“There’s one life I’ve tried very hard to forget”
Two new footage trailers for Doctor Who: The Day Of The Doctor have landed this weekend. You can see the shorter one here and the longer one here. But what have they shown us? Well, for starters, it seems that those popping off to see the episode in the cinema are likely to be well rewarded. There’s no shortage of cinematic moments in the trailers alone, from big explosions, to hanging over Trafalgar Square, to several doses of expensive-looking action. Also, the spark between David Tennant and Matt Smith is already clear, and there’s going to be an awful lot of fun when the two get to share the screen. The redecorating line alone is perfect.
Furthermore, all three Doctors that we definitely see seem to have their own TARDIS, and we also get, as promised the return of Kate Stewart from UNIT. Possibly more than one of her.
Of course, we’ve just seen a brief snapshot of a near-80 minute episode here, so there’s only so much we can gleam. But we’ve taken a look to see just some of the clues therein. We’ve not seen the episode, so this is just speculation and observation on our part.
To be clear: we’ve not attempted to analyse every frame of both trailers, just to try and pick up some of the key points.
The Daleks are back in force
We might have got excited about the announcement of the Zygons returning to Doctor Who for the 50th anniversary, but you’re going to get more than your fair share of Daleks too, by the looks of it. The first trailer demonstrates this, by opening with a big shot of lots of Dalek spaceships – now they should look good on cinema screens – and naturally enough the pepperpots are being blown up. Steven Moffat has called them the most defeatable enemies. There seems little sign that’s not the case here again.
But is The Time War?
Steven Moffat has also talked about The Day Of The Doctor being a story about the Doctor. Thus, we’re going to pay a visit to Gallifrey by the looks of it. Could we be getting hints of the talked-about-but-never-seen Time War here? Because Gallifrey looks like it might just be in trouble.
Russell T Davies was more keen to talk about the Time War rather than show it, but that’s inevitably made it more and more ripe for speculation. Are we going to spend a little bit of time delving into it? Is that our way into the assorted Doctors? It feels a big untapped area of the show, and it looks as if The Day Of The Doctor is at least going to spend a little bit of time exploring it.
Also, the question is raised throughout the trailers as to when in the Doctor’s timeline The Day Of The Doctor actually takes place. You’d assume from the Eleventh’s point of view, but then you start drawing diagrams about who knows things and who doesn’t…
Have we seen the horse before?
Possibly just a fun moment, but we’ve seen the Tenth Doctor on a horse before, in Steven Moffat’s wonderful story, The Girl In The Fireplace. That looks like the same horse to us, too, although we’re not expects in equine matters.
A long shot, but might a return for Sophia Myles be one of the episode’s surprises? After all, remember these Tweets from last March?— Sophia Myles (@SophiaMyles) March 26, 2013— Sophia Myles (@SophiaMyles) March 26, 2013
The Zygons have had a shower
We’ve waited nearly four decades to say this, but the Zygons are back! They don’t look quite as slimy as they once did, but we’d still hate to get on the wrong side of them…
Royalty gets chased
It’s been revealed that Joanna Page’s role in The Day Of The Doctor is a royal one: she’s playing Elizabeth I. More to the point, she’s playing Elizabeth I as she runs through a forest looking a bit scared. What’s chasing her? The Zygons never used to run that fast…
Rose Tyler is making prophetic statements
Yikes. Ever since she was left on Bad Wolf Bay, the return of Rose Tyler has not heralded good news for the Doctor. She’s not looking too chipper here, either, warning that “the moment is coming”. What moment? Good question. Whatever it is, Rose looks a bit worried about it. And hasn’t she warned of such moments before? Wasn’t “the moment” a rather important part in the Time War?
Note too that she tells Hurt’s Doctor that “he’s coming” at one stage. Is that her entry point into this particular adventure? That Hurt’s Doctor has tracked her down first? Just a thought.
Mind you, given the nerd meltdown most of us had watching the two trailers, all it would have taken would have been for her to utter the words “bad wolf” and our heads may well have finally exploded. That wouldn’t have been pretty.
Clara has something she’s not had before
Much of the speculation surrounding The Day Of The Doctor has left Clara alone, but lest we forget, she’s had a pivotal role getting the Doctor to where we saw him in The Name Of The Doctor earlier this year. She’s certainly got a time vortex manipulator for a start (again, a long shot, but she’s not got that off Captain Jack has she? Or maybe River?), and then we see her shedding a tear too. Does Eleven regenerate into Twelve early, perhaps, to set her tears off? That’d be an ending to top even the last one…
There’s a red crystal thing
Whatever he’s walking into, the Doctor has some foreknowledge of it. And a big Doctor Who episode needs a big mystery prop. In this case, this crystal device, which John Hurt seems to be walking up to in the middle of what looks like a barn. What is it? Where is he? What’s it all about? Good question. We’ve no idea.
Matt Smith, remembering, and the fez
“I remember this”, says Matt Smith’s Doctor at one stage. Given how little specific the Doctor seems to remember from most of his adventures, might there be some significance that he can walk into a room and recall it? He looks more perplexed than thrilled to be remembering whatever it is, too.
Also in the trailers, that is a potentially pivotal exchange, which suggests Eleven knows something big that Ten doesn’t. “For once I would like to know where I’m going” says the former. “No, you really wouldn’t” replies the latter.
Furthermore, is the return of the Fez a clue? Steven Moffat used the Fez at one stage to help keep track of which version of the Doctor was which in The Big Bang. That may be something or nothing, though (we’re not heading back to some of the events of series five, are we?). Check out the moment where Doctors 10 and 11 effectively compare outfits – Matt Smith has added glasses to the ensemble now…
Is there a major mystery guest?
Hmmm. Make of this what you will. 25 seconds into trailer two, you get a long shot of the back of someone. There are two strands of thought. One, that it’s Kate Stewart. Two, that it might just be the Eighth Doctor. There are clearly still surprises to be sprung here – so far it seems that the episode won’t even be press screened, to keep secrets under wraps – but could that possibly, possibly, be Paul McGann? Because that would be a corking surprise.
(Our guess? Probably not. If he is in it, it’s not necessarily the kind of thing they’d pop anywhere near a trailer).
The mystery of John Hurt
We’ve saved him until last. Inevitably, where John Hurt’s Doctor fits into the lore of Doctor Who is the main point of speculation, with most fans having long settled on the fact that we never saw the regeneration of Paul McGann into Christopher Eccleston. Hurt’s Doctor, goes the theory (and it’s our favoured one too) is some version of the eighth, or something to do with him at the very least. Inevitably, further evidence isn’t in massive supply – save for what we’ve chatted about above – but it is clear that he’s a sizeable part of what’s happening. If this is a personal story for the Doctor, then the mystery of Hurt is at the very heart of it.
We see him a few times across the two trailers, at one stage hunting for the Doctor while seemingly walking in the vicinity of the Star Wars set. That’d be a crossover and a half. As we’ve mentioned. he seems familiar with Rose Tyler, but it could just be that it’s a bit from well into the story. Or maybe there’s more to it.
One last thing: Hurt’s Doctor does say “I’m ready”, at one stage. Ready for what, though? Hmmm. The mystery of John Hurt is still just as pronounced as it was, basically. In two weeks’ time though, hopefully all will be revealed. Can’t wait…
The Day Of The Doctor screens on 23rd November 2013.
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