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The 50 Things You Need To Know About The "Doctor Who" 50th Anniversary Special

The moment is coming. But it has been prepared for.

1. 50th anniversary special The Day Of The Doctor is the biggest thing Doctor Who has ever attempted.

2. The episode was shot in 3D.

3. It will be simulcast globally in over 75 countries.

4. It will also receive a limited cinematic release.

5. Although lots of fans wanted it, it was never seriously considered to bring all the old Doctors back.

No, to put it mildly, I've got enough to think about on a day-to-day basis without thinking about the shows I'm going to make in a while. I knew it was coming, so with a little bit more time than I normally have, I saw it coming over the hill. It's not a good idea to have an idea two or three years before you write it. You should have an idea at the time because you're responding to everyone around you. So I had a notion, and then it became clear, in a blinding flash of nonsense.

7. He also felt less pressure over such a biggie than you might think.

I honestly think every Saturday [that we have to blow people away]. It sounds ridiculous and you may often think that we don't, but I always think we've got a fantastic one on Saturday and we're gonna knock em for six. And generally speaking we do, dammit! You feel pressure but you, there's a challenge but there is also a massive opportunity and to be lucky enough to be the person who's writing and exec-ing the show at a time when you get that audience, it's everything you asked for. They say be careful what you wish for – no, absolutely wish for stuff. There's nothing wrong with that."

9. The story will nod to the past, but it is more about securing the future.

Attaching the word 50 to anything, I almost tried to rip the logo off. Why's that good? That show you're watching it's really old! Why's that a great thing to say? It's about proving we've got many more stories to tell, and in a way being able to say the story really starts here. People ask me how am I going to please the fans, pleasure the regular audience, I say I'm actually trying to recruit. I'm on a recruitment drive the entire time to get people who've never watched Doctor Who. When you've got a massive show with all the publicity we're going to have. I apologise in advance, there's some people out there who've never watched it before – God help them in some ways – I want them to think 'I've been missing out, I'm gonna join in now'. It's not just a walkdown, it's not just a parade of our greatest hits. You'll get that anyway.

11. Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor will definitely not be appearing.

12. John Hurt is the "War Doctor".

13. Although this does not change the numbering of Doctors post-Eight.

14. John Hurt was everything you would want him to be, says Moffat.

15. As you may have heard, David Tennant is back as the Tenth Doctor!

16. Which makes The Day Of The Doctor the latest in a grand tradition of multi-Doctor specials.

17. Sometimes the two Doctors get on.

18. Sometimes they do not.

19. Like so.

"I think that's what's been quite interesting to find the moments when our two Doctors intersect and the moments when we do things rather differently. I think the fun is in the sort of gap between the two really. We've been finding moments when they quite enjoy recognising the same thing or having the same thought. And they switch between praising each other's ingenuity to trying to undermine at every possibility." (Tennant)

20. But it allows for a lot of comedy.

21. Tennant always sort-of-knew he would be back.

22. Matt Smith is very excited about all of this.

23. So everything was fine in the end.

"It's been really good fun actually. I thought well this'll be great, I'll say yes to this, and then the day approaches and it's a slightly odd sensation because I thought what if Matt feels like I'm stepping on his toes or what if I can't remember how to do it? There's lots of things that you feel slightly nervous about. But because [Matt] and Jenna have been so up for it and so welcoming and generous it's been a really nice experience. It's been really good fun." (Tennant)

24. But meeting yourself would not be much fun IRL.

25. The Zygons are back.

26. David Tennant loves him a Zygon.

27. And unlike so many monsters, the design is unchanged from the old days.

They're not the only villain, but they're the only villain that we shot outside. I'll be honest with you, the things that you know about Doctor Who are entirely conditioned by which bits we had to shoot outside. We just tell you what we have to when we've got no choice. If I could make this show on the dark side of the moon and tell you nothing at all, I'd do it.

29. Because for a start, we know that the Daleks are in it.

30. Billie is back, but Rose might not be.

31. The most likely explanation would be Bad Wolf.

32. So the Rose we left on Bad Wolf Bay with her Human-Doctor may still be there.

33. Joanna Page plays Queen Elizabeth I.

34. The Doctor and Elizabeth have form, or at least they're about to.

35. Jemma Redgrave is back as Kate Stewart.

36. This UNIT scientist played by Ingrid Oliver is wearing a Fourth Doctor scarf.

37. Also back: the Fez!

38. The mystery of Clara continues, sort of.

39. Clara is very much still part of the story and Jenna Coleman will be sticking around next year.

40. Something is afoot in an art gallery.

41. But what's that in the painting... Gallifrey?

42. And there is footage of the Time War, real actual footage!

43. There was an audacious stunt over Trafalgar Square.

I loved it. I had to persuade them to let me go up. I got one shot that was it, it was great and you can see right out. People have reported that I didn't go all the way up FYI!

45. A lot of the action takes place inside this mysterious space-barn.

46. We're promised an adventure that's as epic as it is funny.

47. And it's probably not what you're expecting.

I can't imagine what will happen to Doctor Who in 50 years, apart from that it'll be around," says Moffat. "Heaven knows in what form, heaven knows if there'll be interruptions at some point, even though there's no evidence of that right now. It is, particularly internationally, going from strength to strength. We can't shed viewers, it's extraordinary that we've had the same rating for so long. But we're so parochial aren't we, ooh its getting nine or 10 million viewers – no, its getting 77 million viewers, if you count the rest of the world. That's quite important, the rest of the world, you watch North Korea demonstrate that. If letting it die in public sight and leaving it off the air didn't work – what the hell's gonna work? It's indestructible.

49. This was Moffat's mission statement to celebrate that.

50. And nothing is ever going to be the same again.