So this year is the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who. Yes 50 years of Daleks, Timelords, Companions, TARDISes (TARDIS’S? TARDIi?) and of course Doctors. Obviously the 50th anniversary special is going to be huge, we’ve been promised “A love letter to the fans”…
We’ve had a long time to think about what to expecting from the special, what do we think is going to appear, and why should it, why would it and how would it? My list is a mixture of classic era Who and also NuWho icons, enemies and most importantly, hints.
I'm pretty sure River Song will appear in the finale and possibly the 50th anniversary. This prediction is completely based on set reports (though it is basically confirmed) from the finale that we see her gravestone, which obviously hints that Ms Song will certainly at least be glimpsed as it seems suspicious we'd only see her gravestone.
A recurring monster will appear in the finale or the 50th anniversary episode. Judging from the last few years, The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang, The Wedding of River Song and The Angels Take Manhattan we can expect a returning monster in the finale. It will most likely be The Silence, considering their desperation to fight the answer to the first question (Doctor Who?) at the fields of Trenzalore.
There's a chance we could see a few classic companions (but not Doctors, I'll expand upon the second part of that sentence in my next point), the reason is Louise Jameson. Yes, Leela. She recently tweeted a very exciting and cryptic statement.
“None of us knows yet what’s going on, just told to keep the days free. Mmmmmmmmm intriguing.”
Perhaps we could see a past companion or two? Who knows? I hope so. It'd be a great tribute to the show’s heritage, plus there were rumours on the web a couple of months ago of Susan coming back for the 50th and it'd be lovely to see Carole Ann Ford, the first companion, to come back for the anniversary episode. The use of Jo Grant in Death of the Doctor makes her a contender for another come back and could've been an experiment to see how young audiences react to classic companions, not to mention paving the way for her return in the 50th. Katy Manning has also said “there is lots going on” in regards to a question regarding the 50th anniversary.
Tennant and Eccleston could come back, but I doubt other Doctor's will. Perhaps the new multi-doctor audio story by Big Finish is to make up for the lack of a classic multi-doctor story, allowing the TV series to use Tennant and Eccleston, whether this means the return of Rose, Martha or Donna is uncertain, however Billie did say in a recent interview that she hasn't been contacted. Capt. Jack could be a different matter however as he's still a big part of the Who world and would be easy to work into Smith's Doctor's time.
Tennant, has also stated many a time he'd still be up for another adventure in the TARDIS, and based of comments from Eccleston at a recent interview he seems to bit a little bit less negative towards the programme, giving hope he'll feature in the 50th. Fingers crossed, a NuWho reunion would be great!
The finale will end on a cliffhanger that will lead into the 50th anniversary. Moffatt has said the episode “One that will thrill you a bit, and worry you more…” which makes me think the cliffhanger will be highly Doctor-based as well. Something will happen to The Doctor in the finale that has to be dealt with in the 50th anniversary, possibly someone finds out his name? He's dying? An invasion he just cannot defeat?
How many episodes?
The 50th won't be just one episode. Moffatt has been fairly explicit on this one, but there has been no confirmation from the Beeb. First he said that the story would be longer than 60 minutes, which is good, a Christmas special length story isn't long enough to celebrate 50 years of the show, it needs a feature length running time to do the show justice. This is where Asylum of the Daleks went wrong, there wasn't enough time to properly showcase the sheer mass of Daleks in the Asylum. Now Moffatt is saying there will be more than one special for the 50th, whether this is just going to be a mini-series a la Pond Life or a series of full length specials I'm not sure, but I do think we can expect more than just the episode on the 23rd November.
We won't get a major Dalek or Cyberman story. I reckon we will almost certainly get cameos, gosh, we can't celebrate the 50th anniversary without at least a mention of the show's two most iconic monsters. We've seen them this series though, granted there is a chance of a Dalek return as Asylum of the Daleks would have been, by the time of the anniversary, broadcast over a year ago, but The last Cyberman is not only being broadcast this year, but is so close to Series 7's finale, I would be highly surprised if they were to return in force so soon after the episode. Also, the main Dalek controller, Barnaby Edwards hasn't posted any of his cheeky tweets announcing he has Dalek work which he tends to do every story.
The Eleventh Doctor will not regenerate. I don't think Moffatt would do that, not just yet. I’m pretty sure we could say goodbye Smith within the next two years, but I really don't think it will be 2013 that we see his regeneration. He's still got a lot of story arc to end and it would be such a shame if it were to be rushed in the 50th anniversary. There are rumours of him doing a Tennant on it and regenerating at new year, this could possibly happen, but I personally find it very unlikely, he seems to be settling into the role very well and I don't think Smith wants to leave yet, as he has mentioned in several interviews. There are rumours that the 50th will lead into Smith's regeneration story, which would make sense, but alas I really can't see that happening. Who knows?
Yes “old, fat and blue” Dorium will be back. He knows about the first question, I'm pretty sure he knows about a lot more as well. Maybe we can expect the rest of the Doctor's army, too. They've been confirmed to be returning in the finale, but in A Good Man Goes To War, Vastra seemed to know Dorium quite well, suggesting they may have met prior to Demon's Run. As I said, it's been confirmed that Vastra, Jenny and Strax will be appearing in the finale, will Moffat take things one step further and re-unite the whole group?
The Great Intelligence will appear. Purely speculation but based on their history and the fact that they didn't seem finished in The Snowmen. We could see them in the finale, which would also be a place for a long rumoured recurring monster, the return of The Yeti. We've seen the controllers, now I think we can expect the servants. For anyone reading this who’s a virgin to the classic series, the Yeti first appeared in The Abominable Snowman, under the control of the Great Intelligence. I was highly surprised they didn't even cameo in The Snowmen, the episode could well have been used to pave the way for a Yeti comeback. Plus, we all want Sir Ian McKellen back, right?
Finally, The Master will be back, that's the one I'm most sure of, whether he's played by Simm or another actor. Obviously there were lots of rumours of Benedict Cumberbatch playing the master, gosh it would please the fans, but will it happen? Sadly, I'm saying no, Sherlock is soon to begin filming series 3 and the filming would clash with the filming for the 50th anniversary. Obviously it may still be Simm, he has stated he'd love to return and as a fan I'd love to see the dynamic between him and Smith.
So yes, kind readers, these are my predictions for the 50th anniversary. I really hope some of them are true, some of them not so much, I guess time, as always with this show, will tell.
See you in the future... or the past...
Doctor Who returns Saturday, March 30th on BBC One. Check out the trailer below!