It’s mere weeks until Matt Smith bids a fond farewell to Doctor Who but we couldn’t let him go without one final hurrah – and a Radio Times cover, of course. This week’s magazine marks Matt’s 13th appearance on the cover as the Doctor, matching the record held by his predecessor, David Tennant. And just in time for the arrival of the 13th Doctor. Neat, eh?
And there are plenty more Doctor Who treats in store this week. For those of you who enjoyed our exclusive message from Matt Smith to celebrate the Doctor’s 50th birthday, we’ve got another from the doors of the Tardis plus a sneak peek behind the scenes on our cover shoot. Download the Blippar app and point your phone at the magazine to unlock all the exclusive content.
As if that wasn’t enough, we’ve got Matt Smith’s final interview reflecting on his last days as the Time Lord and revealing his Hollywood hipster ambitions. One man who predicts a long and successful career for Smith is Steven Moffat who praises his lead Doctor Who actor – along with his Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch – for their wise career choices.
“I sort of knew that he wouldn’t. I know Chris a bit. I did a couple of meetings, and there was a moment, I suppose, a giddy moment where [I thought] ‘Would he actually do it?’ This wasn’t the kind of decision he took in a funk or that he was cross. He was very measured, very kind, very gentlemanly about it. He’s a good bloke. If you look at Chris’s career, this is not what he does. The Ninth Doctor turns up for the battle and not the party.”—Why Christopher Eccleston wasn’t in the Doctor Who 50th | Anglophenia
“Russell doesn’t like spoilers. When we worked together on the show, we tried not to spoil each other. I’m really serious. When I was doing ‘Silence in the Library,’ [he said], ‘I want you to have River Song pre-figure something about what’s going to happen to Donna, and I said, ‘Don’t tell me what’s going to happen to Donna!’ And I said, ‘What kind of thing is it?’ ‘It’s sad, Steven. It’s very very sad.’ I said, ‘OK OK, I’ll put something sad in.’ [Former production head] Julie Gardner was sitting there saying, ‘You’re working on the same TV show. You can’t behave like this.’”—'Doctor Who': Steven Moffat Explains Billie Piper's Role in the 50th | Anglophenia
“I thought the story of Rose, which was beautiful, was done. I didn’t want to add to it, and I didn’t feel comfortable adding to it, really. That was always [former Doctor Who showrunner] Russell [T Davies]‘s story. But we did want Billie. And I liked the idea of bringing back the Bad Wolf version. The way Russell ended it in “The End of Time,” by just sort of looping it around, was perfect. I didn’t want to stick another bit of it in. That would be wrong. I just wanted to get Billie Piper, one of the absolute heroes of Doctor Who, back in the show, but without interfering with the story of Rose Tyler. I just thought I might spoil something. I might trip over my bootlaces doing that.”—
A special nationwide 3D screening of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary TV special “Day of the Doctor” grossed a stunning $4.8 million at the U.S. box office.
What makes this particularly impressive: That’s from one night. The 75-minute “Day of the Doctor” screened in 660 theaters as a one-night-only special event Monday and averaged $7,155 per location, with 320,000 tickets sold. Granted, the tix were $15 a pop, so that certainly helped.
In fact, the BBC’s cult favorite show was the No. 2 movie in America on Monday, behind only The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Its gross is nearly as much as The Wizard of Oz in 3D made during its entire run earlier this year ($5.5 million). And more than indie fav Much Ado About Nothing ($4.3 million) or The Fifth Estate ($3.3 million).
““The Day of the Doctor” turned out to be serious, too. It revolved around the use of a genocidal weapon by the Time Lords—possibly, even, by the Doctor himself—against their mortal enemies, the Daleks, a race of fascist maniacs whose rallying cry is “Exterminate!” This weapon, we were told, was so powerful that it had become self-aware. “How do you use a weapon of ultimate mass destruction,” one character asks, “when it can pass judgment on you?” The room was silent—not a single sonic screwdriver whirred. That’s the genius of “Doctor Who”: in it, silliness and seriousness, death and vitality, the ludicrous and the real are all squeezed together. It’s bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.”—An Anniversary Party for ‘Doctor Who’ : The New Yorker
The Day of the Doctor was a huge hit in UK cinemas over the weekend, with the feature-length Doctor Who episode the third biggest grossing film at the box office. The film – which was screened in 3D – earned £1.8m ($2.91m), with only The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Gravity grossing more.
According to Variety, it’s also the most successful piece of “alternative content” to ever screen in the UK.
“John Hurt’s Doctor doesn’t use the title, therefore he’s in his 12th body but [Matt Smith is] the Eleventh Doctor. However, there is no such character and never has been as the Eleventh Doctor. He’s just the Doctor, that’s what he calls himself. The numbering doesn’t matter. So I’ve given you the option of not counting [Hurt] numerically as the War Doctor. He’s used up another regeneration, so I expect he’ll be in trouble shortly.”—Steven Moffat on ‘Doctor numbers’ | Articles | Doctor Who