The longest running sci-fi series ever marked its 50th anniversary today. Spooky that the first episode of Doctor Who was broadcast on the day after Kennedy’s assassination. The theme of the 50th anniversary programme had a spooky analogy too – the choice the Doctor had to make about the destruction of his home planet Gallifrey, mirroring the choice Kennedy was faced with during the Cuban missile crisis.
The Day of the Doctor
beamed live around the globe.
the programme chose to probe.
when conscience met regret.
future doctors had chosen to forget.
hand red-button poised to press.
Gallifrey destroyed unless
the Doctor changed his mind.
twelve Doctors coalesced
locking the Time Lords in their moment of time.
when past and future changed.
23rd November 2013 – headline from the Independent
Notes: “World tunes in to Doctor Who for 50th-anniversary episode.” The Time Lord can travel through space and time, so it’s no surprise that last night’s 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who was watched by fans in 94 countries worldwide. The one-off anniversary episode delved into the origins of the Doctor as Matt Smith travelled back to Elizabethan England to solve a “murderous plot” with the help of former Time Lord David Tennant, Jenna Coleman, Billie Piper and John Hurt. Familiar enemies that have sent of millions of children – and some adults – scurrying behind the sofa since the first show in 1963 made a return, with the Daleks and shape-shifting aliens the Zygons battling the Doctors. Since the franchise was relaunched in 2005, it has attracted 80 million viewers worldwide and yesterday, in what the BBC called the largest “largest simulcast of a TV drama in history”, “The Day of the Doctors” was screened in more than 1,500 cinemas worldwide and on television in countries from Canada to Columbia and Brazil to Botswana. It was also broadcast in Ethiopia, where last month Doctor Who fans tracked down nine lost episodes from the show’s first two series.
- World tunes in to Doctor Who for 50th-anniversary episode (independent.co.uk)
- Who fans watch 50th anniversary show (bbc.co.uk)
- Speculation: Doctor Who 50th Anniversary (tipsfortapping.wordpress.com)
- Doctor…Who?: A Beginner’s Guide to Doctor Who (entertainment.time.com)