Half century and not out for the doctor

This coming Saturday fifty years ago, a programme materialised on the BBC for the first time.

It featured a mysterious old man and his ‘blue box’ which could go anywhere in time and space.

How this programme came to be made and what became of its original star – William Hartnell - will be revealed in the Mark Gatiss scripted drama An Adventure in Space and Time on BBC2 on Thursday night at nine o’clock.

Then at 7.50pm on Saturday on BBC1 the main 50th celebration will be a feature length episode called The Day of the Doctor.

Over the years eleven actors have played the mysterious Doctor. This new episode features the tenth Doctor (David Tennant), the eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) and another version of the Doctor played by John Hurt.

How does he fit into the mythology of the series – is he a previously ‘missing Doctor’ – or something else entirely? Two past enemies of the Doctor will also be featured – the Daleks and the Zygons – along with other references to the show’s past.

It is suspected that the special will deal with the events of the Time War between the Daleks and the Time Lords, first mentioned when Doctor Who returned to our screens in 2005. This special episode was made in 3D and is one of only two episodes to be made this year – the other being the forthcoming Christmas special.

In the past week the BBC have released a prologue on their website called The Night of the Doctor starring the eighth Doctor – Paul McGann - whose only previous television appearance as the Doctor was in the TV movie of 1996. Fans were delighted to see him back and hope that the main episode will be as good as this mini one was! Ian K