Fifty years ago today the the first ever Doctor Who episode An Unearthly Child premiered on the BBC. Doctor Who executive producer Steven Moffat described it as “one of the very best episodes of Doctor Who ever made”.

“All the ideas come from there,” he said. “The music, the name, the Tardis, the police box bigger on the inside… in terms of brand new ideas that’s a rollercoaster of 25 minutes.”

The Day of the Doctor will be broadcast in more than 90 countries simultaneously today. “This event means it is a worldwide show not simply a British phenomenon,” Moffat told the BBC. “It’s the most ambitious episode we’ve ever done,” said Moffat, admitting he was “nervous” about the special episode finally being seen around the world. “I’m glad we don’t do it every time, but it’s very exciting to do it once. ” He added he hoped fans would be “very happy” with the 75-minute special. “It’s got a big emotional wallop at the end, I think they’ll be cheering.”

 Warning: Spoilers Below!

 What we know so far…

We might see more than three Doctors. John Hurt first appeared in the Series 7.5 finale, The Name of the Doctor, as a mysterious incarnation who “broke the promise”. Steven Moffat assured fans this Doctor would not affect the order of the Doctor’s incarnations, and then revealed him as the “War Doctor” in The Night of the Doctor, which marked the return of Eighth Doctor Paul McGann, showing his death and regeneration into John Hurt’s War Doctor.

David Tennant may be the half-human clone Doctor who lives in a parallel universe with companion Rose Tyler. The Tenth Doctor and Rose will be joining the War Doctor, the Eleventh and current Doctor and his companion Clara. But a few days ago Tom Baker dropped a huge spoiler and revealed he would be in The Day of the Doctor. Perhaps we can expect more of the Doctor’s former incarnations to appear. In The Name of the Doctor Clara was digitally inserted into old footage featuring past Doctors William Hartnell, Colin Baker, Tom Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Jon Pertwee, Patrick Troughton, and Peter Davison.

Joanna Page as Queen Elizabeth, with the Tenth Doctor

Joanna Page as Queen Elizabeth, with the Tenth Doctor

While we said goodbye to  our beloved River Song last season, another of the Doctor’s wives will be making an appearance in The Day of the Doctor. Joanna Page will play Queen Elizabeth I, who was married to Tenth Doctor David Tennant. We first saw Queen Elizabeth and the Tenth Doctor in the episode The Shakespeare Code, when upon seeing the Doctor in the Globe Theatre, she immediately recognised him and ordered her guards to kill him.  The Doctor did not remember meeting her yet, but later told Ood Sigma that he married “Good Queen Bess”.

The Daleks return!

The Daleks return!

The Zygons will be making only their second appearance to date and the Doctor’s arch enemy, the Daleks, will return. One of the latest mini-epsiodes, The Last Day, revealed scenes from the Great Time War. Fans have yet to see the destruction of the Doctor’s home planet, Gallifrey, on-screen. When the show was re-booted in 2005 the Time War had ended and the Ninth Doctor believed he was the last of his kind and haunted by his past. In the Tenth Doctors final story, The End of Time, it was revealed that the Doctor was trying to stop the surviving Timelords, trapped in a time-lock, from destroying the universe. In Series 7.5’s Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS we saw Clara exploring the TARDIS library, where she comes across a large book entitled The History of the Time War. The Night of the Doctor hinted at the destruction the war was wreaking on the entire universe. After eight years we will finally see scenes from the Great Time War.

Whovians await the most anticipated Doctor Who episode in the show’s history. A very happy 50th anniversary to our beloved Doctor. Long may he reign!


About The Author

Olga Hughes is currently pre-occupied with fairy tales, fantasy, misanthropy, medieval history and the long eighteenth century. She has a Bachelor of Fine Art from the Victorian College of the Arts and is currently majoring in Literature and History at Deakin. She has contributed to websites such as History behind Game of Thrones, The Anne Boleyn Files and The Tudor Society.