The Day of the Doctor

November 23, 2013 • 6:37 am

by Matthew Cobb

As Jerry has already indicated, today marks the 50th anniversary of the BBC TV science fiction programme, Doctor Who. Unlike Jerry, who has never seen a single episode, I am old enough to remember the First Doctor (played by the curmudgeonly William Hartnell, and the subject of a delightful drama the other night). The 50th anniversary programme will be broadcast around the world, including in cinemas in 3-D for those lucky enough to have tickets.

Less than 9 hours to go! My teen daughters are getting themselves ready by bingeing on old episodes. You can do the same by watching the original opening sequence, which absolutely scared the willies out of us back in the day. The theme was by Ron Grainer, but the amazing arrangement was by the genius pioneer of electronic music, the fabulous Delia Derbyshire:

Here’s a neat fan-made video that sums up the last 50 years and should whet your appetites:

To mark the anniversary, probably the top-ranking biology scientific journal, Cell, has a nice article about Doctor Who, which you can read for free here.

Meanwhile, the other week, my colleague, particle physicist and TV science populariser, Brian Cox, gave a lecture from the Royal Institution on The Science of Doctor Who, which was broadcast on BBC2. You can watch it in its entirety here (it’s mainly about physics):

25 thoughts on “The Day of the Doctor

  1. I’ve been a huge fan of Dr Who for decades, and remember watching the first series at my boarding school in England (see link below).

    On a side note – Jon Pertwee, the third Dr Who, was a “co-alumnus” of mine. I attended the same school as he did – Frensham Heights – but of course not at the same time.

    1. Ah, Jon Pertwee. The only competitor with Tom Baker for the title of “the REAL Doctor” ; don’t get me wrong, some of the others were between good and great, but those two were outstanding. Third prize probably goes to Ecclestone. IMHO.
      Our sofa didn’t have room to hide behind it.

            1. Actually, on second thoughts, for when BeanCounters Central call to tell me they’ve turned my expenses down again.

      1. I think everyone loves the Doctor they grew up with so I can’t help but agree with you. Being the same age as the Doctor (no, I’m not 900 years old!) I started with Jon Pertwee and was hooked by the time Tom Baker took over.

        Tom Baker IS the Doctor!

  2. Obligatory Tim Minchin-playing-Doctor-Who theme-on-a-keytar-whilst-wearing-a-Prince-Charles-mask-at-the-BBC-Comedy-Proms video.

    Full of Awesome right there.

  3. For the last couple of weeks Space has been running 2 hour Doctor Who specials. It was hard to watch them all & my PVR is getting full!

    I especially liked seeing the table readings for the scripts as the dalek voice is done as it actually sounds with the voice modulator & the cast was as excited to hear it as any fan!

  4. That original theme music was the best! And I’m delighted to see that the anniversary ep started with a few seconds of the original.

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