Doctor Who has had an expansive history, from what happens in the show to what happens outside the show. Coming up in This Past Fortnight in Doctor Who History, we have many audios and episodes of The Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) and The Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker). Additionally, a couple of mentions of the Weeping Angels and the birth of a couple of Doctors that we last saw in Jodie Whittaker’s final episode, The Power of the Doctor.
As we go through this 60th-anniversary special year, I’ll show you the key moments in Doctor Who’s history – every fortnight for the whole year. What better way to celebrate than that? Check out the last fortnights here! Don’t blink when reading! Trust me! The Weeping Angels will get you..
Doctor Who History: Week 23 – 5th June to 11th June
The third episode of The Chase – Flight Through Eternity – aired in 1965. Then came the broadcast of The Dæmons Episode Three in 1971. 2010 saw the first broadcast of what some fans consider the most emotional episode of Doctor Who – Vincent and the Doctor – on this date. Caroline John, who portrayed beloved companion Liz Shaw sadly passed away in 2012. In 2018, Big Finish released the first series of the spin-off Jenny: The Doctor’s Daughter. And they kept the spin-off ball rolling into 2019 when they released The Paternoster Gang: Heritage 1 on this day.
In 1964, The Bride of Sacrifice – the third episode of The Aztecs was first broadcast. Episode Five of Inferno followed in 1970. Moving to more recent times, The Eight Truths: Part 2 was released by Big Finish in 2009 as part of Series 3 of their Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) Adventures range. (Not to be confused with BBC Books’ earlier range of novels called the Eighth Doctor Adventures!) In 2016, Big Finish released the Torchwood story Moving Target. And a year later, they took us into The Lives of Captain Jack Volume One.
Sarah Parish, who memorably played the “Empress of the Racnoss” in The Runaway Bride, was born in 1968. And The War Games continued to raise its stakes, as Episode Eight aired in 1969. It was then quite some time before another show episode aired on this date. Forest of the Dead premiered in 2008 – and even then, it was partly because of the BBC sports coverage getting in the way! More recently, in 2017, Big Finish released torchwood_cascade_CDRIP.tor… which, even from the title, is quite an interesting story concept.
Colin Baker, who portrayed the Sixth Doctor, was born in 1943. Part Six of Planet of the Spiders was broadcast in 1974. Roy Skelton, most famous to Whovians for voicing the Daleks and the Cybermen in several stories, sadly passed away in 2011. Recent years have seen the date be more of a Big Finish affair, as it happens. 2021 saw them releasing The Robots: Volume Four on this date, and in 2022, they released Out of Time 3 – Wink.
Episode Four of The Green Death was first broadcast in 1973. (The Green Death is one of our assistant editor’s favourites, and he could ramble to you about it for hours…) Next, don’t blink for this one because you might miss it. Or worse. In 2007, Blink was first broadcast. And brought a whole new level of terror to ominous stone statues. The episode introduced one of Doctor Who‘s scariest villains. This is the Weeping Angels.
In 1967, viewers tuned in for the broadcast of Episode Four of The Evil of the Daleks – sadly now missing, but recreated in animation just a few years ago. The Time Monster followed in 1972 with the airing of its Episode Four. The Satan Pit was first broadcast in 2006 as part of Series Two. Turning to audio dramas, Big Finish released The Shadows of Serenity in 2015. Finally, in 2017, Empress of Mars premiered. (A neat story. Even if most of us will never remember that there’s no ‘The’ at the start of the title.)
The day is notable for the birth of Kit Pedler in 1927. Pedler was a medical scientist who effectively became something of an unofficial adviser to the Doctor Who production team in the 1960s. As a result, he would also go on to outline and write several stories… Most famously, The Tenth Planet where he co-created the Cybermen alongside Gerry Davis.
Episode Three of The Savages was first broadcast in 1966. In 2005, Bad Wolf was aired for the first time. Big Finish released the Monthly Adventures audio story, Prisoners of Fate, Council of War as part of the Companion Chronicles, and one of Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor’s Adventures audio story, The Dalek Contract, in 2013. An Alien Werewolf in London was released in 2019 as part of the Main Range and saw the long-awaited return of Mags from The Greatest Show in the Galaxy.
Doctor Who History: Week 24– 12th June to 18th June
1965 saw the first broadcast of Journey into Terror – the fourth out of the six episodes of The Chase. Episode four of The Dæmons followed in 1971. Series 5’s The Lodger was first aired in 2010 and brought James Corden to the Whoniverse. (Fan opinions remain divided about this occurrence.) Big Finish released The Triumph of Sutekh in 2015 – the second volume in their The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield range. Then The Lives of Captain Jack: Volume Two came along in 2019.
Simon Callow, who portrayed Charles Dickens in The Whoniverse, was born in 1949. The Aztecs continued with the broadcast of its fourth episode – The Day of Darkness – on this in 1964, while Episode Six of Inferno followed in 1970. In the world of Big Finish, Worldwide Web: Part 1 was released in 2009 as part of Eighth Doctor Adventures Series 3. The New Adventures of Bernice Summerfield 1 was released in 2014. (no subtitle on that one!) The Two Masters was released in 2016. Big Finish released Shadow Planet and World Apart as a singular release in 2017.
Episode Nine of The War Games was first broadcast in 1969, as the penultimate episode of Patrick Troughton’s run as the Doctor. In 2004, we saw the sad passing of producer Max Rosenberg, who produced both of the Peter Cushing Dr. Who films. (Our assistant editor rambles even more about these than he does The Green Death.) The episode Midnight was first broadcast in 2008, and among many other things, made most of Britain aware of actor Colin Morgan for the first time. In 2016, Big Finish released The Trouble with Drax. The following year, they released Subterranea.
Rather a quiet day indeed. 2003 saw the Bernice Summerfield audio story The Bellotron Incident first released by Big Finish. It was then a whole FOURTEEN years later before they released something on this date again – and that was The First Doctor: Volume Two.
Carole Ann Ford, who played the granddaughter of the Doctor (who took the accepted name of Susan), was born in 1940. Episode Five of The Green Death was first broadcast in 1973. In 2003, Big Finish released one of their Unbound stories Sympathy for the Devil, featuring David Warner as the Unbound Doctor. The 2007 episode Utopia was broadcast on this day, dropping us all a surprise reveal about Derek Jacobi’s Professor Yana. In a coy anniversary move, on this day in 2022, Big Finish released The War Master: Self-Defence to celebrate fifteen years since Utopia‘s broadcast.
In 1967, Episode Five of The Evil of the Daleks broadcast. This was followed by Episode Five of The Time Monster in 1972. The year 1982 saw two notable births on this day – of Jodie Whittaker and Arthur Darvill. Jodie Whittaker played the Thirteenth Doctor, while Arthur Darvill portrayed the character of companion Rory Williams (or Rory Pond, if you prefer…). Coincidentally, both of them have appeared in Doctor Who and Broadchurch.
In 2006, The Abzorbaloff premiered in the broadcast of Love and Monsters and went down in history as one of the most memorable monsters of the Whoniverse. In 2014, Second Chances were released by Big Finish as part of their Companion Chronicles Ranger. The Secret History was also released by Big Finish in 2015. The Eaters of Light broadcast in 2017 (bringing us non-heterosexual Romans chatting to Bill Potts! What a lovely thing for the pride month!), and in 2020, Stranded was released by Big Finish.
In 1966, Episode Four of The Savages broadcast. Big Finish released the audio story Dust Breeding in 2001, while The Parting of the Ways first broadcast in 2005 and closed out Series 1 in memorable fashion… whilst also providing a farewell for Christopher Eccleston and his time as the Ninth Doctor. In 2014, Big Finish released Masquerade and the Fourth Doctor Adventures audio story, Destroy the Infinite, and in 2019, Torchwood continued onwards in its monthly adventures with the release of Sargasso from Big Finish.
Doctor Who History: Conclusion For This Fortnight
This fortnight has been quite an eventful one in Who history or Doctor Who history if you prefer to put it that way. We’ve had many audios and episodes by Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor and Colin Baker’s Sixth Doctor. Two Doctor’s birthdays occurred in this fortnight. Colin Baker, the Sixth Doctor and Jodie Whittaker, the Thirteenth Doctor, and the episode with the best monster in Doctor Who, the Abzorbaloff in Love and Monsters.
I’ll be back in a fortnight to tell you more Doctor Who history… In the meantime, Don’t blink! The Weeping Angels might get you. With many thanks to the work of the esteemed editors at Tardis Wiki – their work has been particularly integral to our fact-checking of Big Finish release dates.
Doctor Who will air in November 2023 with three special episodes as the show’s 60th Anniversary headliner event. David Tennant returns as the 14th Doctor alongside Catherine Tate as Donna Noble. Ncuti Gatwa’s first episode as the Fifteenth Doctor will air over the festive period, while his series 14 will debut in 2024 with Millie Gibson. Disney+ will be the exclusive home for new seasons of Doctor Who outside of the UK and Ireland.