Tag Archives: 50th Anniversary

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Countdown

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To celebrate Doctor Who’s upcoming 50th Anniversary The Doctor Who Mind Robber will be counting down the last 50 days to this momentous event. Starting on Friday 4th October (Australian time) we’ll be posting a 1960s Who post everyday. Utilizing a “best of” format, the posts will examine a myriad of First and Second Doctor topics including Cliff Hangers, Monsters, Billy Fluffs, Firsts. Lasts, Companions, Supporting Actors and Dodgy Special Effects. Any suggestions for “Best” or “Worst” lists would be gratefully appreciated.

William Hartnell as the Doctor in The Celestial Toymaker

William Hartnell as the Doctor in The Celestial Toymaker
Patrick Troughton as the Doctor in The Power of the Daleks

Patrick Troughton as the Doctor in The Power of the Daleks

My first post will be rather unimaginatively titled The Ten Most Wanted Missing Episodes.  Please join me from the 4th of October for this exciting daily look at retro Doctor Who. 

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

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Missing Episodes Hysteria

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As the months countdown to Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary on 23 November 2013, so the rumour mill concerning lost Doctor Who episodes escalates exponentially.  To the best of fans’ knowledge 106 episodes remain missing from the BBC Archives, however the blog site Bleeding Cool has today reported two new rumours. One unnamed person associated with the Doctor Who production team is said to believe that there have been at least 40 episodes returned to the BBC, whilst another alleges 93. These rumours can be added to the pile which also includes claims that 90 episodes have been discovered somewhere in Africa.  Dubbed the omnirumour (or omnirumor for those in America), the Africa 90 story has been circling for months and has set Who internet forums alight.

The 12 part Dalek's Master Plan is one of the most sought after missing Doctor Who serials

The 12 part Daleks’ Master Plan is one of the most sought after missing Doctor Who serials

Unfortunately absolutely no evidence has been forthcoming of any finds, not even one single screen capture. Hearsay is the sole testimony offered, with information only forthcoming from friends of friends.  There has been talk of the BBC having compelled the signing of non disclosure agreements, delicate negotiations with film collectors and/or dictators, and all manner of other theories to justify the complete absence of evidence.  The BBC has issued at least one statement denying that it has lost episodes in its possession, however the rather ambiguous nature of the statement did little to stem the flow of rumours.

The first Doctor Who regeneration (although it was not so named at the time) is among the 106 missing episodes

The first Doctor Who regeneration (although it was not so named at the time) is among the 106 missing episodes

Having watched 11 straight missing episode reconstructions in the last several days, and with another two tomorrow before a one episode breather (episode three of The Underwater Menace), there’s not much more that I’d love than for a hoard of missing episodes to turn up. I won’t be holding my breath, however. Here’s hoping, though, that one day the hardened Doctor Who marathon viewers will be watching a lot fewer of the brilliant Loose Cannon Reconstructions.

The triple DVD Lost in Time contains many orphan Doctor Who episodes from the First and Second Doctor's tenures

The triple DVD Lost in Time contains many orphan Doctor Who episodes from the First and Second Doctor’s tenures

Bleeding Cool’s latest contribution to the missing episodes hysteria can be read at http://www.bleedingcool.com/2013/07/29/those-doctor-who-missing-episodes-rumours-take-a-licking-but-keep-on-ticking/

You can read my update of the Missing Episodes rumours here.

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

50th Anniversary Special to be Simulcast

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ImageThe UK’s The Sun newspaper has reported that Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary Special on 23 November 2013 will be broadcast simultaneously throughout the world to avoid leaks. Set to air at 8.00 p.m. on BBC1 in the UK, it will be shown on ABC1 at 5.00 a.m. on 24 November in Queensland, and 6.00 a.m. in those eastern Australian States sensible enough to have Daylight Savings. I have yet to see any confirmation by the ABC, although The Sun reports that all global broadcasters have agreed. You can read the The Sun’s article at http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/5034088/Dr-Who-special-aired-worldwide-at-exactly-same-time.html

The Daleks’ 50th Birthday Party

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With all the hype surrounding Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary  on 23rd November,  the 50th birthday of the Doctor’s oldest and most deadliest foe, the Daleks, looked like it may well have been forgotten.  Born on the screens of the United Kingdom’s 405 line black and white TV sets on 21st December 1963, the Daleks have appeared in over 30 Doctor Who serials, together with a number of cameos and flashbacks.  They have battled against 10 of the Doctor’s 11 incarnations and have been killed and resurrected more times than Rory Williams!

Barbara is pinned against the wall in fear during the Daleks' first appearance in Doctor Who on 21st December 1963

Barbara is pinned against the wall in fear during the Daleks’ first appearance in Doctor Who on 21st December 1963

The BBC has today announced that the Daleks will appear in the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary special, together with the shape shifting Zygons who will make only their second appearance  – 38 years after their first. Details of the nature of the Daleks battle with the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors, together with John Hurt, a hitherto unknown incarnation, have yet to be revealed.  Let’s hope it’s as memorable as the closing shot of 1963’s The Dead Planet where companion Barbara Wright is pinned in fear against wall.  Barbara’s screams indicated the presence of a terrifying foe, although for the next seven days the audience could only but imagine what the strange rubber object on the end of a metal rod was. The Daleks were born and there was no looking back.  Without the Dalekmania which followed their first story, it’s unlikely that Doctor Who would have celebrated its first birthday, let alone its 50th. Long live the Daleks and may we look forward to another 50 years of terror!

The BBC today released this photograph of the Daleks from the 50th Anniversary special which is to be aired on 23rd November 2013

The BBC today released this photograph of the Daleks from the 50th Anniversary special which is to be aired on 23rd November 2013

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.