The Day of the Doctor - 1st Doctor

Alternate Fan-Made Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Celebrations

It’s fair to say that script supremo Steven Moffat faced an almost impossible task when it came to the 50th anniversary celebrations of Doctor Who. He had to deliver a script that summed up everything that was great about the last half century, whilst paving the way for the future, whilst catering for the casual viewer, whilst delivering a good adventure in its own right. No easy task!

Since last November’s The Day of the Doctor, I’ve met several fans with polarised opinions of Steven Moffat’s final script. Some felt that it was a ripping yarn that didn’t need to dwell in its own history in order to serve as a compelling piece of science fiction. Others have been more critical, stating that the absence of (most) previous Doctors made it an ineffective 50th anniversary special.

As much as it pains me to say it – and as much as I do actually like The Day of the Doctor – I would have liked a little more ‘past Doctor’ action, even if it had been done using CGI, or even in the style of The Name of the Doctor‘s opening scene, where Clara interacted with the Time Lord’s past incarnations thanks to some clever inter-splicing of archive footage. Alas, all we had in the end were some brief shots of past adventures, along with a rather good Hartnell impersonation from John Guilor, and Tom Baker as… someone else, possibly. Where was the digitally-recreated Jon Pertwee, fighting a rabid pterodactyl courtesy of The Mill?!

Presumably, I’m not the only fan who feels this way, as a whole plethora of ‘alternate’ 50th anniversary videos have wormed their way into the webosphere. And they’re rather good!

Take a look…

The 12 Doctors

Of course, one of the major hurdles the production team faced with regards to previous Doctors was their age. It’s fair to say that Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy all look slightly different these days, and it would have been very hard to explain their more ‘mature’ complexions! But as we know, in the Whoniverse all things are possible, and just as an older Peter Davison can waltz into the TARDIS in Time Crash – thanks to a handy shorting of the time differential - so too can Doctors Six and Seven, brainy specs and all.

Hence, in this video, we have Colin Baker moaning about the console room’s “atmospheric lighting” and Sylvester McCoy bemoaning the new “helicopter” blades on the time rotor, with clips borrowed from the recent The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot. Keep your eyes peeled for Christopher Eccleston and Paul McGann as well, along with a rather amusing moment in which Doctor Number Five meets Captain Jack Harkness! Belgium-sized explosions aplenty, then!

Nine Recalls The Time War

This next video best fits Steven Moffat’s original idea for The Day of the Doctor, which was rumoured to feature Christopher Eccleston’s incarnation as opposed to John Hurt’s – until Eccleston declined the role, that is. It may not feature a CGI Jon Pertwee or even a pterodactyl, but I will forgive it anything because it has been so beautifully put together.

It features the Ninth Doctor reading Wilfred Owen’s ‘Dulce et Decorum Est,’ a poem which was originally written to describe the horrors of the First World War. In this video, though, the piece is given a new slant, being used instead as the Doctor’s emotional account of the final battle between the Time Lords and the Dalek race, with Flavia’s dulcet tones resonating in the time vortex. That’s more like it! Where was Flavia when The Day of the Doctor was going down?

So if, like me, you were slightly disappointed after last year’s anniversary spectacular, do not despair – these videos exist. Yes, in a parallel universe, David Bradley went back in time to collect Susan from the year 2164, and Eccleston finally got to interact with his ‘New Who‘ successors!

We can all sleep easy – at least until you tell us which of these you liked best, or better still, how YOU would reimagine The Day of the Doctor.



About

likes William Hartnell, whisky, being creative, debating canonicity, The Gunfighters, The Keys of Marinus and City of Death. He has a strong dislike of cold quiche, corporate PowerPoint presentations and lanyards, but loves terrible puns. He's currently employed by a mute teddy bear with black ears.


'Alternate Fan-Made Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Celebrations' have 5 comments

  1. August 10, 2014 @ 2:37 pm rickjlundeen


    You can please some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time but you can never please an internet fan.

    The the SFX team produced a bunch of CGI past Doctors, you can bet there’d be just as many complaints about all of them not getting enough screen time. And when they finally did, and the special was 12 hours long, they’d complain about that.

    The fan made specials are never that special, although some do try very hard. The 50th anniversary special was just about as perfect a special as one could hope for, and thus I am content.

    Reply

  2. August 10, 2014 @ 7:57 pm Sally Ann Price


    I love Christopher Eccleston, and he is my Doctor Who. I hope he does something for Doctor Who.,

    Reply

  3. August 11, 2014 @ 4:34 am zontar


    I loved the Day of the Doctor–it would have been nice to have seen some more of the previous Doctors, but it wasn’t to be so–and we have the Five-ish Doctors video–which is a brilliant companion piece to The Day of the Doctor.

    Reply

  4. August 12, 2014 @ 3:41 pm Lucas W


    I was initially disappointed with The Day of the Doctor, but I have since come to see it as a ruddy good episode, if a slightly underwhelming special. For me, The Light at the End is the 50th anniversary special (with a whiff of The Five(ish) Doctors of course).

    Reply

  5. August 12, 2014 @ 4:27 pm Rick


    I thought the Day Of The Doctor did a fine job of a nearly impossible task. Yes, more doctors would have been nice, but I don’t see how they could have done any other way then using the clips. Plus they all got to save Gallifrey, which is great.

    Reply


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