It isn't going to be just a 60 minute anniversary special.
With the new retro opening, new retro console room introduced in last year's christmas special, I think their plan is to use the remainder of series 7 to setup the 50th anniversary special. So I fully expect them to liberally sneak in bits and pieces of Who history into the remaining episodes.
Well given we know that at least two classic monsters will be showing up I think that’s highly likely (actually make that three given it looks like either Strax or A.N Other Sontaran is showing up as well).
I still don’t get why people are that upset about a 60 minute special. I think they can fit more into that time than you think. Look at PotD and WoM, both were an hour long and, quite frankly, both had a lot of padding. The Five Doctors was 90 minutes yes, but how much of that was stock footage of Tom and Lalla, and how much was Doctor’s chatting with their companions? Factor in you had five Doctors (sort of) eight companions (near as I recall and including Jamie, Zoe and Romana) The Master, plus three members of the High Council plus a Dalek, plus the Raston warrior, plus Cybermen, plus a hint of UNIT, plus Bessie…
Talk about the kitchen sink
Strip back the cast so that you just have a handful of Doctors and Clara (always assuming she’s still around) and make the threat a single enemy (either the Master or the Daleks would be the obvious ones, especially given we’ll see Cybermen in series 7b) and get into the action as soon as possible and I don’t see any reason why you can’t have a decent story in 60 minutes. We were never going to get an 11 Doctor/25 companions extravaganza, no matter what people thought (and let’s be honest even with 90 minutes it’d be tricky)
Look at Trek, they had two series running when they hit the 30th anniversary and we still just got a single regular episode of both DS9 and Voyager (and only one of them was any good) and when Corrie hit 50 ITV had to rely on the BBC to celebrate the dame thing!
Plus there’ll be a load of other stuff that, from some fans’ perspective may not count, but from the Beeb’s probably does. There will be a Who star on Strictly this year, I’d stake money on that, and given the show will still be airing by the time the actual anniversary arrives, I wouldn’t put it past them to do some kind of Who themed show (it’s unlikely I grant you but you never know). There’ll be various Doctors/companions on every panel/interview show going as well I reckon and I can still see some classic Who being show on BBC3/4, so I reckon by the time November rolls around Dr Who may well ‘take over our tellys’ even if not quite in the way a lot of people wanted.