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The World Doesn't End Because the Doctor Dances

There Will Be No Classic Doctors Returning for Doctor Who‘s 50th Anniversary, Says Colin Baker

My deepest condolences, Classic Whovians. In an interview with Doctor Who TV, Sixth Doctor Colin Baker said that he won’t be returning to Doctor Who for the show’s 50th anniversary… and that none of the other pre-Nine Doctors will be either.

Asked whether he’d been asked about reprising his role, Baker replied: “No. As far as I know, neither of any of [sic] my erstwhile colleagues have been asked either.”

As regards a possible cameo, either as part of the 50th anniversary on in the long-rumored Doctor Who movie, Baker quite wonderfully stated:

“A what? What’s a cameo role, darling? Does that mean a small part? Urgh! I suppose I might. I don’t know. I find it a bad idea to say what would you do if you were asked, which is why I’m going to say no, I probably wouldn’t appear in any movie. They would have to persuade me.”

OK. It’s official. I’ve not seen any classic Who aside from a bit of Tom Baker (including that really weird yellowfacing arc) and Eight’s TV movie (Shut up. I love Paul McGann), but I now like Colin Baker. Shame he won’t be coming back. As for the other Doctors, Baker not hearing about any cameos doesn’t mean they won’t happen… but still, it’s not looking good. Is it just me, or does bringing back the Classics not seem like something Steven Moffat would do?

Ah, well. Classic Whovians, chime in: Do you want to see any Classic Doctors return to the screen for the 50th anniversary? If so, who? Or would it just be a bad idea all around?

(via: blastr)

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  • totz the plaid

    I think McGann through Smith should appear. They’ve had the Three Doctors (Hartnell, Troughton and incumbent Pertwee), the Five Doctors (Richard Hurndall [filling in for the late William Hartnell], Troughton, Pertwee and incumbent Davison, plus snippets from the unfinished-due-to-strike Tom Baker story “Shada”, and a clip from “The Dalek Invasion of Earth” so Hartnell could actually appear in the special), and the Two Doctors (incumbent Colin Baker plus Troughton), so the Four Doctors seems like the logical next step.

    McGann’s story is more in the style of Nu-Who than Classic, even if it’s technically ‘classic’ due to continuity from McCoy to McGann, plus, he’s one of only four incarnations of the Doctor (MAYBE five if you make Sylvester McCoy up right), to still look like their incarnation of the character, aging-wise, so it’d be a nice nod to the classics if they did that.

    Of course, despite Moffat writing basically a love letter to Peter Davison with “Time Crash”, he’s been doing everything he can to avoid the feel and plot-logic of Classic Who, so… I dunno.

    The thing with Classic Who, is that most lines of dialogue spoken by any of those seven incarnations of the Doctor would sound natural coming from any other incarnation. With Nu-Who, it’s essentially attempting to write completely different people, which isn’t true to the character. He might have his appearance and personality change somewhat, but essentially he’s supposed to always be the same man. It seems like the show’s creative staff have forgotten that.

  • Kat Cortner

    I really wanted to see Paul Mcgann return to the role;Since he got the tv movie and that was it tv wise. Guess I’ll just have to be happy with the audio dramas.

  • Alexandra Moore

    That’s sad… really horribly sad.

  • Leah Davydov

    I generally hate multi-Doctor specials. I’d totally change my opinion, however, if somebody got Christopher Eccleston, Richard E. Grant, and Rowan Atkinson together and made “The Three Ninth Doctors.”

  • Terobi

    Frankly, if they’re not including the classic Doctors in a multi-Doctor story, then they may as well wait a few years and celebrate March 26 2015 as the tenth anniversary.

    What would be the point of having a 50th anniversary celebration that only cares about 2005 onwards?

  • Sean

    Moffet would be scathed for the rest of his career if he didn’t bring in the classic doctors. It is the 50th anniversary of the show, and the impact the classic series had on popular culture is the very reason that fans can say with meaning that 50 years have passed since the original episode. It is a diservice to the fandom and to several MAGNIFICENT actors if they are not given a place in the special, a place they earned with years of dedication to their role, no matter how screwed they got or how typecasted they knew it would make them. If Moffet has respect for the series and for the fans that give him a fucking job, then he damn well better bring in the Classic doctors.

  • Leda

    No, Moffat won’t do it. For a man who says he’s been a fan of the show for over 40 years, he seems to be bizarrely allergic to referencing anything pre-2005. The only Classic character that’s ever returned in a Moffat-penned script is the Fifth Doctor in “Time Crash”…which isn’t even a proper episode. And the only Classic monsters to make their first return since he took over as show runner are the Silurians; all the other reintroductions (the Daleks, Sontarans, K9 and Sarah Jane, Cybermen, the Master, Macra, and Davros) happened on RTD’s watch.

  • Anatasia Beaverhousen

    What’s the bloody point of calling it the 50th bloody anniversary if there’s going to be no bloody classic doctors? Oh, I’m very annoyed now. *Goes off to grumble in the corner.*

  • Anonymous

    Actually, I find that Moffat and his crew reference Classic Who quite a bit (much to my delight). Have we forgotten the hologram of all the previous Doctors that the Atraxi access as 11 chides them for threatening Earth? Or Ganger-Doctor rushing through regeneration trauma, including offering a Jelly Baby in Tom Baker’s voice? “The Asylum of the Daleks” feels like a mini-tribute to 7, and “The Power of Three” to the Third Doctor. And Moffat has repeatedly emphasized that the Doctor has been a father and, more importantly, a grandfather. I have a sneaking suspicion that Moffat’s building up to reintroducing Susan back into the Whoniverse in some way. And, remember how The Five Doctors began – the First Doctor’s goodbye to Susan.

  • Leah Davydov

    I mean… on the one hand I’m a little bummed out. I like virtually every classic Doctor vastly more than I like anyone in the new series, and I really ardently wish that McGann would get the opportunity to make another TV appearance. That said, I’m honestly a little excited by this news as it means that the anniversary won’t just be another fanwanky multi-Doctor special. As much as I adore seeing older Doctors and companions appear from time to time, I’ve really think that most attempts the franchise has made to mash up a bunch of characters and plot elements for the sake of audience gratification (The Three Doctors [although admittedly... Troughton and Pertwee's banter made it worthwhile], The Five Doctors, Zagreus, Journey’s End) have had utterly rancid story lines which are only watchable by those with enough obsessive geekery to know who everyone is.

    While I was sort of looking forward to what I assumed would be a multi-Doctor special, I was really dreading having to endure the logistical nightmare of Moffat getting god knows how many Doctors to work into the narrative a single storyline. From what I’ve seen, there really isn’t a good way to cram more than two Doctors into a serial and keep the actual plot engaging…. and that’s not even taking into account companions, recurring enemies and all the other things fans have a nostalgic hard on for. If he doesn’t actually engage with the pre 2005 show *at all* I’ll admittedly be upset, but I think that this could potentially open the door for an interesting change to the formula of “throw everything fans like in a blender and try to vaguely shape it into a story” that has been used for anniversary episodes so many times in the past.

  • Iain Coleman

    Let’s be realistic.

    Of the first seven Doctors – the “classic” Doctors, if you will – the first three are dead. The fourth and sixth – Tom Baker and Colin Baker – are so physically different to when they played the role that they couldn’t possibly pass for the same character. The fifth and seventh – Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy – are a bit greyer and tubbier but can still just about do the job if you squint a bit.

    Then there’s Paul McGann, who I’m sure could reprise the role perfectly well assuming you could afford him, but who isn’t well-known to the general public as a Doctor.

    There’s Christopher Eccleston, who is very unlikely to ever reprise the role. Going back to previous jobs is not his style in any case, but given that he quit because of anger at the culture of the production it’s hard to see how he could ever be induced to return,

    I’m sure Tennant would be happy to join in.

    So, out of eleven previous Doctors, you’ve got two who you could expect would return and could look more or less like their old selves, two more who would be obviously older but not so much that you couldn’t get away with it, and that’s it. Four out of eleven isn’t much to write a story around, and isn’t a terribly grand celebration.

    Better, I think, for Moffat to exercise his prodigious imagination in coming up with an anniversary story that says something about what Doctor Who means to us and why it is important, without having to shoehorn in whatever old actors happen to be available.

  • Dave Cross

    Doesn’t your headline rather overstate the facts? Baker says that he hasn’t been asked and that, as far as he knows, none of the other “classic” Doctors have either.

    Series 8 is almost certainly still in the planning stages. They are still filming series 7. Baker hasn’t been told that he definitely won’t be asked to take part. There’s still time for the offer to arrive.

    So, yes, currently, it looks like none of the classic Doctors have been invited to take part. But that’s some distance from saying that none of them will be involved.

  • Elias Algorithm

    I’d be pretty satisfied with a eleven-way team up in comic book form. That’s a pretty solid way to get around the passage of time in real life and there is a fan project along those lines that has been making the rounds since Tennant was still driving the Tardis.

  • Terobi

    There’s no reason we’d have to pretend that they look the same – they so very obviously don’t.

    Just pass it off as “decay” or “temporal damage” or some other such gubbins, akin to the “shorted out the time differential” gobbledegook that Moffat threw in for Time Crash.

    Nothing saying we can’t get a photo of what they used to look like it, warp it into what they look now and say “the further back they’re being pulled from, the more damage their biodata suffers!” – that way you can claim that 1,2, and 3 are so far back that they’d be too damaged if you attempted it.

  • Chris Limb

    Rule #1: The Doctor lies ;)

  • Anonymous

    At least the audio dramas are very good!

  • Anonymous

    I’d pay good money for that :)

  • Dave Cross

    And Rule #0 is “Moffat lies” :-)

  • Ria Narai

    Are you fucking kidding me BBC/Moffat? What exactly is the point of celebrating the 50 year anniversary if you’re only featuring actors that have been in the past SEVEN years? This is just outrageous. I am just incoherent with rage right now.

    Multi-Doctor specials are AWESOME. They’re great BECAUSE they don’t happen that often, usually only for the annivesaries, and they celebrate ALL the Doctors. I know that most of the modern audience is only aware of Nine onwards but the first Eight Doctors were JUST as awesome as Eccelston, Tennant and Smith! Seeing as this is a FIFTIETH anniversary isn’t it logical that it would actually celebrate ALL FIFTY YEARS not just the past seven?

  • Ria Narai

    Exactly! I’ve been holding out hope that we’d get all five Doctors who were still alive and as many Companions that were willing to do it and also still alive! To do anything less for the 50th Anniversary is not just pointless but insulting.

  • Anonymous

    Tom Baker and friends don’t have to appear as The Doctor, necessarily. Eccentric older characters bearing a remarkable resemblance to past incarnations who pop up for cameos will do for a lot of people (though McGann could and should still come back in his own right – who wouldn’t pay god money for a Russell T Davies-penned Time War mini series starring the 8th Doctor?). Moffat is an überfan, there’s no way he’d dismiss a multi-doc concept out of hand.