Doctor Who, 50 Years of the Time Lord: But I bet you didn’t know…


Doctor Who has sat at the heart of British entertainment and television for half a century. It’s influence and sway on the public has made most of us, time fantasising, alien loving and Dalek hating ‘Whovians’ (a fan cult of Doctor Who). Created and originally broadcast by the BBC on the 23rd November 1963, Doctor Who tried to take on the fascination and pose curious thoughts to those eager viewers, who’d only just seen President Kennedy assassinated the day before. Doctor Who took on a role of educating the British public about the wonders of space and time, during a period when nuclear war was feared and men raced to be the first into space. However, it’s base was firmly grounded on Earth, in the UK – it’s main audience was intended to be those families and children who wanted to sit down to TV and not just be wasted away, but engaged.

The Doctor and his companions instantly became famous, never mind the awful effects, dodgy costumes and Surrey-side quarry backdrops; it was rustic, new and very much British. The regeneration of the Doctor meant that the series never grew old, the companions never tired and the aliens just kept getting ‘badder’!

In the 1980s the appeal of Doctor Who declined and the BBC shelved the programme; at the time, indefinitely. During the 1990s, there were several murmurs of a return, but this never emerged. A failed TV/film episode with US Fox Network led to a dismal attempt at tackling the US audience – but the Time travelling doctor couldn’t crack that cookie. Then, by stroke of luck, which are all now thankful for, Russell T Davies (Producer/writer) gave the Doctor one more chance in 2005. Along with the new writers came a splash of money and a touch of Hollywood, you might have never noticed the cardboard Cyberman before, but they look a load better now.

Now, the rest is history; go on and take a look in your TARDIS, if you’ve got one. But since its reincarnation we’ve seen 3 Doctors, now we’re on the 11th. Christopher Eclleston, David Tennant and now Matt Smith have all dabbled in the TARDIS – each have made the Doctor their own. Now even America has given in to the Doctor, and he dominates world wide. Services such as Netflix make a good deal of cash out of the Doctor’s journeys. So, as a celebration of the 50 years of Doctor Who the BBC are to broadcast a special episode tonight, 23rd November 2013, 50 years to the day. Titled the ‘Day of the Doctor’ we’ve had little in the way of spoilers, apart from the advert below. The programme is airing at 7.50PM GMT and is also being shown in 3D at several cinemas nationally, don’t miss it. So check that out and also try and test your Time Lord/Whovian knowledge, check out some of our most interesting facts about the Gallifreyan below.

  1. The regeneration of the Doctor was based on a bad experience of LSD.

  2. Stephen Fry once wrote a script for a series, but it was never used.

  3. Tochwood is an anagram of Doctor Who and originally used as a code name.

  4. Delia Derbyshire, radiographer who co-composed the theme tune, never got recognised by the BBC. But in her honour, here is a rendition of the song, by floppy disks.

  5. Michael Jackson nearly played the Doctor, when Hollywood decided to make a film. Thankfully it never happened.

  6. The BBC fought the Metropolitan police for the rights to make the TARDIS into a cookie jar. They kept that under lock and key. cookie_2743371f

  7. Matt Smith is the youngest Doctor ever.