Nick Hurran

Sherlock, Ep. 3.03, “His Last Vow”: Holmes keeps his promise

There has been a lot of development since last week’s heartwarming episode. “The Sign of Three” divided fans and critics alike, as most commented on the change of tone, its overindulgent sentimentality, and lack of mystery. But it nonetheless nicely set the stage for the showdown between our eponymous hero and his most challenging adversary to date.

Promo poster for Doctor Who's 50th Annivesary Special, The Day of the Doctor

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special, “The Day of the Doctor” a beautiful, fitting tribute

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.

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