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Doctor Who's 2013 Logo

50th Anniversary Myths and Mistakes

It’s easy to get carried away, swept up in the milieu of rumour, hyperbole and constant speculation. But it is also important to keep sight of the facts.

Doctor Who's 2013 Logo

For months now Doctor Who fans have been anticipating the forthcoming 50th anniversary special, knowing that the majority of the details wouldn’t come along until November. There is a great deal of material on the Internet, however, that muddies the waters, albeit unintentionally.

I refer you, dear reader, to the recent post by the Birmingham Mail, in which journalist Paul Cole declares that all five surviving classic series Doctors will be appearing in Steven Moffat’s anniversary special, united together by River Song (Alex Kingston). He also states:

The half-century special, to be broadcast in November, will use studio trickery to resurrect the first three Doctors – William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee – in brief flashback scenes.

Now, all of this is perfectly feasible, except for the fact that Mr Cole presents no sources, offers nothing by way of insider credentials and has unintentionally made himself a figure of fun.

So, there’s a huge pinch of salt required when reading the above, but most importantly, let’s remind ourselves of the public facts:

There is one anniversary special, written by Steven Moffat (confirmed by Doctor Who Magazine 456).

This will be complemented by An Adventure In Space and Time by Mark Gatiss, casting for which is currently taking place.

Both Big Finish, BBC Books and AudioGO are planning their own celebratory 50th anniversary releases.

We’ll be bringing you a full run-down of what’s what in 2013 soon enough, but in the meantime, stick to the facts, and unless Steven Moffat is telling you otherwise, don’t listen to idle Internet gossip…

Christian Cawley


A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

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