The Day of The Doctor – The 50th Anniversary Special

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    Craig @craig

    Now that “The Name of the Doctor” has been broadcast, I’m opening up a new thread for speculation about the 50th Anniversary Special. This is a place for plot speculation and latest news. It is NOT a place for SPOILERS! They belong in the SPOILERS thread.

    If you want to read our bonkers speculation about the 50th from before the last series was broadcast, you can do so here:

    Anonymous @

    Is anybody else going to be at the 50th anniversary exhibition in the excel centre in London, does anybody know what there will be at it?

    ScaryB @scaryb


    Greetings. Re the convention – no idea- no details announced yet, but keep an eye on the various websites, inc the excel one for updates.

    ScaryB @scaryb

    WooHoo! Brand new thread – thanks @craig 🙂

    OK, to kick-start it – what do people think is going to be in it?! (And what would you like to see?)

    I’ve been saying for a long time that I think it’s about re-setting the history so that the next 50 years can start with the Dr largely relieved of the burden of that very large bag of canon he’s been trailing about, including the Time War.  But I trust Moffat is enough of a fan to do that with respect for the programme’s history and understanding of what’s important to it.  (that may of course be open to a lot of discussion on the various boards and I can see that other people may welcome it less than me 😉 )

    I’m assuming that the major part of the story will deal with the HurtDr and how “our” Dr reconciles himself with the deeds of his past self.  I’m assuming that, as the timestream is collapsing in on itself by the end of NotD, that the 50th will take place back in “real time”.

    Even that poses questions – is Trenzalore the way we left it? Is the Dr still “really dead” at Trenzalore? When we first come across HurtDr he is looking out at a landscape that looks very like Trenzalore (eg the gravestones).  Is Trenzalore somehow connected to Gallifrey (past or future) – tried to get some comparative screengrabs, but nothing convincing either way.

    And if he didn’t do what he did in the name of the Doctor, in whose or what’s name did he do it?




    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @scaryb – the gravestones are certainly the same style as at Trenzalore – so Hurt Doctor is not only not running, he’s standing out and staring at the site of his grave.

    Which makes me think that part of the 50th will be the discovery that the Eleventh (who’s really the Twelfth) has come up with his private answer to the problem of all these dark hints/the Valeyard etc. He’s planning to not regenerate when his time comes. The Hurt Doctor has meant the Doctor has learnt the hard way what darkness he’s capable of – and he’s not going to risk it happening again. The Hurt Doctor is in the timeline staring at his final battle because he’s the reason it was the Doctor’s final battle.

    Which would explain why the Great Intelligence describes the Doctor’s final battle as not ‘the most dangerous place in the universe’ but as ‘a comparatively minor skirmish’.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    And if he didn’t do what he did in the name of the Doctor, in whose or what’s name did he do it?

    Given the importance the Doctor now attaches to hiding his birth name, whatever the Hurt Doctor did was clearly done under his birth name. And is quite possibly in all the history books (History of the Time War?) under that name.

    So what the Doctor is trying desperately to protect is ‘the name of The Doctor’. He doesn’t want that deed to ever be connected with ‘The Doctor’.

    I think we’re going to find out that he ordered the death of his own grandchild.

    ScaryB @scaryb


    He’s planning to not regenerate when his time comes

    Well that would be a gamechanger and a half! :mrgreen:

    But ~I agree with you it’s looking that way. The signs are clearly laid out that it’s Matts’ Dr who dies in the “minor skirmish” (his Tardis plus Clara says she’s only seen 11 faces).

    So “our” Doctor’s line finishes with Matt and there’s a new person who steps into the role of “The Doctor”? <mischievously chuckles to herself at the thought of the internet exlosions that would bring!>

    Am assuming not, since MS has reportedly confirmed he’ll be in series 8; Also assuming they can’t afford John Hurt for more than 1 epiode :-)

    Elouise @elouise

    Or possibly killed his children, what the Hurt doctor did, he did in the name of “peace and sanity”, Maybe they were just driving him insane? 🙂

    ScaryB @scaryb

    LOL @elouise Children will indeed drive you insane, yes indeedy 😉

    Hurt Dr doesn’t say much and what he does say could equally apply to eg  what the Dr has said about his decision to end the Time War – No choice, for the greater good etc (road to hell and good intentions etc)

    I think he starts the Time War in some crucial way, perhaps working with the daleks or cybermen (but from the best of motives). Which puts more onus on our Dr to take the responsibility to end it.  I suspect the 50th could deal explicitly with the Dr’s morality – eg saving one person is as important as saving 1 million

    Elouise @elouise

    I would not be surprised if he did, but i surely hope that he did not work with the cybermen, they are disgusting! Daleks are a good shot though…

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @scaryb – oy, spoilers!


    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @scaryb – and I would point out that Moffat has now carefully established that it’s possible for a Whoniverse character to play a very active part in proceedings despite being extremely dead. 😈

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @bluesqueakpip Spoilers??? 🙁  You mean re casting in series 8/Xmas special? I did say reportedly cos I’m not sure it’s confirmed and it doesn’t rule out that – 1. He’s not in it all the way through and/or 2. he’s dead (for the reasons you mention above!)

    ScaryB @scaryb

    A lot depends on where the HurtDr fits in. I keep trying to have him as the one who’s really dead at Trenzalore but I end up with the literal dead end problem. He presumably has to regenerate into one of the Drs we already know. Unless he’s a branch-line of the Dr that didn’t lead anywhere. But it works better if he’s actually in the main timeline, cf apologising for things your parents have done, or like governments taking responsibility for things their predecessors have done – they have no direct responsibility for those long past deeds, but are still experiencing the benefits/consequences of them.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @scaryb – you know me and my spoiler fixation. Blame it on my gyppy tummy. 🙂 

    Anyway, @juniperfish‘s Horus/Isis thing is looking more likely – those last couple of episodes really felt like a pre-regeneration sequence to me. First we’re reminded what regeneration is, then the ominous foreshadowing of death in Name otD.

    But there’s that bloomin’ fob watch, which Eleven has been wearing pretty much constantly since River’s death. So I’d still go for them trying for a surprise regeneration at the 50th. And the way to keep it a surprise is to have MS booked for filming – but playing a different part than ‘current Doctor’.

    If Merlin could afford John Hurt’s voice talent in most episodes, I dare say Who could afford him for more than one episode – but it would surprise me if he was in more than the 50th.

    MTGradwell @mtgradwell

    I think my “bonkers theory” that I posted on the TNotD and Fan Creativity threads, actually has more internal consistency than I expected it to have as I was creating it, and would actually work. That would make HurtDr an alternate 12th. Not the Doctor that current-11th regenerates into, but the Doctor that an alternate 11th regenerates into. Alternate 11th looks like Matt Smith, but originated in a very different timeline, one in which there was only one Clara (Victorian) and no Silence.  Because there was no Silence, and River originated as  a result of the Silence’s machinations, there was no river either. Because there was only one Clara, the Doctor had no reason to seek out other Claras and would not have succeeded anyway if he had sought them out.

    When alt-11th confronted the Great Intelligence at Trenzalore, with no River to help out, he had to say his own name. With no Clara to help out, he had to dive into his own timestream, not to rescue Clara but to tackle the GI head-on himself.  After regenerating into Hurt-Dr, he scattered himself along his own timeline, so that all the other incarnations became aware of his existence. He then had to do some pretty terrible things in order to thwart the GI, such as bringing the Time War to an end. Those actions alone should provide enough material for a 50th episode, but it would be confusing without some setting out of his back-story, and unsatisfying without the resolution which would come in the next iteration when Clara gets scattered. For how that happens I’ll refer to my “bonkers theory” rather than repeating myself here.

    SatsumaJoe @satsumajoe

    One thing I noticed on rewatching TNotD is the GI’s plot was so it could have ‘peace at last’. Important in light of HurtDoctor’s words?



    I’ll come back to that…


    We’ve always implicitly assumed that Eccleston was all PTSD and Rose brought him back.


    Tennant is bargaining like a boss – from condemning Harriet Jones to dispensing with the The Family of Blood; From the Fires of Pompeii to and giving the Vasta Nerada a choice to….. I’m a God!


    Matt Smith is the brutal realisation that he is alone with his choices; that those with him echo his loss and abandonment from the “Girl Who Waited” to “I Don’t Know Where I Am”.


    So one way or another I expect Clara and Hurt!Doctor to be his path to acceptance; and that of course requires first the realisation that he must end the denial.

    I’m all about the metaphor, me.

    Anonymous @

    @pedant – in re ‘the five stages of grief’ , “Kübler-Ross noted that these stages are not meant to be a complete list of all possible emotions that could be felt, and, they can occur in any order.”

    He he!  Timey-wimey and all that.  😀

    I’m in agreement with you on this:  “I expect Clara and Hurt!Doctor to be his path to acceptance; and that of course requires first the realisation that he must end the denial.”

    This is my special hope for the 50th:  The incorporation of the Hurt Doctor, and whatever he did (which warranted it ‘not in the name of the Doctor’, but also to be acknowledged as what he, as a flawed individual, did in the name of ‘sanity and peace’), into the whole history of ‘our’ Doctor.



    , “Kübler-Ross noted that these stages are not meant to be a complete list of all possible emotions that could be felt, and, they can occur in any order.”

    Indeedy – each individuals path is personal. A very very lucky few can even go directly to acceptance. A lot suppress the anger for many years.

    FishComBobulated @fishcombobulated

    Hello, all.


    I haven’t found such a lively and intellectually stimulating  on a television program since the days of Lostpedia, and hence haven’t joined in on such a conversation. You have compelled me to do so now, sadly only after the hiatus begins.

    After a re-watch last night, I noticed a bit of dialogue that I predict will be illustrated onscreen during the Special. When Clara asks the Doctor who Jenny, Vastra and Strax are to him, he responds that they were his friends through the “dark times.” The dialogue is more in depth that that, but the gist was that during his “dark times” they took care of him when he needed it.

    On first watch, I thought this was the period (100-200 years?) after he lost Amy and Rory.  Now, I predict that this was foreshadowing instead that the trio of companions originated instead with the “Dark Doctor,” and that we will see a scene with Doctor Hurt and those three, perhaps just after regeneration or after he acted but “not in the name of the Doctor.”



    Quality name!

    I think you are probably wrong, but like the idea – I think that dialogue was simply to emphasise the debt he felt to them. “The were….kind” was simply devastating.

    Whisht @whisht

    Hi @fishcombobulated – I love the name!

    btw (and this is me being very very very thick)

    just why are there so many fishes here? A few birds yes, but so many fishes in the (sea of) threads…..

    I really should know I s’pose….


    I think your first impression was probably correct – not sure how, if HurtDr is in 11’s past, the Pat Gang can have helped HurtDr as they seem to be of 11’s period, but I’ll go along with ya if theres’ a chance (I can imagine a scene with them afterward if that makes sense a bit like who’s on first

    “who’s that?
    What, Doctor?
    Yes, but no, not really the Doctor.
    huh? Who?
    What??? Doctor??!?
    No, Who.

    [ad nauseum]

    Tiddler @tiddler

    Hi folks, haven’t been posting recently  but have been lurking and reading the bonkers theories with great enjoyment!

    @bluesqueakpip – there was a reasonable close up of the front of Matt SMith’s waistcoat in NiS when he was being cyberised, and it looked more like a decorative sovereign or something on the chain, rather than a fob watch, I thought – maybe yet another Moffatt misdirect?

    Juniperfish @juniperfish

    @fishcombobulated Welcome to the boards and to Clan Fish!

    @whisht There are so many fish because me, my doppleganger-fish (otherwise known as “dark Juniperfish”), my good comrade @jimthefish and the rest of the shoal are on a cult recruitment drive to ensure that the denizens of the known and unknown universes accept @holymackerel as their personal God-Complex.

    Don’t mention fish fingers and custard if you want to live!


    ScaryB @scaryb


    The fob watch – there is a St Christopher(?) on the chain but the end, where the watch would be, is in his pocket. Could very well be a tease, but it’s still up for speculation 🙂

    @juniperfish Either that or your nanobots are still working! <goes off muttering about fishing nets 😈 >

    Tiddler @tiddler

    @scaryb – Doh! didn’t realise that, thanks for the correction.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    @tiddler – yes, I know the shot you mean.

    Fob watches aren’t worn outside the waistcoat. The sort of waistcoat you can use a fob-watch with will have two small pockets, one each side of the buttons. The watch itself will live in one pocket, the chain will be securely hung from or through the button hole, and then the key will be kept in the other pocket – so the whole assembly is both safe (if the watch falls from the pocket, it’ll simply swing on the chain) and decorative.

    The Doctor’s wearing a Double Albert chain, which has a T bar to securely hold the chain to the button hole. . The charm might be a St Christopher – very appropriate, if so. The watch, if there is one, will be in one of the waist coat pockets.


    Tiddler @tiddler

    @bluesqueakpip – as above to ScaryB! As you can tell, I am not very au fait with waistcoat accessories!!

    SatsumaJoe @satsumajoe


    The Doctor’s wearing a Double Albert chain, which has a T bar to securely hold the chain to the button hole. . The charm might be a St Christopher – very appropriate, if so. The watch, if there is one, will be in one of the waist coat pockets.

    Of all the things I’ve read on here, this amazed me. No really. I’m nearly sure I read of his charm being used in another time travel way, perhaps even the Doctor. Hmm. Either way, blimey there’s a lot more to pay attention to isn’t there?! Aside from the bowties of course 🙂

    ScaryB @scaryb

    One thing that struck me (but forgot with the grumpiness that surounded Hurt’s credit at the end) –

    Dr does his speech about his name, finishing with “… not in the name of the Doctor!” Turns away with Clara. Hurt Dr turns round with the credit sliding in – “Introducing John Hurt” (pause) “as the Doctor”

    Seemed a very pointed juxtaposition.  Maybe we’ll start the 50th with HurtDr’s story…?

    And yes, I had no idea there was so much to fob watches and waistcoats LOL

    ScaryB @scaryb

    One other thing – why doesn’t Clara recognise the leaf when the Dr drops it into the timestream? “you blew into the world on this leaf” – why doesn’t she recognise it as the one that was in her 101 places to go diary, that she then fed to “grandfather”?

    SatsumaJoe @satsumajoe

    @scaryb That confused me with the previous conversation of how the Doctor had the leaf after Grandfather had eaten it and my suggestion of two leaves. So I rewatched! The leaf from the book was different to that eaten by Grandfather and given to her in the timestream – both two and three were identical in shape, if not from the same point in time. Unsure how to explain that or her lack of recognition! When I said there were two leaves, I thought he gave her the one from the book but no. That is odd to me. Could the timestream have affected her memory to an extent? Avoiding the Souffle Girl thing now 😉

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    Yes, the juxtaposition is almost certainly deliberate.

    Amazing grumpiness, wasn’t there? And yet we needed to be told very firmly that John Hurt IS playing the Doctor. Whatever Eleven says, we’re looking at ‘The Doctor’.

    [Also, the poor man needs a credit. Size and placing of credits is very important in career terms; he’d given up his ‘above the line’ credit to preserve the surprise, so got a full screen ‘introducing’ credit just before the end-credits.]

    ScaryB @scaryb

    @bluesqueakpip – I actually liked the way they did the last couple of minutes – thought it was tight and escalated well –  and the billing, as you say, removes any doubt Matt’s speech might have introduced. (Also ref my recent conversation with @phaseshift On the (old) Sofa re Moffat’s skill at structuring scenes where the words say one thing but there are other things going on, conveyed by tone, looks, positioning etc which may undercut or add a different dimension to what’s being said)

    @satsumajoe – I know, the different leaves have been mentioned before. But Clara should have recognised this leaf, she carried it in her diary for  years. I’d say this is where she first gets it… except it would only be able to find her if it’s already “her” leaf. (That and Souffle Girl may just be coincidence… but there again…!)

    SatsumaJoe @satsumajoe

    @scaryb Sorry, is the leaf that led to her parents meeting the same one as that in the diary or is it that one fed to grandfather? Either way, I think there may be a memory issue for Clara; at one point, she says ‘I don’t know who I am’ as well as the phrase ‘I don’t know where I am’. Back to the beginning?

    ScaryB @scaryb


    Sorry, is the leaf that led to her parents meeting the same one as that in the diary or is it that one fed to grandfather?

    The leaf fed to grandfather is the one that looks very different (it’s a different shape, colour and texture, in fact it doesn’t really look that much like a leaf at all). In fact the leaf is a bit like @bluesqueakpip‘s souffle girl – it seems to connect with similar refs in story, but doesn’t quite. <hmmm>

    Anonymous @

    @satsumajoe – nice work on the leaf images.  🙂  (I’m so glad I noticed that in RoA, btw, because I rarely notice these things – just that I clocked the original leaf as being maple-like and in RoA it was too round.)  Another one for the ‘loose ends’ pile …

    @bluesqueakpip – do you just know all of these amazing facts, like Double and Single Alberts for fob watches?  Or was it your heroic trawl through all of the Clara episodes that caused you to look it up?  (PS I so want to make a Single – Double – Prince Albert joke, but this is a family forum.  😆 )

    Pufferfish @pufferfish

    The fobwatch: I’m wondering if it’s not a repository for all the information the Doctor has gone around deleting from databases. That information has to go… somewhere.

    Anonymous @

    @pufferfish – was it the Doctor deleting things from databases, though?  Oswin (the Claricle) deleted him from the Dalek database in AotD, and the GI released all the people from his ‘cloud’ in TBoSJ.

    Which databases did the Doctor mess with?

    Also, it goes back to the RTD era that a Time Lord can be Chameleon-arched into a fob watch, so you’re not wrong that our Doctor’s fob watch is more than a style affectation … 🙂

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    do you just know all of these amazing facts, like Double and Single Alberts for fob watches?

    @Shazzbot – I trained as an actor – and in fact, I do still occasional acting jobs (and I’d do more if the buggers would cast me!). A very important job skill for actors is being able to research a part or a historical period very quickly – so yeah, I’m good at finding out stuff.

    But I knew how fob watches were worn from this Victorian murder mystery I was in, playing a highly suspicious maid… 🙂


    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @fishcombobulated– that’s an interesting thought, though personally I think the ‘dark times’ were after his final time with River. Vastra and Jenny clearly knew what had happened ‘he still hasn’t contacted you?’ and I also got the impression he wasn’t very keen on ten’s idea to ‘make a back up’ of her. (Possibly because he loved River and ten didn’t).

    I do think they’ll be back, though. The exchange with the GI, protesting that the Doctors hands were ‘never’ stained with blood might lead to an interesting point when they see the Doctor in bloodier action- in AGMGTW, he thought, when he thought he was victorious, that he had managed it with no blood spilled. As the GI pointed out, Solomon, Daleks etc, but I don’t know if they have really seen him take a life.

    (Not that it’s something he does lightly. But nor does the Hurt Doctor seem to have done what he did lightly…)

    Miapatrick @miapatrick

    @Shazzbot– re: ‘Albert’ joke- maybe take it to the pub? That’s the ‘adult’ space. Though I suppose it depends how blue (hehe) the joke would be…

    Anonymous @

    @miapatrick – you haven’t heard of a prince albert?  *innocent face*

    PS:  don’t search those two words with the additional word ‘piercing’


    and I also got the impression he wasn’t very keen on ten’s idea to ’make a back up’ of her. (Possibly because he loved River and ten didn’t).

    There’s no evidence that it was 10’s idea – he just realised that Future!Doc had done so.

    Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip

    It took a great deal of restraint not to make a ‘Prince Albert’ joke, let me tell you. 🙂

    WhoHar @whohar

    More fish!

    Shouldn’t all you guys be on the “Goodbye Mr Chips” message board

    (joke copyright @whohar from the G blog aeons ago)

    WhoHar @whohar

    Now here’s a thing.

    The last line on the G piece that Moffat did

    said this:

    Ten plus 11 gives you …


    The obvious answer is 21 but with Moffat, rarely are things obvious.

    It’s a tease for the 50th but what could it mean?

    Let’s go with the easiest option: 21 regenerations.

    River gave the Doc her remaining regenerations in LKH. So 11 Doc (including the Hurt Doc regen we’ve not seen) + 10 River (assumed) = 21.

    Any other ideas?

    The thing that strikes me immediately about the quote is the phrasing: “Ten plus 11”, rather than 10+11. from which I infer that perhaps “Ten” is a noun rather than a number. This of course answers nothing but I’m just putting it out there.

    It could just be Moffat messin’ with our minds.

    Oh and FWIW, I think John Hurt’s character will only appear in the 50th, although there may be an opportunity for a guest spot in future eps.

    ScaryB @scaryb


    Yes, a couple of people mentioned that before (maybe it was your good self). He does mix up 210 and two hundred and ten in the article. But it’s odd. Or yes, he could be just messing with us, and doing it as a tease for the video. Or it’s the G subs 🙂



    Ten plus 11 gives you …

    Don’t read anything into the number being spelled out. Although the Guardian Style Guide says:

    Spell out from one to nine; numerals from 10 to 999,999; thereafter use m, bn or tn for sums of money, quantities or inanimate objects in copy, eg 5m tonnes of coal, 30bn doses of vaccine, £50tn; but million or billion for people or animals, eg 1 million people, 25 million rabbits, the world population is 7 billion, etc; in headlines always use m, bn or tn

    …the exception is always when a number begins a sentence – then it is spelled out. It is considered very poor style to start a sentence with Arabic numerals.

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