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Tag Archive: The Day of the Doctor


An Unearthly Child

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.

Day of the Doctor poster

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.

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Paul McGann returns as Eighth Doctor

If you wondered why we never got to see Paul McGann’s eighth Doctor regenerate into Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor, wait no further.  A new seven-minute episode on the Web written by Steven Moffat called The Night of the Doctor reveals the last minutes of the Eighth Doctor as the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who approaches next week.

If you haven’t seen the only appearance until now of the Eighth Doctor, you must get your copy of Doctor Who: The Movie, on DVD.  When everyone everywhere was speculating on the selection of what actor would be the Twelfth Doctor, which ultimately was given to Peter Capaldi, my instant pick for the perfect Doctor was Paul McGann, based on his role as Mr. Bush in the A&E Horatio Hornblower mini-series opposite Ioan Gruffudd, as well as roles in Kidnapped and Sea of Souls.  I was quickly advised by my brother-in-law, however, that McGann already played The Doctor.  Since I began my watching with Eccleston, I hadn’t known.

Doctor Who the Movie

After watching Doctor Who: The Movie this week, “my good idea” was confirmed as he is simply brilliant as the crazed Doctor with amnesia stuck in 1990s San Francisco, in his first adventure regenerating from Sylvester McCoy’s Seventh Doctor, with a new companion played by Daphne Ashbrook, who made an appearance at Planet Comicon this year.  And now McGann returns to the role for the first time on-screen since his first appearance in the role.

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Day of the Doctor poster

In 2013, something terrible is awakening in London’s National Gallery; in 1562, a murderous plot is afoot in Elizabethan England; and somewhere in space an ancient battle reaches its devastating conclusion.  Celebrating the series’ 50th anniversary, a new BBC episode of Doctor Who will be released for two one-night screenings as part of the Fathom Events series November 23 and 25, 2013.  Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor will bring together former Doctor and companion and fan favorites David Tennant and Billie Piper for the first time along with Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman in their penultimate episode as Doctor and companion.  Also featuring guest star John Hurt, the episode will be shown in REALD 3D, and includes a ten-minute behind the scenes featurette.  And who knows what other surprises may show up in this 50th anniversary event–other past Doctors?  A visit from the Cybermen and Daleks?

Daleks--Day of the Doctor

With a devoted audience of 80 million fans in over 200 countries, the series has twice been honored by Guinness World Records as the longest running and the most successful science-fiction series in the world.

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