Posts Tagged ‘ Anniversary ’

50th Anniversary Retrospective: “The Day of the Doctor”

Doctor “I could retire and be the curator of this place.”
Curator “You know, I really think you might.”
Doctor “I never forget a face.”
Curator “I know you don’t. And in years to come you might find yourself…revisiting a few. But just the old favourites, eh?”


Whenever I watch Doctor Who, it has almost entirely been from the sofa of whichever house I happened to be living in at the time, although I do have memories of my childhood viewing technique of lying down on the floor, elbows under my head, with chin perched on my hands. Most of the time, viewing was a solitary experience. My parents, to this day, don’t really get it, and my brother was never a fan. I married in 2002 (during the wilderness years), over a year before the show’s triumphant return was even announced and nearly three years before “Rose” was broadcast. My wife had no idea what she was getting into, but she has enough taste in good television to sit and enjoy the new show with me. Having said that, I’m still not sure I could convince her to sit down and watch “Image of the Fendahl” or “The Romans” or somesuch. Given all this, it was beyond my comprehension to think that I would be watching the 50th anniversary special by leaving the “Official 50th Celebration” at the Excel with a bunch of other fans, many of whom were in Doctor Who costume, getting a cable car across the River Thames to the O2 arena, where we would watch the episode with 775 other fans on a screen 22-metres wide in glorious 3D. Not only that, there were more than 1,500 cinemas worldwide showing the same thing at the same time as it was simulcast in 94 countries and dubbed or subtitled into 15 other languages, watched by nigh-on 13 million people in the UK and who knows how many elsewhere. Not bad for kid’s show. But what to make of it all? The brief was not exactly a simple one: write an episode of the greatest television show that the world has ever seen that celebrates its dazzling, fifty-year heritage; that impresses dedicated fans of all ages as the centrepiece of the anniversary celebrations; that appeals to a large slice of an audience who have a take it or leave attitude to the show (the fools!); and paves the way to securing another half-century of Whovian goodness. It would not have been many people’s first response to this challenge, which had indeed been laid at the feet of Steven Moffat, to say, “Right. Let’s bring back the Zygons”. Continue reading

50th Anniversary Retrospective: Introduction



Steven Moffat. 22nd November 2013 (at Official 50th Celebration) “[Doctor Who] makes all other television look redundant. Which, let’s be honest about it… it is”


I stood in a queue at the weekend with a bunch of people I’d never met before, and in all likelihood, will never meet again. Complete strangers brought together with a sole purpose: to go and celebrate fifty years of a daft old television show. I stood in many queues at the weekend, some for over an hour, some for less than five minutes but in every one (in Every. Single. One) there was chat, and greetings, and good wishes, and camaraderie. They were full of smiles and laughter and fair amount of fezzes and tweed too. There were fellow queuers who had flown in from New Zealand, the USA, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Scandanavia, and many more places to boot just to be there and say that they were there for the anniversary. I’d never been more proud to be a part of that community. Continue reading

“Night of the Doctor”

I am in something of a state of shock.

It’s long been rumoured, but to actually see this has blown my mind.


“The Girl Who Waited” – Review: Redux

Rory “I’m not on my own. I’ve got my wives.”

The Girl Who Waited

I was lucky enough to be in attendance at the March 2012 Official Doctor Who Convention held in Cardiff (much as I am also fortunate enough to be going to the 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Excel in a little under three week’s time). It was at this convention that one of the panels, ‘Creators and Directors‘, focussed on “The Girl Who Waited”, appropriately enough given that the Millennium Centre itself had featured in the episode. The session was hosted by Gary Russell and the guests were Neill Gorton (Millennium FX), Robert Allsop (Designer), Marcus Wilson (Producer), and Tom MacRae (Writer). This was the kind of detailed analysis that fans adore, giving Tom the opportunity to describe the various stages that the script went through under guidance from Marcus and the team. Interestingly, Tom described television as a writer’s medium while film was a director’s one, illustrating this by saying that he viewed his script as a blueprint from which the show had to be built. Once this blueprint was out there, folk like Neill and Robert would start to plan their approaches. Continue reading

Missing Episodes and Anniversary Marketing

The weekend before last, all was quiet in the world of Doctor Who, well, as quiet as this fandom ever gets. That was until the teaser announcement was published that a couple of “stings” had been made (essentially a 10-second insert to be shown between BBC programmes) and a hashtag developed to mark the beginning of the televisual publicity for the 50th Anniversary episode, “The Day of the Doctor”. Now, to be honest, making a ‘thing’ of a hashtag, even as we sit here in 2013, already seems like a bit of a lame idea: it strikes me as being a predictably lazy bit of marketing. Making the logo ‘golden’ to represent the anniversary was probably just as predictable. Either way, that weekend, for a few seconds just before and just after BBC One’s new Saturday evening fantasy show, Atlantis, we got to see the first snippet of build up to the 23rd November. In less than seven weeks’ time the anniversary will be upon us and this was the first thing shown on the BBC as part of their anniversary celebrations. Continue reading

Light Who Touch Paper

If one were to watch all of the episodes of Doctor Who from the 2005 re-launch “Rose” all the way through to “The Name of the Doctor”, one would, excluding all the mini-episodes that have littered the intervening years, be sitting through 102 episodes of a British institution. Furthermore, if one decided to watch one of these episodes each and every day then wouldn’t it be thrilling if one were to time that viewing marathon to conclude the day before the show’s 50th Anniversary when the next, 103rd episode was to air? Imagine the fun that could be had if some random blogger decided to revisit and (re)write a review of each of those programmes as he watched them. Well, imagine no more because that’s exactly what I’m going to endeavour to do in my own little celebration of the Golden Anniversary.

You understand, of course, that this will never work. This blog is nothing if not one aborted attempt after another to commit myself to the act of regularly writing about the world’s greatest cultural phenomenon. But it’s worth a shot, and at least I already have episode reviews to act as a basis for this Review: Redux (if that’s the right phrase). Furthermore, as we approach the 23rd of November, and Steven Moffat delivers on his promise to “take over television” there will also be news, views, opinion pieces and controversy… quite likely beginning on Sunday night when an unprecedented live TV show on BBC1 will reveal the actor who will become the Twelfth Doctor. A quick calculation tells me that my marathon review should begin on Tuesday 13th August, so that “The Name of the Doctor” gets viewed on Friday 22nd November, however, I am going to be starting on Monday 12th August instead, because on Friday 22nd November, I will be joining thousands of similarly unbalanced fans at the three-day 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Excel in London.

T minus 500

Here’s a trivial little factoid for any of you of a Whovian disposition: Wednesday 11th July 2012 is the milestone which marks the point exactly 500 days until the golden anniversary of Doctor Who. There are not many television programmes that have clocked up a 50th anniversary, and there aren’t many of them with a fanbase quite like the good Doctor’s. These two facts combined, along with the small matter of there being a Doctor Who fan in charge of the whole shooting match, would suggest that there is going to be a lot of news, developments, events and other such shenanigans, not least of which at the moment is Series 7 (or season 33 if that’s your preference), happening between now and then. Hopefully this means that there’ll be some good stuff to blog about.

My first thought was to undertake that old fan favourite of a marathon between now and then, but an episode-a-day format (considering that we’ll have a minimum of 798 TV episodes in the canon by the Big Day) would see me overshooting by quite a distance, even taking in to account the 106 missing ones. Also, that kind of commitment is the sort of goal setting challenge to oneself that I invariably fail. This blog is littered with re-launches and commitments and blogging promises that, time after time, I have not lived up to.

Anyway, I thought I’d come here and mention the 500 day thing just to try and breathe a bit of life into the blog and try and force myself in to writing something from time to time. Keep watching and reading, you never know what’ll turn up.