered the outcome as viewers were previously led to believe. Instead of allowing Gallifrey to be destroyed, the Doctors were able to save it, giving the current incarnation a chance to forever shed his guilt from the outcome and begin a new mission to find his way home. The unique circumstances of this revelation also upheld the previous narratives set during the Russell T Davies era where the Doctor believed Gallifrey and its residents had been lost in battle.

Synopsis

The Doctors embark on their greatest adventure in this 50th anniversary special. In the 21st century, something terrible is awakening in London's National Gallery; in 1562, a murderous plot is afoot in Elizabethan England; and somewhere in space an ancient battle reaches its devastating conclusion. All of reality is at stake as the Doctor's own dangerous past comes back to haunt him.

Plot

Day of the Doctor Opening Scene

Several familiar sights in one place.

A police constable walks the beat by the Coal Hill School and passes by a sign advertising "I.M. Foreman, Scrap Merchant". Inside the school, Clara Oswald is giving a lesson on. She ends on a quote by Marcus Aurelius: "Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one."

The school bell rings. As her students leave, a teacher runs into the classroom informing Clara that her "doctor" called, and left an address. She grabs her helmet and hops on her motorbike. Exiting Shoreditch, Clara drives past a clock reading 5:16 p.m. and through a freeway tunnel. She reaches an open patch of road surrounded by grassland, where a lone police box is waiting for her.

TARDIS shakes

Clara and the Doctor are startled by the TARDIS inexplicably taking flight.

Finally spotting the TARDIS, she drives straight through its open doors, closing them with a click of the fingers. The Doctor, perusing a copy of Advanced Quantum Mechanics, welcomes Clara back with a huge hug. Unexpectedly, the TARDIS takes off without starting the engines. Startled, the Doctor looks out to see a helicopter carrying the TARDIS away from the field; it's UNIT. He calls their head of Scientific Research, Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, from the phone on the TARDIS exterior.

Osgood and Kate

Osgood gives Kate her phone.

UNIT scientist Osgood rushes to Kate with her personal phone as she is eating and observing their ravens of death, which need a change of batteries from Malcolm. Kate reminds Osgood to use her inhaler at the sound of her heavy panting before accepting the call.

Airborne TARDIS

The TARDIS is airlifted by a helicopter.

The Doctor learns that he has been summoned to the Tower of London. Kate is surprised to learn that he is on-board the TARDIS, which they thought was empty and were moving for convenience. She has it and him brought directly to the "scene of the crime". Upon arrival, he is handed sealed orders from Queen Elizabeth I and taken into the National Gallery for proof of her credentials.

As they walk, the Doctor explains his relationship with UNIT to Clara, who is sceptical of the Doctor ever having had an actual job. They stop in front of an impossible painting, something that belongs "not in this time or place": an oil painting in 3-D. It depicts the fall of the Gallifreyan city of Arcadia on the last day of the Time War. Kate tells the Doctor that there is some controversy over the work's name. It is either named No More or Gallifrey Falls. The painting is a slice of frozen time, a form of Time Lord art.

Gallifrey Falls painting

The Doctor and Clara view a three-dimensional painting of a horrific battle on Gallifrey.

The Doctor is visibly disturbed by the painting. As his old memories awaken, he shares with Clara his darkest secret: the life he has tried to bury for years. There was a past incarnation of the Doctor that fought in the Time War, and made the ultimate decision to eliminate the Daleks and the Time Lords. And it was done on the very day this painting depicts...

War Doctor Declares No More

The War Doctor declares his intentions to end the Time War by force.

As the Daleks ravage Arcadia, the Gallifreyans are running in fear. There is little hope of survival. As children cry and the people scream, a soldier messages the High Council of Time Lords: Arcadia has fallen. He looks around and sees the Doctor's TARDIS. Then the elderly voice of the "War Doctor" asks the soldier for his gun. The Doctor carves a message for both warring civilisations to see into a nearby wall: NO MORE. As Daleks prepare to exterminate Gallifreyan refugees, the Doctor's presence draws their attention away from the innocent people and leads them to the wall with the message. Suddenly, the Doctor's TARDIS crashes through the wall, demolishing several Daleks. The Doctor's escape from Arcadia is witnessed by one surviving Dalek of the attack, though it is bisected. It questions the meaning of "NO MORE", bellowing "Explain! Explain!" The nearby Gallifreyan soldier shoots the Dalek with his gun, and the slain Dalek erupts in flames.

War Room message

The Time Lords receive the Doctor's message.

The High Commanders gather in the War Room, planning their next moves, with the General dismissing the High Council's upcoming plans as "they have already failed". They receive the Doctor's message, and the General is not pleased to learn of his presence, calling him a madman. A Time Lady rushes in to inform the War Council that there has been a breach in the Omega Arsenal in the Time Vaults.

General talking about the Moment

The General explains the origins of their deadliest weapon to Androgar.

The most feared and forbidden weapon in the universe is missing: The Moment. The Doctor has stolen it, and intends to use it to end the Time War once and for all. The Time Lords have already used all of the previously forbidden weapons, but dared not unleash this weapon in particular. It was said that the Moment was so advanced as to have developed a conscience, and could stand in judgement of the user. The General muses that only the Doctor would be mad enough to use such a weapon.

War Doctor trekking through Gallifreyan wilderness

The elderly War Doctor wearily marches across the wilderness.

Footsteps can be seen leading away from the battle-scuffed frame of the TARDIS, which has been uncharacteristically abandoned by the Doctor. The sound of his voice issuing an ominous final warning is heard: "Time Lords of Gallifrey, Daleks of Skaro, I serve notice on you all. Too long I have stayed my hand. No more. Today you leave me no choice. Today, this war will end. No more. No more..." The Doctor's tired face comes into view as he strides across a desolate desert, a burlap sack over his shoulder.

TheMomentBox

The Moment is revealed.

He eventually enters a barn-like dwelling, where he uncovers a complicated mechanical box, covered in gears. The device ticks loudly as its clockwork-like parts rattle and clank. As the Doctor studies it, he cannot find a discernible trigger mechanism. While he puzzles over how to activate it — grumbling "Why is there never a big red button?" — he hears a rustling sound. He opens the door and calls out. A girl's voice behind him reassures him that it’s "just a Wolf".

The Moment Is coming

The Moment takes the form of the Bad Wolf.

Startled, he turns around to see what appears to be Rose Tyler. He doesn't recognise her, as this point in his timeline predates his first meeting with Rose. He grabs her arm and throws her out the door, only for her to appear inside the barn again, sitting on the Moment. She begins questioning the Doctor as to his motives and rationalisations (though it looks like she is making fun of him). The Moment also asks if the Doctor parked his TARDIS far away from the dwelling so that it would not witness what he was about to do. Not realising what she is, he orders her out, and then burns his hand on the box. Impishly, she guides the Doctor to realise that she is the interface of the Moment. She can hear the Doctor's thoughts, and has attempted to assume the form of a familiar figure from his past; however, the Moment has a history of confusing the past with the future, and so has chosen the form of Rose Tyler as the Bad Wolf to be its manifestation.

Fez drops out of time window

A fez drops through the Moment's time window.

War-weary and bitter, the elderly Time Lord tells her to stop calling him "the Doctor", claiming he has lost the right to bear the title. She replies that he will be the one to save the universe. He explains that the suffering of the universe is too great, and he must end it. He also intends to meet his death after using the Moment, not wishing to live through the bloodshed, but she decides that his fate and punishment will be to survive the activation and face the consequences. Like a conscience, she challenges his words and actions, guiding him towards his future. He will destroy the Daleks, but he will also murder his own people, asking him how many children on Gallifrey will die, but he has no idea. After suggesting that one day, he will find a way to count them, the Moment opens a window in time, to show him the man he will become. A time fissure opens - and a fez falls out, much to the mutual confusion of the Doctor and the Moment...

Back in the 21st century, Kate explains that Queen Elizabeth left the painting to prove that the orders do come from her. The Doctor breaks the seal and reads her words: "My dearest love: I hope the painting known as Gallifrey Falls will serve as proof that it is your Elizabeth that writes to you now. You will recall that you pledged yourself to the safety of my kingdom. In that capacity, I have appointed you Curator of the Under-Gallery, where deadly danger to England is locked away. Should any disturbance occur within its walls, it is my wish that you should be summoned. Godspeed, gentle husband."

As Kate leads the Doctor and Clara away, a nearby UNIT scientist named McGillop receives a mysterious phone call. Befuddled, he stares at the painting, wondering why he should move it.

Liz I and Ten

A painting of the Tenth Doctor aside Queen Elizabeth I.

The Doctor and Clara approach another painting, which shows the figure of Queen Elizabeth the First, and the Doctor. Clara sees this is proof the Doctor once knew her. However, it is the past incarnation of the Doctor, and from the Eleventh Doctor's vantage point, that portrait was done a long time ago, long enough that he was a different man back then...

DNA detector The Day of the Doctor

Ding!

In England in 1562, the Tenth Doctor and Queen Elizabeth I ride out of the TARDIS on horseback, the Doctor having proven that it really is bigger on the inside. They share a picnic on a hill, after which he proposes marriage. When she joyfully accepts, the Doctor accuses her of being a Zygon shapeshifter that has replaced the real Elizabeth. He whips out a "device that goes ding" to prove that she is a shapeshifter, before realising that it was the horse they were riding. They run for their lives, the Doctor now an engaged man. They split up in the woods, but Elizabeth is accosted by the Zygon. The Doctor runs through the woods, even threatening a rabbit before he is reunited with Elizabeth. However, a doppelganger of her appears, and he is unable to tell who is who. Suddenly another time fissure appears, and a fez falls through, shocking the Doctor and company.

Back in the National Gallery, Kate welcomes the Eleventh Doctor and Clara to the Under-Gallery, established by Elizabeth I to house dangerous art. The Doctor notices that the floor is covered in stone dust, and asks a scientist named Osgood to analyse it (with a triplicate report and lots of graphs). As they walk through the gallery, the Doctor spots a fez in a glass case and immediately dons it, much to the bemusement of Clara, who wonders if he can ever go past one without putting it on (answer: no).

Kate shows them more 3-D paintings, all landscapes, with the broken glass from their shattered frames covering the floor. The Doctor notes that the glass has been shattered from the inside, and Kate says that they all contained figures which are now missing. Suddenly, another time fissure opens. Annoyed, the Doctor faintly recalls seeing the fissure before, before realising that the fez that had fallen through in 1562 was the fez he was now wearing. Delighted, he throws the fez into the fissure and follows it. Clara tries to follow, but Kate restrains her.

Past and Future selves meet

The Tenth and Eleventh Doctors meet.

The Eleventh Doctor falls through the fissure and lands in front of the Tenth in the sixteenth century. Stunned, the Tenth Doctor dons the fez himself. The Eleventh pops up and gabbles excitedly about how skinny his predecessor is, which makes the Tenth realise who he is. They incredulously pull out their sonic screwdrivers and compare them. As they begin bickering, the time fissure increases in intensity. The Doctor orders the two Queens to run away; both kiss the Tenth Doctor and flee. After pointing out that one of the women his counterpart just kissed was definitely a Zygon, the Eleventh shouts through the funnel to Clara. Hypothesising that the fissure can go both ways, he tosses his fez in, but it fails to appear in Clara's time. Kate then leaves, to call one of the UNIT members to bring her the Cromer file - not noticing a dark shadow behind her...

Why are you pointing your screwdrivers like that

The War Doctor is met with fear from his successors.

At the end of the Time War, the War Doctor picks up the fez and steps into the fissure. Back in 1562, the two Doctors try to reverse the polarity, but the use of two sonic screwdrivers at once confuses the polarity, resulting in the War Doctor falling through, landing in front of his future selves. He jovially greets them, asking after the Doctor and mistaking them for companions-to-be. The two older Doctors — both horrified to see him — simply pull out their sonic screwdrivers, affirming their identity to their younger self. Completely unimpressed by his future incarnations, the War Doctor asks if he is going through a mid-life crisis.

Suddenly, they are surrounded by the Queen's soldiers. They are threatened by them, but Clara's voice sounds from the fissure, allowing the Doctors to convince them that she is "The Wicked Witch of the Well". Kate has, at that point, returned to Clara. The Queen returns to the group, implying that her human counterpart is dead. She has the trio of Doctors arrested and taken to the Tower of London (with the Eleventh loudly hinting for her to take them there). The hint is picked up on by Kate, who takes Clara to the Black Archive to retrieve Jack Harkness' vortex manipulator.

The Doctors are thrown in a cell with a wooden door. The War Doctor tries to sonic the door, but it fails. The Tenth asks why these three Doctors have been brought together.

Zygon attack

A Zygon emerges from its disguise in the Undergallery.

In the present, Osgood and McGilop are reading the results of the analysis of the stone dust. The dust is from materials not found in the structure of the building, but common in statues. Osgood realises that the statues must have been smashed, and suddenly understands why: the inhabitants of the paintings needed a hiding place. The Zygons reveal themselves from underneath the dust cloths covering what the humans had believed were statues. The aliens accost McGilop, and corner Osgood. Osgood prays for the Doctor to save her, but instead of being killed, she is faced with her duplicate. The Zygon taunts Osgood, but she gains the upper hand by tripping the alien with her scarf, and runs.

Clara Vortex Manipulator

Clara uses Jack Harkness's vortex manipulator.

Kate and Clara enter the Black Archive, housing the most dangerous alien tech recovered by UNIT. Its contents are so top secret that its staff has their memories modified every day. Apparently, this has happened to Clara at least once, as she has already obtained the necessary clearance to enter the archive. They view the Vortex Manipulator, by trying to find the activation code. The Doctor has the code, but he hasn't informed UNIT of it. A scientist phones Kate, and she orders him to send a picture of some numerals (the activation code) that the Eleventh Doctor carved into the wall of the cell in 1562 for them to find centuries later. Osgood and McGilop enter the Archive, to Clara's surprise. They and Kate reveal themselves as Zygons. As they prepare to replace Clara, she sees the picture of the numerals on the phone. Taking a desperate gamble, she enters the code into the Vortex Manipulator and travels to the past.

In the 1562 Tower of London, the Eleventh Doctor scratches the activation code onto a wall in their cell, while the other two Doctors puzzle out how to escape. The War Doctor proposes an isolated sonic shift in the door molecules in order to disintegrate the door, but the Tenth Doctor rejects the idea, saying it would take centuries to calculate the necessary formula. The War Doctor starts bickering with the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, chastising them for their shame of being "grown-up". Subdued, they look at him darkly, reminding him of the day he ended the Time War (unaware that this Doctor is actively in the process of making that choice).

The Moment reappears, unseen and unheard by the other Doctors, and urges the War Doctor to ask his future selves the question that he needs to know: How many children died on Gallifrey that day. The Eleventh Doctor says, "I've absolutely no idea." The Tenth Doctor suddenly gives him a look of piercing outrage and disgust, because the same thing his future self is ignoring is a significant reminder of his personal duty to be a hero instead of a warrior so innocent people no longer have to die. However, the Eleventh Doctor has already taken that route and suffered great personal losses for trying to play hero. Somewhere along the line, he quit being heroic and the simple act of forgetfulness turned into a defence mechanism so the abundance of his regrets cannot torment him anymore.

No you really wouldn't

The Eleventh Doctor aggressively rebukes his past self's concerns regarding where he's going to end up.

After the Eleventh Doctor claims he doesn't know how many children died, he says he's forgotten the events of that day; he's so old that he's not even sure of his age anymore, so old that he can't remember if he's lying about his age. However, the Tenth Doctor angrily asks how the Eleventh could ever forget something as important as this particular number, and bitterly states that there were 2.47 billion children on the planet that day. Disturbed by his successor's impassive nature, he asks him, "For once, I would like to know where I'm going." Vexed by this remark, the Eleventh Doctor coldly replies, "No, you really wouldn't!" The Tenth Doctor looks back at him, eyes wide with fear. The Moment explains to the War Doctor that the Tenth Doctor has become "the man who regrets" and the Eleventh "the man who forgets". They are the future of the Doctor.

War Discovers Screwdriver Solution

The War Doctor discovers a time-managing solution to unlock the cell door.

The Moment reminds the War Doctor that his sonic screwdriver, at the most basic level, is the exact same device as the ones used by his counterparts: "Same software — different case". He realises that if he scans the door and implants the calculations as a permanent subroutine in the screwdriver, it will take hundreds of years to work out the formula necessary to disintegrate the door, meaning that the Eleventh Doctor's screwdriver, being essentially the same as the ones before it, has the completed calculation ready to go. They exuberantly congratulate themselves on their cleverness before Clara pushes open the door — which has been unlocked the entire time. Clara chastises the three Doctors for being so obtuse, and the Queen comes in, telling them that she left the door unlocked as a test. She takes them down to the Zygons' lair to show them their plan.

Captured Kate

"If those creatures have got access to the Black Archive, we may just have lost control of the planet."

Osgood walks in the halls of the Under-Gallery, before discovering the real Kate trapped in a Zygon nest. Kate's body template is being used to refresh the image of her Zygon doppelganger. Osgood frees her, but Kate bemoans the fact that the Zygons now have control of the Black Archive.

Zygon stasis cube translation

The Doctors and Clara watch a Zygon be translated inside a stasis cube.

The Doctors and Clara follow the Queen to the lair, whereupon they discover that the Zygon homeworld was destroyed in the early days of the Time War, and so they have decided to take Earth as their new home. However, the sixteenth century version of Earth is too primitive to be comfortable to the invading shapeshfiters, so they intend to invade the cushier future in order to establish their new homeworld. They therefore have translated themselves into stasis cubes, which are the Time Lords' three-dimensional paintings. The Tenth Doctor berates the Zygon commander for doing a lousy job of replicating the real Queen Elizabeth, but she reveals (to his mortification) that she is the real Elizabeth: She slew her twin in the forest and took her place as Zygon commander. She calls on the Doctor to save England, but first whisks him away to be married (with his past and future selves as reluctant witnesses, and an enthusiastic Clara throwing confetti).

TenGetsMarriedDOTD

The Tenth Doctor weds Elizabeth.

The three Doctors and Clara return to the Tenth's TARDIS (with the other two insulting the current desktop theme). The presence of three different Doctors causes the TARDIS to short a bit, showing the interior of the War Doctor's TARDIS, then finally the most current TARDIS desktop (which also receives an insult). They set off for the Black Archive.

Kate, Osgood, and McGillop confront their doppelgangers in the Black Archive. Kate threatens to detonate a nuclear warhead beneath the Tower, destroying all of London in order to protect the planet from the Zygons, and voice-activates it, blocking her Zygon duplicate's attempts to stop the countdown with her identical voice pattern. The Eleventh Doctor's voice crackles on via the space-time telegraph he had once given to her father, begging Kate not to detonate but she cuts him off. He tries to land, but the Tower of London had been made TARDIS-proof to prevent his interference. However, the War Doctor figures out a way to get in - the stasis cubes. The Doctor calls McGillop in the past, and instructs him to bring the "No More"/"Gallifrey Falls" painting to the Black Archive...

The Doctors Repel a Dalek

The Doctors force back an attacking Dalek.

The two Kates fight over the detonation, both needing to agree in order to stop the detonation. The real Osgood begs the Doctor to save them again, as the Doctors and Clara force their way out of the painting, having frozen themselves in it earlier. The Doctors now face the Fall of Arcadia in real time as it unfolds, and are immediately met with an attacking Dalek, which they repel with their sonic screwdrivers. It crashes through the glass of the painting and the Doctors emerge. Clara soon follows.

Doctors Sonic memory protocols

All three Doctors sonic the memory modifiers.

The three Doctors hand the Kates an ultimatum when they refuse to disarm the Archive's nuclear option: They trigger the memory modifiers to confuse everybody as to whether they are Human or Zygon. Then, if they stop the detonation and create a peace treaty (which is sure to be incredibly fair, as the negotiators can't remember which side they're on), they will have their memories restored. Utterly confused over their identities, the two Kates stop the detonation in the nick of time and begin to negotiate the treaty.

War I'm ready

"I'm ready."

As they hash it out, Clara speaks to the War Doctor. She has somehow figured out that he hasn't used the Moment yet, explaining that "her" Doctor always talked about the day he wiped out the Time Lords. She says that he would do anything to take it back, but the War Doctor remains convinced that his actions will save billions of lives in the future. Across the room, the War Doctor sees the form of the Bad Wolf once more. The Moment has come. He tells the interface he's ready, and Clara turns to find who he's talking to; when she turns back, he's vanished.

Doctors nearly use Moment

The Doctors are stopped from using the Moment.

Returned to the barn on Gallifrey, the War Doctor stands in front of the Moment, which has simplified its interface by his request — the trigger mechanism is now a big red button for him to push. The interface questions him once more, trying to convince him of his goodness. He still doesn't believe he is worthy of the name "Doctor", losing all hope for himself and his people. The interface reminds him of his hope as his future selves step out of their TARDISes. They join him at the Moment, finally forgiving him, and themselves, for his actions, ready to support the man who was the Doctor more than anybody else. The three of them prepare to push the button together, but Clara tearfully objects. She knew that "the Doctor" had activated the Moment and destroyed his homeworld, but she had never imagined the Eleventh Doctor, her Doctor, with his hand on the button.

Time War Projection

The Moment projects the dire reality of the Time War.

The reality of the Time War projects around them: children crying, innocents suffering. The Doctor could not find another way to end it all, but Clara believes in a different solution. She reminds the Time Lord of who he is: the Warrior, the Hero, and the Doctor. They've had plenty of warriors, and what he will do is a heroic act unto itself. What the universe needs now is a Doctor who lives up to the name he chose for himself: never cruel or cowardly, never giving up, never giving in. A new day dawns on Gallifrey: a day of hope.

Three gleeful Doctors have a plan

The Doctors conjure up a miraculous plan to end the Time War and spare Gallifey.

At that, a brilliant new idea descends on the room; the Eleventh Doctor says that he's had a long time to think about it — he's changed his mind! The intent of the Moment worked: the War Doctor saw the future he needed to see. Picking up on his future self's idea without explanation, the War Doctor exclaims that he could just kiss "Bad Wolf girl" right now, which catches the Tenth's attention, only for him to be distracted from it as he realises what his counterparts were getting at and agrees that it's a wonderful idea. They have changed their minds about using the Moment, and the Eleventh Doctor disarms the device with his sonic screwdriver. Instead, they intend to freeze Gallifrey in a moment in time, slipped away in a pocket universe, the way the Zygons froze themselves into Time Lord art. When Gallifrey vanishes, the sphere of Dalek ships surrounding the planet and firing constantly will be exterminated in their own crossfire before they can cease firing, and the universe will believe that the two races destroyed each other.

Three Doctors Gallifrey Stands

The three Doctors announce their ultimate plan to the General.

On the last day of the Time War, another message from the Doctor appears before the High Command: GALLIFREY STANDS. The three Doctors race in their TARDISes towards Gallifrey, and transmit to the War Room. Three transmissions, each showing a different Doctor (much to the General's dismay), appear. They explain their mad plan to save Gallifrey. They will position themselves around the planet equidistantly, and freeze it through the stasis cubes. The General objects, claiming that the calculations would take centuries, but the Eleventh Doctor is well prepared for the task. After all, he's had centuries to think about it.

8 and 7 Time War

All of the Doctors protect Gallifrey.

At that, the voice of the First Doctor is heard contacting the War Council. Ten more phone boxes fly around the planet, and all the past incarnations of the Doctor come together to save Gallifrey. His second through eighth incarnations check in with High Command, while the post-war Ninth Doctor delights in the act of redemption he always wished for, but will eventually be made to forget for two more incarnations. The General bemoans the idea that all twelve Doctors have arrived, when three was bad enough. However, his count is one short.

EyesOfTwelve

A fleeting image of a future Doctor.

Androgar points out that all thirteen incarnations of the Doctor are present to save Gallifrey — a new incarnation from the Doctor's days yet to come is also on the way. A brief glimpse of this future Doctor shows a hand reaching for a lever in the Eleventh Doctor's console room, and a pair of fierce eyes watching the console monitor. As the Daleks increase their attack upon seeing the thirteen TARDISes, the General tells the Doctor to do it now. After a flash and a colossal explosion, the space becomes empty and quiet.

War Doctor Regenerating

His body wearing thin, the War Doctor regenerates.

Back in the National Gallery, the Tenth, Eleventh, and War Doctors muse on the ambiguity of whether their plan succeeded. The presence of the mysterious painting of the fall of Arcadia remains an enigma to the three Doctors. The War Doctor bids a fond farewell to his replacements, who finally address him as "Doctor": a man fully worthy of the title, even if he will only know it briefly. Because the time lines are out of sync, the War Doctor and the Tenth Doctor won't be able to retain their memories of these events. They will forget them completely until they catch up to their Eleventh incarnation. However, right now, the War Doctor is content. He gives Clara a farewell kiss and takes a moment to sort out his TARDIS out from the other two in the gallery. As he pilots his TARDIS away, he notices that his body has worn a bit thin again. After surviving the Time War, he is ultimately dying of old age. With his work done in the battle, regeneration energy begins to overtake the War Doctor. He expresses one last desire that the change will leave him with "less conspicuous" ears this time. The War Doctor smiles peacefully as his next regeneration begins.

Tenth Doctor Says Goodbye to Eleven

"We need a new destination, because... I don't want to go." The Tenth Doctor says goodbye.

Acknowledging that he won't be able to remember the answer, the Tenth Doctor questions his successor as to "where they're going" that the Eleventh Doctor so clearly wants to forget. The Eleventh Doctor relents and reveals that they are destined to die on Trenzalore, in battle, with millions of lives lost. The Tenth Doctor says that's not how it's supposed to be, but the Eleventh Doctor tells him it is determined now. Preparing to leave, the Tenth Doctor tells himself that he's glad his future is in good hands. He kisses Clara's hand, and with a smile, starts to step into his TARDIS. Before he does, he expresses his desire to change their final destination of Trenzalore, saying: "I don't want to go." As the TARDIS dematerialises, the Eleventh Doctor remarks "he always says that".

Clara asks the Doctor if he would like to sit and look at the painting for a little while. He smiles, asking how she knew. Clara kisses him on the cheek and tells him that she always knows — it's his sad old eyes. As she steps into the TARDIS, she mentions that an old man, possibly the Gallery's Curator, was looking for him.

TheCuratorTDOTD

The Curator of the National Gallery.

The Doctor muses out loud that he would be a great curator. He could call himself "the Great Curator", retire and become the curator of this gallery. A very familiar voice affirms that he really might. The astonished Doctor looks over to see a very familiar face standing next to him. An old man who greatly resembles the Fourth Doctor speaks to him of the painting, which he says he acquired under "most unusual circumstances". He tells the Doctor that its two names are actually one: the true title of the painting is "Gallifrey Falls No More". The Doctor realises that he was successful, and Gallifrey was indeed saved. The mysterious man reveals that it is simply "lost", and that the Doctor has a lot to do. He also muses that he and the Doctor might be the same man from different perspectives, sounding wistful about days gone by, congratulating the Doctor on the new journey he is about to commence. As to whether or not he truly is an incarnation of the Doctor from the future, the Curator simply teases the thought, "Who knows, eh? Who... 'nose'?", and with a tap of his nose, he turns and walks away. The Eleventh Doctor concludes that he has a mission, the mission of a lifetime: he must find Gallifrey and return it and all its people to the universe.

Day of the Doctor Closing Scene

“It’s taken me so many years, so many lifetimes, but at last I know where I’m going. Where I've always been going: Home, the long way round.”

Later, the Doctor speaks of his dreams, as he is seen to walk through the TARDIS console room. He says that he finally realises where he has been travelling all this time: home. He simply has taken the long way around. As he exits the TARDIS in the dream, the Doctor joins his eleven past selves in gazing up at the magnificent planet in the sky, determined to find Gallifrey and save his home once and for all.

Cast

Uncredited cast

Crew

General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics

Movement

Casting

General post-production staff

Special and visual effects

Sound







Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.


References

Planets

Technology

Individuals

The Doctor

  • The Doctor's age is discussed by the three incarnations:
    • While confronting a rabbit which he briefly believes to be a Zygon in disguise, the Tenth Doctor says that he is 904 years old.
    • When asked how old he is by the War Doctor, the Eleventh Doctor says that he doesn't know and has lost track, settling on "Twelve hundred and something, I think, unless I'm lying." He goes on to say that he is so old he couldn't remember if he was lying about his age.
    • The War Doctor in turn says that he's 400 years younger than the Eleventh Doctor at this point, making him approximately 800 years old. This would suggest that his successor may have travelled for about a century before first meeting Rose Tyler, as he tells her he is 900 years old. (TV: Aliens of London) Another logical conclusion is that the Ninth Doctor's memory of his age became clouded when his time stream was put back into sync after his birth, and he forgot the exact circumstances of when and where his predecessor regenerated.

References to the real world

  • When Elizabeth explains how she killed her Zygon duplicate, she says, "I may have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but at the time, so did the Zygon." This is a direct reference to the Speech to the Troops at Tilbury, in which she was credited as saying, "I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king, and a king of England too..."
  • The Eleventh Doctor calls the Tenth Doctor "Dick Van Dyke".

Story notes

Ratings

Specific to theatrical presentation

Specific to the 3D version

  • The episode was shot, broadcast and screened in cinemas in stereoscopic 3D. Despite confessing that he was not a big fan of 3D movies, writer and show runner Steven Moffat came up with the idea of shooting the episode in 3D and despite his initial worries, found the 3D version to be "better" and "more satisfying" than the 2D version. Knowing that the vast majority of viewers would have watched it in 2D, director Nick Hurran made sure that his shooting style wasn't influenced "too much" by the episode's use of 3D. Nonetheless, Hurran meticulously researched the back-catalogue of 3D films in order to see what worked and what didn't. Steven Moffat believed that Hurran's research had led the director to view "every 3D film ever made". (DWM 468)
  • The original Doctor Who logo is not only in black and white; a 3D effect is added to suggest the logo moving towards the viewer.
  • The 3D paintings are obviously more 3D in the 3D version.
  • As the Eleventh Doctor walks out of the TARDIS onto the cloud bearing his other selves at the very end of the story, the effect is considerably "more 3D" than viewing the 2D version would suggest.

Common among all versions

GRAHAM NORTON Regenerates into DAVID TENNANT & MATT SMITH Doctor Who on The Graham Norton Show00:47

GRAHAM NORTON Regenerates into DAVID TENNANT & MATT SMITH Doctor Who on The Graham Norton Show

Marketing for the show was intense, with its stars actively courted by any number of television and radio programmes. Here, David Tennant and Matt Smith help Graham Norton break the usual format of The Graham Norton Show's opening sequence.

  • The story is fronted by the version of the title sequence used on the original episode "An Unearthly Child", modified to include a BBC logo, and slightly shortened. (This version is slightly different than the opening used on the unaired pilot episode.) As such, this is the only episode to use a previously retired title sequence, rather than use the current one or introduce a new one.
  • The opening scenes further mimic the original open to TV: An Unearthly Child: the first shot shows a police officer going by a sign for 76 Totter's Lane, and the second shot is set at Coal Hill School as class dismisses. Clara is now a teacher at Coal Hill School. A sign shows that I. Chesterton is chairman of the school's Board of Governors, also showing that a W. Coburn is headmaster — a likely in-joke reference to Anthony Coburn, who wrote An Unearthly Child, and Waris Hussein, Doctor Who's original director.
  • Day is the sixth televised multi-Doctor story. The others are: The Three Doctors, The Five Doctors, The Two Doctors, Time Crash, and The Name of the Doctor.
  • The end credits list all the actors who have played the Doctor in the reverse order of their incarnations (with the exception of Peter Capaldi, who was completely uncredited for his brief appearance). As a result, Matt Smith and David Tennant are listed first and second respectively, but Christopher Eccleston is credited above John Hurt.
  • Actor John Guilor is credited as 'Voice Over Artist' in the credits, although they do not say which role he voiced. Castingcallpro.com credits him as the voice of the First Doctor.
  • Radio Times credits David Tennant as 'The Tenth Doctor', John Hurt as 'The Other Doctor' and Billie Piper as 'Rose Tyler'.
  • Jonjo O'Neill (McGillop) is erroneously credited as 'McGuillop' in Radio Times.
  • This is the first on-screen appearance of the Daleks not to feature those of the New Dalek Paradigm in the Steven Moffat era. This doesn't likely mean that the multi-coloured Daleks are gone, because all Daleks in this story predated the multi-coloured versions introduced in TV:Victory of the Daleks.
  • As Clara leaves the school a clock can be seen to display the time as 17:16, the broadcast time of "An Unearthly Child".
  • The access code for the vortex manipulator is "1716231163". This is a reference to the time (17:16) and date (23.11.63) that the episode TV: An Unearthly Child first aired.
  • When paired with the prequel episode TV: The Night of the Doctor, the titles of both episodes reflect opposite moments in the Doctor's personal lifetime. Night depicts the Doctor giving in to despair after suffering an absolute failure, whereas in Day, he has an absolute triumph. The two episodes also bookend the War Doctor's lifetime. Night shows his birth, and Day shows his death, as well losing and regaining his title of "the Doctor".
  • The archived footage shown during the Save Gallifrey scene for the different Doctors are as follows:
  • This is the final televised story to feature the Eleventh Doctor in a fez.
  • The TARDIS interior set floor was raised from its normal height during the filming of the special to help Jenna Coleman's stunt double ride Clara's motorbike into the TARDIS.
  • While the Eleventh Doctor is hanging out of the TARDIS over London, the soundtrack playing was first used in TV: Aliens of London and World War Three.
  • With the airing of this episode's special closing credits, the actors for the First, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Doctors have finally had their faces featured in in a form of credits for Doctor Who, along with the newcomer War Doctor. By extension, all faces of the Doctor up to the Eleventh Doctor have now been shown in either opening titles and/or closing credits.
  • For the War Doctor, the Tenth Doctor and the Eleventh Doctor, the events take place shortly before they regenerate. The War Doctor is seen regenerating at the end of the episode. Chronological evidence indicates the Tenth Doctor experiences this adventure during the period when he was on a "farewell tour" before his final adventure as depicted in The End of Time. Similarly, the Eleventh Doctor would regenerate in his next televised adventure, The Time of the Doctor. Interestingly enough, all three Doctors are living under the shadow of a prediction or expectation of their own death.
    • Conversely, the episode foreshadows the birth of the Twelfth Doctor, who arrives before his actual debut from the not-so-distant future to join his younger selves in transporting Gallifrey into another universe.
  • One Dalek fighter pod can be seen knocked away from the destruction of the Dalek fleet. This would support the idea that some Daleks could feasibly survive beyond the Time War. However, it should not be confused with the Dalek seen in TV: Dalek, as no connection is made that would suggest this craft was piloted by the same Dalek who fell through time and space to crash-land on Earth.
  • The Day of the Doctor was given a higher pyrotechnics budget because of its anniversary special status, which allowed the production to feature much bigger explosions, The heightened explosive use can be witnessed during the Fall of Arcadia segments.
  • David Tennant's Tenth Doctor portrayal became notable for a spiky, modern hairstyle that he experimented with near the end of Series 2 and later became his Doctor's default hairstyle up to his regeneration story. Unusually, Tennant's hair was slicked down in this special, save for one moment when the War Doctor acknowledged the "Bad Wolf" in front of his successors and his hair was standing on end.
  • The promise of the Doctor as stated by the Tenth Doctor, "never cruel or cowardly", hearkens back to a line spoken fourteen years prior to the fiftieth anniversary in another story that Steven Moffat helmed for Doctor Who- the non-canon 1999 Comic Relief special The Curse of Fatal Death. After the twelfth incarnation of an alternate Doctor died, apparently resulting in his demise, his companion Emma said that "He was never cruel and never cowardly".

The War Doctor's Regeneration

War Doctor turns into Ecclestone

The facial features of the Ninth Doctor are only partially seen before the regeneration scene cuts off.

The scene featuring the War Doctor's regeneration into the Ninth Doctor does not conclude with the emergence of the Ninth Doctor. It only shows hints of his face beginning to form, due the absence of Christopher Eccleston after a difficult decision not to reprise the role for the anniversary special. Steven Moffat later explained his reasons for cutting the scene short in an interview published in DWM 473. He cited the main reason for abbreviating the regeneration as “human decency” for Eccleston.

It was one thing to include him among all the other archive Doctors, as they flew in to save the day -- in fact, it would have been disgraceful to have left anyone out -- but placing him in that scene might have given the impression he’d actually turned up for filming, which would have been crossing the line. Not taking part in the 50th was a difficult decision for Chris, taken after a lot of thought and with great courtesy, and not respecting his wishes would have been grossly unprofessional and disrespectful to a good man and a great Doctor. Number 9 may not have turned up for the celebrations, but there would have been no party without him.” [[Steven Moffat|[src]]]

However, this has not stopped fans from posting their own modified takes of the regeneration online, who were not satisfied with the original scene. One of these edits has received over 300,000 views since it was made available on 3 December, 2013 for demonstrating a professional effort to complete the regeneration. The video clip showcases an extended cut of the previous footage that completes the face morph from Hurt to Eccleston and visualizes a fully regenerated Ninth Doctor in his first moments aboard the TARDIS.[8]

Production errors

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • There is a basic hair continuity error in the scene where Elizabeth and her duplicate catch up with the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors in the forest. As the two Elizabeths each kiss the Tenth Doctor, the Eleventh's quiff inexplicably escapes from underneath the fez — mostly when he is out of focus — and then is magically back under the fez when he's in tighter shots.
    • A similar hair error occurs with the Tenth Doctor when the War Doctor is exclaiming about the "Bad Wolf". After having his hair slicked down for the whole story, his hair suddenly stands on end in one shot with the Moment in the background, which inadvertently resembles the spiky hairstyle the Tenth Doctor wore in his final years.
  • When the Tenth Doctor has been kissed by Elizabeth in their wedding, his collar is up in one shot, and down in the next.
  • A close-up of the screen of the Space-Time Telegraph shows that it refers to the Brigadier's last name as "Left-Bridge" Stewart.
  • When all thirteen incarnations of the Doctor arrive to hide Gallifrey in a pocket universe, the Seventh Doctor first appears in his yellow pullover with question marks. When he appears again, his costume changes to the one he wore in the TV Movie and he is now in the Victorian parlour console room. When he appears for the third time, he goes back to wearing the pullover he originally wore in the television series. This emphasises that the archive footage used to generate his presence among the other Doctors has been pulled from asynchronous moments of his life, the early and late periods to be exact.
  • At the end of the special, when the three Doctors are in the museum, the Tenth Doctor asks what the painting is actually called. In that shot, the door to his TARDIS is open. In every shot after that, the door is closed.
    • When Clara enters the Eleventh Doctor's TARDIS and shuts the door, as the Eleventh Doctor starts thinking aloud he could retire and be the "the great curator", Jenna Coleman can still be seen moving around inside the police box prop through a gap between the doors for about a second.
  • The last scene of the special, where the Eleventh Doctor is walking out of the TARDIS onto the cloud with his other incarnations, the TARDIS door handle has been obviously removed.
  • The closing credits credit Billie Piper as playing Rose, however dialogue in the episode (plus copious interviews and promotional material related to the special) clearly indicates that Piper does not play Rose in the episode, but rather The Moment, a clearly defined stand-alone character, and in the form of the Bad Wolf entity.
  • After the War Doctor's TARDIS ploughs down a group of Daleks in Arcadia and takes flight, the SFX incorrectly show it as the untarnished Eleventh Doctor's TARDIS complete with the St. John's Ambulance logo, when the practical War Doctor's TARDIS prop has been heavily battle-damaged.
  • When the Eleventh Doctor says "we're going to freeze Gallifrey" to the war council, his script can be seen on the TARDIS console.

Deleted scene

  • A short deleted scene on the BBC Doctor Who website features the War Doctor, the Tenth and Eleventh arriving at the tower of London in ankle shackles. The Eleventh says his shoes "bring the cool" and that the Tenth "wouldn't understand the cool", whilst the exasperated War Doctor declares they haven't drawn breath "since Richmond".

Continuity

Home release

  • The Day of the Doctor was released in the UK on Region 2 DVD, and Region B 3D Blu-ray on 2nd December 2013. The Night of the Doctor was also included on both versions. A Region 1 DVD and a Region A Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD combo pack was released in the US on 10th December 2013.

Footnotes

  1. Dassanayake Dion. Doctor Who anniversary special sets world record as millions tune in to Day of The Doctor. Sunday Express. Archived from the original on 25 November 2013. Retrieved on 27 November 3013.
  2. 2.0 2.1 BBC Annual Report and Accounts 2013/14. BBC. July 2014. 60.
  3. Polls by DWM are statistically invalid, as they do not feature a random sample of people. Respondents choose to participate on their own initiative, and are made aware of the poll because they subscribe to or at least frequently buy DWM. Thus, the poll is clearly weighted towards Doctor Who fans who are also residents of the United Kingdom. The views reflected almost certainly do not represent the "casual" viewer of Doctor Who, non-English speaking fans, or other groups of fans who simply don't read or have access to DWM.
  4. The BBC iPlayer notes credit John Hurt's character as "the Other Doctor"
  5. Baker plays an enigmatic character implied to be the Doctor known as "the Curator" towards the end of the episode. However, the credits only credit him as "the Doctor".
  6. Although Billie Piper is credited as playing "Rose", her character is in fact The Moment's projection of Bad Wolf.
  7. Darren Scott (24 November 2013). Steven Moffat celebrates a 'new chapter' for Doctor Who. doctorwho.tv. Retrieved on 7 December 2013. “Speaking about the brief appearance of the next actor to play the Doctor, Peter Capaldi, in the anniversary special, Moffat said: 'I love that he's getting so much credit for less than half his face for less than a second. Well done Capaldi.'”
  8. Drew Boynton (15 December 2013). The War Doctor’s Regeneration Improved. kasterborous.com. Retrieved on 13 May 2014. “As seen on this very well-done video, the skilled fan has added just a few scant seconds, but it’s just enough to see the Ninth Doctor’s face fully regenerated in all his glory. It’s like years of waiting have finally come to an end.”

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