Doctor Who 50 years trailer

The Doctor Who 50 years trailer is a sixty-second television trailer which promoted "The Day of the Doctor", the fiftieth anniversary special episode of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. Filmed across two days in a studio, it stars Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor, with multiple other actors providing images and poses of the key characters, over whom features of the original actors would be placed. The trailer premiered on BBC One on 19 October 2013.

50 years trailer
AgencyRed Bee Media
ClientBBC Wales
Running time60 seconds
Release date(s)19 October 2013
Directed byMatt Losasso
Music byString and Tins[1]
Red Bee Media
Produced byCarrie Hart
CountryUnited Kingdom
Official website


The sixty-second trailer features a 3D bullet time sequence through a frozen landscape filled with images from the show's history, including the Doctor, many of his companions, and enemies, as well as a multitude of props from the show's episodes.[2] During this, the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) narration talks about him running "all my lives". The trailer ends as the Doctor reveals the day that he's been running from: "The Day of the Doctor".[3]

Filming and productionEdit

Red Bee Media, which had previously produced trailers for Doctor Who such as the 2008 campfire trailer, conceived the basic outline for the 50 years trailer, to emphasise the fact that "The Day of the Doctor" would be shown in 3D. Major elements of the trailer were recorded on 15–16 August 2013, at Black Island Studios in London. During filming, actors were hired to pose as the key characters, over whom the features of the original actors would be placed. The actors were:[4]

The trailer features the first image of William Hartnell to be presented in high-resolution colour, a process which took a number of hours to achieve.

The images of Matt Smith (Eleventh Doctor) and Jenna Coleman (Clara Oswald) were captured on 2 September 2013 in London, while Smith's narration was recorded on 5 October.[4] Many of the camera movements were recreated in the software Flame. To do this, the cameras were tracked and stabilised, before being recreated into a stable camera movement. This stable movement allowed the inclusion of more subtle references from the show.[1]

The still of William Hartnell (First Doctor) is the first image of the actor to be presented in high-resolution colour. To create the image, director Matt Lossaso sourced a black-and-white image from the episode The Web Planet (1965), and spent hours placing elements from a double over the top of the original still in Adobe Photoshop to manipulate the image to colour. Following this, Framestore visual effects supervisor Oliver Bersey added slight edits, before adding subtle 2D manipulations to give a 3D effect. Bersey also created a matte painting of the vast landscape that appears at the end of the trailer.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Doctor Who 'The Day of the Doctor - 50 year trailer'". Framestore. October 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  2. ^ Hamburger, Ellis (20 October 2013). "BBC's 'Doctor Who' 50th anniversary trailer is filled with hidden Easter eggs". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  3. ^ Dowell, Ben (19 October 2013). "Doctor Who: Fans react to the dazzling Day of the Doctor trailer". Radio Times. Immediate Media Company. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  4. ^ a b Pixley, Andrew (August 2014). "The Day of the Doctor". Doctor Who Magazine. Vol. The Year of the Doctor: The Official Guide to Doctor Who's 50th Anniversary no. Special Edition 38. Royal Tunbridge Wells: Panini Comics. p. 12.

External linksEdit