“I’ve always known all twelve* [of the Doctors] would have to be in [the 50th anniversary special]. I’ve been lying about it for months, and it’s such a relief to be able to stop.”—
(Steven Moffat, Doctor Who Live After Party)
…The above is a close paraphrase (they’re repeating the After Party tonight on BBC Three, and I’ll edit this to get the wording exactly right). In any case, the above closely enough approximates what Moffat said.
But regardless. Bearing in mind how much rage and thrashing around has been spent in recent weeks, on Tumblr and elsewhere, on this very issue — and also about how butthurt Sylvester McCoy and Colin Baker were supposed to be about being completely left out of even some minor part in the festivities (look at this YouTube video: the section starting at around 3:10 was made into a gifset that got a whole lot of notes. Why do people keep forgetting that actors can act even when they’re not on a soundstage?), and how terrible that was…and then we get this…
YOU WON’T SEE PETER CAPALDI TIL CHRISTMAS, THEY SAID
THEY’RE NOT INTERESTED IN ANYTHING THAT HAPPENED BEFORE 2005, THEY SAID
In a whole bunch of ways, we were gamed. Epically. Subtly. Gorgeously. Self-referentially. In all the ways we should have known to fear.
Doubtless there are people who hate to be fooled and will loathe even the suggestion that they were taken in.
Not me. I’m kind of left in cheerful awe. In this day and age, it’s awfully hard to keep such news from leaking. Yet it didn’t: possibly because people were (a) being cleverly misdirected or (b) unwilling to see or correctly analyze any signs of anything that didn’t match up with their own preconceptions.
Whatever. As we see now, everybody still breathing got a look-in. (And even those not still breathing.) So… onward to the next fifty years…