With the world in turmoil thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, what better time to revisit the Doctor’s finest hour? As TV lovers everywhere self-isolate and comfort-watch their favourite shows, Doctor Who fans are going a step further, organising a communal online rewatch of 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor this Saturday 21st March.
The idea is simple. At 7:00pm GMT, Whovians will begin playing the smash-hit special on BBC iPlayer, Netflix, a DVD or another rental or streaming service, and watch it simultaneously around the world.
Meanwhile, anyone taking part can follow along with a live discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #SaveTheDay and relive the highs of the 2013 anniversary. After all, what better show could there be to travel back in time for?
“The thinking behind it is that in the absence of any new Doctor Who on TV now series 12 has finished, and given the fact that many people are stuck at home self-isolating and not able to go out for any entertainment, I wanted to find a positive way of using the power of Doctor Who to keep fans interacting,” Doctor Who Magazine’s Emily Cook, who proposed the idea on Twitter, told RadioTimes.com.
Written by then-showrunner Steven Moffat, The Day of the Doctor was a huge hit when it debuted in 2013, scoring massive ratings and critical acclaim as it marked five decades of Doctor Who onscreen.
Starring Matt Smith, David Tennant, John Hurt and Jenna Coleman among many others (including some surprise cameos), the episode saw the Doctor(s) unite with his past (and future) selves to stop a deadly Zygon plot, save Gallifrey from the Time War and unlock the secrets of his own past.
And if the rewatch goes well, Cook says this could be the first of many Doctor Who watchalongs, with tentative plans in place to revisit 2005 episode Rose on March 26th (15 years after the episode first aired) and Matt Smith's opener The Eleventh Hour on the 3rd April (10 years after its initial broadcast).
“The idea seems to have gone down well so far!” she told us.
“If it works and is a success, I'm definitely going to plan more of these 'Who at Home' simulcasts in the weeks to come, giving fans who are joining in the chance to vote on which episodes they'd like to watch together next.”
UK fans can watch The Day of the Doctor on BBC iPlayer or Netflix, while fans overseas can rent or buy the special on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play or other rental services.
And who knows? This could be the first of many trips into history aboard the TARDIS over the coming weeks. Stay tuned…
Doctor Who: Revolution of the Daleks comes to BBC One in late 2020/early 2021