50th Anniversary Special

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    Craig @craig

    This is a topic set up in response to a request by @scaryb. It’s a place for plot speculation, latest news and rumours. Enjoy. Producer Marcus Wilson has confirmed that the 50th anniversary special will be a love letter to the fans and filming is due to start in April 2013. Controller of BBC One, Danny Cohen has described the special as an “event drama”.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    “Event drama” – heard rumours they want to do it live. Hmm, not so sure about that – there are some things about the 1960s that should stay there!  For 1 thing it would have to be not special effects driven. For another it’s gimicky – unless there’s a really good reason to do it that way… Or do something with the internet…?  (@blenkinsopthebrave‘s 4th wall theory pops its head up again, in slightly mutated form)

    Moff is excited about it “being all over the TV” – or has this changed since they announced the 90 min special?

    What would your wildest fanboy/girl dream be for the anniversary epi/celebraions?

    ScaryB @scaryb

    And while my brain’s still working on thngs whovian – anyone checked out any of the merch for sale recently?

    What’s the best/tackiest things you’ve found?

    I’d like to nominate this under tacky – The Eggsterminator egg cup! (Actually they seem to be hedging their bets – Star Wars lettering, Alien ref and supposedly daleky appearance) (Now the Tardis bin OTOH… damn, it’s a long time till next Christmas!)

    (It may only go downhill from here, people)

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    I don’t see any historical reason they’d want to do it live: unlike Quatermass, Who was just late enough historically that it never went out live.

    Maybe the rumours come from it being ‘live streamed’ on the Internet? Or Matt Smith’s comments about ‘live events’ surrounding the anniversary?

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    The 50th special is to be filmed starting in February(or April, depending upon sources). I posted this link to the docu-drama that Gatiss has scripted “An Adventure in Time and Space” which goes behind the scenes of the creation of the programme.

    @bluesqueakpip mentioned the Quatermass Experiment and I too heard of a live experiment to tie into the docu-drama. I took it with a pinch of salt because they only rarely had to do live stuff, and the story choice that was named – Edge of Destruction, actually exists, and some of the plot points in it would be lost on people who hadn’t seen the earlier serials.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Merchandise – One of the best things about being an out, loud and proud Doctor Who fan is people buy you stuff you actually like. I’ve had loads of good stuff over the years from neices and nephews, my partner and other family members.

    This year I had a few books, which I might write about later. I think the best thing I was ever given was a metal replica of the fob-watch used by The Master in Utopia with an autographed photo of Derek Jacobi. It was a lovely present for me, if you consider my choice of avatars over the years.

    Craig @craig

    @scaryb Best this year, I got given this 50th Anniversary Calendar for Christmas. The artwork is great, it’s a fantastic reminder of much of old Who, and I’d recommend it to anyone on here (except there’s no space to write any important dates on it). But, then again, who’d want to write on it anyway?

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    There is a theory that there may be more than one ‘special’ after series 7 because the 7b finale will be episode 798. So will the episode on November 23rd be the 800th (after an ‘as yet unannounced’ special)?

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    David Tennant is on Jonathan Ross tonight. Will he be asked about reprising a certain role?

    wolfweed @wolfweed
    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    I may as well write about one of my presents now. I really hate anything that is termed “celebrity” but I was given a book at Christmas called “Behind the Sofa – Celebrity memories of Doctor Who”. It is, however, a lovely idea.

    A sponsorship funded project to raise money for Alzheimer’s research. Hardbacked, with a few simple illustrations for each entry, the quality of the contributors* makes it what it is. A mixture of writers, ex-stars and guest stars of the show, and those talking heads we’ve come to fear.

    It contains a cut above the usual talking heads though. The Guardians Charlie Brooker explains his youthful horror at the end of one of the episodes of “The Leisure Hive” where Tom Baker appears to be torn apart. Mitch Benn (of The Now Show, who has been allowed to sing about his love of the show**) explains how Adric was a wanker, and how devastated he was by his death.

    Many of the contributions are about family memories and friendships built up around the show. It really is engaging, and a thing of love. This link will take you to the Amazon entry which will enable you to preview the pages with a list of contributors. Other retailers, with a more socially responsible attitude to paying Tax are available.

    Above all – a book about memories to raise money for a charity who seek to help people losing theirs. Very Doctorish.

    * Warning – May contain Louise Mensch.
    ** Mitch Benn has sung often about Doctor Who on Radio 4’s Now Show. My favourite has to be “Save my Doctor Who”. People may remember that an episode may have been shown a week later if a football match had gone to extra time. The day before he recorded this for broadcast.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Ahh, the thread I was waiting for! Thanks @craig, the site looks great. Now, first some coffee to stimulate the groggy blenkinsop brain.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Now, some coffee-enhanced ideas….

    Given that the 50th will involve both the remaining episodes of season 7 and a movie length episode (and perhaps more–minisodes, etc), there is the possibility that the remaining episodes could focus on one thing and the movie for the 23 November on something else.

    This means that the episodes could be about “who is Clara?” and the movie something anniversary-themed. I begin to see the potential for the revival of the Kennedy theory and the return of Canton!

    More thoughts after more coffee.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    Our Southern hemisphere friends may be interested in the following link.

    The Aussies start the 50th early.

    I understand the resulting podcasts will be available to all, on the 23rd of each month. I demand equality in Nothern climates!

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    David Tennant can tell us nothing. He is being stalked by the BBC’s Celestial Intervention Agency though.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Damn! Just lost a great post before it was finished. Will try and reconstruct it.

    Since the 50th may be a stand-alone story, unconnected with the question of “who is Clara?”, could it be my Kenndey theor?. What was my Kennedy theory? (Middle-age short term memory loss)

    I do recall a throw-away line in “Let’s Kill Hitler” (a Moffat episode): “Time can be re-written–remember Kennedy”. Does Moffat throw anything in that is not relevant later on? I tend to think not. And what about the 4th wall? Well, there seems to be a sort of un-spoken assumption throughout the last 50 years that the show inhabits the same time and space as we, the audience, do. In spite of evidence to the contrary–Daleks, Cybermen in Victorian London, UNIT, etc, etc. But…what if our history was only one history? And what if “Doctor Who” could exist as a reality in one history and as a show in another?

    Where am I going with this? No idea. Time for another glass.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    To return. I suppose what I am grasping towards is a way that a 4th wall theory might work. I think Moffat is capable of incredible things. In particular, I think he can be very, very, clever in his storytelling. And that is why I am attracted to the idea that Moffat might attempt something that most writers might avoid as being too fraught with the potential for disaster–namely, a 4th wall explanation. But think back to the narrative cleverness of “Blink”. There is a reason why we all remember that show so fondly.

    But having said all that, do I know what will happen? No. But to rise to the challenge of @scaryb, what sort of bonkers story for the 50th would I like? Well, on the one hand, one that brought back Canton, and one that what so clever, we would talk about it endlessly. Maybe there is a story that is not a 4th wall explanation that would do that. OK, what is it?



    wolfweed @wolfweed

    I think perhaps it will be an interactive episode in which we get to choose (by internet vote) between Big Ron & Mandy saving the day…

    I’m voting for Big Ron, ’cause he was in Destiny of the Daleks.

    wolfweed @wolfweed

    It might also be in (sort of anaglyph) 3-D and introduced by Noel Edmonds from his Crinkley Bottom…

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    I share the desire to see Canton again. I loved the story about how they cast the aged Canton. In a group casting discussion, they were asking who could play him old, and Mark Sheppard said “I’ll drag my dad (Morgan) out of retirement for that. He’d love it! He really regreted having to turn down a part on the original series because he was in theatre”. And lo – Morgan Sheppard (who must have influenced his son with guest spots on Star Trek, Babylon 5, Day of the Triffids, SeaQuest DSV, etc) came to be old Canton.

    And Canton was just so cool. After a trip in the TARDIS, is there any better reaction than “Love your wheels”.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Hi everyone,

    Thanks very much for giving me the keys to the kingdom Craig.

    Just a quickie as I have work to do this evening.

    The blog is looking good!

    Craig @craig

    Way hay, just so glad you made it!

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Welcome to the new playground. You’re late. Did you bring a note 😉

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    On our wish list for the 50th, I guess this is never going to happen, but I thought a series in which each episode referenced a place/time/person associated with past Doctors would be really great. The reason would be to reflect on who he actually was (because he doesn’t know).

    For instance, an episode referencing Pertwee in which eleven landed on Peladon, and to post a HTPDBET idea, had to fight robot Aggedors controlled by the GI.

    For the second maybe an episode set in Scotland with an aging Jamie (Frazer Hines) with them both trying to remember each other (Jamie’s memories were erased by the Timelords).

    It would be interesting to see what places/foes/ideas other people could come up with for an idea like this.

    For Companions, I will leave you with this.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Loved the clip of the companions/friends, but…where was the wonderful Caitlin Blackwood as Amelia?

    bobbingbird @bobbibgbird

    I’m increasingly impressed with this site, Craig. I’ve never been part of a living, evolving website. it is very exciting.

    @phaseshift – thanks for the link to the companions and especially for the info about the monthly podcasts Downunder. I shall be tuning in

    I came across this today from the Beeb – I don’t think anyone else has posted about it. They are releasing 11 ‘eshort stories’ over the next eleven months; one for each Doctor. They are all written by  ‘well known’ children’s authors. A paperback version is to be released in November. I think I will entertain the child in me and download them.


    bobbingbird @bobbibgbird

    A question to throw out there to everyone.  Do we / should we have any rules regarding rumours/theories that we find elsewhere on the net? I did a search for rumours on my way to work this morning and found something quite interesting. It was posted then quickly deleted, but not before it was picked up by other sites. Nothing particularly spoilerish, but I remember a fairly extensive debate on the Guardian about spoilers last season. Some peoples’ teases are others’ spoilers and all that.

    I think perhaps we should revisit that debate just so we all agree (at least to some extent) where a line should be drawn (and indeed if it should be). Perhaps a different thread @craig ?

    If you want to hear the rumour I found let me know (you’ll probably all find it on your way to work, too).

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @bobbingbird – welcome back and hope the ironing went well I posted about the eshorts a couple of days ago, but I’ll let you off 🙂

    I found a link a wee while  back to New Zealand TV but can’t find it again. They were going to be running selection of  episodes for each of the Doctors over the next 11 months (1 Doctor/month). From the very 1st one (inc the reconstructed ones). Makes me wish I was in NZ, but at least it’s not quite as (almost) tantalisingly close for you. Presume NZ TV doesn’t travel as far as Oz?

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    If you found a link today on your way to work, I do hope you don’t drive to work.

    I am all in favour of hearing rumours, so, depending on the views of other, pass them on.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    Re rumours – that’s a good point  @bobbingbird

    Personally, I prefer to be able to choose to avoid them completely. It’s amazing how 1 word or a glimpsed image can set off a train of thought that you’d prefer not to think about till you find it in episode. Personally I like coming to episodes as cold as possible.

    @craig, @phaseshift – How  about a separate spoilers thread? Not out and out spoilers but rumours and press (slightly informed) speculations  Eg if it’s similar to the leaked pic of Liberty as an angel I’d prefer to be able to avoid it.

    What does everyone else think? I know some people don’t even want to know the episode titles beforehand.

    LOL – Spoilers/Rumours Thread – that will be like having a big red button saying Do Not Press :-p

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    A separate thread on rumours. Hmm. With overtones of the forbidden? I like it!

    bobbingbird @bobbibgbird

    Hi @scaryb ,

    Sorry I missed your post about the eshorts 🙂

    Where do you live, then to be posting so late/early? No, sadly NZ telly is not available in Aus. I wish ABC would do the same. Maybe an email to them…

    The spoiler/tease thing is always a difficult one. Maybe a separate Rumours thread would be best – though it is bound to leach into this thread, and the bonkers theorising influenced. I do think we need some broad consensus, as I’d hate to ruin anything. Personally I like teases like the Liberty as angel..

    bobbingbird @bobbibgbird

    No, @blenkinsopthebrave – I train and bus it. Lots of time to Google Dr Who rumours…

    I did enjoy the amount of SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS people were writing as warning on the Guardian website.

    Craig @craig

    Hi all, ah yes, spoilers. What to do? I’m not a fan of plot points but I don’t mind knowing, for example, who is starring in an episode.  However, if David Tennant or Tom Baker were confirmed I’d be annoyed to find that out as it points to a significant plot point. So there are always degrees.

    One option is, of course, a spoilers thread. Another option would be a Spoilers group. I’ve not used the groups function, but I think that what went on in a private group would hopefully not show up in the activity stream for everyone else to see. I wouldn’t want to be a member though so I’ll have to think how that could maybe be set up if that is an option people might want to try.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord

    I feel pretty much the same on spoilers. I usually read the press releases to see who will be writing for the series, but tend to avoid any site that is too spoilery as it tends to reduce speculation and theorising which I love.

    I was really annoyed back in November when I went to read an SFX review of something and they had a front page picture of the new design cybermen which you’d have difficulty in ignoring. As we’ve seen them in the trailer I’ll post the link if anyone wants a closer look. They are pretty snazzy.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Rather like the shot of Ailsa Berk in the background, with a warm purple puffa jacket – and the expression of a drill sergeant.

    Cybermen …  ATTEN-HUT!


    But yes, my attitude to spoilers: if it’s on the BBC website, the Radio Times or in the trailer, it’s no longer a spoiler. It’s information the production team want out there.

    chickenelly @chickenelly

    Here’s a link to the Guardian article on the new Who short story series: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jan/07/doctor-who-ebooks-eoin-colfer

    Here’s an extract: http://www.guardian.co.uk/childrens-books-site/interactive/2013/jan/07/doctor-who-a-big-hand-eoin-colfer-extract

    The former has a comments section, but does not alas have many posters.  The Guardian might be wondering where everyone is, a Who comments section is usually like catnip.

    We could do a ‘book club’ on the above…

    Rob @rob

    Re Spoilers

    Is there a way to write in white text? Spoilerish material could be written thus and to read it one would have to highlight the text to read it making it a positive choice to read (as long as a/. it’s possible and b/. contributors oops participants did so)

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @chickenelly – loving the top hat!

    The Guardian might be wondering where everyone is, a Who comments section is usually like catnip

    Ah well, then they should communicate when they’re going to close comment threads to their users, as it is being cut off mid-speculation which has led us astray here 🙂 I’m sure we’ll switch back and forth when episodes are airing (although the nesting remains a pet hate). I’ll be interested to see whether the Graun are cool with us promoting the blog URL in forthcoming comments sections.

    @Blenkinsop  Yes what were the details of your Kennedy assassination theory? Wasn’t it about breaking the fourth wall by tying in the dates of the actual assassination with a 5oth anniversary Who episode?


    My wishes for the 50th Anniversary Special?

    I’ll take :

    1. Tom Baker’s voice

    2. Ecclestone, Tennant and Smith bickering in the TARDIS

    3. River and Jack in a flirtathon

    4. A reference to Sarah Jane

    5. Jenny, Vastra and Strax

    6. Rose meets Amy and Rory and they compare notes

    6. Some montage from times past

    7. The return of the Time Lords

    Oh and I agree with comrades @Phasehift and @Blenkinsop – the return  of Canton!

    Wonder how many of these I’ll actually get to put a satisfied smile next to…



    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    Thanks for the link – I understand that once the downloadable versions are all published in November, they are going to be released as a book. There is some speculation about who is involved (one favourite seems to be JK Rowling).

    Some of the non-blog Doctor Who guardian articles can really drain your enthusiasm when you see the comments section. Words fail me.

    PhaseShift @phaseshift
    Time Lord


    2. Ecclestone, Tennant and Smith bickering in the TARDIS

    As I’ve been listening to Paul McGann as the Doctor on Radio 4, can we throw him into the mix as well? Craigs created a link on the homepage, but look at the guy in this publicity photo for the Big Finish stuff. He’d be magnificent.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @phaseshift The more the merrier!

    Although, there might be howls of protest from purists as some don’t consider his Doctor a “properly canon” regeneration, or so I hear…

    I might listen to the 12 midnight repeat – I’ve not really delved into the world of Big Finish Audio although I’ve heard good things about it.

    I missed some great speculation on the Christmas special on the other thread I see – my lateness note being that I was locked out of the blog (staring in folornly through a plate-glass window). A timey-wimey malfunction meant I hadn’t received a “sign-up” e-mail.

    I’ll peruse.



    Whisht @whisht

    @rob – what a brilliant idea!

    @craig – are we allowed to use something like a span style with white font?

    Personally, it’d be nice to be able to avoid spoilers (however we do it).
    It might be to have a separate thread, but Rob’s idea or similar to let people ‘hide’ anything here too in case they’re not sure.

    really reall like that idea – like the old-school “accessible” links…

    bobbingbird @bobbibgbird


    2. Ecclestone, Tennant and Smith bickering in the TARDIS: Matt Smith once said that Ecclestones Doctor would “give my Doctor a bit of a whopping, wouldn’t he?….Proper hard, leather jacket”. Cue images of Dr 9 chasing 11 around the Tardis…

    I hate to say this, but I think the anniversary needs the Daleks. After all, Doctor Who probably wouldn’t have survived 50 years without them.

    Oh, and please. No more Rose. One goodbye too many already. But Canton. Definitely him.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @bobbingbird Ha! True on the Rose/ Ten heart-rending goodbyes, but a large section of the Nu Who fanbase is probably jonesing for it. They could walk off-screen hand-in-hand this time of course, causing outbursts of joy across many parts of the interwebs.

    Re Ecclestone duffing up Smith’s Doctor. Yes, although I suspect Ten might get on his nerves more than Eleven. But three-way bickering, with a little bit of fisticuffs – great. I really enjoyed the First, Second and Third Doctors insulting one another en route to defeating Omega.

    Agreed re the Daleks.

    Hmmn – there should be some Omega too – as his singularity thingamabob created time travel for the Time Lords in the first place, no?

    How are they going to fit it all in without sticking us in a time-loop?!


    ScaryB @scaryb

    <waves @juniperfish – Glad you finally made it from the other side (the fishy clan seem to be developing into a full  blown shoal!)>

    That sounds a good list to me! (I’m up for McGann as well – he’s canon as far as NuWho is concerned – otherwise the numbering doesn’t work. Haven’t even watched the movie yet – missed it when it was screened. just succumbed and ordered the DVD)

    And yes, Canton, please please please!

    (ROFL at Doctors chasing each other round the Tardis)


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Eight’s canon. His picture appeared in ‘The Next Doctor’ AND ‘The Eleventh Hour’. He couldn’t be more canon if Nine, Ten or Eleven had pointed to him and said ‘Oy! And that’s what I used to look like’. 🙂

    The Master, okay? If they bring the Time Lords back, the Master has to come with them. And while the little pepperpots aren’t compulsory for anniversary specials, I think all the Anniversaries so far have included the Time Lords to at least some extent.

    It does occur to me that – since we’re on Eleven and Matt Smith did once want to be a pro footballer – we could have a ‘Doctors Eleven’ match.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    Hi @scaryb 🙂 That is a scary avatar!

    Yes I see there are some new fish about.

    I’m wondering if others from the Guardian will migrate over.

    I must think about what other threads on here would be great to have.

    I’d quite like a sci-fi book and film review thread, but that might be considered off-topic as I was thinking more broadly than Who novels.

    I’d also quite like a fan video and fan art and perhaps even a fan-fic rec thread too.

    Right – contemplative cup of tea and a jammy dodger.

    Oh – I want jelly babies in the 50th! (hastily returns to the thread topic)

    ScaryB @scaryb

    And thanks @phaseshift for the Big Audio info – can hopefully catch it on iplayer or equivalent.

    Re spoilers – while @rob‘s idea of white type is inspired, I’d really appreciate if it was also on another thread. It’s too easy to forget in the (white) heat of a newsy post, and relies on people knowing how eg I don’t.

    I suspect it’s going to be very difficult/impossible to avoid all spoilers as we get closer – if Moff manages to do only a smidgeon of what he’s promising in terms of the amount of Who related stuff that’s going to be around (“Surprises!”) the press are going to be all over it by Oct/Nov.  Not to mention being desperate for clues as to who’s going to be in it – they’ll be haunting the locations in April.  OTOH the Who team managed to blindside everyone with Oswin’s first appearance so hopefully he can keep most of the press on side again. I’m sure there will be a few sniffing around for late night clandestine out-of-season filming sessions with mysterious hooded figures trying to look anonymous.

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @bluesqueakpip Well, that’s them told on the canonicity issue 🙂

    I’d be very happy with a return of the Master  for the 50th and it would make sense if the Time Lock on Gallifrey (as I’ve long suspected and hoped for) gets unlocked for the 50th – who knows, perhaps by Clara-the-key scattered in time!

    But, I do hope they recast him. Apologies to Sims but I didn’t enjoy his Master and in any case feel he went with Ten. Now, who would make a good Master to go head-to-head with Eleven?




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