Having fan edited The Day of the Doctor to as a John Hurt story, an edit undertaken more than once due to that regeneration, I thought it might be fun to try and tell the story again from the point of view of the other two Doctors involved.
Since there were plenty of scenes with each of the Doctors on their own before they met up, that seemed like a viable option for a fan edit. For instance, just as the Hurt Doctor edit doesn’t really need scenes with Tennant larking about with Liz One, in the same way the Tennant version wouldn’t need Smiffy hanging from a Police Box above Trafalgar Square. And the Smiffy version wouldn’t need Hurt & Billie in the barn.
Telling the story in such a way as to keep the focus on each of the three Doctors in turn was a nice editing challenge and it was always at the back of my mind when I put together the initial Hurt edit. My only concern was that they might not end up being different enough from each other to make it worth doing. In the end I needn’t have worried as there were enough differences between each version to outweigh what they had in common.
Two versions of the same story was something I’d already done for The Two Doctors, one from Sixie’s perspective, the other retelling the story as if it was a Troughton story from the infamous Season 6B titled The Dastari Experiment. I’d also, for the sake of completeness, edited The Evil of the Daleks in two versions, the second of which had Troughon’s initial voice over explaining the flashback retelling to Zoe. So since there were already examples of being able to watch & listen to the same story twice over, another one wasn’t a problem.
Chronologically, if The Dastari Experiment takes place in the Season 6B gap between The War Games and Spearhead From Space, and The Evil of The Daleks repeat happens between The Wheel In Space and The Dominators, where does The Day of the Doctor happen for Tennant?
It can only really go in the gap between The Waters of Mars and The End of Time Part One, especially since Liz One gets name checked when Ten arrives on the Ood-Sphere at the start:
DOCTOR: …I didn’t exactly come straight here. Had a bit of fun, you know. Travelled about, did this and that… Got married. That was a mistake. Good Queen Bess.
Leaving aside the continuity issue of Ten’s hair going all floppy for this one adventure instead of all sticky-uppy as it was during his final season, Tennant’s return to the role is a triumph and just makes us miss him all the more. Luckily for us he’s now moved to the Big Finish Retirement Home For Former Doctors, but we can only hope he comes back in 2023 for the Sixtieth Anniversary Special, if there is one…
The first thing to do was to knock up a version of the Tennant title sequence, which is a combination of the better version of Murray Gold’s arrangement of the theme from Series Four and the Series Two opening titles with Billie Piper’s name in them. I was never going to do a naff home PC CG version with Matt Smith and John Hurt’s names added, and anyway, the idea for this edit was to treat it as a Tennant-Era story instead of a Smiffy one.
Which is why we open with Liz One writing her letter to the Doctor before going straight to her and Ten having their picnic interrupted by a Zygon. After that Smiffy turns up, quickly followed by Hurt, which is what gave me my first real editing challenge…
How to deal with the Hurt Doctor was always going to be the big question for this both this edit and the Smiffy version. The answer was to have Hurt pop up in the forest and then have a cut-down flashback to him nicking the Moment before returning to the forest scene. Remember, this is a Tennant story, not an Anniversary one. If you watch the Tennant Era in order, the last one you’ve seen is The Waters of Mars, and then this. A flashback would be the obvious way to introduce the Hurt Doctor, so that’s what I went with.
After that it’s pretty much as per the Hurt Version, though losing the regeneration obviously. Hurt departs, Tennant asks Smiffy where it is he doesn’t want to go, says his last RTD line again and departs. Cue end credits and then for Ten it’s Next Time: The End of Time Part One!
As a final thought, I did wonder if there was an alternative title I could give the story for the Tennant Edit but the best I could come up with was The Zygon Queen, which is has a bit more zip than Queen of the Zygons. Although it references the pre-Smiffy part of the story well enough, it didn’t really work as an alternate title for the whole thing so I stuck with the original. Didn’t stop me knocking up a mock cover though…