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Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special: The Day of the Doctor Hit with Fans

Doctor Who fans have universally praised the multi doctor story that was at the centre of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special shown last night. Before last night’s episodes there have been plenty of Doctor Who 50th anniversary rumours, most of which were pretty far off the mark. But that hasn’t left fans disappointed at an episode that was far more epic than any other in the Doctor’s long history.

The Day of the Doctor was broadcast simultaneously in 94 countries and featured three Doctors, current incumbent Matt Smith was joined by David Tennant and John Hurt during the 75 minute episode. Cameos from Tom Baker and Peter Capaldi, who is replacing Smith at the end of the year, would have kept fans happy.

“It's the most ambitious episode we've ever done," Steven Moffat, the show’s boss said. His story was based on the idea that the Doctor is the last of the Time Lords, a concept that’s underpinned the series since its 2005 re-launch. Moffat's story centres on Hurt’s Doctor making the decision to commit genocide in order to stop a time war. Hurt was brilliant in the role, playing a character tortured by this decision and the other two actors more than ably support him throughout.

Matt Smith’s reaction to the episode summed up the effect that last night’s story will have on the series: “I think what's really clever about it is that what he [Moffat] has managed to do is change the mythology of the character - which, after 50 years, is an achievement.”

The show opened with the original 1963 credit sequence and featured the Daleks and the Zygons, who made their first appearance in 1975. Special effects featured throughout the episode, which cut between a modern London setting, Elizabethan England and the planet of Gallifrey to make an epic story that will be hard for the producers to match come Christmas time.

The 50th anniversary special was Matt Smith’s penultimate appearance as the Doctor. The Christmas special will be his last outing before the character regenerates into the new Doctor, who will be played by Peter Capaldi.

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