We’ve known for awhile that the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special would feature guest stars David Tennant and John Hurt, and that Mark Gattis has written a drama about the early days of the series, but other than that, the BBC’s plans for this momentous occasion have been as mysterious as Steven Moffat’s endgame for the Eleventh Doctor.
Den of Geek is reporting that the special will be 75-minute epic called “The Day of the Doctor.” Meanwhile, the BBC has announced the following programs will debut in time for the big celebration:
Other highlights include a BBC Two lecture by Professor Brian Cox on the science behind the hit show and the drama An Adventure In Space and Time, written by Mark Gatiss.
The one-off programme stars David Bradley, of the Harry Potter films, as William Hartnell – who was the first Doctor in 1963.
BBC Four will introduce new audiences to Hartnell, with a re-run of the first ever story. The four episodes are being shown in a restored format, not previously broadcast in the UK.
BBC Two’s flagship arts programme The Culture Show is to present Me, You and Doctor Who, with lifelong fan Matthew Sweet exploring the cultural significance of the BBC’s longest running TV drama.
A 90-minute documentary on BBC Radio 2 will ask “Who Is The Doctor?” – using newly-recorded interviews and exclusive archive material to find an answer – while BBC Three will be home to several commissions.
Of course, the original news item on the BBC homepage is now strangely offline, so who — no pun intended — knows if this information is 100% confirmed as of yet. And no, the presenter of the Culture Show special is not the same Matthew Sweet who brought us the indie rock hits “Girlfriend” and “Time Capsule.” I checked. Though it would be AMAZING if it were.
Meanwhile, io9 (Hi Rob!) has provided us with this picture of Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy apparently protesting the lack of their involvement outside of BBC headquarters:
. Colin Baker was also seen at the protest, which, as io9 points out, is likely just some sort of publicity stunt. Given that Davison was featured in the Who short “Time Crash” which was written by Moffat, his role in the series’ history obviously hasn’t been forgotten.
For the record, I’m of the mindset that every living Doctor should have been featured in the 50th anniversary special. I’ll still be surprised if they don’t turn up in some capacity (most likely archival footage). But we are a long way from the days when the BBC would destroy masters of the series. The Beeb is now well aware of what a cash cow Doctor Who is, so you can expect their plans for the 50th to be larger than the Tardis’ interior. Expect to be in an all out Who frenzy by the time November finally rolls around. My only complain about the BBC’s plans so far? No Timelords reunion.