As we creep ever closer to the November 23 airdate for Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary episode – which we now know is called The Day Of The Doctor – the BBC is setting the hoopla levels to high. To kick things off properly, the first poster for the project is online, featuring current TARDIS occupant Matt Smith, previous, er, tenant David Tennant and mysterious “Doctor” figure John Hurt.
Hurt, you’ll recall, was introduced at the end of last series' The Name Of The Doctor, and the exact nature of his identity, and how it connects to the Doctor’s own, will be cleared up in the special episode. At least, we hope it will: you know how Steven Moffat likes to keep us all guessing. The special will also feature current companion Clara (Jenna Coleman) and the return of Billie Piper’s Rose Tyler, and will be 75 minutes long.
“The Day Of The Doctor is nearly here! Hope you all enjoy,” says Smith in the official press release. “There’s lots more coming your way, as the countdown to the 50th begins now.”
He’s not wrong about there being lots more: various BBC channels will be broadcasting a number of shows including scientific lectures led by Professor Brian Cox, Matthew Sweet hosting a show about the series’ cultural significance and Mark Gatiss’ new drama An Adventure In Space And Time, which chronicles the birth of the show. Tied to that, BBC Four is rebroadcasting William Hartnell’s first story in a restored format. And that’s just the tip of the Dalek-shaped iceberg.
“Fifty years has turned Doctor Who from a television show into a cultural landmark,” says show boss Steven Moffat. “Personally I can't wait to see what it becomes after a hundred." In the near future, at least – Christmas to be exact - we know what it’ll look like, as Peter Capaldi will take charge of the TARDIS…