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Saturday, 19 October 2013

Fifty Years in Time and Space 1: The lord of time

Back then the world was black and white but it was about to get a whole lot more colourful when one evening in November 1963 the BBC aired a new TV series entitled Doctor Who. The show largely created by Canadian Sidney Newman was intended to be educational and using the premise of an old man travelling around in a time machine it was intended to explore scientific ideas and great historical moments in a fun and entertaining way. Back then there were no time lords and no one in the production was thinking any further than the William Hartnell (the first Doctor) series. Indeed if anyone had suggested this show would still be running fifty years later with another actor, the eleventh in the title role then it is a safe bet that the men in the white coats would have been sent for.

Fifty years later though and the show is still going as strong as ever, even more so with the current Doctor Who often winning both industry and viewer awards. There are a hugely popular series of audio dramas released by Big Finish which continue the adventures of the old Doctors, there are hordes of paperback and hardcovers telling all new original adventures and of course there are the comic books, lunch boxes, toys and rather cool bed spreads.

So jump on board the Archive's TARDIS as we offer a series of posts leading up to the anniversary celebrations that will look at every era of the much loved TV series and cultural phenomenon.

Doctor Who continuity has never been exact; often it’s been nonsensical. There have been at least three explanations given for the destruction of Atlantis, several incomparable origin stories for the DALEKS and the lead character, the Doctor himself, has been presented so inconsistently over the years that anyone attempted to created a definitive continuity guide is doomed to failure. The show’s been running on and off for fifty years now, and not only on TV but in novels, comics and audio plays. So this series of articles celebrating FIFTY YEARS OF WHO is not intended to be any kind of definitive guide, if there is such a guide then I’m not the man to write it. However this series of articles should provide a good grounding to the world of the BBC show.

Next year a new actor will step into the role and I think this is the most exciting casting of the lead actor since Christopher Eccleston. Fifty five year old Peter Capaldi's casting as been met with universal praise and should see the series heading into far darker, much more interesting territory. And you know what...once again I'm excited by the prospect of new Doctor Who.

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