Great minds think alike, especially if they happen to be the same mind. This year’s 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who will see the tenth and eleventh Doctors – played by David Tennant and Matt Smith, respectively – team up with another ominous incarnation of the character, played by John Hurt. The three Doctors probably won’t have too much time for reminiscing, however, as Screen Rant discovered whilst watching the episode trailer at Comic-Con. After all, could it really be a proper celebration of 50 years of Doctor Who if the Daleks didn’t come along for the ride?
To recap, the last time that the Daleks were seen in the show was in the season seven opener “Asylum of the Daleks,” during which the Doctor visited an institution for Daleks who have gone wrong and met his current companion, Clara, for the first time.
In order to tease the 50th anniversary special, the BBC has posted three new images of the Daleks in the episode as part of their official announcement of the Daleks’ inclusion. The Daleks are seen making their way through a wreckage of flame and rubble, though it’s unclear whether they were the cause of it or whether they’re just innocent bystanders. We’re guessing it’s probably not the second one.
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Speaking on the subject of this villain reveal, lead writer and executive producer Stephen Moffat explained that having the Daleks in the episode just felt right:
“The Doctor once said that you can judge a man by the quality of his enemies, so it’s fitting that for this very special episode, he should be facing the greatest enemies of all.”
The Daleks will serve as one of two main alien antagonists in the 50th anniversary special, the other main threat being the shape-shifting Zygons. Like the Daleks, who first appeared in the second Doctor Who serial with William Hartnell in 1963 and 1964 and are widely considered to be the Doctor’s oldest and deadliest enemy, the Zygons are classic Doctor Who villains who first appeared opposite the Fourth Doctor in the 1975 tale “Terror of the Zygons.”
Moffat is probably right in his belief that the Daleks deserve to be included, but whether or not the 50th anniversary episode turns out to be truly special will probably depend on how they’re used. One of our criticisms of the episode trailer was that it seemed to have a little too much in the way of running gags, references and fan service, which could be pitfalls for an episode that should really stand alone in its own right. Likewise, if the Daleks are being included then Moffat really needs to do something worthwhile with them, rather than simply including them out of a sense of duty.
Can you spot any clues as to what the special might be about in these new photos? Give your thoughts on the return of the Daleks in the comments, and check out the Screen Rant viewing guide if you’d like to get caught up with Doctor Who before the Time Lord’s next outing.
The Doctor Who 50th anniversary special will air on the BBC on November 23rd, 2013.