Moffat has revealed some details about how John Hurt’s mysterious Doctor came about. Speaking with SFX, Moffat said:
“Why not a mayfly Doctor, who exists for one show only? I’d often thought about that. Would it be weird in the run of the series to have the 45th Doctor turn up and be played by Johnny Depp or someone? Would that be a cool thing to do?
“There was also the idea that if you could bring one classic Doctor back, you’d actually, impossibly, want it to be William Hartnell. You wouldn’t want any of the others. You’d want him to come and say ‘What in the name of God have I turned into?’ That’s the confrontation that you most want to see, to celebrate 50 years.
“Going round and round in circles on it I just thought ‘What about a Doctor that he never talks about?’ And what if it is a Doctor who’s done something terrible, who’s much deadlier and more serious, who represents that thing that is the undertow in both David and Matt. You know there’s a terrible old man inside them. Well, here he is, facing the children he becomes, as it were.”
A group of dedicated Whovians have tracked down 100 long-lost episodes of the show that have been gathering dust 3,000 miles away in Ethiopia.
The BBC feared the programmes from the 1960s, featuring the first two doctors William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton, had dissapeared forever after the BBC discarded a bunch of old footage.
Luckily, after months of searching the tapes have been found at the Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency. An insider with the agency said:
“It is a triumph and fans everywhere will be thrilled. This is a really big deal for the BBC and is set to make them millions from the sale of the DVDs.”
If the tapes are returned to the BBC in time, they hope to announce the news to go along with Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary next month. The lost episodes from the 60s include fan favorites from The Crusade, The Enemy of the World and The Ice Warriors series.
In the four-part Crusade story Hartnell and his assistant Vicki, played by Maureen O’Brien, travel in the TARDIS to Palestine during the 12th century when King Richard the Lionheart was battling with the Saracen ruler Saladin.
After only airing once between 1964 and 1969, these copies were sold to the Ethiopian Agency and the BBC lost or disposed of the originals. As the BBC still owns the copyright the episodes could be digitally remastered before being released to the public.
Doctor Who may have not lasted fifty wonderful years if the plot device of Time Lord regeneration was not created. Patrick Troughton played the second incarnation of the nortorious Time Lord and he will be featured in a 50th anniversary docudrama titled An Adventure in Space and Time by Reece Shearsmith of the League of Gentlemen.
When William Hartnel began to suffer from poor health in 1966, the idea to have the Doctor regenerate gave the show the ability to recast their star character. This was a risk however, as viewers might not accept that the Doctor could change in appearance and personality. And even if they audience accepted that idea, would they like the new Doctor? It was an incredibly big gamble and that’s why fans often say Patrick Troughton had the hardest job as the new Doctor.
The Doctor’s first regeneration is a tremendous sight to see and Troughton appears along with the sound of the Tardis materialising. There was some initial backlash at first. Fans of the show missed the Doctor they had already come to know and love. It’s truely is a testament to Patrick Troughton’s skills as an actor that he was able to be such a successful Doctor.
Patrick Troughton added his own personal touch to the character. The Doctor was no longer a grandfatherly gentlemen that Hartnell’s Doctor was, and became a more playful man with a mop of dark Beatles hair that fit perfectly with the era of the 1960’s. The new Doctor brought a more enthusiastic and energetic quality to the role. Troughton’s three year run as the Doctor thoroughly established Doctor Who once more as a family favourite but took the show into new territory.
The prominence of historical stories lessened and futurist stories became a stronger theme both on Earth and elsewhere in the universe. The Cybermen returned and became much more menacing than previous encounters. The organization UNIT as well as Brigadier were introduced doing battle with Yeti and other fearful creatures. The Time Lords were also introduced for the first time in his final story, The War Games, where they punish the Doctor for his interfering in the affairs of alien races and sentence him to regenerate again and be exiled to Earth.
Patrick Troughton was a trailblazer for every new Doctors that followed and he remains a fan favourite. He returned to the show three times in the Three, Five and Two Doctors stories and attended Whovian events for almost twenty years after leaving the rold. He passed away while at a Doctor Who convention in America at the age of 67 in 1987. His legacy as the Doctor is immense and it’s hard not to see similarities between Troughton and eleventh Doctor Matt Smith. Between the bow ties, hilariously expressive face or the rediculous way they run it’s clear that 2 and 11 are both cut from the same Time Lord cloth.