Some Final Predictions for the 50th
Guest contributor Chris Bertenshaw shares four theories.
It’s nearly time. It is so, so nearly time. Today, we will witness the 50th Anniversary Special of Doctor Who and the last few feverish months of anticipation that we’ve experienced since we first saw John Hurt appear at the end of Series 7 in The Name of the Doctor will all come to a head. There’s been endless speculation, and I’d like to cast my final predictions for what ‘OMG’ moments we’re going to see.
The internet has already predicted two major points of the special correctly:
- The Eighth Doctor regenerating into John Hurt’s Doctor
- The Time War
So, here’s four more, based on nothing more than desire and guesswork (in particular the last one):
We will see Hurt regenerate into Eccleston
Sadly this didn’t happen in the other minisode, The Last Day, but I refuse to believe that we aren’t going to see the regeneration into Eccleston at some point. Even before McGann appeared in The Night of the Doctor, I refused to believe that this wouldn’t happen, and I’m even more confident now. It’s the only thing that I can imagine will leave me slightly disappointed if it doesn’t occur. I can’t believe that Eccleston couldn’t negotiate the 30-seconds or so it would take for him to have regenerated in the Henrik’s department store that he first meets Rose in, quickly look around for a new outfit to replace his battle damaged one, and then hear Rose scream and head off to rescue her. Simple.
Return of the Time Lords
The new direction that the show is going in occurs because the Time War is no longer time-locked, and the Time Lords are brought back. I can’t imagine any other way that it could head in a new direction apartment from that, unless it turns out that the Doctor really doesn’t have any lives left (due to the War Doctor regeneration, and the meta-crisis Doctor also counting as one), and that Peter Capaldi is actually a different Time Lord – or that what ever Wibbly-Wobbly-Timey-Wimey thing that happens means that time is reset to the point where John Hurt time-locked the Time War, and the three Doctors after him no longer exist. But I can’t see that happening, as it would be a step too far in my opinion to utterly erase the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors from history. So that leaves the Time Lords returning. True, it wouldn’t be a new direction in terms of how the classic-era Who used to be, but it would be for new-Who. There’s absolutely no evidence in any of the promo-material for this happening, but what the hell – there’s only a few hours left, so why not let wild speculation run rampant?
Because this is the Time War we’re talking about, I’m going to say that we’ll see the Master in there at some point. Firstly, because we now he was resurrected during it, and if the War Doctor is going to be one of the great warriors of the Time War then surely he would fight alongside the Master, even if he ran away to hide when The Cruciform fell and Gallifrey burned. Surely these are the sort of scenes we’ll see in the Time War, especially as that’s the sort of catalyst that would make the War Doctor think the end was nigh and he had no choice but to use The Moment to end the war.
Secondly, if the Daleks are going to be in special as the Doctor’s greatest enemies, surely the Master should make a brief cameo. Yes, we’ve been told that this is all about looking forward, not back and yada yada yada, but don’t you want to see Derek Jacobi as the Master just for a brief while longer? He was so deliciously evil for the brief minutes before he regenerated into John Simm, it’s like imagining what Paul McGann would be like with more screen time (and now we know!). In fact, the only disappointment I would feel there is that it wouldn’t be John Simm in the role, as he’s one of my highlights of new-Who.
Classic Doctor Cameos
Almost without question now, I’m expecting all the surviving past Doctors to make brief appearances. I can imagine it working if the Doctor’s time stream is split somehow, and they only need a brief minute or so each to complete some essential task. Or perhaps the Doctor himself is split into his previous incarnations in the TARDIS console room, just for 30 seconds or so until they can get themselves under control. Or maybe as the Time War is unlocked, the Doctor flashes between his previous selves momentarily, each of them just as surprised as each other. Perhaps they can blame some corruption in time for the fact that they all look older (and a little larger-waisted in some cases…). I can’t remember what the reason they gave for Peter Davison looking older in the Time Crash special, but they could easily use that again.
Whatever happens, there is clearly plenty of opportunity for this to happen in some form or other. I’m not about to get into a massive argument about whether not having them does a disservice to the fans, because I trust 100% that Steven Moffat is the best person to deliver this episode and will ultimately do what is right for Doctor Who, and also because I’m really a new-Who fan that appreciates classic-Who more than wants to watch all the episodes, so the most important previous Doctor to have now we’ve had Paul McGann is the Ninth. But it’d be a hell of a talking point if they all appeared.
So, a couple of obvious predictions, and a couple perhaps a little more outlandish. It’s not long to go now…