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article imageAt least four Doctors for Doctor Who 50th-anniversary special

By Mathew Wace Peck     Jul 23, 2013 in Entertainment
Contrary to previous claims, at least one “Classic-era” Doctor will join Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt in Steven Moffat’s 50th-anniversary special, it has been claimed.
Radio Times quotes a “reliable source” as saying, “the Doctor Who 50th anniversary show will feature one of the five living former Doctors who wielded the sonic screwdriver before [2005].”
The actors in question are Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann – respectively, the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Doctor.
However, the exact wording used by Radio Times – that it’s one of the Doctors “who wielded the sonic screwdriver” – would rule out Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy, as neither the Sixth nor Seventh Doctor was seen brandishing a sonic screwdriver on screen.
The Doctor’s sonic screwdriver is a tool he uses in a variety of ways, including as a universal lockpick. It was introduced during Patrick Troughton’s tenure as the Second Doctor (1966–69) in the story Fury From the Deep (1968) and used on and off by subsequent incarnations until 1982. In The Visitation, during a spat between the Fifth Doctor and a Tereleptil, the creature destroyed the sonic, and it was not replaced until 1996 – in Doctor Who, the McGann TV movie – when the Eighth Doctor was seen to have a new one.
Its next appearance wasn’t until Doctor Who returned to TV screens in 2005, with Eccleston as the Doctor. Since then – the sonic screwdriver has been used extensively in the show, with some viewers complaining that it is over-relied on as a sort of “get-out-of-jail-free” device.
We already know that three Doctors will be appearing in Doctor Who ’s as-yet-unnamed Golden Anniversary special – which was filmed earlier this year, but won’t be shown on television until Saturday, 23 November 2013. The current (Eleventh) Doctor, Matt Smith, will be joined by the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant, and an hitherto unknown incarnation of the Doctor, John Hurt, who was introduced in the closing moments of the 2013 season finale.
Previously, all the actors who played the Doctor in the so-called Classic series of Doctor Who (i.e. prior to 2005) have insisted that they are not involved in this year’s anniversary special – much to the disappointment of many of the show’s fans.
In April, Digital Journal reported McCoy as saying, “The 20th-century Doctors haven’t heard anything. We old Who-ers have not been asked to go along.”
So, inclusion of one of them – if, indeed, Radio Times is correct – will go some way to fulfilling the hopes of fans, that this year would see a multi-Doctor story in the mold of stories broadcast in previous significant anniversary years – such as the 10th-anniversary special, The Three Doctors (1973), and 20th-anniversary special, The Five Doctors (1983).
As revealed by the BBC yesterday, the Doctor Who 50th-anniversary special – which will also star Jenna Colman and Billy Piper as the Doctors’ companions Clara Oswald and Rose Tyler – sees the return of the show’s most iconic monsters, the Daleks, who also celebrate 50 years in 2013.
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