In part one (which you can read here) of our look back at Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary year, we’d already seen eight new episodes, exciting tidbits about the anniversary special and the news of Matt Smith’s departure. But the second half of 2013 might just have been even more busy.
With two momentous special episodes, a shedload of 50th anniversary programmes, a surprising mini-sode, a hilarious comedy short film from Peter Davison and Comic Con trailer-gate, the second half of 2013 saw Doctor Who truly take over TV.
In part two, we’ll look at the second half of the year – from July to December, and a quick peek into the crystal ball to see what 2014 holds for Doctor Who.
As the Twelfth Doctor’s identity still remained under wraps, speculation continued – not only about the identity of the new Doctor but when the new Doctor would be announced. After several false starts, the date of the reveal remained a mystery throughout July…
Tickets went on sale for the massive 50th anniversary Doctor Who Celebration at the ExCel in November, which promptly sold out in about two minutes. In mid-July, two special Doctor Who Proms were held, showcasing music from throughout the show’s 50 years and seeing the Doctor and Clara steal clothes from the orchestra in the Royal Albert Hall.
But the main event of July was the fan event of the year – San Diego Comic Con. True to form, a Doctor Who panel was held in the convention’s biggest arena, but the panel soon turned a little sour after the very first trailer for the 50th anniversary special was screened exclusively at the convention, attracting an awful lot of controversy.
The trailer eventually found its way into the public domain in November, but the screening only kickstarted the heavy anticipation for a trailer. Elsewhere, the BBC announced a special show for Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary, to be recorded in front of fans on Sunday 4 August. Fans signed up for tickets in droves, unaware what the programme actually was…
Best July moment: Music from Doctor Who‘s 50 years is showcased at the amazing Doctor Who Prom in London’s Royal Albert Hall
Just two days after August began, the BBC announced what the fans had been waiting for – on 4 August, the identity of the Twelfth Doctor would be revealed in a special half-hour show. With 48 hours to go, speculation reached new levels, with a new favourite emerging at the front of the pack…
On the 4th, in front of nine million viewers worldwide, 55-year old The Thick of It star Peter Capaldi was revealed as the Twelfth Doctor, becoming the second-oldest Doctor ever. And as some amusing information found its way into prominence, it was discovered that Capaldi was a really big fan of Doctor Who, and had been for a lifetime.
The month was dominated by Capaldi, but late August saw the screening of the Doctor Who Prom on BBC One.
Best August moment: A new name is put to an old face, as Peter Capaldi steps out of the shadows as the Twelfth Doctor.
As September dawned, the 50th anniversary publicity machine whirred into life, as the title (The Day of the Doctor) and runtime (75 minutes) of the 50th anniversary were revealed, alongside a plethora of other special shows including a Brian Cox lecture, a special BBC Three clip show and a re-run of the show’s very first story – and on the same day, fans were also treated to a brand new poster for The Day of the Doctor the same day featuring Matt Smith and David Tennant.
As the 50th anniversary edged closer, production continued as filming kicked off for the Christmas Special, Matt Smith’s final episode – and at the Television Centre, classic Doctors Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy were spotted protesting about their lack of involvement in the 50th anniversary (of course, this ended up being filming for the Red Button spoof The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot).
The month ended with the wait for a trailer for the 50th anniversary seemingly over – but Saturday 28th September instead saw the first TV promotion for the special – the episode’s official hashtag, #SaveTheDay. As odd as it sounded, it was something that became very familiar over the next few months…
Best September moment: Matt Smith and David Tennant stand back-to-back in the amazing poster for The Day of the Doctor.
The first day of October saw another announcement from the BBC – The Day of the Doctor would be broadcast in over 75 countries simultaneously on Saturday 23 November, smashing the world record – but a slightly bigger piece of news soon overshadowed it.
In early October, year-long rumours finally came true as the BBC announced that nine previously missing episodes, from Patrick Troughton serials The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear, had been found in Nigeria and returned to the BBC. The episodes were immediately put on sale online, with the episodes rocketing up the charts, as the missing episodes count hit double-figures,
Earlier in October, Matt Smith wrapped filming for the Christmas Special, concluding a three-year stint as the Doctor. Cinema tickets went on sale for The Day of the Doctor, with the special broadcasting in over 1500 cinemas across the globe.
And on Saturday 19 October, the BBC launched a brand new 50th anniversary trailer, featuring all eleven Doctors, a cornucopia of companions and the promise that the day of the Doctor is coming…
Best October moment: The stack of missing episodes gets a little smaller with the biggest return of episodes since the Eighties.
November, the month of the Doctor, finally rolled around – and it wasn’t long before the hype for the 50th anniversary hit hyperspeed. The BBC launched a special social media website earlier in the month, urging fans to unlock clips and build the TARDIS by tweeting #SaveTheDay.
And Saturday 9 November, we were finally treated to the very first trailer for the special, with the Comic Con trailer later hitting the next day. The Doctor popped up on BBC One twice on 10 & 11 November to interrupt idents – but a minisode, The Night of the Doctor, soon blew the rest out of the water.
On Thursday 14 November, the internet was once again set ablaze as Paul McGann returned for one last bow (and his regeneration into John Hurt) as the Eighth Doctor in The Night of the Doctor, with the minisode racking up three and a half million views on YouTube. On the same night, Brian Cox’s The Science of Doctor Who aired on BBC Two – and that was just the beginning.
Over the following weekend on BBC Three, the top ten (well, sort of) Doctor Who monsters were revealed in Greatest Monsters & Villains Weekend, with the old pepper pots, the Daleks, winning the top spot. On Monday 18 November, BBC Three also showed Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide, a special two-hour clip show also featuring the Doctor and Clara.
On Thursday 21 November, Mark Gatiss’ wonderful Doctor Who origins drama, An Adventure in Space and Time aired, to rapturous reviews and a fair few tears. The next day, the Doctor Who celebration at the ExCel opened its doors, with a special edition of the Culture Show airing on BBC Two the same night. As Saturday 23 November dawned, little did we know, as know what it had in store…
At 7.50pm GMT on TV and in cinemas around the globe, The Day of the Doctor aired in all its glory, becoming the most watched drama of 2013 in the UK and making ten million dollars around the world in cinemas. But it didn’t stop there – the moment after the special concluded, the BBC released a short but sweet teaser for the Christmas Special…
Later that week, the BBC released the title and a promo image for the Christmas Special, The Time of the Doctor – Matt Smith’s Doctor had just a month to go…
Best November moment: ‘No sir – all thirteen!’ Gallifrey falls no more in The Day of the Doctor, as ghosts of the past and future – Tom Baker and Peter Capaldi appear on our screens during the special.
With The Time of the Doctor firmly slated for a Christmas Day broadcast, footage began to trickle through as the BFI’s season of screenings came to a close with the Eleventh Doctor’s event – and to the joy of fans, the same event saw the comforting revelation that Series 8 would not be split like the previous two series.
On 11 December, the BBC released the first full trailer for The Time of the Doctor, with an extended BBC America trailer soon following – and Steven Moffat again threw a grenade into canon (Strax would be proud) as he revealed that Matt Smith is actually the last Doctor, and would be running into some regeneration troubles in The Time of the Doctor.
On Christmas Day, the Eleventh Doctor made his last stand at Trenzalore, as plot points were wrapped up and the Doctor found himself with a new regeneration cycle in The Time of the Doctor, before his heartbreaking regeneration/sneeze into Peter Capaldi at the end of the special.
An era was over, but a new era is coming…
Best December moment: ‘Raggedy man, goodnight.’ The Eleventh Doctor breathes his last in The Time of the Doctor‘s emotional final scene…
Best December moment #2 … before transforming into a relatively old Scottish man with a shout of ‘Kidneys!’ and the worrying revelation that he’s forgotten how to fly the TARDIS.
2013 may have been the biggest year ever for Doctor Who, but just because the 50th anniversary is over, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing to get excited about.
2014 will see at least thirteen new episodes with Peter Capaldi as the Doctor and Jenna Coleman as Clara, with filming pencilled in to commence in early January. That’s all we know for sure, but it’s almost certain that Series 8 will be broadcast in late summer/early autumn, to make way for Atlantis in late autumn. If we were to guess a date, Saturday 30th August (and don’t quote us on that!) would sound plausible from recent years – but of course, we don’t have a clue!
Rumours are abound that Series 8 will see an episode snipped from the usual run of 13 episodes plus a Christmas Special – instead, it looks like we’ll see 12 plus the 2014 Christmas Special to make 13 episodes next year, with the festive installment recorded at the end of Series 8 filming.
As for monsters, nothing’s been confirmed yet, unless you count the return of Vastra, Jenny and Strax, who’ll appear early on in the series. Three directors – Ben Wheatley, Paul Murphy and Douglas Mackinnon, have been announced, with each tackling two (adding to the idea of six blocks making up twelve episodes), but rather oddly, no writer aside from Steven Moffat and Neil Cross (The Rings of Akhaten and Hide) has been confirmed.
And as for Peter Capaldi’s costume, it’s a custom to reveal the new Doctor’s costume on the day filming starts to spike tabloid exclusives – so, if everything goes to plan, expect to see the costume revealed on Monday 6 January.
2013 may be over, but there’s still an awful lot to look forward to!