Welcome to a page we’re going to be updating over the next year – until that magical Saturday in 2013, 23 November, the half-century of Britain's favourite sci-fi television programme, Doctor Who . Update on who and what's in the special, and shooting info.
We'll be updating it whenever news emerges, filling you in on what we hear about how the anniversary might be celebrated. Expect lots of tasty morsels! We'll do our best to separate the facts from the wild rumours. New information is written in red.
We'll split our reports into two sections. The first will cover the actual show itself – the episode of Doctor Who that will (almost certainly) be shown on Saturday 23 November – and the second will round-up other news about different sorts of events and programmes that will celebrate the anniversary.
So, first up, what some people from the world of Doctor Who have been saying about the episode itself:
• Matt Smith recently said: "I hope that we mark it in the best way possible and we honour the people that have been in the show before us and we make it as grand and brilliant and inventive and as much an occasion as possible. What that is, I may have an idea, but I can’t tell you I’m afraid..."
Sounds intriguing, and the Eleventh Doctor went on to say, "Nothing’s set in stone. I imagine there will be a script knocking around about Christmas and we will develop further and shoot it next spring.’’
Matt also told the Radio Times : "We want to make [the anniversary] as big and bold and as brilliant as we can because, we hope, it can be one of the monumental bits of TV history. But I doubt there'll be a regeneration..."
• David Tennant Following the BBC's announcement confirming that Tennant will appear in the 50th Anniversary Special alongside former companion Rose Tyler, pictures have emerged of Tennant and Smith together at script readings. In the pictures Tennant is accompanied by Gavin and Stacey's Joanna Page who is confirmed to be cast in the special.
• Christopher Eccleston was asked about any possible involvement with the 50th anniversary and said: “Would I like to be involved? If I told you that, I’d have to shoot you”. When asked about what he'd like to see in it he replied: “I’ve not even thought about it. It’s so long ago for me that I haven’t even thought about it.” So it's not a no...
No, it is a no. The BBC was forced to issue a statement following tabloid reports that Eccleson had walked out on the story shortly before filming, with the statement stressing that he had never been contracted for the role. "Chris met with Steven Moffat a couple of times to talk about Steven’s plans for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode. After careful thought, Chris decided not to be in the episode. He wishes the team all the best.”
• Showrunner Steven Moffat told The Independent : “One thing I’m slightly concerned about is that you get something like the 50, people start talking like it’s a full stop. I want to build for the future. I want to set up the next 50 years and to say: ‘Here are the new monsters we’re introducing.’ Rather than doing something which might seem like a farewell tour, because it certainly is not.” Sounds good: we'd really like to see new baddies of the caliber of the Silents and the Weeping Angels, and we're getting a bit bored of the Cybermen and Daleks, so this is exciting news.
Speaking to Collider.com Moffat has attempted to distance the anniversary show from the current storyline: "The show must be seen to be going forward. It's all about the next 50 years, not about the last 50 years. If you start thinking it's all about nostalgia, then you're finished. It's about moving forward. The Doctor is moving forward, as he always does."
Former boss Russell T Davies told What's On TV he won't be part of the anniversary show: “I think I’d be like the ghost at the feast, what would I do – turn up and make the tea? I have asked current boss Steven Moffat not to tell me what they are planning.”
John Barrowman and Freema Agyeman both announced via Twitter that their characters Captain Jack Harkness and Martha Jones would not be making an appearance. Team Barrowman posted: I will not be involved in the 50th Anniversary Episode of Dr WHO. JB
Jemma Redgrave is to return as Kate Steward the new head of Unit and daughter of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Redgrave previously played the role in 2012's "The Power Of Three".
The BBC posted a behind-the-scenes clip revealing that actress and comedienne Ingrid Oliver would also appear. The clip takes place at UNIT headquarters the Tower of London.
Some scenes will take place in (and above!) Trafalgar Square. The TARDIS was spotted being lifted above the public square by a crane with Matt Smith hanging off the bottom! Jenna Louise Coleman was inside the ship. Trafalgar Square was previously seen in 1964's "The Dalek Invasion Of Earth".
A picture posted by the Doctor Who Twitter feed revealed that the classic adversary the Zygons would make an appearance. The photograph revealed a redesign for the shape-shifting invaders, with sharper teeth and an exposed ribcage.
An official BBC press card seen at the London Toy Fair appeared to confirm that the 50th anniversary will be marked by one special, lasting for 60 minutes. Putting our editorial hat on for a moment, we've got to say we're a little disappointed by this. Just the one special? Just 60 minutes long? It's hardly "taking over television" as Moffat said. And for all the sounds made about Doctor Who returning to its "rightful place" on autumn and winter evenings that would appear to be poppycock. Unless we're mistaken the special will be followed a month later by the Christmas special and then a few months later by series eight, of so far indeterminate length.
Call us greedy, but we expected a bit more...
OTHER CELEBRATIONS GOING ON
A special Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Weekend is being planned at ExCel London for the weekend beginning Friday 22nd of November with tickets for over 15,000 fans. People are advised to sign up to the doctorwho.tv newsletter to find out more.
The BFI Southbank is to screen classic Doctor Who stories each month in 2013, leading up to the show's 50th Anniversary. Each screening will focus on a particular Doctor and feature guests from the era, with an introduction and a Q&A panel session after.
Tom Baker has been announced for the 20 April screening of "The Robots Of Death". Baker will be joined by Leela herself, Louise Jameson, producer Philip Hinchcliffe and special effects wizard Mat Irvine.
And 4 May sees the screening of "The Caves Of Androzani". Peter Davison will be in attendance for his final episode along with other guest TBA.
At the moment the most widely known news about "extra" Doctor Who celebratory content is Mark Gatiss 's drama about the real-life origins of the show. It is provisionally titled An Adventure In Time And Space and will run for 90 minutes. More news when we get it as to who's going to take the parts of William Hartnell and Verity Lambert, among others...
Shooting on Adventures in Space and Time wrapped on March 1st.
Daleks were spotted on Westminster Bridge on Febuary 17th. The shoot used replicas of the 1960s models seen in 1964's The Dalek Invasion of Earth.
Casting News! Cast in the role of original Doctor William Hartnell is Harry Potter's David Bradley. Bradley previously appeared on the show as the devious collector Solomon in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship.Verity Lambert will be played by The Woman in Black's Jessica Raine. Brian Cox, The Bourne Identity actor not the real-life physicist who appeared in Power of Three , will be playing BBC Head of Drama Sydney Newman. Original companion Carol Ann Ford, who played The Doctor's Granddaughter, will be portrayed by newcomer Claudia Grant. the special also stars Reese Shearsmith as Patrick Troughton and the original voice of the Daleks Peter Hawkins.
Filming on the 90-Minute documdrama commenced February 6th with pictures released on Doctor Who news showing filming taking place in the lobby of the BBC television center.
It seems that the Royal Mail will be issuing special stamps to commemorate the occasion. The first ones may come out in early 2013.
You can expect a whole load of Who merchandise coming out – and we have no intention of listing it all – but ones that caught our eye so far include Doctor Toby jugs, novel re-releases (with new cover artwork), a special Top Trumps game, Monopoly and IDW graphic novels. With there being eleven Doctors, twelve months in the year and the anniversary coming in the eleventh one, lots of these product lines will release one new item a month. So get saving!
The BBC say there will be a programme called Doctor Who Revisited , 11 episodes of 25 minutes each - putting our Sherlock deerstalker on for a moment, we'd draw the stunning conclusion from this that each episode will cover one Doctor and the series may begin early September (if they showed one a week).
The Beeb will also be partnering with the Science Museum on various products and activities, and the show promises to have a major presence at San Diego Comic Con in July.
Page maintained by Russell Lewin