Whether you were sat at home watching it in your pants or slogging it at one of the worldwide cinema screenings (hopefully not in your pants), yesterday was not only The Day of the Doctor but of the fans too.
No more was this evident than at the Doctor Who Celebration screening at the Excel centre in London. They laughed at Tennant and Smith’s screwdriver-envy, teared up at Bonus Baker and fist-bumped, Tim Henman-style, at the flash of Peter Capaldi’s eyes. This is what Doctor Who is all about: not just a TV show, but bigger on the inside, uniting an entire community through its history.
So, as the credits rolled at the Doctor Who Celebrations, there was no more perfect opportunity for RadioTimes.com to make a whole new bunch of impeccably dressed friends, as we asked the fans, in their rawest of states, what they thought of The Day of the Doctor…
Hello, K9! So, what were your thoughts on The Day Of The Doctor?
I thought it was amazing the whole way through. I just couldn’t take my eyes off it, it was just absolutely fantastic!
How did you feel about the whole ‘saving Gallifrey thing’?
I wasn’t expecting it but it was brilliant. I mean, yeah, what more could you do other than knowing he did the right thing?
Tell me about your costume.
I have spinning ears, and we’ve got a gun that comes out, and comes back in again! All hand-made, obviously.
What were your thoughts on The Day Of The Doctor?
I thought it was a really strong episode, with a strong storyline that intertwined the doctor’s storylines throughout the years really, really well. The chemistry between David Tennant and Matt Smith was absolutely fantastic, and I think Tennant upheld the episode, for me. It’s Tennant, innit? And Tom baker making an appearance was also brilliant, a little surprise in there.
Did you have high expectations going into the DOTD?
I did have high expectations, but just before the screening someone mentioned it might not have been very good, so I brought those expectations down a peg or two! Then it turned out it was brilliant, so I was really happy with it.
That guy sounds like a moron.
What a stupid fool, I should never have listened to him.
Do you think Mofatt did a good job of pleasing both classic and modern fans?
I would say so. I’m the more modern fan, so I can’t speak that much for the classics as I haven’t seen that much, but even for a modern fan, I got really excited to see the classics in there, as I just thought it was a real emotional tie. I think I related on some level for the older generation. I even got a tear in my eye at one point. It really tied it all down, it’s lovely.
Peter Davison! What a surprise to see you here! What did you think of The Day of the Doctor?
I thought it was exceptionally good. It was amazing.
You’re obviously a Classic Who fan. Did you think it would match up to your expectations?
Well, I had more expectations originally for the Big Finish one – The Light At The End – as I knew it had my classic Doctors that I grew up with in ‘the wilderness years’. But, I noticed over the last few days the expectations were rising as obviously it is the 50th, and you wanna see something brilliant happen. And it did tick so many boxes for me, as a fan.
I enjoyed all the little references, I enjoyed the Cole Hill school reference with its, Governor ‘Ian Chesterton’ – you get all the brigadeer stuff, and UNIT – that was wonderful. But the plot itself was actually quite clever as well. It wasn’t too complicated, so it was accessible to all fans, but it’s so clever in the way that it works through Doctor Who history and with Doctor Who history to create the next 50 years as Steven Mofatt was talking about – so it looked back to the last 50, and created the road ahead.
So you think Mofatt did a good job balancing modern and classic Who then?
Yes! We had all the Doctors there. Well, we didn’t have them in the episode by themselves, but we had clips from them, quotes from them, we had Tom Baker.
What did you think of the Baker cameo?
I’m not sure who he was supposed to be! Because he’s not quite the fourth Doctor – it’s not made entirely clear. So, obviously there’s still some explanation there, and probably Steven Mofatt will fill in the details later. Or maybe left up to the fans’ interpretations of why that happened! But it was still a powerful moment.
Charlie, as the sharpest looking fan here, what was your thoughts on the 50th anniversary special?
It was absolutely AWESOME! I loved it! I’m so happy. This is the best day EVER!
And what was – if you can possibly choose – your favourite moment?
When Tom Baker appeared at the end!
Laura Dobbie and Kimberly Cooper
So, how did you guys find The Day of the Doctor?
Laura Dobbie (Captain Jack Harkness): Brilliant. I was literally in tears. I didn’t expect to see Peter Capaldi and Tom Baker – who is clearly the favourite of the original Doctors.
Did you have high expectations going in?
LD: Yeah, for me anyway. There’s been so many bits of it released over the last couple of the weeks.
Kimberly Cooper (the eleventh Doctor): And we had a chat beforehand about how Steven Mofatt must’ve been feeling in the run-up to it. There’s just so much pressure, such as the number of countries it was showing in. We couldn’t imagine how nervous he must’ve been feeling. I’m sure right now the internet is going crazy with how happy people are. So yeah, there were very high expectations but they were very easily met.
How do you think it went down with balancing old and new viewers?
KC: Great. Some good jokes, like when David Tennant said, “I don’t wanna go”, just so many little jokes. I thought it was really well done.
LD: We really loved it. And I think you need something really epic to mark the 50th anniversary, and I think the idea of effectively changing the Doctor’s history was a stroke of genius.
It was interesting bringing the Time Lords back, wasn’t it?
LD: Yeah, they’ve opened up a whole new area of storylines, and you can go on an epic storyline to find them effectively, and to release them from this moment in time they’re being held in. So, it’s a stroke of genius because it really was an epic moment for the 50th, and it’s also opened up a whole new world of opportunities for the Doctor.