Doctor Who 50th anniversary: The top 10 moments from The Day of the Doctor

Re-visit the best bits of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special

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The Independent Culture

After six months of waiting with bated breath, the Doctor Who  50th anniversary special aired on Saturday. There were thrills and plenty of surprises in The Day of the Doctor. Here are our top 10 moments from the episode.

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1. John Hurt as the War Doctor

Despite the presence of David Tennant as the tenth Doctor, it is safe to say that fans have fallen in love with John Hurt as the Doctor. His curmudgeonly Doctor pretty much stole the show, evoking memories of William Hartnell's first Doctor. Hurt's grumpy version of the Doctor was also a source of much comedy.

2. Tom Baker as the Curator - 'Maybe I was you'

The surprise appearance of Tom Baker, the actor best known as the Doctor (before a certain David Tennant), was a treat. He gave a characteristically whimsical turn as the curator of the museum. While the hair may be less wild, his wide-eyed stares and sonorous voice are still the same. His short scene with Matt Smith's worked perfectly.

3. Peter Capaldi's 13th Doctor

We may only have seen a shot of his eyes but it was enough to send pulses racing and Doctor Who fans into a state of ecstasy. It was a nice little reveal ahead of Capaldi's debut this Christmas and ties the thirteenth Doctor into the mythology of the programme. It just makes sense in a wibbly, wobbly, timey wimey way.  

4. David Tennant as the 10th Doctor

There were plenty of tears when he bid farewell with the words 'I don't want to go' back in 2010 but it was as if nothing had changed on Saturday. David Tennant's return to the role of the tenth Doctor was straight off the mark. 

5. Billie Piper as the WMD interface

Fans were wondering just how Rose Tyler would be incorporated into 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who considering her character is supposed to be stuck in another dimension with a human copy of the tenth Doctor (it's complicated). However, writer Steven Moffat neatly managed to get around this dilemma by creating a new character for Piper to play. She gave a sterling performance that was initially quite eccentric, much like Suranne Jones' turn as the Tardis in The Doctor's Wife. Piper's scenes with Hurt were magical.

6. Blast from the past - The Sixties Doctor Who titles

What better way to kick of the 50th anniversary special than with the original title music from the first episode of Doctor Who from 1963?

7. The Zygons are back!

We knew that this classic Doctor Who monster was going to be making a return but we didn't expect them to make quite such an impact. In the classic series they looked more like a hideous cross between a weasel and sea creature, but in The Day of the Doctor they were truly terrifying not to mention repulsive with their gnashing fangs and red saliva. 

8. It was unlocked all along - The Tower of London scene

The scene in the Tower of London with the three Doctors was great. It was funny, dark and touching as the trio bantered about how to get out - only to discover the door was never locked in the first place. It is the moment the Doctor questions his identity and the man he is and will be. A real moment of character development for the Time Lord.

9. No wobbly sets

It's safe to say that wobbly sets and naff rubber monsters are a thing of the past. Doctor Who is now a slick production with incredible special effects. The Day of the Doctor  was a cinematic spectacular.

10. 'Gallifrey falls no more' - The Doctors save the day

While we initially thought that the War Doctor was a dark and somewhat evil incarnation, it turns out that he's just a man faced with a difficult decision. Luckily, the tenth and eleventh Doctors (along with all the other incarnations) helped him to save the day and not destroy Gallifrey. So the planet of the Time Lords is simply lost somewhere out the universe waiting to be re-discovered.