The Day Of The Doctor
The Day Of The Doctor

Synopsis

The story that relaunched Doctor Who for the 21st century, novelised by show-runner Russell T Davies from his original script.

Discover the new Doctor Who classics. 

When the entire universe is at stake, three different Doctors will unite to save it. 

The Tenth Doctor is hunting shape-shifting Zygons in Elizabethan England. The Eleventh is investigating a rift in space-time in the present day. And one other – the man they used to be but never speak of – is fighting the Daleks in the darkest days of the Time War. Driven by demons and despair, this battle-scarred Doctor is set to take a devastating decision that will threaten the survival of the entire universe… a decision that not even a Time Lord can take alone. 

On this day, the Doctor’s different incarnations will come together to save the Earth… to save the universe… and to save his soul.

Episode guide

Notes

Deviations from televised story

The book features scenes from the viewpoint of the Curator.
There are scenes featuring Mr Armitage, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and River Song.
The Eleventh Doctor tells Clara about the events of his last regeneration (only to realise Clara isn’t there and he’s talking to himself). When examining his new face, he explicitly identifies himself as the eleventh face. The War Doctor’s voice rebukes this and dared him to deny his existence.
As most of the story is told in the first person from the perspective of different characters, the Moment’s role in the story is dramatically reduced and several scenes are omitted such as the Eleventh Doctor’s dream and the War Doctor’s regeneration.
The Moment’s character is altered slightly to a more morally grey form, it expresses it would enjoy destroying the Time Lords and Daleks, but refrains due to its conscience. In the TV version, it is never expressed by the Moment that it has any desire to activate.
The events of TV: The Night of the Doctor are retold. Cass’ last name is given as Fermazzi and Ohila reveals that the regeneration potion she gave the Eighth Doctor was in reality just lemonade and dry ice.
The colour balance in the War Doctor’s new eyes are different, and he muses that he remembers his first and second incarnations to be colour-blind, and did not realise this until his third incarnation, evidently a joke about the TV stories from 1963-1969, which were all in black and white film
Moving Gallifrey into the painting disrupts its atmosphere; the Twelfth Doctor visits the War Room to coordinate disaster relief.
The thirteen Doctors help out on Gallifrey saving people from numerous natural disasters caused by trying to shift Gallifrey into another dimension.
The Black Archive includes VHS cassettes of two “Dr. Who” movies starring Peter Cushing, Daleks: Invasion Earth and one other; the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors watch the movies and pitch a third one to Cushing on the phone. They both call each other Dr. Who for fun.
The Doctor’s other incarnations visited the Under-Gallery for a tea party right before the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors arrived.
Chapter 13 shows the Thirteenth Doctor meeting Cass.
The Tenth Doctor’s horse is identified by the name Alison despite the horse being male. This references a similar scene in A Town Called Mercy.
When listing his companions before regenerating, the Eighth Doctor also mentions Fitz.
It is said that the Ninth Doctor, soon after regenerating, smashed every mirror in the TARDIS to avoid seeing his new face, and thought of how many children he must save to make up for the ones killed on Gallifrey.
The Tenth Doctor tells the rabbit he is 900 years old, rather than 904.
The mental state of Atkins is expanded upon, and he is killed by the Zygon Kate Stewart.
Osgood and McGillop have romantic feelings for one another.
Osgood has made it a personal mission to number the Doctor’s incarnations. Apparently she has several tattoos of the Doctor’s faces.
The journey from Richmond to the Tower of London is expanded upon.
While talking with Clara, the War Doctor notes her voice sounds familiar and recites “Fear makes companions of us all” but is unable to explain why, referencing the speech Clara will give to the First Doctor later in her personal timeline, whilst travelling with the Twelfth Doctor.
The Tenth Doctor’s reaction to the Eleventh Doctor forgetting the number of children on Gallifrey is far more violent, to the point he actually strikes his future incarnation. The exchange between the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors directly after is also omitted, replaced instead by the War Doctor attempting to prevent further violence.
The Eleventh Doctor, when Clara is pressing for information about his marriage to Elizabeth I, mentions that he has been married a lot and possibly is married to Jack Harkness. However he is unsure due to there being many people in the same room at the time which suggests the marriage, if it even happened, was accidental.
The Eleventh Doctor states he can’t wear the fezes he has in the TARDIS because they were presents from Tommy.
It is explained that Cass’ ship was shot down by the Time Lords after they indiscriminately opened fire on a group of ships including Dalek ones.
The War Doctor tricks his way into the Time Lords’ Vault by claiming the Doctor is already in there. It is mentioned he burned the “No More” message on Skaro after destroying half the Emperor’s fleet.
The Tenth Doctor’s meeting with Elizabeth is elaborated on: She had him tortured and sentenced to beheading as a spy but gave a stay of execution for the picnic.
Elizabeth tells the Doctors her men can take care of any Zygons remaining in her time.
Kate frequently calls Osgood “Petronella”, predating the name being revealed in The Zygon Inversion.
Kate (or rather her Zygon duplicate) remembers seeing the Fourth Doctor and Sarah with her father as a child, when the Doctor got his scarf caught in a door and thought he was trapped in a forcefield.
The Curator reveals that he made the robot magpies for the Tower of London and often meets Clara for tea but pretends not to remember her.
Osgood senses that her Zygon duplicate likes being her and gives her permission to carry on.
It is implied that River used a therapy bot to erase the Eleventh Doctor’s memory of how many children there were on Gallifrey.

Writing and publishing notes

This story was released as an audiobook read by Nicholas Briggs.
Each chapter is written from the perspective of a different character, often by one of the Doctors, but usually referring to himself in the third person. The inter-chapter notes specify that it is up to the reader to identify who the author of each chapter is.
Chapter 9 is listed as highly confidential.
The novel is in memory of Sir John Hurt, who portrayed the War Doctor in the TV series.
This release marked Steven Moffat’s first ever novel, both for the franchise and overall.
He has, however, previously written prose in the form of short stories.

Review

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