Doctor Who is going 3D for 50th anniversary special

Posted by CB Droege

The BBC has confirmed that the 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who will be in 3D.

The first episode of Doctor Who premiered in 1963, and to celebrate the half-centennial of the show, the BBC is doing it up big. It seems that no expense has been spared in the production budgets or extra projects for the show.

We’re seeing everything from toys to documentaries cropping up, with the center of it all being the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special episode. We don’t know much about the episode itself yet - except that the end of the current season will lead us into it - but it’s starting to look more and more like it might be the in-canon film that showrunner Steven Moffat has mentioned before.

This week, it was announced that the special episode will be released in theaters across the UK, and will be filmed with a 3D camera.

"It’s about time," Moffat said. "Technology has finally caught up with Doctor Who and your television is now bigger on the inside. A whole new dimension of adventure for the Doctor to explore."

There is no word on how long the episode will be, but with this news, I’m expecting that it will be a feature-length production, and likely paced and scaled to resemble a modern film. The episode will also be broadcast using the BBC’s HD capabilities, so that viewers with a 3D television will be able to get the 3D experience at home.

This won’t be the first time that Doctor Who has ended up in the theaters - there were several non-canon Doctor Who movies back in the 60s - and this won’t be the first in-canon Doctor Who feature-length film - there was the 1996 made-for-TV film with Paul McGann as the 8th Doctor - but it will be the first time that  an in-canon Doctor Who film has been shown in theaters, and it will definitely be the first time Doctor Who has been filmed with a 3D camera.

I’m very happy with the news that the 3D will be native. If they had announced that the episode would be ‘fake’ post-production 3D, I might have been upset.

Imagine if Doctor Who continued, as a series, to be shot in 3D. That alone would skyrocket the sales of 3D televisions across the UK, and create a demand for further television to be produced in 3D. It might even spill over into the US. We might be on the verge of a 3D TV revolution.

Having said all that, however, I doubt that the series will continue in 3D after the special episode. Production costs would simply be too high.

There is no announcement yet regarding a US theatrical release or 3D broadcast for the episode. Hopefully BBC America will have an announcement for us soon.

The second half of season seven of Doctor who Will begin in April 2013, while filming of the 50th Anniversary special is slated to kick off in the spring so it can air after the end of the season.