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'Doctor Who' 50th Anniversary Poster, Schedule Revealed

Christine Bancroft |
September 12, 2013 | 1:11 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

"Doctor Who" is the BBC's longest running televised drama and will turn 50 on Nov. 23. (BBC)
"Doctor Who" is the BBC's longest running televised drama and will turn 50 on Nov. 23. (BBC)
For long-time fans and New-Whovians alike, this fall will be a celebration of the monumental accomplishment of the 50th Anniversary. First airing on Nov. 23, 1963 (which the more historically-astute of you will recognize as day after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy), "An Unearthly Child" starred the First Doctor (William Hartnell) and his companion and granddaughter, Susan Foreman (Carole Ann Ford). 

"The Day of the Doctor"

On Sept. 10, the BBC released the official poster for the 50th Anniversary, titled "The Day of the Doctor", featuring the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors (David Tennant, Matt Smith) and whichever incarnation of the Doctor John Hurt will be playing.

"The Day of the Doctor" will see Tennant and his most iconic companion, Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), return to the screen. Matt Smith will be accompanied by Jenna-Louise Coleman, playing Clara Oswald, who first appeared alongside the Doctor in the first episode of series seven, "Asylum of the Daleks."

I was disappointed to see the absence of perhaps my favorite character in the show, David Tennant's ridiculously tall and uncontrollable hair. 

Looking closely at the poster, behind John Hurt is a blaze of orange—perhaps referencing regeneration, which has previously had a golden-orange hue, or an explosion. In the blaze, we can see the outline of a Dalek, the words "Bad Wolf" and at least one window of the TARDIS. 


On screen and on air

Along with the poster, the BBC has announced the line-up on various other channels. "Doctor Who" is quite effectively taking over the British airwaves, on television and on radio. 

Jessica Raine, who appeared in the previous season episode "Hide," will play original producer Verity Lambert in "An Adventure in Space and Time." (Flickr)
Jessica Raine, who appeared in the previous season episode "Hide," will play original producer Verity Lambert in "An Adventure in Space and Time." (Flickr)
On BBC America, "The Day of the Doctor" and the Mark Gatiss-penned film, "An Adventure in Space and Time" are set to air the same night as the British broadcast. "An Adventure in Space and Time" will feature "Harry Potter" actor David Bradley as William Hartnell, along with Scottish actor Brian Cox playing Sydney Newman and Jessica Raine playing Verity Lambert, respectively the original creator and producer of the show. 

Across the pond, BBC One will be airing the special, while BBC Two will air "An Adventure in Space and Time" and a special on the cultural significance of the sci-fi program called "Me, You and 'Doctor Who'" and a show on the science behind the series with English physicist Brian Cox. BBC Three will have a countdown to the best monster in the show, along with a primer for the less familiar, "Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide". BBC Four will show restored versions of the first four episodes of the original series. For younger viewers, the children's channel CBBC will have Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith on "Blue Peter" and a special called "12 Again," which will feature past stars to discuss their time with the show. 

On the radio, BBC Radio 2 will have a 90-minute documentary called "Who Is the Doctor?" It will use exclusive interviews and archive material to delve deeper into the show's longest running question: Doctor Who?

Additionally, BBC Radio 1 will look into "Doctor Who's" impact on music, including Time Lord Rock (TROCK), in an hourlong documentary. 

Popular talk show host Graham Norton (who also hosts a show that airs on BBC America, "The Graham Norton Show") will have a three-hour version of his weekly radio show, during which he will interact with fans and stars. 

For Whovians outside the UK, the BBC iPlayer app and website can be a valuable resource to listen to these programs during and after the original air date. Most shows are available for a week after first airing.

If you haven't yet watched or caught up on "Doctor Who," then consider where you went wrong in your life, and get on Netflix. Ignore your responsibilities for the next two months. I believe in you.

Contact Staff Reporter Christine Bancroft here or find her on Twitter here.



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