Doctor Who Day
Also known as
annually on November 23rd
On this day in 1963, the British science-fiction television show Doctor Who first premiered. It quickly became an institution in the United Kingdom, and later gained a large fan base in the United States, where it was in syndication from the 1970's through the 1990's, and became a staple on PBS stations. In its original run, new episodes were created until 1989, and new episodes have once again been created since 2005, which continued the plot where it had left off. The show follows the adventures of "the Doctor," who is not a human, but an ancient extraterrestrial being called a Time Lord. His travels through space and time take place by using TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space), a spaceship shaped like a blue British police box. As the Doctor travels to help people and civilizations in need, he is accompanied by companions, and takes on many foes, with his intellect and a minimal amount of resources. As of 2017 there had been twelve doctors, and the thirteenth doctor had been chosen, the first time a woman would play the role. Time Lords can regenerate into new incarnations, which has made it easy to write transitions to new doctors into the plot of the show. Doctor Who was originally intended for a family audience, and the use of time travel was intended to explore scientific ideas and famous events in history. Over time the science fiction stories came to dominate. There have been many spin-offs of the show in various mediums since its inception.
How to Observe
Celebrate the day by watching Doctor Who! There are so many episodes to choose from, but since today celebrates the anniversary of the show, it may be good to start with the first episode ever, "An Unearthly Child." Besides watching episodes, you could watch the two Doctor Who films that were made in the 1960's, Dr. and the Daleks and Daleks—Invasion Earth 2150 A.D., or the 1996 television film, Doctor Who. Other spin-offs include comic books, novels, audio dramas, other television shows, and appearances on stage. These could all be sought out and enjoyed today. If you have friends who also enjoy Doctor Who, you could have a Doctor Who themed party, where you dress up as characters from the show, and watch your favorite episodes together.