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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

50th-anniv Doctor Who episode set to air Nov 23

Doctor Who 50th anniversary

That same BBC News article I mentioned in today’s Doctor Who Thing, about the DVD shipping snafu, also includes this tidbit:

Saturday’s episode of the BBC One show, The Name of the Doctor – written by Moffat – comes ahead of a 50th anniversary 3D special, due to air on 23 November.

This is the first confirmation I’ve seen of the air date, though I confess I haven’t been actively seeking out the information; maybe some fan sites have posted this already.

I’d say I called this, but it’s such an obvious choice to air that episode that it hardly required any great prognosticatory skills. Though if the making-of docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time gets aired later that same night, I may gloat a little.

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  • RogerBW

    I suppose one ought to think about organising a party. Perhaps play one episode from each Doctor as the lead-up to the new one? (Pity it couldn’t be a full story per Doctor, but there wouldn’t be time.)

  • PJK


    I’m not sure that i’d want to see this episode in 3D, since the only way this will work for everybody is if they start handing out the “wonderful” red/green glasses and I can do without those quite frankly.

    Hopefully there will be a 2D version as well. Or some enterprising person can create a 2D version from the 3D one by selecting and stretching one of the two views!

  • RogerBW

    Oh, 3D tv has been declared (by the TV sellers) to be the Next Big Thing.
    But the BBC still has a universal service commitment, so it will still be available in sensible formats.

  • Kathy_A

    I don’t know if the BBC is doing this, but BBCAmerica is showing one new documentary look at each doctor per month (the last Sunday of the month), going all the way through Matt Smith in November, followed by a full episode.
    I was rather disappointed that for Jon Pertwee they decided to show his first ep, instead of what I think might have been his best one, “Inferno.”
    For Tom Baker (whom I actually met at a Chicago DW convention back in 1982!), they showed “The Pyramids of Mars,” a truly excellent ep. I was a bit disappointed that in the documentary, they only mentioned two companions, Sarah Jane and Leela, leaving out Harry (whom I always loved) and both Romanas.
    I’m hoping that for Peter Davison, they spend some time with Teegan, Nyssa, Adric (I’m sure they’ll be talking about his death), and Turlough (I might have disagreed with a lot of what John Nathan-Turner did with the show, but I’ll always thank him for giving us Mark Strickson in a Speedo, albeit with a shirt on top!).

  • The BBC is not doing anything. Perhaps once the current series is over, they’ll at least show some classic episodes.

  • Kathy_A

    When BBCA shows the actual episode, they always have a little tag at the bottom of the screen: “You are watching a classic episode of Doctor Who,” so anyone just channel-surfing will know what the (for Hartnell and Troughton) B&W or just older-style footage is. I forget which eps they showed for the first two–I didn’t watch them all the way through. I’m afraid I just can’t deal with the writing/directing style for their episodes!
    I’m a long-time fan of the show. I started watching back in 1980, as soon as my mom let me stay up past 10 pm on a Sunday night after I graduated from 8th grade. In Chicago, the PBS station showed the stories in full, starting at 11:00 pm and usually lasting until 12:25 am or so for a four-ep story. (Mom said it was up to me if I wanted to stay up that late, just don’t come whining to her the next morning if I’m tired after only 6 hours sleep, which I never did.)
    Tom Baker is “my Doctor,” but I liked a lot of Peter Davison’s eps, and I really liked what I saw Sylvester McCoy doing with the character. Those McCoy eps are ones I’d like to download from Netflix and watch again, actually. I only recently ripped a DVD from one of my few remaining VHS tapes that had “Remembrance of the Daleks,” the 25th anniversary ep, still on it from the first time it was broadcast on PBS. Excellent ep, full of stuff going back to the very first ep, as well as lots of great Ace action (she might be my favorite Classic-Who companion after Sarah Jane, with Tegan a very close third).

  • Paul

    Many of those sellers are Japanese and Korean. We had the whole “3D is the next big thing” a few years ago, and since then the whole idea has flumped as comprehensively as 3D movies did the first time. And we’re talking here about the Japanese TV-viewing audience, not the most critically minded composite entity in the world.

  • I’m throwing a viewing party, and I’m going show an entire story for each Doctor. It is going to be a looooooong party.

  • PJK

    A friend of mine has a 3D capable TV and as far as I know he has only used the 3D option in the few days immediatly after he bought it. So I don’t think it really adds a lot to your viewing experience.

    Since he bought that tv for the 21:9 display panel, 3D wasn’t really his primary concern but a free bonus feature.

    Heck, in the movie theaters we still pick the 2D version over the 3D version when its available because its a much better experience (no glasses (except my own), better brightness levels, no cross talk weirdness which always causes eye strain).

  • I’d throw a party if a had a place to throw a party… :-(

  • Bob

    Kathy, it’s interesting to read your Stateside childhood reminiscences of Dr Who. I never realised it was shown so late at night by PBS. When you started learning more about the show’s history and background, were you surprised by the fact that it was a sort of family tea-time tradition on Saturdays in the UK? I didn’t really care for the McCoy era when it was first shown-he’d been a mime artist on a children’s television programme called ”Vision On” for a few years, so I found him hard to take seriously initially-he was just carrying too much baggage. ”Remembrance of the Daleks”, though, was a cracker, with a very clever and witty script. There’s even an in-joke refernce to ”The Quatermass Experiment”, I seem to remember!

  • Froborr

    It makes me sad, actually, because the one or two movies that did 3D well were astounding and well worth the added price. (How to Train Your Dragon in particular is good in 2D, but blew my socks off in 3D.)
    The problem is that most 3D movies have substituted spectacle for substance and then flubbed the spectacle. Sadly, this seems to mean that the entire technology is being rejected. Admittedly, “hard to use well” is a serious flaw.

  • Froborr

    I can’t speak for Kathy, but I was astounded when I learned that Doctor Who was considered family viewing in Britain. (Which I think I picked up on in high school, most likely somewhere around the time the TV movie aired.) Between the violence (especially in the Davison and C. Baker years!), the glacially slow pacing (by standards of American television of the 80s and 90s, anyway), the lack of any child characters, and the fantastic elements I had assumed it was more or less British Star Trek–something only adult nerds watched. As a young nerd myself, I of course loved it.
    For the record, where I lived PBS showed mostly Tom Baker and the occasional Davison or C. Baker episode. I didn’t know any of the other Doctors existed until a friend loaned me a homemade, recorded off the TV, PAL-to-NTSC conversion of Remembrance of the Daleks when I was 14, and McCoy instantly became my Doctor.

  • Kathy_A

    Different PBS stations around the country had different schedules for the show. In the late ’70s to the late ’80s, WTTW in Chicago had a Brit-Block on Sunday nights, with two half-hour comedies at 10 and 10:30 pm (usually Monty Python or Fawlty Towers at 10, followed by Dave Allen at Large, The Goodies, or The Two Ronnies), and then Doctor Who at 11.

    I was quite surprised to find that DW is considered a kids show in the UK, because in the States, especially Chicago, it really took off as a cult phenomenon among geeky teens and adults–for Pledge Week fundraisers, a PBS mainstay for decades now, WTTW would always play up the DW factor and have fans work the phones in costume (lots of #4 scarves around the studio!), since they seemed to raise a lot of money during DW broadcasts.
    The violence on the show, and the pretty sophisticated humor, especially during the TBaker years, encouraged my thinking of the show as one for adults. When Tegan left the Doctor because of all the death and destruction that trails in his wake, that summed up the show for me, not something you would see on a “kids show” here! (When Nine said, “Just this once, Rose, EVERYBODY lives!!”, it really struck home with me after all of the Classic Who episodes where not many people did.)

  • Bob

    Thanks to Kathy, and Froborr for your responses-it’s always interesting to hear how non-Brits discover Dr Who, and their perceptions of it.

  • Bob

    I should have qualified that, by referring to Classic Who-the New Who already seems to have a quite high profile in the States.

  • Kathy_A

    Yes, New Who is definitely much bigger than it was back in the 1980s! I was at Busch Gardens (a theme park in Tampa, Florida) a few months ago, and passed by a young teenaged girl wearing a t-shirt that said “Bow Ties Are Cool!” I wanted to give her a high-five, or at least say, “But fezzes aren’t,” but she walked by me too fast.

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