Doctor Who – The Day of the Doctor (2013)

The screenplay predictive algorithms at Saw It For You got a little breather this weekend — despite their best efforts, they could not have foreseen the crazy plot twists and turns in the BBC’s 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who. I got a chance to watch it in the backseat of a Mercury minivan, and it is truly mind-blowing. Don’t get left behind around the water cooler — we’ve got the inside goods on The Day of the Doctor.

Synopsis. The 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who at long last deals with the central mystery of the series: who was Blatchley-Down Crimmits?


  • According to series writer Steven Moffat, “the 50th anniversary of the show was a wonderful opportunity to revisit why the Doctor can never be a woman.”
  • For the first time, overt product placement has crept into Doctor Who, such as the T-Mobile logo on the TARDIS door and the 11th Doctor’s Sonicare Screwdriver.
  • A new catchphrase from the episode has already caught on like wildfire in the fan community: “Goobly-gorbly physics-wizzics”
  • Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor was only visible for a brief moment, but still long enough to speak his signature line: “Some motherfuckers always trying to ice skate uphill.”
  • In addition to Capaldi’s official reveal, close examination of the figure behind him shows his likely companion: Selena Gomez.
  • This marks the first time the Doctor had a trademark tool other than the sonic screwdriver: the sonic Colt AR-15 semi-automatic service rifle with night scope.
  • Due to Alex Kingston’s unavailability, the part of River Song in the episode was recast and played by Cardboard Standup of Alex Kingston.
  • The TARDIS Time Clown was voiced by Breckin Meyer.


  • Plot hole. Doctor Who (BBC, 1963-2013).
  • Continuity error. A highly anticipated scene where the 10th and 11th Doctors make out does not appear in the episode, despite being promised in an interview Steven Moffat did in my fanfic.
  • In the scene where River Song and the War Doctor are escaping the Dalek King, a real TARDIS is visible behind the prop TARDIS.
  • When the 11th Doctor points his sonic screwdriver at the Cyberhorse, he shouts “expecto patronum.” The line is supposed to be “science fiction version of expecto patronum.
  • When Rory’s parallel clone asks how they used the TARDIS to escape when it had been “completely disabled” the entire episode, the Doctor forgets to disarmingly smile in a charming, goofy way that can be made into an animated GIF.
  • Incorrectly regarded as goof. In many of the scenes where the Doctor uses his new transforming multi-sonic screwdriver, he holds out an empty hand as if the visual effects for the CGI screwdriver are missing. However, the screwdriver can activate an “invisibility mode” whenever it feels like it.
  • Incorrectly regarded as goof. In space combat, the TARDIS shakes violently, but sometimes its passengers do not react to the shaking, making it seem like the actors missed their cue to shake along with the camera. This is because the TARDIS can activate an “inertial stability booster” whenever it feels like it.
  • Incorrectly regarded as goof. There is no reference in all fifty years of Doctor Who to “telepathic time coins,” but when the Doctor says “Of course! The telepathic time coins I always carry!” he is not wrong; it’s just an example of ever-changing, impossible-to-predict ebb and flow of the time stream.
  • Telepathic time coins would likely not be accepted by London toll booths.
  • Come to think of it, given all the Doctor’s resources, having the TARDIS be stopped at a regular toll booth for three hours due to a lack of exact change seems unlikely.
  • When the War Doctor’s faceplate falls off to reveal that he’s actually a Cyberman piloted by a Dalek mutant, you can see the other faceplate accidentally shift long before the second reveal that he’s actually just the War Doctor.
  • Plot hole. In the first thirty seconds of the cold open, the universe is at risk because “all possible universes are imploding at infinity billion times the speed of light” and the 11th Doctor has only “one-over-infinity seconds to re-explode all impossible negative universes” to prevent the infinite oh my God who cares I can’t believe this is even a thing, how can you have drama when the stakes are ratcheted this high every five minutes

Memorable Quotes

The War Doctor. Never or always forget, and remember: everything and nothing is always and/or never possible, or not.
The 11th Doctor. I couldn’t have put it better or worse myself.
The 10th Doctor. Or selves.
TARDIS. Or nonselves.
The 11th Doctor. (wistfully, near tears) Or both. Or neither. Or neither and both simultaneously, as well as simultaneously not simultaneously.

TARDIS. Doctor, I’m so happy to be both a metaphor for your wife, and an inanimate utility device you travel inside.

The 11th Doctor. We’ve been caught in a stable time nexoid — an intersection of all realities — and we had no idea.
River Song. How long have we been here?
The 11th Doctor. Our whole lives. Also, never.
(violins swell and soar as River Song shrugs in epic slow motion)

(100 Years Later…)
The War Doctor. 
And the Doctor escaped to fight another day.
Dog. B-but what happened to his companions? And the TARDIS worm? And the dark energy being??
The War Doctor. Ahh, all very good stories in and of themselves! But also stories… for another day.
Dog. Awww. (whines)