Doctor Who 50th anniversary special 370.
(photo credit: doctorwhotv.co.uk)
After 50 years, 11 actors, 33 seasons, and 798 episodes, BBC series Doctor Who
marks its 50th anniversary this Saturday.
In celebration of the
anniversary BBC is set to air The Day of the Doctor, a 50th anniversary special
which stars Matt Smith, Jenna Coleman and John Hurt with David Tennant and
Billie Piper reprising their roles. The episode is scheduled to simultaneously
broadcast in more than 75 countries, including Israel, and will be screened in
3D in select cinemas around the world.
The highly successful series’
first air date was greatly overlooked due to the announcement of the
assassination of John F. Kennedy the previous day. The English series that
rebooted in 2005 is the longest running science fiction series ever released.
Since then it has become a global phenomenon and has large fan bases across the
One of those fan bases is in Israel and in a recent interview, a
local fan of the series, Elisha Hodes, shared his thoughts on the series’
development since he began watching it in 2005. Having lived in England before
making aliyah, Hodes was brought up with Doctor Who
“The last three
seasons have become more popular in America, and here in Israel,” Hodes tells
The Jerusalem Post
. He goes on to explain that he believes the casting of Matt
Smith was the trigger of this major increase in global fans, though he
personally preferred Smith’s predecessor David Tennant. Hodes heard the news of
Tennant’s return with excitement.
“I don’t know how they will fit David
in but I think it’s really great that they’re bringing all the old character’s
back,” he says joyfully.
The series has gone through much development
since its resurrection in 2005.
“I personally preferred seasons two,
four, and five,” explains Hodes. “Lately I think it’s been a bit
farfetched but it’s still good.”
In anticipation of the upcoming episode,
BBC released a short episode which acts as a prequel to the anniversary special,
titled The Night of the Doctor, in which they surprised fans with the return of
The eighth actor to play the Doctor only appeared as the
time traveler once previously in the Doctor Who
Television Film in 1996, after
which the show took a nine-year halt until its reboot with Christopher Eccleston
taking over the TARDIS.
Both the prequel and the special were written by
chief writer and executive producer of the series Steven Moffat. Moffat, who has
been a life-long fan of the series, was inspired to work as a television writer
while watching Doctor Who
as a child.
In addition to the short prequel,
BBC has been airing documentaries about the time lord since the start of the
week and has been re-airing older episodes in preparation of its year 50
However, there is a bittersweet feeling to the celebration for
Matt Smith, the youngest of the 11 actors to play the role, who has been the
lead part of the show for the past four years. This year’s annual Christmas
special, the episode following the 50th anniversary special, will be Smith’s
final appearance on the series and the honor of the role will be given to Peter
Capaldi, who has been seen twice this year, in the films World War Z
“They’re introducing a new doctor,” Hodes says. “I don’t
know what to expect. I just hope that it’s not a disappointment; that it’s like
the old Doctor Who
Though 50 years is already a fantastic achievement,
the series is far from ended with the eighth series since the reboot currently
in development and expected to be aired in 2014.
The 50th anniversary
episode will air in Israel on YES Action this Saturday at 9:50 p.m.