On November 23rd, 1963 the universe first met The Doctor in, “An Unearthly Child,” and since then it’s been (almost) non-stop adventures with the Time Lord and his rickety TARDIS from Gallifrey. It’s hard to imagine anyone involved in those first few episodes had any idea the incredible science fiction franchise they were launching. Since then The Doctor has gone through ten regenerations, countless companions, and the highs and lows of fame and popularity. Arguably, Doctor Who is at one of its highest moments right now, and it’s all the more fitting as the series begins the final countdown to its golden anniversary.
In celebration of The Doctor’s 49th birthday here are a few videos to kick off your marathon celebration, because you will be marathon-ing Doctor Who today, right? What else have you got to do but sit on the couch, watch some Who, and chow down on your Thanksgiving leftovers.
To start, why not revisit that very first Doctor Who episode, “An Unearthly Child.” Things sure were different in 1963 but you’ll recognize a few of the staple elements of the series in this clip of the TARDIS first taking off,
The TARDIS sounds the same, has the same Police Box exterior, and the console room, while different, is still recognizable as the heart of the time machine. You can check out more clips from classic Who on the BBC’s Classic Doctor Who YouTube page.
From there Doctor Who went on an unprecedented run of 26th seasons coming to an end during the Seventh Doctor’s tenure in 1989. There’s a great documentary titled, The Story of Doctor Who, that was commissioned for the series’ 40th anniversary. The doc, available below, covers the series’ entire run, avoids discussing the Eighth Doctor’s only jaunt in the TV movie, and hints at rumors the Beeb is looking to develop a new series. Hmm, wonder what came of that?
But if you don’t have the time to watch the whole thing, The Fine Bros. can recap you on The Doctor’s history in six minutes,
And that pretty much brings us up to where we are today, Doctor Who‘s renaissance. The series is one of, if not the, highest rated program of the BBC’s and the show’s popularity is exploding stateside unlike anytime before. As we enter into the show’s 50th year there’s a lot of good on the horizon for Whovians. The Christmas special and the second half of Series 7 look spectacular, Mark Gatiss is writing a docudrama exploring those early days of Doctor Who which sounds fascinating, and we know something big is in the works to really celebrate that big 5-0 milestone. An epic adventure to top everything that’s come before? Maybe a few appearances from some old faces? Who knows! But whatever it is I’m sure it’ll continue to excite us about what’s coming in the next 50 years.