For years, Doctor Who fans have eagerly awaited the chance to see The Doctor (Doctor Who?) light the Olympic Flame – as prophesied by the show’s 2006 episode “Fear Her.” Of course, with the whole world watching, it was unlikely that the Olympic committee would buckle to sci-fi fan petitions and allow former Doctor, David Tennant, to kick off the ceremonies by carrying the torch in the final leg and ignite the Olympic flame in London. However, with high-profile appearances from other fictional UK celebrities – most notably Daniel Craig as James Bond escorting the Queen – many Doctor Who fans were expecting to see the TARDIS materialize somewhere (or sometime).
While the TARDIS materialization sound did punctuate the end of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” during the Games’ opening ceremony pop culture montage, further Doctor Who references had been planned for the show – only to be scrapped last minute.
The TARDIS sound is definitely iconic but in a crowded stadium full of cheering attendees, Britain’s Doctor Who hat tip took a backseat to other pop culture spectacles – such as the blockbuster entry of Bond and the Queen (which featured actual footage of the actor and Monarch before stunt doubles jumped out of a helicopter over the arena).
Check out video of the TARDIS sound below – from the official BBC live broadcast:
According to Doctor Who News, a more-involved nod to Doctor Who had originally been planned – specifically inclusion of the show’s theme song (along with a video montage of the eleven Doctors). Unfortunately, the theme segment was cut due to time constraints. Interestingly, an out of place video montage of The Doctors was still played during the ceremony’s tech rehearsal, along with on-screen video of other British pop icons and on-field dance performances (during the aforementioned “Bohemian Rhapsody” segment) - but was also cut in the final version.
Edward Russell, Doctor Who brand manager, confirmed (via Twitter) that a larger Doctor Who presence had originally been planned for the event – including the montage shown during rehearsal:
A video montage which very briefly showed all 11 Doctors was approved but we were told it may not be included which was clearly the case.
You can check out video of the tech rehearsal segment below (starting at the 8 minute 10 second mark). We’re including it here as proof of the last minute change-up; though, be warned, the videographer doesn’t actually set-out to highlight the Doctor Who content (which can only really be seen on the screen in the back of the stadium). Anyone who actually lives in the UK can see a much clearer (and regional locked) version of the Doctor Who portion via the BBC iPlayer (at the 1 hour 1 minute mark):
It’s certainly possible that the tech rehearsal Doctor montage was merely the remnants of an original segment that would include a TARDIS sound effect intro, followed by the theme song and video of the eleven Doctors. The full segment was cut prior to tech rehearsal – but, likely, before the production could update the onscreen video with non-Doctor footage. It’s also possible that, after seeing the video montage without the theme, the production team decided footage of the Doctors was now out of place – leaving only the TARDIS sound effect in the final version.
Either way, while it might not please Doctor Who fans that are sticklers for canon, at least current Doctor, Matt Smith, was given the chance to carry the Olympic Torch a month back:
Maybe the cut opening ceremony montage will show up during Doctor Who season 7 or one of the recently announced Doctor Who specials? Probably not but it’d certainly be nice to see what the team had in mind.
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Doctor Who season 7 premieres fall 2012 on BBC & BBC AMERICA. In the meantime, check out our Doctor Who Viewing Guide: Tips, Suggestions & Complete Episode List!
Source: Doctor Who News