The 50th & Beyond: A look into the Future

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Guest contributor Jordan Isaac Goodier takes a peek into his crystal ball.


What a finale; probably the best of Moffat’s era and arguably the best of all time? From what I’ve been reading across the hoards of fan sites, official sites and social networks since it aired, it certainly seems so! For the most part, this is Moffat’s best received finale. Those who loved River, had her story [possibly] come to its natural end in a scene that was beautifully acted, those who hated her are glad she’s gone, but are also happy that it was done well and made them like her character again to some degree.

Then there are the naysayers of the 50th anniversary, saying that it won’t celebrate the whole 50 years of Doctor Who because there are no classic Doctors returning. They have now been silenced. And lastly, of course, the big one. John Hurt as an unspecified incarnation of… well, difficult to say. The credits called him the Doctor, and he is the same person as the Doctor. But he broke his promise. He has been disregarded by the Eleventh. He is not the Doctor. But they are the same man.

50th Anniversary Special

john-hurt-50th-doctor-whoWhat will happen now? Well, that’s what I’m here to theorise based on my knowledge of Moffat’s writing techniques/style and what we currently know of the 50th anniversary.

We will find out about this unknown incarnation; that much is clear. There are theories that the incarnation is the one who fought in the Time War. At first I was iffy on this theory, but after calming down and thinking about it, it actually makes sense. Even if it’s not quite as interesting as finding out exactly why the Doctor left Gallifrey in the first place, it’ll still be interesting to know what atrocities the Doctor did actually commit in the Time War. Even though we already know he committed the Genocide of two species… moving on.

The 50th anniversary will celebrate the past. Given the filming reports of the 50th, about seeing some very old and familiar places, as well as how the finale of Series 7 was handled, no one can deny this now. Well, they could, but they’d just look very silly.

[Spoilers warning…]

Coal Hill School and the junkyard at 76 Totter’s Lane will be featured in some way in the special and one of the iconic shots from “An Unearthly Child” (in which a policeman walks past the lane) was recreated with a modern spin. People are hopeful that two very old characters will return, due to the sign for Coal Hill School indicating that one of the very first companions is now on the board of governors for the school. I myself am hopeful that Ian Chesterton will make a return.

[Spoilers end]

Given the archived footage used in the finale, it’s very possible that this trick will be used again in the 50th. It’s also possible that given Mark Gatiss’ “An Adventure in Time and Space”, previous Doctors could be recast and appear in the special too. However, I think this is unlikely. Moffat has paid homage to the past Doctors; he will pay homage to the past companions with the 50th, probably, and continue building for the future.

The 50th will look forward to the future. Now we’ll already be receiving knowledge of an incarnation of the Doctor that could change a few things we know about the Doctor. They may mention or finally tell us how they are going to get around the regeneration limit. It’ll be very interesting to see what they do there. Something else they could do is introduce a new villain that will stick around with us for the next 50 years or so. As the Daleks and Cybermen have endured to this day, perhaps Moffat will want to introduce a monster that will be as iconic and as long-lived as those two monsters. It’s certainly very likely that he’ll want to do this.

Series 8

What else? Well it’s likely we’ll get a whiff of the new story arc for Series 8, which Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman both have said they will appear in. We’ll also have three Doctors running around in the 50th; likely with Clara and Rose running behind them. And what of Series 8 itself? Well, it’s been commissioned and Moffat is outlining the series right now. Likely getting stuck into the episodes he’ll be writing, as well as contacting various writers about writing for the series. It’s likely that Toby Whithouse, Tom MacRae, Mark Gatiss and Steve Thompson will return to write, but who else? There were rumours of other writers, but nothing concrete. Neil Gaiman has said he’d like to return again, but he’s exceptionally busy (and apparently writing for Doctor Who doesn’t pay particularly well).

The BBC confirmed that Series 8 will air in 2014, but couldn’t say more than that. Matt Smith has said that they should begin filming at either the end of this year, or the beginning of the next. Given the nine month filming schedule, it’s extremely likely that we’ll see Series 8 in Autumn 2014. It’s likely that we’ll get a 13 episode run, like in the good ‘ol days, due to the negative reception that the split series has received (and the BBC has acknowledged this). So that’s looking hopeful.

Lastly, I think it’s very likely that Moffat, Smith and Coleman will leave at the end of the series. Don’t hold me to it, but now that Smith will be the longest serving “New Who” Doctor, it’s likely he’ll be very pleased with that and won’t see the need to continue any further. Moffat will have served the same amount of time as Russell T Davies and will likely also feel that he has served his “term” well enough to move on. And Coleman will want to leave with her Doctor and show runner so that the new show runner will have a clean slate to start with. In fact, I’d happily place money on that happening.

There’s my speculation on the future. What do you think will happen in the 50th and beyond?