49 years, 11 months, and something-odd days ago, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright followed their student Susan Foreman home from school, and stepped into a blue police box owned by a madman. Today, that madman is beloved around the world, as people of all ages watch the Doctor on his adventures.
As Doctor Who is nearing its 50th anniversary, Whovians are eagerly awaiting the special episode that will mark the occasion. As with previous specials, such as “The Three Doctors” and “The Five Doctors,” this will feature previous Doctors along with the current one. Matt Smith plays the 11th regeneration of the Doctor, while David Tennant makes a long-awaited return as the tenth, and they’re joined by John Hurt as the… well, we’re not entirely sure where he fits into the continuity yet.
There’s been a lot of buzz over John Hurt’s character. He was credited as the Doctor when he appeared in the latest season finale, although the Eleventh Doctor describes him as the one who broke the promise of the name, and whose actions were not in the name of the Doctor. The current word is that he’s a regeneration somewhere between Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor and Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor. As both of them had little screen time (Eight appeared in the movie only, though McGann continued to act as him in the drama CDs, while Nine only lasted one season), but plenty of offscreen adventures, there is plenty of unaccounted time between regenerations.
Of course, it was also somewhere between Eight and Nine, that the Time War happened. Thus, the common theory is that it was John Hurt’s Doctor that fought in the Time War, which led to the genocide of the Time Lords and destruction of Gallifrey at his hands. That would certainly explain why his actions would break the promise of the name “The Doctor,” because I’m pretty sure genocide goes against the Hippocratic Oath.
Still, we’re going to get answers soon enough. The teaser trailer for the 50th anniversary, “Day of the Doctor” has been released, giving us a few sweet minutes of what’s to come. The trailer can be seen on io9 here, which is in turn sharing it from Buzzfeed.
There’s a lot to take in from this trailer, and it comes so fast that it requires multiple viewings to enjoy it all. Within the first five seconds, we see a fleet of flying saucers (and it’s pretty clear who they belong to), a glimpse of what may be Gallifrey, and a science fiction battlefield that could very well be our first look at the Time War. Then, we hear a voice that sent shivers down the spines of children watching the show since the 60’s: “Exterminate! Exterminate!”
But the chaos of the Time War is soon replaced by elation. As John Hurt says “I’m looking for the Doctor,” and we get our first look at Eleven and Ten together. David Tennant seems to be speaking to everyone when he says “Well, you’ve come to the right place.”
The rest of the trailer is filled with glimpses of alien creatures, explosions, traveling through space, and an awful lot of running.
Oh, and the fez. I can’t forget to mention the fez.
Rose Tyler, played by Billie Piper, is also returning along with the 10th Doctor. There’s something different about her… perhaps it’s the way her eyes glow, or the way she says “the moment is coming,” but what exactly she’s talking about has yet to be seen. Her return has led to some theories that the 10th Doctor we see is not the usual Doctor, but the part-human Doctor that was created thanks to Donna during “Journey’s End.” Although considering we also see Queen Elizabeth (who was apparently stood up by the Doctor and she swore revenge on him), it seems more likely this is the original Ten.
We also get John Hurt, who is standing over a big glowing red gem set on an altar of some kind. That’s usually a bad sign, but what exactly it does isn’t entirely clear. Of course, that’s to be expected, since we can’t have spoilers.
All we can really do at the moment is guess and look for clues, but if I know fans on the Internet, there will be no lack of people scouring every frame for anything we can gleam, which is fine by me.
“Day of the Doctor” will air on television and in select theaters on November 23rd. When it does air, you can expect G33k-HQ to be there to see it.