‘Doctor Who’ 50th Anniversary Intro; Prequel Reveals Invasion of Gallifrey

Published 1 year ago by

WARNING: The following post contains SPOILERS for the season 7 finale of Doctor Who. If you are not caught up on the show, proceed with caution.

The countdown to Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary has entered its final day until “The Day of the Doctor” simulcast special airs. For months, we’ve been speculating about the various surprises that show runner Steven Moffat has in store for the half-century old TV series – one of which was already spoiled when a major 50th Anniversary Special plot detail leaked online (click through that link your own risk). Still, even for Whovians that have successfully anticipated a few twists and turns, there’s plenty of reason to be excited – if for no other reason than to see tenth and eleventh Doctors David Tennant and Matt Smith teamed together onscreen.

The multi-Doctor mashup is made even more intriguing with the reveal that John Hurt will be playing a previously undisclosed iteration of the Doctor. As seen in the 50th Anniversary minisode “The Night of the Doctor,” Hurt will portray a regeneration that followed eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) – and could close the offscreen regeneration gap the occurred between the 1996 TV movie and 2005 relaunch (depending on whether or not Christopher Eccleston truly has no part in the Anniversary special).

 Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Intro; Prequel Reveals Invasion of Gallifrey

To help get viewers excited for the special, BBC has been releasing a steady stream of marketing, minis odes, and sneak peek clips – and with only 24 hours to go before the special (at the time of writing), we’ve received a new batch of videos to get readers excited for more wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff.

First up, the network has unveiled an official introduction teaser for “The Day of the Doctor” (check it out at the top of the page) featuring interviews with Moffat, Smith, Tennant, Hurt, as well as present and former companion actresses Jenna-Louise Coleman (Clara Oswald) and Billie Piper (Rose Tyler). The introduction video is, above all else, an opportunity for the cast and lead writer to gush about the upcoming episode – and does not divulge much of anything about what viewers can actually expect from subsequent story. However, it’s especially exciting to see Tennant and Piper back in the mix, even if we’ve seen very little of their characters in actual context leading up to the special’s launch.

Yet, that doesn’t mean that BBC isn’t willing to show anything outside of trailers for “The Day of the Doctor,” as they continue to unveil brief sneak peek clips over at the official Doctor Who#SaveTheDay website. The first of five “unlocks” showed Clara riding the Doctor’s motorcycle directly from a country lane highway into the entryway of the TARDIS (while the Doctor read a book on advanced quantum mechanics).

In the intervening time, BBC has opened three more clips. The videos can only be viewed over at the official website, so CLICK ON THE IMAGES BELOW to see each respective snippet:

Matt Smith Doctor Who 50th Anniversary TARDIS Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Intro; Prequel Reveals Invasion of Gallifrey

David Tennant Queen Elizabeth Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Intro; Prequel Reveals Invasion of Gallifrey

Dalek Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Intro; Prequel Reveals Invasion of Gallifrey

The clips are presented entirely out of context, so it’s hard to know exactly when they take place in the episode (not to mention in larger Doctor Who history). Nevertheless, we can take away some very basic information: The first clip showcases a scene that we’ve seen in multiple 50th Anniversary set photos, as a crane hoists the TARDIS high into the air with Matt Smith’s Doctor hanging on for dear life. The second clip features Tennant’s Doctor attempting to explain a “machine that goes ding” to Queen Elizabeth I (played by Joanna Page). Finally, the third clip teases a destructive scene that has been previewed in official photos – as the Daleks try to “EXTERMINATE” an unknown fighter in a war-torn city street.

It’s likely that the final clip takes place during the Dalek invasion of Gallifrey during the oft-referenced Time War – which is expected to be a major focus in the 50th Anniversary Special. BBC recently unveiled another minisode to tie-into “The Day of the Doctor” storyline, titled “The Last Day,” which centers on a rookie Gallifreyan soldier during his first (and presumably “Last”) day guarding the front lines of Gallifrey.

Watch “The Last Day” minisode below:

As the clock ticks downs to the anniversary episode, there’s still one final video yet to be unlocked over at the #SaveTheDay website. What are you hoping to see revealed?

We’ll keep you updated with a review of the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special, along with a full breakdown of any especially interesting revelations, shortly after the episode airs. In the meantime, check out our Doctor Who Viewing Guide: Tips, Suggestions & Complete Episode List.


Matt Smith will return as Doctor Who on November 23rd for the 50th Anniversary Special – followed by the 2013 Christmas Special on December 25th.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further updates on Doctor Who as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.

Follow Ben Kendrick on Twitter @benkendrick
TAGS: Doctor who
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  1. I can’t wait!

  2. Woooohoooo!!

  3. YAY!!!!

    Anyone Check out An Adventure in Space and Time last night? I enjoyed it.

    • It shows tonight in the US.

    • I turned into a big baby at the end.

  4. Just stick a spoiler in the article title, why don’t you.

  5. “Machine that goes ‘ding’”?

    Sounds awfully similar to Monty Python’s machine that goes ‘ping’ from The Meaning Of Life. Which is ironic, considering they announced their reunion.

    • It’s a gag. Reference to a machine that Tennant uses in ‘Blink’, Moffat’s season 3 episode. “It goes ‘ding’ when there’s stuff…can boil an egg at 30 paces. Shouldn’t be used near chickens though. It isn’t pretty when they blow.”

  6. The Last Day was ok. Nothing major and still in the realms of cheap budget and not very good acting (not that unusual considering the show itself is the same) but it was kinda cool until the poor CGI at the end.

    Looking forward to the special tomorrow.

    • You’re all over this site with hardly anything good to say about anything!

      It’s a minisode, it’s not supposed to be to the nines. I personally enjoyed it, never saw it coming, and was generally shocked by the end.

      You seem very poor at managing your expectations, it has to be said.

      • Wrong on all counts.

        I’m only negative when I feel negative about something, which isn’t very often and am usually one of the few on this site who try to look for optimism where others are pouring scorn.

        How dare you even make such an accusation that I’m poor at managing expectations? I actually go into things with no expectations at all, wanting to be surprised but your comment shows me that your opinions are completely worthless and invalid and not to take you seriously if I ever see you post on this site again.

        Although the fact that you blatantly took one comment of mine as if I’m like that all the time about everything shows me how blinkered you are and how you leap to huge assumptions based on several lines of comment rather than reading all of my comments going back the last 2 years.

        Now go away, you silly boy and don’t bother us grown ups ever again.

    • Cool concept and set up. But had too much of a ‘video game’ feel to my liking. Still cool to see Gallifreyan soldiers…the actual trenches at the “Time War” and all that. Wonder if that whole ‘premonition’ and ‘hallucination’ thing meant that those soldiers were already being ‘Dalekised’. Oswin hallucinated when she was a Dalek.

  7. So, Gallifreyan robot troops, remotely brain piloted? (like goo-Amy Pond) Which is why he looks weird.

    What about the great Gallifreyan battle fleets like those of Rassilon’s time that hunted the Graete Vampyhres?

  8. it wouldve been more extra cool if eccleston was there as well. fantastic!! haha!!