As a longtime fan of Doctor Who in its various forms and mediums, I am naturally excited to see what Auntie Beeb has up her sleeve for the Big Five-Oh this fall.  Many rumor sites are claiming a multi-Doctor tale is in the works, but with the exception of David Tennant (and possibly Eighth Doctor Paul McGann) there would be a LOT of work involved in explaining/getting around aging actors.  While I would dearly love to see octogenarian Tom Baker in action and the vain Sixth Doctor played by a heavier Colin Baker with thinning hair, I suspect I’m in a minority.  With Christopher Eccleston vocally opposed to returning to the role, even a reunion of just the modern Doctors is kiboshed, which (combined with Actor Existence Failure for One, Two and Three) begs a question…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) kind of wants to see the return of Peri and Ace, regardless of their Doctors, asking: Whether or not we WANT to see it, is a multi-Doctor anniversary tale even a good idea anymore?

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

12 Comments

  1. That’s sort of like asking if it’s a good idea to have all the Star Ship Enterprise captains get together for a poker game. The idea has a lot of potential, but if it’s not handled correctly, it also has the potential to suck bigtime.

  2. I think bringing McGann’s or McCoy’s Doctors back would make the most sense. They haven’t aged out of the ability to play their characters (without needing explanation) but, more importantly, I could see the 7th and 8th Doctors working well with the new storyline (with the lingering “darkness” and mystery surrounding McCoy’s iteration and the relevance of McGann’s iteration to the Time War). It’s just a shame that Robert Holmes isn’t round to write it.

  3. I’d still love to see it.

    If the age of the older Doctors is a problem, they can probably come up with a good enough reason to explain it away. Heck, the BBC could wave their hand and say that the earlier Doctors who are actually supposed to be younger, remember, are being strained and aged by being in such close proximity to their older counter parts.

    Some may say that the Doctor doesn’t age, but that’s not necessarily true. The Master forcibly aged the 10th Doctor in one season finale, so it’s evident that the Doctor does age. He just does so at such a slow rate that it’s not noticeable, even if he pops out for a couple hundred years before coming back.

    The missing doctor problem can be explained by, well, the Doctor just can’t be every where and they missed an appointment.

  4. I think it is a great idea (and it is what I am hoping for).

    For the aging of actors, they have explained it away before in previous meetings, so I doubt it would really be that difficult to use a similar or the exact same explanation. As Shush pointed out above, the Doctor DOES age, as has been shown in several storylines in both new and old series alike.

    As for how to have a multi-Doctor story and cheat just a bit, they could always have Tennant play double duty as both 10th Doctor and Human Meta-Crisis Doctor and bring in Jenny (the Doctor’s clone daughter who essentially has the exact same DNA as he does). Then they can bring in a few of the other Doctor actors (5th and 8th being the most likely) and use a similar reasoning as they did in “Time Crash” to explain why they appear older.

    • Since we never diid see the 8th at the end of his time, we don’t know how old he should look.
      7 was older by his death and always looked older.
      6 & 5 would be the biggest changes, but we already saw 5 in that very situation as you said.

  5. I love the classic Doctor’s and am fond of the modern ones but…much like a Firefly or Babylon 5 reunion, you really can’t go home again. Part of the magic of genre television is that unrepeatable confluence of cast, writers, show runners, directors and producers each at a certain point in their careers and creative voices and how it combines with the viewers and where they are in that moment in our lives. Going back never matches that magic. Better to leave these combos in the reflect reality of our mind’s eye than be inevitably disappointed.

  6. I would like all the new doctors and (My fan boy dream) to see the first Doctor as a young man. Cannon is sketchy at best about time lords aging but The Master is shown as a young kid and The Doctor and The Master played together as kids. So how about The fist doctor at say 90. He may look about Matt Smiths age. He May have just stolen the Tardis.
    Also no old series Doctors on screen. Any explanation on there older look would be to hard to explain away. Worked fine for a semi in cannon charity piece like Time Crash, but not for a full episode. That being said they should at least have small voice over bits for them. Could just be a sentimental throw away thing, not to involved in the story. Or, A big part. The Tardis talks as them, or voices in Matt Smiths head. But the main thing is, I want as many of The Doctors as I can get!

  7. I would be completely happy to see McGann and Tennant return (though it would be strange to skip Eccleston, who really should come back). But as much as I love Tennant (he being my first Doctor), I think the most story potential lies with Doctor #8. Through him, we could get a real glimpse into the Time War. And while that may be a spectacle the BBC can’t afford, I have to believe a well-written story with Eleven confronting his past and, in turn, facing the future, would be just fantastic.

  8. It’s tradition to have a multi-doctor mash up for the anniversary so I say full steam ahead, just don’t bring along Rose’s human Doctor Sex-bot clone thingie man along

  9. I would love to see a multi-Doctor story.
    It can work. Big Finish has put togrther some fine multi-Doctor audio Dramas. Give it to Neil Gaiman, he can work miracles.

  10. We don’t necessarily need all of the actors, but as many as possible in one capacity or another would be wonderful. The BBC has gotten around other issues in previous anniversary episodes:

    -During “The Three Doctors” anniversary series, William Hartnell only appeared on monitors and never interacted physically with the other actors on-screen due to health issues.

    -During “The Five Doctors,” Tom Baker only appeared due to footage from a previously unreleased episode (possibly give Doctor #9 the same treatment in the 50th anniversary episode). Also, the late Mr. Hartnell’s role was reprised by a different actor.

    -“The Two Doctors” episode during Colin Baker’s run only starred the current reigning Time Lord and Patrick Troughton as well as a return of Jamie as Doctor #2’s companion.

    There are probably plenty of ways that the BBC could produce an anniversary special reuniting all of the Doctors using a variety of techniques including built-in plot devices about aging, computer-colorization and insertion of re-tasked footage a-la Fred Astaire dancing with vacuum cleaners, and backing a dump-truck full of money up to Christopher Eccleston’s house.

    I don’t know if any of those things would make the fans happy. But if Doctors #10 and 11 are in and Doctors #7 and 8 are can still pass as themselves, I would happily watch and enjoy a reunion episode.

    If Tom Baker, Peter Davidson, and Colin Baker want to join in the fun, all the better. Tom Baker is recast as the Doctor’s father. Peter Davidson as an alternate version of himself that never died in the Caves of Androzani. Colin Baker reprising his original role as Commander Maxil.

    The important thing is, let’s treat the 50th anniversary of this show with respect and get as many of the alumni involved as possible.

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