The Day of the Doctor was nearly an unmitigated disaster: No Doctors! Some Doctors! Just Clara! But thanks to some last minute confirmations, a quick rewrite of the whole of the Doctor Who canon and a brilliant performance by John Hurt, the special was a thorough delight.
But what of all the work that preceded the months of hand-wringing and negotiations; what of the might-have-been?
Well now we have a peak at what might have been…
It’s been well documented that Christopher Eccleston didn’t exactly leave the show on amicable terms; attempts were made to bring him back to the fold and, despite personally meeting with Steven Moffat, he decided not to appear as the Ninth Doctor once more time.
However, we didn’t know how far along the process they were with the Ninth Doctor still on board.
Andrew Wildman, comic creator, animator, TV producer and storyboard creator was one of the people who worked on the show, and has released a collection of storyboards that he sells at shows, for The Day of The Doctor and Nightmare In Silver.
Bleeding Cool’s Rich Johnston picked up a copy at the Geek Comic Con where he discovered storyboards not only featuring the Ninth Doctor but, instead of Billie Piper as The Moment, we get a mysterious young girl.
An introduction to the set says:
“My run on the show spanned three Christmas Specials and most of Matt ‘s final season including his ‘regeneration’. That was me pretty much done other than the huge privilege of being asked to work – albeit in a small way – on the 50th Anniversary special. There were going to be three Doctors in this one. The current, 11th Doctor and the previous two. Ok, so it didn’t quite work out that way in the end as we all know. Contracts are an odd thing and in the end show runner and writer supreme, Steven Moffat, had to come up with something… slightly different. At my time of working on the show however it was the three ‘modern age’ Doctors and the current assistant, Clara.”
Firstly, you can see Clara popping a wheelie as she makes her entrance into the TARDIS.
Then we see the barn on Gallifrey where, instead of John Hurt’s War Doctor, we get Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor and the mysterious young girl as The Moment.
You’ll also notice one of the fissures in time opening above their heads and, from this point on, the Ninth Doctor becomes the focus of the narrative – first being pulled through the fissure and then meeting both the Tenth Doctor and the two incarnations of Queen Elizabeth.
You can take a look at a selection of Wildman’s storyboards over at Bleeding Cool.