Ever since the Doctor Who season finale ended by “introducing John Hurt as The Doctor” fans have been going crazy speculating about this November’s 50th anniversary special and what role, exactly, Hurt will play in it. It seems we may now know, perhaps a little too early.
As always, if you don’t want to know just yet here’s some…
Fans had worked out Hurt’s character to two strong contenders. They figured he was either going to be playing the Valeyard (a logical choice considering they namedropped him in that episode) or, as rumored before the finale even aired, that he’d be playing an incarnation between the 8th and 9th Doctors that we know. As it turns out, one of those is right.
As frequently happens in these situations, the accidental confirmation came from the costume department. This time, in a kind of adorable article about Prince Charles visiting the set (seriously, check it out), costume designer Howard Burden let this slip.
“There was a gap between Paul McGann playing the Doctor and Christopher Eccleston, when we didn’t see a regeneration, and John Hurt will fit into that gap. He is a past Doctor, not a future Doctor.”
This really is a fact that should have been totally obvious to anyone who’s seen that picture of Hurt on-set. He’s wearing a vest like McGann wore and Eccleson’s coat.
Not one like it, but clearly the exact same one.
Even though it was so clear, it’s still a shame to have it confirmed quite so early.