A party is to be held at Buckingham Palace next month to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, it has been revealed.
In what is arguably the biggest honour that could be bestowed on the show in its very special year, the Countess of Wessex - who is believed to be something of an admirer of the programme - will host the reception on Monday 18th November as the countdown to Doctor Who's golden milestone reaches its final few days. The guest list has been kept under wraps, but people involved with the show both in front of and behind the cameras over the years are expected to be on it.
The show enjoys a strong royal connection, with the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visiting its studios in Roath Lock in the summer. Original producer Verity Lambert was awarded an OBE in the 2002 New Year Honours List for services to film and TV production, while Russell T Davies - the producer credited with Doctor Who's successful revival in the 21st century - was awarded an OBE in the 2008 Birthday Honours List for services to drama.
Buckingham Palace has featured and been referenced in the programme, with the Doctor averting its demolition by the starship Titanic in Voyage of the Damned, while in the later story Planet of the Dead the Doctor stated that he had parked the TARDIS in its grounds with the full approval of the Queen. (In alternate timelines, the starship Titanic did destroy the Palace [Turn Left], and it was the home of the Holy Roman Emperor Winston Churchill in The Wedding of River Song.) It is to be presumed that the current royals are either unaware of or were highly amused by the implication in Tooth And Claw that they are werewolves!
One thing I do wonder about, will the 50th Anniversary Special be something a casual viewer of the show will be able to watch and understand?
Seems to be like a lot of the groundwork for the plot was laid in series 7. Will this be watch-able as a stand alone episode, like many of the previous specials or do you need to be a professor of Who-ology to made sense of it all?
For an episode dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the show one would hope they try and make more then just a hard core geek fest.
The BBC have announced that they will be broadcasting a trailer to celebrate 50 years of Doctor Who. It will go out on BBC One at 8.20pm on Saturday 19 October just after Strictly Come Dancing and just before Atlantis. The announcement was made along with artwork featuring all eleven Doctors.
The BBC has issued a press release, which you can read below.
A specially created trailer celebrating the last 50 years of Doctor Who will air tonight on BBC One, as an exclusive image is revealed today featuring the 11 Doctors.
Travelling through time fans will be taken on a journey from the very beginning using state of the art technology. The special trailer is set to show all of the Doctors as they first appeared on screen, including William Hartnell in high res colour for the very first time, as celebrations ramp up to the 23 November.
A huge moment for the BBC, the 50th celebrations will culminate with the special episode, ‘The Day of the Doctor’, starring Matt Smith, David Tennant and Jenna Coleman with Billie Piper and John Hurt. A whole range of shows have also been commissioned across TV and radio to mark the anniversary.
The minute long trailer will air after Strictly Come Dancing tonight on BBC One and will be also be available on www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho
For those of you not satisfied with the recent trailer, there’s good news. Steven Moffat has said there’s not much longer now until the trailer for The Day of the Doctor.
In a interview conducted earlier in October, Moffat told the Radio Times that is was still “too early to put it on.”
He jested: “If it were up to me, the BBC would only publicise Doctor Who and Sherlock. However, in their biased and wrong-headed view, they have a number of shows on before Sherlock and Doctor Who that they have to publicise now, so they’re waiting to publicise Doctor Who and Sherlock until later.
“I agree it is a crime! Who cares about those other shows? I don’t! But I have to wait in line, so the reason you haven’t see the 50th trailer yet is it’s too early to put it on. But it’s not going to be very much longer…”
Current rumours for the trailer point towards the 9th November, but we’ll have to wait for official confirmation.
As a footnote, did Moffat forget that the BBC aired a teaser trailer for Sherlock Series 3 containing actual footage back in August?
Steven Moffat has explained why he decided to bring back the Zygons in the 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor.
Moffat told the Radio Times: “Every year since I took over [Doctor Who] I’ve been trying to get the Zygons in and then I thought ‘Well, it’s the 50th…’
“The Zygons are beautifully designed monsters, they are so wonderful… We barely changed the design at all because it was so good.”
He adds: “Obviously the Daleks had to be there, the Daleks had to come to the party because they’re really scary and are part of the iconography of Doctor Who – possibly the central part – so we had to have them.
”And in a way it was fun to bring back Doctor Who’s biggest monster success ever, the Daleks, and then go to maybe the smallest monster success [the Zygons] – they were only in it once but everyone remembers them – great monsters, great outfits… and they have these nice whispery voices…”
Big Finish have released their multi-Doctor audio drama, The Light at the End, early via digital download.
The drama, which unites the five surviving Doctors from the classic era, was originally due next month, but it can be downloaded right now.
More details from the Big Finish website:
It’s the 23rd of October, one month ahead of the anniversary of Doctor Who on the 23rd of November, and as of today, the digital download releases for all versions of Doctor Who: The Light at the End will be made available. This includes the Limited Edition, the Standard Edition and the Vinyl Edition.
Mailing out of the Limited Edition CD version has begun today.
Nick Briggs, executive producer: ‘The Standard Edition CDs should start to be mailed out this coming Friday, and the Vinyl Edition will start mailing on November 2nd.
‘With the anniversary of Doctor Who imminent,’ continues Nick, ‘and everyone champing at the bit for the celebrations to begin, we thought it only right and proper that our special anniversary full-cast audio should be released a tiny bit early. Our plans for this very nearly went awry when the company responsible for the physical production of our CDs (and LPs!), Key Productions, experienced a series of unforeseeable problems beyond their control. This is what has caused the slight delay on the Standard Edition and the slightly longer delay of the Vinyl Edition. But for all our customers who can access the digital versions of all these releases, they can listen straight away.
‘We know that those customers who favour listening to the CD or the LP rather than downloading a digital version, might find this a little frustrating, but we thought this course of action would benefit the vast majority of our loyal listeners. We offer our sincerest apologies to any customers who find this decision doesn’t suit them, and hope they will understand our reasons for going ahead with the releases now.’
Matt Smith has said that he would have been disappointed if there wasn’t a multi-Doctor story for 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor. Smith told SciFiNow magazine: “I think it would have been disappointing not to have another Doctor back.
“I’m really pleased there’s a couple of Doctors in it because I think that’s really important for the 50th and the fans to have more bang for their buck, as it were.
He adds: “It’s a multiple Doctor story with two Doctors. It’s just a very interesting idea, that he meets himself and is sort of disapproving! They get on quite well as well – it sort of ebbs and flows quite madly as any Doctor Who does.
“When you start these things you don’t really know how it’s going to be, but we get on brilliantly well, me and Dave.
“I think having the meeting of Doctors sort of sprinkles a bit of fairy dust on it, you know? Even for the crew and everyone, just seeing the costumes next to each other, seeing the Converse and the bow tie… it’s kind of cool.”
The British Board of Film Classification has revealed one of the extras for the 50th anniversary special, The Day of the Doctor. A piece of additional material is intriguingly titled The Last Day and it runs for exactly 3 minutes and 57 seconds. This could be the rumoured minisode.
A new trailer is also listed and this one comes in at 1 minute and 10 seconds long.
Additionally, the certification and length of the The Day of the Doctor has been outed. The special is classified ‘PG’ for containing “mild violence and threat.”
The length of the special itself varies from 76 minutes to 85 minutes. However, Doctor Who TV believes the additional ten minutes are accounted for due to the fact that some screenings will feature extra content. Therefore, the special is 76 minutes and 44 seconds long.
Last week’s cinema details noted that a 10 minute behind-the-scene featurette entitled Behind The Lens would directly follow the special screenings. Although it seemed to imply this was exclusive to US theatres (but also available online following the special)