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The 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who

The 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who is 9 months away. It is a huge milestone that a series has lasted that long. The series has had a constant presence during that time. While Of course the TV series did have a big break, from 1989-2005, with a film in the middle it did exist as new material in novels, audio stories and comics in the doctor who magazine. With this anniversary due and previous anniversaries having been celebrated, then there are a number of different things being planned. One is a 50th anniversary episode. There have been many rumours about what will happen. For what it is worth here are some of my opinions on what should, and shouldn’t, happen.

There has to be appearances by some previous Doctors. There have been 3 anniversary multi-doctor adventures (If I include Dimensions in Time which could start an entire argument about if it’s cannon) and another 2 other Multi-Doctor adventures. I think we are expecting it and if Moffatt isn’t doing one he needs to tell us now to stop the speculation. I really want to see David Tennants 10th Doctor again (I MISS HIM AND FOR ME HE IS THE DOCTOR AND PROBERLY ALWAYS WILL BE) and if he doesn’t appear I will cry. I also want to see Ecclestons 9th Doctor back. Eccleston originally said no but it appears he is warming to the idea. I am desperate for him to reappear and I will cry if he does. I also want to see previous classic Doctors. McGanns 8th Doctor did not get enough screen time so would love to see him again, I was never happy with McCoys 7th Doctor regeneration and being ‘killed’ by Grace and he was the last classic doctor so would only be right for him to appear, Colin Bakers 6th Doctor certainly did not get a proper send-off (How can Carrot Juice be fitting ‘final’ words) and he never got a proper regeneration as it was McCoy in a wig falling out the TARDIS, Davisons 5th Doctor in Time Crash showed how easily he could step back into the Doctors Shoes and he was also my favourite classic Doctor and Tom Bakers 4th is just so integral to the whole series and to many people is still ‘THE DOCTOR’ so he return. I finish there as I will address Doctors 3-1 later. I don’t think he cannot do a multi-Doctor episode without a huge fan backlash especially when he hasn’t confirmed it either way yet.

Focusing more on the present era I think this would be a fitting time to finish the Torchwood story line. I hate cliff hangers and I like resolution. For example I loved Heroes and the only thing worse than the series being cancelled was that it finished very much on a cliff hanger. I loved Torchwood Miracle Day. It did have too many episodes, having such a big thing happen over such a long period causes issues with continuity in Doctor Who and the story did start to loose it’s focus part way through but all in all I really liked it and I’m so glad it happened. The problem is, without ruining it, it ended very much on a cliff hanger. Who knows if Torchwood would have carried on either moving back to Wales or staying with the BBC-Stars union but unfortunately Russell T Davis partner is ill and so Torchwood is on an ‘in defiant hiatus’. It may never come back and if it does it may be a completely different show. What happened to Jack and Gwen and Reece and Rex and even Andy? There was a mention that Dorium Maldovar got a Vortex Manipulator off ‘A handsome Time agent’ and Moffatt has said that it’s meant to be Jack but that still raises more questions. I hope Torchwood returns but I would want Jack to make an appearance and to conclude their stories in case it doesn’t return and to put in a throwaway line about what happened to Gwen and Rex and the others. I also want Jack to appear as he is one of the best companions ever and Barrowman is such a great actor. I want to see The Time lords ‘back’! I know they appeared in the 10th Doctors final episode the end of time but they should appear as pre-time Tim War Time Lords. I would prefer a flashback or possible even a Timey-Wimey thing where he gets to revisit for a short time. I think killing off the Time lords by Davis was genius. It removed unnecessary continuity, gave the new viewers their own back story and gave the Doctor a new depth of sadness. Part of me doesn’t want them back for good but if they are going to ‘return’ it makes perfect sense to do it now! If they do not return they have been such a big part of Doctor Who they need to make an appearance.

I would love to see the episode start within an old episode. Bring back an old TARDIS interior, the very first has already been made for ‘an adventure in time and space’, and have a past doctor start the episode off and film new material. The Two Doctors did this wonderfully by starting a Colin Baker episode with The 2nd Doctor and Jamie in the TARDIS in new material and in Black and White which slowly coloured itself. Possibly start with the 9th Doctor, if he comes back, in his TARDIS because having an episode start like that just takes you back to that time and is such a juxtaposition to what you expect. There are several things I do not want. I do not want old Doctors to be recast. I would be ok with a Computer generated appearance but not a new actor. While I liked the 5 Doctors episode it never felt right that Richard Hurndall was playing Will Hartnell. They should be honoured but I don’t think they can recast 30% of the classic/old Doctors as personally I don’t think it would look right and would show slight disrespect to the original actors.

I do not want too much Moffatt take over. This is about the history of the whole show not Moffatts present era which I have significant issues with anyway. There is nothing wrong with learning things about The Doctor for example Ace turned out, after several episodes with the 7th Doctor, to be a Wolf of Fenric but it slotted into the story. Also the same series had the 7th going back to find the Hand of Omega he had hidden probably before the first episode but that also made sense within the continuity. I would want the old ‘stuff’ included and respected without it being made too Moffatt. I hope this makes sense but I will include 3 examples one of which gets its whole section next. For example I would hate it if Moffatt sticks in that the silence have been following the doctor for years. With the silence being forgotten once you are not looking at them they can appear anywhere in the last 50 years and not be remembered by anyone. Another example I think having 11 regenerate during the 50th reeks too much of over shadowing of previous continuity and having 11 too much of the main character. If Smith does regenerate, which I think is looking likely, then make it Christmas 2013 or the next series.

Lastly and most importantly is something I am almost certain is happening but I hate it. The main character is ‘The Doctor’! He is not Doctor Who (and I am aware I am potentially starting another whovian argument)! And now Moffatt has started the arc of the Question. I think after 50 years any name will be a let-down and once again Moffatt is trying to make the last 50 years link in to his present continuity! River Song told the 10th Doctor his name in the Library and the phrase ‘Doctor Who?’ keeps turning up. I have a horrible feeling that we will find out the Doctors name during the anniversary which is something I am completely against.

“On the fields of Trengalore. At the fall of the eleventh. When no living creature can speak falsely or fail to answer a question will be asked. A question that must never be answered. Doctor Who?”
I am looking forward to the anniversary either way and if it’s going to be shown in cinemas in 3D then trust me I will be trying to get tickets and will be slightly disappointed if I only end up watching it at home. I just hope it lives up to my expectations just like Time Crash which was Moffatts work and wonderful!!!!!

By Martin Poppov

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