Have you heard that erstwhile Sixth Doctor Colin Baker has declared that he will not be involved any 50th anniversary DOCTOR WHO stories – nor will any other classic (read: pre-reboot) Doctor?
Well, calm down, old-school Whovians, because I don’t think he actually said that. Even if he did say it.
SyFy’s Blastr news site is running story claiming that Baker has ruled out all previous incarnations of the Doctor for the 50th anniversary of the series in 2013. But I’m not buying it. This is no time to alienate fandom.
Lead writer Steven Moffat is a series fanboy himself, and he knows that a multiple-Doctor story is what the fans want to see – and that the actual 50th anniversary episode would be the perfect time for it.
Here is he relevant part of Blastr’s story:
Specifically, when asked if he would reprise his role for the show’s 50th anniversary, Baker said, “No. As far I know, neither of any of my erstwhile colleagues have been asked either.” He didn’t seem terribly broken up about it either, adding, “I think they would be scraping the bottom of the barrel if they asked me to do it. All you have to do is hold up a picture of what I look right now and what I look like then and you’d know why.”
Examining the specific words Baker chose in his response, it seems to me that he was answering slightly different version of the story than reproduced above. I do not believe he was “specifically asked” about reprising the role. He appears to have been asked, “Have you already been invited to reprise the role by the BBC?” That, of course, is a much different question than “Are you returning for the 50th?” Methinks I suspect more than a dollop of sensationalized headline spin at work here.
While Baker is correct about the aging factor, it would be child’s play for the imaginative Moffat to come up with an explanation for the earlier incarnations’ advanced ages. Hell, I can think of three reasons that fit continuity and cannon right now, as I type this.
Consider also that a (slightly) older-looking Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) appeared in Time Crash in 2010 to wide acclaim and the open arms of fandom. And who wouldn’t want to see the Sixth Doctor – long since rehabilitated by his wonderful audio adventures – running around again, clad in that (indefensible) multicolor costume?
The thing is, if there’s a will, there’s a way – especially in science fiction, and especially in DOCTOR WHO, the most flexible show premise, ever.