Caution - may contain material deemed as Spoiler-ish.
With one month to go, I thought I would start to pull together what is currently known about the anniversary special. This will build as we get closer to 23rd November. At this early stage, it is a mix of fact and some speculation.
- The Name of the Doctor introduced John Hurt as "The Doctor". Eleven spoke of some not deserving of the name, because of something terrible they have done. That story ended with the Doctor and Clara still trapped in his time stream - so that still has to be resolved. One assumes the Hurt Doctor escapes with them.
- Everything seems to point towards the Hurt Doctor being the one who used "The Moment" to end the Last Great Time War, and he is therefore the destroyer of Gallifrey and the Time Lords. There must be more to it than this as we have known for 8 years now that the Doctor ended the Time War by destroying both sides. Perhaps the guilt that has condemned Dr Hurt to obscurity is because there was actually another way...
- The Tenth Doctor is accompanied by Rose (but OK Magazine thinks Donna is also involved).
- The Daleks were seen battling Time Lords in the trailer (confirmed by those few images already released - Gallifreyan symbols in the background).
- The battle may be the Fall of Arcadia (the Doctor was there and has said he might one day get over it). An extra claims to have played an "Arcadian". The same extra has also said he played a UNIT soldier in this - so either he's not clearly in shot or the Arcadians don't look like humans.
- The Zygons appear. (Creator Robert Banks Stewart thought the Cybermen were also involved).
- At least one of the Zygons is in Elizabethan England. Queen Elizabeth is played by Joanna Page.
- Matt Smith said ages ago that the story involved paintings.
- Photos have emerged in the last couple of days featuring the Tenth Doctor in Elizabethan costume.
- There is another shot of what I assume to be a wrapped up painting with writing by Elizabeth - stating that if the "Under Gallery" is endangered it should be given to the Doctor. The much publicised filming of the Doctor hanging from the TARDIS took place in Trafalgar Square - right in front of the National Gallery.
- UNIT are back, once more led by Kate Stewart and still based under the Tower of London. The new scientific adviser appears to be a big fan of the Fourth Doctor.
- Coal Hill School and 76 Totters Lane feature. Ian Chesterton is now Chairman of the Board of Governors of his old school.
- Clara rides a motor bike out of the TARDIS (the same turbo-charged bike from The Bells of St. John).
- Tennant reuses Troughton's The Three / Five Doctors line about not liking the redecoration.
- Tennant is envious of Smith's Sonic.
- Presence of other Doctors. The Radio Times said that one of the pre-2005 Doctors was involved. If so, McGann would be the most obvious choice, though Davison is very good friends with the show-runner and Tom is the most popular. Moffat has recently stated that having the old Doctors squeeze into their costumes for a couple of minutes screen time would be a bad idea. So, if some do appear it may only be in old footage. Maybe cameos as other characters?
- Presence of old companions. A mistake to clutter it in my opinion. I'd only tolerate one of the originals - Ian or Susan. Having the school feature makes Ian the easiest to include. Besides, from everything we've heard since 2005, Susan is now dead.
- Update 4th November 2013 - official synopsis:
The new trailer was released today. Also available is a teaser scene, featuring the Doctor and Clara being shown a painting that appears to depict the Time War.
A few behind the scenes pictures were published in the Telegraph newspaper - all from the same filming (the crystal on a podium in an old rustic barn building).
Speculation: Could this be the Moment? That is, the thing that ended the Last Great Time War and destroyed Gallifrey and the Dalek forces. In the pictures, and the trailer, the Hurt Doctor is seen with this on his own - but also with Ten & Eleven. Might it be the case that the Hurt Doctor fails to activate it (deliberately or under other influence) and so time is changed and the War never ends - and so Ten & Eleven have to put things right?