“You have to keep making them. And they’re really difficult – I haven’t mentioned that enough – they’re really hard to do and they’re really easy to get wrong,” is how Steven Moffat summarizes his job as lead writer and showrunner of Doctor Who. The long-lived king of sci-fi serials will this month be celebrating its fiftieth anniversary with a special episode that unites both Matt Smith and David Tennant on screen, and will apparently be about the most important thing that ever happened to the Doctor.
It’s an event that’s getting even more hype than the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, so much so that there isn’t enough room in the BBC’s schedule on November 23rd to fit in all the TV and radio specials that have been lined up to celebrate fifty years in the TARDIS. In addition to all the shows that will be airing on the day, there are also events like BBC Cymru Wales’ “Evening With Steven Moffat,” which is now available to watch online.
The twenty-minute discussion runs down all of the Doctors and the actors who have played them over the years, from William Hartnell all the way up to Matt Smith (the next Doctor will be played by Peter Capaldi), and includes clips of each Doctor in action. It’s a fun bit of nostalgia for fans of classic Doctor Who, and a good introduction for those who have only ever seen the rebooted series.
Paul McGann, who got to reprise his role as the Doctor in a prequel minisode called “The Night of the Doctor,” gets his role in the history of Doctor Who glossed over a little awkwardly. He’s the only Doctor who doesn’t get a clip shown (possibly due to rights issues), but Moffat does call McGann “a great Doctor,” and says that a full series with McGann’s Doctor could have worked out better than the TV movie.
As a twenty-minute special, it doesn’t give much of an in-depth look at each of the Doctors (that’s being reserved for another special called An Adventure in Space and Time), but it is worth watching for its insight into how Moffat himself views each of the Doctors and how his personal experience of the show has influenced the way its been written under his tenure. In particular, he recollects previous showrunner Russell T. Davies’ advice to write the Doctor’s dialogue as though he is just a man down the pub who happens to be a genius, rather than using overly verbose language.
If there’s one criticism to be made of the special, it’s that the Weeping Angel behind Steven Moffat does not change positions in between cuts. Now that’s just a wasted opportunity.
The Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, “The Day of the Doctor,” will air around the world and in selected US theaters on November 23rd, 2013.
Source: BBC (via Doctor Who News)