Fifty years is a long time in the world of television unless you’re a Time Lord. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special for several months. Back when I renewed my contract with Verizon FIOS, I was surprised when I learned that BBC America was not part of the Prime HD channel line up. Oddly enough, the lower tier Select HD package did include it as did the higher end packages. I could have gone up to the Extreme HD package. However, on a yearly basis, I would be spending an additional $180 or $15 a month for one channel. My solution at the time was to simply purchase the second part of Doctor Who Season 7 on Blu-ray.
While I didn’t mind seeing season 7 a few months after its first run, the 50th anniversary special is something not to be missed at or near its premiere. If I did, I would have to avoid Twitter for weeks. It stars both the current Doctor, Matt Smith and the 10th Doctor, David Tennant, my personal favorite along with the Time War worn John Hurt as the 8th Doctor. How John Hurt becomes another version of Paul McGann’s 8th Doctor is explained in the prequel video below.
There’s no lack of options to see the Doctor Who special. BBC will be broadcasting the episode at the same time throughout the world and in some theaters. In the United States, the special will air this Saturday, November 23rd at 2:50 PM Eastern time with an encore at 7 PM. Besides ordering BBC America via cable or satellite, it will be available on most streaming services the next day including iTunes, Amazon Instant and VUDU among many others. In the US, there will also be a 3-D theatrical showing on November 25th and don’t be surprised if your local theater has already sold out. Finally, you can order the blu-ray on Amazon but it won’t be out till December 10th.
My original idea to watch the special was to start a social media movement to get Verizon to add BBC America to the Prime package. That didn’t go very far. In the end, I landed up adding the Extreme HD package to my FIOS subscription for $15. What most folks don’t know is that you can remove the package at any time. So, come early December, I’ll be canceling again (unless there’s an Orphan Black marathon). The other reason to subscribe is that BBC America is full of Doctor Who marathons and specials for the remainder of this week.
Of all of those specials this week, the most interesting is the docudrama called “An Adventure in Space and Time”. It chronicles the beginnings of the show and what happened behind the scenes. It stars David Bradley of Harry Potter and Broadchurch fame as the first Doctor. It airs this Friday, November 22nd on BBC America at 9 PM. There’s lots of Doctor Who marathons as well as a live YouTube pre-launch show to watch as well.
So, fire up your sonic screwdriver and get ready this Saturday for what could be the best Doctor Who adventure yet.
Night of the Doctor Prequel to the 50th Anniversary Special
Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Trailer #1
Doctor Who “The First Question” 50th Anniversary Extended Cut