The Name of the Doctor


The trilogy of “…of the Doctor” stories that saw out Dr Smiffy in 2013 are the sort of thing you can only really do once. A bit like The Doctor’s Wife, part of the appeal lies in the fact that those sorts of stories are ones you can’t do very often. That’s because the danger of having the Doctor as the focus of the story is that you can get self-indulgent, with backstory and continuity overtaking engaging storytelling. We’ve seen the dangers of that approach before under JNT, but thankfully, so far the New Series has, mostly, stayed the right side of the thin line between consistency & continuity and fanwankery. I’m sure there are Continuity Cops out there who can reconcile the two different outcomes of the events of Trenzalore, as seen here and in Time. Personally, I just play the “time can be re-written” card instead of engaging in brain-ache of DC Multiverse proportions.

And, unlike most trilogies, here it’s the middle one that’s actually the best of the three. Name sets up the events of Time and foreshadows them, Day, I would argue, is the most successful as it has less boxes to tick, which is what hinders Time and makes it the least, and Name sits somewhere in the middle. Of course, there’s more going on here than just the shock reveal of John Hurt, though that’s what it will always be remembered for. That and the fact that they’ve got REG back as the face of The Great Intelligence, though I’d still rather have Ian McKellen reading the audiobook of Web of Fear, ta much. REG is as weird as ever, with that strange intonation pattern of his and a hairstyle that I’m sure is deliberately intended to echo the one they gave his animated self for Scream of the Shalka. Talk about getting a bit meta!

On to the edit itself and we still start with the Colourised Hartnell sequence, which, though pretty poorly done [why didn’t they get Stuart Humpryes of Babelcolour fame to do it?] is at least better than all that craptacular rotoscoping and adding of Clara to various Classic Series shots, the Troughton one being the worst of the lot, with Pertwee in Bessie the best. There was no way I was going to include that shite so that was the first and most obvious cut to make.

Another one was the stunt Doctors in the void of the Doctor’s timeline, none of whom look remotely like who they’re meant to be, so that gets slathered in a helpful amount of motion blur to hide the fact. I also added in the zoom-y faces from the credits of Day, minus Hurt obv, colour adjusted to match, just for the squee of it, in lieu of the fanwankery of putting together a whole load of naff images of either Clara or REG in various screengrabs from back in the day. Not only did the idea not really appeal to me, knowing the sheer amount of work that would be involved for very little gain, and equally little screentime, in the end I simply couldn’t be arsed is the honest answer!

Once the story is over and we’ve all gone “OMG! They’ve only gone and got John bloody Hurt!!!” it’s time for the trailer for Day of the Doctor to round things off, something that you can’t really not include. I’ve used elements of both the actual episode trailer and the anniversary one. It always puzzled me that the Beeb spent all that time and money on that CG trailer and only screened it once!



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One thought on “The Name of the Doctor

  1. Just popping in with a review…

    It’s great that you held back on Clara meeting the other Doctors in the pre-titles, whatever happened to a good ol’ tease? Half the plot twists were spoiled before the episode even began, that is a critical writing 101 error! Clara telling One he’s about to make a big mistake is obviously a compelling lead-in for the titles

    Also, bang up job using the Day of the Doctor end credit vortex-of-many-Doctors as a substitute for the “stand-ins”

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