The Doctor Who 60th anniversary celebrations have officially begun with the announcement of a new multi-media story told across audio, books and video games.
It’s fair to say that there are many surprises in store for the Doctor Who 60th anniversary celebrations, and this is one of them. Earlier this week, the BBC announced that a brand new multi-media adventure was approaching starring a new character in the form of Doom – the self-proclaimed “greatest assassin” in the universe.
In the story, the eponymous Doom will face the seemingly insurmountable problem of imminent death. In this case, it is literal Death with a capital D – so possibly another as-yet unseen character from the Whoniverse, perhaps another assassin. Someone has sent Death after Doom and, again, we haven’t been told who this is, but naturally they wish her to know that her certain death is now certain.
Here’s how Doom introduces herself in the announcement video…
“In one day, I’m going to die,” she says, “unless I can find the Doctor. Someone sent Death – literal Death – after me. I can only outrun it for 24 hours, so the clock’s ticking. My vortex manipulator sends me a new target every hour. The Lesser Order of Oberon sends me a lot to choose from, and I’m picking the missions that’ll – maybe – bring me to the Doctor. 24 hours. All of time and space. Will I find the Doctor, ancient enemies, old friends? Or maybe I’ll go out in flames…”
With this kicking off the Doctor Who 60th anniversary celebrations, it should come as no surprise that the teaser is peppered with subtle references to the past for the hardcore fan. For a start, Doom mentions that she is a member of the Lesser Order of Oberon, which links back to the 1984 story ‘Revelation of the Daleks’ by Eric Saward. In the adventure, the Doctor encountered the assassin Orcini from the Grand Order of Oberon, who had been tasked with dispatching the villainous Davros.
The adventure’s title, meanwhile, links back to the famous Series Two finale ‘Doomsday’ (written by current showrunner Russell T Davies) in which the Tenth Doctor and Rose were separated forever after a particularly unpleasant collision with the Daleks.
And with so many Dalek references at this early stage, is it possible that Skaro’s most famous mutants will be making an appearance in the Doctor Who 60th anniversary celebrations? It’s hard to imagine a Doctor Who 60th anniversary without them, but then, we know little else about the stories that are planned for the Doom’s Day arc. The announcement did mention, however, that “a number of fan-favourite characters will feature along [Doom’s] journey.”
Here’s how Russell T Davies announced the new story. “Doom’s Day is a huge new adventure for the whole Doctor Who universe – starring the brilliant and hilarious Sooz Kempner as an intergalactic assassin. Her adventures will span comics, audio, a novel, video games stories and more, expanding the world of Doctor Who into brand new territories. Beware the Doom’s Day, it’s coming for us all.”
The press release also indicated that the first of these Doctor Who 60th anniversary offerings would encompass Doctor Who Magazine, Titan Comics, Penguin Random House, East Side Games, Big Finish and BBC Audio, “each telling a section of Doom’s story.”
You may recall a similar venture from 2020 titled Time Lord Victorious which (primarily) starred the Tenth Doctor David Tennant and was told across a number of audio adventures, novels, comic strips and even an escape room. And whilst we’re still waiting for details about how these new Doctor Who 60th anniversary stories will link together, it’s possible that they will take the same approach as Time Lord Victorious. That is, it won’t be necessary for followers to collect every piece of the adventure in order to understand what’s going on.
“It’s like a Doctor Who festival – with lots of different stuff happening all around you,” said Time Lord Victorious producer James Goss in 2020. “Just pick what you fancy – audio, books, comics or digital – have an amazing time exploring that adventure and then maybe it’ll lead you onto something else.
“You don’t have to start in a specific place or consume it in a certain order – honestly, pick what appeals to you, and go from there. Every story, every strand of Time Lord Victorious has a beginning, middle and an end so you can pick up a book and enjoy that on its own, or you might find clues and points of interest there that lead you to another product.”
This is just speculation, however, and we will have to wait for more information to find out if this Doctor Who 60th anniversary adventure will be structured in a similar way.
In the meantime, you may have spotted a familiar face as the eponymous Doom. As Russell T Davies indicated, this is the stand-up comedian, comedy sketch artist and actor Sooz Kempner, making her Doctor Who debut in time for the Doctor Who 60th anniversary celebrations.
“To be part of the Doctor Who universe, a British institution up there with cups of tea and James Bond, is surreal and amazing!” she said. “I love everything about Doom and can’t believe I get to travel across time and space with her.”
We will have to wait until later in the year to see where – and when – Doom’s travels take her on this Doctor Who 60th anniversary adventure. Until then, which “fan-favourite-characters” would you most like to see, and can we expect an Orcini origin story?! Let us know in the comments below.