In light of the recent news reports which appear to be evolving from an original report from the Birmingham Mail story, DWO decided to put together a definitive guide to the 50th Anniversary Doctor Who special, separating fact from fiction, and getting down to the original sources of some of the recent rumours.
What are the rumours?
According to the Birmingham Mail report, all 11 Doctors are set to feature in the 50th Anniversary special. Christopher Eccleston is said to be reconsidering his earlier decision not to take part.
David Tennant, interviewed on a radio show, claimed that he had yet to be invited – but gave the presenter a knowing wink, thus hinting at his possible involvement in the special.
DWO contacted Paul Cole; the writer of the article in question who had the following to say:
"The article in question was a speculative piece based on all the available information, recent interviews with the five Doctors taking part in the 50th anniversary audiobook, comments made by Eccleston. I would be amazed if the 11 doctors are not featured in some form, be it surviving actors, film footage, storyline, plot device or online."
What is the likelihood of past Doctor's returning for the Anniversary special?
This is a difficult question to answer without adding our own flame to the fire surrounding the rumours, but going on what the BBC have done for previous anniversary specials, it would be odd if at least one past Doctor didn't turn up.
- 10th anniversary special was titled 'The Three Doctors' and featured all 3 incarnations of The Doctor.
- 20th anniversary special was titled 'The Five Doctors' and featured all 5 incarnations of The Doctor.
- 30th anniversary featured a short two-part adventure titled 'Dimensions in Time' as part of Children in Need and included performances from 5 of the surviving Doctors (3-7).
All of the surviving actors who have played The Doctor have been asked questions from press and fans regarding their involvement in the 2013 Doctor Who Anniversary special. Here are some of their responses and the original sources:
Tom Baker (The 4th Doctor) - speaking at Collectormania 18 - (June 2012)
"I think if they ask me nicely or I can see what they want me to do, I'd consider it. I think the fans have been so good to me, they'd expect me to at least make an appearance."
Peter Davison (The 5th Doctor) - speaking at New York Comic Con - (October 2012)
“Every day I check the phone to see if Steven Moffat has called me. I don’t know what’s happening next year, I have nothing to report. I’m sure it will be something fantastic! But I don’t know what. I think if [the classic Doctors] aren’t invited, I’m going to make my own rival video. I’ll do my own 50th anniversary special. Colin Baker’s prepared to work for nothing!”
Colin Baker (The 6th Doctor) - speaking via Twitter - (22nd January 2013)
“Alas apart from The Big Finish plans I am not aware of any 50th stories nor have I been approached." When probed further by fans on whether he was double bluffing, Colin then tweeted: "There's no point in me tweeting if you don't believe me".
Sylvester McCoy (The 7th Doctor) - speaking at DragonCon - (2012)
"No. Nothing whatsoever. The only thing I've heard about, and I'm sure you've all heard about is that Mr Moffat and Mr Gatiss are going to write a play about the beginning of Doctor Who. But I haven't heard anything about us, no nothing. Nothing whatsoever."
Paul McGann (The 8th Doctor) - speaking to The Independent - (July 2012)
"I mean, I know it's imminent but no, there's been no invites to or sounding out taking place but maybe it will happen, we don't know."
Christopher Eccleston (The 9th Doctor) - several sources mentioned below - (2011-2012)
In April 2011, Eccleston was famously quoted on Graham Norton's BBC Radio 2 show as saying “No, I never bathe in the same river twice.” when asked if he would ever return to Doctor Who.
In July 2012, Eccleston attended a Q&A at National Theatre. A fan in the audience noted his Doctor Who related comments:
"[He] felt that one series isn’t enough to get under the skin of the character and that if he’d had two or three series he’d have developed the role considerably. He said that if you looked at the other Doctors (with the exception of Tom Baker) you can see them working out how to play the character through their first series because it’s such a complex and challenging role. He said several times that there was more for him to do with the character... "
In November 2012, RedCarpetNewsTV grabbed a very brief interview with Eccleston asking about his involvement in the 50th Anniversary, to which he replied: "Would I like to be involved? If I told you that, I’d have to shoot you”.
David Tennant (The 10th Doctor) - several sources mentioned below - (2012-2013)
In July 2012, Tennant was interviewed on Attack Of The Show. When asked about his 50th anniversary plans, Tennant stated:
"I cannot be drawn on anything. Who knows what will happen next year. I'm sure there are lots of plans being discussed in quiet rooms by men with long beards and great power. I am confirming nor denying anything." When asked if he still has his suit on standby, Tennant added: "I do have it in a very secure location. Yes!"
In November 2012, RedCarpetNewsTV interviewed Tennant at the world premiere for Nativity 2. When asked if he would like to be involved in the 50th anniversary celebrations, Tennant said:
"I can't imagine there even are going to be any anniversary celebrations are there? Look at my agent getting twitchy!"
In January 2013, Tennant was interviewed on The Jonathan Ross Show, and when asked by Ross if he would be returning, Tennant simply stated: "No-one has spoken to me. I know nothing."
What are the facts for the 50th Anniversary Doctor Who Special?
- The story will be written by Steven Moffat.
- The duration will be 60 x Minutes to be broadcast in Autumn of 2013 (most likely the actual anniversary).
- Matt Smith will be The Doctor in the adventure (but hopefully not the only one).
[Sources: DWO; Birmingham Mail; New York Comic Con; The Independant; Collectormania 18; Twitter; RedCarpetNews TV; BBC Radio 2; Attack Of The Show; The Jonathan Ross Show]