Editorial Doctor Who: Rose

Published on August 8th, 2014 | by Alex Skerratt

Moffat Cagey Over NuWho 10th Anniversary Special

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.

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“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!

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About the Author

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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.




21 Responses to Moffat Cagey Over NuWho 10th Anniversary Special

  1. avatar Ginger Crawford says:

    Personally I’d love to see a nod to the 10th anniversary of NuWho. Without NuWho there would not have been a 50th and the show came back with a vengeance. It’s bigger than it ever was and that’s due to NuWho.

    • avatar Cryer says:

      No it isn’t. It was bigger and better in the 70s. At least in terms of viewing figures and scriptwriting quality. It’s true that the show came back with a vengeance and that’s great. But it CAME BACK. It isn’t a new show, it is the same show as it was before. So it doesn’t need at 10th anniversary because it’s 50 years old.


      • You cannot compare viewing figures in the 21st century with those of the 1970s. It just doesn’t balance, relying on it as an argument or evidence is unreliable.

        There were three channels then, a captive audience limited by what they could watch on TV. Of course DW had often higher figures. The news had higher figures. Who knows how many channels there are now?

        But you’re right, I think. No 10th anniversary is needed. Maybe a nod, perhaps a special Confidential, but not a full episode.

  2. avatar Doomedrider says:

    It is very easy to start celebrating everything: 50 years since start, 25 years since Survival, the 250th story is coming up as well… And what with both the 50th and Big Finish’s 15th, we’ve been a bit bombarded of late. Ultimately, while I enjoy. “Specials” I enjoy the ongoing series more. Of all the anniversary specials, the one I enjoyed the most was the Three Doctors as it is just part of the series (as is, obviously, the Silver Nemisis). So, no, I think we’ve had more than enough big celebrations for the time being.

    That said, I have no problem with passing nods – little metatextual references – like the birthday cake in the Stones of Blood). If a standard series was running next March, a brief, unspoken nod to the anniversary (a man in a leather jacket walking off in the other direction, an encounter under the wheel in London, that kind of thing), would be perfectly welcome.

    As there’s not going to be an ongoing series in March, I suspect Moffat does actually have plans for a one off. But I suspect it would be a small, light hearted iplayer only episode. Something more like Time Crash. And I wouldn’t really have a problem with that. It wouldn’t interfere with the show I love, but will give us something new to watch between series.

  3. avatar TonyS says:

    Not sure I’d call it “cagey”. “We’re not doing it” seems fairly un-cagey to me.

    • avatar Funbundle. says:

      Rule 1: Moffat lies.

  4. avatar TimeChaser says:

    Who knows, they could always celebrate it via the new online Doctor Who material they’ve been talking about making.

  5. avatar rickjlundeen says:

    Yeah, much too easy to get caught up in endless celebrating. Next year is the 10th anniversary, the year after us the tenth series of nuWho. Just put forth The best series possible and I’m fine with that. If you start celebrating every little thing, the celebrations become far less special. It being the tenth anniversary next year will only point out that the Beeb barely manged to squeeze out 9 series by the end of next year if they do it!

  6. avatar Spider-pope says:

    I don’t think it requires a special episode of the show, but a nice documentary about how they went about bringing Doctor Who back to the screens, with a few interviews of the cast and crew looking back on the last decade would be nice.

  7. avatar DonnaM says:

    I hope he’s not lying, although a small nod (or a repeat of “Rose” at that) wouldn’t go amiss. A little nostalgia never hurt anyone, but what’s ten years against the half-century we’ve been celebrating?

    Of course if there’s something – anything – I’ll watch it. If not, I shall occupy myself with the DVD collection and anticipate the series to come.

  8. avatar Colin says:

    The main problem I see with celebrating the return of Who is that it helps draw a line between “classic” and “new” Who, a line I’d rather see de-emphasized. The great thing about the 50th anniversary is that it catered to old and new fans alike. Every Doctor from every era was celebrated. With a 10 year anniversary, you’re focusing on the “modern era” and ignoring the deep foundation upon which this era was built. Perhaps a small nod, a repeat of the first Doctor Who Confidential where they talked about bringing the show back, something of that nature. RTD’s achievement deserves to be credited. But nothing bigger.

    • avatar Rick says:

      I agree. I think that divide has closed in recent years, and a special will only open it up again. My vote goes for something small like an episode set in 2005.

    • avatar Danyael says:

      IDoing a special that is nuwho centric would draw a bit of a line between old and new who. I do have one idea though. How about an 8th doctor special? Paul’s return as the Doctor did a lot to shrink the perceived divide and I think an 8th doctor full length episode could bring old and new even closer. It could be an original story or ( seeing as moffet has essentially made big finish canon) it could be an adaptation of one of the 8th doctor audios.

      • avatar TonyS says:

        Not a bad idea. “Minuet In Hell” would be interesting.

        • avatar Danyael says:

          Agreed, that is a favorite of mine. I think “an earthly child” would be good as well as it deals with history from the early days of DW.

  9. avatar Al says:

    Although I agree that celebrating the 10th anniversary of a sci-fi series is worthy of recognition, and it’s only happened 4 times before (with the original Doctor Who, Red Dwarf, Stargate SG-1 and Smallville), I can’t see them doing anything to add to what Day of the Doctor accomplished. They even cleaned up the Ninth Doctor origin and resolved the Time War to a degree. I suppose they could do an episode where the Time Lords return,but even that’s been done to a degree. I personally don’t think they need to do anything; you didn’t see NCIS do much, or Stargate, or Red Dwarf. I’d rather they focus on strong storytelling and character and let DWM, etc., deal with the anniversary as they most certainly will in their own way.

  10. avatar Damahepa says:

    Maybe make the Christmas Special as a celebration for the 10th year. Saves having an extra special, but has a nod to the revival. Best of both worlds

  11. avatar Paul McGann's Cat says:

    I tend to think there won’t be one, purely because it would fall in March. But, having said that, we are, theoretically, one episode short this year with the thirteenth episode being the Xmas one, so maybe the Xmas budget would go on the 10th special.

    Moffat famously (or not so famous it seems) said last year “I’ve been lying my arse off for months” regarding the 50th. So there is possibly much to be read into his “unless I’m lying” comment. We will have to see.

  12. avatar Johnny Ray says:

    Yeah we’re already had a Tenth Nu Who anniversary. That’s what The Day Of Doctor was, a Tenth Nu Who Anniversary pretending to be 50th Anniversary Episode. That’s why apart from fleeting cameo shot of Tardis’s and The First Doctor referring to Gallifrey there was no actual appearances of classic Doctors in that episode. Tom Baker doesn’t count as you can’t call him classic doctor in that episode when he playing future regeneration of himself who has gained ability to change his appearance at will. Steven Moffat pretty much said it himself in January 2013 edition of Doctor Who Magazine where he was made to name his favourite story from each Doctor. When referring to Jon Pertwee’s The Three Doctors he made mentioned how it wasn’t really Tenth Anniversary as it was shown a whole year before actual anniversary date and how much he had admired their tenacity in doing something like this and how he wants to do something similar, which he did, with The Day Of The Doctor. That why knowing that 50th Anniversary was really 10th Anniversary of Nu Who in disguise is why I’ve always hated The Day of Doctor and always will. They should of done so much more ! Dude ! :-(


  13. Of course they should have something for the 10th anniversary of the new series. Really need to have Christopher Eccleston on board though. It won’t be anything on the scale of the 50th, but there should be something to mark the time. I’m sure they’re working on something.

    If it’s going to be in March, probably they’ll be working on it soon.

  14. avatar STLShawn says:

    Will the tenth mark the actual air date, or the date most of us downloaded the “leaked” version

    :-)

    I’m sure it wasn’t a publicity stunt :-D

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