Doctor Who: Looking Back at 47 Days #16 – Mini Episodes

A few years ago, I did a series of 47 daily posts which all looked at different questions related to the revival series of Doctor Who, focusing on stuff I like about the show. I worked out a series of questions in advance and then picked one randomly for each day. I’ve decided to revisit the series to see how my opinions may or may not have changed, and to bring two of my daughters into the discussion, since they are both big fans and have recently finished watching the revival series.

Why 47?  It’s my favorite number.

Why Doctor Who?  It’s my favorite show.

Why the modern day Doctor Who only?  Simply because I remember it better.

Why are we looking back at this now? Because we’re on a 47 day countdown to November 23, the birthday of the show.

Check out Day #15 here.

When I first did this, it was September 2016, which means we were in between the Christmas episodes The Husbands of River Song and The Return of Dr. Mysterio, and were yet to debut Peter Capaldi’s last season on the show. Jodie Whittaker was even further away. How has the passage of time, evolution of opinions, and three further seasons of the program impacted my opinions?

Today is Day #16, and our theme is…

Best Mini-Episode

Almost from the beginning of the revived Doctor Who series, the show has enjoyed throwing out little “mini-episodes” supplementing the main program. Some of these were fully self-contained stories, some were prologues to proper episodes, some were charity specials that were not meant to be taken seriously. Some were bonus scenes only available on DVD, and in the recent season of COVID-19, some were original stories written by the show’s main contributors and put together with artwork or with original footage shot by some of the proper actors while in lockdown.

Though a lot of these stories were worthy (some were not), my choice for the best is the same as it was last time

Night of the Doctor

By far, this is the most momentous of the mini-episodes. Paul McGann is back as the 8th Doctor (about 17 years after his first and last television appearance) in a story that expands a bit on the Time War, sets up the 50th anniversary special, and shows the Doctor regenerating into the War Doctor (whose existence we had only just learned about). The only disappointment is that it is a mini-episode, and not a full movie or something, because it was quite good and showed a lot of promise.

What did my daughters say?

Johanna (16) also picked Night of the Doctor, although in preparation for this I showed her Space and Time, the two part mini-story from 2011, and she quite enjoyed that.

Laurelle (14), on the other hand, picked Time Crash from 2007, featuring a brief team up between the 10th and 5th Doctors.

All these episodes were written by Steven Moffat, both before and while he was the showrunner of the series.

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