'Doctor Who' 50th Anniversary Schedule Revealed

'Doctor Who' showrunner Steven Moffat has laid out the plans for the show for the rest of 2013 in a lengthy interview.

Doctor Who Matt Smith

Much has been made of Doctor Who's 50th anniversary as it approaches later this year. Fans and followers of the longest-running science fiction serial in the world have buzzed for months over the amount and content of material that will be released to mark the occasion.

While we're still in the dark as to just what showrunner Steven Moffat has up his sleeve for the anniversary, a recent interview will at least give audiences an idea of the shape of the coming year's Who-based entertainment.

In an interview recorded for the Gallifrey One 2013 fan convention, Steven Moffat commented on the upcoming year of Doctor Who. Moffat confirms that the show is still set to return for the second half of season 7 in March, followed by a long hiatus until the 60-minute, 3D-filmed 50th anniversary special airs in the fall. The special will be followed "later in the year" by the docudrama An Adventure and Space and Time. Finally, the usual Doctor Who Christmas Special will once again grace television screens on December 25th.

Most interestingly, Moffat implies that the movie will not be the only new material released for the anniversary. He states:

"Doctor Who – the 50th – is approaching us with various different things a lot of different things going on. Don’t believe the nonsense about one sixty-minute film, that’s complete nonsense."

The exact nature of these "various different things" is not described by the showrunner, leaving the matter open for much heated discussion. Will there be more than one movie-style special? Perhaps even some more full-length episodes?

Alas, neither of those options appears to be the case. Unnamed sources known to Bleeding Cool have asserted that no new episodes of Doctor Who will be seen after the end of season 7 (outside of the anniversary special, of course). Moffat may in fact be referring to a series of web-only mini-episodes that bridge the gap between the end of season 7 and the anniversary special itself, along with revivals of older (and hopefully relevant) episodes from the five decades of Who lore.

Doctor Who Matt Smith

Beyond the confirmation of the scheduling for the Doctor Who specials, Moffat's interview is definitely worth a watch for fans. Moffat not only discusses scriptwriting and directing, he also drops some serious hints for the upcoming episodes of the series that will begin appearing in March.

Unless something changes significantly in the coming months, it appears as if Doctor Who fans will have to settle for a truncated season and two specials (well, three if one counts An Adventure in Space and Time) in 2013. Fortunately, one of those specials looks to be a genuine cultural event. One can only hope that Steven Moffat will be able to justify pouring so much energy and effort into one 60-minute dose of Who.


Doctor Who will materialize on BBC and BBC America for the second half of season 7 on March 30th, 2013.

Source: Bleeding Cool

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