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‘Doctor Who’ news summary: Everything we know so far about ‘The Day of the Doctor’

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> Order the 50th anniversary special on DVD on Amazon.

> Order the 50th anniversary special on Blu-ray on Amazon.


Title: ‘The Day of the Doctor’.

Writer: Steven Moffat.

Director: Nick Hurran.

Filming begins: Monday 1 April 2013.

Filming ends: Sunday 5 May 2013.

Air date: Saturday 23 November 2013 at 7.59pm (GMT).

Length: 76 minutes and 44 seconds.

Regular cast: Matt Smith as The Eleventh Doctor, Jenna Coleman as Clara.

Returning cast: David Tennant, Billie Piper as Rose Tyler, Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart.

Guest cast: John Hurt as The War Doctor, Joanna Page as Queen Elizabeth I, Ingrid Oliver as Osgood, Peter De Jersey as Androgar, Ken Bones as The General, Orlando James as Lord Beeson, Marshall Griffin, Lisa Hammond, Jonjo O’Neill as McGillop, Philip Buck as Father, Ankur Sengupta as Arcadian Refugee.

Monsters: Zygons, Daleks.


The latest updates will appear at the top…


» “It is what we can do when pushed – everybody working under extraordinary pressure, and with limited time, doing new, exciting and brilliant things. It has nearly killed us.” (Steven Moffat)

» “‘The Day of the Doctor’ is the first episode where Clara is free of mystery, and we can feel that. She’s matured and grown up – Clara is a teacher now … They’re pals who just like hanging out.” (Jenna Coleman)

» “You can either throw a party within the show, like ‘The Five Doctor’ did, or you can start a big old unique new chapter of the show. A paradigm-shifting episode.” (Steven Moffat)

» “The completist in me… the ‘box set man’ in me wants every box ticked and I wanted every regeneration scene! And we get to see the Paul McGann Doctor regenerate into the John Hurt Doctor [in mini-episode ‘The Night of the Doctor’]!” (Steven Moffat)

» “I think one of the clever things that Steven [Moffat]’s done in writing this script is moving the whole Doctor Who legend forward in quite a dramatic and fundamental way … it also is a kind of seismic shift in the Doctor’s story.” (David Tennant)

» “Looking at [John Hurt’s costume] face to face it didn’t occur to me as a patchwork of previous Doctors at all. It’s a rougher, tougher Doctor. It looks like somehow he’s been through it a bit. We are saying ‘This isn’t a Doctor who’s just appeared, he’s been around, he’s been in this form for a while.’ So one of the notes was make it look as though he’s been knocking around in this incarnation for a bit.” (Steven Moffat)

» “I knew the story we wanted tell and certain things in the kit of parts that we could tell it with. That has to be the priority, otherwise you might as well just have a walk-down, a curtain call… It can’t all be curtain call. Not that I’m saying we don’t have a curtain call!” (Steven Moffat)

» “…I just think ‘God, where’s [Steven Moffat] taking this?’ I don’t know but it feels it’s climbing this huge slope somewhere.” (Matt Smith)

» “[The Doctor will] never, ever forget this one. He’ll never be the same again. It’s one of the very rare occasions when you say the Doctor will actually not be the same again. It will redefine him.” (Steven Moffat)

» “I hope people get a kick out of it and go ‘there’s two of them and they’re both ridiculous!’” (Matt Smith)

» “It was a very, very, very difficult script to start writing, because it had to be epically ambitious. I’ve never written anything quite like it. It was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done.” (Steven Moffat)

» “I think what Steven [Moffat]’s done cleverly with an episode like this – which is a celebration, but it isn’t just that – he’s managed to move the narrative of the character forward in a really epic way.” (Matt Smith)

» “I wanted it to be the show that ensures the next 50 years – it does celebrate the last 50 years, trust me, people seem to worry that I‘m not going to do that.” (Steven Moffat)

» “…I’m not in it. I can say that Peter [Davison] isn’t because I’ve seen him recently. And I can tell you that Sylvester [McCoy] isn’t, and neither is Paul [McGann]. So none of us have been deemed worthy of inclusion in a programme that celebrates 50 years of a British television programme…” (Colin Baker)

» “In 2013, something terrible is awakening in London’s National Gallery; in 1562, a murderous plot is afoot in Elizabethan England; and somewhere in space an ancient battle reaches its devastating conclusion. All of reality is at stake as the Doctor’s own dangerous past comes back to haunt him.” (official BBC synopsis)

» “A big episode is not the one where you say ‘it’s big’. A big episode can be anything that moves the plot along. My main thing was that as much as we celebrate the past, we can change the narrative. You can’t tell a story by being frightened about it.” (Steven Moffat)

» “…in a way it was fun to bring back Doctor Who‘s biggest monster success ever, the Daleks, and then go to maybe the smallest monster success [the Zygons] – they were only in it once but everyone remembers them – great monsters, great outfits… and they have these nice whispery voices…” (Steven Moffat)

» “I think having the meeting of Doctors sort of sprinkles a bit of fairy dust on it, you know? Even for the crew and everyone, just seeing the costumes next to each other, seeing the Converse and the bow tie… it’s kind of cool.” (Matt Smith)

» “[I was] a bit gutted [not to be asked], but [the older Doctors] are not in it. There’s all kinds of rumours… doing the rounds. One gets tired of trying to refute things on Twitter and the like, but take it from me – I’m not in it. The thing about Doctor Who is… if not now, then maybe some other time. That’s the beauty of it – we can always come back.” (Paul McGann)

» “Going round and round in circles on it I just thought ‘What about a Doctor that he never talks about?’ And what if it is a Doctor who’s done something terrible, who’s much deadlier and more serious, who represents that thing that is the undertow in both David and Matt. You know there’s a terrible old man inside them. Well, here he is, facing the children he becomes, as it were.” (Steven Moffat)

» “[Matt Smith and David Tennant are] not broody, upset Doctors – it’s more ‘There’s two of us! Brilliant!’ But that’s mostly in the playing, because they were having such a good time together that they brought that out. They get giggly with each other. It is, by lovely accident, a tremendous double-act.” (Steven Moffat)

» “We’ve got to set the Doctor off in a brand new direction. It’s chapter two of his life. Now something happens to him that changes the way he thinks and the way he will adventure from now on … This is where he finds his mission, he finds his destiny.” (Steven Moffat)

» “David [Tennant] is a cheeky, sexy, genuinely cool Doctor, up against a Doctor who thinks he’s sexy and cool but is woefully wrong on that subject! And that’s just naturally funny.” (Steven Moffat)

» “I had an initial contact with Chris [Eccleston] and, in a very amiable and gentlemanly way, he didn’t feel that he could come back…” (Steven Moffat)

» “You don’t expect three weeks after giving birth for them to phone and say ‘Will you play Elizabeth I?’ I said ‘Yes, OK, but [my daughter]’s coming with me, and I think they knew not to mess with me, I was like a lioness.” (Joanna Page)

» “It’s a hugely important story to the Doctor. That was my mission statement. Very, very rarely in Doctor Who does a story matter to him very much at all. If you’re going to celebrate Doctor Who, you’re celebrating the Doctor – well, why not tell his story? What’s it like for him? What’s it like being him, what defines him, what defines what he is? How do you make that might moment in his life? What would be the Doctor’s most important day, what would be the show that would change him as a person for ever, alter the course of his life? That’s what’s big enough to do for the 50th, rather than just a parade of the greatest hits. …this is the adventure that he really remembers, and thinks, ‘That was the day everything changed.'” (Steven Moffat)

» “I’m just looking forward to the fans being able to finally see it, because there is relentless questioning about what is going to happen and I can’t say anything. It will be nice to be rid of the burden of that enormous secret. It’s like a gift to the fans really so all in all I think it’s pretty exciting.” (Billie Piper)

» “I’m not in it, just to put that out there.” (Karen Gillan)

» The special will be broadcast simultaneously across six continents and at least 75 countries at the same time as the UK broadcast on BBC One. (BBC Worldwide)

» “Of course you have to remember that the Doctors are all one person, so I’m not outside of that … I was really impressed when I did it. Both the previous doctors – Matt Smith and David Tennant – boy, are they good at it. Whoa-wee! They are so quick … All that fake scientific nonsense. Terribly difficult to learn.” (John Hurt)

» “There were some big, big explosions. The biggest explosions I’ve ever seen on Doctor Who when they were shooting the bits with the Daleks. And I suddenly got a feeling of what it might be like to be in a warzone! It was like being in a huge movie. There was rubble everywhere!” (Nicholas Briggs)

» “…the 50th leaves the whole show going in a very different direction. It’s kind of a transformational episode for the show.” (Jenna Coleman)

» “…working with Matt [Smith] proved to be a real joy. I hope I’m speaking for him when I say we really enjoyed bouncing of each other and playing sort of two aspects of the same character. It was everything that I hoped it might be and nothing that I feared it could be.” (David Tennant)

» “I’ve lied my arse off for months [to make sure some things are kept under wraps] – you know nothing, so don’t make presumptions.” (Steven Moffat)

» “The Doctor once said that you can judge a man by the quality of his enemies, so it’s fitting that for this very special episode, he should facing the greatest enemies of all – [the Daleks].” (Steven Moffat)

» “I think you could call it movie-length, yeah. I mean, I’m saying that with a slight hint of vagueness because I don’t know the finished running time. It’s certainly well over an hour.” (Steven Moffat)

» “[Matt Smith and David Tennant are] quite a fun pairing, I would say. There’s a bit of the normal joshing of each other but they’re both such enthusiastic Doctors. While they might be sort of competing slightly, they’re both standing there saying, “Oh god, it’s so cool, there’s two of me!” So, it’s very different. I think the other one that worked brilliantly was Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton. This is very different from that but it’s a sublime double act.” (Steven Moffat)

» “We had to do a scene with the zygons outside, so there was no point in pretending they weren’t there. We kept very close to the original design. It’s a cracking monster.” (Steven Moffat)

» “There was a gap between Paul McGann playing the Doctor and Christopher Eccleston, when we didn’t see a regeneration, and John Hurt will fit into that gap. He is a past Doctor, not a future Doctor.” (costume designer Howard Burden)

» “We had three different Doctors in here and we shot on 3D as well… Yeah, three different Doctors. John Hurt, and David Tennant was back and Matt [Smith]. Three different Doctors playing against each other.” (Jenna Coleman)

» “…it’s absolutely bloody brilliant! I think it’s an astonishing script. Steven Moffat is an outrageously good writer and as always with Doctor Who, it’s philosophical, it’s deep, it’s an adventure story and if you’re a kid, you’re going to be taken on an extraordinary ride. It raises all sorts of interesting questions for anyone who wants to go deeper with it. It’s funny and then on a sixpence it breaks your heart. It’s just wonderful!” (Jemma Redgrave)

» “It was so much fun getting to act with the different Doctors but it was quite scary and intimidating at first. [John Hurt] is so much fun. He’s got the most amazing stories, he’s just fantastic. And you see him on set and he’s got that amazing voice and he doesn’t do anything – he just starts saying the lines and you’re like, ‘Oh my god, you are the best actor I’ve ever seen.'” (Joanna Page)

» “People keep asking how long the anniversary special is, and it’s a fair question. I don’t actually know, because the answer is, it’s as long as it needs to be. The script is quite long though. I’m looking at it now. Ooh, that’s quite long.” (Steven Moffat)

» “All I’ve ever revealed about what we’re doing in Doctor Who is anything we filmed outside. I notice people are making up stuff about who and what is or is not in that special, you’re just going to have to wait ’til November to find out the truth.” (Steven Moffat)

» “I assure you I haven’t made the 50th the second part of a story, that would be insane.” (Steven Moffat)

» “It’s brilliant! Steven Moffat has written the most extraordinary script. It is everything. It has the adventure that children will get caught up in, it’s philosophical, it’s deep, it’s funny, it’s heart-breaking… It’s got an extraordinary cast.” (Jemma Redgrave)

» “It’s a gift, that show. It’s very much for the fans and you really feel that on this particular episode.” (Billie Piper)

» John Hurt is playing “part of the Doctor” in a “kind of trinity” which includes David Tennant. (John Hurt)

» “Although David Tennant has returned to his role of the Tenth Doctor, the other old Doctors will not be taking part.” (Doctor Who Magazine)

» “No, there’s never been a discussion about [an appearance from Gwen]. No. But I’m sure [the special will] be fantastic” (Eve Myles)

» “The Zygons are in there with all the others – particularly the Daleks and the Cybermen.” (Zygons creator Robert Banks Stewart)

» “It’s my feeling [and] this is just a personal thing, once they resolve Chris Eccleston’s participation or non-participation either way, then they’re free to [figure out other past Doctors returning]… Being actors anyway, they’ll call us on the Friday and say, ‘You’re starting on a Monday’.” (Paul McGann)

» “I am getting to work with David Tennant, who I have a lot of time for. I’m sworn to secrecy about my character and my scenes … as soon as they asked me, I knew what my answer would be.” (John Hurt)

» “I land back in the UK on Friday [29 March] and we start shooting on Monday [1 April].” (Jenna-Louise Coleman)

» “I will not be involved in the 50th Anniversary episode of Doctor Who.” (John Barrowman)

» “What [Steven Moffat’s] written is just spellbinding. It’s one of the best [episodes] ever, ever, ever. There are parts of it in mad 3D. But what [Moffat’s] done with the idea is really clever, it’s not just throwing things at the screen. [Moffat’s] been wanting to write this script for ever and he’s really done it justice. There are elements to it which are different from normal episodes. When you combine all the elements that are different it’s not just an episode of Doctor Who, it’s something else, something bigger and more exciting.” (Matt Smith)

» “Much as we’d love to tell you everything… I read the script and I clapped at the end. I think it’s hilarious, and I think it’s epic, and I think it’s vast, and I’m telling you nothing more! But you will not be disappointed.” (Matt Smith)

» Filming has been delayed slightly and will now begin in April. (The Mirror)

» “You’ll laugh more than you’ll cry.” (Matt Smith)

» “No. Nothing. Niet. Zilch. The other day I was with Tom Baker, Peter, and Colin – the 20th century Who-ers, and Tom asked ‘Well, little man, have you heard anything?’ and I told him ‘No, I haven’t heard anything.’ So none of us have heard anything.” (Sylvester McCoy)

» “Marcus Wilson and I spend most of our time saying to one another: ‘Oh, good God, Steven Moffat’s imagination is AMBITIOUS.’ ‘Wow, we’ve got a lot of work to do.’ ‘And how exactly are we going to do that?’ ‘And that?’ ‘And, oooh, that?!’ But more succinctly, and in just four words: ‘It. Will. Be. Big.’” (Caro Skinner)

» Filmings begins on Monday 18 March. (Doctor Who Magazine)

» “I don’t think [the 50th anniversary special] will involve the older Doctors, certainly in their present form, because of course we’re meant to look exactly as we did when we left the TARDIS and none of us really do. I think we’ll be featured somewhere but I should think it’s probably footage lifted from older Doctor stories. I don’t know. I’ve got a meeting with the head of BBC Wales when I get back to go through various things the BBC have got planned. I don’t think she’s going to offer me a part in it… I might be wrong.” (Peter Davison)

» “Would I play Martha Jones again? Yes – under the right circumstances ie character development opportunity.” (Freema Agyeman)

» “…I’m very loyal to Doctor Who – I saw Steven Moffat recently and I think he’s brilliant. He’s one of those people that if he ever asked me to do anything, I’d do it.” (Arthur Darvill)

» “None of us knows yet what’s going on, just told to keep the days free. Mmmmmmmmm intriguing.” (Louise Jameson)

» “[I’m] beginning to give up hope that anything’s going to happen.” (David Tennant)

» “[We’ve got] a lot of different things going on. Don’t believe the nonsense about one 60-minute film, that is complete nonsense. We’ve got a lot of things coming up for that. I think [filming in 3D] poses every kind of logistical problem! It’s a proper old headache. But wouldn’t it be kind of awful if some other show was the first one to be 3D? It has to Doctor Who, hasn’t it?” (Steven Moffat)

» The episode will be directed by Nick Hurran, who previously directed ‘The Girl Who Waited’, ‘The God Complex’, ‘Asylum of the Daleks’, ‘The Angels Take Manhattan’. (Nick Hurran)

» “When it comes to the end of the year, Doctor Who fans will look back at 2013 as the best year to be a fan EVER. Guaranteed.” (Tom Spilsbury, editor of Doctor Who Magazine)

» “Doctor Who is an international brand, and this year marks its 50th anniversary. That is a really exciting moment for the BBC at home and abroad … it will be an absolutely enormous, very, very ambitious event. We hope to unite all the fans across the world.” (Ben Stephenson)

» “It’s about time. Technology has finally caught up with Doctor Who and your television is now bigger on the inside. A whole new dimension of adventure for the Doctor to explore.” (Steven Moffat)

» “We will be doing a big Doctor Who special in 3D which is very exciting and feels very innovative. We will be doing it on cinema screens as well.” (Ben Stephenson)

» “You can’t do this job if you’re nervous all the time. So, seriously, I’m mostly excited, a little bit nervous and aware of trying not to let people down … let’s just wait and get our next eight episodes out of the way before we start talking about it.” (Steven Moffat)

» “Show boss Steven Moffat is close to completing a script which will see the current Doctor, Matt Smith, needing the assistance of ALL his police box predecessors. The half-century special … will use studio trickery to resurrect the first three Doctors – William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee – in brief flashback scenes.” (Birmingham Mail)

» “I’d really jump at the chance to [return as Jackson Lake].” (David Morrissey)

» “I’m doing two things for the 50th but nothing to do with being in the drama. I got misquoted hideously once saying that there are some rumblings going on about being involved in the 50th in terms of the drama. It’s not.” (Freema Agyeman)

» “It’s different for me now because I’m writing the 50th right now; that’s my current project. It’s half exciting and it’s half absolutely terrifying because I know how excited people are and I feel tremendous pressure not to let them down. Normally on Doctor Who I think that no one episode can be everything to everybody. You write one or someone else writes one and you think ‘not everyone is going to like it.’ You can’t please everybody all the time and it’s a mistake in a way to try. But you don’t want anybody to feel let down by a big anniversary episode. So that’s very hard. That’s the one when you want to turn to the entire audience and say ‘this one is for you.’” (Steven Moffat)

» “No one has spoken to [me], I know nothing! I don’t know anything!” (David Tennant)

» “I’ve not been asked [to return]. I think Matt Smith said something in passing or in jest like, ‘That would be nice’, and it became something, but no.” (Billie Piper)

» “Steven [Moffat] texted me saying this will be something we will talk about in our dotage and he is right, we will.” (Jenna-Louise Coleman)

» “[The plans] are immense, they are considerable. They will be full of tremendous surprises. But they wouldn’t be surprises if I accidentally said them now, would they? No, we’re not telling you. But I promise you, we’re going to take over television. Trust me.” (Steven Moffat)

» “I would love to if they ask me and I know that [Arrow exec Andrew Kreisberg] has already said to me if they want me in the 50th anniversary, he will give me the time off from Arrow to do it. Personally, as a fan of the show, I would be disappointed if Captain Jack was not involved. (John Barrowman)

» The special begins filming in April 2013 and is a “love letter to fans.” (Marcus Wilson)

» “We’ve got [the] 50th anniversary coming up in November 2013, and one assumes there’ll be another Christmas special after that, and I’d hope to be part of it. I take each year as it comes. All good things come to an end, but my mum is aghast at the thought of me ever not being the Doctor. The show is the star and will continue without me. I’m committed to it next year and will sit down with Steven Moffat and see where we go from there. I’ve no immediate plans to leave. I’m around for a whole year and that’s a long time.” (Matt Smith)

» “Drama on BBC One takes another big leap in 2013 in the shape of some major event dramas, including … the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special.” (Controller of BBC One, Danny Cohen)

» “Would I like to be involved? If I told you that I’d have to shoot you.” (Christopher Eccleston)

» “No [I haven’t been asked to return for the 50th anniversary]. As far I know, neither of any of my erstwhile colleagues have been asked either.” (Colin Baker)

» “We’re going to make it the biggest year of the show ever, on a global scale hopefully. We’ll make a 50th anniversary episode special, and then they’ll be all sorts of live events I would’ve thought that surround that.” (Matt Smith)

» “There was a rumour online that said I’m not able to do it because of my schedule. But, actually, I haven’t been asked. So it’s nothing to do with my schedule. And to be honest with you — I have time. I’ve always said, if they come to me and ask me to do Doctor Who or Torchwood ever again, I would do it at the drop of a hat.” (John Barrowman)

» “I think I’d be like the ghost at the feast, what would I do – turn up and make the tea? I have asked current boss Steven Moffat not to tell me what they are planning.” (Russell T Davies)

» “I imagine there will be a script knocking around [for the 50th anniversary special] about Christmas [time] and there we will develop further and shoot it next spring [2013].” (Matt Smith)

» “It won’t just be a televised event; I think it will be a live event. The way it’s transmitted on TV will hopefully be an inventive thing – something different.” (Matt Smith)

» “We want to make [the anniversary] as big and bold and as brilliant as we can because, we hope, it can be one of the monumental bits of TV history. But I doubt there’ll be a regeneration. Steven [Moffat] will tease you all right to the end. Because that’s what he does to me.” (Matt Smith)

» “If I wanted a companion from the past [to return for the anniversary] I would say Rose because I am good friends with Billie [Piper].” (Matt Smith)

» “The BBC is taking it very seriously … there’ll be a lot of Doctor Who over the course of the year: live events, TV stuff, various programmes that will cover all aspects of it. It’s certainly our intention to do justice to the scale of it.” (Caro Skinner)

» “I think it will be one of the biggest events that we’ve ever done – I think it has to be.” (Matt Smith)

» “We’ve got an awful lot of stuff to announce before [the 50th anniversary]. We don’t aim to have one event, over a year in the future – we want to make Doctor Who an event every single week. And we’re going to pull that off, so… patience!” (Steven Moffat)

» “I cannot be drawn on anything. Who knows what will happen next year? I’m sure there are lots of plans being discussed… I am not confirming nor denying anything.” (David Tennant)

» “[Steven Moffat’s first anniversary episode is] as brilliant and as mental as you’d expect from Steven.” (Matt Smith)

» “Whether [Arthur Darvill and I] are involved, we’ll have to wait and see.” (Karen Gillan)

» “I think to get David [Tennant] and Chris [Eccleston] back would be amazing.” (Matt Smith)

» “[A multi-Doctor story is] not going to happen. They don’t need us – the programme is doing extremely well without us.” (Colin Baker)

» “I will absolutely guarantee that you’re not going to feel disappointed or short-changed. It will be a quite remarkable time for Doctor Who.” (Steven Moffat)

» “[The 50th anniversary] is going to be a big hark back to everything that’s gone before, there’s going to be lots of nostalgia for Doctor Who fans over the next year or two years.” (Tom MacRae)

» “[Steven Moffat] has an all-encompassing vision for a long way into the future.” (Caroline Skinner)

» “I think if they ask me nicely or I can see what they want me to do, I’d consider it. I think the fans have been so good to me, they’d expect me to at least make an appearance.” (Tom Baker)

» “I’d love to do [Doctor Who] again, but that’s not up to me, is it? …I’m often asked, ‘If they get the five Doctors together, would you do it?’ and of course, I’d do it. They’ve just got to ring me up!” (Paul McGann)

» “I know it’s imminent but no, there’s been no invites to or sounding out taking place but maybe it will happen, we don’t know.” (Paul McGann)

» “I’m sure if I was gonna be there, I’d know about it already. If they called me, then I’m sure there’d be a conversation, but I’m not calling them or chasing it.” (Noel Clarke)


What are your hopes for the 50th anniversary special? Let us know below…