Doctor Who
The Day of the Doctor

Episode Report Card
Tippi Blevins: A | 421 USERS: A
The Day of the Doctors
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

The old-school, original theme music and title card transport us back 50 years to the onscreen birth of Doctor Who. Happy birthday, Doc! After that, we find ourselves in the present day, at the secondary school where Clara is teaching a gaggle of children about Marcus Aurelius. The moment the bell rings, a young man rushes into her classroom to tell her a doctor has left a message for her. He's quite worried something is wrong with her, but Clara knows it's the capital-D Doctor. She hops onto her motorbike and heads to the appointed address, some miles away in the middle of a deserted country road. She bikes her way right into the TARDIS, then shuts the doors with a snap of her fingers. They make plans to visit ancient Mesopotamia, then hug in greeting, only to be interrupted when a giant claw drops down from a helicopter and snatches up the TARDIS.

Action movie music plays, like it's some kind of major trouble happening, but it turns out to be a misunderstanding. The Doctor calls in to UNIT headquarters, where an assistant in a mini version of Four's scarf hurries to hand the phone to Kate Lethbridge-Stewart. The assistant is so out of breath with excitement that she has to take a hit off her rescue inhaler. "Oh, my God, Doctor! We had no idea anyone was in there," Kate says when she hears the helicopter on the other end of the line. "Next time, would it kill you to knock?" shouts the Doctor as he dangles precariously over the city.

The helicopter deposits the TARDIS and its occupants outside the National Gallery. Kate apologizes heartily for the mix-up. "I'm acting on instructions straight from the throne," she explains. She hands over a small note sealed with red wax. "Sealed orders from Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth I." She then brings them all inside to show them the Queen's credentials.

On their way in, Clara tries to get the Doctor to tell her about how he knows Elizabeth I. He changes the subject to talk about UNIT. "They investigate anything alien," he says. "What, like you?" she asks. "I work for them," he says. Clara is surprised to learn he has a job. The conversation is cut short when they reach Her Majesty's credentials, which take the form of a large, gold-frame painting... of sorts. It moves and shimmers in three dimensions. "No More," the Doctor murmurs. "That's the title," Kate clarifies. "Also known as Gallifrey Falls." It depicts the fall of Arcadia, Gallifrey's Second City, he explains, in a slice of real time. Like the TARDIS, the painting is bigger on the inside. "Elizabeth told us where to find it, and its significance," Kate says. "He was there," the Doctor whispers. "Me. The one I don't talk about." It's the incarnation he's tried to forget. "He was the Doctor who fought in the Time War and that was the day he did it. The day he killed them all. The war to end all wars, between my people and the Daleks."

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