Saturday, November 23, marks the 50th anniversary of everybody’s favorite Tardis-driving doctor, The Doctor. Tomorrow all over the world the BBC will premiere the special anniversary episode of Doctor Who, titled “The Day of the Doctor.”
Show runner Stephen Moffat is infamously tight-lipped, and devout Who fans know there will be surprises.
Here’s what we can predict for the most anticipated television event in the history of relative time and space.
1. Expect at Least Three Iterations of the Doctor
From what has been confirmed, we know that at least three versions of The Doctor will be in the episode. In the trailer above, you can see definitively Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor, David Tennant’s 10th Doctor, and John Hurt’s “War Doctor.”
However, because this is the 50th anniversary episode, I think we might be in for some appearances from older versions of the doctor. Especially after the new prequel mini-episode “The Night of the Doctor” was released, featuring Paul McGann’s 8th Doctor from the 1996 television movie version of Doctor Who.
2. Expect Some Old Companion Cameos
We know for sure that Jenna Coleman will be reprising her continuing role as Clara Oswald, and that Billie Piper will return to her role as Rose Tyler, the first companion of the new Doctor Who generation, but other than these two any other appearances remain a mystery.
Despite being trapped in 1930s New York, I find it hard to believe Karen Gillan and Rory Williams would give up a chance to bring back Amy Pond and Arthur Darvill for even a moment. Maybe if we’re really lucky we can even get an appearance from Donna — after all, Doctor Who is infamous for giving its fans what they want.
3. Expect the Story to be in Multiple Eras at Once
Unlike the usual 40-minute-or-so episodes, “The Day of the Doctor” is slated to be a whopping 76 minutes long. The episode was said to be about “paintings” as the cryptic release revealed, but now we have a real synopsis:
In 2013, something terrible is awakening in London’s National Gallery; in 1562, a murderous plot is afoot in Elizabethan England; and somewhere in space an ancient battle reaches its devastating conclusion. All of reality is at stake as the Doctor’s own dangerous past comes back to haunt him.
4. Expect John Hurt to be Pretty Evil
So, let’s recap. By now you’re probably seen the mini prequel episode “The Night of the Doctor,” but if you have not you can watch it above. In it, the 8th Doctor, disgusted in himself and in the war between the Timelords and the Daleks that is tearing the universe apart, chooses to renounce his identity as “doctor” to become a “warrior.”
The presumption is that the new “War Doctor” may have wiped out both his own race and the Daleks as a way to stop the war and save the universe. But as we all know, the Doctor is a very guilty person, hence why the War Doctor would be a “part of his life he’s been running from.”
5. There Will Be Daleks & Timelords
With the trailer containing scenes of both the Timelord’s home planet of Gallifrey and the dastardly Daleks, I think it’s safe to assume we’ll get some flashbacks to the “Great Time War.” This means we could possibly see more Timelords besides just the usual Master, River Song, and various other half-Timelord crew.
6. ‘Bad Wolf’ Will Return
Rose Tyler is back. Let me repeat that again. Rose Tyler is back. The big question in my mind is whether she will retain her crazy “all of time and space” Bad Wolf powers that we saw a few seasons ago.
The last time we saw Rose she was lost in the alternate universe with the human version of the 9th Doctor. For now we can only wonder how she and the 9th Doctor will enter the same universe as Doctor 10.
7. Zygons Will Make Their Return
Remember Zygons? Totally okay if you don’t. Zygons were the shape-shifting alien villains from the 1975 storyline “Terror of the Zygons.”
The new trailer has an updated version of these dreadful beasts; check out the picture of the revamped version above.
8. This is Matt Smith’s Second to Last Episode
Matt Smith’s tenure with Doctor Who is coming to an end. As tradition, he will be in the Christmas special premiering on Christmas day where he will regenerate into the 12th Doctor, Peter Capaldi.
Enjoy these last moments with Smith while you can; he will be missed.
9. The Episode Airs Simultaneously Worldwide; What Time Is That for You?
“The Day of the Doctor” will premiere all across the world at the same time to prevent spoilers. Make sure you go over to BBC America to look up what time it will be screening where you live. You’ll also find a list of movie theaters that are screening the episode at the same time.
The show will start at exactly 2:50 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
10. The Timelords Invent Cybermen in This New Origin Story
Today Stephan Moffat released “The Last Day: A mini-episode” with the description “First day on the front line? Time to attach a Headcam for a soldier’s point-of-view. What could possibly go wrong?”
Could this be a possible Cyberman origin story? And if so, what does it have to do with tomorrow’s episode?