The other day, I blogged about Doctor Who Series Seven. After looking back at that, I’m looking forward. It was a season of nostalgia, of memories of Doctor Who seasons we’ve never even watched. So, not perfect, but it’s kept us entertained.
So I also blogged about what we might expect from the 50th Anniversary Special, coming later this year – what seems likely, now that the special is the next episode?
I also explored some ideas of what a really epic plotline for Doctor Who might be – in terms of making a Doctor Who movie, but which could also be where they are going with a Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special. So let’s see if any of these ideas still have traction!
Let’s look back at my hypotheses, and consider what they’ve set up for themselves so far! Spoilers for Season Seven of Doctor Who!
The 50th Anniversary Special – The River Song Adventures
So my main thought for what to do with a 50th Anniversary Special was to do the adventures of River Song – someone who has seen all of the Doctor’s faces, and who could explain a story that would involve multiple Doctors, companions, and plotlines. Or as I wrote,
Adventuring with River Song would work best as a 50th in my mind. Having it just be a new adventure with the current companion is too… normal. But just going into an adventure with a one-shot companion is too… Christmas Specials. You need something that can both tie-in to something new and happening, and that would explain dipping in to the backstory and bringing in old faces, and I think that the Doctor and River Song makes the most sense for this.
Then they went and made Oswin, a character who meets these same criteria. She saves the Doctor, in his timestream. She even connected him with the T.A.R.D.I.S. Well, okay, this is just about everything we know about that she does, other than Asylum of the Daleks and The Snowmen. Meaning now, the 50th Anniversary Special can be an exploration of other ways Oswin was involved in the Doctor’s timestream – or else, what you do next after that happened. So my idea might stick, but based on a different companion.
The 50th Anniversary Special – Epic Plots
So, I explored a few different approaches to do something larger-than-life with a Doctor Who movie – which really, also kind of apply to the 50th Anniversary Special. Because you don’t want it to just be a long episode, or even a stand-alone Christmas Special. It’s a celebration of what has been, but also points to a future with more to come. So what might they do?
While I hate to say it, as a scifi series that’s been going on as long or longer than many of the comic book series that have been making it into movies lately… Telling the Origin Story. As I say no to other plots, I guess I see a little bit of how other writers end up reaching that same point, and going to the origin. And as far as I know, though it has been discussed, the Doctor’s origin has not been shown before. However, would the Doctor look like the First Doctor, or could he look younger? I guess he could be younger, thinking of Mels growing up, but still – would I just grumble like I do at the ubiquity of origin stories?
In some ways, I feel like they just did a tiny bit of the origin story – with Oswin getting the First Doctor onto the right T.A.R.D.I.S. They also spent most of the second half of Season Seven – and parts of the first half – doing references and homages to previous Doctor Who, going all the way back. So really, they’ve already been doing this, and more is sure to come in the Special. But I doubt it is the plot they’re going for.
I mean, if you ever felt Doctor Who was coming to a close, do it in a movie, please, BBC. And there are old prophecies that the Doctor had a finite number of regenerations, so who knows, maybe we’ll get there and they might close the show out in a movie. But if there’s talk of Steven Moffat doing one… closing out his run on the show with a movie? The fans would love it, like say an Advent Children, but could it survive on its own as a theatrical release? Or would it just be another of the specials?
I considered the thought – like Serenity – of closing out the plot of Doctor Who in a movie. However, I also mentioned that this is a way to close out a Doctor – so the battle on the Fields of Trenzalore is definitely an option for the plot of the 50th Anniversary Special. We know that David Tennant, at least, is going to be another Doctor in the Special – did Eleven ask for help for the battle, perhaps?
However, there have been rumors that we might be getting a new Doctor in the Christmas Special this year – so will that be the plot then? Except there’s also rumors that Eleven will continue into next season, so who knows! I can but guess. If we go to Trenzalore, we’ve seen what’s there. That might be a bit much for the 50th Anniversary Special – maybe too focused of a problem. You don’t necessarily get to explore much of the past, either. Also, the Doctor has spent his life running – why would he suddenly confront this when he could avoid it and put it off?
The Time War
Or there’s telling an epic story about a major villain. There are a couple that come to mind: The Time War, and the Silence War. We haven’t really gotten to see much of the war with the silence, and per usually, much of what actually happened DIDN’T happen, thanks to alternate universes and paradoxes. Then again, I guess much the same could be said for the Time War – it’s a vast unknown. But somewhat intentionally – it happened, it’s gone, we’ve moved on. Could you build a new epic plot to rival these? Probably. But it runs some of the risks I’ve mentioned.
Did I put this off to the end because it’s what I’m really expecting? Yeah, maybe. They ended the episode, leading right on into the 50th Anniversary Special, by introducing us to… well, not quite The Doctor. The one who broke the name “Doctor”.
The one who killed the billions.
The one who single-handedly won the Time War.
So of course I’m expecting the Time War now. But what do you do with it? As we understand it, the Time War happened in-between Doctors Eight and Nine, so it is in the Doctor’s past, not his future. John Hurt isn’t the Twelfth Doctor – he’s already in the Doctor’s past. He’s in there, the secret part of the Doctor’s mind.
So, is the Silence possibly going to come back, to keep this secret – now revealed to the audience – from getting out? Maybe.
But I am more intrigued by the thought of the Time War, now. With John Hurt perpetrating things… well… what are Ten(nant) and Eleven (Smith) going to be doing? I have a theory.
What if they’re going to go remove the Time Lock, and bring back the Time Lords?
It would be a celebration of the history of Doctor Who, with Daleks, Time Lords, Gallifrey… It could involve multiple Doctors to make it happen, or maybe one to try to stop another from making it happen… Maybe two against John Hurt…
One Last Theory
Of course, of all of the companions, it’s Billie Piper joining David Tennant from the earlier seasons… at least as far as we know right now. There’s nothing official for other folks who would be interesting additions, like John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness, or Alex Kingston as River Song. No, instead, it’s Rose.
So if it’s Rose and Ten, well, there’s one place where both of these are still alive and well – the alternate universe where Rose is trapped. So a couple of things could have happened:
- First, the Doctor and Clara have to go adventuring in this alternate universe. An easy enough plot to draw in these old characters. How does John Hurt come in? Who knows. Maybe they go there to bring Ten and Rose out to join them against him?
- Second, something so ridiculous and epic happens that once again, the wall between universes is breaking down, and Ten and Rose come through. This is entirely possible with all sorts of epic plots that the 50th Anniversary could be based on. Including, perhaps, situations where the wall to the Time War is breaking down – and has to be repaired.