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Anniversaries are cool

Fifty years of Doctor Who

by: Tanner Garren/Layout Editor

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Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) and Tenth Doctor (David Tennant)
Screen shot from the Day of the Doctor Trailer, The 50th Anniversary Special. All rights reserved to BBC

2013 is a year of quite a few important fiftieth anniversaries. One can take the depressing route and concentrate on the anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination; but think of an anniversary that impacts major sci-fi enthusiasts of America…and pretty much the entirety of England. This would be the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who. Even in its years of hiatus; and since its revival in 2005, the show has constructed a fandom whose numbers fall shortly below shows like Star Trek or Star Wars. With its fiftieth year the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) and the show’s new head writer Steven Moffat have composed an episode to celebrate fifty years of the time traveler saving the universe one time at a time.

The anniversary episode, “The Day of the Doctor,” lived up to its hype with a tremendous wave of nostalgia and charm for all of the Doctor’s fans.  Since the renewal of the series, the story has stressed that the Doctor destroyed his home planet of Gallifrey and all his kind with it in a war to save them from being exterminated by the Doctor’s arch enemies, the Daleks. Not until this episode do we learn the truth. The current Doctor (Matt Smith) meets his tenth reincarnation (David Tennant) and together the two wacky men uncover a secret about themselves they had hoped to forget.

John Hurt guest stars as the Doctor, but as a version of the protagonist that no one has ever seen before; the Doctor that murdered all of Gallifrey. Actually by the time all three Doctors meet, Gallifrey has yet to be vanquished, but what should the conflicted old doctor do? Leave all his people to die at the hands of tyrants, or commit genocide to force peace? The three heroes later find that the only way to save Gallifrey is to work together, but reinforcements are needed. Who better to call than the rest of the Doctors that have existed throughout the series? All twelve doctors, not to mention the new reincarnation of the Doctor to come, save Gallifrey by sending the planet far off into space away from the Daleks.

The episode’s storyline made this fan happy, but the shining moment is the end when Tom Baker, the fourth reincarnation and longest played Doctor, comes to tell the current Doctor what he must do next: find his home. After the unions of his past lives, The Doctor looks far off into his frontier of space and thinks back on who he is, what he and his past twelve lives have done for the good of all creation.

Nothing lasts forever, especially television shows, but with the story of the man that is the Doctor, we can only hope that this will not be his only important anniversary.

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