After the incredibly awesome mini-episode The Night of the Doctor, I was pretty stoked to see yet another mini-episode a few days later. Sadly, this four minutes of material lacks almost all of the impact that TNOTD had and barely comes across as well as those one-minute cellphone prequels they did for series 2. I’m only writing about it because I feel like I should be a “completionist” since I’ve been tackling all of the other 50th anniversary material. This was intended as a prequel to the actual special, but it almost seems more like a DVD special feature.
The Last Day tells the story of a Gallifreyan soldier that has been enlisted into the Arcadian branch of their military. As viewers, we see the unfolding story through the eyes of this soldier, a fact that almost immediately makes this seem like a “cut-scene” from a modern “first person shooter” videogame. We are told that Arcadia is the “safest place on Gallifrey” and that nothing has ever gone through both of the oddly-named “sky trenches” we saw in The Day of the Doctor.
Our soldier goes through the agony of having a psychic head-cam bolted into his skull: first the actual pain, then multiple hallucinations of the instructor talking to the newbie seemingly dying. The instructor goes through great pains to explain away these “hallucinations” as an after effect of the camera itself, and not any sort of premonitions. Our soldier is taken to a large gun battery and briefly participates in some target practice. He is told to be on the look out for a Dalek, because “only one would destroy the city”. Seconds later millions of our old armored squid-guys fill the sky, and massacre all of the soldiers.
It’s good to see a bit more of the Gallifreyan military, since anything about their society outside of their high-ranking elite is fairly vague in the TV and books. This was essentially an introduction to the ground soldiers we saw in The Day of The Doctor, and it did well in that regard. Sadly the script isn’t great, the acting is bland, and it feels rather cheap to be quite honest. I didn’t hate it by any means, but it The Last Day seems fairly unnecessary. I would have rather enjoyed four more minutes of Paul McGann, and that’s all there is to it.
- The Night of the Doctor (2013) (anamericanviewofbritishsciencefiction.com)
- Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor (2013) 50th Anniversary Special (anamericanviewofbritishsciencefiction.com)
- Doctor Who: 5 cool things that happened in The Last Day, the second 50th anniversary minisode (metro.co.uk)
- Paul McGann Says Returning To Doctor Who Was A Real Privilege (popwrapped.wordpress.com)
- ‘Doctor Who’ 50th Anniversary Intro; Prequel Reveals Invasion of Gallifrey (screenrant.com)
- Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor Recap- SPOILERS! (lezgetreal.com)
- Doctor Who: The Day of The Doctor – Review (socyberty.com)
- The War Doctor: Finally, a John Hurt (and Paul McGann) Action Figure (toplessrobot.com)
- Doctor Who – Recap & Review – The Day of the Doctor [50th Anniversary Special] (twocentstv.com)
- Doctor Who: The 4 big Doctor Who questions from The Day of the Doctor (metro.co.uk)