‘Doctor Who’ Was Cut from Live Olympics Opening Ceremony [Video]

Published 3 years ago by , Updated March 3rd, 2014 at 11:58 am,

Doctor Who Olympics 2012 Doctor Who Was Cut from Live Olympics Opening Ceremony [Video]

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.

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

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

TAGS: Doctor who
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  1. Here’s hoping they at least include a sketch of sorts in the closing ceremony.

  2. You are wrong about the TARDIS whine not airing on the us broadcast, cause I heard it plain as day.

    • Thanks guys. I’ll update the article. We must have missed it.

  3. Still think that Tennant should have lit the cauldron at the end, js’

    • …err what cauldron? lol

  4. The TARDIS sound did play during NBC’s broadcast – I definitely heard it.

  5. That’s a shame.
    The ceremony would have been a lot cooler if they’d have included the Doctor IMO

  6. Definitely would have the loved the Queen and Bond getting escorted in by The Doctor and the TARDIS.

    • What/who is that a photo of? It’s so dark!

    • It does look suspiciously like them!

    • Haha… that’s amazing.

    • Interesting. It might not be David and Billie. It might be people dressed as them. Does anyone have an actual video and can they enhance the area?

  7. Any realistic fan of Doctor Who and of David Tennant, knew David wouldn’t light the Olympic flame. That honour is reserved for sports mn or women which is as it should be but we had hoped to see him in some part of the ceremony. Of course he may have been asked and couldn’t do it. But it is very annoying that there was not more time given to represent the show. I mean how much more British can you get then Doctor Who. And I’m not even from the UK. Very very disappointing. I hope we see something more in the closing ceremony.

    • I’m hoping the Doctor will pop up at the closing ceremony, torch in hand, ready to light the cauldron! :-)

    • On Attack of the Show he said he waited on the call and was not asked, but was more disappointed about the cut, being a life-long Whovian himself.

  8. Here in the States we hardly know anything British besides Harry Potter, the Queen and Bond. Even the comentators would throw out comments like “oh, this is something from their culture but we don’t know what it is…” unlike many things, Doctor Who is known worldwide… They should have included more of Doctor Who.

    • I agree about the coverage. I think it was just awful. We actually watched the BBC coverage which was filled with lots of …”of course that’s…” blah blah…without bother to explain. Talk about lazy broadcasting, to assume your entire audience already knows what you are talking about.

  9. Doctor 10 couldn’t light the Olympic Torch, if he did Donna would see and that would kill her.

    (Legit fan speculation as to why it wasn’t Doctor 10. I think it is awesome.)

  10. In the Tech Rehearsal vid above, where is the DOCTOR WHO montage?

  11. Such a pity. I always thought Doctor Who was a big enough slice of British pop culture that they’d at least have the character make a cameo (but lighting the torch is obviously too much). Couldn’t they just mash it up with Bond’s segment?

  12. in related doctor who news, the doctor who website states that a new trailer will be out on thursday!!!

  13. Your videos that were posted are dead and need to be put back up on this article.

  14. So they had “time constraints” when Paul went on for what seemed like an eternity with a song that was probably only chosen because he had the rights to it..?

    • Just finished reading it. Loved it. You really have a grasp on the characters.

      Recommended to all.

  15. Is there any other way to watch the cut bit? I can’t get the iplayer and the video disappeared, so I need to find a way to watch it.

    • If you find out, please let me know :)

  16. On The Attack of the Show last night David Tennant expressed his disappointment with the cut. He was more upset about that than the fact that he waited on the call to light the cauldron or carry the torch and was totally ignored. Being the sweet and classy person he is, he was very gracious about it and even made a few paradox jokes, but I think many fans will not forget. Also many others were upset about a lack of acknowledgement for JRR Tolkien as well.

    • … Or Harry Potter… Instead we got hours of boring history, unexplained kids in PJs a whole show about social networking (that has nothing to do with UK since iPhone and facebook is a part of US history if anything) and i don’t want to sound racist but why the f the majority of the actors were anything but british looking.

  17. David Tennant is reported to have said the following: “…in the opening ceremony there was this Doctor Who sequence that got cleared. We all had to sign off on it and they cut it!”

  18. The Doctor did light the Olympic Flame. Our memories were just wiped as usual of all the Doctors doings