How the 50th nearly ended up being Doctor-less

As every Doctor Who fan knows, it’s 52 years ago today that two concerned teachers followed a student into 76 Totters Lane. The rest as they say, is history.


As we all know that the show celebrated its 50th anniversary two years ago. But, what we didn’t know is just how close we came to getting a 50th anniversary episode, that didn’t feature ANY Doctor’s!

Speaking to the Radio Times, current show runner Steven Moffat revealed that as Matt Smith’s contract expired with Name of the Doctor, he was forced to write a plot, in which none of the Doctors featured. The only person still under contract was Jenna Coleman.

“We had to work out what else to do. At that point neither David nor Matt were under contract either. I had Jenna [Coleman]. And I did come up with a plotline that was just Jenna. It was a nightmare. We’re weeks from filming. A production team is assembled, people are doing storyboards and I don’t even know if anyone who has ever played the Doctor is going to be in it”.

In the interview Moffat also reveals just how close we came to seeing Christopher Eccleston return as the ninth Doctor.

“The first version was David [Tennant], Matt [Smith] and Chris [Eccleston] together. With whatever involvement we could contrive for the other Doctors, but – being brutal – it had to be Doctors that still looked like their Doctors. I know I’m a bastard but hey, I think Peter [Davison], Colin [Baker] and Sylvester [McCoy] were better deployed in The Five-ish Doctors [a spoof short film] than they could ever be elsewhere. But I knew that Chris was almost certainly going to say no. I met him a couple of times and he was absolutely lovely. He met with me because he didn’t want to say no through his agent or a phone call or email. He wanted to do it personally. And I three-quarters talked him into it”.


Read the full interview here.

Is the lack of Classic Doctor Who financial?

I, along with many other Who fans have been disappointed with the lack of Classic20130213-093655.jpg Doctor Who episodes being shown in the 50th anniversary year. With BBC America airing them as well as broadcasters in New Zealand and Australia doing the same, it seemed that BBC Worldwide were only concerned with fleecing the UK fan-base.
But, could the absence of classic who be financial? Christopher Biggins once stated in an interview that every time the BBC repeated an episode of Porridge, he, along with the other actors in the episode were paid £1,000. But, if UK gold played it, or it aired overseas they didn’t get a penny. I guess paying every actor involved in a classic story £1,000 per episode, just isn’t a viable option for them.
What do you think? Is the lack of Classic Who, down to the BBC’s financial constraints or, are BBC worldwide just interested in fleecing the fans?