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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

‘Doctor Who’ thing of the day: 50th anniversary ideas, please…

In 2013, Doctor Who will celebrate its 50th anniversary. That may be a mere blip for a 900-plus-year-old Time Lord, but it’s a long time for us mere humans. And you know how we love to commemorate anniversaries. And this is a big one: half a century.

Why, that’s even longer than Star Trek!

Ya gotta know that Steven Moffat — and the BBC — are cooking up something major to honor this milestone. But what should it be?

It’s a sure bet that whatever we get, it won’t be like the 10th anniversary, which was marked in 1973 by a special episode that reunited the first two Doctors, William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton, with the then-current Doctor, Jon Pertwee, in “The Three Doctors.” (Hartnell, who was very ill, appeared only briefly.) And so it probably won’t be like the 20th anniversary tribute, either: 1983’s “The Five Doctors” brought back Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee, plus Richard Hurndall as the First Doctor (Hartnell had long since died), and Tom Baker (but only in clips from the never-completed story “Shada”) in an adventure with the then-current Doctor, Peter Davison.

Apart from the relative cheesiness and plot shenanigans required to get different reincarnations of the same character together in the same story, there’s also the matter of Pertwee, Troughton, and Hurndall now being dead themselves. I suppose there’s an opportunity to bring together Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, and Matt Smith, but that kinda doesn’t feel like Moffat’s thing. I have a strong feeling that we’re not gonna see “The Eleven Doctors.”

So what should we see?

I think it might be nice, as a nod to the original conception of the show as educational, to do a purely historical story: one with no SF elements whatsoever. That also would be contrary to what Moffat seems to want to do with the show, but it would really stand out against the background of truly gonzo SF stories we’ve been getting. A story set in 1963 that highlighted how the world has changed in half a century could be really interesting…

What ideas do you have to honor such a major anniversary?

(If you stumble across a cool Doctor Who thing, feel free to email me with a link.)



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