For a Second ‘Night’ Only

Someone needs to set Paul McGann straight.  McGann turned 54 yesterday on November 14th (looking at him it’s almost hard to believe that he and Peter Capaldi are only six months apart in age), but instead of being the recipient of a gift it was he who was in the giving mood.  In a complete surprise, the BBC released a mini-sode, The Night of the Doctor a part of the run-up to the 50th Anniversary episode ‘The Day of the Doctor.’

Those hoping (including me) that despite the denials that McGann would be involved in the 50th Anniversary got their wish more or less through the side door.  In The Night of the Doctor we get to see the final moments of the 8th Doctor, up to and including his regeneration.  There’s even a nice callback to The Brain of Morbius in the form of the Sisterhood of Karn.

It was marvelous.

Paul was effortless in his portrayal as always and looking a bit Hornblower-y (first impression only).  There was even the added bonus of callbacks to his Big Finish audio companions, all ending in the emergence of the ‘War Doctor.’  An important cavity in Doctor Who continuity has been filled and it had all the attributes of the best gifts….

The ones you never saw coming.

Though images related to The Night of the Doctor are quite spare, the caps are fortunately plentiful.  The first new ‘TV’ story for the 8th Doctor in 17 1/2 years.  What other surprises are in store?