After months of groundless and histrionic speculation, BBC has officially confirmed that David Tennant will be returning as The Tenth Doctor in the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special to be aired this fall.  They’ve even tweeting pictures of Tennant and Matt Smith at a read-through, though that might be a ruse.  Devilishly clever, those BBC producers.  Though crossovers between Doctors are commonplace in “expanded universe” Doctor Who media (There’s a lovely novel called “The Eight Doctors” that not only tries to fix continuity gaffes for the American TV movie, but for ALL the incarnations of the Doctor to date, and still manages to make a story out of it), actual televised meetings of the actors in character are as rare as hen’s teeth, with the expected Ten/Eleven team-up marking only the fifth such instance in the five-decade history of the show.  Indeed, those previous occasions were each marked by real-world difficulty: William Hartnell’s infirmity kept his Doctor out of the action in ‘The Three Doctors,’ while Tom Baker declined to return in ‘The Five Doctors,’ and sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who saw the Sixth and Second Doctors working together in Spain…

Still, the current production team may be the most “meta” in history, and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find Tennant and Smith interacting with their previous selves somehow or other, maybe even a ‘Back To The Future II’ scenario where they have to get Lea Thompson to fall out of love with them travel their own past timelines, allowing for tribute to the previous nine Docs.

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) is still foolishly clinging to the hope of appearances by Four, Five, Six, Seven and Eight, simply because it would be ridiculously awesome, asking:  Will you be disappointed if the 50th Anniversary features only TWO Doctors in action?


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  1. No i won’t. I trust in Moffat when he said that the special will be about looking forward and ahead, not about just celebrating what came before.

  2. I will not be disappointed if the others do not show up in one form or another. However, I will be fanboyishly excited if they do find a way to make an appearance that works in-story.

  3. David tenant? I guess that means ill watch some more doctor who. I’d like to see Eckelsen as well but Tennant is enough.

  4. After a bit of thinking, I have to say that I will not be disappointed. Having Tennant back is awesome enough. Though, having the other doctors back as well would be icing on the cake. Delicious, delicious cake.

  5. Will I be disappointed? Depends on if they at least touch upon the past in some other fashion or not. It is the 50th Anniversary of the entire series after all, not just of the revived series. If it is simply Tennant and Smith, then I’d love to see some other elements of the old series so that it feels like the special is honoring the whole series.

  6. Oh, yes. This is the 50th of one of the most watched SCIFI franchises in history and only two “Doctor/Doctor Emeritus” would have to work hard and use “flashbacks” to pay any decent homage to the other actors, “companions”, etc. Of course, I’ll watch with only two and probably enjoy it immensely but it would be like if the first Star Trek Movie had only had Kirk and Spock and not the rest of the cast.

  7. All signs seem to be pointing to revelations about the question ‘Doctor Who?’ so I think the likelihood of some combination of past Doctors is high. Which ones, how many and in what capacity they appear in-story is what I’m looking forward to. Should be fun.

  8. comicfan1974 on

    I won’t be any more disappointed than I have been by most of the new series, and I don’t think they ever seriously considered asking the original series leads back, since most people who watch the new series only know 9, 10 and 11. The funny thing is imagining Moffat asking Eccleston and being told to take a walk.

  9. The nostalgia hound in me says yes, I would be disappointed, but the realist in me says I’d rather have a good story and good acting.

    The surviving emeritus Doctors from the prior series are all pretty long in the tooth. Trotting them out just to show the flag seems to me to be a bit of a disservice to their careers. And using clips as flash backs, etc. well that never really works out.

    Sometimes you just can’t go home again and should leave fond memories and history as just that.

  10. I’ll be a bit disappointed if this is the human Doctor that was left with Rose in the other universe, even if it is what I am expecting it to be. Now by disappointed I mean I’d love it a little less then I could, but almost assuredly I will still love it.

  11. They could do the same timey-wimey thing they did with the Five and Ten meet-up a few years ago to explain why Four, Five, Six, and Seven are older, and, aside from the suggestion that the Doctor had recently regenerated into Nine in “Rose,” no one knows how long Eight was around, so he could have just aged naturally. I’d be more curious how they’d explain the absence of One, Two, and Three.

    Nine might also be a problem, because Eccleston, for reasons that I fail to comprehend, seems to have issues with having played the Doctor (if he was that worried about typecasting, why did he take the role in the first place?)

  12. Given the villain that’s supposed to be in the 50th anniversary special, I’m wondering what, exactly, Ten and Rose are going to be doing.

  13. Possibly, but I would love at the very least some mention of the older Doctors. Honestly, the number of Doctors I want in the 50th depends on how the story will work out (but it would be awesome if all the still living Doctors and former companions could get on the show!)

    • So all of the former Doctors “died” and therefore shouldn’t have aged past their swan song scenes right? This is a problem for continuity and always made prior reunions a little wonky.

      Companions are a different story. They go on with their lives, after leaving the Tardis.

      Perhaps a better solution is to have the younger actors who don’t look to have aged, reprise their Doctors, and have the older Doctors represented by their companions in a little pairing mash-up.

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