‘Doctor Who’: 50th Anniversary Video Revealed; Season 8 Confirmed – Will it Be Smith’s Last?

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doctor who season 7 finale clara doctor Doctor Who: 50th Anniversary Video Revealed; Season 8 Confirmed   Will it Be Smiths Last?

It’s been a complicated year for fans of Doctor Who. Over the course of the last nine months viewers watched as the Doctor welcomed a new companion, said goodbye to fan-favorite travelers, and crossed his own time stream – all leading up to a highly-anticipated 50th Anniversary Special (scheduled to debut in November). For months, fans have been wondering if the season 7 finale (titled: “The Name of the Doctor”) would kickoff the fall of the 11th Doctor – and signal the impending departure of actor Matt Smith.

Recently, Smith dispelled the rumors, claiming he would return for season 8 – with an intended start date in late 2013 (or early 2014). Given the steady growth of the show’s popularity across the globe, not to mention consistent numbers in the UK, season 8 of Doctor Who was a forgone conclusion; however, at the time of Smith’s comments, BBC had yet to officially announce the pickup. Now the network has made it official – asserting that not only will the show return for season 8, lead-writer Steven Moffat is already busy mapping out the series’ next chapter.

Here’s the official report from BBC:

We’re delighted to confirm a new series of Doctor Who has been commissioned and the show’s lead writer and executive producer, Steven Moffat, has revealed he’s already plotting a brand new run of adventures for the Doctor.

Episode-to-episode Doctor Who series 7 delivered plenty of fun and unique standalone story lines but many viewers considered it to be one of the more turbulent seasons of the show – at least in recent memory. Despite a solid goodbye for Amy Pond and Rory Williams, the build-up to their departure was choppy. Similarly, while the “Impossible Girl” reveal was satisfying, earning Clara her companion title, the overarching mystery was often forced-into otherwise standalone episode installments.

Doctor Who Clara Doctor Who: 50th Anniversary Video Revealed; Season 8 Confirmed   Will it Be Smiths Last?

Fortunately, fans can expect that Moffat and new executive producer Brian Minchin should be able to deliver a more straightforward narrative in season 8 – since Clara is likely to stick around for awhile. That said, prior speculation pointing to an exit of Matt Smith after the 2013 Christmas Special indicates that, while the actor will return for season 8, his return might be short-lived – meaning that the upcoming “run of adventures” could lead to the actual fall of the eleventh and an all new Doctor in a near-inevitable season 9.

At this point, there’s no way to know for sure but Smith has previously stated that while he loves being The Doctor, he does want the freedom to explore other opportunities – opportunities that often conflict with the time-intensive filming of Doctor Who:

“Its sort of one of those jobs where you have to take [it] year by year, really, because it’s 10 months a year, its all consuming. So, I don’t think you can plan sort of 5 [or] 6 years ahead, or even 2 years ahead. So its a year by year thing and at the moment, it’s 2013 and we will see what 2014 holds.”

This year, Smith was able to slip away from Doctor Who to star in Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut, How to Catch a Monster alongside established Hollywood talents like Christina Hendricks, Saoirse Ronan, and Eva Mendes. However, it’s unclear how many projects the actor has passed-on and how many more he’d be willing to sacrifice – in favor of the “all-consuming” Doctor Who schedule.

Doctor Who Matt Smith Doctor Who: 50th Anniversary Video Revealed; Season 8 Confirmed   Will it Be Smiths Last?

Even if you’re not a fan of Matt Smith, Doctor regenerations are intimidating to think about – since it takes time to acclimate to a new actor (and the nuances they bring to the character). Fortunately, while fans might be mixed on the success of this last season, there’s plenty to look forward to before viewers are faced with another major shake-up – since Smith appears to be around for (at least) thirteen more episodes of the series, the 2013 Christmas Special, as well as the 50th Anniversary Special (which will feature a 10th and 11th Doctor team-up).

After copies of the Doctor Who season 7, part 2 DVD arrived early to certain U.S. consumers (before the finale episode aired), Moffat promised to unveil behind-the-scenes footage of the Anniversary Special – if fans didn’t spoil the season 7 ending. True to his word, the show runner authorized BBC to release a 50th Anniversary teaser – which features David Tennant and Matt Smith side-by-side discussing the episode, the challenges of playing the Doctor, as well as playfully teasing a key 50th Anniversary character (and actor).

Check out the behind-the-scenes video below:

Who exactly are the actors talking about? We have an ideas but we’ll have to wait until the 50th Anniversary Special airs on November 23rd 2013 to be absolutely sure.

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, with season 8 of the series scheduled to star production in late 2013.

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

Source: BBC

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TAGS: doctor who

23 Comments

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  1. my god… i seriously cannot wait to see the greatest ever doctor to return. tennant was perfect and this episode has potential to be the greatest ever.

    smith has grown on me, i just hate the fact the companions always copy the doctors personality. why do they always overexaggerate like him now? amy did it and so does clara.

    just make them companions like tennants companions.

  2. Ermagawd!

    Two of my favorite Doctor’s (the actors) talking to each other!

    Satisfying to see that they get along really well! Pumped for the 50th now!

  3. Can we please have just Smith and Tennant in the new season. That chemistry between them was brilliant. Damn you Moffat for making me wait until November for this.

  4. Tennant is brilliant as the Doctor and Smith is not bad. Bad are the scripts he had to play this latest seasons. The show has had a few amazing episodes like the Death of the doctor, or when amy was captured and the Doctor reunited all his nemesis to rescue her and The Name of the Doctor was awesome. But the series need to continue a straightforward storyline. Like the ones Tennant played. With a few stand alone episodes (that never hurt no one). Just saying, Doctor Who is an amazing series and gaining fans everyday. They need to make a great balance in the mythology, keep it going, because this last season got way too far from what we have seen before.

    • Finally someone that sees it my way to a degree. Ive been saying there have only been a couple of shows in the second half of this season that were good. Ive laid a bulk of the blame there

    • I agree, Doctor Who was meant to be serialized or in season long arcs. The standalone episode format didn’t work well for me this season.

  5. Ah November why must you be so far away. I really do hope that the 50th Anniversary show is at least 1 1/2 to 2 hours long.

  6. No, Tennant being back for one special episode is fine, I really don’t want him back permanently. He left at the perfect time. (His portrayal of the doctor, with all it’s angst, hyper 12-year old excitement, and unnecessary yelling, would have gotten REALLY old after another season).

    Glad to hear Smith is staying, love his portrayal of The Doctor, though I’m a HUGE fan of change and kind of wanted a new doctor (I guess I kind of got what I wanted with Hurt), I’d love to see Smith stick around for another season(or more)

  7. Tennant the best doctor ever?! In the words of the man himself, “WHAT?!”
    Clearly that’s Patrick Troughton, though most people seem to think that it’s Tom Baker.

    Also, your user name is ‘Corey_1993,’which makes you about 20 or so, so I’m assuming you’ve never seen any Classic Who, and if you haven’t, PLEASE DO SO.

    Here’s a list of episodes: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Doctor_Who_serials

    • If his favourite is Tennant thats his opinion, for me its between Tennant and Smith, cant really make up my mind :/ your obviously someone who was around when classic Who was on telly, so you’ll have more of a connection with those doctors, im 20 and iv watch classic who, but because i started on the revived series il always have more of a connection to the new doctors :)

      • Not necessarily, DaftDude. There are lots of us who have watched classic Who who weren’t around when it was on the air. But, as I’ve seen in the Doctor Who fan group I run, out of our 250 members or so, about 80% are what I call “Newvians” – i.e. discovered the show after its return in the new series. So I understand PT’s point. If you’ve seen classic Who, you can see the influences of the classic doctors on the new ones. IMO, Moffat writes/runs the show much more like the classic series than RTD did, which is why I think Newvians have such an issue with him. I also feel his writing is more mature than RTD’s – another reason why teens/young adults have issues with him. There isn’t the clear-cut Rose/10 romance and easy story arcs that dominated that era. That’s not a slam against younger viewers (I’m in my 30s), just an observation.

        • I completely agree, i hate seeing people giving out about Moffet and Smith. Iv watched a lot of classic Who and love it….but the point im making is that ‘Newvians’ discovered the show when Christopher Eccleston or David Tennant were the current doctor, so in their minds one of them will always be their favourite, which is fine. But i agree with PT that the younger fans should give the classic show a look, i particularly love Colin Bakers doctor cause he was kinda ignorant :P

          But young people need to get used to the idea of change, RTD got fans to cosy with Tennant and they pitched a fit when he left, but Moffet doesnt make that mistake by changing the doctors outfit and changing the TARDIS

    • A friend of mine has a theory about Dr Who and James Bond. You will always have a favorable opinion of the first actor you saw in the role. It explains some of my fondness for Tom Baker and Roger Moore.

      • yeah, thats what i mean :)

  8. I’m glad that Smith’s back but is anyone else getting a bit tired of Steven Moffats storylines? They were interesting at first but he is so bad at wrapping things up, something which Russell T. Davies always did. Would rather had someone else taken over as showrunner, would’ve given Moffat more time to focus on Sherlock.

  9. Missing Tennant’s spikey-uppy hair…

  10. I miss Russel T. Davies take on the Doctor. Remember those epic season Enders they used to have?
    Loved Clara and Matt Smiths Doctor but the season was sub par.

  11. I really miss Martha. She was so hot.I loved seeing her and David Tennant working together. Bring back Martha for an episode with Matt Smith. That would be interesting.

  12. First off just watching the actors together is amazing I can’t even imagine how brilliant it will be to see them in their roles as the doctor together. I noticed at the first of this article that it said BBC has officially announced they were picking up Doctor Who for season 8, this honestly surprised me. I never thought of Doctor Who being a show that could possibly be cancelled. I know it is naive of me but I always thought of Doctor Who as being something that will go on forever and never end.

  13. I am happy that Matt Smith is staying on the show. He played the doctor well.

  14. I like the idea of pairing up the 10th and 11th Doctor on this anniversary special, however I would like to see Classic Doc tie-in with older Doctors or Ecceslton. Tom Baker could wear a floppy hat and dark wig to look younger. I like how Davies brought back Sara Jane Smith in the new series.

  15. and a pity they were perfect together
    river and the eleventh doctor a couple breathtaking
    we would have views of the beautiful
    with two brilliant minds so
    river and the doctor thinks for a bit if they had children
    of children with a higher than normal intelligence
    would have been even greater than their rocking
    I wish that Steven Moffat took all this into consideration
    we’ll see
    you never know he is so unpredictable

    it would be fantastic
    I will not even
    that this pair
    river and the doctor to separate

    river and the eleventh doctor
    to imitate a pair ready to give our lives for one another
    for me this is true love

  16. As the search continues for the 12th iteration of the Doctor, casting updates and Doctor Who season 8 details have been a scarce commodity. Confirmation that 11th Doctor Matt Smith would finish his run as the Time Lord during the 2013 Christmas Special gave way to rumors and speculation regarding which actor (or actress) might rise as the 12th incarnation of the fan-favorite time traveling alien. Back in May, a BBC official stated that the new Doctor could be announced within a month, and in the proceeding weeks Skyfall‘s Rory Kinnear was reported to be a frontrunner, award-winner Helen Mirren expressed interest, and we even offered our own “realistic” casting choices for the role – but no official word materialized.

    Now in a new interview, showrunner and writer Steven Moffat is providing an update, and while he politely refuses to share details on who BBC is considering for the part, the producer does offer some behind-the-scenes insight into the casting process as well as the future of the series.

    I would really like between the eleventh Doctor and River Song
    happen as the tenth doctor and rose tyler that can grow old together
    and maybe start a family and this would be the reward for so much suffering
    I know I’m a sentimentalist but I like stories with a happy ending

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