The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special: Day of The Doctor, has caused quite a stir in the sci-fi community. Not only do fans get to be excited that two of their favorite recent Doctors will star in it, but there’s also special guest stars like John Hurt (not to mention all-but confirmed appearances of other Doctors), and a theatrical release in 3D. But of course, you knew that already (and if you didn’t, just pretend you did).
Stephen Moffat was his usual tricky self (read: Stephen Moffat is a liar) who kept much of the information regarding the 50th a surprise. No doubt Paul McGann was sworn to secrecy as soon as he found out he’d be reprising his role as the Eighth Doctor for a prequel mini episode. “Night of the Doctor” promoted such a strong reaction in fans, that surely Moffat will notice.
Paul McGann previously played the Time Lord in a 1996 Doctor Who TV movie, which was intended to relaunch the franchise for a new audience. More recently he’s done the voice acting for the Eighth Doctor in the Big Finish audiobooks. “The Night of the Doctor” (which you can watch right here) finds the Eighth Doctor at the very end of his time, right before he makes the pivotal decision to regenerate. He’s got shorter hair, and enters with the cheeky line: “I’m a Doctor. But probably not the one you were expecting,” a direct nod to fans who expected to see David Tennant or Matt Smith is this prequel.
The minisode caused quite a stir, introducing new fans to a classic Doctor while allowing other fans to revisit an old favorite, and this eventually turned to fans asking if McGann could get his own spinoff series. Because let’s be honest, this is a science fiction thing. We can definitely watch one character at different points of his life. The minisode itself accumulated over 2.5 million views in just a week.
A petition is currently on Change.org to help make that happen. UPDATED: 11/22/13. The petition has surpassed it’s goal of 15,000 signatures, but they’ve moved the goal posts a bit…and now are looking for 25,000. Can they reach it? We’ll be kepping an eye on that! No news yet on how many signatures would be enough to convince the BBC, but it’s an inspiring bit of fan support to admire.
All this from a minisode that had to be released a week early due to an online leak.