This weekend the BBC finally released a trailer for the 50th Anniversary special, "The Day of the Doctor." It's not the full trailer, unfortunately. You won't be seeing any footage from the special in the video above, but it does offer a remarkable look at the half-century history of The Doctor.
It's also completely full of amazing little tributes to the show, and we decided to explore them by going frame by frame through the trailer pointing of each and every reference we could find. Enjoy having the whole thing explained.
This is 76 Totter's Ln, a junk yard owned by I.M. Foreman which is where the First Doctor hid the Tardis when he first came to Earth with his granddaughter Susan and where the first serial, "An Unearthly Child" begins. The Sixth Doctor returned there to answer a distress call in "Attack of the Cybermen" and the Seventh in order to retrieve the Hand of Omega in "Remembrance of the Daleks." We will see it once again in the 50th Anniversary Special.
The policeman from the opening, played by Reg Cranfield, was the first person to ever appear on Doctor Who.
Much of the junk that the First Doctor fiddles with while trying to get Barbara and Ian to leave appears here, as well as the first of many floating sonic screwdrivers that are a recurring motif of the trailer. In this case, it is Nine's.
It's hard to pin down what story this may be from. Based on the Dalek design this is probably a Dalek from the last days of Skaro seen in "Evil of the Daleks." Though no one matching this victim's appearance shows up in that story his death is very similar to that of the con man Kennedy, who the Daleks surprise and murder. It's also possible that it's meant to represent the death of Mike Smith or a UNIT soldier in "Remembrance of the Daleks," which took place at a standoff at 76 Totter's Ln.
The Second Doctor can be seen in silhouette playing his recorded at the end of the hall. The sonic screwdriver, though, is the Third Doctor's.
The death of the Fourth Doctor. He died from a high fall after stopping The Master from holding the universe hostage in "Logopolis."
The Fourth Doctor leaves a trail of jelly baby candies as he falls, as well as his sonic screwdriver.
One of the most mysterious parts of the trailer is this flash of graffiti. No more... no more what?
Piece continues on next page.
Everyone's favorite robot dog, K-9! Followed by the one and only...
Sarah Jane Smith, played by Elisabeth Sladen as she looked when she was the companion of the Third and Fourth Doctors as well as Cybermen from "Silver Nemesis" and what is either a Slitheen spaceship or a Dalek saucer. Sladen is sorely missed since her death to cancer in 2011. Part of me likes to believe that as she died she heard the Tardis land and Jon Pertwee stepped out to whisk her away one last time.
One of the most epic moments in all of Doctor Who history was the sword fight between The Third Doctor and The Master in "The Sea Devils."
As far as I can tell Clara is the only modern series companion who definitely makes an appearance in the trailer, though Rose's voice is heard. You can see the leaf that symbolizes the fateful nature of her existence over her shoulder. I find it interesting that the only companions that are shown are K-9 and Sarah, who both starred in the classic series and the new, and Clara, who was sort of retroactively added to the classic despite debuting in the new.
There is a ton going on near the end of the trailer. From left to right we see a Weeping Angel pursuing the Seventh Doctor. The Fifth Doctor is throwing a cricket ball. He was an avid fan of the game and played it on-screen in "Black Orchid." The Ninth (Carrying the bomb from "Parting of Ways") and Sixth Doctors appear here, as well as the lightning from a Silent and D84 from "The Robots of Death" who sacrificed himself to help the Fourth Doctor stop a robot uprising.
As always, blink and you'll miss him. The Eighth Doctor is seen on the far left over the shoulder of a woman who is possibly Rose or maybe Donna (The light from the Dalek makes telling hair color difficult, though the jacket is closer to Rose's style). Both had confrontations with the Ood you see brandishing his translation sphere menacingly in front of her. The person behind the Ood is harder to guess. It looks like a Chameleon from "The Faceless Ones," which while fairly obscure did have a cameo recently in "Nightmare in Silver." It's possible it's also an older version of an Auton.
Some have speculated that the head barely visible over the shoulder of the Ninth Doctor is that of Amy Pond.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Off to the left you'll see the wreckage of the Third Doctor's car Bessie, and of course the man my wife calls Cutie McHotpants, the Tenth Doctor standing front and center, ready to fight. I believe the figure with his back to us is John Hurt's Doctor. The short hair and what looks like the bandolier he has been seen wearing in pictures would indicate that, though he hasn't appeared in just a white shirt that I've seen.
Another theory is that the figure is the parallel universe version of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart who appeared in "Inferno." The clothing is nearly a match, though with his back to us we can't see if he sports the eye patch that was that universe's trademark. In addition, Bessie traveled into that exact parallel dimension with the Third Doctor in "Inferno." Since Hurt's Doctor is supposed to definitely appear in this trailer, though, it seems likely that the figure is still Hurt.
Finally, keep an eye out and you'll see that amidst all the floating sonic screwdrivers the Eleventh Doctor's fez goes whizzing by. Overall, it's an amazing trailer that was worth waiting for, but here's hoping a proper look at the episode is coming soon.