Given that 2013 will mark the 50th anniversary of cult television series Doctor Who, there are bound to be a range of celebrations lined up to celebrate half a century for the eponymous Time Lord.
Some details surrounding the anniversary celebrations have already been announced, including a limited edition collection of 11 first-class stamps featuring all 11 incarnations of the Doctor, the TARDIS, and some of the most popular villains.
A new range of Doctor Who short stories has also been commissioned by the BBC, which will feature 11 stories (one for each incarnation of the Doctor) that will be first published individually online as ‘eShorts’; all 11 short stories will then be published by Penguin as a paperback version later this year. Interestingly, each of the stories will be written by a different children’s author; JK Rowling is rumoured to be one of the authors, as well as Anthony Horowitz, Michelle Paver and Philip Pullman.
Steven Moffat, writer of many of the current Doctor Who episodes, has hinted that the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who will ‘take over television’, and that the 50th anniversary episode, The Light at the End, will deliver ‘tremendous surprises’. Unsurprisingly, Moffat has also stated that he is half-excited and half-terrified with being bestowed with this enormous task.
The episode is rumoured to involve the current Doctor Who, Matt Smith, requiring the assistance of all ten of the previous incarnations of the Doctor, despite the fact that three of the previous Doctors have died. It has been suggested that digital trickery, CGI and stock footage will be used to resurrect William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee for the anniversary episode, who died in 1975, 1987 and 1996 respectively.
This wouldn’t be too unexpected, given that the 20th anniversary episode featured the first five reincarnations of the doctor reunited on-screen to work together in the Death Zone. Similarly, the 10th anniversary episode also featured the first three incarnations of the Doctor, for a four episode arc. However, William Hartnell was too ill to play as full a role as the other two Doctors, and therefore played a pre-recorded cameo role that featured his image on the scanner of the TARDIS.
People involved in the planning of this momentous occasion are remaining incredibly ‘tight-lipped’; this means that apart from the confirmed details so far, we will have to resort to rumours and speculation.
Regardless of what is in store for the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, it is sure to raise the bar for the 100th anniversary of the Doctor in 2063!
If you can’t wait until November for the 50th anniversary episode, you could ease the pain by investing in the Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver Remote Control, which is available from Amazon and Gizoo, and allows you to control a whole host of media devices using a range of Time Lord-esque gestures.
In a similar vein to the 11 short stories, I will be keeping my fingers crossed for 11 different remixes of the classic Doctor Who theme tune, which was immortalised by Ron Grainger and electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire in 1963. Derbyshire has influenced a myriad of electronic music artists such as Simian Mobile Disco, Aphex Twin and The Chemical Brothers, and it would be interesting to see these artists pay homage to her by reworking her most famous work. You can read about The Delian Mode, a short experimental documentary revolving around the life and work of Delia Derbyshire, here.