Last weekend was the 50th anniversary of the first broadcast of british sci fi show Doctor Who. Previously on this blog I have admitted that I like the show but personally think the show needs to change. But obviously because I’m a bit of a fan of the show I ended up watching the anniversary special episode that starred David Tennant, Matt Smith and screen legend John Hurt.
I’ll start off with what I didn’t like about the episode. The plot was a bit all over the place. There was a lot of emphasis on these shape shifting zygon creatures who I thought were just going to be a gimmick at the beginning but then clung on for the rest of the episode with yet another generic undeveloped world invasion plan that the show has already done a million times before. The climax of this sub plot is quite satisfying and almost unexpected but as an anniversary episode it seemed far too similar to every episode before it.
Also the whole episode didn’t really feel like it developed the doctor in any meaningful way, apart from perhaps John Hurt’s doctor who is struggling with wherever or not to commit double genocide, both David Tennant’s doctor and Matt Smith’s don’t really have any character development what so ever. I know you can’t expect major character development in every episode but in an episode which is feature length and the most ambitious the show has ever done it would be nice to have delved into the doctors psyche a little more and learn more about him.
Onto what was good though, John Hurts role is brilliant and actually quite captivating. His version of the doctor struggles with wherever or not to destroy his own planet and the daleks. It was great to finally see more of the time war that has always been referenced and to see how difficult it was for the doctor to decide what to do. Also John Hurt is a really great actor and it feels like he is representing the older doctors and does so magnificently.
Now my favourite thing though was the re appearance of David Tennant, as he was my doctor. He was the doctor when I was most interested in the show so seeing him back again in this felt like a real treat. His banter with Matt Smith and his interactions with John Hurt was by far the best parts of the show.
However I also enjoyed the cameos of Tom Baker which was great as he is arguably the definitive doctor and the cameo of next doctor Peter Capaldi (who I personally think will be brilliant). Oh and the ending of the show gives me hope that maybe they will take the show in a new direction instead of more generic poorly written invasion plots like the one featured in this very episode.