There won’t be a need for River Song’s catch phrase this November as Whovians around the world will have a chance to watch the ‘Doctor Who’ 50th anniversary special, ‘Day of the Doctor,’ simultaneously!
Millions of ‘Doctor Who’ fans across 6 continents and at least 75 countries will get to view the episode at the same time in this BBC Worldwide global simulcast and cinema extravaganza. (Just image the Twitter blow up that will occur!) In addition, hundreds of theaters around the world will also be airing the episode on the big screen in full 3D.
Executive producer, showrunner and the person who basically twists the minds of Whovians when it comes to all things concerning the Doctor lately, describes the event best when he explains:
“The Doctor has always been a time traveler – now he’s travelling time zones. On the 23rd of November, it won’t be the bad guys conquering the Earth – everywhere it will be The Day of the Doctor!”
Tim Davie, CEO of BBC Worldwide is very excited about the prospect of the world wide simulcast saying:
“Few TV shows can still lay claim to being appointment viewing but Doctor Who takes this to another level. In its 50th anniversary year we wanted to create a truly international event for Doctor Who fans in as many countries as possible and the simultaneous broadcast and cinema screening of the special across so many countries will make for a fitting birthday tribute to our Time Lord.”
In addition to broadcasting ‘Day of the Doctor’ at the same time it will air on BBC One, BBC America will also be dedicating an entire week to the Time Lord in November which will include the airing of the docudrama ‘An Adventure in Space and Time’ chronicling the events that brought the ‘Doctor Who’ series to British television. The network will also be holding ‘Doctor Who’ marathons as well as airing new specials.
Not much is known about the 50th anniversary episode. While a special trailer was shown at last July’s Comic-Con, it has been stated that there were no plans on showing that footage outside Hall H and that a new trailer is currently in post-production.
What is known so far is that the special runs 75 minutes long uncut. Now whether BBC America will be showing the simulcast in its entirely with no commercial breaks (like it will be shown in the UK) is still unknown.
From various photos, we do know there is the return of Kate Stewart (Jemma Redgrave), the daughter of the legendary Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart and head of scientific research at the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, otherwise known at UNIT, and that the Doctor(s) will be fighting against the Daleks and Zygons. David Tennant and Billie Piper will return as the Doctor and Rose joining Matt Smith’s Doctor and there are hints that Peter Davidson and Paul McGann may also appear but in what capacity or if it is even for the special is unknown.
More importantly, the question of “who” John Hurt will be playing will figure heavily in the special. It’s already been established by the episode’s costume designer that Hurt’s Doctor is a past Doctor “between Paul McGann [the 8th Doctor] and Christopher Eccleston [the 9th Doctor].” This concept alone boggles Whovian minds as that may mean that the 9th Doctor is really the 10th one and so on. That means 7 years of mis-numbering the Doctor!
From the poster itself, it seems that the story will involve the much theorized Time War between the Time Lords and Daleks which prompted the Doctor to put everyone in a Time Lock. There is an exploding TARDIS and the words “Bad Wolf”, which any true Whovian knows does not bode well.
What does it all mean? We may find out sooner than later when the first trailer for the episode is released! In the meantime, fans still have time to stock up on jelly babies, Jammy Dodgers and fish fingers and custard until the special airs.
‘Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor’ will air on November 23 on BBC America in the US.