Top 5 Awesome Facts about Doctor Who

Written by Garrett Alden There’s more to be discovered about the Doctor than just his name. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts. In this installment, we’ll be counting down 5 of the most interesting facts about the long running British science fiction show, “Doctor Who.” These facts may even catch some seasoned Whovians off-guard, so hold on to your sonic screwdrivers. Special thanks to our users Whovian1126, Roger Everitt, kalvin.goodlaxson, and panemsrebel for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Written by Garrett Alden

Top 5 Facts about Doctor Who


There’s more to be discovered about the Doctor than just his name. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts. In this installment, we’ll be counting down 5 of the most interesting facts about the long running British science fiction show, “Doctor Who.” These facts may even catch some seasoned Whovians off-guard, so hold on to your sonic screwdrivers.

#5: The First Episode Aired the Day After JFK Was Assassinated

November 23rd, 1963 was a day of mourning for America, and indeed the world, as it was only a day after President John F. Kennedy was shot. However, good things can still happen on the darkest of days, since that date saw the premiere of the first episode of “Doctor Who,” titled “An Unearthly Child.” While the broadcast may have been overshadowed at the time, to the point where it had to be rebroadcast before the second episode a week later, November 23rd is still the date honored when celebrating the show’s “birthday,” as seen when the show’s 50th anniversary special was broadcast on that day around the world.

#4: Ascended Fans

Plenty of fans, young and old, pretend to be their favorite fictional heroes, but several of the actors to play the Doctor got to live that dream! David Tennant and Peter Capaldi were both huge fans of the show growing up; each one writing into the official “Doctor Who” magazine, with Capaldi expressing a desire to run the “Doctor Who” fan club. David Tennant has gone on record that he got into acting with the goal of one day playing the Doctor. But his inner fan didn’t stop upon getting role. Tennant requested that he be credited as “the Doctor” and not “Doctor Who,” a common misnomer among non-Whovians.

#3: Tom Baker Had the Longest Television Run of The Doctor

Although you might get a different answer depending on who you ask, and what criteria you use, most people will agree that Tom Baker is the actor who has portrayed the galaxies’ favorite Time Lord the longest. Baker played the Doctor for seven years on television, two years longer than his predecessor Jon Pertwee, cementing him as one of the actors to define the Doctor the most. He also continues to the portray the role in “Big Finish” audio dramas, like most of the other surviving Doctor actors, and even cameoed in the 50th anniversary special as a potential future version of the character.

#2: It Began as an Educational Show

Time travel and educating people about the past often go hand-in-hand, so it seems natural that this is where “Doctor Who” got its start. For its first four seasons, the show featured serials with no sci-fi elements besides the Doctor, his friends, and the TARDIS. These stories featured the TARDIS crew becoming embroiled in historical events, usually by accident. These so-called “pure historicals” were eventually phased out, in favor of stories that married science fiction elements, usually aliens, with a historical setting. These “pseudo historicals” remain the norm today, though some fans hold out hope that the old format could see a revival.

#1: Many TV Serials Are Lost or Incomplete

It’s an entertainment tragedy that nearly a hundred individual episodes are missing from one of the longest running shows of all time and may come as a bit of a shock to Whovians everywhere. However, reruns weren’t really a thing yet in 1960s Britain. Many serials from the era of the First and Second Doctors are either partially or entirely lost, due to being recorded over or just thrown away. Fortunately, there are silver linings to this dark cloud. Fan-made audio recordings exist for every episode, which has allowed for the creation of reconstructions using set photos and animations, and some episodes have even been rediscovered from overseas.
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