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Doctor Who Magazine has confirmed what has been widely speculated: David Tennant and Matt Smith are the only Doctors in the 50th Anniversary episode of Doctor Who.

Despite fan opinion running the exact opposite direction, the only Doctors to be represented in the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who will be the 10th and 11th Doctors played respectively by David Tennant and Matt Smith.

Chris Eccleston, the 9th Doctor, was offered to take part, but declined for reasons unknown. The U.K. publication The Mirror confirmed with Eccleston’s publicist that “Chris met with Steven Moffat a couple of times to talk about Steven’s plans for the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary episode. After careful thought, Chris decided not to be in the episode. He wishes the team all the best.” The BBC later confirmed the same information.

Doctor Who Magazine’s latest issue, which is currently available in the U.K. but has not yet been received by American subscribers, states:

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

This information means that the following actors from the classic era of Doctor Who have purposely been excluded from the 50th anniversary episode of the longest running sci-fi show in television history: Tom Baker, the 4th Doctor, age 79; Peter Davison, the 5th Doctor, age 62; Colin Baker, the 6th Doctor, age 69; Sylvester McCoy, the 7th Doctor, age 69; and Paul McGann, the 8th Doctor, age 53. Should the show make it to its 75th anniversary, life expectancy being what it is, only McGann is likely to see it.

Some fans have speculated that this information is merely a rouse by the BBC and showrunner Steven Moffat. They believe that the remaining, living Doctors will actually take part. This seems unlikely given that whereas Moffat has been prone to cryptic statements on Twitter or in interviews, flat-out denial in the officially sanctioned magazine and then a reversal is not quite his style.

Fans are well aware that the classic Doctors do look older than when they last saw them in their roles. For many, the hope wasn’t so much that those Doctors would fully reprise their original roles, but that these Doctors could lend their vocal talents, or perhaps have a cameo as an alien. Especially in the U.K., there are parents and grandparents who fondly remember Tom Baker’s unprecedented six-year run as the Doctor and attribute the show’s success largely to his popularity. Many wondered if he might just be seen in the background wearing his iconic scarf one more time.

In the past, both Matt Smith and David Tennant have expressed their admiration for the previous Doctors. Smith has even stated that he would have wanted the other Doctors back. At present, both are decidedly mum on this issue.

Do you agree or disagree with only having reboot era Doctors in teh 50th anniversary episode?

  • http://twitter.com/Dillon_Mays Dillon Mays

    :( This is quite sad. That would have made the ultimate Anniversary if they got all of them back.

  • http://twitter.com/MaireadNguyen Mairead Nguyen

    Wasn’t there something about David Bradley playing the first Doctor for the special?

    • http://ravenclaw1991.tumblr.com/ ravenclaw1991

      That’s for the documdrama Mark Gatiss wrote.. ‘An Adventure in Time and Space.’

  • http://ravenclaw1991.tumblr.com/ ravenclaw1991

    This honestly disappoints me. They should’ve at least asked Paul McGann.

    • http://www.youtube.com/mapthestars Mapthestars

      Have you seen the news about the filming today at the scrap yard that the first episode opened up at? They were filming modern day (not 1963) but shows even thought there may be no past doctors there will still be throw backs to the past. there’s also speculation the doctor’s first companion Ian may make an appearance.

      • http://ravenclaw1991.tumblr.com/ ravenclaw1991

        Definitely. I think I made some odd sounds when I saw the photos this morning! Yeah, the sign in one of them says “Chairman of the Governors: I. Chesterton” so hopefully we could see Ian.

        I saw someone on another site saying something about how it could have all the Doctor’s but indirectly, like we never see then, but Ten and Eleven team up to save previous incarnations but we always miss them. It would be interesting if executed properly.

        • http://www.youtube.com/mapthestars Mapthestars

          Haha, yeah I saw that same comment and thought it was interesting but unlikely. I think Ian may have some role because he has that famous line about the doctor in the first episode which is: “Perhaps if we knew his name, we might have a clue to all this.” And I feel like the 50th will still focus very much on the last events in this series finale coming up.

      • BowtiesAreCool

        The Sarah Jane Adventures claims Ian and Barbara to have not aged since the 60s, the canonocity of that statement might be questionable, but it’s the most we’ve heard of Ian in the new Whoniverse. To bring in a greatly aged Ian would contradict it.

        • http://www.youtube.com/mapthestars Mapthestars

          I never heard of this before… Not sure if they’ll stick to the canon of SJA. I mean, they said the doctor can regenerate 507 times but I still don’t place it in Who canon. guess that I’m saying if a old Ian showed I won’t have a problem with it.

          • LilyLuna

            Well the regeneration thing, rule 1 the doctor lies (and the way he said it was rather jokingly). But I’m with you, I wouldn’t have a problem with them ignoring the SJA cannon to bring Ian back, but I have a feeling if they don’t, the one-liner from SJA will be their excuse.

          • http://www.youtube.com/mapthestars Mapthestars

            And I guess if they wanted to stick to the SJA canon they could just steal the actor that Mark Gatiss got on his Doctor Who biopic that’ll be coming out later this year.

  • Amanda

    I’m okay with it. I think it couldn’t have been done organically with the other Doctors and the aging that the actors have done.

    That being said, I’m still disappointed that they didn’t maybe do cameos, and I’m still heartbroken that Captain Jack won’t return.

    • Lucas Mass

      But what about the 8th doctor, he looks exactly the same now as he did back then. He’s only like 5 years older than Eccleston. Paul McGann started playing the doctor when he was younger than when Eccleston started.

  • http://twitter.com/Red_Fiasco Cris

    I… dunno. A part of me kind of hopes Tennant won’t play the Tenth Doctor anywhere near the Eleventh? Because I mean, we’re meant to have seen Ten’s life already, and we obviously didn’t see Matt Smith or the Anniversary way back when. And that, to me, suggests that it might have another of those easy, ‘everyone forgot’/’it was all a dream’ endings that don’t mean anything in the long run.

    • lego5ker

      what we see on screen does not equal out to everything a doctor does. there’s even many referneces of the 10 going to do things and we the viewer never saw it, there same goes for all the doctors in the past.

    • http://ravenclaw1991.tumblr.com/ ravenclaw1991

      You can’t really use that as an excuse. There are a lot of adventures Ten had that we never saw. Look at ‘The Three Doctors,’ ‘The Five Doctors,’ and The Two Doctors.’ So this won’t be the first multi-Doctor story.

    • guest

      Frankly, with only Tennant coming back I hope he doesn’t play the Doctor, but the part human clone that went with Rose to the parallel dimension. Quite apart from the hilarity of getting to see Rose react to the new regeneration, it is my personal opinion that anything that plays the villain in the fiftieth anniversary has to be at least as big and reality threatening as the end of series 4, and the barriers between dimensions could thus come down again.

    • Steven Robert Gill

      I agree to be honest, but, I suppose we don’t know how long the 10th doctor was arsing about in the tardis before the end of time, he could’ve been traveling around for years before he finally answered ood sigmas call. But, meeting his next incarnation during those travels is a pretty big detail to leave out when he was telling ood sigma what he’d been up to.

      If 10 & 11 meet during 10′s time with ‘good queen bess’, the fact that he actually mentions that encounter to ood sigma, makes it all the more weird that he’d leave out the fact that he also met his future self during that excursion.

      ”Well, I didn’t exactly come straight here. Had a bit of fun, y’know,
      travelled about, did this and that. Got into trouble, you know me. It
      was brilliant. I saw the Phosphorous Carousel of the Great Magellan
      Gestadt. Saved a planet from the Red Carnivorous Maw. Named a galaxy
      Alison. Got married. That was a mistake. Good Queen Bess, and let me
      tell you, her nickname is no longer, Oh yeah, & I forgot to mention, I met my future self by the way, strange hair, looks like a ten year old boy……………think me, but much more annoying”

  • Gary65

    This makes sense. The 1st, 2nd & 3rd Doctors are dead. What kind of story could they do that would selectively weave in past Doctors? It would look a tad ridiculous to have 7 Doctors running around and the other 4 just glossed over.

    • http://www.hypable.com/author/lauracristiano/ LauraBC

      I could see that but I think a cameo is in order. For example (not that Lost in Space was a great movie) the Lost in Space movie had original cast members in cameo roles as other people. The time gap is roughly the same time gap we are talking about here.

      • Gary65

        True enough but my question is this: Is it the actors or the characters that fans want to see? For the majority of people, I’d say it’s the latter.

        • http://blackrapture.tumblr.com/ thegoodshipdestiel

          I have not watched that much classic Who and I just want to see the actors in any capacity. They deserve it and there’s not going to be another chance like this to acknowledge their contribution.

        • http://xyue-mayx.deviantart.com/ Dreamer

          Personally, I want to see the actors.

        • http://www.hypable.com/author/lauracristiano/ LauraBC

          Can’t speak for anyone else, but I want the actors.

      • Dana Alley

        But Lost in Space IS a great movie! ;)

  • http://blackrapture.tumblr.com/ thegoodshipdestiel

    I don’t have the energy to rant and rage about this anymore. It just makes me really sad. I think it is an unbelievably dumb decision and astoundingly disrespectful to the men who made this show a phenomenon.

    • Carilyn

      For all we know it was the men themselves who refused. We know Chris Eccleston and Tom Baker at least didn’t want to come back based on interviews. The others I’m not so sure. I think the only one who expressed actually wanting to come back was Paul McGann (8), and, well, maybe they just couldn’t figure out how to work in the Doctor who’s had the least television exposure. Plus, wasn’t Filch cast as the 1st Doctor months ago? Not the original actor, but it is another Doctor.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1478655997 Steven Rankin

        filch (David Bradley) was cast as William Hartnell (the 1st Doctor) for a drama about the creation of the show not the actual series and David Bradely was also in a recent episode (last year Dinosaurs on a Space Ship)

        • Lucas Mass

          It’s a huge missed opportunity to not have David Bradley as the first doctor in the actual episode as well.

      • http://blackrapture.tumblr.com/ thegoodshipdestiel

        I’ve been trying to find the Hypable article but I can’t – maybe someone else can help me out with a link. Recently Sylvestor McCoy, Paul McGann, and Tom Baker were at a Who convention in Australia (I think) and they all said that they haven’t been asked.

        • http://www.hypable.com/author/lauracristiano/ LauraBC

          it was on Aussie TV, clip finally back up http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHCTu6xkpGQ

          • http://blackrapture.tumblr.com/ thegoodshipdestiel

            Thanks for that (my bad thinking it was Tom Baker).

      • chrome_horse86

        Tom Baker has repeatedly said he would come back into Who if he were presented a halfway decent script. That’s just Who in general. He has said he would certainly be back for the 50th for no reason other than to please the fans. From wha we know, none of them were asked.Then again, Tom is utterly unfamiliar with everything DW except his own memories of filming it. Knowing his taste somewhat based on DVD commentaries and opinions regarding writers and books, I wouldn’t be surprised he would consider Moffat’s brain turds to be a considerable notch below distilled whippet shit and I can’t see those seeing eye to eye on anything relating to that character that Tom played in such a wonderful enigmatic and magical way and Moffat has turned into a commonplace hubristic twat.

    • http://twitter.com/20619T Craig Thomson

      Desire to pay homage to the past should not be in lieu of good storytelling

      • http://erictheperson.tumblr.com Eric Coppes

        For the 50th Anniversary Special, I think we would all be more or less okay with that.

      • chrome_horse86

        Moffat and good storytelling is a contradiction in and of itself. Also, a good writer would easily come up with a way to combine both.

      • http://blackrapture.tumblr.com/ thegoodshipdestiel

        Glad that a couple of people rushed to argue before I had a chance to do it, haha! If you have been watching the same show we have, you may have notice logical/good storytelling has gone out the window. The most I felt like I could hope for was cameos from past Doctors or Companions. It’s not as if the 50th anniversary came out of nowhere – they have had plenty of time to create a story that paid tribute to the past and was well-written. I should hope they aren’t mutually exclusive if Moffat thinks he’s such a genius.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shyaminator1996 Shyam R. Srinivasan

    Still holding out hope that John Barrowman is actually covering up his involvement. It would be an insult to his immense popularity not to include him in the 50th anniversary special.

  • beaker,609

    Old. Doctors. Should return. They helped make the show what it is today. The true fans will be mad if they are not involved

  • http://www.facebook.com/taylorleigh.walters Taylor-Leigh Walters

    LAMMMEEE. :l

  • SnatcherGirl


  • http://xyue-mayx.deviantart.com/ Dreamer

    At this point, I’m pissed no matter what they do. If none of the classic doctors return, I’m pissed. If they do end up having cameos, I’m pissed that the BBC flat out lied to the fans.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1478655997 Steven Rankin

    It is not actually official yet. Doctor Who magazines article about this was only quoting other articles and not an official bbc press release. It will only be official when the bbc send out a proper official press release. though doctor who magazine is very closely assosicated with the show this particular article you are sourcing didn’t have an offical response. maybe this was to just through us off by just reporting what everyone else has been saying but not actually saying it themselves.

  • grapes9h5

    I get why this is a cause for Whovian rage, but am I the only one utterly not surprised? If they were back, we WOULD have already found out about it in all likelihood. I personally don’t really care that its only gonna feature 10 and 11, and I say that with no disrespect intended to those who do care, or to the characters and actors themselves. I just think a story with more than 3 Doctors (because 9 WAS supposed to be in it) is honestly only a thing that sounds cool to fans, and only on paper, not something that I can see making for a good story, especially when you’s end up having to explain why X and Y Doctor is present but the first 3 aren’t, or why they all look nearly unrecognizable. I know there is a lot of Moffat hate going around these days, but I for one trust the man, and if he believes his story works for only Reboot era Doctors, than that’s what is best.

  • http://twitter.com/Segee Catherine Segee

    I am livid beyond words. They could have at least asked Paul Mcgann back who has stated over and over that he would do it and still looks the same as he did 17 years ago. Then we would at least have one classic era Doctor. There’s just no excuse for ignoring Paul McGann’s Doctor….A SECOND TIME! If you are upset like me I suggest you write to the BBC and file a complaint. They will include your complaint in their audience log which is given to the producers of the show you complain about.

  • sza22

    im much less excited about it now

  • CarmelCorn24

    It’s really sad, especially since originally they said they wanted to have all of the past doctors!

  • stargazer

    That doesn’t seem fair. The Classic Doctors shaped the show–the reboot built on the foundation of the old, and it wouldn’t have made it very far without that foundation. Plus, poor Paul McGann only got one shot in the made-for-TV movie, which some consider canon and some don’t (for obvious continuity-disaster reasons, but that wasn’t McGann’s fault–it was the screenwriters’). It also seems like there IS only going to be the one special–I haven’t heard about them doing anything else. You’d think for the 50th they’d spend more money making more scripts (thus giving more Doctors the chance to participate) instead of just using that money to make a 3D show that will only be available in SOME theaters and that most people will see in 2D on their tvs anyway.

  • Glaciusx

    SHAMEFUL. As much as I love those two I am just deeply disappointed at this point. This anniversary special with be all about 10 and Rose.

    I am so annoyed right now.

  • Mike G

    I don’t even watch Doctor Who and this sounds cruel

  • Grace

    Honestly, as much as I would like them to come back, I can understand with the age thing. What they SHOULD do- because Classic Who should be honored in the 50th anniversary- is bring back Classic Who companions, like Davies did with Sarah Jane (unfortunately, she can’t be brought back :/). For example, who else would love to see Ace in the 50th?

  • http://www.facebook.com/corey.r.blanchette Corey Robert Blanchette

    How very disappointing. What a horribly wasted opportunity!! I’ll bet all 5 of the surviving classic Doctors would’ve been willing to take part. Thank God for the people at Big Finish — THEY should be the ones running Doctor Who at the BBC.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Xavier-Lopez-Jr/1140153280 Xavier Lopez Jr.

    Honestly, if this is true, I’m just done with Dr. Who. I really can’t stand Moffet’s writing and stupid sense of humour and the latest Dr. just doesn’t do it for me at all. But this would be the very last straw. I really hope that this is the last series with Moffet at the helm–its obvious that he cares for Sherlock more anyway and perhaps the next writer can do an entire series that would make up for the serious disrespect to the past that Moffett has shown. Especially with Tom Baker being willing to be a part of the series. Moffett–stand down and pass the torch–you era has been a series of disappointments–you can’t build a reputation on the strength of the charisma of one character and the lows that Dr. Who has reached under your hand are unforgivable.

    • Whovana

      WELL SAID THAT MAN!!! I say BOYCOTT the show and merchandise in solidarity to this RIDICULOUS show of Moffat’s ‘corner cutting’ !!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Xavier-Lopez-Jr/1140153280 Xavier Lopez Jr.

    I really think that if this is true–then a new writer should give us an entire series (season) that is a series of guest-star episodes with past doctors and companions with a better man at the helm than Tin Tin’s Moffett.

  • taymie

    I think it is horrible. the show owes a great deal of its success to the 1st 8 doctors. They deserve an acknowledgement of that fact. If this is 50th anniversary special, it needs to address 50 years of viewing.

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