Doctor Who: what do we know about the 50th Anniversary special?

Review Cameron K McEwan 1 Mar 2013 - 07:50

Cameron sifts through the rumour and fact to find out what we actually know about Doctor Who's forthcoming 50th Anniversary celebrations...

Doctor Who is well known for its rumours. Hardly a day goes by without someone claiming either Paul McGann is back or The Rani is making a return, and with the 50th Anniversary Special looming, the rumour mill has never been so busy. 

But what is fact? What do we actually know about the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special. Or, indeed, specials? 

What we do know is there will be at least one special, to be screened in 3D on the small screen and in selected cinemas. Now, we should point out to those who automatically hit the "rant" button whenever 3D is mentioned that you will also be able to watch it in 2D. So desist from your hate now, you won't be forced to watch it in that medium. 

We also know that it will be directed by Nick Hurran; the man who so stylistically helmed stories such as Asylum of the Daleks and The Girl Who Waited, amongst others. A popular choice and one I'm sure can take on the mammoth task of a 3D spectacular. 

Cast-wise, the current Doctor Who, Matt Smith, will be present. That's a surety. But what about new girl Jenna-Louise Coleman, who plays companion Clara; will she be there? All signs point to yes though it's worth pointing out that costume designer Howard Burden, speaking at an event at the BFI, said that the only cast member he knew of in the special was Matt (though he could, of course, just have omitted Coleman by accident). 

Last year, both Smith and executive producer Caro Skinner teased the fact that actress Alex Kingston, known for playing the Doctor's "wife" River Song (I'll leave you to debate whether or not the ceremony was valid), would return in 2013. But when? Is she returning in series seven part two or the 50th Anniversary? Guess we'll have to play the waiting game on that one. 

Other returnees much mentioned in the press and scurrilous websites include, of course, every actor who has played the Doctor. Some claim they haven't been contacted, like Colin Baker and Paul McGann, whilst David Tennant and Christopher Eccleston have both made interestingly vague and almost leading, remarks in interviews. 

If I were the betting type, I'd say the most recent Time Lords will be back. Even Steven Moffat, the man behind writing the special, has hinted at the possibility, saying, “Getting the other Doctors involved would be very fitting for the anniversary episode, wouldn’t it?” 

But what about former companions? Again no official word though actress Louise Jameson, who played Leela opposite Tom Baker's Fourth Doctor, recently announced on Twitter that some former Who-ers had been asked to keep days free. Intriguing for sure, though this could simply be for a documentary, for example. 

Actor John Barrowman, known to Who and Torchwood fans as Captain Jack Harkness, has expressed on a number of occasions a desire to return (though stating that no conversations had taken place), whilst Matt Smith would be keen to see his old mucker Billie Piper make an appearance. 

As for the story itself, some outlets have hinted at an "Eleven Doctors" type romp, in the style of the previous anniversary stories The Five Doctors (1983) and The Three Doctors (1973) with a shock regeneration for The Eleventh Doctor. Though, it should be noted, there is no actual evidence to support these theories at all. 

On this front, producer Marcus Wilson has claimed that the special is a "love letter" to fans (which suggests some returning Doctors/companions/monsters) though Moffat has been vocalising his own fears about the project. The Blink writer said, "It’s half exciting and it’s half absolutely terrifying because I know how excited people are and I feel tremendous pressure not to let them down." 

He's right, people are excited. And when The Moff heralds statements like, "I promise you, we’re going to take over television. Trust me," and the aforementioned Caro Skinner pipes up with "It’s certainly our intention to do justice to the scale of it," it's hard not to get excited. But how will Doctor Who "take over" the small screen. In terms of the special, which may or may not be an hour - we just don't know yet, there could well be more. 

Speaking recently, Steven Moffat said that there's "a lot of different things going on. Don’t believe the nonsense about one sixty-minute film, that is complete nonsense. We’ve got a lot of things coming up for that. It’s hugely exciting." Is the showrunner referring to more Doctor Who specials, perhaps connected, or is the Scottish writer merely referring to things such as The Culture Show and Pointless Celebrities one-off specials and documentaries? One certainly hopes it's the former. 

There will also, of course, be the fantastic-looking "genesis of Doctor Who" drama from Mark Gatiss, An Adventure in Space and Time which is most definitely special. Clocking in at ninety minutes with a terrific cast and classic Who re-enactments, the story looks like a delight for die-hards. 

If I may return to the original question, what do we actually know? What is fact about the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special. Well, as you've seen, surprisingly little (and given that we're still just under than nine months away from broadcast, it's hardly a shock). With just a few weeks to go before filming begins, however, information is going to start flooding in very soon and I think above all, it's going to be an amazing televisual event.

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Hey don't diss 'Pointless' - I can't be the only one who think Richard would make a great Doctor!

Paul McGann is playing the The Rani

A proper documentary, you know three hours - all the names, players, fans etc, narrated by a thespian... giving the definitive history, would be bloody brilliant. 30 minutes on the Culture Show and a some bloke who played a Cyberman in 1982 and his plumber mate on Pointless doesn't really do it justice.

I only just realised Blogtor Who posts on this site!

I think, at least, a 5-part special played over the course of a week would be satisfactory along with various Doctormentaries and stuff.

I concur about a Dr Who special of Pointless, particularly as Xander has featured in the show. Granted, the Christmas special he was in was poor, but still...

I imagine him bombarding us with trivia every time a famous thesp appears on screen. It would be great.

I dont want to see old Doctors from the classic series in the new version unless they play different characters. The only doctors I want to see are McGann, eccleston, tennent and smith. I would like to see mcgann die and regenerate into eccleston so there is a full compliment of regenerations.

I don't particularly want to see the 8-9 regeneration unless they're going to show the Time War (which I doubt). Nine was born in war, hence his anger. The Time War was set up by RTD and hasn't been referenced much by Moffat since he took over.

So, in answer to the questuion posed in the title of the article, nothing what so ever. Damn the BBC and their veil of secrecey, but damn those who spoil even more.

What's wrong with a sixty minute film, other than being unrealistic by this point? Like I've said before, can't wait

'The Doctor's Wife' from last season might disagree with you. Recall The Doctor's crowning moment of awesome in that episode?

The House: 'Fear me...I've killed hundreds of timelords.'

Doctor: 'Fear ME. I killed all of them.'

also a reference at the very start of that episode - when the doctor
receives the Corsair's distress signal and gets excited by the idea that
the Corsair might still be alive, Amy and Rory ask him 'But you said
that the other timelords were corrupted by the timewar.' Doctor: 'Not
all of them - the Corsair was one of the good ones - utterly terrific

It's also a key episode in explaining the 9th doctor's
guilt - the reference to the Corsair and the idea that there were other
timelords like the Doctor who weren't corrupted by the war, makes the
Doctor's choice to blow up both sides a fair bit more tragic (and the
idea of the 'doctor born in war' being a dangerous thing), when you take
into account that he knew he'd also be killing friends who were still
'good guys'.

Interestingly there appears to be no series 8 scheduled to film this year, which has outraged a lot of fans. But there could be a very real technical reason for this - the events of the last episode this season must link sequentially into the November special(S) with no gap - and if the Doctor was to regenerate as part of either the last episode or during the special then they couldn't film a series this year as they would need a different lead actor and it would be common knowledge. My guess is the special might be a case of the Doctors life flashing before his eyes with nods to all the Doctors via CGI or old footage prior / during the regen process. SO we could need a new lead .....Damien Molony anyone?! Only my contribution to the rumours!

You missed the Light at The End. It's an Big Finish audio story featuring all the living "classic" doctors.

I've done a bit of research on this, and after checking the astrological star charts and waiting until a three-quarters waning moon is in the fifth segment of Capricorn, I threw the salt grains of a thousand year old German lake floor into the east wind, and it told me that:

There will be one brand new episode for each past Doctor, using CGI to ensure they look as much like their younger selves as possible;
these episodes will culminate in a grand finale involving all eleven doctors, as they look now, coming together in one great regeneration to produce a new incarnation of the Valeyard;
who will then do battle with a newly regenerated Romana, played by Sue Perkins, who has to recruit all the past companions to help her.

Not sure what the ending is.

The BBC are also going to film Shada, based on Gareth Roberts' recent novelisation, and with a Tom Baker lookalike as the fourth doctor.

It's going to be such a great year. Can't wait!

I want very much to see Paul McGann as the Doctor again. His audios are great, and the poor quality of the TVM was not his fault.

The 50th anniversary is interesting one special or many? If they go for an hour only I think they could only do a two or three hander. So 10th and 9th. Even then it's a push. I'd like two or three specials to give it space. Time must be spent on having a proper credible antagonist. I always fancied a story about the time lord funeral casket that Borossa got trapped in at the end of the Five Doctors. Omega; The Master; The Rani and The Valyard are all potential big bads.

I would love all eleven but I think just 9-11would be the easiest. We all know them and the squabbling would be lots of fun. Saying all of that can we really have a 50th special without one of the oldies? Although I am a Peter Davison fan I'd have to go for Tom Baker. His brand of crazy weird and the gravitas of his age is too good to miss.

The problem for Moff is that it's going to be hard to please everyone. For all 11 (so in reality seven actors playing the dr with some flashbacks:tricks) is going to take 3 to 4 to go it justice. My one fear is that the oldies come back as other characters. That would be a cop out. I do wonder if the actors playing Hartnell and Troughton in the specials too. Sean Pertwee could play a good 3.

I feel decidedly underwhelmed by this. I'd love some SFX fest like when DS9's "Trials and Tribbleations" when Sisko and company mingled with Classic Kirk and Spock, and have Matt Smith interact with young Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee. But more likely we'll get a Matt Smith-heavy contemporary episode with cameos from surviving companions and the like.

It doesn't matter whether we're forced to watch it in 3D or not, by choosing to show it in 3D it is inevitable that the cinematography will be strongly taking that in to account. That has the potential to severely compromise the 2D viewing experience if they include random shots that are just there to show off the 3D. Obviously I'll still watch it and enjoy it, and I could very well be wrong, but I've seen far too many examples of that sort of nonsense.

I can't think of anything I would be more likely to avoid seeing than a story designed to drag us on a tour of very previous Doctor, or even of of every previous recent Doctor. The previous efforts at this were all tedious and tiresome and such tourist-type parades of old haunts (oh, there's Bessie, it must be the third Doctor!) should be avoided.

60mins is too short. A one off special needs to be feature length

....normally from movies with 3D in the title - most movies haven't changed their style.

Sutekh Needs His Mighty Return!!!!!! On a Epic Scale!!!!!!!

Hello...yes your right. There is not a lot going on at the moment. However, despite all the rumours and despite what Moffat may or may not say, all that is officially on the slate for the rest of the year is 1 hour special in November. Then Moffat has mentioned that there is going to be a Christmas special too. Matt Smith is off to do a film at the back end of the year so its my guess, and from what I have read in other forums, from spies on the street in Cardif, that its going to go like this -

Filming for special sometime soon. April, May , or June even. They will put in the Christmas special then. Matt has said he is doing, or wants to be in the Christmas Special. Then he will go off and do the film. The next season wont start filming until next year I am sure. If Mat Smith is sensible, he will stay and do that one. If not..who knows what will happen.

They could not keep a new Doctor secret for long these days, even if they were looking, someone would say soemthing somewhere at some point. Remember Survivors? One of the actors on there was on Tv promoting the last series of that, and he let slip that Patterson Joseph was going to be the new Doctor. Turned out he was wrong, because all PJ had done was go for an interview / audition and they ended up picking Matt Smith. So some inside would let slip.
There are also lots of rumours about filming troubles, because of Moffats late scripts, writers block, or whatever is really the truth. This keeps coming up on here, and on Galifrey base and Kasterbourous someone in Cardiff is talking on the internet somewhere. It does not mean any of it is true however.
The only thing that is true, is that NO ONE seems to know whats going on, and there is NO NEWS. Apart from the docudrama and the eight episodes we should have got last year. I honestly think a lot of the people at the BBC have no clue either. So I have given up thinking about it.

I am a hardcore fan. I love the show, everyone on here knows that. Heheh. But all this lack of information, rumour, uncertainty and the long gaps with the show off the air, and then when it comes back you only get a few episodes is really making me care a lot less about the show. Because there is less of it. For the first time in years, I find myself getting dis engaged with Doctor Who. I am watching more classic episodes etc than new stuff. And thats sad. Its not that I dont like it or I hate Mat Smith, or Moffat, its just that its not on enough anymore. I hope the new episodes are good, but then it will be gone again until November.
So I am just at the stage now, because of the lack of info, that I dont care very much, and I am just going to wait and see and if its good its good. But I dont have any hopes, and I am not that excited, and in the 50th year thats pretty sad. And its all the managements fault. I keep thinking too, if I feel like this, then there must be others that feel it a little, and it might hurt the show. And that is also very sad.

Davros, very interesting comment about someone like yourself becoming disengaged with Dr Who because of its lack on television. This is a real failing of the BBC, and I have to say I do agree. Part of the engagement fans and followers have with any tv show is through the regular progression and development of the show on its home medium. Leave gaps that are too long between series, cut series down to limited numbers of episodes or generally look as if you aren't really trying to put a proper run together each year and you are bound to lose people. I started to feel the same when David Tennant - an excellent doctor - only did three (or was it four) tv movies as a replacement for a season a few years ago. And of course the decline of the classic series began when they lost confidence in it, imposed a huge inter-season gap and returned it to us with the ludicrous Trial of a Timelord.

I'm looking forward to the new 8 episodes, and the Adventures in Space and Time special, but I wonder if the best 50th present might be a commitment to show an annual 13 episode run, continuously, each year?

I'm sure children everywhere will delight in his gift of milk... so will the dieticians. =D

I agree. Multi Dr stories have always been loathsome & self-indulgent, also RTD kept bringing back characters so the impact of past companions returning like bloody Rose again would be lost. . .

Rumour has it that the 50th anniversary of Who will be its swansong. The final revelation of who the Doctor is will tie everything up, one final regeneration that will startle fans. It will link to what Mark Gatiss is
doing, Smith will regenerate into. . .The First Doctor! (played by
Bradley ). The
final truth is that The Doctor is cursed to remain in a time loop
forever, but this ensures that the Time Lords will never die or be

I know. I live in hope, but I am past caring now. I have fought and argued so much with people in here, about the BBC Rip off Fee, and what they are doing to the show and how many episodes we have lost etc, its sort of worn me down. I find myself hunting for classic series toys and action figures for my collection and passing over the new series ones. I want one of the New Ice Warriors or two when they appear though. I collected a lot of David Tennant stuff, but that was back when it was on all the time.

It just reminds me a little bit of what they did with it in the late Mccoy period. Each season had less and less episodes. It was reduced so much compared to how it was. Thing is, I kind of understand the reasons for them doing half a season last year. But to do it AGAIN in the 50th is really crap to put it bluntly. We should have 13 episodes this year AND a special or two or three. All I get in response to it are comments like I am not entitled to it, and we should not feel like we are owed Doctor Who etc, but thats not really the point, or my point either.

The BBC was stamped on by the Government for putting up the fee too much, and now every show I care about is suffering, but they can find money for other generic rubbish I dont watch. Its just a bit depressing really.

I checked in to forbidden planet to find that each month of this year is dedicated to a different Doctor. So this month its Jon Pertwee. Thats the way to do things. Its just a shame the BBC cant put more effort into it too. The rest of last years season starts in a couple of weeks, but you would not know it. I am sure that there will be more hype around November time , but I am getting less bothered by the day. I am going to watch the Three Doctors and the Five Doctors again and so on.

Notice how they recast the first and second doctors, and several companions, all ostensibly for the Time and Space special? And how they rebuilt classic sets and monsters? Wouldn't it be ever-so-simple to slide those assets and actors over to a multidoctor story, especially if the audience were used to seeing them already~? Just sayin'...

you do know The Rani was a woman, right?

Well, whatever else I hope you don't lose the mojo to keep posting comments. Informed discussion by fans of Dr Who - and other things - is what also helps keep a sense of momentum going,even if nothing new happens on screen. I see the Guardian are also posting a series pf articles about classic Dr Who episodes; they've done An Unearthly Child and now Dalek Invasion Of Earth ep 6. The BBC's position is odd - this programme is a real banker for them, yet they too often treat it dismissively. And I think the proper fan approach is not so much entitlement (although actually I think fans are entitled to respect from series makers), as a genuine desire to see a good idea march forward.

Interesting. I actually do not have too much of a problem with us getting 6-9 episodes a year. This is the same or more then a lot of television series gets a year as six episodes tends to be the norm. Where I do agree with you is the BBC's dishonesty about it all. I do have a problem with Moffat claiming that they were splitting the 2011 season in two so that kids don't have too long a with for the next series and then, the very next year, giving them the longest wait between episodes since the shows return. Another reason given was that Doctor Who works best in the winter. And when is this years set of programmes starting? Beginning of Spring again. I do wish they would tell us what is going on even if we don't like what we hear. I don't necessarily blame Moffat on this as he could well be instructed by the BBC to be dishonest. It is frustrating. The thing is, it won't lose viewing figures really because the hardcore fans like you and I make up a pretty small percentage of the viewing figures unlike the days of the end of McCoy. And the casual viewer is not going to be worrying about all this like we do. This is why the BBC can and will continue to get away with it. The reason McCoy's viewing figures were so low wasn't because the standard had dropped (which I don't actually think is true for the last two seasons. I am in the minority here) but because they decided to put it on a Wednesday at 19.35 opposite Coronation Street which was the biggest ratings grabber of the day getting over 20 million viewers regularly. As is obvious on this site and others likes it, the true fans will watch the series even if they dislike the direction of the show. You always read fans tear the show apart, say they are "done with it" but come the next episode they are criticising it having obviously watched it. It is when the casual fan jumps ship that the show is doomed!

I am very lucky though. I am subscribed to every Doctor Who related Big Finish audio so I get a four part story featuring a classic Doctor every month, as well as a Companion Chronicle and, for the next five months I get a Fourth Doctor story (with Mary Tamm's Romana... Her last stories ever. Bless her) and for this year only I am getting a Destiny of the Doctor CD every month. Break that down in episodes it's like 4 25 minute episodes, a fifty minute episode and an hours Chronicle and an hours Destiny of the Doctor every single month (and that isn't including the "Jago and Litefoot" series of the final "Gallifrey" series)!, I s'pose this is why I am not too bothered by how many episodes the BBC put out. Big Finish is spoiling me already (and unlike the television series Big Finish aim their stuff at the hardcore fan) Maybe if I wasn't able to afford these I may be more upset. Like I said, I am lucky but for me, Doctor Who whether it be old stories, new stories or new old stories... There seems to be more of it then ever....

Exactly right. Thats always been what I have tried to get across on here, that the fans are entitled to respect from the makers because without them there would be no show at all. And we do desire to see it move forward. It makes a lot of money for the BBC. And its very strange whats going on at the moment.

A large part of me now thinks that this would never have happened in RTD time in charge. He would never have let it slip quietly from the schedules and not promoted it. Its very strange. If they are going to wait until after the few episodes we get in March are over to promote it, fair enough. But if they wait until October / November then I think they are being short sighted and lazy. It should be promoted now. And all year.

It just seems at the moment, that everyone else is doing the BBCs job for them. The fans, Big Finish Audio, Forbidden Planet, and so on. Thats not very good no matter how you look at it.

I s'pose you're right in the sense that if it wasn't for the true fans there would be no show in the sense that the people making it are hardcore fans. I think, part of the reason the show has lost episodes per year is because of the economy. When the show came back there was a lot more money going around. Now, admittedly, Doctor Who merchandising makes a fortune and is one of BBC's biggest earners. The thing is that they will continue to sell even with less episodes because Doctor Who is now ingrained in our culture again. I, too, wish they put all the money back into Doctor Who but I s'pose they need to cater for non Doctor Who fans too.

I doubt we'll have another 13 week a year run again. I suspect that now the show is popular the BBC see no reason to spend that much money. It is sad but I think we are going to have to accept it. I think we continue to see full seasons split into two years like this one and the Christmas episode is here to stay so I think seven or eight episodes a year will now be the norm. I am sure we will see two-parters again though next year.
Like I said, it is frustrating but if the BBC would just be open about it I think us fans would be able to get over and accept the new norm. They are handling things very badly!

A rumour that YOU just made up? What a load of bollocks!

Yes..but what REALLY ANNOYS me no end about all of this is the waste at the BBC. They have just admitted to using your fee money for court orders to gag women who would be complaining about sexual harrassment at the corporation. That stinks to high heaven.

Secondly its the whole situation of them spending bucket loads of money on a full run of Merlin. But they wont do it for Doctor Who. Then there is the new series coming this autumn or next year, Jason and the Argonaughts or whatever its going to be called. Thirteen episodes worth of that, and no one knows if its going to be any good. They will have to spend a fortune on it to film in Morocco and so on. But they wont spend money on Doctor Who???? In the 50th Year??????????????

I just think that in light of all the evidence there is something going on behind the scenes that they are not telling us. I am honestly starting to believe Moffat cant cope. For whatever reason. And thats not good for the show. The BBC are not going to come out and say anything about any of it though. I would love to know whats really going on, because Doctor Who makes truck loads of cash for the Beeb...

Cool...I have listened to some of those Audios myself. I ploughed through I DAVROS...hehehehe and I found it a bit dry. I have listend to Peter Davidson in Spare Parts and I liked that one, and some of the Mcgann stuff too. I cant bring myself to listen to the Tom Baker ones with Mary Tamm, I will get too upset and depressed.

The trouble I have is that Doctor Who is very visual. I like to read books and so on, but I have this problem with audios, in that I really want to SEE the story on the screen. I just want them to be there to see as well as hear so I dont bother too much with them. I have read all the Mcgann books and graphic novels etc though. Am I weird or what?

I am going to get some more of the Tom Baker ones with Leela though. Its the only way I am going to get more classic Tom Baker and thats no bad thing at all.

I am a bit bitter and cynical about it and a large part of me thinks why should I pay extra for stuff like audios when there should be more Who on Tv in the 50th year? I just wish they would take the money from the sales of all the merchandise and audios etc and put a large share of it into making more Doctor Who for the TV. If they were doing that, I would buy loads more stuff, knowing the money is going towards making more of my favourite show, and not into some fat, brain dead, wasteful berk of a managers pocket at the BBC. Just so he can go out and make more boring crap like Eastenders or The Voice etc....

But thats not how it works, such is life....oh well. Back to the John Pertwee era for me next week and sod the BBC.

Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you this year's winner of the 'Completely Missed The Sarcasm' Award.

Been reading too much Dark Tower?

Like I kind of said before... The problem, paradoxically, is that Doctor Who is successful and so the BBC feel they can take liberties. And unfortunately they are right. Merlin may have got thirteen episodes a year but now it's been cancelled. Doctor Who has reached more then enough episodes to syndicate in America and like I said, generally speaking the merchandise will sell even if they make less episodes. The worrying aspect is that, should the series start to lose popularity the last thing they will consider is to extend the number of episodes.

Another thing to take into consideration is that Doctor Who is a very expensive show to make as it uses very little standing sets. Every story uses different sets and locations. I do think that if there wasn't the economic crisis we would still have thirteen episodes a year. In an ideal world, all the money made from merchandising would get ploughed back into Doctor Who but we don't and it doesn't. Sucks, doesn't it!?

Ten only makes one vague allusion to Nine being "born in battle". The idea that The Doctor regenerated during or at the end of the Time War is pure speculation on your part, so they don't need to show the Time War to show the 8-9 regeneration.

Ha... It is interesting how different people perceive this show. For me, Doctor Who has never been particularly visual. That's how I have always been able to get over the dated effects and "wobbly sets" (although not many wobble, as it goes). For me, it has always been about the stories and the character of the Doctor and his companions. And the TARDIS... I still want one and there is still a tiny bit of me that believes I will have one one day! Chiefly though, it is about The Doctor and all the actors who have played him. That is why I can sit through "A Trial of a Timelord", or "The Krotons" or pretty much all of Pertwee's last season (which I think is fairly weak). The actor and the character is always watchable and I genuinely think there hasn't been a bad actor play The Doctor.

I am working my way through every story of Doctor Who (including novels, Big Finish CD's and short stories. Just finished "Evolution" and have started "Seeds of Doom". I s'pose that's another reason I am quite chilled about things. Never read the novels (although have now read all of the first three Doctors) before and have yet to listen to Tom Baker's Big Finish. Every day I seem to get new Doctor Who. Like I said... I am a lucky B**tard!

But Amy and Rory don't say anything about corruption or the Time War. Rory says "You said there weren't any other Time Lords left" and The Doctor responds with "There aren't. No Time Lords left anywhere in the universe, but the universe isn't where we're going!". No Time Lord corruption mentioned.

In fact, where did you get the idea that the Time War turned all Time Lords evil? The End of Time showed that the High Council became cartoon supervillains, but that doesn't apply to ALL Time Lords.

sham wow

= )

Not sure if I laughed harder at you comment of the one that generated it. :)

Yes it is fun how people look at it. Every time I watch Tom Baker stories, especially the first 4 - 5 seasons, I see actors taking it seriously, believing in it and the storys are so good, and Tom is so good, I just dont "see" bad effects. I just take it as it is. And I hate it when people laugh at it and go "that looks crap"
Eastenders looks crap! Not Doctor Who. Just think, if it was still 1976 we would have been watching Seeds of Doom right now. Instead in the 50th year we are all looking back at what was and still waiting for the new stuff. I really do think its pretty stupid putting it on in the spring. They should have just shown the lot last autumn. Gits....

Hahaha. Here I am watching "The Seeds of Doom" and it hadn't even registered that it is basically it's 37th year anniversary. And yes, for the most part Tom Bakers first five years were excellent (although his fourth year is a bit ropey what with "The Invisible Enemy", "Underworld" and "The Invasion of Time". My opinion, of course.). But "The Key to Time" was mostly great. As for his sixth year... Well, apart from "City of Death" and probably "Shada" it was not great. But that's the thing that makes me frustrated when I read people heavily criticise the current series (it's content, not it's scheduling). Even though I, personally don't think we are currently getting the best ever Doctor Who at the moment (when we get it at all) I look back and see that there have been bad seasons of Doctor Who in the past... And there will be again. I do have faith, though, that another golden era will come again. I think we have quite a few more years ahead of us before it takes another rest and a few more producers and Doctor's with it. That is the exciting and frightening thing about Doctor Who. Who knows who will next take the reins!?

And one day, Doctor Who will be off our screens again. It is bound to happen eventually. But, I am absolutely positive that a decade or two later it will be revived. It genuinely has turned into a form of mythology like King Arthur and Robin Hood and that is amazing. It already has fifty years of mythology behind it spanning pretty much every medium there is and many more stories then the two examples I gave above combined. It really is going to be around forever... No lead actor or producer can single handedly destroy it. So no need to worry, really.

It would be nice if there were more episodes on television this year though and that the BBC treated it more respectfully but what can we do?

Interestingly, it isn't just Doctor Who that they are pulling this trick on. Look at Top Gear, another of the Beeb's most important and best selling show. Last years Christmas Special has been carried over to form two episodes of this current series meaning there was one show less produced this year giving weight that it is a shows success which allows the BBC to mess with it... Not that Moffat can't cope. It is just a way for them to save money...

Yes the Top Gear stunt was a bit sneaky. I really missed the Christmas Special, but I loved the Africa adventure from Sunday night. They are still very funny to watch together.
Ahhh the Seeds of Doom...happy days. The thing is, when Tom Baker was the Doctor, he never gave a bad performance. It did not matter how crap the story was like Underworld of the Invisible Enemy, because he was always worth watching. You just never knew what he was going to say or do next. Was he going to be flippant, or funny or serious or just bonkers? It was always worth seeing and he gave it his all. Then there is his voice. I could listen to him all day. The deep booming gravitas of it could carry any scene or line. I never got bored watching him like I did with Peter Davidson of Sylv McCoy. I doubt we will ever see his like in the show again.

hope they bring back bernard cribbins with matt,that would be good,,and if its an apt time to regenerate mainly to keep with in the river song arc,,then Q from skyfall should get the job

Matt Smith is signed in to play the Doctor through 2014 so I don't think he'll be regenerating during the special

Damien Molony indeed. He would be a brilliant doctor, emphasising the more serious points about the character, providing a great contrast to Matt Smith's more excitable Doctor. Now I'm wondering if there's a true reason for Being Human ending.

Damn good rumor though, even if it is completely made up.

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