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The Day Of The Doctor
Poster Day-of-the-Doctor
Season ???, Episode ???
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Air date November 23rd 2013
Written by Steven Moffat
Directed by Nick Hurran
Episode guide
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The Name Of The Doctor The Time Of The Doctor

"The Day of the Doctor" is the 799th episode of the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who, and marks the programme's fiftieth anniversary. It is written by Steven Moffat, an executive producer alongside Faith Penhale. It has been described by series producer Marcus Wilson as a "love letter to the fans" and by the controller of BBC OneDanny Cohen, as an "event drama".[5][7] It was shown on BBC One on 23 November 2013, in both 2D and 3D. The special was broadcast simultaneously in 94 countries, and was shown concurrently in 3D in some cinemas. It achieved the Guinness World Record for the largest ever simulcast of a TV drama.

The episode starred Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor and Jenna Coleman as his companion, Clara Oswald. Previous lead actorsDavid Tennant and Billie Piper reprised their roles for the episode, with Tennant returning to play the Tenth Doctor and Piper portraying a likeness of her character Rose Tyler. John Hurt appeared as a previously unknown, past incarnation of the Doctor, the War Doctor, as introduced in the previous series finale. Actor Peter Capaldi also made a surprise debut as the Twelfth Doctor in a brief scene. Rounding out the guest cast, Joanna Page starred as Queen Elizabeth I, while Jemma Redgrave returned to portray Kate Stewart. The special also featured the return of the Daleks, and the Zygons, shape-shifting aliens who had previously only appeared in the 1975 serial Terror of the Zygons.

Plot[edit]Edit

At Coal Hill School, teacher Clara Oswald receives a message from the Eleventh Doctor and returns to the TARDIS, which is unexpectedly airlifted to Trafalgar Square. Kate Stewart of the paramilitary organisation UNIT shows the Doctor preserved instructions from previous wife Elizabeth I of England, along with a secret vault of Time Lord art: moments of time preserved in stasis that take the form of "3-D pictures". These include a painting of the fall of Arcadia on the last day of the Time War, known either as No More orGallifrey Falls. The glass of several of these pictures has been broken from within and figures in the paintings have disappeared. It transpires that the shape-shifting Zygons, preserved in stasis in the pictures, are invading. To defeat them, Kate plans to detonate a nuclear warhead in London from within UNIT's "TARDIS-proof" Black Archive of artefacts in London.

In the midst of the Time War, the War Doctor—a hitherto-unknown "hidden" incarnation of the Doctor—watches Gallifrey falling to the Dalek invasion. He decides to trigger an ancient weapon of mass destruction called "the Moment", a "galaxy eater" which will destroy both races completely. The Moment, however, is sentient and possesses a conscience. Its interface manifests with the form of his future assistant Rose Tyler to challenge whether mass killing is his best option and to show him the future personal consequences of his actions.

A fissure in space and time opens between these two points in the timeline, depositing the Eleventh Doctor and the War Doctor in Elizabethan England, where they meet the Tenth Doctor and a young Elizabeth I under threat from Zygons. All three Doctors are captured and imprisoned in the Tower of London, where the Moment encourages the War Doctor to form an escape plan involving calculations which would take "centuries", but which, being begun on the War Doctor's sonic screwdriver, are therefore now completed on the Eleventh's screwdriver, four hundred years in its future. The Eleventh Doctor, meanwhile, inscribes in stone the code necessary to activate a vortex manipulator stored in UNIT's Black Archive. Found by his allies in the present day, it allows Clara to both escape the Zygons and free the Doctors, by travelling into the past. Using the same technique of concealment by stasis within Time Lord art, they gain entry to the Black Archives despite its TARDIS-proof defences. They use the Black Archives' mind-wiping facilities to erase the memories of the humans and Zygons present, causing them to forget who is human and who is Zygon in human form, and forcing them to cancel the detonation and discuss peace.

The War Doctor, now convinced that detonating the Moment will allow his future selves to save many more lives, is returned to his time by the Moment. His other two present incarnations appear with the intention of detonating the device alongside him so as to share his burden. Clara, reminding them that he chose the name "Doctor", implores that he seek a different solution. The three Doctors finally think of an alternative solution, summon all of the Doctor's other past incarnations – as well as the next to come – and working together with the consent of the desperate Time Lords, place the entire planet of Gallifrey in stasis, in another place and time; the Daleks are obliterated by their own firepower as their target vanishes.

The three Doctors and Clara return to the museum, unsure whether the plan to save Gallifrey worked. The War Doctor is content to think that he failed in doing the right thing, rather than succeeding in doing the wrong thing. He realises that neither he nor the Tenth Doctor will remember what happened, and will continue shouldering the guilt for centuries. After departing, the aged War Doctor finds himself beginning to regenerate within his TARDIS. The Tenth Doctor also leaves, having persuaded his successor to tell him about his impending death on Trenzalore.

The Eleventh Doctor, now alone in the museum, is joined by its mysterious curator, whom he sees resembles an aged version of the Fourth Doctor. The curator implies that he may be a future incarnation of the Doctor, revisiting an old face, and comments that the painting's actual name is neither No More nor Gallifrey Falls, but Gallifrey Falls No More, asking "What do you think that might mean?", but does not elaborate further. The Doctor surmises that his plan to save Gallifrey was successful. In closing, the Doctor describes a recurring dream, in which he and his eleven previous incarnations are looking together upon Gallifrey, and that after 11 incarnations, he finally now has a home, and a goal - to find and restore Gallifrey.

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