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September 10th, 2013 93 comments

50th Anniversary Title “The Day Of The Doctor”

Doctor Who 50th anniversary schedule

Schedule Includes a raft of programmes to mark the 50th anniversary of the first episode of Doctor Who.

A 75-minute special called The Day Of The Doctor will star the soon-to-leave Matt Smith and David Tennant.

Smith said: “Hope you all enjoy. There’s lots more coming your way.”

Other highlights include a BBC Two lecture by Professor Brian Cox on the science behind the hit show and the drama An Adventure In Space and Time, written by Mark Gatiss.

The one-off programme stars David Bradley, of the Harry Potter films, as William Hartnell – who was the first Doctor in 1963.

Restored episodes

BBC Four will introduce new audiences to Hartnell, with a re-run of the first ever story. The four episodes are being shown in a restored format, not previously broadcast in the UK.

BBC Two’s flagship arts programme The Culture Show is to present Me, You and Doctor Who, with lifelong fan Matthew Sweet exploring the cultural significance of the BBC’s longest running TV drama.

A 90-minute documentary on BBC Radio 2 will ask “Who Is The Doctor?” – using newly-recorded interviews and exclusive archive material to find an answer – while BBC Three will be home to several commissions.

For those less familiar with the show, Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide will provide a handy primer.


  • Vlarp

    September 10th, 2013 - 6:42pm

    The opening story has been available on DVD for years and VHS for decades… and while episode 1 is undoubtedly excellent, you will probably be disappointed by episodes 2-4.

  • Doctor, 13th

    September 10th, 2013 - 6:39pm

    Gonna watch the 50th, the docu-drama and the first ever episode. I love title (it was even one I guessed) but I’m disappointed with the length.

  • Vlarp

    September 10th, 2013 - 6:37pm

    I can assure you that this does *not* leave the BBC with any problems at all.

    An Unearthly Child is being shown on BBC-4, which does not begin broadcasting until 7pm – it shares its channel space with CBeebies, and they are NOT going to cut CBeebies two hours short just to please ultra-picky fans who think it’s somehow important that something has to be shown at the EXACT TIME it was originally shown.

    As for the BBC-1 special, there’s no way it’s going out at 5.15pm – that’s far too early, showing it then would mean throwing ratings away. They want to make the biggest possible ratings splash, so it will be smack in the middle of prime-time.

  • 100000BC

    September 10th, 2013 - 6:16pm

    May watch science thing for a laugh. Got An Unearthly Child (Or 100,000BC as it should be called – An Unearthly Child is the 1st episode of 100,000BC.) on VHS so not too fussed but this leaves the BBC with a problem – Do they air the 50th anniversary special or the episode it’s the anniversary of at 5.15pm (Original time of broadcast of An Unearthly Child)?

  • The Cyber Squirrel

    September 10th, 2013 - 6:14pm

    This was released on my Birthday!

  • The TARDIS

    September 10th, 2013 - 6:02pm

    At the moment, I can’t help but feel slightly underwhelmed. As nice as all of the other shows are, it is the special that matters most to me. And at the moment, it seems to be something of an “eighth anniversary” with the only past Doctor being David Tennant. And as for the fact they didn’t even make a new full series… I’ll forgive it if it’s good, but it will have to be good!

  • Doctor Stu

    September 10th, 2013 - 5:47pm

    Stephen Moffat better have been planning this for years and put a whole TARDIS load of effort into it because I’m expecting this to be one of the best doctor who episodes I’ve ever seen.

  • The TARDIS

    September 10th, 2013 - 5:45pm

    Oh, and more than one past Doctor.

  • The TARDIS

    September 10th, 2013 - 5:44pm

    I know the feeling… All of the stuff about “more Doctor Who than ever” and “we’re taking over the television”… Still yet to see that.
    All of the other stuff is all well and good, but one thing I would like is a full series to celebrate the anniversary.

  • The TARDIS

    September 10th, 2013 - 5:42pm

    Does Matt Smith’s quote mean that there is more to be revealed?


    September 10th, 2013 - 5:09pm

    ooh! nice name!

  • Scott the Raptor

    September 10th, 2013 - 4:47pm

    How exciting! A simply divine title! So excited!

  • RYCBAR123

    September 10th, 2013 - 4:40pm

    I’m melting with joy! 😀 Glad that they’re re-running the first episodes; I’ve never seen them! :3

  • Dalek Smith

    September 10th, 2013 - 4:15pm

    nice choice of title 🙂

  • the astronaut of death

    September 10th, 2013 - 4:14pm

    that’s brilliant

    just imagine doctor who everywhere

  • The TARDIS

    September 10th, 2013 - 4:12pm

    Well that really sounds like taking over telly to me…

  • Adam

    September 10th, 2013 - 4:10pm

    This revealed the day before my birthday thank you BBC

  • The Supreme Dalek

    September 10th, 2013 - 4:09pm

    Yay! So excited! 😀
    I personally think after the Anniversary Episode, the show will never be the same again (in a good way though!).

  • the astronaut of death

    September 10th, 2013 - 4:03pm

    I would have preferred a more dark title

  • Excalibur Screwbolts

    September 10th, 2013 - 3:17pm

    It would be a bit difficult to repeat Hartnell’s last episode and Troughton’s first, wouldn’t it? And the first episodes of Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy are awful.

    You also have to bear in mind that 63-89 DW is so completely different to current DW that many people who are only familiar with the current series will be shocked at how cheap, tatty and slow the original was. The only people who are going to clamour to watch repeats of the original series are, bizarrely, the hardcore fans who already have them all on DVD.


    September 10th, 2013 - 3:11pm

    GREAT TITLE !! 😀

    And a good choice too, considering that Saturday 23rd November 2013 will be the Doctor’s 50th Birthday.

    Well, the series will be, his already gone way past 50 being 900+ years old and all that.

  • matparks08

    September 10th, 2013 - 2:57pm

    The problem with repeats is that everything you can see is out on dvd or even online. Does anyone remember the excitement years ago when BBC2 announced they would repeat every doctor who story from Spearhead from Space onwards. They stopped after Silurians because after 7 weeks of it nobody was watching it anymore. DWM even got excited about Inferno going to be seen on TV for first time in years but it didn’t happen. I think as a one off AUC is great but I don’t think repeats on BBC are the answer anymore – though when they used to happen in the 90s it was still quite an exciting occurrence!


    September 10th, 2013 - 1:58pm

    I think they should re air The 1st and last episode of every Doctor

  • Big D

    September 10th, 2013 - 1:37pm

    You are quite right Cassandra. Those new to the Doctor WILL be in for a surprise. Im therefore disappointed and surprised that the BBC arent screening a story from each Doctor in the run up to the anniversary in order for new fans to aquaint themselves with the Doctors past that laid the foundations for what they know now.

  • Big D

    September 10th, 2013 - 1:32pm

    Forgive my pessimism but I cannot help but feel a little underwhelmed by what has been announced.

    Delighted (obviously) about the special, the restored AUC and the Gatiss drama BUT the remainder??? Where are the stories from each individual Doctor? What about specials on the companions and the enemies of the Doctor etc etc??

    For such a big event as this (and given the amount of money the series has made the BBC) I was expecting a bit more than this.

  • Cassandra

    September 10th, 2013 - 1:28pm

    Naturally, I own all the extant episodes of Doctor Who (and all the recreated ones using the original audio tracks) but for those who are new to the Doctor meeting the original will be both a treat and a surprise.

    He is no “hero” in the sense the Doctor is today…being quite willing to smash Za, son of the great firemaker, over the head with a stone. He is also seen lighting a pipe (the Doctor SMOKES???) well, he did ONCE. Probably Old Toby or Longbottom Leaf.

    In the second serial, the Daleks, he is quite willing to leave Barbara (or Barbara and Ian) behind at several points. He’s quite happy to let the Thals fight their own battles, too. As is everyone else until they remember they are missing something. The only one the Doctor won’t abandon (while she’s in trouble) is Susan.

    So, as I say, “Old Grumpy” isn’t the Doctor fans of Matt Smith and David Tennant have come to know. But he IS the first (and he became more heroic as time went on).

  • Martin

    September 10th, 2013 - 1:26pm

    No official line from the BBC on any of their official sources?

  • Dalek The Supreme

    September 10th, 2013 - 1:21pm

    Repeat of the very first episode AND a great title and satisfactory running time for the 50th Anniversery Special! It sure will be the Day of the Doctor! 😀

  • matparks08

    September 10th, 2013 - 1:18pm

    There’s certainly a lot here to be excited about. An Unearthly Child being repeated is definitely an added bonus. Not too sure we need a ‘science lecture’ but it’s all shaping up to be a great celebration.

  • Anonymous

    September 10th, 2013 - 1:07pm


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