Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

First Doctor Who story to be shown

William Hartnell, who played the original Doctor, and actress Carole Ann Ford
William Hartnell, who played the original Doctor, and actress Carole Ann Ford

The first four episodes of Doctor Who - from 1963 - will be screened as part of the show's 50th anniversary celebrations.

The newly restored shows, starring William Hartnell as the first incarnation of the Doctor, will be shown on BBC Four.

They are part of a string of programmes dedicated to the long-running science fiction show including a 75-minute anniversary episode on BBC One called The Day Of The Doctor that will be shown on November 23.

Matt Smith, whose stint as the Time Lord ends this year when he is replaced by Peter Capaldi, said: "The Day Of The Doctor is nearly here. Hope you all enjoy. There's lots more coming your way, as the countdown to the 50th begins now."

There will be several shows on BBC Two including a one-off special with physicist Professor Brian Cox from the lecture hall of the Royal Institution of Great Britain where he will try to answer questions posed by the show including whether time travel will ever be possible and is there life on other planets.

An episode of The Culture Show will look at the show's history and BBC Two will also show the drama, An Adventure In Space And Time, which tells the story of how the show began.

Doctor Who's executive producer Steven Moffat said: "Fifty years has turned Doctor Who from a television show into a cultural landmark. Personally, I can't wait to see what it becomes after a hundred."

There will also be shows on children's channel CBBC, two Blue Peter specials and a weekend of programming on BBC Three dedicated to some of the monsters who have appeared on it over the years.

Danny Cohen, the Director of BBC Television, said: "Doctor Who is a titan of British television and I'm incredibly proud to have it on the BBC. It's an astonishing achievement for a drama to reach its 50th anniversary. I'd like to thank every person - on both sides of the camera - who has been involved with its creative journey over so many years."

Radio 2, Radio 1 and Radio 4 Extra will also mark the anniversary with documentaries about the show and the music it inspired. There will be a special three-hour edition of Graham Norton's regular Radio 2 show.

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