The Doctor will be celebrating his fiftieth in the 75-minute special now entitled THE DAY OF THE DOCTOR, BBC News has announced.
The episode, to be broadcast on the 23rd November (conveniently a Saturday), is already known to be pairing Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor and Jenna Coleman’s Clara with preceding Doctor David Tennant and who-knows-what Doctor John Hurt, as well as a slew of classic baddies including the Zygons and the Daleks. This title suggests – as we’ve already expected from showrunner Steven Moffat’s run so far – it’ll be a very Doctor-centric celebration of the past fifty years.
But that’s not all – to tie in with the anniversary celebrations, the BBC have announced some other treats:
• Popular physicist Brian Cox will appear on BBC Two to lecture us on the science behind Doctor Who. I’d like to see him make sense of The Last of the Time Lords…
• The first ever story, either titled An Unearthly Child or 100,000 BC (it’s contentious, make your own mind up) will be re-ran on BBC Four. What’s that? You already have the DVD? Well, they’re being broadcast in a restored format, not previously seen in the UK. Happy yet?
• Me, You and Doctor Who, a BBC Culture Show special, featuring lifelong fan Matthew Sweet as he explores the cultural significance of Doctor Who.
• BBC Three will have several special programmes, including Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide, intended to be a primer for those less familiar with Who (not us then).
• Who Is The Doctor?, a 90-minute documentary to be broadcast on BBC Radio 2, featuring newly-recorded interviews and exclusive archive material.
Wow. A great time to be a Who fan indeed. Of course, it'll all hinge on whether the special can escape the criticism aimed at the recent series and be the worthy celebration we hope it can be. And, if it isn’t, we can always hold out for Christmas and see if incoming Doc Peter Capaldi can raise the stakes.
Speaking of Christmas, filming on that other special started this week, and here’s one of the first set pics, showing off Matt Smith in a wig that’s actually maybe not that bad (courtesy of ryantfarr on Twitter):
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