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Doctor Who – 51 Years On

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Doctor Who - 51 Years On

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Written by Lewis Mainwaring


First broadcast on 23rd of November 1963 at 17:16 (on BBC One) with William Hartnell taking the role as the mysterious Doctor Who – fast forward 51 years and you have 812 episodes, 13 actors who have taken on the iconic role (Hartnell included), a whole host of ‘companions’ helping along the way and is ultimately the world’s longest-running sci-fi show with the worlds most loyal fan base (which bridges generations).


The programme originally ran from 1963 to 1989. During this time which is now known as ‘Classic Who‘ the role of the doctor was portrayed by William Hartnell (1963-1966), Patrick Troughton (1966 – 1969), Jon Pertwee (1970-1974), Tom Baker (1974-1981) – his tenure as the fourth incarnation of The Doctor is the current longest, Peter Davison (1982-1984), Colin Baker(1984-1986) & Sylvester McCoy (1987-1989).


After the shows cancellation in 1989 the shows future seemed undetermined until 1996 when BBC (Worldwide) and American Studios  – Universal Studios, 20th Century Fox and the American TV Network Fox co-developed the ‘Doctor Who – Television Movie‘. This unsuccessful attempt to revive Doctor Who for American Television saw Paul McGann take over from Sylvester McCoy (Sylvester McCoy appears as The Doctor in the beginning of the film before regenerating into McGann). This would be McGann’s only appearance as the Eighth Doctor – until the 2013 mini episode ‘The Night of The Doctor‘ (which was part of the shows 50th anniversary celebrations) – which attempted to bridge the gap between the TV movie and the 2005-present series. This mini episode showed the regeneration of McGann into The War Doctor (who was portrayed by John Hurt – 2013) .

9thDoctor_Fotor_CollageThe show came bursting back onto our screens (and back on the BBC) in 2005. This new era for Doctor Who saw Christopher Eccleston taking on the role but sadly for one season only. Once Eccleston left the TARDIS, David Tennant (2005-2010), Matt Smith (2010-2013) and our current Doctor Peter Capaldi have captivated audiences worldwide.

As this is Doctor Who’s birthday and birthdays always lead to nostalgia here is an interview with Sylvester McCoy (who I had the pleasure of meeting a few weeks ago at Cardiff Film and Comic Con).

Everybody has a favourite Doctor, Companion, Villain, Episode….Drop yours in the comments box 🙂

Here’s mine:-

Doctor – Sylvester McCoy & Paul McGann (here’s why I love Mr McCoy)

Companion – Sarah Jane Smith (portrayed by the wonderful Elisabeth Sladen – R.I.P)

Villain – Controversy…..Missy (cross gender regeneration is wicked)

Episode – Journey’s End (amazing tear jerking episode – and who doesn’t love a reunion episode)


Flying the TARDIS at LFCC Summer ’14 (I’m the Doctor 😉 – on the right)

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