Secrets. Everyone has them. Heck, sometimes I like to wear a top hat and pretend I’m the mayor of the potato people. But Doctor Who‘s secrets seem bigger than everyone else’s…and impossibly harder to keep.
Which is why Mashable‘s Chris Taylor wrote a column on Thursday commenting on Doctor Who‘s amazing ability to pull off some epic reveals, especially in our internet-obsessed information age. He compares it to something as ground-shaking as Apple unveiling a new unheard-of product, or Facebook suddenly buying Twitter:
That kind of surprise would approach what fans of the long-running British science-fiction show were feeling Thursday, when one of the show’s mini-episodes — usually a throwaway five-minute scene intended to hype an upcoming show — added one of the most significant plot developments in Who’s history, leaving long-time watchers slack-jawed.
With the release of The Night of the Doctor and it’s historic reveal-within-a-reveal, Taylor says that showrunner Steven Moffat should get all of the credit he deserves:
How did Moffat do it? With a hefty dose of misdirection. The Doctor who regenerates this time, played by Paul McGann, recently stated that he was “gutted” to not be appearing in the 50th anniversary special. Which, technically, he doesn’t. Somewhere, Moffat — variously described as the evil overlord of Tumblr fandom and king of the online trolls — is giggling with glee.
And he continues his praise of Moffat (and the Who crew), and thinks that filmmakers like George Lucas and J.J. Abrams could learn a thing or two from the wily Scotsman:
Fans have spent months speculating about where Hurt fits in the Doctor’s timeline. Most suspected that he came after McGann, but everyone was waiting for the special to reveal it. Imagine the reaction if George Lucas had casually revealed Luke Skywalker’s parentage in a short film prior to Empire Strikes Back.
Moffat, fully aware that spoilers are a fact of life in the social media age, delights in throwing fans a constant stream of curveballs. Perhaps J.J. Abrams should have him on speed-dial…
So, Kasterborites, here’s just some of the recent hits on the Moffat Secret-o-meter: Jenna Coleman appearing months early as the ill-fated Oswin Oswald, The Day of the Doctor trailer revealed at Comic Con and then kept off the internet, “Introducing John Hurt as The Doctor”, classic Doctors in The Name of the Doctor, the final fate of The Ponds, and now Paul McGann.
After all of this, what do you think has been Doctor Who‘s greatest secret?