Monday, November 25, 2013

A Personal Pointless Top 10 Things From the 50th Anniversary

So that was the 50th Anniversary that was. Did we all enjoy ourselves? Good. Here, for no reasons apart from personal ego, are my Top 10 Favourite Bits from the 50th Anniversary. I'm sure you've got your own.

1: The Curator

I've watched this bit of Day of the Doctor about six or seven times and I love it a little more each time. It's beautifully played by both Tom and Matt and because Tom is my Doctor this scene meant quite a lot to me. The perfect Doctor Who moment for me.

2: "Whatever you guys are up to. I'm in. Work permitting of course."

The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot was fantastic. Congratulations to everyone involved, particularly writer - director Peter 'Fifth Doctor' Davison. There's so much good stuff in here but Paul McGann's bit cracked me up. Which brings me neatly on to...

3: The Night of the Doctor

I can forgive the Moff a lot of Doctor Who related writing crimes for this 7-ish minutes. My pre-50th Wish List had Paul McGann coming back quite high up on it. And here we are. Yes, he doesn't get to be in the special (which is odd because you could have put the McGann Doctor in there instead of John Hurt's and it would have still worked. Possibly a little better in fact.) but this was a nice little moment. And we get to see him regenerate. Closing a irritating little gap. At least for me.

4: "I don't want to go"

An Adventure is Space & Time was, for me, rather wonderful. Kudos to Mark Gatiss for his fine work. I'm sure those who've research the era can find reasons to niggle about facts & faces but I thought it was lovely. And I was a bit teary all the way through from the moment David Bradley's  - who was fantastic - Hartnell broke down to the end.

5: Fleeing in Terror from the War Machines (see picture)

This one is very personal but on the morning of the 50th myself and Leslie McMurtry, editor of the fine Doctor Who fanzine "The Terrible Zodin" went out & about in London exploring Doctor Who filming locations. We concentrated on The War Machines with a brief digression into Remembrance of the Daleks. It was great fun and there's a little geek frisson when you realise you're standing where a War Machine or a Dalek once stood.

6: The Regenerations Panel at Excel

If The Five (ish) Doctors Reboot hadn't conclusively proved it to the nation that Davison, Colin Baker & McCoy make a fine comedic partnership then this panel would have done. Their timing is excellent but on top of that they are genuinely interesting to hear talking about Doctor Who. All three of them a great advocates of the series and all three of them make fantastic Big Finish Doctors. Which brings me to...

7: The Light at the End

Big Finish's Anniversary story featuring the first 8 Doctors was a majestic tribute to both Doctor Who itself and the Big Finish version in particular. If you haven't listened to it already then I recommend it. A lot.

8: "It's a scientific instrument"

The best bit of multi-Doctor stories is the interaction between the Doctors and this was a big part of The Day of the Doctor too. Hurt's Doctor was particularly brilliant at mocking the childishness of the other two but they also worked exceptionally well together helping to make the central part of the story hold together whilst The Moff's usual fireworks were going off around them. So let's hear it for John Hurt, David Tennant & Matt Smith.

9. "I'm a bit of a tosser."

Another - probable - personal moment for me. This occurred whilst listening to David Quantick's excellent and amusing 'Blagger's Guide to Doctor Who'. (It's on BBCi-player but was split into two bits by whichever muppets were in charge. This might have changed. UPDATE: full version is now here) The quote above turns up as Michael Grade describing himself after the 'hiatus/cancellation' is discussed. I know it is petty and silly but you know I laughed a lot.

10. Being a Doctor Who fan

Yes, there will be differences of opinion about how good the 50th story was. Yes, there are people who would have preferred anyone but The Moff to be writing it. But you know overall it has been a fantastic time to be a Doctor Who fan.* Whether you've watched since the first episode or came on board with Matt Smith it has been a fantastic experience. As a said in the blog previous to this one - and Paul Cornell's 'bullying' comment in the Culture Show's Doctor Who special (which just misses out on this Top Ten) made clear - being a Doctor Who fan wasn't always as wonderful an experience as it (generally) is now.

So the fact that we're still here. That the programme is still here and reaching out to new fans and new countries all the time** is bloody brilliant.

Here's to the 100th.

*But dear BBC let us never speak of the Live After Show Party again.

**Excel had German, Russian and American fans in attendance (that I heard/spoke to). There were probably many, many more.

PS I've left out a lot of other great things. 


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    keep up the good work.


  2. Good list! However, now I fervently wish they'd had McGann instead of Hurt. Hurt was great, but McGann would have made me weep.