Current showrunner Steven Moffat has been speaking to Entertainment Weekly about the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special. In an interview in the latest issue he says that it should be a way to attract new viewers in addition to pleasing die-hard fans; Moffat states:
“It is important you don’t turn it into a fanfest.
We can’t make this all about looking backwards.
It’s actually got to be the start of a new story.”

See the two covers of Entertainment Weekly HERE and see more pics from the magazine HERE.


  1. I think that the 50th only comes round once, take advantage and have a fanfest blast. It's what the people want, and if it doesn't deliver, it will be worse than any criticism for any fanfest. We have the rest of the episodes to tell the new stories!!!

  2. Wow, this article changed radically from the version that popped up on my feed. Anyway, I sort of agree with Moffat but I reckon there should be a fanfest element as well. Casual viewers tend to love that kind of stuff as well, Journey's End and The End of Time are some of the most successful stories ever.

  3. I disagree with the comments above: look at the viewing figures that David Tennant's final episode got. If the BBC markets it correctly, the 50th anniversary special could get upwards of 10-12m viewers (if my memory serves me correctly!). Now, how is best to appeal to that massive audience? Not by having a bunch of in-references or in-jokes. If you can scatter throughout a story that appeals to the mainstream viewer, even better. But the story must appeal to and be approachable for your "average" viewer (which anyone visiting this site isn't).

    That's the only way the show can continue to grow, to develop, and to get more funding. If that's what the 50th anniversary is, I'm ok with that. Such thought will have been put into the story itself, so it's bound to be a cracking story anyway.

  4. Good!

    It needs to be coherent. It needs to celebrate the last fifty years, but I think we're at the point where there are more interesting ways to do that than finding whichever Doctors are still alive and willing and having them compete for screentime for the umpteenth time. I'd love to see them involved in some way, but I don't think fanwank should ever be for the sake of fanwank – regardless of what year this is! Story comes first. If a story can juggle both, that's great, and it'd be nice if that's the script Moffat's pulled out of the bag, but if it can't juggle both, yes, the story's what needs preserving!

    There are ways to please the fans on the day that don't sacrifice the plot of the special. I'd write the old Doctors into their own new mini-episodes, so they each get to be THE star for ten minutes, rather than just a star for sixty, and keep the anniversary special momentous, and with a plot that's linked to the show's history, but basically forward-facing. I think it's the best way. I'm with Moffat, I think going too insular would be a mistake.

  5. Doesn't SM get that many of us would like to once again see 'our' Doctor on screen…and for many of us, it simply IS NOT Matt Smith?

    He's an old school fan and should really be able to grasp that basic concept when it comes to the milestone anniversary specials that we expect to see the earlier (and multiple) Doctors as part of the celebration!

  6. I am seriously doubting that the 50th will be anything more than a nu-Who-fest…or maybe even just a Matt Smith-fest. I'm betting that any nod to diehard fans will come in the form of 10 seconds of flashing the 11 Doctor's faces in some video or on a poster…much like it has been for the last 8 years. Instead, of a celebration of 50 years of history, we're going to get squat for fans and more insipid crap about how the Doctor is totally fer sure in love with his new companion. Isn't that dreamy? *gag*

  7. I sort of understand where Moffat is coming from but not sure I agree. I don't think references to End of Time are apt here, as a poster mentions above. EoT gave us a Doctor at the end of his life, a time when looking back, remembering is a very natural thing to do. It fit the episode and wasn't just a fanfest for fanfest's sake.
    An anniversary i think commemorates the past, present and future. I think the Who folks can do something that has elements of both celebrating the past and looking forward.

    Maybe part of the problem is that many of us feel the 50th anniversary is riding on this one special episode. Maybe they could do more than one episode spread out over a few weeks, or do more outside a TV episode to celebrate in a way that involves fans–more panels, screenings or events that bring in previous Doctors like Tennant. I sort of like (for once) what BBCAmerica is doing–a special per month focused on one Doctor followed by a classic episode.
    I also think that I too am getting put-off by the focus on Smith's Doctor on so many magazine covers (e.g. EW) and other material celebrating the 50th. Though I like Smith and his Doctor well enough, I don't want the anniversary to be so focused on him just because he happens to be the Doctor during the 50th anniversary year. It may not be rational but I feel like I'm starting to resent him for it. I want the anniversary to be a celebration of the show as a whole.

  8. I was dreaming that the 50th anniversary year would be a new season of shows in the fall–each one celebrating the show's past, present and future–culminating in an anniversary special. Instead, we're going to get a single episode in a desert of content (no, I am not satisfied with all the crap that's happening outside the series…I want episodes!). Four months of nothing. A special. Another month of nothing. A special. Then who knows when it will be on again…but I'm guessing not for another four months at minimum.

    And now we hear that the anniversary special won't even be a "fanfest" (i.e., no previous Doctors or companions, because that would confuse the kids). I'm thinking the most likely scenario is that Moffat ties up one or two of his plot threads and maybe tosses in a few non-threatening images of past Doctors and that's about it. Probably will be a cracking episode. Probably won't be anything like a 50th anniversary special.

    But, hey, at least it's in 3D!

  9. Doctor Who has always made nods to the past while moving forward, it's one of the many reasons it works so well. In some aspects every episode of Who is a fanfest because us fans love it all!

  10. From what I've heard, there isn't going to be a 50th anniversary special at all. Yeah, there's an episode where Ten and Rose come back, but so what? RTD did that much at the end of a series! This is the 50TH ANNIVERSARY. Yes, it should have a good story, but it should also be a celebration of the ENTIRE FIFTY YEARS of Doctor Who! It should include and celebrate Classic Who. Moffat has no intention of celebrating anything he wasn't directly involved with.

    I'd rather have a fanfest that acknowledged that Doctor Who existed before 2005, than more stuff catering to Moffat's ego.


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