Doctor Who News Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor

Published on November 20th, 2013 | by Christian Cawley

Surprise Appearance in Anniversary Special? [POTENTIAL SPOILERS]

Clicking this article might result in the revealing of a spoiler – if it is at all true. It’s up to you, Kasterborite.

[spoiler ]
There have been rumours for months and now Tom Baker has seemingly broken ranks about his Doctor Who anniversary involvement.

Yes, this could be considered a spoiler, but given that the news has appeared on one of the world’s biggest websites we’ll forego the formalities.

Says the oldest surviving Doctor:

I am in the special. I’m not supposed to tell you that, but I tell you that very willingly and specifically; the BBC told me not to tell anybody but I’m telling you straightaway.

It worked out very well, I think, judging by the reactions of the technicians.

Is Tom winding up the world’s most famous online newspaper publisher of unattributed content?

Well, a BBC representative told them:

As with William Hartnell’s recent appearance in the last season finale, anything is possible in Doctor Who. But nothing is certain.

What do you think – classic Doctors for the fiftieth? We’ve already heard that Peter Davison has a script, and Tom Baker has previously said that he will be watching the special – despite years and years of admissions that he only watches Doctor Who when he is in it…

(ViaHuffington Post/a> | thanks to Paddy)


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About the Author


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+.

40 Responses to Surprise Appearance in Anniversary Special? [POTENTIAL SPOILERS]

  1. avatar Joyce says:

    It would be great, wouldn’t it? Tom is my Doctor, the man who helped make my childhood wonderful. He’s now 80 and in recent pics looks a bit…frail. Yet to me he will be eternal. A brilliant actor in a brilliant role. I hope he’s there.

  2. avatar Geoff says:

    Tom is a clever man who does a nice line in barmy ramblings. A true one off. I also think he has been Doctor Who long enough to properly judge how to tease his fans and when to respect their loyalty. He knows how important this is to us so I don’t think he’d lie or tease us. He is also the Daddy of Doctor Who, the defacto leader, about Mr Moffat and everyone else in his own way (for some reason I’m drawing a parallel with Emporor Dalek and Davros although I don’t think Steven Moffat has Tom locked up in his basement) and if Tom is told to say nothing about his involvement but then close to the time thinks “bugger them I’m telling” then nothing will damn well stop him. I believe he’s there. He’d mentioned Technicians suggesting some sort of CG or manipulated old material. Even though he’s physically different I’d love to see him as he is now actually interacting with the new Doctors. That would be my preference for every classic Doctor if possible, I suppose on Saturday we will find out.

  3. avatar francis cave says:

    “despite years and years of admissions that he only watches Doctor Who when he is in it…”

    I’ve never heard Tom say that once!

    What he has always said when asked if he watched any of the Doctors after he left was that he never watched it even when he was in it (apart from that time he popped round to someone’s house to watch the drowning scene in Deadly Assassin) so why would he watch it now.

    • avatar David F says:

      I think he meant “I’ve never been in the habit of watching it” rather than “I’ve never seen it”.

      • avatar Francis Cave says:

        To quote from a recent interview:

        “I never watched it when I was in it so I’m certainly not watching it now,” says Baker. “I never wanted to watch Doctor Who – I wanted to be Doctor Who, I wanted to do it.”

        • avatar David F says:

          I know, that’s the interview I was referring to.

          • avatar Francis Cave says:

            Well to me I never watched it means, I never watched it not I’ve never been in the habit of watching it which is different.

            Mind you, Tom not only says he never watched it at the time but also he’s not seen any of his stories full stop which is obviously nonsense unless he did all of those DVD commentaries with his eyes shut….

  4. avatar authorman94 says:

    If this was true, I’d be ecstatic. Tom is arguably to Doctor Who what Leonard Nimoy is to Star Trek, the public face of the program, and having him in it would be a nice gesture to still one of the most famous Doctors of them all (although I do hope they don’t just shove him in there for the sake it a la “Dimensions in Time”). While I am still sceptical that Tom is actually in it, remember that up until almost a week ago, we have no clue we’d see Paul McGann in live-action and then look what happened. So it’s possible, but we’ll only know when we see the special on Saturday.

  5. avatar I.Y. Murphy says:

    Tom being in the special would explain the reason his scarf is being worn by Ingrid Oliver.

  6. avatar DonnaM says:

    On my red button content the Saturday evening has been changed (or was when I looked last night – probably a BBC cock-up that’ll have been corrected by this morning) from “Doctor Who: To Be Confirmed” to “Doctor Who: The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot”. Tom, Peter, Colin, Sylvester and Paul, perhaps? Or four of the five plus an insert with Mr Eccleston, like Tom’s fleeting “appearance” in the “real” Five Doctors?

    Yes, I know I’m sad… scanning a week ahead on the flipping red button!

    • avatar francis cave says:

      I wonder if this has something to do with this whole “Fish Dr” thing on twitter.

      Hmm.. four docs in New Zealand earlier this year, then a Fish Dr Twitter post two days ago – ‘Get Sylvester, I’ve had a moment of inspiration!’ – Peter Jackson, April 2013.

      Now Colin Baker is expecting a special delivery…

      All very interesting!

    • avatar simon magellan says:

      Looked at this and it says – “Missed the Classic Doctors? They’re back in this celebratory special written and directed by Peter Davison”. I suspect this will be a jokey bit of fun rather than intended as a Canon minsode!

      • avatar DonnaM says:

        Sounds good to me! Mr Davison did say he was making “an appearance” to do with the 50th, after all….

  7. avatar McCoy says:

    “Yes, this could be considered a spoiler, but given that the news has appeared on one of the world’s biggest websites we’ll forego the formalities.”

    No, come on, other places I go on put this very clearly as a possible spoiler, so I didn’t read. Not everyone goes on to Huff Post. It wouldn’t have hurt to do the same here and given people the option. Bad form, Kas! :(

    • avatar Jim McLean says:

      It’s irrelevant that it’s on Huff Post, it’ll be everywhere because it isn’t technically a spoiler – this isn’t a piece of plot or info gleaned through subterfuge – this is an actor making a statement to the press which will be reported openly by the press. Either way, it is not a verified piece of information either, so its not definitive let alone contextualised, even if its true. Fans don’t know if it’ll be there, if it’s in the final edit, and if so, whether it’s one line, a physical appearance, whatever. So I personally don’t see this as “spoiler” info that should be hidden. It’s a piece of info given by a potential member of cast, that’s still speculative, and very vague.
      If anyone’s to blame here, it’s Baker – though there’s been a fair few smokescreens this anniversary so who knows whether this is a counter nugget to distract from something else!

      • avatar McCoy says:

        Yes, Baker is to blame, if this is true at all (and it would seem to be genuine, if Baker is saying it) but sites could be more sensitive to the way they report it. I went on two other sites, saw something labelled as a ‘potential spoiler’, so didn’t look. It’s disappointing.

        • avatar lozzer says:

          I’ve seen a potential spoiler on other sites that I avoided, I assume it’s the same story as this. I appreciate all the hard work you guys do, but I’d have preffered to have had the choice on this one. Oh well, I thought he’d be in it, just like I thought Paul McGann would be in the mini-sode. I also suspect the others will be included in some way, even if it’s just voice overs – in fact, I’d prefer it to be voice-over or something more akin to The Name Of The Doctor, as it would be ridiculous to have them play their younger selves.

      • avatar Spoiled says:

        It has SPOILED a suprise/reveal. I personally do (and the majority of other sites also do) think this is a spoiler. Your definition is skewed. How the info is obtained is irrelevant. This info does affect the plot. It has revealed a secret protagonist. Further – Whether it is true or not is irrelevant. It is the fact that no choice was given to the reader that is upsetting to me. Other websites gave you a decision. The author here did not.

  8. avatar dr jon says:

    Out of all the dr’s i think he is the one who would say he is in the 50th and not care a jot about keeping silent,look at it his way he is 80,and what are they going to do sack him.I think there is a ring of truth in it,after all paul McGann turned up in a minisode,so i think it is likely tom baker davison McCoy, and colin baker will turn up at the end.They may be in the dr’s time stream with john hurt’s dr walking into it at the end to join them.

  9. avatar Spoiled says:

    I hadn’t read the worlds biggest web site. So indeed you did spoil it for me.

    • avatar lozzer says:

      I’ve never even heard of the Huffington Post… They’re big I take it…

      • 20th largest site in the USA.

  10. avatar Spoiled says:

    Further didn’t Christian write an ‘article’ belittling another site regarding a lack of spoiler warnings? Hypocrisy.

    • If you think we’re doing such a bad job, feel free to go elsewhere.

      Your “comments” are not needed here.

      • An ad hominem attack on a reader. Really? He didn’t say Kasterberous was doing a bad job, he said that you personally, are a hypocrite. And if you did indeed write a piece condemning spoilers prior to this – you logically are.

        The fact that you attack the person arguing this rather than the argument itself suggests you already know this.

        • There was no attack. It was a friendly suggestion as clearly the reader – and you, it would seem – has difficulty in appreciating what actually constitutes a spoiler, and indeed what hypocrisy actually is.

          There is no hypocrisy in this case, because this isn’t a spoiler.

          It was a spoiler yesterday. It’s perhaps – at worst – sensitive.

          It went worldwide at some daft time in the middle of the night. Do you consider information about Doctor Who that up to 1 million people know and you don’t a spoiler, information that isn’t necessarily about a particular character, that isn’t about a plot point? Really? Stills released by the BBC are more of a spoiler (based on the amount of data they hold, and the time you can spend analysing them)!

          Tom Baker spoke to the 20th largest website in the USA, the 74th biggest site in the world.

          That is not a spoiler. It became public domain when Huffington Post published it.

          It’s three days away from the 50th. If that’s the sort of “spoiler” you’re worried about, why not just go offline?

          • Also, while I’m at it, check this article, if you dare:


            Note the bit about “other sites”. Also pay attention to the number of people complaining that we just spoilered them.

      • avatar Leo says:

        Well said and you do a great job.

        Oh I will slightly more than please if HRH Tom Baker is in the special. He along with Messrs Pertwee, Manning, Courtney et al, Delgado, Uncle Terry, Hinchcliffe, Sladen, Marter and Jameson etc made my a childhood a joy.

        • Thanks Leo. Best if we all put this behind us now!

  11. Hi all.

    This article was posted at 7.15 am.

    It was 4 and a half hours before anyone complained about it being a spoiler.

    Look, we’re bringing you 8-10 articles a day all this week and last, we’re receiving endless requests for slots from advertisers and related projects and we all have day jobs. Mistakes are going to happen.

    Cheap shots about hypocrisy – when the site in question had a long history of breaking spoilers and re-purposing content – are irrelevant. This is a minor spoiler in comparison.

    Huffington Post has 25 million monthly hits. That’s in the region of 1 million a day. That’s 1 million people, the vast majority of which are not Doctor Who fans, who potentially know this information now.

    That is not a spoiler – it’s public domain.

    • avatar Joyce says:

      For what it’s worth, I agree. It is public domain from the moment it appeared on the Huff and was bound to travel far and wide quickly.

    • avatar Philip Bates says:

      And completely apart from that, I don’t class this as a spoiler. It would be a spoiler if the BBC had confirmed it. But this isn’t fact. It’s what Tom said, yes, but he may be lying. Rule One – The Doctor lies!

  12. avatar BOJAY says:

    Either way, I’m staying out of this one…………

  13. avatar krumstets says:

    What puts this site ahead of others is the open and frank discussions that are here for all to see & not ‘moderated ‘ .
    So on that point alone Kasteborous is billions of parsecs in front.

    Keeping it real….

  14. I don’t read the Huffington Post. I don’t even visit here every day. But you publicised this – article without a spoiler warning – on Facebook. It was one of the first things I saw on my feed this morning. So – thanks a bunch.

  15. avatar Geoff says:

    Christian, I really wouldn’t even get into this argument. Firstly if someone is so sensitive about Doctor Who that reading this post will ruin the Day of The Doctor for them then I have to ask why are they even looking on a Doctor Who news site three days before it’s broadcast. In fact they should probably avoid the web altogether. It’s not like you invade their home and foist Kasterborous on them. And leading on from that point as you rightly say this site is free, created out of love and to share a mutual interest. You don’t take subscription fees or promise anything so don’t take stick off people who don’t like it. Let them go somewhere else or start their own site if they are that bothered.

  16. avatar paybaragon says:

    I support Kasterborous and frankly I can;t believe all this ungrateful whining about spoilers. If you are fans, and if this news is true, I would think that at least you;d want to celebrate a bit more than complain.

    • avatar Jim McLean says:

      Thank you. Being a little more privy to the internal workings of this news-team, whether you felt it was an unfair spoiler or not, there was a rationale made in making the call to reveal the detail. People working here don’t have that fan “I have something to reveal/I have to prove I’m the best Doctor Who fan/I want to capitalise on Doctor Who fans interest” beyond being the rationale needed to be a good magazine.
      No one likes being spoiled, though often the clauses of being spoiled are sometimes hard to nail down. I find the prospect of Baker being involved – still unconfirmed, and even if it was, with no confirmation to the nature, speculation. The sanctioned trailers – shown everyday on BBC1 are spoiler.

      So bottomline, even though Christian has done a retro job in light of the complaints, no one should delude themselves that decisions made here are based on rationale, not laziness or anything beyond professional integrity – even if you personally disagree. It’s the sole reason I hang out here – not being a fan of fan spots (I’ve seen a lot of nasty sides of fans). It’s a solid lot of sensible people who, thank god, love Doctor Who.

      • avatar Philip Bates says:

        You both put it beautifully. Can’t agree more!

  17. in huff post yesterday “confirmed by bbc spokesman”

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