back to article Doctor Who gets one-off special to mark Time Lord's 50th year on telly

Doctor Who passes an important milestone in 2013 having - by then - been on British TV screens for 50 years. It's unsurprising then that the Beeb has decided to uncork a special one-off drama to celebrate the Time Lord's undying appeal with sci-fi fans. The telly show was first aired in glorious black and white on the BBC way …


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  1. BoldMan

    Ray Winstone...

  2. Big_Ted

    Bruce Forsyth

  3. Chris King

    The only man to turn the role down twice...

    Geoffrey Bayldon ?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. John A Blackley

    Jean Luc Picard


  5. g e

    Bernie Eccleston

    C'est sur!

  6. Lamont Cranston

    It'll be Bill Nighy.

    It always bloody is.

    Come to think of it, this might work.

  7. teapot9999


    What has this got to do with anything?

    1. Arctic fox

      Re: and? I have a feeling that you are new round here.

      A word of advice. Don't diss the Doctor.

    2. jai

      Re: and?

      it's Doctor Who and El Reg is a tech news site - any self respecting tech geek is a Doctor Who fan. If your not, gtfo and go back to reading your "Dummies Guide to..." books so you can continue pretending that you know anything at all about IT!

  8. Anonymous Coward

    A Sea-Devil?

    (Just compare the two)

  9. Dilbert1976

    Looks a bit like....

    Jasper Carrott

  10. DJV Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    Use colourised clips of William Hartnell's face from the classic series CGI'd onto another actor of the same stature and build a story around that! The fun part would be trying to find clips where:

    * they had a reasonable shot of Hartnell's face while he spoke

    * there was not too much background noise

    * the line/scene is relevant to the storyline

    * Hartnell didn't actually fluff his lines :)

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dr Who goes female

    Due to a mix-up in the time and space continuum in aisle 6 down at the local ASDA.......

    1. Jim in Hayward

      Re: Dr Who goes female

      Doctor Donna!! - lol - I just love her!

  12. TRT

    Alan Rickman...

    for the second Doctor and Sean Pertwee for the third.

    1. Graham Marsden

      Re: Alan Rickman...

      Sod that, Alan Rickman for the Roger Delgado incarnation of The Master!

  13. Devious_Dan

    Rowan Atkinson

  14. ukgnome

    A reanimated Steve Jobs

    1. Elmer Phud

      Big Jobs

      The Master?

      IANAF (I am not a fanboi)

    2. Petrea Mitchell

      Re: Steve Jobs

      Actually, Steve Jobs would a dead ringer (um, so to speak) for the War Lord from "The War Games". I saw that for the first time a couple years ago and the resemblance was eerie.

  15. Alpha Tony

    Graham Norton.

    1. Not_The_Droids

      AKA Torchwood?

  16. tirk

    Suddenly I feel so old.

    I remember the first transmission.

    1. Arctic fox

      Re: "I remember the first transmission." Me too.

      See title. -:)


      1. Peter Stone

        Re: "I remember the first transmission." Me too.

        I'm another one who remembers the first episode, though at the time, I couldn't understand why the BBC were talking about postponing Dr Who, to show a programme about some guy who had been shot in America the previous day, then again, I was only 12.

        (I've told this tale to younger people, & watched them fail to understand just how big & remote the world seemed back then.)

        1. Arctic fox
          Thumb Up

          @Peter Stone Re: "I remember the first transmission." Me too.

          Indeed. The world of instant communication/information that we are all immersed in today (for better or worse) is very different from the world we grew up in - certainly in the socio-psychological sense, for want of a better expression. -:)


  17. This post has been deleted by its author

  18. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    I vaugely remember a light-hearted origins-of-Dr-Who program some years ago, I think it had Gatiss in it. They made out that the theme tune was inspired by tapping a pencil on a desk. Tappity-tap tappity-tap tappity-tap.

    1. Elmer Phud

      If you pressed all three buttons down on an old WEM Copycat you got the Dr Who effect.

    2. jshombre


      That'll be the Pitch of Fear sketch from BBC2's Doctor Who Night in 1999. It's fun, although there's a gratuitous insult to the later actors who played the title role. (Edited out for the DVD release).


  19. VinceH

    "will go out on BBC Two at some point next year."

    "An Adventure in Space and Time will tell the story of the genesis of Doctor Who since its first broadcast on 23 November 1963."

    An appropriate date that the quoted "some point next year" should be, then, is be 23rd November.

    1. Colin Brett

      "An appropriate date that the quoted "some point next year" should be, then, is be 23rd November."

      23.11.2013 is a Saturday. Means no pub that night!


  20. Armando 123

    Must be ...

    ... Stephen Fry. He's everywhere! He's everywhere!

    1. RAMChYLD

      Re: Must be ...

      But I thought Fry has already appeared in the show as that green pudgy alien with a face on it's belly? Saw it on Doctor Who Confidential a long time ago.

      1. RAMChYLD

        Re: Must be ...

        Forget it, I was wrong. That was Peter Kay. My memory rusted through the three years without DW...

        Since that's the case, +1 for Fry to appear on Doctor Who. Especially since he's good friends with the late Douglas Adams, who wrote three stories for Doctor Who...

  21. John70

    It has to be...

    ...a CGI of Hartnell.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Doctor's age

    Considering the Doctor's age has been given as roughly 1000 years, that means the show is now 5% the age of the main character.

  23. Andus McCoatover

    Alexi Sayle's quote always has me in stitches...

    "But it was the Daleks I wanted to meet and, well, what a stuck-up bunch they were! When I say Daleks I mean the men who trundle around inside the monsters. They all seemed to be ex-dancers who'd been 'doing' Daleks since they were invented in the Sixties and had got very prissy about it. They wore black dance pants and black polo necks and during rehearsals trolleyed round in 'rehearsal Daleks', which were the usual castor-mounted robot but with the top lopped oft, like a convertible Metro. To represent the Daleks' eye on a stalk they wheeled round with their arms held out in a rigid Hitler salute. When they read their lines they would open and close their fists to represent the opening and closing of the Dalek's eye - and they didn't smile while they were doing it. It was like being surrounded by demented Nazi tea trolleys. At lunchtime they sat by themselves and wouldn't talk to anybody else - annoying, but I suppose you had to respect them for taking their craft seriously."

    If I to commemorate 50 years of hiding behing the sofa when it came on, trundled the streets holding an egg whisk and a sink-plunger, I guess it'd be some nut-house in an instant!


    1. Andus McCoatover

      Oh, bit more trivia...

      Friend of mine, long deceased, who was a BBC sound engineer, told me how the Dalek's voice unique sound was at that time produced.

      He told me the actors spoke into a mic., which in turn had it's circuit repetitively interrupted by a reed relay, opened and closed at about 20 Hz or so, fed by an electromagnet/oscillator combo.

      (As an aside, he also told me the (analogue) tape recording the BBC has of "Under Milk Wood", narrated by Richard Burton is a copy of the original. His friend, also a sound engineer, kept the original....)

      1. Elmer Phud

        Re: Oh, bit more trivia...

        Ring Modulator - built one from a kit.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oh, bit more trivia...


      2. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up


        I only read stories about that and can whole heartedly agree that they did an awesome job back then. Not merely the Daleks but other sound designs too (obvious example the sound of the Tardis).

        I'm fascinated with sound / sound synthesis / sound design and the developments in this segment have gone so fast that in my experience many people find it hard to imagine that such a design could have been so much work.

        Would I want a "Dalek effect" nowadays I'd pull up Reason ('sound software'; because of its extraordinary routing capabilities), pick up my mic signal, add a vocoder, perhaps a 'Scream' device for distortion and optionally some filters.

        Back in the days there /was/ no such thing as Reason :-)

  24. Benchops

    In the US version it'll be Scott Bakula

    oh boy

    1. Jim in Hayward

      Re: In the US version it'll be Scott Bakula

      Yes...he is sexy, but a Doctor? NOT!

      1. Benchops

        Re: In the US version it'll be Scott Bakula

        A time-travelling doctor he already is (Dr Sam Beckett, 7 PhDs, Quantum Leap)...

  25. Joerg

    Last season was a huge disappointment

    Steven Moffat did worse than Russell T Davies. He started great then it turned out that he didn't have any clear vision for the show and its characters, he had some really childish and cheap episodes and managed to turn everything into a silly farce.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      I think the only thing you could "accuse" him of is the repetition factor, that got a bit predictable. I'm referring to building up the season and in the finale end with a whole "re-run" but then seen from a different angle / aspect.

      But apart from that I don't quite agree with you. It had episodes following the red line of the "season story", it had individual episodes and some were silly, some were sort of funny and some were even a bit scary (sort off). I could imagine some kids not really fancying the Silence. Speaking of which; that was an interesting twist; see & forget.

      Personal preference here of course but I'll take the Silence over the weeping angels.

    2. Jim in Hayward

      Re: Last season was a huge disappointment

      I agree. Replace this doctor.....NOW!

      1. Tom 13

        Re: Last season was a huge disappointment

        I don't dislike the current doctor, but recently I've been having trouble name the actors for the new Doctors. I didn't realize quite why until I bought and read a puff piece in the US publication Entertainment Weekly. In it they'd done the usual "who is your favorite Doctor" survey and next to it they had their pictures with vote percentages. Looking at the pic for the old series, each of the Doctors stands out as an individual character. Even Eccleston carries it off, but the last two come across as interchangeable male fashion models.

        Don't get me wrong, I think Tennant was a wonderful Doctor on screen, and Smith is doing a decent job too, but just looking at the photo jumble,.. Well, there's just an element of sameness there which should never, ever happen with a Doctor.

  26. Chad H.

    The Story of Doctor Who is the story of Television?

    Well, I suppose there was nothing on in the 90's....

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fingers crossed

    Gatiss IS a fantastic writer when he hits his stride, but what with his reoccurring involvement in DW, and him and Moffat also doing Sherlock, it's beginning to look a bit like jobs for the boys?? Hope it doesn't involve any Amy's daughter bollocks...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I hope...

    They'll do a mixup story line again. So several doctor characters from different time lines coming together. They've done that in a xmas special but the joined moments were a bit brief (IIRC). I'd like to see some famous (and favourite) characters join forces in one whole episode.

    1. Tom 13

      Re: I hope...

      Agreed. A 50th anniversary show ought to have as many of the still living doctors, and companions on as possible. And a few who are no longer with us should be represented by good character actors/actresses who also look the part. Something on the order of The Five Doctors only without Baker stuck in a timestream because he didn't want anything to do with the project.

  29. Snowy Silver badge

    I want a

    one off Doctor Who special and not a one off Doctor Who special about how it was made.

  30. Adam Foxton

    Another crossover... with a twist

    Bring back Colin Baker, McCoy, Eccleston and Smith if you must... but the real story is Peter Davidson and David Tenant.

    Both already met in a canonical TV episode so the newer audience is already at least aware of the older Doctor. Both are still alive and, with a bit of timey-wimey hand wringing the age gap between his time as the Doctor proper and now can be explained.

    But, crucially, David Tenant is married to Peter Davidson's daughter. And David Tennant / Georgia Moffett now have a daughter together (and a son).

    You've had "The Doctor's Daughter", now you can have "The Doctor's GrandDaughter". With the Doctor's actual granddaughter, as well as the Doctor's actual Daughter! Properly written this could be (a) a good episode and (b) the cause for a never-again-seen nerdgasm/mindfuck that will set the Internet alight for a good long time.

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

      Re: Another crossover... with a twist

      See! I told you time travel was wrong.

      The Doctor marries his own daughter. The very idea!

      It'll all end in tears, you mark my words.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bond babes -phwewt - give me the good Dr's babes ;)

    Personally, I had a crush on Zoe

  32. DaeDaLuS_015

    i would like to see. . .

    Hugh Laurie, i'm not sure he'd be particularly good at it but i would like to see it.

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