It feels as if the 50th anniversary party has only just ended (although it’s about to start again with this DVD boxset!); the sun is rising, the street-sweepers are out in full force, there’s an overwhelming sense of contentment and fading euphoria, and we’re all contemplating a sausage and syrup bagel from the McDonald’s breakfast menu.
And yet the peoples of the Whoniverse are already attending carefully, as another celebration is fast approaching – the NuWho 10th anniversary!
Yes, in March next year, it will be 10 years since the leather-wearing Ninth Doctor swaggered confidently onto our screens, his Northern tones resonating in the lair of the Nestene Consciousness, his Anti-Plastic gleaming like a sword. What plans does the BBC have to mark this momentous occasion? Can we expect an anniversary special featuring a few more forgotten incarnations of the famous Time Lord? Or will Christopher Eccleston finally make the trip of a lifetime and turn up in person, baggy jeans and all?
Let’s pass on a 10th anniversary special and see the Twelfth Doctor’s arrival as a clean slate, a bold and exciting new era of the show’s history.
“No” is the short answer to that one! Steven Moffat has been quite clear about his plans for the next year of Doctor Who, and it doesn’t involve any 10th anniversary shenanigans. Speaking at the world premiere of the new series, Moffat exclaimed:
“We’ve only just done the 50th! After the huge fuss over 50 years of Doctor Who, I think it’s time to settle down and move forwards. So we’re not planning that… unless I’m lying.”
10 years though – that really is an achievement, isn’t it?
“Russell [T. Davies] said ‘we could get 10 years out of this. None of us could imagine that nearly ten years later it would be getting a bigger and bigger reaction every year. So that’s just phenomenal, absolutely amazing. It’s terrifying, but dear God I will miss these days when I’m back on BBC 28.”
It’s hard to remember the time before Doctor Who came back, when there was a growing sense that the programme had niched itself and could never really fulfill the sophisticated demands of a 21st century audience. And whilst Steven Moffat admits there was an air of trepidation in the Cardiff production office, he never had any doubt that the show would be a success again.
“It was Russell doing it in those days,” he said, “and I was lucky enough to write a two parter. I was absolutely confident, because I wasn’t in the firing line. I read Russell’s first script, which was so brilliant, it was exactly right. It was perfectly faithful to the old show, and yet it was the new show, and I remember thinking this is going to be the biggest show on television. I told them they had nothing to worry about: easy for me to say, they just looked pale and terrified in the way I now look pale and terrified.”
He’s right, of course – how many other TV shows celebrate their opening episodes with a worldwide cinema release? Doctor Who is huge at the moment, and we’re living right in the middle of a golden age. Having become a fan in the post-Television Movie period of the show’s history, which consisted mainly of token VHS releases and BBC novelisations, I never dared to hope of a proper TV comeback; I’d have to make do with The Curse of Fatal Death instead!
And awesome as it is, I agree wholly with Steven Moffat here, (assuming he’s telling the truth!) Let’s pass on a 10th anniversary special and see the Twelfth Doctor’s arrival as a clean slate, a bold and exciting new era of the show’s history. Save the party poppers for 2063!
What do you think, Kasterborites? Would you like to see some form of television event to mark 10 years since Doctor Who‘s revival? Or are you content to keep moving forward into an Eccleston-less 2015? Let us know!