The Doctor’s 50 – Who Knew?

At exactly 17:16:30, fifty years ago, back when the TARDIS’ cunning disguise as a police-box would not have drawn much attention from us humble earthlings, everyone’s favourite ‘madman with a box’ graced British TV screens for the first time. In fact, the first episode of Doctor Who aired eighty seconds late (perhaps there was a disturbance in the polarity of the neutron flow): something modern Whovians everywhere hope that the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who will not repeat.

The main character was originally pitched to the BBC – according to Steven Moffat’s upcoming docu-drama, An Adventure in Time and Space – as ‘C. S. Lewis meets H. G. Wells meets Father Christmas’. Indeed, as a show that was moody but whimsical, fantastical but grounded, Doctor Who stumped most members of the BBC, leading many to believe that it could never achieve any kind of lasting success…


Since then Doctor Who has become the longest-running science fiction series ever created, playing an iconic and central role in British television heritage. Fifty Doctor Who-themed weddings are set to take place throughout November 2013, a Kickstarter campaign to launch a mini-TARDIS into orbit has been funded with over $80,000, and – following a typically eccentric appeal from the 11thDoctor – fans have been whipping up a hash-tag frenzy in cyber-space in celebration of fifty years of Doctor Who. All of the above make up just a fraction of the excitement surrounding The Day of the Doctor (Paul Mcgann’s appearance in Moffat’s mini-episode The Night of the Doctor is a particularly dramatic highlight). We even have soap-dispensers shaped as Daleks (You will be edulcorated!). The cult of Skaro never looked so intimidating.

Certainly, Doctor Who’s first series defied all expectations when, against the odds, an eccentric, science-fiction programme centred around the enigmatic and mysterious Doctor began to receive over twelve-million viewers; even today, Doctor Who stands out as a show which constantly challenges the typical conventions of British, main-stream television (not to mention its impact on fashion. Has the bow tie ever been cooler?), popularising a genre that is frequently ignored. Perhaps it is in Doctor Who’s capacity to be unashamedly original that the longevity of the series lies.

But what do we really know about The Day of the Doctor? Moffatt is keeping characteristically tight-lipped on any details surrounding the Doctor’s latest adventure, but Whovians have pieced together evidence to glean a general picture of what we can expect.

Doctor Who - Series 7B

David Tennant, Billie Piper and Kate Stewart will be returning to the show, with some breathlessly funny incidents between the 10th and 11th Doctors involving a fez and sonic-screwdrivers already promising that the reappearance of old characters will be used to great effect. Most excitingly, however, Moffat has promised that The Day of the Doctor will be a game-changer for the future of the series. He has been quoted saying: ‘[The Doctor will]…never be the same again. It will redefine him’. Exciting stuff.

Hold on to your bow ties, Whovians. Geronimo! Allons-y! The day of the Doctor is dawning…

PHOTOS:// Hollywood News, Liverpool Echo, Yahoo,