Something amazing happened this weekend. A little sci-fi show you may have heard of celebrated an unprecedented 50th birthday. That's right, it has been 50 years since our favourite mad man in a box first took to our screens. It's been a whole year's worth of build up for most and even longer for those of us who are huge fans of the show. The internet has been peppered with supposition, over-analysis, actual fact, lies, mis-truths and more damn prestidigitation than you could shake a question mark shaped umbrella at. So what did we come out of the other end of it with?
*takes a deep breath*
Best monsters documentaries and episodes, featurettes on all doctors, sneakily released minisodes with a missing regeneration, Big finish audio recordings with all five remaining classic doctors, the loving crafted An Adventure In Space and Time, a massive three-day celebration event in London, The Science of Doctor Who lectures, a wonderful parody adventure written and directed by one former doctor and starring a further two, TV appearances, interviews, press junkets, re-mastered lost episodes, re-printed books and, of course, the 50th anniversary episode itself.
And that's just the stuff off the top of my head. This year has been, for us Who geeks, what last year was for UK sports fans and royalists.
So, how am I feeling after it all? Frankly exhausted.
I've soaked up every bit of Doctor Who related TV and internet shenanigans that I could get my grubby little mitts on, and it has been amazing.
I appreciate that the rest of the world is probably now rather sick of it all and wants to forget all about it and, in truth, I'm fine with that. You may all go about your business again and let us dissect the remnants during what is now the run up to the xmas episode.
Before conjecture on that, let me just take a moment to give my thoughts on a few of the major offerings in this celebration:
An Adventure in Space and Time was a brilliantly executed docudrama recounting the genesis of the program through to its defining decision to re-cast its lead actor in order to keep the show going forward. Rather than just being a purely fan-orientated film, it has as much to say about gender and racial equality within the entertainment industry as it does about the actual show. Deeply moving, wonderfully written and performed by all involved. I salute you.
The Doctor Who 50th Celebration in London has to have been the largest scale convention about a single show I have ever witnessed. Three whole days, around 25,000 people. The scale of it was unthinkable. It was amazing to see not only the fans turn out, but walking around the event you had no idea who you would see. Personally, I bumped into Louise Jameson, Bonnie Langford, Sophie Aldred, Peter Purves, David Warner, Colin Baker, Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy. The whole set up was amazing with the massive theatre shows, special effects demonstrations, panels and all manner of other events. Truly a celebration of the show.
Finally, the 50th anniversary episode. The Day of The Doctor. It's taken me quite some time to get my head around everything that happened in it due to various factors but here are my opinions. Firstly, it was stunning. Everything about it screamed spectacle. It gave us Daleks, Time Wars, Zygons, Queen Elizabeth, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Alien Invasions, Rose, Three doctors for the whole episode, Fleeting glimpses of all thirteen, TOM BAKER and so much more. Truly Moffat et al managed to pull off the impossible and please almost everyone. I say almost as there are always people who won't like something, especially when over 10 million tune in. I am not one of those people. I loved it. I can't wait to see where we're going from here, the search for Gallifrey, a new Doctor, the tantalising prospect that The Doctor can revisit old forms if he so chooses. I am excited to see what the future holds for the show and hope I'm around to revel in and rant about the 100th anniversary.
This show is a law unto itself and it deserves the attention that has been paid to it this year. Congratulations you mad bastard you.