TARDIS Index File

The Day of the Doctor (TV story)

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The Day of the Doctor was the fiftieth anniversary special of Doctor Who. 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. 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. The special also included the surprise debut of Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth 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 episode 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 episode was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest ever simulcast of a television drama, airing in 94 countries and 1,500 theatres worldwide.[1]

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 into which 3D films worked and didn't and how before shooting; Steven Moffat believing that Hurran watched "every 3D film ever made". (DWM 468)


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.


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. 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. Finally spotting the TARDIS, she drives straight into its open doors. 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, and 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 having an actual job. They stop in front of an impossible painting, something that belongs neither on Earth nor in 2013: 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.

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.
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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 him for his gun. He carves a message for both warring civilisations to see into a nearby wall: NO MORE. As Daleks attempt to exterminate innocent Gallifreyan refugees, the Doctor's presence draws their attention away from the innocent people and leads them to the wall with the message. He launches his TARDIS 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.

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. 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 a Gallifreyan wilderness.
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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.

The Moment is revealed.
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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, but 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 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.

War-weary and bitter, the elderly Time Lord tells her to stop calling him "the Doctor"; he claims 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 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.

DNA detector The Day of the Doctor
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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.

In 2013, 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.

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. They 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.

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 his companions. The two older Doctors 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.

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.

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 and travels to the past.

In the 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 claims he doesn't know, and that 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. The Moment explains that the Tenth Doctor has become "the man who regrets" and the Eleventh "the man who forgets". They are the future of the Doctor.

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. 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 the entire time as a test. She takes them down to the Zygons' lair to show them their plan.

Osgood walks in the halls of the Under-Gallery, before discovering the real Kate trapped in a Zygon nest. She frees her, but Kate bemoans the fact that the Zygons now have control of the Black Archive.

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).

The Tenth Doctor weds Elizabeth.
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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 sail 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 is TARDIS-proof. 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.
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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.

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 a Human or a 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.

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.
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Returned to the barn, 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.

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.

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 kiss "Bad Wolf girl", 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 change 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, 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.
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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 position themselves around the planet equidistantly, and prepare to 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 speak 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.

A fleeting image of a future Doctor.
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Androgar points out that all thirteen incarnations of the Doctor are present to save Gallifrey – even a new incarnation from the Doctor's days yet to come. 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 amazingly 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.
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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 only knows it briefly. 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, as the time lines are out of sync. However, for right now, he is content in the knowledge. As the War Doctor pilots his TARDIS away, he notices that his body has worn thin again. As he is dying of old age, 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. He 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.
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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 clearly wants to forget; he finally 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".

The Curator of the National Gallery

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 Curator, was looking for him.

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.”
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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.


Uncredited cast


General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics



General post-production staff

Special and visual effects


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.





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)

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


Specific to theatrical presentation

Specific to the 3D version

  • 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

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.
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  • 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.)
  • 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 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. 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 Ninth Doctor's scene in the climax is footage from TV: The Parting of the Ways.
  • This is the final televised story to feature the Eleventh Doctor in a fez.
  • The Fifth Doctor's dialogue, "Soon be there!" is from TV: The Five Doctors.
  • The Sixth Doctor's dialogue, "Just got to lock on to his coordinates." is from TV: Attack of the Cybermen.
  • 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 played in TV: Aliens of London/'World War Three.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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".


  • When surrounded by Queen Elizabeth I's soldiers, the War Doctor asks the Tenth Doctor and the Eleventh Doctor if they were going to "assemble a cabinet at them". The phrase "build a cabinet" was previously used by River Song in relation to the sonic screwdriver, and "build some shelves" was similarly used by Jack Harkness. (TV: The Doctor Dances, Day of the Moon) Ironically, the three Doctors later used their screwdrivers offensively to blast a Dalek back with a force field, destroying it.
  • The War Doctor gripes at his future incarnations for brandishing their sonic screwdrivers as if they were water pistols. The Tenth Doctor actually used a water pistol against the Pyroviles. (TV: The Fires of Pompeii)
  • The Eleventh Doctor calls to Clara through a wormhole, referring to her as the "Wicked Witch of the Well". Hila Tacorien was previously referred to by this name due to the wormhole in Caliburn House. (TV: Hide)
  • The Black Archive of UNIT appears. (TV: Enemy of the Bane, COMIC: Don't Step on the Grass)
  • The War Doctor and his successors were haunted over the 2.47 billion children of Gallifrey they killed by using the Moment. When the Eleventh Doctor took Amy Pond to Starship UK, he was moved by the sound of children crying. (TV: The Beast Below)
  • The Tenth Doctor asks the Eleventh where he's going, to which the Eleventh Doctor replies, "Spoilers". (TV: Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead et al.)
  • Kate encounters an alien which duplicates her appearance and impersonates her. This had previously happened when a Dæmon statue had taken her shape. (HOMEVID: Dæmos Rising)
  • When a Zygon is killed disguised as another creature, it keeps the form of that creature. (HOMEVID: Zygon: When Being You Just Isn't Enough)
  • When the War Doctor enters the Tenth Doctor's TARDIS he says he really "let it go"; the Eleventh comments that this was his "grunge phase". The Eleventh Doctor then loads his own 'desktop', changing the TARDIS design. The Tenth declares he doesn't like it. The Second Doctor said the same when he saw the Third Doctor's TARDIS (TV: The Three Doctors) and the redesigned UNIT HQ (TV: The Five Doctors), as did the Eleventh Doctor when visited Craig Owens in his new home. (TV: Closing Time) The Fifth Doctor also disliked the Tenth Doctor "changing the desktop theme" when they accidentally ran their TARDISes into each other. (TV: Time Crash) The TARDIS told the Doctor that she archived past and future versions of the console room in The Doctor's Wife. While changing the theme the Console Room briefly features a hybrid of the Tenth Doctor's Console Room and the original TARDIS roundel design which is later seen to be the War Doctor's TARDIS theme.
  • The episode continues the theme begun in the classic series of the Doctor's various selves having difficulty getting on with each other when they meet. (TV: The Three Doctors, The Five Doctors, The Two Doctors, Time Crash)
  • Many alien artefacts from previous adventures are seen in the Black Archive, including River Song's red heels, (TV: The Time of Angels) Magna-Clamps, (TV: Army of Ghosts/Doomsday) the head of a Supreme Dalek, (TV: The Stolen Earth/Journey's End) a Dalek tommy gun, (TV: Evolution of the Daleks) the restraining chair from the Naismith mansion, (TV: The End of Time) the Space-time telegraph, (TV: Terror of the Zygons) the sonic probe used by an older version of Amy Pond, (TV: The Girl Who Waited) the facemask of one of the Clockwork Droids, (TV: The Girl in the Fireplace) Amy Pond's pinwheel, (TV: The Eleventh Hour) the half part of a Silent, the head of a Cybus/Cyber Legion Cyberman, and a TARDIS coral.
  • The Tenth Doctor, when returning to his own timeline, tells the Eleventh Doctor that he is glad his "future is in safe hands". These are the exact same words the First Doctor says to the Fifth Doctor upon the former's departure. (TV: The Five Doctors)
  • The security protocol for the Black Archive involves a self-destruct triggered through nuclear warhead detonation at the sacrifice of all human life in the blast radius. A similar nuclear option against alien attack was developed by UNIT in the form of the Osterhagen Project and was also nearly activated. (TV: The Stolen Earth, Journey's End)
  • When the Doctor calls from the TARDIS phone, his telephone number once again is 07700900461, as it was in (TV: The Stolen Earth).
  • This episode greatly resembles the events of The Fires of Pompeii; primarily, the sequence depicting the three Doctors placing their hands on the Moment resembles the scene in where Donna and the Doctor blow up Mount Vesuvius. In both cases, the Doctor was agonising over a terrible decision (Pompeii or the world; Gallifrey or the universe), but somebody came to support him, and share the responsibility of pressing the button. These two stories also resemble each other in that the Doctor's companion convinces the Doctor to take a different path rather than resigning himself to an unalterable consequence. (Donna convinced him to save Caecilius and his family; Clara convinces the Doctor to save Gallifrey without destroying the Time Lords).
  • The Eleventh Doctor refers to his fate on Trenzalore. (TV: The Wedding of River Song, The Name of the Doctor, TV: The Time of the Doctor)
  • The Tenth Doctor, upon hearing of Trenzalore, says they need to take a different direction as "I don't want to go." His successor notes that "He always says that", as it was his last words before his regeneration. (TV: The End of Time)
  • Prior to regenerating, the War Doctor comments that his body is "wearing a bit thin", repeating the line spoken by the First Doctor immediately prior to his own regeneration into the Second Doctor. (TV: The Tenth Planet). He then hopes that "the ears are a bit less conspicuous this time"; the Ninth Doctor makes a reference to the size of his ears when meeting Rose. (TV:Rose)
  • For the War Doctor, the Tenth Doctor and the Eleventh Doctor, the events of this episode 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.
  • An eccentric, Doctor-like character who went by the name "the Curator" appeared in the story Summer Falls, which was marketed as being written by Amelia Williams.
  • While making the treaty, one of the Kate Stewarts can be heard saying "Look what happened to the Sycorax." (TV: The Christmas Invasion)
  • The Tenth Doctor tells the Eleventh Doctor "Oh, don't start" when he says "hello" to the Queen Elizabeth's, recognising it as the same trick Captain Jack Harkness often pulled- flirting with people from the moment he said "hello" - one he repeatedly stopped. (TV: Bad Wolf, TV: Utopia)

Home release

Home media trailer
Hotsoup.6891Added by Hotsoup.6891
  • 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.


  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. The BBC iPlayer notes credit John Hurt's character as "the Other Doctor"
  3. 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".
  4. Although Billie Piper is credited as playing "Rose", her character is in fact The Moment's projection of Bad Wolf.
  5. Darren Scott (24 November 2013). Steven Moffat celebrates a 'new chapter' for Doctor Who. 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.'”
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