Published on November 14th, 2013 | by Christian Cawley

Watch The Night of the Doctor [VIDEO] (Now With Added ReaktionKast!)

Here it is, Kasterborites, The Night of the Doctor – Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary special prologue, starring… we’re not telling. Click play, enjoy, admire, be thankful to those involved for keeping the secret.

Seriously. This is potentially the greatest moment of Doctor Who since 2005.

You can find out what we thought in this ad hoc, guerilla ReaKtionKast, fresh out of the podKasting machine!

Finally, head to our Facebook Page where you can find a gallery of accompanying images, thanks to the BBC!

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About the Author

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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+.




75 Responses to Watch The Night of the Doctor [VIDEO] (Now With Added ReaktionKast!)

  1. avatar lozzer says:

    Trying to translate my high pitched squeals of delight into words.. not possible! Thank you Steven Moffat, you just made my day. And without giving anything away, wasn’t he good…

  2. avatar Paddy says:

    I have enjoyed a lot of Who over the last few years, but I struggle to recall the last time any episode – let alone a minisode – had me shouting “YES!” and various other unintelligable syllables at the screen. I will not be mentioning what’s in it as I want everyone else to have that same amazing experience.

    I concur with Christian’s summary – possibly the greatest moment since 2005. Whatever the Special might bring, THIS is what I wanted to see.

    • avatar docwhom says:

      Typical of Christian to exaggerate. The greatest moment since 2005??? Has the man completely forgotten The Wasp and the Unicorn?

  3. avatar francis cave says:

    Did I just dream all that??

    • avatar Jim McLean says:

      I felt like that when I was watching it. Not had that effect for a long, long time.

  4. avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

    F**k yeah!!! Brilliant! Simply Brilliant!!!

  5. avatar Al says:

    I hope all those folks who’ve been pounding on Moffat all year are feeling a bit contrite. This was incredible!


    • I think it goes to prove one thing – Rule #1; The Moff lies

    • avatar Jim McLean says:

      Nope. Sort of like saying if some kid hasn’t done their homework for 4 weeks and does a great essay, we should feel bad for telling him off for not doing his homework. A very vague analogy, as Moffat is neither a bad boy, nor does he have homework, and nor has he been the end of Doctor Who/anti Doctor Who/can’t write for toffee Doctor Who etc etc but it doesn’t – nor should it – change their previous opinions UNLESS they are opinions that were either attacks made on spurious claims, or debunked by circumstance. This is a wonderful piece of television.
      Saying all that, I will have to re-evaluate my presumptions on Moffat’s approach to this anniversary. I didn’t think he’d focus on this sort of continuity simply because there are already a lot of components being juggled. I was wrong. This wasn’t fan-wank, it was a smart, well plotted, and perhaps, very much needed component of a celebration of Doctor Who and he went and did it – without people knowing. Yes, very smart, Mr Moffat must feel elated at managing to keep this secret and McGann must feel a certain validation for his era that had been lost to murky politics. Well done everyone. This is great – not for “classic” reasons, but simply because it was good, relevant and surprising drama.

    • avatar BOJAY says:

      F**k the Moffat haters. Seriously, properly, f**k them. The worst among them still won’t give credit where it’s due, but it doesn’t matter. The right person, the right showrunner, is steering the Good Ship Who.

      • avatar Jim McLean says:

        Well as usual, slings of partisanship can be hurled in both directions: those who thing he’s totally incompetent, and those who think he’s the perfect showrunner. I’d be hard push to ally myself with either camp. In fact, I’m not really sure why the nay sayers had to be referenced at all.

        • avatar Bob James says:

          If he had abandoned ship/quit/resigned/been fired when all the naysayers who demanded just that had made that demand, it’s arguable whether the show would have taken this course. He didn’t. It’s not about the “slings of partisanship”, because he’s the resident showrunner of Doctor Who, the successor to RTD and choice of the BBC. He only goes when he wants to, or the BBC want him gone. There really isn’t another side, because he and the BBC aren’t listening to the haters, they can ignore them and do. I don’t have that luxury here, so the “f**k them” stands. Well, I’d add “hard” to that.

          • avatar Jim McLean says:

            Utterly arguable. It is slings of partisanship when you’re not offering a body of context, merely a comment about an extra body of people. Not once was there a mention of the gestalt demand for him to leave in your comment, just simply a comment about a group of people you don’t agree with.
            I don’t think anyone suggests the BBC listens particularly to the haters or the fawners. They watch audience figures, approval ratings, costs and schedules. So again, it seems a bit of an unnecessary comment.

        • avatar docwhom says:

          I think it would be more appropriate to say “the slings and arrows of outrageous partisanship”. Though that might have led to a double metaphor.

          • avatar Bob James says:

            More like some folks who kept trying to shit and piss on the coach, now celebrating how wonderful it is, being on the team. And one party, in particular, deciding which comments are unnecessary in an open forum.


  6. Of course, the problem with having a taste is that you’re left wanting more. WE WANT TO SEE MORE OF HIM!!!

    • avatar Jim McLean says:

      Maybe we will. His age isn’t an issue as it is for Peter, Tom, Sylvester and Colin. They could do another flashback or two and his age could be kept constant (pretty much) with what we see here. I agree.
      Interesting question – the guy people thought was McGann in the trailer leading what looks like JLC and Smith into a room of draped objects – didn’t quite look like the same get up as we saw here. Does this indicate that isn’t McGann?

      • avatar vortexter says:

        We’ve seen his beginning and now his end. There’s every hope we will see the middle story of this wonderfull incarnation of the Doctor.

        • avatar Jim McLean says:

          Is that not Big Finish, is that not the suggestion here by canonising it (if it wasn’t already canon imo)? Not that I would mind to see more!

          • avatar vortexter says:

            Didn’t Paul say recently there was no reason he couldn’t return for a future episode in years to come? I suspect he and the Moff had a whale of a time writing and making this little epic. .And apparently it’s had 1.4 million hits on you tube alone which has made the beeb sit up and take notice.
            Here’s a suggestion: I would happily lose the Xmas special and give MaGann an episode for himself each year. And I predict the BBC will capitalise on the positive reviews.

  7. avatar Steve C says:

    You should amend your original post and remove the “starring….we’re not telling” part, as saying that for some is a spoiler of its own.

    • avatar Francis Cave says:

      No its not!

      Saying “starring….we’re not telling” is just saying it is going to be one of nine potential actors.

      How is that a spoiler of any kind?

    • avatar David says:

      Oh dear. I had a long rant on another website about spoilers. I think Kasterborous did a good job not spoiling the McGann reveal. Others put it all over their front page before I even had a chance to view the episode. I was not pleased at all. Yet some think that because the BBC have released the episode, its no longer a spolier! By comparison, “we’re not telling” is fine with me.


      • We’ve waited 17 years to see McGann back in the show. No way were we going to spoil THAT!

  8. avatar Phil says:

    I remember listening to the end of Neverland wishing it was on TV. To see Paul back on screen playing the doctor… I couldn’t believe it was happening – I cried, I screamed, I no doubt behaved like a goose! To see one of my all time favourite doctors back on screen, I’ll remember this day for the rest of my life.

  9. avatar Maxtible Crust says:

    One word. YeeeeeeeeeeeeeHaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!


  10. Amazing. Left me almost shaking wanting more!!

  11. avatar TraineeHellcat says:

    OMG! What a good Doctor No 8 he would have been / has been is…….whatever. Big up to Moff and Mr McGann for doing it and keeping it secret! Roll on the 23.11.13 what a lot to live up to already.

  12. avatar dr jon says:

    Well i am so pleased they did it this way i had a rough idea about something like this happening and i think the moff did it well.


  13. It’s not appearing as a video for me – I need to see this – can anyone help?

    • avatar Francis Cave says:

      If you just look it up on youtube you can see it there.


    • Apologies Alison, please refresh and try again. Seems there was an issue embedding the code but it should be fixed now.

  14. avatar BOJAY says:

    Oh. MY. GOD. I am beyond words. I have loved and admired and respected Moffat’s work from the beginning. But now, he has won his place in the hallowed halls of those who have made Doctor Who brilliant in the most indelible way possible. Thank you Steven Moffat!

  15. avatar BOJAY says:

    Thank you, Paul McGann!

  16. avatar TonyS says:

    Good, is it?


  17. OMG – Did that really just happen? Did I just see that? I loved it! I’m going to watch this again a few times over. Paul McGann and the Sisterhood of Karn! I’m totally at a loss for… …. … something…… Words! That’s it!

  18. avatar BOJAY says:

    The gesture towards the pro female Doctor folks was, I dare say, nice. It reinforces the precedent we saw with the Corsair in “The Doctor’s Wife”, as a Time Lord, if so inclined, as the obviously transgender Corsair was, can choose his/her gender in regeneration. The Doctor chose. He remained a man. Unless some serious gender dysphoria suddenly presents itself within his character somewhere down the line, he has (as he has up to this point) identified.

  19. avatar Ardwen says:

    Today is Paul McGann’s birthday. I think that’s why this was posted today. Many Happy Returns #8

    • avatar Jim McLean says:

      Ah, really? Oh that’s excellent timing then! It IS about time is about time to be about time.

  20. avatar Michael Wooten says:

    Agreed. My jaw dropped and my brain squealed with delight when I saw him. This was far too short. I would totally watch a spinoff with McGann that leads up into the Time War. He’s been fantastic in the audio dramas, and it really was a special treat to see him on screen in the role again. He totally nailed it too.

    • avatar lara says:

      AMAZING! paul mcgann, you are right, totally nailed it. what a face! some of the lines were priceless, laugh-out-loud moments said in such a deadpan way. for one brief moment i thought we were going to see 8 to 9 regeneration. if you really think about it, neither moffat or mcgann lied when they said or intimated he wasn’t going to be in the 50th anniversary show. he was in the PRE-50th, showing us how john hurt came about and not the anniversary special itself. i have goose-bumps. this is some of the best of who. i am convinced mcgann should have his own spinoff even though i know it would mess with things big time, wouldn’t it be wonderful? ….. time to watch again.

  21. avatar vortexter says:

    I am a happy bunny/whovian! What a wonderfull thing to see. I really hope he pops up again elsewhere and I’m sure it will happen. And wasn’t it wonderful to hear him reference his Big Finish companions! Cheers Paul and a big thank you to the Moff!

  22. avatar DWFanPenn says:

    I had to watch it on the BBC’s YouTube channel due to being American. BUT! I’m glad I did. I was HOPING a moment like this would come, and the BBC totally just made my day as well!

  23. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    Brilliant —- Moffat gives the classic fans a great taste as well as closure while leading further into the big 50th all in the space of 6 and a half minutes.

  24. avatar DonnaM says:

    Well, that was the most frustrating afternoon of my working life!!! Come on, BBC, making these things available in the middle of the flipping day, that’s just not on, is it? Talk about showing no respect for the fans….

    The above is a joke, by the way; well, part of it is. I really have been tearing out my hair in handfuls, but by God that was it worth it!

    Mr McGann – just brilliant. Mr Moffat – a true fan with real respect for the history of the show, and that dialogue…. wonderful.

  25. avatar lara says:

    in some of the stills online, mcgann has on eccleston’s leather jacket!

  26. avatar CastellanSpandrel says:

    This is wonderful for so many reasons.

    What I like about it is this:

    SPOILER AHEAD -but if you’ve read this far already without watching the clip, I have limited sympathy –

    The Doctor has sacrificed his ‘lives’ many times to save other people – Wilf, Peri, Rose, pretty much the whole universe – yet the one time he doesn’t sacrifice his life to save someone (instead thinking of himself, albeit under the banner of a ‘noble purpose’) is the point where he ceases to be ‘The Doctor.’

    It’s chilling; it’s not the traditional tear-jerking regeneration we’re used to. He’s become Walter White!

    And the young Hurt – has that been lifted from I, Clavudivs? (or ‘Ian Claudius’ – whichever you prefer)

  27. avatar Geoff says:

    The only bad thing about this is it completely highlights just how good Paul would have been if the politics had been different and creative vision that we a blessed to have now had been in place all that time ago. What a performance. Only a few minutes but awesome. He’s back, and it’s about time!

  28. avatar vortexter says:

    Thinking about it, the gunship I thought was crashing due to damage from the war but what if it was the Sisterhood dragging the ship down like they did in The Brain of Morbius and manipulating the Doctor and events by creating a Timewar Doctor?…

  29. avatar Revenant says:

    A little bit of wee came out.


    • You should see a doctor about that.

      • avatar Revenant says:

        Well it was a Doctor that caused it so maybe not.

  30. avatar TimeChaser says:

    Well… I’m still jumping in my seat from that. Those sneaky bastards! All props to Moffat and McGann for pulling this off. It really is a shame McGann only has 6 extra minutes of TV time as the Doctor now, but what a roller coaster of 6 minutes it it is. And now it answers the question of where Hurt comes in, and why he is not considered ‘The Doctor’ by his later selves.

    This better be included as an extra on the DVD/Blu-ray release of Day of the Doctor. No doubt it will.

    • avatar vortexter says:

      It was listed as an extra on the DVD by the BBFC a few days ago.

  31. avatar Christine says:

    I just watched it, twice. And I’m going to do so again. Just superb. I had to wait as unluckily today was a long day of work. But never has a wait been so worthwhile. Still wishing for the miniseries because if someone can be so wonderful in a minisode, one doesn’t have to be even remotely imaginative to realise how good a whole episode would be. We know that already from the audio dramas but this was – I don’t even care I’m repeating myself – just superb!

  32. avatar Hyncharas says:

    Rule #1 – The Doctor lies…

    Though not exactly a place in the special episode, it was nice of the BBC to ask McGann to take part in respect of his earlier role in the franchise.

  33. avatar Hoosier Whovian says:

    I saw the episode first after the credits ran and thought it had been written by RTD, it fits in just fine with some of his more somber scenes.

  34. avatar Colin says:

    Am I wrong in thinking the Doctor reeled off a list of Big Finish companions? Does this make all the Big Finish audios now canon? And what about the BBC Books companions? :)

    Goes without saying: totally awesome. Made my year. Bring on the Summer mini-series of the Eighth Doctor! :D

    • avatar Jim McLean says:

      You could argue that as BF did do some crossovers with the books in adaptations and I think references, you could extend the logic, though in fairness, the New Adventures were officially canon after the series closed by the BBC’s own voice, and I’d assume the BBC books would carry such legitimacy after given they followed on story threads and are, well, BBC.
      But yeah I think this was a gesture to McGann, tying all his work for Doctor Who to the TV show in a vocal homage. A very nice touch.

    • avatar mrjohnm says:

      Colin, yes the Doctor did mention companions from the Big Finish series. I felt a nod towards the novels would have been nice. Surely, he could have mentioned Fitz or Sam? I’ve always felt Paul McGann was perfect for the role, and his work in the Big Finish series proves that. I’ve also felt the character of the 8th Doctor, as portrayed in the BBC novels, was a wonderful version of the Doctor and should have gotten more screen time. Thanks to Steve, Paul, and everyone else involved in this special!

  35. avatar David F says:

    Now that we’ve seen further evidence of the production team’s policy of flat-out lying in order to protect our surprises, is anyone else seeing the outright denials about Eccleston’s involvement in a different light?

  36. avatar iank says:

    As great as this was, the problem is that it highlights that there is not a single good reason why McGann shouldn’t have a proper, big role in the actual special, not shunted off into a six minute skit that doesn’t even get aired on TV.

    • avatar Bob James says:

      Wow, iank, for once I can completely agree with you! I’m just glad we have it, that it was done. A great year just got incredibly better!

    • avatar CastellanSpandrel says:

      It’s not a skit, though, is it? A skit is done for humorous purposes, a la Curse of Fatal Death. There’s very little humour in Night of the Dr.

      Otherwise – agreed.

      • avatar Bob James says:

        And no, in my estimate, it was not a “skit” either. Moffat packed a lot of narrative and drama into such a short time frame.

  37. avatar TimeChaser says:

    Replying to the Reaction-Kast: Its not the same actress who plays Ohica, and the character in the minisode is billed as Ohila, so perhaps related?


    • Thanks TC. As I was in a tin, I was unable to check the usual references. Or, indeed, see the trailer ;)

    • avatar Bob James says:

      Clare Higgins, who also portrayed Julia in Hellraiser 2 :Hellbound…..

  38. avatar Ranger says:

    Abso-freakin’-lutely brilliant! The thump my heart gave when I realised it was McGann! Thanks to Moffatt, McGann and everyone who kept this secret. God, what we could have had with McGann as the Doctor – makes me want to cry.

  39. avatar docwhom says:

    Got home from work last night with food poisoning. Fell straight into bed and only woke up an hour ago. Found a new K podcast reviewing something called “The Night of the Doctor”.

    Night of the WHAT???? said I. I’m outraged that you spoiled it for me. Shame on you.


    • We spoiled it for you? Really? I’m sorry if so, it was unavoidable under the circumstances.

  40. avatar docwhom says:

    No, I read the podcast summary on iTunes and so sought out and watched the vid before playing the podcast natch. :)

    Never been a great fan of McGann as Big Finish isn’t always my cup of tea so I’m not one of those longing for him to be brought back in some silly mini-series. But I confess that, when he appeared with “I’m a Doctor”, my heart leaped into my mouth and I had to pause it while I fetched a damp cloth.

    I feel slightly guilty for being glad that Cass died – smug, self-righteous thing. Plus she delivered the one dud line of the whole thing – “What did you say? Bigger on the inside, is that what you said?” No-one ever phrases things like that.

    Clare Higgins as Ohila came close to being the star. I thought she played Ohila amazingly well. Perhaps we could have a mini-series starring her. It could be called “Maren II – This Time It’s Personal”.

    The podcast was as tops as ever although the audio mix sounded a little weird. I thought that the James keeping Christian in a box thing was possibly the most sado-masochistically homoerotic thing I’ve ever heard (and I speak as a regular listener to Radio Rassilon). Let’s have more of the kinky side of podcasting, please.

    • avatar docwhom says:

      The McGann reveal was all the better for being completely unspoiled. I hadn’t even heard any rumours. The advantage of patronising Kasterborous. Imagine if I’d logged onto one of the forums unknowingly.

  41. avatar docwhom says:

    Incidentally, do we think that the Sisterhood made Cass’ ship crash deliberately? The way they used to.

  42. avatar Jamie says:

    Well, not sure if anyone else has said it but…if there is to be a movie I want McGann in it!

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