Anyone who has seen the DOCTOR WHO 50th anniversary story, “The Day of the Doctor,” knows that it is stuffed to the gills with Easter eggs for fans that drew on the entire length and breadth of the series — but writer and executive producer Steven Moffat couldn’t quite work everything he’d envisioned into the broadcast.
“When I started writing The Day of the Doctor I knew I wanted every Doctor to make some sort of appearance…. But what about Peter Cushing? Now I love those movies… but they don’t exactly fit with the rest of the show, do they? You remember that line, in the Black Archive, when Kate is explaining about the need to screen the Doctor’s known associates…. She wasn’t supposed to be looking at the Vortex Manipulator — originally, she was walking past the posters for the two Peter Cushing movies. In my head, in the Doctor’s universe, those films exist as distorted accounts of his adventures…. Sadly we couldn’t afford the rights to the posters.”
What a shame that the rights-holders apparently were more interested in a payday than being part of the celebration.
So the Cushing movies — 1965’s Dr. Who and the Daleks and 1966’s Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. — were meant to be fictional films based on the Doctor’s exploits? I like that. It sort of reminds me of the show-within-a-show Wormhole X-Treme! from STARGATE SG-1.
Most interestingly, Moffat’s gambit would have made Bernard Cribbins — who played companion Tom Campbell in DIE2150AD — part of Who canon as both an in-universe fictional character and a “real” person, companion Wilfred Mott! Now that would be meta!