Remember before Keanu Reeves was a badass in The Matrix …
There is a sense in watching Kingdom of the Crystal Skull play out that Spielberg’s lack of enthusiasm carried on into pre-production and then filming itself. One final, brutal visit to the editing suite before the film’s release would have fixed much of the damage and created a final product that, while hardly a classic, would not have infuriated to such a degree.
The War Doctor is cagey and a little cranky. He is tired after what appears to have been a long, long life of trying to resolve the Time War. Though he is battle-scarred, he still feels very young when compared to his successors, the Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Doctors. When he meets them, he finds the Tenth and Eleventh to be annoyingly immature and mannered. He also has a strong sense of duty and feels an obligation to end the Time War, no matter the cost to himself.
Doctor Who may be an international phenomenon, but when it comes to specials, particularly multi-Doctor specials, it doesn’t have the best track record. The Three Doctors (1972-73) , which kicked off the 10th season of the show, is fun, but lacks any significant emotional punch. The Five Doctors (1983), the 20th anniversary special, is a bit of a lark but it not only fails to live up to its title (the Fourth Doctor only barely appears, in one looped clip), it wastes most of its special guest stars. Then there’s The Two Doctors (1985), which doesn’t carry the extra burden of being an anniversary special but still fails to leave much of an impression, despite being an entertaining outing. Throw in the modern series’ spotty history with Christmas and Gap Year specials and current showrunner Steven Moffat’s season seven struggles with pacing, payoffs, and character and “The Day of the Doctor” looked to have a lot riding against it, despite the much-touted return of Tenth Doctor David Tennant and Billie Piper, who played fan-favorite Companion Rose Tyler. Fortunately with “The Day of the Doctor”, all of these fears are proven to be unfounded, as Moffat and director Nick Hurran deliver an exciting, emotional special.