Doctor Who stars Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman thrilled fans of the sci-fi show by making a special appearance at a convention in London on Friday to kick off a weekend of 50th anniversary celebrations.
The outgoing Time Lord and his companion headed to London’s ExCel centre to launch the 50th anniversary event, which runs until Sunday, and they met fans from all over the world who had travelled to the British capital for the convention.
Smith told reporters at the event, “We’re very proud, it’s a great privilege to be here. It’s a great privileged to be the incumbent Time Lord… It’s great fun and it’s great fun for the fans.”
Coleman adds, “We’ve got such an international crowd here… From Turkey, France, Brazil, Mexico, and meeting all these people who have travelled all this way just to be here for this weekend to say, ‘Happy birthday’, it’s great.”
Smith will bow out of the role in a special 50th anniversary episode of the popular show, which will air simultaneously in countries around the world on Saturday night, and he adds of his final appearance, “It’s a celebration and we hope everyone is going to enjoy it.”
The feature-length installment of the sci-fi favorite is set to be shown on the BBC on November 23, when current time lord Matt Smith will appear alongside his predecessor David Tennant, and producers have announced the episode will be broadcast in at least 75 countries, including the U.S., Brazil, Canada, Australia and Mexico, at once.
Executive producer Steven Moffat says, “The Doctor has always been a time traveller – now he’s travelling time zones. On the 23rd of November… it will be ‘The Day of the Doctor’!”
Smith will step down as Doctor Who at the end of the year, and he will be replaced by the 12th TV time lord, Peter Capaldi.
(pr)—With special programmes planned across the BBC the celebrations will peak on 23 November with the anniversary episode, revealed as ‘The Day of the Doctor’. Starring Matt Smith, David Tennant, Jenna Coleman with Billie Piper and John Hurt, the special for BBC One has been confirmed as feature length with 75 minutes of adventure.
Matt Smith, who plays the Doctor, said:
“The Day of the Doctor is nearly here! Hope you all enjoy. There’s lots more coming your way, as the countdown to the 50th begins now.”
Each channel will be home to unique content, celebrating the wealth of history and talent from the last 50 years.
BBC Two will broadcast a number of new commissions, focusing on telling the story behind the show. For one night only, Professor Brian Cox will take an audience of celebrity guests and members of the public on a journey into the wonderful universe of the Doctor, from the lecture hall of the Royal Institution of Great Britain (1x60mins). Drawing on the latest theories as well as 200 years of scientific discoveries and the genius of Einstein, Brian tries to answer the classic questions raised by the Doctor – can you really travel in time? Does extra-terrestrial life exist in our galaxy? And how do you build something as fantastical as the TARDIS?
In an hour-long special, BBC Two’s flagship arts programme The Culture Showpresents ‘Me, You and Doctor Who’ (1x60mins), with lifelong fan Matthew Sweet exploring the cultural significance of the BBC’s longest running TV drama, arguing that it’s one of the most important cultural artefacts of modern Britain. Put simply, Doctor Who matters. He’ll examine how the show has become a cultural force in its own right and tell the stories of some of the unsung cultural heroes, who pioneered its innovative music, design and storytelling.
BBC Two wraps up its coverage with the previously announced ‘An Adventure in Space and Time’ (1x90mins), which will tell the story of the genesis of Doctor Who and the many personalities involved. Written by Mark Gatiss the drama stars; David Bradley (the Harry Potter films); Brian Cox (The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Identity), Jessica Raine (Call the Midwife) and Sacha Dhawan (History Boys, Last Tango in Halifax).
Steven Moffat, lead writer and executive producer, Doctor Who said:
“50 years has turned Doctor Who from a television show into a cultural landmark. Personally I can’t wait to see what it becomes after a hundred.”
The script ‘Midnight’ will be auctioned on August 3, and will benefit the charity Project Motor Mouth run by Janet Fielding – who starred as Tom Baker’s companion Tegan in 1981.
The script for ‘Midnight’ is the tenth episode of the fourth series which aired on June 14, 2008, and the manuscript is full of annotations and drawings by Rusell Davies.
Fans of the sci-fi series will also be able to snap up scripts for ‘Impossible Planet’ and ‘The Satan Pit’ autographed by David, in addition to a Perspex panel resembling the Tardis signed by six Doctors and former cast members.
The series’ 50th anniversary will see a special appearance from Tennant alongside current Doctor Who star Matt Smith, one month before his departure.
It was revealed last week that the episode will be shown as a “simulcast” in over 200 countries as global broadcasters don’t want the one off special to be ruined for fans across the world.
The BBC1 show will be shown in the UK on November 23 at 8pm therefore will be shown at midday in Los Angeles and at 7am in Sydney.
An insider told the Daily Express: “The 50th anniversary special is a massive deal for fans around the world who were petrified the secrets would leak online the moment it aired in Britain.”
The one-off episode, will also see the return of previous Doctor Who sidekick Billie Piper, and is expected to be watched by more than 100 million viewers.
Britain’s Prince Charles has been offered a role on cult sci-fi series Doctor Who after showing off his impression of a Dalek’s voice during a royal set visit in Wales.