back to article BBC releases MYSTERY RIDDLE poster for Doctor Who anniversary episode

The BBC has released a teaser image for the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, which will be a feature-length episode called The Day of the Doctor. Doctor Who 50th Anniversary episode poster. Credit: BBC (click to enlarge) The pic is full of clues about the episode, showing two damaged Daleks, the Tenth, Eleventh and "X" …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I predict...

    A great premise, a cracking plot with a good opening that fizzles out halfway through to end un-spectacularly in so much fluff 'n' nonsense.

    Shame. it's been like that for a few years with Dr Who.

    Proving that having a big budget, and blowing it on fewer-and-fewer episodes per series doesn't count for everything.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I predict...

      A lot of the stories these days just seem to run out of time. So they find they have to wind them up with some bizarre deus ex machina plot device.

      I submit exhibit one: the ending of the first cyberman reprieve: program a "disable" code into a mobile phone, jam it into a console transmitting it to all cybermen simultaneously thus defeating the entire lot of them.

      All in a matter of about 20 seconds. Un-f*cking-believable.

      1. Mr Flibble

        Re: I predict...

        Yes – it needs fewer, but longer, stories. I'd happily settle for 20 half-hour episodes with stories being typically three or four episodes long.

    2. Killraven

      Re: I predict...

      Every series of Doctor Who has been 13-15 episodes. Hardly "fewer-and-fewer".

      I'm also a bit confused on what, according to the article headline, what makes this a "mystery riddle poster"? It looks simply like a bog standard theater poster, showing us some characters and what appears to be an action scene.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I predict...

        "Every series of Doctor Who has been 13-15 episodes. Hardly "fewer-and-fewer"."

        You've fallen for the Series 'X' - "Part 1" & "Part 2" budgeting scam.....

  2. Alister

    The national broadcaster is milking the anniversary for all it's worth

    Oh God, it's going to be soooo naff!

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Agreed. If there's anything that sums up the decline of the BBC, it's that it now uses the phrase "celebrity guests" in relation to one of its own programmes.

    2. The Indomitable Gall

      A lot of people will be looking forward to the first episode, though. I have to say, I'm more excited about that than the new one!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The science behind Doctor Who?

    You have got to be kidding, the Tardis control panel consisting of parts of a Victorian steam engine and nobody remembering the last time the Daleks invaded the Earth.

    1. Badvok

      Re: The science behind Doctor Who?

      " nobody remembering the last time the Daleks invaded the Earth"

      Subtle hint: What's time got to do with it?

    2. Aldous

      Re: The science behind Doctor Who?

      Not to mention:

      Spitfires IN SPAAACCCEEEE (complete with spinning prop's no less)


      Victorian's IN SPAAAAAACCEEEE

      Sharks IN SPAAAA.....wait, IN THE SKY

      Gave up on it a long time ago, if its not stupid stuff like the above its "timey-wimey" nonsense. Dr Who has been turned into purely a kids show.

      P.S Empty Cassandra frame action figure!

      1. Idocrase

        Re: The science behind Doctor Who?

        Spitfires in space formed the basis of around 98% of my childhood playground games. When that episode aired, my jaw hit the floor. Dr Who had READ MY MIND and put it onscreen and I was never happier.

        The other stuff you mention, yeah, a bit naff.

        But if ANY aircraft could stand up to Daleks, then you better f*cking BELIEVE it would be spitfires!

        1. Steven Raith

          Re: The science behind Doctor Who?

          The science behind Dr Who - seems apt that it'd be Cox explaining it, given how light on actual science his programs are.

          *runs and hides from people who like their science explained in soft tones, with short words so as not to befuddle their pretty little heads*

          Steven R

        2. Andrew Moore

          Re: The science behind Doctor Who?

          As stupid as it was, I loved spitfires in space.

        3. The Indomitable Gall

          @Idocrase Re: Spitfires

          " But if ANY aircraft could stand up to Daleks, then you better f*cking BELIEVE it would be spitfires! "

          Oh yeah, rule Britannia, Britannia rules the skies, God bless the queen and her Spitfire! Funny how everyone bought into that myth. Spitfires were not that great. Among other things, their limited flight ceiling made it difficult to engage safely with a Messerschmidt, and the metal fuselage offered very little value as armour, but meant that most of the fleet was grounded for repair at any given time.

          It was the much larger fleet of canvas-clad Hawker Hurricanes, patched up and sent back into the air before the paint had dried, and engaging the enemy from above that got us through it.

          1. Jeff Green

            Re: @Idocrase Spitfires

            Although it is true the Hurricane had a higher maximum ceiling than the spitfire, mainly due to its larger wing area its performance at altitude was poor and the effect operating height was around 3000 feet lower than the spitfire's. Spitfires also had higher speed and overall agility. Hurricanes being slower and heavier provided a more stable gun platform. Minor damage to Hurricanes was initially easier to repair, because the ground crews knew all about fabric and dope but as time went on repair crews became equally adept at the two aircraft and availability for the two types throughout the BoB were very similar.

            In practice the spitfires were deployed at higher altitudes and used to attack the fighters while the more numerous Hurricanes went for the bombers. The comparison between the two types is best made by looking at their service lives. If Hurricanes were better and cheaper it is rather doubtful they would have been phased out quite so early!

            In comparison to the German types those who flew both say picking a Mk1 or 2 Spitfire or an Me109 would be tough, but the injector on the 109's engine certainly gave it an advantage in "getting away" as it kept working under negative G loads, it carried cannon which did a lot more damage than a Browning however its turning circle was much wider.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Idocrase Spitfires

            You'll be saying you don't like Dr Who next....

      2. frank ly

        @Aldous Re: The science behind Doctor Who?

        The 'Titanic IN SPAAAAACCCEEEE' was a fully certified (for paying passengers) spaceship that had been built to resemble an old style ocean cruise liner. You need to pay more attention.

      3. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: The science behind Doctor Who?

        "Victorian's IN SPAAAAAACCEEEE"

        Don't get all possessive about the Victorians.

      4. Chad H.

        Re: The science behind Doctor Who?

        A true whovian would have been able to spot the Titanic in space as a tribute to Douglas Adams

      5. Gritzwally Philbin

        Re: The science behind Doctor Who?

        When was Dr. Who ever NOT a kids show?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Doesn't deserve to be called sci-fi any more.

      It's more like a sappy rom-com crossed with a soap now. I can't even remember the last time the Doctor defeated aliens by doing something science-y, rather than by the clichéd power of love overcoming all obstacles. Pass the sick-bag!

      1. h3

        Re: Doesn't deserve to be called sci-fi any more.

        The new Doctor was a hardcore fanatic of Doctor Who (Before such things existed anywhere else) have to see what he does. (And he is old so unless they are into old man love things after the Saville thing they will have to do something else. Or bring back the Doctors Daughter which they might do).

    4. TRT Silver badge

      Re: The science behind Doctor Who?

      Actually the current console consists of bits scavenged from a variety of places, including a Westinghouse frame from the London Underground, and a rhesostatic brake lever from a trolleybus. All fascinating stuff really.

    5. westlake

      Re: The science behind Doctor Who?

      AC: "You have got to be kidding, the Tardis control panel consisting of parts of a Victorian steam engine."

      The Time Lords were masters of deception and camouflage. It defined their culture and technology. The Doctor has never been able to escape this fully.

      The external controls of a TARDIS are mimetic.

      Their physical appearance or construction have never really mattered. What matters is the one-on-one relationship between a Time Lord and the system's core AI:

      "I may not always take you where you want to go, but I will always take you to where you need to be,"

    6. Duffy Moon

      Re: The science behind Doctor Who?

      Well there is no science really, just pseudo-science. Doctor Who is fantasy, or as Moffatt himself puts it: a "fairy story".

    7. Killraven

      Re: The science behind Doctor Who?

      "You have got to be kidding, the Tardis control panel consisting of parts of a Victorian steam engine and nobody remembering the last time the Daleks invaded the Earth."

      Parts is parts. Doesn't matter how old they as long as they still work. And who knows how old they are? It's a Tardis, time is completely relevant, or irrelevant, depending on your viewpoint.

      Also, why would people the last time the Daleks invaded? That invasion hasn't happened for them yet.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The science behind Doctor Who?

        Parts is parts. Doesn't matter how old they as long as they still work.

        I tell myself that every morning.

  4. Richard Wharram

    Ninth Doctor?

    Whut? Did I miss something?

    Anyway, the meaning is:

    There'll be Doctors, Daleks and explosions.


    1. Frogmelon

      Re: Ninth Doctor?

      What if the John Hurt incarnation is revealed to be the big "Bad Wolf"?

      It would explain the rough beardy look, and possibly resolve arcs-within-arcs going back to the very start of the resurrected series :)

      Just a thought.

      1. Stephen Blake

        Re: Ninth Doctor?

        Maybe the Docotr's real name is actually "Davros" and the reason he hates the Daleks so much is that he cannot face the fact that, no matter how much he changes things, he is destined to be crippled and stranded on Skaro by the Time Lords, then create the Dalek race to stop the them from taking over the galaxy. The John Hurt incarnation is the Doctor who finally accepted his fate and set out to become the necessary evil that would save the universe from his own race.

        1. Bernard M. Orwell

          Re: Ninth Doctor?

          That would make an astounding episode. Better than anything I've seen them turn out in recent years. You should write it....

        2. Michael Habel

          Re: Ninth Doctor?

          Thats clever and deserves a Thumbs up!

        3. The Indomitable Gall

          Dr Davros?

          The Doctor can't be Davros -- the Daleks were designed to fight for genetic purity based on Kaled DNA. The Doctors timelord DNA makes him a valid target, and a Dr Davros would have been one of the first against the wall on Skaro.

          1. Stephen Blake

            Re: Dr Davros?

            Well they fight for the purity of the Dalek race, and it should be clear that Dalek and Kaled are genetically distinct. While Davros is identified as a Kaled, this could be a deception on the his part, it's not like he has never lied!

            The Daleks have always considered Davros inferior and probably would kill him if he didn't keep proving his usefulness.

      2. Ron Christian

        Re: Ninth Doctor?

        I suspect Hurt is meant to be the eighth doctor, and the plot will have something to do with the time war, that's only been alluded to so far.

        If so, I really like Hurt, am sure he'll do a great job, but part of me wants Paul McGann for the part.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Ninth Doctor?

          Paul McGann?

          Well, i suppose he could do a narrative voice over...

          "Regeneration. It's like a dozen transatlantic flights without ever getting off the plane. Time change. You lose, you gain. Makes no difference so long as you keep taking the pills. But sooner or later you've got to get out because it's crashing. Then all at once those frozen hours melt out through the nervous system and seep out the pores."

  5. Cliff

    Big earner

    Dr Who is a big big earner subsidising our licence fees, much like Top Gear does. Big fanfare stuff like this is to remind the world that we have a tradition of good TV sci-if and perhaps there's some more of our programming you'd like to buy?

    The Been takes such a kicking from commercial competitive interests like Murdoch, Desmond and has suffered wound after wound but still makes some belting telly despite it all.

    1. firefoxx

      Re: Big earner

      This is completely ridiculous. If you think that any BBC programmes *subsidise* the license fee, you're assuming that they wouldn't get made without the BBC. That's clearly not true. Look at Eastenders - why on earth is the BBC doing this? Their remit is to make programmes which no one else will make, and clearly soaps like Eastenders would be made by the other channels.

      It's much more likely that the BBC holds UK TV back by crowding out potential competitors, who have good ideas but can't take the risk of making the programme and bringing it to market. if it's a good idea then the BBC just steals it and provides it for free.

      Always remember, you can choose whether to watch commercial channels or Sky, but the BBC demands money under the threat of prison.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Big earner

        Hi Rupert!

      2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: Big earner

        "Look at Eastenders - why on earth is the BBC doing this?"

        Apparently so Glaswegians learn to speak in a way that Londoners can understand.

      3. MrXavia


        While I agree on eastenders needing to die a quick death, I do think the BBC is worth the money.

        Don't forget we get the iPlayer & Radio included in that fee...

        Now if it was to be subscriber only, then it would not be what it is, and some of the great shows that have come out of the BBC in recent years would not exist...

        ITV is usually shite,

        Channel 4 & the BBC are pretty much the only channels that produce anything new & decent in the current era of British TV...

        1. James Hughes 1

          Re: @firefoxx

          Actually, I was thinking that ITV have really pulled their socks up recently.

          Vera's pretty good, Downton Abbey is nicely done (although I no longer watch), Doc Martin is enjoyable fluff, Broadchurch was excellent, as is Whitechapel. That's a pretty good lineup.

          But Eastenders deserves to die in a pit of burning oil.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @firefoxx

            So, basically ITV is just a load of programmes about Abbeys, Churches and Chapels... Sounds great. (joke!)

        2. h3

          Re: @firefoxx

          I don't think they do compared to the old days.

          I like stuff like Father Ted but channel 4 doesn't bother with anything funny like that.

          BBC hasn't really done much I have wanted either in recent times.

          They put some effort in to the Eccleston Season of Doctor Who then decided to not do the job properly. (And do most stuff on earth which is boring).

          Watched most of the sci-fi and fantasy but they dragged it all on far too long. (Merlin / Robin Hood etc and it wasn't that good and there was far too little of it).

          (AMC and HBO make most of the stuff I want to watch).

        3. Duffy Moon

          Re: @firefoxx

          ITV have not produced much of any note since all the old regions disappeared. Companies like Thames Television and HTV made some good stuff in the 70's and 80's.

          Channel Four? A few good comedies (Peep Show, Inbetweeners) and not much else of note this century. Basically they went down the pan around the time Big Brother started.

          BBC Four has been good, but I believe its budget has been slashed, BBC One is pretty awful. Quizzes, cooking, terrible soaps and talent shows seem to make up most of the output. Kids don't even have their own Saturday morning show any more!

          BBC radio though, has no equal.

          1. Killraven

            Re: @firefoxx

            @ Duffy Moon

            I'll be eternally grateful to Channel 4 for giving us The Green Wing within the last decade. I still rate it as the best comedy I've ever seen. I'm also a huge 4 fan for the quality of many of their science and history documentaries. Thank god for BitTorrent, cos as an American I'd otherwise never see them! (And *NOBODY* in the USA comes close to the quality of Channel 4 and BBC documentaries.)

          2. Stacy

            Re: @firefoxx


            You forgot expensive home porn :) Sundays seem to consist of buying cheap houses, and then selling them on or simply people wanting to show how much money they have by going on a program saying we want to move to the country but can't find anything in our 800,000 budget...

            But I do think that the BBC is damned if they do and damned if they don't.

            If they make high brow stuff then they are elitist and accused of making programs that not many people want to watch. If they make low brow programs they are slated for dumbing down and producing things other channels can easily make.

        4. Marvin the Martian

          @MrXavia: Don't forget we get the iPlayer & Radio included in that fee...

          No, do forget that.

          I do not have a licence, as I do not watch any TV as it is broadcast; but I do have the legal right to watch iPlayer (and 4OD, but that's now so unusable that I gave up).

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Big earner

        "Look at Eastenders - why on earth is the BBC doing this?"

        Because if they don't then the Murdoch press say that they're not giving people the lowbrow crap they want. If they do, of course, then they complain that they shouldn't be doing populist things and should only be doing high-brow stuff that is non-commercial. At which point, they ask why non-commercial stuff is being paid for by the tax-payer etc.

        It's been like this for my whole life and it's never going to be anything more than right-wing Adam Smith-style whinging by self-interested nobodies.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          Re: Big earner

          > It's been like this for my whole life and it's never going to be anything more than right-wing Adam Smith-style whinging by self-interested nobodies.

          That is absolutely brilliant.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Big earner

        I was checking out the Play Store, to see what "player" apps are available. I stumbled across the ITV Player app and duly installed it. And then uninstalled it a couple of minutes later when I looked at the utter crap that is available on there. If that is the best ITV can produce, then you are welcome to it.

        Just about every decent comedy of the last 40 years has BBC at the end of it. Likewise quiz programmes, virtually all dramas, wildlife and nature programmes. There is some crap on the Beeb, true, but there is also some brilliant TV.

        If the alternative to the licence fee is adverts every 10 minutes and programmes of the standard broadcast on ITV, 5 and any number of Sky channels, you can keep it and I'll pay my money to the BBC, thanks.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Big earner

      "we have a tradition of good TV sci-if" ...

      OK, let's make a list:


      Stingray/Thunderbirds/Captain Scarlet/UFO (presuming by 'us' you mean Britain).

      About 3 episodes of 'The Tomorrow People'.

      The Flipside of Dominick Hide.

      VERY early Dr Who (Hartnell era, some later but very rare after that).

      A couple of Star-Cops episodes.

      Cold Lazarus.

      Some of the Hitch-Hiker's Guide.

      ermmm ...

      I'm specifically excluding:

      Blake's bloody 7.

      (and everything else).

      The British are as likely to win the world cup as make a decent stab at a science fiction story on TV!

      Whereas the Americans know exactly how to do it and make us look VERY stupid.

      99% of Dr Who (badly written childish fantasy)

      1. Eguro

        Re: Big earner

        Can't argue that Americans are unable to make great sci-fi.

        It seems to me that it's somewhat of a bygone era though. The last great Sci-fi I've seen from America was Firefly, which was sadly cancelled (now why didn't the BBC pick that up!)

        If I am wrong - which I sure as hell might be - then by all means point me to the new interesting and well made. thoroughly consistent sci-fi of America that I've missed!

      2. Gritzwally Philbin

        Re: Big earner

        @PhilW.. Hmm. American sci-fi is good?

        Really? Stick around long enough at it all looks the same. Guys with blazing lasers, hot babes in tight spandex, flaming rockets and a handful of rinse and repeat storylines involving lost explorers, brave adventurers or alien visitors with a hidden, sinister agenda.

        And then there's Dr. Who.. you've got living plastic shop dummies, deadly Christmas trees, Spitfires in outer space, flying sharks, Toclafane, werewolves and the Royals, Weeping Angels.. New New New New New New New New New New York, Cassandra (now THAT was a real stab at the vanity of cosmetic surgery seekers!) Witches.. it is at least COMPLETELY and utterly off its tits and way more interesting.

        (I won't even get into Red Dwarf which rates as some of the funniest comedy - the third and fourth seasons esp. so - I've seen..)

        The hard sci-fi like Star Trek (Of which the only ones worth a shit were ToS, ST:TNG and DS9) just has run it's ground for lack of *unique* ideas because it has to stay 'serious'.. It's also pure boredom at this point so it falls back on the explosions, spandex and all the other shit that makes the 16 Y.O. boys go 'schwing!!'

  6. ukgnome

    Professor Brian Cox would be hosting a show with celebrity guests and members of the public on the science behind Doctor Who.

    I predict he mentions the TOMTIT

  7. Code Monkey

    Auntie: happy birthday Dr Who! We've got you this

    Dr Who: [unwraps] oh, overkill. You shouldn't have. No, really you shouldn't have.

  8. Kubla Cant

    Stairs and manhole covers

    Following the disappointing revelation that daleks actually can climb stairs, the new strategy is to trick them into falling down manholes.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Stairs and manhole covers

      > falling down manholes.

      Didn't they already do that in Shad Thames, a few decades ago?

    2. Super Meerkat

      Re: Stairs and manhole covers

      If they can fly, how can they fall down manholes?

      1. Killraven

        Re: Stairs and manhole covers

        Their "flying" is actually simple hovering, accompanied by their standard propulsion. So with "hover mode" set to X distance above the floor/ground, sliding over a manhole causes them an immediate decrease in elevation.

        You buying that?

  9. Jack Project

    A better picture celebration would have been Sylvester McCoy on water skis jumping a large shark.

  10. lee harvey osmond

    not Bad Wolf...

    ... but Bad Wilf; Bernard Cribbins's character returns, having turned evil, in league with Davros, the Emperor Dalek, The Master, and the Caravan Club.

    Or some other improbable nonsense.

    1. MrT

      How about...

      ...Bernard Cribbins returns at the head of an army of android Wombles who quickly defeat the Daleks and recycle them into a new professional-grade kitchen range for Madame Cholet...

  11. Rob

    The big push

    Ah they really are giving it a big push. They want to change the direction of Doctor Who and get rid of some the slightly, what some folk would call, naff stuff. Hence the big promo.

    Moffitt's in charge now and they need to bring in a new feel, presumably because they have realised that the current fans are a generation that won't last much longer and they need to start picking up the younger generation if they want this franchise to last.

    I'm assuming they will add more action and get a bit darker in their storylines.

    1. Michael Habel

      Re: The big push

      Shame that JNT is no longer with us...

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: The geek in me is compelled to mention...

      I think Moffat's been doing that since Matt Smith became Eleven. There's already a lot of edgy stuff and looks into the Doctor's sordid past.

      1. Rob

        Re: The geek in me is compelled to mention...

        I agree, but the younger generation expect even darker story lines and more action nowadays.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: The geek in me is compelled to mention...

          But he also got flak from the old school at the same time, so there's pressure in both directions.

          It'll be curious to see how things are steered once Peter Capaidi becomes Twelve. After a rash of young Doctors, I have to wonder how an older one will be handled these days.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old who

    Great to hear they are reshowing the first story, I can still remember being excited to read in the Radio Times the BBC were making a sci-fi program. Avidly awaited the first episode as an 8 year old.

    However. For the younger viewers, the anniversary would be incomplete without rebroadcasts of a selection of earlier stories featuring doctors from the pre-Ecclestone era. Anyone know if the BBC are planning this?

    1. Velv

      Re: Old who

      Perhaps they should broadcast *EVERY* episode.

      OK, maybe it's not prime time, but why not three episodes a night during the night - most people can record it to watch. Or every afternoon on BBC4 (i.e. before 7pm).

      Give it back to the nation

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Old who

        Give it back to the nation

        Apart from Sylvester McCoy, him they can keep.

        1. Snow Hill Island

          Re: Old who

          I quite liked Sylvester McCoy as Dr Who and Sophie Aldridge as "Ace". First assistant I actually liked after Adric.

          1. James Hughes 1

            Re: Old who

            Adric? Whiny little toad more like. I was young(ish) when he met his end, and I still thought - thank God for that.

      2. KjetilS

        Re: Old who

        Perhaps they should broadcast *EVERY* episode.

        I think I remember reading somewhere that a few of the earlier episodes are actually lost.

        1. Stephen Blake

          Re: Old who

          Someone at the BBC actually burned the tapes on a bonfire. They were going to destroy the lot, but some were saved at the last minute

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Old who

            burned the tapes on a bonfire.

            Nothing so dramatic. Early video tapes were extremely expensive, and union rules limited the number of times a show could be repeated before a whole new set of repeat fees had to be negotiated, so once the BBC felt that the programmes weren't useful, they wiped the tapes for re-use.

            Because of the cost, it was commonplace to make basic 16mm film copies to send to foreign TV companies who were considering buying the series. Those copies were often black & white even if the original material was colour, and were supposed to be returned but often weren't.

            When, years later, people realised that old programmes were of interest, they started digging around in archives worldwide to see what turned up. There are some fascinating stories about how they managed to recolour old programmes, sometimes by taking NTSC colour off poor US videos, and combining it with the BW film, and even some experiments to recover colour info that was inadvertently recorded on the film due to the way it captured PAL artifacts.

            1. Mr Flibble

              Re: Old who

              Recolouring from NTSC – that was done to a few episodes of one story, “The Dæmons”, at least.

              I doubt that all of the missing episodes will turn up, but one can hope…

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Old who

            Unlikely as the reason for tape recycling was reusage due to cost!

            Correct me if I'm wrong.

        2. Rob

          Re: Old who

          Some episodes have been scattered to the four corners of the globe. When I was working in the industry, one chap who was working on the restoration of the footage said that they found 4 episode reels in a transmission building in the middle of a desert somewhere, hence why some have gone missing permanently.

      3. Mr Flibble

        Re: Old who

        Well… every story for which they actually have all of the audio and either video or replacement animation. Otherwise they'll have to make use of photographs taken during filming…

        As for BBC4, good luck with watching it during the afternoon and not seeing either “programmes start at 7pm” or CBeebies…

      4. DiViDeD

        Re: Old who

        Oi'm afraid they've decided to give it back to the colonies first old lad.

        Down 'ere where the seasons are the wrong way round and they wouldn't know snow if it bit em, UKTV (HD yet!) has been running complete stories a couple of nights a week (so all of 'Robot' in a single evening, for example). At the moment they are at the tail end of the Tom Baker/Sarah Jane Smith/Harry wossname episodes.

        There are few advantages to living so far off the shipping lanes, but right now Dr Who is one of them.

    2. Andrew Moore

      Re: Old who

      They are doing it stateside- one series per Doctor

    3. David 105

      Re: Old who

      Yes, I believe BBC4 is re showing pre Ecclestone episodes

    4. GerryMC

      Re: Old who

      SKY TV in New Zealand have been showing old episodes since January this year - one Doctor per month, except for #8 of course - they filled in with a documentary series. It was usually one storyline per week, starting with "The Unearthly Child", then "The Aztecs" Currently up to Ecclestone

  13. Steve Crook


    There's nothing like the BBC going all self congratulatory to make me want to run in the other direction. Dr Who was good once, briefly, many years ago.

    In recent years there's been too much sonic screwdriver based deus ex machina for my liking. To the extent that I'd not be surprised to find that the Time Lord was actually based in the screwdriver and was remotely piloting the fleshy holding it....

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      Deus ex machina? Nope...

      Actually, the sonic screwdriver doesn't classify as deus ex machina, but rather deus in machina. This is because the "god" is not introduced at the point of crisis from outside the universe, but is in fact an established part of the story mythos - in Dr Who, we already know that the sonic screwdriver can do pretty much anything.

      Deus in machina is the driving force in (eg) the Odyssey and many of the most memorable Greek epics, and in particular their Holywood adaptations, which tended to include scenes from Mount Olympus.

      More modern deus in machina would include early Superman stories, where he'd suddenly have just the right power to defeat the latest threat, or Adam West era Batman's utility belt, which could always br relied on to contain just the right gadget to save his skin.

      Note that James Bond and Knight Rider don't classify as deus in machina, because the previously-unheard-of gadget would be introduced by Q or Devon well in advance of the moment of crisis.

  14. Clockworkseer

    The geek in me is compelled to mention...

    ... that should be 10th, 11th and X Doctors, if you want to go with naming him as an X rather than a specific number... (current bets is 8.5)

    Mines the one that regenerated into a leather jacket.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: The geek in me is compelled to mention...

      My money's on 0, as in Hurt's the Other: the Doctor before he was the Doctor.

      1. admiraljkb

        Re: The geek in me is compelled to mention...

        @charles 9

        Having just read Lungbarrow (hard book to get now), I'd say that the Other wasn't evil, or even close to it like Rassilon and Omega who skated on the other side of the moral line. I think it likely that Hurt is the old McGann, particularly with that poster. The other option was the Valeyard, but I'd pretty much dismissed the possibility of him being the Valeyard after Capaldi was cast as the 12th Doctor. I'm thinking Capaldi should make a excellent darker Doctor leading into the Valeyard story arc.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: The geek in me is compelled to mention...

          Never thought of it in those terms. My thought was that the Other, like Eight during the Great Time War, was probably forced into some bad but necesary things. He couldn't have done them "in the name of the Doctor" because this was before he became the Doctor (and that's why I don't think it's Eight; at least Ten acknowledged what Eight did--regrettably, yes, but it didn't seem like Eight abandoned the title during the Time War and resumed it when becoming Nine). I think of it like ultimate motive: why did the Doctor become (and assume the title of) the Doctor in the first place? It's not as if this has been discussed in significant detail, has it?

  15. Lunatik

    What is it about Doctor Who?

    Grown men of a certain type seem obsessed with Doctor Who, but in the fervour of their reverential wankfest seem to overlook that it's a programme for kiddies.

    No point moaning about plots, story arcs or retconning arbitrary Macguffins, you might as well debate the same things for Tommy Zoom or Scooby Doo.

    Flame away, Whotards...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What it actually is about Doctor Who

      seem to overlook that it's a programme for kiddies

      The complaint is not that it's a kids' program. The complaint is that it's gone from a kids' sci-fi drama set in a universe ruled by cold hard science to a kids' fantasy drama set in a universe ruled by magic, god-like beings and the power of love.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What it actually is about Doctor Who

        in a universe ruled by magic, god-like beings and the power of love.

        We can blame Russell T Davies for that bit, but at least with Moffat in charge there's some hope.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What it actually is about Doctor Who

          "in a universe ruled by magic, god-like beings and the power of love.

          We can blame Russell T Davies for that bit, but at least with Moffat in charge there's some hope."

          You didn't see "Angels take Manhattan", then? Worst...episode...ever. And that includes the Zarbi.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What is it about Doctor Who?

      I take you don't get "The Treacle People" either then?

      Chill a little, and don't fret so much about being a fecking adult...

  16. CmdrX3

    I think I'll give the culture show a miss, apart from having to endure Brian Cox's endless droning monotone voice for god knows how long, it sounds decidedly like some artsy fartsy nonsense they stick on the graveyard slot on BBC2 as time filler.

    1. Franchesca

      But Brian is so CUTE!

    2. jelabarre59

      ST 30th

      *NOTHING* the BBC does for the DW 50th can be anywhere near as bad as the gawd-awful, pretensious bullcrap that was the StarTrek 30th Anniversary "Special". Of course, that was produced at the height of their artsy-fartsy self-important touchy-feely stage, but as soon as I saw KennyG show up to play his typically nerve-grating so-called "music", I turned it off. I mean, really, "Kenny G"???? Just *how* was that at all relevant to the topic at hand? He must have been slotted in by one of the 5 people in the world that believe his playing is any good. And the rest of the show (up until I became completely disgusted with it) was pretty bad as well.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Agree entirely.

    On the whole people like it because they did when they were young. They then watch it as adults and demand it not be "childish".

    Either switch off for a bit and just enjoy, or leave memories in the childhood and don't revisit things like this.

  18. jonathan keith

    Doctor X

    So is John Hurt going to build a creature whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh?

  19. Kris Akabusi

    How about....

    the doctor appears and is immediately arrested because someone has accused him of molesting them back in the 70's. The doctor is locked up under operation Yewtree, with guest appearences from Rolf Harris and whoever else I can't be arsed to lookup.

  20. BenM 29 Bronze badge

    Hmm if they are bringing back Rose, how about bringing back Perri? I am sure there are more than a few fans who would like to see her again... though Google images does a good job of refreshing the memories.

    Mine's the scruffy mac... with the newspaper in the pocket.

    1. admiraljkb

      @BenM 29 - I upticked you just for getting her back onscreen. However - one slight problem - Peri died during Trial of a Time Lord. (yeah they re-wrote it to magically bring her back at the very end in the weirdest way possible by marrying a barbarian king, but she didn't really make it. The Doctor was complicit in her death, which had to be undone)

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Correct. Rose was left alive in Pete's World along with the cloned Ten (which I'm sure most are figuring is what David Tennant will be reprising for the special). Given the clone's circumstances, this would also allow for Tennant not to have to look younger for the special, either (since the cloned Ten was more human than Time Lord and therefore aged).

  21. Black Rat

    Spins the Plot-o-matic wheel...

    If ... Davros was a failed genetic experiment to clone our favourite time-lord it could could fit the Whovian lore.

  22. M Gale

    For some reason, I'm looking at that poster and thinking of the original Mercenaries game.

  23. Naughtyhorse

    So long as his real nemesis stays away

    By which i mean whiney redhead assistants with less talent that a taliban grab a granny night.

    2wice I have walked away from the Dr. and both times due to a ginger assistant.

    The stuff where no one has the balls to fundamentally change the Dr universe is merely irritating <how many times have the daleks et al been finally destroyed for once and for all... til next season>, but langford and tate are Dr Who's true craptonite.

    kill them

    kill them dead

    then kill them again

    1. Richard Wharram

      Re: So long as his real nemesis stays away

      I think you are confusing Mel the assistant with the garish 80s wardrobe she was given. She was actually a well-rounded character who did a great job in the 6th doctor era, although the first season of the 7th she was hampered by terrible scripts.

  24. Andus McCoatover

    Dr. Who has definitely gone downhill.

    Can't remember the last time I had to hide behind the sofah.....

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ee, when I were't lad

    First memory of Dr Who when I was 3 or 4, sometime around the mid 60's, was of an episode set in a ruined city and that involved giant wasps and either field guns or anti aircraft guns. I've no doubt the effects were probably pretty atrocious, but it scared the daylights out of me at the time, as did the Wyren a few years later with my sisters.

    They have to work a bit harder to induce 'the sofa effect' these days.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Ee, when I were't lad

      giant wasps

      The Zarbi. Definitely hide-behind-the-sofa baddies, as were the Cybermen. I've never understood why anyone found the Daleks scary, though. Boltcutter through the raygun & then tip them over, they're about as scary as an upside-down tortoise, even with a sink plunger attached.

    2. The Indomitable Gall

      Re: Ee, when I were't lad

      T' Lad, was he a Yorkshire Timelord? Cos "when I were the lad" wouldn't make any sense. "A lad" yes, "the lad," no.

  26. Jon Smit

    Please remember

    Dr Who is a kids programme. My 8 year old granddaughter loves it and has never once complained about the plot.

    And no - she doesn't watch it from behind the settee.

  27. Inventor of the Marmite Laser

    Only one 'merican SciFi programme was anywhere near good

    and that was Third Rock - and I bet even that had some sizeable input from a brit or two

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