Follow TV Tropes


Trivia / Doctor Who 50th AS "The Day of the Doctor"

Go To

  • Actor-Shared Background: Before joining the army, Tom Baker worked as a museum curator.
  • Ascended Fanon:
    • Of a sort; Terrance Dicks' famous axiom that the key defining ethos of the Doctor throughout his incarnations is that "he never gives in and he never gives up; he is never cruel or cowardly." This becomes enshrined in canon as part of the promise that the Doctor's name represents.
    • The gag with the Doctor doing a Double Take when he spots an aged Fourth Doctor was, funnily enough, proposed by Tom Baker himself during his convention appearances. He approached the showrunners with this idea as early as 2007, while praising David Tennant's take on the role.
    • Advertisement:
    • The notion that the Doctor is so old he can't remember his exact age has been considered by fans for a number of years.
  • Acting for Two: With three different characters in the same scene, no less, thanks to Zygons impersonating them. Also happened before that, with a completely separate character as well!
  • Creator Backlash:
    • According to Sylvester McCoy, no Doctor before Eight was approached to reprise their role, which made them feel a bit thrown away. Though Tom Baker shows up in the episode, he wasn't playing the Fourth Doctor. Realistically, however, it would have been difficult to have all the older Doctors, all of whom had aged considerably in the intervening decades, appear (with Baker being an exception being the senior surviving Doctor). As it turned out, every Doctor did appear thanks to the use of archive footage and digital editing - just as they did in the episode immediately preceding the special.
    • Advertisement:
    • Averted with all of the surviving previous "Classic Era" Doctors (save Tom Baker) being in The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot. Clearly a special project by the BBC and all of them having a great time, with Steven Moffat, Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman all appearing as well. Although that was specifically planned and written by Peter Davison when he realized that The BBC weren't going to be contacting the previous Doctors to be involved in the real special. It should also be noted that Colin Baker narrated the behind-the-scenes featurette that was shown with the anniversary special and was seen on camera at the end wishing Doctor Who a happy anniversary. Ultimately, the only living past Doctor not to be involved in some form in the anniversary special and its spinoff is Christopher Eccleston.
    • At the same time, Christopher Eccleston, the first of the 2005-onward Doctors, was hard-pressed to come back, and fans wanted him to show up to the party essentially to complete the triad of revival era Doctors. However, he decided with some difficulty not to take the offer, with the mentality, "never bathe in the same river twice." This coming from somebody whose tenure was only one series long due to personal issues with the way things were run on the show during his time. But, Eccleston did not rule out a future return appearance and jokingly said he would happily come back for the 100th anniversary. As such, John Hurt was given what would have been his role.
  • Advertisement:
  • Digital Destruction: The "50th Anniversary Collection" Blu-ray used a 2D down-conversion of the 3D master, which played at the wrong speed (24FPS rather than 25FPS), included a few floating window borders on the sides of the screen and had a audio phasing issue that distorted the music when played on certain stereo systems. BBC Worldwide offered a replacement disc with the correct-speed version (and an optional stereo track just in case). The 3D disc, however, had the same issues but was never corrected.
  • Fandom Nod:
    • Several of the War Doctor's lines match up with some of the complaints fans have with the new series, such as asking if there is going to be more kissing in the future and the several uses of the sonic screwdriver, as well as the use of Buffy Speak.
    • Tom Baker's line of "revisiting the old favourites" is a reference to the Fourth Doctor being the most popular one amongst older fans.
  • Hostility on the Set: Tom Baker claimed that he was mostly ignored onset, with the exception of Matt Smith, whom he got on very well with.
  • Logo Joke: A modified BBC One Station Ident preceded broadcasting of the episode on BBC One.
  • Milestone Celebration: This episode celebrates the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, similar to previous anniversary episodes like "The Three Doctors", "The Five Doctors", "Dimensions in Time" and "Zagreus".
  • No Stunt Double: Matt Smith performed the stunt where the Eleventh Doctor is hanging above Trafalgar Square himself.
  • Troubled Production: Or rather, troubled pre-production, as revealed in this interview. Not only did Christopher Eccleston decline to come back, but for a long time neither Matt Smith nor David Tennant were contracted either and poor Steven Moffat had to come up with a plotline that featured only Jenna Coleman and none of the actors who ever played the Doctor, with only weeks until the filming. Luckily, after Smith and Tennant fully came onboard he came up with a new plot and was able to get John Hurt as the War Doctor and the rest is history.
    • John Hurt was only confirmed a month before filming was to begin. When Moffat wrote the script for "The Name of The Doctor," he had a placeholder that said "The world's most famous actor turns around, revealed as The Doctor."
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Christopher Eccleston was approached about appearing in the special but turned it down after finding out that Joe Ahearne, a director he had enjoyed working with, wouldn't be able to helm the special. Still sneaks in with Stock Footage like everyone else, though, and the slightest hint of his face is visible as the War Doctor regenerates. Moreover, he would have been central to the plot of the 50th, and served the role that ultimately went to the War Doctor. Instead, he is now the first post-war Doctor.
    • Kate's line about the disastrous consequences of information about the Doctor getting into the wrong hands was supposed to be juxtaposed with a film poster for the Cushing movies, implying that they are fictional in-universe. Unfortunately, they were unable to afford the rights. Channel 5 actually obtained the rights to broadcast the Cushing films in the UK and showed both of them during the anniversary weekend. This was welcome because they were careful not to clash with any of the official celebrations on the BBC, but still, if they been able to show the poster, the Channel 5 transmission would only have reinforced Kate's point!
    • In an interview, Steven Moffat remarked that while writing the script neither David Tennant nor Matt Smith were under contract to appear, and he hadn't been able to secure Chris Eccleston. The only contracted actor he actually had was Jenna Coleman. So, while the actor situation was being sorted out, he was forced to brainstorm a Doctor Who 50th anniversary special with none of the people who had ever played the Doctor. In his own words, his best idea for the "Absolutely-no-Doctors-in-it-at-all" anniversary special had fictional versions of the Doctor (played by different actors via Stunt Casting) appear in all sorts of different films after the real one vanished from the time-space continuum at the end of "The Name of the Doctor", with Clara (who no longer remembers him) forced to piece together the mystery of why they all seem so familiar. "Dimensions in Time" redux?
    • In an early draft of the script, the Moment as played by Billie Piper also appeared in the role of the Curator. This was changed when Tom Baker became available. Steven Moffat has said it's possible to interpret the Curator as also being the Moment. However, Moffat believes that the Curator is a far future incarnation of the Doctor who chooses to revisit a different face every day.
    • At one point, Moffat briefly considered using the Eighth Doctor instead of the Ninth Doctor, but he felt that Paul McGann's version of the character would not suit the darker story he wanted to tell. After creating the character of the War Doctor, it was decided to film "The Night of the Doctor" with McGann in order to show how the Eighth Doctor became the War Doctor.
    • Moffat also considered using audio clips to incorporate The Brigadier into the story, but ultimately decided against this.
    • The War Doctor was originally called The Renegade. The script designated him as "the Other Doctor".
    • The Moment originally appeared to the Ninth Doctor in the form of a young girl dressed in rags, and Clara accompanied the Eleventh Doctor through the portal to 1562. The portal's effects on the actions of the Tenth Doctor were to manifest themselves in the present day as the Eleventh Doctor becomes wracked with pain; this was similar to the Fifth Doctor's reaction when his past selves were removed from time in "The Five Doctors".
    • Originally, Clara saved the Doctors from their cell in the Tower of London by convincing their jailer that she is a witch.
  • Working Title: The Time War.


Example of: