No, it’s not 23 November just yet, but we’re getting close! For the one person on Planet Earth that isn’t aware, we are referring to the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, which began 23 November, 1963. It’s only September but the BBC is releasing more and more information daily about their forthcoming plans for the 50th celebration. The most recent bit of greatness was this brilliant poster…
The countdown has begun as the BBC has revealed a fairly comprehensive plan to take over both TV and radio to mark the Doctor’s 50th anniversary. Call me crazy, but I’m going to go out on a limb and call this a bit more than fairly comprehensive…
- As one could probably guess, the celebration will peak on 23 November with the anniversary episode, which has now been revealed as ‘The Day Of The Doctor’. Starring Matt Smith, David Tennant and Jenna Coleman with Billie Piper and John Hurt, the BBC One special is now confirmed as feature-length adventure.
- BBC Two will broadcast a number of new commissions, with a specific focus of telling the story behind the show. Professor Brian Cox will take an audience of celebrity guests and members of the public on a journey into the wonderful universe of the Doctor, from the lecture hall of the Royal Institution of Great Britain. Drawing on the latest theories, as well as 200 years of scientific discoveries and the genius of Einstein, Cox tries to answer the classic questions raised by the Doctor: Can you really travel in time? Does extra-terrestrial life exist in our galaxy? And how do you build something as fantastical as the TARDIS?
- BBC Two’s flagship arts program, The Culture Show, presents “Me, You And Doctor Who”. Lifelong fan Matthew Sweet explores the cultural significance of the BBC’s longest running TV drama, arguing that it’s one of the most important cultural artifacts of modern Britain.
- Finally, last but certainly not least, BBC Two wraps up its coverage with the previously announced “An Adventure In Space And Time”, written by Mark Gatiss, which will tell the story of the genesis of Doctor Who and the many personalities involved.
- Not to be left out, CBBC, Blue Peter and BBC Three intend to air programs celebrating the 50th. And, BBC Radio 2 gets into the game as Graham Norton will be broadcasting his weekly Radio 2 show live (Saturday 23 November, 10am) from the Doctor Who Celebration in London. In a special three-hour show, Graham will take a ride in the TARDIS and will also be chatting with some of the series’ stars and fans.
- Finally, Radio 1 will look at the genre of music inspired by the Doctor and his journeys through space and time while Radio 4 Extra will travel back to 1963 with a three-hour special program, Who Made Who?, to look at the world that inspired the television series. Doctor Who may have come from other times, but his roots were very much in the present of 1960s Britain.
It’s a good thing anniversaries like this only come around only every 50 years. I don’t think I could take another one of these any time soon. I’m spent…and it’s only September.