Yesterday saw the online release of The Night of the Doctor, a mini-episode prequel to the upcoming Doctor Who special The Day of the Doctor. There was a lot of secrecy surrounding this minisode, so we left out any spoiler-talk regarding it when the video was released. But, today’s a new day, and the news and photos from the mini-episode have littered the internet, so it’s time to take off your blindfolds. There’s been enough time now for every Whovian to have seen the 7-minute video (and if you’re not a Whovian, the “surprise” will be lost on you anyway). So, if you haven’t watch it yet, I’ve included the video here below for your viewing pleasure.
With that, it’s time to talk more about what we saw in The Night of the Doctor, and more importantly, who we saw in it and what they’re doing there!
Doctor Who showrunner and writer Steven Moffat recently spoke to the BBC about The Night of the Doctor, and BBC America’s Anglophenia blog has posted a “Making Sense of The Night of the Doctor” feature, which goes into detail about the prequel.
First up, Moffat told the the BBC about the return the Eighth Doctor Paul McGann, whose only on-screen appearance until now has been in the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie.
Well, we had our new ‘hidden mystery’ Doctor and I was thinking, what else can we do for our anniversary year… I thought… Why don’t we get Paul McGann in and regenerate him into John Hurt? I’d like to see that! I’d love to see that! And we had this possibility that we could do it as a surprise, so we got in touch with Paul who was dead keen and I’m delighted to say he was so happy to join in with the idea of keeping it secret. He was childishly excited about it!
Paul came along and shot it – it was the last two days of the shoot for the fiftieth, actually. He did a wonderful job. It was great! We designed a new costume for him based on his old one. Howard Burden did a fantastic job with that.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Eighth Doctor, Moffet talks more about him, referring to him as “perhaps the first of the sexy, romantic Doctors.” Read the full interview over at the BBC [found via The Mary Sue] to get more of Moffet’s thoughts on McGann’s Doctor and his role in the prequel.
The Night of the Doctor sees not only the introduction to Jon Hurt’s mysterious Doctor, but also the return of McGann’s Doctor and of the Sisterhood of Karn; it also gives us a glimpse at how people negative viewed The Time Lords and the Time War. Anglophenia has put together a very spoiler-heavy guide to the prequel minisode, which will help those fans who are mainly familiar with the new era of Doctor Who figure out what’s going on here.
Here’s a snippet of what they wrote about the Sisterhood of Karn:
The planet upon which the Doctor fatally crash lands is a former colony of Gallifrey, and is home to the Sisterhood of Karn. This mysterious order were introduced in the classic Fourth Doctor serial “The Brain of Morbius,” and guard the Elixir of Life, a liquid that—among other properties—grants extended life and heals injuries. While it has a history of being used by Time Lords going through difficult or painful regenerations, this is the first time we’ve learned that it can actually be used to trigger and control the regenerative process.
Head over to Anglophenia to read all of their observations and explanations about this surprisingly packed prequel mini-episode.
[Paul McGann's 8th Doctor: 8 Days until Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor]
Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor, which stars Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman and will see guest appearances by David Tennant, Billie Piper, John Hurt, and many more, airs on Saturday, November 23, 2013 at 7:50pm GMT on BBC One and 2:50pm EST on BBC America.
As part of the 50th anniversary, An Adventure In Space And Time will air on BBC America on Friday, November 22 at 9PM ET/PT, with Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited – The Eleventh Doctor, a special featuring current doctor Matt Smith, airing on November 24, 2013 at 8pm ET/PT on BBC America, which will be doing a marathon that day of Smith’s top 11 episodes as voted by the fans. The BBC broadcast for the Smith-centered 25-minute special will air in the UK on Saturday, November 16 at 2pm.