Doctor Who: Murray Gold on the "controversial" 50th special

News Den Of Geek 15 Jul 2013 - 07:00

Doctor Who composer Murray Gold says there's something in the 50th anniversary episode that might be controversial...

During a wide-ranging interview that takes in past, present, and future Doctor Who, composer Murray Gold gave us a few words on the forthcoming 50th anniversary episode, filmed earlier this year.

Though there was understandably very little Gold was able to share publicly, he did tell us this:

"There's some really interesting things to say about [the 50th anniversary special] but I can't say them. It's very, very well directed. There's a thing they've done in it, which might be controversial… It's interesting though."

Hmm. A thing they've done. An interesting thing. A thing that might be controversial. It's not much to go on, granted, but that should get the cogs of Who fandom whirring.

That "very, very well directed" praise, incidentally, goes to director Nick Hurran, who has credits including The Angels Take ManhattanAsylum of the Daleks, The God Complex, and The Girl Who Waited. The 50th anniversary special was written by Steven Moffat.

Read more from Cameron's interview with Murray Gold, here, and come back tomorrow for the concluding part.

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I'm sure he's referring to John Hurt, that's all.

A reset of the regeneration rules, i'm pretty sure of that, totally fine with it too, it's ultimately necessary.

I still think they're going to pull a regeneration on us, before the Christmas special. When did Matt get his hair cut for his role on Gosling's film?

I'm now a bit intrigued after reading this :) lol.

Well I'm sure it'll split the fans right down the middle, just like anything else that happens on Doctor Who.

I hope you're right, the 12 re-gens "rule" is wooly at best. having seen all the classic Who episodes it always seemed to me that the 12 re-gen rule was a limit set by Timelords simply because that was long enough and they didn't want a repeat of Rassilion and Omega. after all, the Master went past his limit and was give more regenerations by the Timelords and it's also been established that there is a regenration energy that can be passed from one Timelord to another (as River did for the Doctor).

The inclusion of Andrew Scott surely?

Just to add, I think it is interesting that when Gold said he couldn't reveal much about the 50th, he then goes on to say it may be controversial ... hmm

Shush now.

I wonder if it's filmed, at least in part, in black and white..? Just a thought.

Perhaps this new Bill Hartnell/David Bradley image is not only from An Adventure in Time & Space...

I too think extension of regenerations is probably the controversy though!

I don't think the hair cut is a definite thing either way, but I've also had a sneaking feeling they'll pull the regeneration early too.

This isn't even a teaser.

It's a tease-let ...

They dug up William Hartnell's corpse, and Warwick Davies is inside the body moving the legs, and Kenny Rogers is sat on his shoulders, and moves the arms and head around. It looks.. lifelike. Or more animated than a live Hartnell doctor anyway.

Too controversial?

Well, Smit will be in the Christmas Special, but I woudn't be suprised if he gets mortally wounded or something at the end of the 50th Special and he will regenerate at the beginning of the Christmas Special. There are just a couple of weeks between the specials so it's very much a possiblity.

Hmmm.. the comments in this thread so far have been interesting, to say the least.

I am of the school that one of two things are true: Either the 12 regeneration rule is addressed, or there will be a regeneration involved before the credits. THAT is likely the controversial bit that Gold might be alluding to.

Can't wait to put that special before my eyes. I might have to host a viewing party or something! ;-)

This sounds horribly like the omen of a female doctor.

Well I never EVER thought of that, but now you mention it... :-)

You are amazing...

Nick Hurran, without the benefit of hindsight, has to be the right choice for director. His episodes have been spot-on so far. Well-paced, stylish, what more could you ask for?

Hmm... I'm betting that the 50th anniversary turns out to be a sequel to Love And Monsters!

Nawww.. that would fall under "The Secret That Is Too Big To Keep."

I thought I'd make another Murray Gold comment for all the Murray Gold sheep out there. Your time has passed, Murray. Please leave the show...please leave the show...please leave the show...please leave the show...please leave the show...please leave the show...I'll do anything! Hell, I'll even stop commenting on Den Of Geek altogether if Murray leaves. That should make a lot of Who fans happy!
And for everyone who has a problem with my post: Baaaaaa.....baaaa, little sheep.

It would frankly be madness not to use the 1st Doctor set and David Bradly when they are there and available at the same time as the 50th was being prepared even if is just a 5 second clip that would just be the perfect present for long term who fans... either that or some clips from one of the many recently recovered missing episodes. :-)

Hmmmm. Well, I really enjoyed Angels, Girl Who Waited, and Asylum, wasn't able to catch The God Complex. Nick is a great Doctor director, and I can't imagine him squandering the chance of a lifetime, neither the rest of the production team. Bring on November.

Just a touch...

Do try to catch The God Complex!!! It is really really good, gives The Girl Who Waited tough competition for Best Ep of S6. And without a great director it could've been awful, but the directing helped make it AMAZING. Sure, some folks don't like it, but isn't that always the case....

Counseling can do wonders to remove the obsessive thoughts which seem to be taking over your life....

The Angels Take Manhattan - which assumed no one anywhere in all of Manhatten was looking out their window at the Statue of Liberty when the action happened. An ok episode, if it did include the obligatory Series 7 logic flaw.

It also failed to use the Leonard Cohen song, which y'know, it was made for.

Asylum of the Daleks - The biggest waste of a concept so far. It looked exactly what it was, a few prop warehouses with props scattered about. What was with all the very ineffectual chains for the daleks? Bits of it were good, but it was let down by what it could have been.

The God Complex - I had to look this up, and didn't even remember it til I saw Walliams and winced. It was an OK episode I think. Honestly I've no idea.

The Girl Who Waited was very good indeed.

Of the recent directors, Saul Metzstein (town called mercy, snowmen, crimson horror) would get my vote, despite being in charge of the god awful mess that was S07E13.

Whatever happened to Euros Lyn? He did some corkers.

Everyone involved with the last series should leave.

It's gotten messier and messier and further and further away from the for-all-the-family show it really ought to be.

It's Doctor Who, not Lost. I want 2 parters and no doesn't-add-up-story-arc next time please.

Aren't they called Nurses?

(couldn't resist. it's only a joke!)

I doubt it will be the regen thing, that will be explained away in half a sentence somewhere, possibly with a flashback, most likely to the doctor/donna or something like that.

Almost like he's more interested in the publicity than anything else.

Well now surely he has all her regens, so that's another what... 10 possibly?

It'll be some bunkum like that.

As we've all seen, John Hurt has his own referential caption so doesn't need anyone else doing that particular job.

Of course it's controversial. They clearly should have used stop-motion for Hartnell's corpse.

I'd agree, but in far more strenuous terms. It's pretty explicitly a rule enforced by the Time Lords rather than any natural limit - for the most part, it's only mentioned when they're making exceptions to it.

Well the worst thing they could do is kill Rose. And when I say "kill", I mean, like, permanently. For real.

That's funny, I was thinking the same thing for all the sheep. Baaa.

please not a gay doctor no personal problem with that but kids of a younger age on a saturday teatime would find it hard to take in im sure moffatt and t davies are doing it with the best of intentions ie captain jack and silurians but there are boundaries as with everything im sure gay fans will read this and be horrified but that is definately not my intention and if thats the way they are thinking of going fine but put it on after 9 pm

I think it has something to do with the numbering of the Doctors. We'll find out Matt is actually the 12th because of the John Hurt version, which will cause controversy because of fans who are convinced the 13-life limit (done away with years ago, really) still applies. That or they'll have Billie and Jenna kiss each other or something like that...

They did away with it back in 1983 when The Five Doctors revealed it wasn't a natural limit but something controlled by the Time Lord High Council (otherwise they wouldn't have been able to offer the Master a new set of regenerations, which they ultimately awarded him during the Time War per The Sound of Drums). Last I looked, there was no more High Council or Gallifrey so presumably no more limit. The Doctor also hints in School Reunion that he'll just keep on regenerating.

Moffat has stated in Entertainment Weekly that he's sticking to the formula of the change happening at the end. Matt Smith is so popular the BBC will want him to have the solo spotlight for his finale, not share it with Tennant.

Not that I expect it to happen, but why would a character being gay force a show to go post-watershed? That's a pretty offensive opinion. This is Doctor Who - even if they made him gay, they wouldn't start loading the show up with love scenes or anything. Name the last episode in which the Doctor went to bed with a companion.

It's also been hinted at that it might simply be ignored. Davies, Moffat and Tennant have all been on record in past interviews as stating it's meaningless, and Davies intentionally wrote the "507 regenerations" line in Death of the Doctor to poke fun at the controversy. I don't think regeneration has anything to do with it as anyone paying attention to the show since 1983 knows the limit is easier to do deal with than, say, writing the broken double decker bus into Planet of the Dead.

Well if that's the case why has the internet been banging on about it as a relevant issue for the last few years?? ;)


I've posted this elsewhere so apologies if you have already read this but, I have a hunch about the 12th doctor... Could it be John Hurt? After all, in the name of the doctor, you see the doctors grave, and he says' "Lives I haven't lived yet". He then see's John Hurt in his timeline, but at that point, the 11th Doctor hasn't encountered Hurt, but Tennant's has. Could the 11th know Hurt from his 10th incarnation from events to be depicted in the 50th? Maybe Smith leaving the role was always a plan to throw us all off the scent and make us believe that Hurt was a previous version of the doctor.... Just a thought...

I think that is the best thing they could do. It would spare us the protracted, tearful goodbyes, followed by CBBC reunions. I think there was a rumour that Rose isn't what she seems in the special. I hope the controversial thing isn't that she's a new incarnation of Romana or some such thing, or, god forbid, Doctor no. 12.

I think Planet of the Dead may be the worst episode of Doctor Who I've ever seen.

I wouldn't mind if the controversy was just the regeneration thing. I expect it is controversial with the purists, but let's face it, they need to do it. And the special has been described as "looking to the future" (strange for a celebration of 50 years, which *apparently* has only the two most recent doctors in it plus one we've never seen before), so maybe in that context it is about the Doctor being renewed in such as way as to carry on with many more regenerations. I hope so, I'll be 87 by the time of the 100th anniversary, whinging that Joe Swash's granddaughter has been cast as the 24th Doctor.

Oh yes. I'd like to see that.

Thought it was hurt was the 9th doctor which makes smith the 12th the final doctor in regeneration terms.

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