It’s not often that a Time Lord gets cut for time but the Doctor found himself out of contention for the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony last Friday when a planned segment paying tribute to all eleven incarnations of the Doctor was cut from pop culture spectacular.
Although fans could hear the familiar TARDIS materialisation sound punctuate the end of Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ according to a tweet from Edward Russell, Doctor Who Brand Manager, a larger Doctor Who presence had been planned and was used during a tech rehearsal:
A video montage which very briefly showed all 11 Doctors was approved but we were told it may not be included which was clearly the case.
— Edward Russell (@edwardrussell) July 28, 2012
Screen Rant offers this explanation as to why the segment was cut from the live broadcast:
“It’s certainly possible that the tech rehearsal Doctor montage was merely the remnants of an original segment that would include a TARDIS sound effect intro, followed by the theme song and video of the eleven Doctors. The full segment was cut prior to tech rehearsal – but, likely, before the production could update the onscreen video with non-Doctor footage. It’s also possible that, after seeing the video montage without the theme, the production team decided footage of the Doctors was now out of place – leaving only the TARDIS sound effect in the final version.”
That tech rehearsal briefly found its way to YouTube which thanks to “copyright infringement” was quickly removed by the user.
However, there is still footage of the ceremony itself on iPlayer (the TARDIS cameo appears at around the one hour, one minute mark) or you could just watch this and imagine how unlikely and awesome its realisation might have been.