Like any other self-respecting Whovian, you're probably checking your fob-watch regularly, waiting patiently (or not so patiently) to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the sci-fi cult favorite "Doctor Who" with the rest of the world. The special is set to air on November 23, 2013 in both 2D and 3D on the BBC One, and it is expected to be the world's largest drama simulcast in television history. The simulcast is an attempt to lessen the potential leak of spoilers from those in different time zones who were lucky enough to see it first.
We already know what and who is going to be returning. Daleks! David Tennant! Billie Piper! David Tennant! Zygons! (Did we mention David Tennant?) Though, there are some old friends who will probably be missing from the New Who-niverse and who, sadly enough, we may never see resurface in a new episode. See if one of your favorites made the list, though if you aren't yet fully caught up on the series, watch out for, as River Song would say, "spoilers."
#5: The Ponds (Rory and Amy)
The Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) spent a majority of his time with Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory Pond (Arthur Darvill), companions who had one of the most romantic couplings of the New Who-niverse. At the very least, they sure did a lot of waiting for each other. And while Amy was all over the Doctor at first, it was nice to see her turn her attention to Rory and keep it there. We love when the Doctor falls in love (Rose, River), but we particularly enjoy the female companions that he counts among his close friends (Amy, Donna).
#4: Sarah Jane Smith
The plucky Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) has been voted, on par with Billie Piper, as being the most beloved companion in all of Who history. She has also been one of the longest-running. Certainly, she must have been a favorite if she earned her own spin-off ("The Sarah Jane Adventures"). Smith would have been a welcome addition to the 50th, as fans old and new would have been excited for her return. Sadly, though, Sladen passed away in 2011 from cancer.
#3: Donna Noble
Donna Noble (Catherine Tate), a.k.a. the companion with the most-heartbreaking ending. Donna Noble forgot everything before the Silence made it cool to do so. But seriously, Tate and Tennant worked so remarkably well together that you want to see Donna standing next to him again in his trench-coat and pin-stripes. Over the course of one season, Donna earned her rightful place as a worthwhile companion. While the beautiful Martha (Freema Agyeman) tried hard to win Ten's affections at a time when he was anything but receptive, Donna was perfectly fine with remaining platonic, sometimes becoming downright matronly, and that made us love her even more.
#2: Captain Jack Harkness
Who doesn't love Captain Jack (John Barrowman)? After all, Captain Jack would love every one of you. Sure, we already know how his story ends (or does it?), but we'd welcome the handsome head of Torchwood back with open arms any day. Because Captain Jack adds an extra layer of awesome to every episode he's in, that's probably why they left him out of the 50th. Add any more awesome to what is set to be an epic episode already filled to capacity with beloved characters old and new, and our heads might explode.
#1: Ninth Doctor
Oh, Christopher Eccleston. We of the New Who fandom fell in love with the Doctor and his TARDIS because of the passion and wit that Eccleston brought to the role. Sure, the Doctor was damaged and angry, having recently decimated his home planet, but he gradually softened up, thanks to Rose's influence, to become a lovable teddy bear - a teddy bear with a superiority complex, but a teddy bear nonetheless. If you didn't fall for Eccleston's Doctor at first, he gradually grew on you until you realized you were too embedded in the core of the show to ever turn back, and that he led you there. Many consider Eccleston to be their favorite Doctor, and while his decision to opt out of the 50th is a choice that his fans can respect, not having him present for the 50th instils a similar sense of loss to that we feel when saluting a fallen comrade. While we will almost certainly be privy to a dedication to all eleven Doctors that will assuredly take the form of previous tributes in the past (such as in the final episode of series 7), it just won't be the same without our Nine.
With everything we already know about the 50th, it's exciting to think that there may be some surprises left. Many of us are excited for Tennant's return, but it's bitter-sweet when we realize that we'll also have to say goodbye to him again. Then, right after we heal from that, we can promptly have our hearts re-broken in December when Matt Smith regenerates during the Christmas special. From there, we'll fall into another holding pattern while we wait for Peter Capaldi to assume his role as the 12th Doctor in the fall of 2014. It will be a long wait, but it appears to be a promising return on our investment.