As the Day of the Doctor draws closer the BBC has treated us to an action packed trailer for the 50th anniversary show. If you haven’t seen it check out the BBC Doctor Who website (One Weekend.Two Unmissable Trailers). Of the many things we seem to see is a gigantic Dalek saucer fleet attack a planet we take for Gallifrey. This surely is the Time War writ large? Or is it…
The Time War
We all know the Time War is that device that separates twentieth century Doctor Who from twenty-first. It allows canon to be played with and acts as a barrier to the first eight Doctors. This barrier has shown itself to be somewhat pervious to the odd leak (eg when David Tennant met Peter Davison) but has largely been that great curtain that came down before the show’s modern run. It has also been a line in the sand – one that various episodes have come near but have not crossed.
We know that the Day of the Doctor comes near with a mysterious figure in the form of John Hurt who might be the bridge between Paul McGann and Christopher Eccleston. We will find out, possibly, in fewer than fourteen days.
What might be happening?
This may be an attack on Gallifrey but I still believe that the Time War is something that even now will not get reset. This might be a razing of Gallifrey that gets put right – an experiment by Hurt’s non-Doctor. My money is something like that – why have UNIT, Queen Elizabeth and Zygons if you are telling a story of the Time War? I think the episode will be a moment out of the Time War when (for example) Hurt needs help getting something special to help in his war with the Daleks.
I do not believe we will get a long story full of Time Lords, Dalek battles and so fort. I suspect that what we have seen is, like the opening of Star Wars, just context.
We shall see!