At the moment, few audiences have grown as restless as those for Doctor Who, a show only halfway through a seventh season that left off in the autumn of last year. The lengthy hiatus finds the series in flux, as it will return with a new overarching storyline, a familiar (and yet strange) face for a companion, a redesigned TARDIS, and even a retooled theme song. Were it not for BBC insisting that these new episodes are still part of season 7, one might believe that this is the opening of another season entirely.
It’s odd that showrunner Stephen Moffat – previously known for his meticulous set-up of season-long dramatic arcs – is going to take the series in such a new direction midway through season 7. However, it may be that Moffat is playing a larger game than it first appears. When Doctor Who returns to TV on Saturday, March 30th, he might actually be taking steps toward a mega-milestone set to take place later this year: Doctor Who‘s 50th Anniversary Special.
The Birmingham Mail shares the rumor that the festivities surrounding the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who will include a television movie that will see the meeting of all eleven actors to portray the Doctor – even those who have died. The first three actors to pilot the TARDIS – William Hartnell, John Pertwee, and Patrick Troughton – may have passed away, but their images may be digitally inserted into the episode as part of flashback sequences.
Much of the speculation about a “reunion” episode featuring multiple Doctors is based on earlier anniversary specials in the same vein. In 1973, “The Three Doctors” brought together Pertwee and Troughton, with advice dispensed by archival footage of Hartnell. For the show’s 20th anniversary special, “The Five Doctors,” those two actors were joined by Peter Davison, a Hartnell stand-in (Richard Hurndall), and archive material of Tom Baker, who had refused to participate in the special. While no official episodes of Doctor Who were made for its 30th and 40th anniversaries – due to the fact the show was not airing at the time – the tradition continued with a BBC charity reunion and an radio show adventure, respectfully.
At this point, any kind of reunion of Doctors remains solidly in the realm of rumor. Many have tried to spin comments from more recent Doctors Christopher Eccleston (Thor: The Dark World) and David Tennant (Fright Night) into confirmation of their involvement of the special. However, neither actor – nor any of the six other living men who have portrayed the most famous Time Lord – has made a confirmation of any kind of multi-Doctor crossover.
Nonetheless, we do know that some sort of 60-minute anniversary-themed special is set to air later this year, along with a documentary about the show’s inception, Doctor Who Revisited. Given that Moffat is obviously a man well-versed in all 50 years of Doctor Who lore (as evidenced by the recent revival of the Great Intelligence in last year’s Christmas Special), it’s not a stretch to assume he’s cooking up something big for the occasion. Given the show’s recent aesthetic changes – which include a new opening that harkens back to versions seen in the 1970s and 80s – one might be inclined to think that the canny Moffat is already gearing up for a full-on 50th Anniversary blowout.
Until we hear more about whether any previous Doctors will appear in the upcoming special, we have nothing to go on but the series itself. We at Screen Rant will definitely be inspecting every new episode of season 7 for hints that a multi-era Doctor Who reunion is in the cards.
Doctor Who will part the curtain of space and time on BBC and BBC America March 30, 2013.
Source: The Birmingham Mail