On November 23rd 1963, the first episode of Doctor Who – which starred William Hartnell as the First Doctor – aired on the BBC, and this year the show will celebrate its 50th anniversary by uniting the two most recent incarnations of the Doctor and their respective companions, Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) and Clara Oswald (Jenna-Louise Coleman) in a special 60-minute 3D adventure.
Considering the fact that Doctor Who is such a long-standing staple of British TV, it was more or less expected for the show to get a nod at last weeks’ BAFTA Television Awards, which took place the day after the penultimate episode of season 7, the Neil Gaiman-penned “Nightmare in Silver”, aired on BBC and BBC America.
The actual results of the event were a surprisingly mixed bag, which included two wins for Tyrannosaur star Olivia Colman, an Audience Award for Game of Thrones, and even an award for posh-person reality TV show Made in Chelsea. As a special celebration of 50 years of Doctor Who, the BAFTA ceremonies also included a special montage, shown above, of the various Doctors, aliens and companions that have come and gone in the show’s lifetime.
Primarily, the montage serves as a reminder of just how much nightmare fuel there has been in Doctor Who over the years. All those different monsters and aliens crammed together in three minutes, along with the slightly creepy sound mix, makes the tribute look like an experimental short film cooked up by Salvador Dali, or perhaps a Nine Inch Nails music video. Still, since many people’s memories of watching Doctor Who in their childhood include diving behind the couch cushions, perhaps it’s appropriate that a tribute video should be a little scary.
The video ends with Matt Smith in character as the Doctor, holding a BAFTA award. Or, as he prefers to call it, “a face on a stick with its eye poked out.” This is actually a little awkward, since neither Matt Smith nor Jenna-Louise Coleman were nominated for a BAFTA this year, nor was Doctor Who itself nominated at all. So the tribute video is less like a knighting and more like the birthday card that the Queen sends out to UK citizens on their 100th birthday.
Still, there’s always next year, and some might argue that a specially hand-crafted 50th anniversary montage is better than a face on a stick with its eye poked out anyway.
The Doctor Who season 7 finale airs Saturday 18th May @8pm on BBC America
In the meantime, check out our Doctor Who Viewing Guide: Tips, Suggestions & Complete Episode List!
Source: BBC (via Doctor Who TV)