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Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Trailer: Deconstructed

11 Doctors

Since the Who team obviously went to so much effort to make this a rewind-and-freeze-frame effort I though the least I could do in this anniversary year was to justify the time and effort spared.

I quite liked it, though I thought he latter Doctors were rather short-changed, especially given that Davison and McGann had clearly recorded voiceovers to echo Smith’s in early parts of the speech; apparently the Third Doctor is represented by a lookalike too. Odd.

What it did offer, though, was a pleasant blast through the decades with plenty of characters, objects and settings shown. For what its worth I noticed the following:

Place: Totter’s Lane; Det-Sen; The TARDIS; Big Ben; The Golden Gate Bridge; The Shard

Monsters: Daleks; Cybermen; Weeping Angels; Clockwork Robots; Sea Devils; Davros; Ood; Autons; D84

Objects: Fez; the Sonic Screwdriver, as a recurring motif; a fob watch; the Key to Time; a miniature Yeti; Polyphase Avatron; TARDIS keys; 2’s recorder; Jelly Babies; Clara’s leaf; a Dalek saucer; 5’s cricket ball; 7’s brolly; Bessie

Companions: Sarah-Jane; K9; Clara; Rose; Amy?

Puzzles: The words NO MORE spray-painted onto a girder; a digital read-out with a number than might be the original transmission date; a mysterious figure facing Tennant I didn’t recognise; a cliff shaped like a figure, possible with Gallifreyan symbols on it that I didn’t recognise.

What’s missing: For me The Brig is an absolute no-brainer. That and The Garm, obviously. And Frobisher. River Song, thank fuck. And Hurt’s Doctor, whoever he may be.

How much we’re supposed to make of this is anyone’s guess, so I’m not inclined to spend much time worrying about it. Make your own mind up via the screenshots and vid below.

• Totter’s Lane. Had to be. Nicely dusty filter to represent the era too.


• Part of me expected to see Bradley here to set up Gatiss’ thing. I’m glad Hartnell is in there, apparently watching a soldier get exterminated from Remembrance.


• That’s just perfect for Troughton. Presumably that’s the Himalayas in the background and we’re seeing the Second Doctor playing his recorder in Det-Sen Monastery.


• As perhaps the most well-known classic I expect it’s only right that Tom gets a nice moment with jelly-babies, scarf and Sonic.


• Photoshop is the new CGI and never fails to look as unconvincing as its multi-frame sibling. Whatever the case (lookalikes or manipulation) neither resemble their characters much and Delgado actually looks like he has a ratty little ponytail. Still, a nice image that conveys their gentlemanly one-upmanship well.


• A lovely moment of reflection there. Quite literally.

clara sarah

• We’re packing them in now. There are no less than five Doctors represented here in around one second. Seems a tad harsh to me. Sylv is obviously represented via Curse Of Fenric; Davison apparently from Arc Of Infinity, though he could just as well be a bit of play-do, so awkwardly is the Fifth Doctor recreated here.

five docs

• Loads of Docs, monsters and stuff. You can actually see a giant Metebelis spider on the mountains to the left if you look closely. There’s also a figure over Colin’s right shoulder but with barely a fringe it’s hard to work out who it is. I’m plumping for Abslom Daak. (EDIT: Amy, apparently).


• Who is the mystery figure facing Tennant? It’s so obvious a facet of the trailer we’re supposed to take notice of it’s inconceivable that it’s a random figure. Unless I’m missing something very obvious.

tennant plus mystery figure

• The sounds of a thousand damp fangirl knickers. No surprise that Tennant gets a lingering shot, but Eccleston barely gets a frame in comparison. Perhaps Chris has excised himself from the recent history of the show but his contribution to the rejuvenated show bears consideration and seems relatively unacknowledged here.


• Smith, of course, has already left the show in the sense that he’s completed his work on it. I’d like to have seen one more season of him, shorn of most of the trappings his era represented.

smith on mountain

• Smith has an unerring ability to look weird on cue. I’ll give him that.

smith looking weird

• Ah, the modern Doctor Who money shot. Waving the Sonic cock Screwdriver about.

matt smith

50 fucking years. That really deserves some recognition. And thanks to the key people. Newman. Lambert. Hartnell. Russell. Troughton. Pertwee. Baker. Letts. Dicks. Hinchcliffe. JN-T. RTD. Eccleston. Moffatt. And the rest.


Watch the full 60-second anniversary trailer: