Saturday, March 30, 2013

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Cast Announced!

The Doctor and his new companion, Clara.
Doctor Who is coming back tonight and I couldn't be more excited. All week when people were wishing me a "Happy Holiday", I was sure they were talking about today - which I have called "Doctor Who Day" - not the high holy day of my religion, Easter Sunday! (I'm pretty sure God will forgive me in the long run.) Whatever my eternal fate turns out to be, I have been rewarded for my Doctor Who fandom this morning with breaking news from BBC America: the all star cast of this year's fiftieth anniversary episode has been announced!

What Is Doctor Who Anyway?

All the regenerations of the Doctor.
For those uninitiated, Doctor Who is a British science fiction television show that first aired on November 23, 1963. While it started out as edutainment, with aspirations of showing children all types of historical cultures and events with a time traveling guide called "the Doctor", after one season, the show found its true stride in a fun and fantastical adventure across time and space battling all types of monsters and evils along the way. The character known as "the Doctor" has lasted so long thanks to an alien ability unique to his race of Time Lords known as regeneration. Regeneration enables the Doctor to "repair" himself after death with one side effect: a brand new body and face - this is just about the most convenient story line for any television wanting a long life that out lives its lead actors (or lead actor's desire to remain in the role!).

In addition to the Doctors, fans also become especially become close to those characters closest to themselves, the Doctor's companions. The companions are usually humans picked up from Earth to travel through time and space with the Doctor in his spaceship called the TARDIS. The T.A.R.D.I.S., which stands for Time and Relative Dimension in Space, looks like an ordinary old fashioned British Police Box on the outside, but is impossibly bigger on the inside (think of the Weasley's tent when they went to the Quidditch World Cup) containing the controls to the ship plus other amenities (I can think of discussion of a pool, multiple bedrooms and a wardrobe off the top of my head).

My Doctors
The 10th Doctor and his companion Rose.
While I was always familiar with various Doctor Who references in my life (British guy in a long scarf and something with a blue phonebox-looking thing), I didn't become a true Whovian (term given to the avid fans of the show) until 2007 when I decided to dive into the Whoverse thanks to illness-induced insomnia paired with my best friend at the time: Netflix. I was hooked from the first episode of the "New Who" run of the series that began in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston as the ninth Doctor. Since then I have watched the Doctor regenerate into David Tennant (the tenth Doctor) and now Matt Smith (the eleventh and current Doctor). I have loved all of my doctors and have been secretly wishing that all of them would find their way into the fiftieth anniversary episode scheduled for this November.

The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Cast

So, this morning, the BBC America website has finally revealed the cast of the episode which is set to begin filming this week. Here's what they had to say:
Ahead of tonight’s premiere, “Doctor Who” revealed some of the all-star cast that will mark the 50th anniversary. David Tennant and Billie Piper will join current Doctor and companion, Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman, while John Hurt (“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” “Alien,” “Harry Potter”) will also co-star.
They're back!!!
I couldn't be more excited. David Tennant was the longest running Doctor, and, therefore, we Whovians have an extreme attachment to him. While I am slightly disappointed that Christopher Eccleston's name is not on this list, this is not too much of a surprise, since the Doctor and Rose (Billie Piper) are the most "realistic" (yes, I said realistic in reference to a crazy wildly out of control scifi show) options for an appearance. I am busy buzzing around different story options in my head, but, needless to say I am excited to see what happens this Novemeber!

Are You A Whovian?

What are your thoughts about this? Are you a Whovian? When did you get hooked? Are there other characters you are hoping to see come back at some point this season, even if not in the fiftieth anniversary special?  


  1. Christopher Eccleston was my first doctor, too. He's still my favorite. I'm really not pleased with the current Doctor at all. I think it is the shift in the way the show seems to be going, less whimsical, more ... hmmmmm commercial. But that might just be me.

    All that being said, I'm also really looking forward to the 50th anniversary special.

  2. Tammy, it's funny you say that, I have been wondering about the raging popularity of DW lately. While I continue to love the show, and to be a part of the insanity that has given its commercial status, I was starting to worry that it is getting too serious, or, as you put it so well, "less whimsical". I've been digging into the Classic Who episodes that are available on NetFlix and they are just plain brilliant. It is my hope, in this anniversary year, that some of the old whimsy is embraced!