Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Lies, Damn Lies, and BBC Announcements: An Operation Blue Harvest Update


This week it was announced that England's answer to Britney Spears, Billie "Call Girl" Piper, and England's favorite Scottsman, David Tennant, would be returning for the 50th Anniversary special.  Also, John Hurt--whose role as the first guy to die in Alien Moffat once used as a metaphor for childbirth in an episode of Coupling--is appearing for some reason.  Also, Gavin and Stacey star Joanna Page is going to be in the special, which is very exciting news for Joanna's parents, who are probably the only people on Earth who know who she is.

In another announcement, the BBC said that the Zygons are going to be in the special, which is kind of like marketing a major motion picture as a star vehicle for Abe Vigoda.  The Zygons appeared once in a 1975 serial called "Terror of the Zygons," although, if you can find it, I much prefer their appearance in the Eighth Doctor audio drama, "The Zygon Who Fell to Earth."  The Eleventh Doctor also mentioned them in "The Power of Three" as having been responsible for an adventure that he had with Rory and Amy offscreen.  I'll bring you more information about this really obscure villain as the special approaches.

The BBC is suddenly very forthcoming with information, and I still highly doubt that this is all of it.  Billie Piper and David Tennant are the [i]only[/i] ones coming back?  I'll believe that when Daleks can climb stairs.  You can't have a 50th Anniversary special with only two Doctors.  And I'm still not sold on their claims that the episode hasn't begun filming yet.  Tennant's Facebook page is showing pictures of him and Matt Smith after the table read for the special, which they claim just happened.  I still really don't buy that they're cutting it this close, unless the show is going off the air after "The Last Cybermen" and returning with the special for the actual anniversary date itself, November 23rd.  If not, then we're looking at the 50th Anniversary special in about 7 weeks, and that means the episode has to have been in the can for months now.

Here are some possible scenarios I'm seeing:

1.  "The Eleven Doctors":  Even if they can't get all the living actors together (of which there are 8), you could probably still make something called "The Eleven Doctors."  Just throw in some sort of reference to the first three Doctors being trapped in a void somewhere, maybe splice in some stock footage, or have some extra seen only from the back in a Moe Howard wig.  There's a million ways you could do it.  But I'd say you'd need at least 5 of the actors to pull this off.  In "The Five Doctors," for every Doctor they couldn't get, either due to death or stubbornness, they made sure to get one of that Doctor's primary companions.  That wouldn't be that hard to pull off, either.  Carole Ann Ford, Frazier Hines, and Katy Manning are all alive and well and would all probably be up for a guest appearance.

2.  "The Modern Doctors":  Tennant, Smith, and Eccleston.  The three of them could pull off a hell of a special.  Although Rose might get pretty confused having both 9 and 10 around.  I always wondered how, in multi-Doctor episodes, the current Doctor wasn't already aware of what was going to happen because his earlier self already went through it.  You'd also think that all of the Doctors would know what their future regenerations look like from the multi-Doctor episodes.  I feel like a Moffat-written multi-Doctor episode might actually address that (he did address it in "Time Crash).

3.  Matt and Dave:  This is the worst case scenario, that it really is nothing but Matt Smith and David Tennant.  Don't get me wrong, they're my two favorite Doctors.  But you can't really celebrate 50 years of a program with less than 20% of the actors to play the role, and none of the actors from the classic series.  It's just wrong.

In conclusion, I'm thrilled that Tennant is officially coming back (although I had no doubt that he would), but it's not enough.  You need at least one other actor, preferably more (and preferably at least one Doctor from before Eccleston) to make this good enough for the 50th Anniversary.

And of course, the other big question:  If the Zygons are the villains for the special, then how does the Great Intelligence fit in here?


  1. I always wrote off future doctors not knowing what was going to happen or what they were going to look like (even if it technically already happened to them) as the whole wibbly wobbly timey wimey-ness of the world. In the sense that as long as they weren't changing a fixed point in time, they were just rewriting time as it happened, so the current iteration of the Doctor got the memories at the same time that they were being created currently and in the past simultaneously...if that makes sense.

    1. It makes sense in a purely Doctor Who kind of way.