For as much as 'Doctor Who' fans lament that Matt Smith will end his tenure as the 11th Doctor by Christmas 2013, we've still plenty of fan-satisfying action to be had in the upcoming 50th anniversary special, starring former 'Doctor Who' David Tennant and John Hurt. Hurt's mysterious character had been introduced in the closing moments of 'Doctor Who' season 7 finale "The Name of the Doctor," but now new details have leaked providing much-desired clarification on the forgotten "Doctor."

The character was first seen in the Doctor's so-called "timestream," as a past regeneration the others refuse to acknowledge for his reprehensible deeds, done not "in the name of the Doctor," but the scene raised questions of how Hurt's 'Doctor' fit in among the 11 incarnations already known. During a recent visit from Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall to the 'Doctor Who' studio, however, costume designer Howard Burden described Hurt's character as a “dark Doctor,” clarifying:

There was a gap between Paul McGann playing the Doctor and Christopher Eccleston, when we didn’t see a regeneration, and John Hurt will fit into that gap. He is a past Doctor, not a future Doctor.

Hurt's placement between Doctors eight and nine certainly makes the most sense, so as not to upset any established continuity between the franchise's 1989-2005 hiatus, in which time McGann's character had been replaced by Eccleston. For a time it had been rumored that Eccleston himself would make an appearance in the upcoming 50th anniversary special, though it seems only Tennant's 10th Doctor has ultimately been confirmed to appear.

Well, what say you? Are you excited for the 50th anniversary special to bring David Tennant back into the mix, injecting new 'Doctor Who' mythology into the franchise along the way? How do you think John Hurt's character will fit into the series? Watch this absolutely FAKE trailer for the special below, and give us your predictions in the comments!

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