One of the biggest television events of the year that isn’t the finale of Breaking Bad is the 50th Anniversary of British sci-fi staple Doctor Who, which will air a 75 minute special on the BBC in the UK on its anniversary date of November 23. The great news is that it will be simulcast all around the world, including here in Australia. ABC1 will screen it live around the country on Sunday November 24 and repeated locally at 7.30pm AEDT. The exact time has not yet been announced, but we imagine it will be around the 6:00 am-ish mark, assuming an evening screening in the UK.
ABC will also screen a number of classic episodes via iView in the lead-up to the event. There’s no word on the An Adventure in Space and Time special, which is a dramatic recreation of the filming of the first episode, starring Harry Potter‘s David Bradley as William Hartnell and written by current series scribe Mark Gatiss (also known for Sherlock and League of Gentleman).
From the press release:
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, ABC iview will show a series of hand-picked Doctor Who classic serials from the archives – 47 episodes in total. The collection will feature every Doctor, from the first to the eighth, as well as the scariest monsters and the most beloved companions.
The season kicks off on Saturday 28 September with the original Doctor, William Hartnell, in An Unearthly Child (1963), then introduces one of the most fearsome villains of all, The Daleks (1964). The second Doctor, Patrick Troughton takes over on Saturday 5 October in an early encounter with a dreaded enemy in The Tomb of the Cybermen (1967).
On Saturday 12 October and appearing in colour for the first time the third Doctor Jon Pertwee, with companions Liz and the Brigadier, take on the Autons in Spearhead from Space (1970) before meeting the Master in The Sea Devils (1972)
Then tie on your long scarf and break out the jelly babies because on Saturday 19 October the legendary Fourth Doctor, Tom Baker, stars in two classic stories; The Sontaran Experiment (1975) with beloved companion Sarah-Jane and then City of Death (1979), in which the Doctor and Romana take a very 1970’s trip to Paris.
The Cybermen return on Saturday 26 October as Fifth Doctor Peter Davison saves the Earth but loses a companion in Earthshock (1982). Saturday 2 November features The Two Doctors (1985) as Sixth Doctor, Colin Baker, and Peri bump into Second Doctor and Jamie.
Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy investigates an Arthurian mystery with Ace and The Brigadier in Battlefield (1989) on Saturday 9 November, and again on Saturday 16 November with Eighth Doctor Paul McGann in the feature length Doctor Who: The Movie (1996).
The finale episode of the season will be selected by the fans. Visit the iview facebook page – facebook.com/ABCiview – to choose from seven stories. The most popular will be published on iview on Saturday 23rd November. Voting is open from 1st to 15th October.
Catch the series at abc.net.au/iview
ABC2 will screen a number of Doctor Who specials to tie in with the 50th Anniversary celebrations on Sundays at 7.30pm.
Doctor Who Explained (1 x 45’) – Sunday October 20 at 7.30pm, ABC2
Everything you really need to know about the Doctor – current, future or past. This program provides insights from key cast and crew and will help fans navigate the rich tapestry that is Doctor Who.
The Best of Doctor Who – Series 2 (4 x 45’)
The Science of Doctor Who – Sunday October 27 at 7.30pm, ABC2
Like all great science fiction shows, there are kernels of truth and nuggets of science fact scattered throughout the incredible Doctor Who universe. This special explores the dynamic Doctor Who moments where science fiction and science fact converge and mingle.
The Timey-Wimey of Doctor Who – Sunday November 3 at 7.30pm, ABC2
When the Doctor’s around, tomorrow is yesterday, yesterday is tomorrow and 18th century France is in your fireplace. Confused yet? Watch the Timey-Wimey of Doctor Who. You’ve already seen it in the future.
The Women of Doctor Who – Sunday November 10 at 7.30pm, ABC2
Behind every great time lord there’s a great woman. Whether they’re busting Daleks or the Doctor’s ego, the women of Doctor Who prove that you don’t need testosterone to save the universe.
The Destinations of Doctor Who – Sunday November 17 at 7.30pm, ABC2
Leave the beach towel at home and take a trip to the end of the earth – literally. From the Starship UK to one very haunted hotel, you won’t find the destinations of Doctor Who in any guidebook.
Sunday 24 November at 8.30pm – TBC
The Day of the Doctor (repeat) – Monday November 25 at 7.30pm, ABC2
ABC2 is currently screening all episodes of Doctor Who from series 1-7, weeknights at 7.30pm, finishing on Friday November 22.