The BBC hit show Doctor Who is about to hit a milestone not many shows reach. On Saturday, Nov. 23, the show will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of its first episode. The pilot of the original series aired on Nov. 23, 1963, and the “classic” series continued to run until 1989 with a TV movie made in 1996. In 2005, the series was relaunched and has been airing since with no end in sight.
The 50th Anniversary is a huge event in itself – a new audio drama is being released, a movie about how the show got started was created, and Doctor Who memorabilia has started popping up everywhere. But the event most Whovians are looking forward to is the 50th Anniversary Special. We’ve rounded up what we officially know about the episode and compiled it for you here. Just a warning: The details may contain spoilers for those who haven’t seen all of the most recent season of the show.
It’s going to be big. And by big, I mean HUGE. The 50th Anniversary Special will be 75 minutes long and will be broadcast simultaneously in at least 75 countries around the world on Nov. 23 (or Nov. 24 for those in Australia). It will also be played in 3D in hundreds of cinemas in several countries. Viewers with 3D TVs or BBC’s HD Red Button can watch the special in 3D from the comfort of their own homes.
It will have an all-star cast. Matt Smith (the Eleventh Doctor), David Tennant (the Tenth Doctor), Jenna Louise Coleman (Clara Oswin Oswald), Billie Piper (Rose Tyler), and John Hurt (the Doctor – introduced in the Season 7 finale) have all signed on to take part in the episode. There will be three Doctors occupying the TARDIS, which should be pretty interesting. Jemma Redgrave will also reprise her role as Kate Stewart, the scientific adviser for UNIT first introduced in the Season 7 episode “The Power of Three.”
It will be full of action. We know from production photos that there is definitely a scene where Matt Smith hangs from the bottom of the TARDIS in the middle of present-day London. We also know from the official poster that Daleks will be involved (because what would a 50th Anniversary celebration be without the Doctor’s greatest enemy?), and Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat has said that Zygons, a monster from the classic series, will make a comeback for this special episode. He has also said that the episode will resolve a lot of things that have been set up over the last few seasons of the show. The IMDB page for the episode also lists actress Joanna Page as Elizabeth I, so we can expect one of history’s most famous Queens to make an appearance.
There is a lot of speculation surrounding the show’s 50th Anniversary episode including internet rumors that a classic Doctor may make an appearance, but BBC is wisely keeping a tight lid on the details and only releasing select information. At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, audience members at a Doctor Who panel were treated to a preview of the episode and warned that if it was leaked on the internet, similar content wouldn’t be revealed at future events.
For those of us who are relying on the internet for our Doctor Who information, we will just have to wait until Nov. 23 to see what the 50th Anniversary episode will truly be about.
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Hi! I’m Abbie. I’m a Wisconsin girl who just completed a degree in journalism, which I hope will help me achieve my goal of reading books and writing about them for a living. In my free time, I enjoy reading, watching Doctor Who and hanging out with my boyfriend and his two cats.
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