Alright, Whovians — as timey-wimey draws us closer still to the 50th anniversary of BBC’s beloved Doctor Who, the powers that be across the pond have been beyond generous with tidbits, a bevy of photos, and teaser interviews leading up to November 23. But today’s premiere of the digital minisode, “The Night of The Doctor,” excitement has reached Defcon 5 and we’re officially tittering. For those wary of spoilers, hop back in your TARDIS and fly away now, because — hoo boy — is this video a big one.
After previously releasing a fancy-schmancy trailer for “The Day of The Doctor,” featuring Eleven (Matt Smith), Ten (David Tennant), and ~mystery doctor~ John Hurt, this latest video sheds a ton of light on the state of the Doctor’s world leading up to his closing of the Time War AND it involves the Eight, also known as Paul McGann. Paul McGann is here, you guys!
But that’s just the beginning of secrets, spoils, and surprises that are revealed in the nearly 7-minute long clip. Too excited to watch? Lover of lists? Needer of all the information? We’ve watched it several times now (for work, we swear) and have managed to distill it’s biggest takeaways to the following:
Old, New, and Previously Non-Canon Who Collide
Eight is the bridge between the old, classic Doctor Who and the 2005 reboot, so having him involved was sort of necessary. What was also surprising, though, was the inclusion of the completely unrelated, previously non-canonized Big Finish audio productions creations: namely, Eight’s companions (Charley Pollard, C’rizz, Lucie Miller, Molly O’Sullivan). An expanded universe of canonized material means there’s a LOT of new Who potential.
A Change in Tone
When Eight reveals his true identity as a Time Lord to Cass (who’s giving us some serious Clara Oswald vibes), the oft-expected response of “oh thank goodness!” is nowhere to be found. In its place, a look of horror and disgust. “Don’t touch me!” Cass screams. “You’re a Time Lord, get away from me.” But he’s not a Dalek! “Who can tell the difference anymore?” she retorts. Yeah — sounds like maybe the Doctor’s been away from his home planet and their terrifying ego trip for a bit too long now.
A Return to Karn
“And here he is at last,” esteemed British actress Claire Higgins declares. Her character, Ohila is a part of the Sisterhood of Karn — the women who long, long ago were the rulers of Gallifrey before those pesky Time Lords took over. (There are connections here to Ten’s encounter with Rassilon in “The End of Time” — remember The Woman? How about the soothsayer on the Time Lord Council?) It seems as though everything from old lore and new is coming back into play. Karn was once a colony of Gallifrey, and where the Time Lords banished the Pythias. They’re also the ones that cursed Time Lords with sterility, forcing them to regenerate, because they took with them the Elixir of Life. We’re going deep, deep, deep into the lore here, folks.
Paul McGann Needs a One-Off Episode
This teaser was great but not nearly enough for the great Paul McGann, whose less-than-stellar Doctor Who TV movie from the 90s was this longest-running Doctor’s only time on screen. Which is a shame because from the few minutes we see him in this teaser, there’s a magnetism that draws you in and makes you wonder what sort of wonderment he’d have gotten himself into if he’d had more screen time. Perhaps a prequel special, one-off episode featuring the last adventure of Eight? C’mon, Steven Moffat.
Famous First and Last Words
Eight cries out — as only he delightfully romantic and poetic Doctor can — ‘Physician, heal thyself,” which brings a young John Hurt — now dubbed The Warrior or The War Doctor — into frame, ominously stating, “Doctor no more.”
Doctor Who: The Day of The Doctor simulcasts worldwide on November 23, 2013.