Judging by the response from comments on social networking site and fans interviewed on BBC television and radio last night, the answer would appear to be an overwhelming “yes”, but in this little corner of north east England, one person is going to beg to differ - slightly.
The premise of this epic adventure was to unravel the oft-quoted and therefore accepted notion that the Doctor (through a newly-revealed War Doctor incarnation) had destroyed the Time Lords and the
Daleks to bring an end to the Time War – the notion ultimately being revealed as a myth that could be dispelled in little more than an hour.
Obviously, the effects were stunning and there were some superb dramatic performances from the main protagonists. The fact that you didn’t need a Master’s degree to understand the storyline was a bonus too, but it’s the storyline with which I have fundamental issues – more of that later.
The Day of the Doctor began perfectly with the Hartnell titles, a sign for the Totter’s Lane scrapyard and a scene in Coal Hill school (with one Ian Chesteron as Chairman of Governors!).
The story progressed and by now you all know how it ended, certainly from a Gallifreyan point of view, but there was still time for a wonderful cameo from Tom Baker, as the gallery’s curator. Tom turns eighty in January, but his appearance certainly belies his age and his appearance was a lovely surprise.
There will be those out there with far greater knowledge of the programme than I, but if I think the new twist is difficult to explain away, then I’m sure many other viewers will have felt the same. Without the Doctor and that sole Dalek, you’ve basically got a watchable piece of drama with Todd from Corrie in it – oh and Annalese from Holby.
What next, a new “Shower Doctor”- presumably played by Patrick Duffy – suddenly appearing to suggest that every single adventure from the past half a century had in fact been played out in a false parallel universe? I’m really sorry – and I’m probably going to get pilloried for this – but much as the episode had a lot to recommend it, there is an element of Moffat self-indulgence here that I simply don’t care for.
From BBC1 to BBC3 and the “live party” that had massive potential, but verged on the toe-curlingly embarrassing at times. It was incredible to see so many companions gathered together – someone really should write a book about trying to get a signed photo from all of them…
For me the party was an opportunity missed, the anniversary episode had some great moments, but (for me) a flawed concept – so when I eventually look back on the fiftieth anniversary of Doctor Who, I will probably remember two things: the truly brilliant An Adventure in Time and Space, and the fact that nine lost Troughton episodes were found just in the nick of time.