It was the sort of slip-up every TV production dreads. After keeping the finale’s secrets under tight wraps for the months leading up to last Saturday’s airing of “The Name of the Doctor,” a major SNAFU resulted in pre-ordered copies of the Doctor Who: Season 7.5 Blu-rays shipping out two weeks early. Suddenly the spoilers were out in the wild, and in a world where the internet exists, that could have been disastrous.
The powers that be at the BBC and BBC America took to social media to implore Who fans not to spoil the surprise, and they promised to release a special behind-the-scenes video if fans stayed mum. Thankfully, the fans kept their lips buttoned and, while one of the finale’s big twists had been rumored for weeks, for the most part you could go into the finale spoiler-free unless you actively chose not to. True to the BBC’s word, you can check out a short video above, with Matt Smith and David Tennant talking about playing the Doctor, and what it’s been like working together on the 50th anniversary special.
It’s a cool little moment to see the two most recent Doctors interacting, and it once again promises to make the 50th annniversary episode a blast. And I think we can all work out who that third character the two of them are referencing is…
Showrunner Steven Moffat also wrote up a quick thank-you for the fans, via The Guardian. You can read it below.
Well that was all a bit Keystone Cops, wasn’t it? Our biggest surprise, our most secret episode, a revelation about the Doctor that changes everything …
… and we’d have got away with it too, if we hadn’t accidentally sent Blu-ray copies of “Name of the Doctor” to 210 Doctor Who fans in America. Security-wise, that’s not GOOD, is it? I mean, it’s not top-notch; it’s hard to defend as professional-level, hard-line secrecy.
My favourite fact is that they’re Blu-Rays. Listen, we don’t just leak any old rubbish, we leak in high-def – 1080p or nothing, that’s us. Every last pixel in beautifully rendered detail. It’s like getting caught extra naked.
But here’s the thing. Never mind us blundering fools, check out the fans. Two hundred and ten of them, with the top-secret episode within their grasp – and because we asked nicely, they didn’t breathe a word. Not one. Even Doctor Who websites have been closing their comments sections, just in case anyone blurts. I’m gobsmacked. I’m impressed. Actually, I’m humbled. And we are all very grateful.
Now you might be thinking, what does all this matter? It’s a plot development in the mad old fantasy world of Doctor Who, why is that important? Well of course, it’s not important, and in the scheme of things, it doesn’t matter at all. Just as it doesn’t matter when you’re telling a joke, and some idiot shouts out the punchline before you finish. It’s irritating, that’s all. It’s bad manners.
Well, no bad manners here! Two hundred and ten Doctor Who fans kept the secret, and many, many more fans helped. I wish I could send you all flowers, but I don’t know where you live (and, given our record, you really shouldn’t be sharing private information with us). So instead, if we can get our act together – and I forgive you for thinking that’s a big if – there will be a little video treat released on the Doctor Who site later tonight.