The day after President Kennedy was assassinated and The Chronicles of Narnia author C.S. Lewis died, at 17:15 GMT on 23 November 1963, 50 years ago today, a teleplay called “An Unearthly Child” aired in the United Kingdom for a new TV series called Doctor Who. An older man called simply The Doctor and his companions walked into a blue British phone booth and transported through time to the Stone Age where they encountered a tribe that had lost the secret of fire. With only a few years off the air in those 50 years, Doctor Who continues as a tradition in the UK that has in recent years expanded to become a fan phenomenon across the globe.
Today at 1:50 p.m. Central, the BBC is broadcasting its 50th anniversary special simulcast throughout the world, bringing together actors and actresses who have performed on the series over the decades, including the current Doctor, played by Matt Smith, the last Doctor played by David Tennant, and guest star John Hurt as the previously unknown War Doctor. Set your DVRs now if you haven’t already, since the show will air far earlier than in its normal local primetime spot on BBC America in the States.
“The Day of the Doctor” also brings back favorite companion Rose played by Billie Piper, and the current companion Clara played by Jenna-Louise Coleman.