Doctor Who 50th anniversary: live episode planned?

News Louisa Mellor 29 Aug 2012 - 08:44

Matt Smith has dropped one or two hints about what the BBC may have in store to celebrate Doctor Who’s 50th birthday…

Appreciating that this is a speculative leap based on little more than a few words from the incumbent Doctor, the old rumour that plans are afoot for a live Doctor Who episode to mark the show’s 50th anniversary next year has re-emerged. 

The facts, so to speak, are these: Matt Smith chatted to Forbes about the show’s golden jubilee over the weekend, and uttered these words: “It won’t just be a televised event, I think it will be a live event. […] The way it’s transmitted on TV will hopefully be an inventive thing – something different.”

A live episode of Doctor Who then… Eastenders has done it, twice now, as has Coronation Street and a raft of US shows including ER, 30 Rock and plenty more besides, though it bears mentioning that all of those shows tend to be somewhat lighter on FX work than Who. 

Any thoughts?

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How would that even be possible?!

You can do a live EastEnders. The show is basically filming people talking.
How, exactly, can you do TARDIS, Dalek and other alien special effects live????
Nooooo. Just because other shows have done it does not mean Doctor Who should!

Recorded episode with 5 minute segmented of live footage.

What the Doctor considers 'Live' and 'Real Time' are somewhat different from us non Gallifrey dwelling trogolodytes

Or a central set around which the bulk of the episode is based with short cutaways for FX sequences.

However, live motion capture CGI is getting quite advanced and could be used instead. I think the Graham Norton show did a short segment not so long ago with GN as an animated Panda. However, the show was pre-recorded so not sure if that was added post-production but it did look as if everyone there was watching it live.

i think by live event he means like the proms, or doctor who: live.

Is live TV that inventive? Didn't most of it used to happen that way? Is any TV concept inventive these days? Hasn't it all been done?

Seems a pretty lame 'event' if it's going to be live. Things are recorded and edited for a reason, so they don't look like pisspoor youtube things ppl have made at home. I'd rather have a musical episode or something.
I'm really hoping it's going to be coming from the surface of Mars. It's a long shot, but I like to aim high...

Can "green screen" be live? Sets can be set up so that walking out of the TARDIS set and into where the next scene is. Unless it's a live prom rather than one that's been recorded a few hours before? Unless it's like Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds? Except it's Murray Gold's Doctor Who?

By 'live' I take it to mean that an audience of viewers will be watching it on first broadcast and not on catch-up TV or iPlayer or whatever. The event will be also be 'live' because millions of people are living it at the same time and interactively participating in it by tweeting along and suchlike along social media sites.

That's a really bland reality-heavy explanation. I hope, in fact, that it's something way cooler than that and that the hints in Matt Smith's soundbite point to something special. Bring on a live improvised Doctor Who filmed-theatre thing with live special effects, says I...

I'm pretty sure that they won't have a live show in the sense that the actual episode is broadcast with live acting etc. I'd interpret it to mean the anniversary will have a like a special evening of Doctor Who programmes presented live with an audience, documentaries, a quiz show special and then they'll show that weeks episode or a special if there isn't a series currently running.

If McGann doesn't come back I will be very disappointed

I don't think a live episode will be such a good idea. Why don't they bring back David, Christopher and Paul for a Five-Doctors-esque episode?

Err.... that's Four! ;)

When I first heard him talking about 'live event' I assumed he meant there would be more than just an episode and something like a one-off theatre show or the Doctor Who experience would be involved. I hadn't even considered live airing and tbh I can't see it working for Doctor Who :/

He meant the special titled The Five Doctors, aka the 20th anniversary. Not that there had to be five Doctors.

Strongly doubt he could have meant that. As others have commented, maybe a live event surrounding the broadcast. Just my opinion but I'm not really expecting an all the living doctors reunion story. If anything maybe Tennant. Reason being Moffatt, who loves his pre-publicity, hasn't been willing to confirm they are planning it or even would want to do that. Of course it maybe a) he enjoys dragging out the confirmation and/or b) contracts are not signed. But you can only query why no "yes we'd love to bring all the [old/new series-delete as applicable] doctors back. Hope it happens but pessimistic.

Well, if they do effects like they did in the old days I don't see how live would be much of a problem, the effects back then were pretty horrible though. It should be interesting, whatever they do, so long as they don't forget that what really matters is the story, not the broadcast.

That picture looks like Matt forgot his lines for the live ep.

No. Please no. Multi doctor arc for the love of Thor!

He doesn't actually say it will be a live episode. I expect it'll be more along the lines of Dr Who at the Proms or something: mostly filmed but with live bits interspersed

I'd love to see a multi-Doctor arc with all 11, or at the very least, 8, 9, 10, and 11.

XD, so true.

There was only four (three?) in "The Five Doctors" anyway... ;)

I would love to see a 30 minute live episode re-making the very first episode "An Unearthly Child with Matt as the first Doctor, Arthur Darvill as Ian, Karen Gillan as Barbara and the little girl who played Amelia Pond as Susan, either that or they are planing a live Edge of Destruction type new episode, all one set, regulars only

As long as they lock Sylvester "acting, you say?" McCoy and Colin "available" Baker in a deep mine for the duration of the 50th they can do what they like

How to do a live episode. . . didn't the BBC do a one-off live Quatermass remake a few years ago? Didn't see all of it, so I can't comment on how well it worked, although I do remember one bit where the actors stumbled over their lines and nearly laughed.

if they don't do a multi doctor story it'll be the biggest crime against humanity since firefly was cancelled!

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