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6 Things We Know for Sure About "The Day of the Doctor" and 6 Things We Still Don't!

6 Things We Know for Sure About

By Ryan Britt

BBC

While the wannabe Time Lords of Earth adjust their bowties, check the batteries in their sonic screwdrivers, and decide where to watch “The Day of the Doctor” this Saturday, the actual show itself is done; it’s a fixed moment in time, just waiting to be released. And because we don’t see time like a Gallifreyain (or Tralfamadorian) worrying and thinking about things that haven’t happened makes us silly, and very very human.

So, for all the human fans, here’s a last minute check in on what we know and what we really don’t know about “The Day of the Doctor.”

6 Things We Know For Sure

6.) At Least Three Incarnations of “The Doctor” Will Hang Out Together

All the pictures and clips and press releases, and even previous episodes confirm it: the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) will hang out with the 10th Doctor (David Tennant) while a new incarnation—The War Doctor—will be played by John Hurt. We also now know for sure where John Hurt fits in: his War Doctor is in between the 8th Doctor (Paul McGann) and the 9th Doctor (Christopher Eccelston) Just imagine what Doctor Who is going to be like in another 50 years! The 29th and 87th Doctors are going to rock.

5.) Matt Smith Does His Own Stunts

Just look up “The Day of the Doctor” on the Internet Movie Database. Listed under “stunt performers” in the full cast list is “Matt Smith,” which is really, really Matt Smith and not the clone Matt Smith from “The Almost People.” Seriously. He’s the man.

4.) Brigadier’s Daughter is Back

Introduced in the quiet and adorable Rory and Amy episode “The Power of Three,” Kate Lethbridge-Stewart (Jemma Redgrave) was revealed to be one of the new head officials of UNIT, continuing the legacy of her father Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney). The latter Lethbridge-Stewart was an old buddy of the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and even 5th Doctors and later turned up on the Sarah Jane Adventures. Having his daughter in the 50th anniversary special is a big no-brainer.

3.) Rose, Clara, and Queen Elizabeth!

Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) is probably the most popular of the Doctor’s contemporary companions. Clara (Jenna Coleman) is the current companion of the Doctor. So we’re all set for companions, right? No, because Queen Elizabeth I is also returning to Doctor Who. Though her association with Doctor Who is long and complicated, the most references to “Old Bess” are in “The Shakespeare Code,” and “The End of Time.” Supposedly she was even married to the 10th Doctor at one point! Does this mean the Joanna Page’s new portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I will see her getting married to David Tennant? We’d say, probably.

2.) Daleks, Zygons, Time War, Oh My!

We all know about the Daleks—pepperpot killers with mutant creatures inside of them—but what about the Zygons? As of yet not seen in any “contemporary” version of Doctor Who, the Zygons are shapeshifters who once built a replica of the Loch Ness Monster. Hopefully, they're doing something awesome like that here. As for the Time War, we’re aware it destroyed both the Daleks and the Time Lords in the end. And if the recently released “The Last Day” minisode is any indication, it was an actual, physical war, complete with ray guns and soldiers straight from central casting of other war movies!

1.) It Will Be 75 Minutes With No Commercials in 3D

Granted, the 3D action will probably be better in one of the many movie theatre screenings throughout the world, but the fact remains that the show which has traveled in four dimensions for 50 years will now present the third dimension! The no commercial thing is awesome, even if the show itself might be a little bit of a commercial to watch more Doctor Who.

6 Things We Still Don't Know

6.) Special Guest Companions?

We know Clara, Rose, and Queen Elizabeth are in. But will we see anyone else? Captain Jack? K-9?

5.) What’s Up With Rose’s Outfit/Glowing Eyes?

In the trailer, Rose Tyler is wearing an outfit we’ve never seen before and it doesn’t look like she got it from Top Shop! Reminiscent of some sort of soothsayer get-up, Rose is also rocking glowing eyes, which she last sported while destroying all the Dalek fleet in “The Parting of the Ways.” But when we say “last” in a time travel show, that’s a little misguided, right?

4.) Will We See the Master?

The episode is all about the Time War, and supposedly the Master fought in the Time War. It really wouldn’t matter which incarnation of the Master shown, because who knows what he was up to in between his appearance in the TV movie and “Utopia.” But in the TV movie he was played by Eric Roberts. Hey, they got Paul McGann for the minisode “The Night of the Doctor,” who knows, maybe Eric Roberts will be fighting on Gallifrey for a half second!

3.) Additional Secret Doctors? (Eccelston? More Paul McGann? The Tom Baker rumor???)

Just this week, Tom Baker (the 4th Doctor) actually came out and said he is in the anniversary special, despite rumors to the contrary. Is this to be believed? We were told no Doctors other than Matt Smith and David Tennant would be in “The Day of the Doctor,” but now there’s John Hurt’s War Doctor. Could others be on the way? Against all odds could Christopher Eccelston’s 9th Doctor appear?

2.) Will It Set Up Matt Smith’s Departure?

Something that’s been a tiny bit forgotten in all of the excitement about David Tennant returning and the overall 50th anniversary madness is that this is Matt Smith’s SECOND TO LAST episode of Doctor Who. Back in the David Tennant era, this departure was set-up well ahead of time with seeds and clues for how he would “die” strewn throughout “Planet of the Dead,” and “The Waters of Mars.” Sure, we visited the Doctor’s tomb in “The Name of the Doctor,” last season, but that doesn’t specifically relate to Matt’s Doctor. Will there be some clues as to what’s going to happen to poor, plucky 11?

1.) Will The Timeline Be Altered? (I.E. Time War Retcon?)

Something old school fans have been debating about for ages is whether or not it’s fair to have all the other Time Lords eliminated. After all, despite their supposed defeats over and over again, the Daleks manage to keep coming back. Totally eradicated at the end of season four, the Daleks were back in business full time by the third episode of season five. So, why couldn’t the Time Lords come back for real, too? With (at least) three versions of the Doctor heading back across their own timeline, it seems reasonable that something that was once one way, will be changed forever. Time War ending altered? Time Lords restored? Christopher Eccleston given more seasons? Will “The Day of the Doctor” become the biggest retcon event in Doctor Who history?

Only two days left now for all these questions to be answered!!! What do you think you already know about “The Day of the Doctor?” Come on! Show us your time travel skills!

Tags: doctor who, bbc, the doctor, matt smith, david tennant, day of the doctor

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About the Author
Ryan Britt

Ryan Britt is the author of Luke Skywalker Can't Read and Other Geeky Truths , forthcoming from Plume Books in Fall of 2015. His writing has appeared with The New York Times, The Awl, VICE, The MindHut, Electric Literature, Tor.com, and elsewhere. He's taught for The Gotham Writers' Workshop and the Sackett Street Writers' Workshop and lives in New York City.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.