Doctor Who: 6 interesting moments from the 50th anniversary trailer

Feature Patrick Sproull
21 Oct 2013 - 05:13

Patrick asks the significance of six intriguing moments from Doctor Who's 50th anniversary trailer...

Rumours materialized on the internet over the weekend that the BBC were due to release a trailer for the forthcoming and hotly-anticipated Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor. The scuttlebutt was silenced with a tweet that went something like this.

Still, when the trailer arrived on Saturday night, there was lots to love. It was a celebration of the last 50 years, glued together with gorgeous SFX and topped off with some vivid colour added to the show’s monochromatic years. And it teased The Day Of The Doctor a treat.

You can watch the trailer here, and stroke your chin over six of its most interesting moments, below...

The policeman from the opening of An Unearthly Child

The trailer began with an image now so recognisable to long-time fans that we knew what we were about to witness would be something glorious for aficionados of all ages. It’s apt to see the first person ever to be shown in the show is the first person to be shown in the trailer; it’s just a gleeful tip of the custodian helmet to the programme’s origins.


The meaning of the words ‘no more’

Steven Moffat (and the BBC) love being cryptic so it’s no surprise that there are a couple of arcane teasers in the new trailer. When the camera zoomed up from the frozen Fourth Doctor and his loose bag of jelly babies we passed a girder with the ominous, seemingly graffitied words “no more”. Is it a sly nod to fans’ frustration at having to wait for a trailer; ‘no more’ waiting? Or, far more likely, is it something far more obscure, something that may tie into The Day of the Doctor itself?


Sarah Jane peering into a crystal ball containing the Third Doctor and the Master (as played by Roger Delgado)

Didn’t a little bit of your heart ache when the late Elisabeth Sladen flashed up our screens as Sarah Jane. It was a fitting nod to the actress and a pleasing moment for the fans because we didn’t just have Sladen, we had Jon Pertwee and Roger Delgado playing their respective parts inside the glass globe. Eagle-eyed readers will be able to spot the Third Doctor and the Master armed with épées over the TARDIS console, a neat homage to their infamous duel in The Sea Devils. Top the whole thing off with Big Ben towering over the vintage Daleks and the Cybermen (and a saucer) and you’ve got one helluva gratifying moment. Now see if you can spot the rogue Sea Devil in this scene.


Clara looking into the crystal ball

I like to think Clara looking into the crystal ball at the Third Doctor and the Master is an acknowledgement of Clara’s intervention in the Doctor’s life (she did, in The Name of the Doctor, step into the Doctor’s time-stream, consequently ending up in many moments of his life). Without reading too deeply into it, I believe that’s what it was intended to be construed as. I’m a Doctor Who fan and I’m meticulous: don’t shoot me.


The number 17162311

As delightful as it is to see the Eighth Doctor, an Ood, an Auton, Rose Tyler, the Tenth Doctor, the Sixth and Ninth Doctors’ arms all in the one scene I thought what was most interesting was the numbers displayed on a screen underneath Christopher Eccleston’s fist in the bottom right hand corner of the above picture. Add some punctuation and all becomes clear: 17:16 was the time the first episode of Doctor Who was broadcast, on, that's right, 23/11, or the 23rd of November, 1963.


The Eleventh Doctor standing atop a tower with landmarks in the background

We finish off with a beautiful moment that is, surprisingly, barren compared to the cluttered assortment we had before (that is, by no means, a bad thing, it’s a Doctor Who twist on Where’s Wally?). I actually found this to be the most mysterious moment because it’s so empty. I can see the Golden Gate Bridge in the background – a fascinating landmark they’ve used; aside from San Francisco's obvious significance as the setting for Doctor Who: The Movie, its only appearance in the show was in a novel published over a decade ago so it’s unlikely that’s why it is there. Could it make an appearance in The Day of the Doctor? – as well of the Shard (last seen in The Bells of Saint John) and some Gallifreyan symbols printed on the tower. There’s even a Dalek ship hidden behind that mountain in the bottom right corner. 

It's a lovely promo, and our good chum Blogtor Who has an exhaustive list of just what's been packed into it, here. As we Tweeted on Saturday night, though, wouldn't it now be best if the BBC didn't screen one second of footage from The Day Of The Doctor ahead of its broadcast? Especially if we're going to get treats like this instead...

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