And lo, on the twenty seventh day of the month of July, in the year two thousand twelve, the geeks on the internet exploded, as the prophecy failed to come to pass: the opening ceremonies of the 2012 Olympic Games crested in an appearance by, not the Tenth Doctor; but The Queen of England, some athlete guy*, and a bunch of kids. BOOOOOOOOO.
A little bit of background (which you can check out in more extended form, here): in the 2006 episode of Doctor Who titled “Fear Her,” the Doctor - played by David Tennant - ends up picking up a fallen athlete, and taking the Olympic torch the last few feet to light the cauldron that stays lit throughout the Olympiad. So back in May, the Internet just about flipped out when the official Doctor Who twitter feed teased that they’d have some big Doctor Who themed Olympic news. Turns out that it was actually Matt Smith carrying the torch through Cardiff... Which is cool and all, but many Whovians cried foul.
Though we haven’t seen them in America yet (hooray for NBC’s crack coverage!), the Opening Cereomonies, directed by Danny Boyle, were like a live version of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, with Mary Poppins fighting Voldemort, Mr. Bean conducting “Chariots of Fire,” and more. So as time ticked down, and the last commercial break played, rumors started to swirl that there would be some sort of Doctor appearance; particularly as every other cultural icon from the UK seemed to have been hit, having a distinct lack of TARDIS was alarming. Fire was fueled by this Tweet from sometimes Who writer Paul Cornell:
So we in America, who could only watch through the tweets of literally every other country in the world, waited on tenterhooks. Would history repeat fiction? Would there just be someone wearing a scarf? Or would Steven Moffat come out, and with a few short sentences crush the hopes and dreams of children everywhere?
Well, dreams were crushed, and perhaps the Universe destroyed as a "fixed point" - a place in the timeline that can't be altered, according to Who lore - was ignored. But we GUESS having *Sir Steven Redgrave, a multi-gold medal winning Olympian (that athlete guy I mentioned up top like a jerk) pass the torch to a bunch of multi-ethnic kids to light the cauldron was a nice touch. Oh well, I guess we'll just have to wait until 2017 to see if 'The Running Man' becomes the most popular sports show on TV.