Thursday, November 14, 2013

Well, This Is All Very Epic!

OK, you might not want to watch these if you haven't seen the end of the last season yet. But with that out of the way... Here's a trailer for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary episode:

And a mini-episode prequel, which fills in a pretty major gap in the Doctor Who canon:

I was certainly not expecting that!


  1. Ha! Just came over here to see what your reaction was to the minisode -- mine was to simultaneously be overwhelmed with joy and hover on the verge of tears. Just when I had given up all hope of seeing him again...they go and do that. So thrilled, and so happy.

    BTW, sorry to hear about your cold. I'm in the end of one myself (you should have heard me whine about it on Thursday!).


    Sue Field

    1. Hey, it's good to see you again!

      I think my reaction was mostly to sit there watching it with my mouth hanging open. Kind of, Oh my god, is this really happening? What an utterly amazing surprise!

      Also, colds suck and should be exterminated.

  2. I feel they must have cast Hurt -- cast about for his character -- only when Christopher Eccleston (maybe unsurprisingly) turned down the idea of returning. And yet I think it makes sense for there to have been another Doctor, particularly if he was a warrior directly responsible for ending the Time War (by ending the Time Lords and Daleks). Eccleston's Doctor had the feel of someone running from that, trying to rediscover being the Doctor, still haunted by it -- even Tennant's Doctor would be haunted by it -- but maybe not the one directly responsible for it.

    It messes with the continuity, but the more I think on, the more I've seen these trailers, the more I think it works. (And I was not really sold on the whole "the Doctor I never talk about, who's played by John Hurt" idea before this.)

    And I still love the fact that Paul McGann's Doctor is canon. There was almost no reason for Davies and company to do that...except that he was such a Who geek that he likely felt he had to, given Sylvester McCoy's cameo.

    1. I somehow doubt they even approached Eccleston. I don't think there's any doubt what his answer would have been. In any case, I never figured it was his Doctor who pushed the button; I'd always assumed it was McGann's. For one thing, Eccleston gives the strong impression, in the first ep of the new series, of having regenerated recently enough that he probably hasn't even looked in a mirror yet.

      Interestingly, I was just talking to a friend of mine who really dislikes this whole idea. She thinks it's basically a stunt, that it messes with continuity too much and too gratuitously, and that it would have been far more interesting if McGann's sweet and innocent-seeming Doctor had to be the one to push the button rather than inventing a new, dark Doctor to take the blame. I can kind of see her points, but don't share her feelings. Although, of course, whether it ultimately works or not depends on the execution and how well the anniversary special pulls it off. But I'm excited and optimistic. And I kind of like that Who is a show that constantly reinvents itself and surprises us.

      And I think it would have made little sense not to treat McGann's Doctor as canon, even if there are certain aspects of the TV Movie that we all much prefer to ignore. What's really surprising is that there were some references to the Eighth Doctor audios in there, and I certainly never expected to see those acknowledged in canon.

  3. Oh, casting John Hurt as the Doctor in the 50th Anniversary is definitely a stunt. It's just that I'm more excited by the stunt than I was when Hurt's character first appeared. But then, I'm not as heavily invested in the show to recognize some of the continuity this may be treading on. I'd call myself a big fan, but not exactly a Whovian, and certainly not a well-versed one. For instance, the mini-episode above is the first time I've actually seen McGann's Doctor since his TV movie first aired. Back when that was the only Doctor Who I'd ever seen...with the possible exception of The Five Doctors. (I don't remember which I watched first. Either is a weird introduction to the show.) So I don't know, maybe John Hurt should have been Paul McGann. Who has a long history of playing fast and loose with continuity, but maybe this is a stunt too far. All I know is, it makes sense that it's not Eccleston.

    I'd read that Moffat had approached Eccleston, but there was never an offer on the table, and he was never interested in returning. But then, I don't really follow the news and rumors, so maybe even that tentative "Hey, Chris, would you like to -- no? okay then" never happened.

    I like McCann's Doctor, though, so maybe I should check out some of the audio adventures if I can.

    1. OK, yes, definitely a stunt, but that's not always a bad thing. :)

      And I don't think it's actually treading on that much continuity, myself. What it's treading on, mostly, are fan's assumptions about what they thought they knew, and in my opinion, it can be fun to shake those up. But I can understand why some might feel that it just doesn't fit the continuity somehow. ( I think my friend's main criticism was that there have been enough references since McGann to which regeneration the Doctor is on to make it feel like a very clunky retcon, which may be a valid point.) Then again, there's some rather wonderful continuity touches just in that short, so it's certainly not a case of just throwing continuity to the wind.

      But, yes, I think we can all agree it shouldn't have been Eccleston's Doctor pushing the button. By the way, after I wrote the comment above, I did also see an interview somewhere where Moffat said he had approached him, although I suspect "Would you like to-- no? Okay." is probably about how it happened.

      I've only listened to a few of the audio stories, but some of those were pretty good. The Eighth Doctor also had a very long book series.