Steven Moffat’s novelization of “The Day of the Doctor” has finally confirmed that the Peter Cushing movies are part of the Doctor Who canon – in a sense.
Doctor Who is best known as one of Britain’s most popular TV series, but the show has actually inspired several movies too. The most recent was 1996’s Doctor Who film, starring Paul McGann, which is actually considered part of the canon; McGann’s face has been shown several times in the relaunched TV series, and he’s reprised the role in several Big Finish audio adventures. Far trickier, though, are two movies released back in the 1960s. They featured Peter Cushing playing the elderly “Dr. Who”, and they’re based on two popular William Hartnell stories. To say they don’t sit comfortably with the canon is something of an understatement.
RELATED: Every Doctor From Doctor Who, Ranked From Worst To Best
Now it turns out they are canon after all – in a sense. Steven Moffat recently released the novelization of his 50th anniversary Doctor Who special, “The Day of the Doctor“. It includes a number of scenes that didn’t actually make it into the final script, including a brilliant scene in which UNIT’s Kate Stewart reveals to Clara that the films were actually adapted from the Doctor’s “real” adventures. Here is the relevant dialogue from that scene (per Digital Spy):
“Seen them? He loves them. He loaned Peter Cushing a waistcoat for the second one, they were great friends.”
Moffat isn’t actually the first one to toy with this idea. Back in 1999, popular BBC author Steve Lyons toyed with a similar idea in his Doctor Who novel “Salvation”. That suggested Cushing continued playing “Dr. Who” in this universe, with other films including a 1980 film called Prey For A Miracle. Still, the canonicity of the old Past Doctor Adventures is highly debatable. In contrast, the novelizations are generally accepted by fans as part of the canon.
According to Digital Spy, Moffat had always imagined these films to be part of the Doctor Who universe. He actually tried to purchase the rights to include Peter Cushing posters in UNIT’s Black Archive. Unfortunately, the rights to the posters proved too expensive, and that didn’t happen. Even this dialogue didn’t actually make its way into the final simulcast of “The Day of the Doctor”. At least Moffat has been able to slip it into the novelization, though; that’s sure to make countless fans across the world beam with delight. It’s certainly appropriate that the novelization of “The Day of the Doctor”, the story that celebrated Doctor Who‘s 50th anniversary, is the one to subtly incorporate the Peter Cushing movies into the Doctor Who mythos.
MORE: Doctor Who: 18 Things You Didn’t Know About The Daleks
Source: Digital Spy