Doctor Who Turns 50!

50thDoctorWhoAs our favorite Time Lord turns 50 this year, I started thinking back as to what Doctor Who means to me, or has meant to me over the years.

Doctor Who means everything to me; it is Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Drama, Historical, Comedy, and anything else you can think of.

One story can show you what life was like with the Aztecs, the Romans, or during the French Revolution.  Then the next story you can be thrown into the far future facing an evil alien race like the Daleks.  The story after that might have you entrenched in a moral or ethical dilemma, or laughing out loud at your TV screen.  You never know what might be just outside those Police Box doors.

So what does Doctor Who have going for it?

It has an iconic haunting theme song that can be reworked in almost infinite ways and still be identified as the Doctor Who Theme.  (As I am typing this I am in the dealers room at WhoFest DFW ( and one of the vendors has a loop going of different versions of the theme.)

It has a main character that can totally change his appearance when he is near death, allowing the series to continue on even when the main star of the show wants to move on to other projects.

And most importantly it has the Doctor’s time ship, the TARDIS.

TARDIS_VortexThe TARDIS is the most unassuming of any space ship you have ever seen in a TV series or movie.  A small blue London Police Box on the outside, but inside, it’s the biggest ship you have ever seen.  This is due to the interior being a completely separate dimension from the exterior.  The TARDIS is virtually indestructible, and can travel anywhere in Space or Time.  It is the ultimate story telling device allowing the writer to tell any kind of story they want.  You just have the TARDIS materialize any where or when and drop the main characters straight into whatever type of story you want.

Another strength of the series is that it periodically regenerates itself.  The feel of the series and the types of stories told not only change as the Doctor regenerates, but as the companions change and even as the producers and production crews change you can see and feel the change in the show itself.  So if you don’t like the direction the series is going in you can hold on for a few years, or stop following it and check back in a few years and see if it is something more to your liking.

Then there is the Fandom of Doctor Who.  I travel to a lot of conventions as a vendor, and have heard many stories over the years from many people in different fandoms.  I consider myself to be a fan of things like Star Trek, Star Wars, Star Gate and many other franchises.  Most people in most fandoms are very nice and accepting of new people joining their fannish families.  But for some reason the Doctor Who Fandom seems to be the most excepting one out there.

You get very little of the “So you haven’t been a fan as long as me so you are not worthy .” attitude and more of the “If you liked that episode you should try these 3 episodes.”  Maybe it’s because the series has such and long history and so much spinoff material that no one really expects you to be able to know it all.  Doctor Who fans also understand that you don’t have to like everything Doctor Who to call yourself a fan.  There are actually people that are fans of Doctor Who that only like the David Tennant episodes and can’t stand any other Doctor Who.  They are still fans and are still accepted into the Doctor Who Fandom with open arms.

So as we wind down what has been a yearlong celebration of the longest running Science Fiction Series ever, which has involved months of specials for each Doctor in TV, books, and audio plays.  We hit the final stretch, and this last week leading up to the 50th Anniversary has been a phenomenal time to be a fan with the bulk of BBC America’s programming for the entire week dedicated to the good Doctor, as well as multiple TV and radio specials in the UK.  Other countries have joined into the celebrations to airing marathons of Doctor Who episodes from all the Doctors, plus all the specials produced by the BBC and BBCA.

All of this leading up to the 50th Anniversary special The Day of the Doctor which will air today on the anniversary date.  Not only does it air on the anniversary date, but it will be simulcast in over 85 countries around the world and screened at the same time it is airing in over 400 theaters in 3-D.

Then after the anniversary episode many countries are airing live after parties.  Not to mention all of the Doctor Who conventions that have started up around the world this year.  Also on November 25th the Anniversary Special will be screened in thousands of theaters around the world for those fans that were not able to see it in the theater on the 23rd.

So here is to 50 wonderful years Doctor Who, and to many, many more!

And now I am off to watch An Adventure in Time and Space!  A movie about the making of Doctor Who in the early years!

While posting this article I noticed the Google Doodle for November 23rd 2013, is a special Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Game.  Give it a try at


***** UPDATE *****

The Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special The Day Of The Doctor was actually simulcast in 94 countries and shown in 1500 cinemas around the world.  It has been awarded a Guinness World Record for the world’s largest-ever simulcast of a TV drama.  More info can be found here.  Congratulations go out to the Doctor Who Team and everyone at BBC Worldwide that worked on the monumental task of this simulcast.  And congratulations to the Doctor, who keeps adding to his list of Guinness World Records.