Doctor Who has had an expansive history, from what happens in the show to what happens outside the show. And 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? Here we look at the Life and Death of Masters in this past fortnight in Doctor Who history.
The previous fortnight in Doctor Who history has been particularly intriguing, focusing on the birth and death of a few actors who have played the Master. As we continue to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the show, it’s thrilling to witness how Doctor Who‘s history unfolds, both on and off the screens.
Doctor Who History: Week Seventeen – 24th April to 30th April
On this date in 1965, The Space Museum was aired. Moving forward to 1971, the third episode of Colony in Space was first broadcast. In 2008, Tristram Cary, the composer of the serial The Daleks, passed away. 2 years later, in 2010, The Time of Angels was first broadcast. In 2017, Big Finish released Jago & Litefoot: Series Thirteen, and in 2018 and 2019, they released The Last Beacon and The Green Life.
On this date in 1964, The Screaming Jungle was first broadcast. In 1970, the sixth episode of The Ambassadors of Death was first aired. Moving ahead to 2009, Wirrn Dawn: Part 2 was first released in Big Finish’s Eighth Doctor Adventures Series 3. In 2018, Believe was first released by Big Finish.
The year, 1969, saw the broadcast of the second episode of The War Games. Fast forward to 1975, and part two of Revenge of the Cybermen was aired. Moving on to 2008, The Sontaran Stratagem was first broadcast. And finally, in 2022, Big Finish released The Second Doctor: Volume Three.
On this day in 1963, Russell T Davies, the current showrunner of Doctor Who, was born. The first episode of The Wheel in Space was broadcast in 1968, while in 1974, the sixth part of The Monster of Peladon was aired. Joseph Millson, who played Alan Jackson— Maria’s father in The Sarah Jane Adventures, was also born on this date and year. Samuel Anderson, who portrayed Danny Pink, Clara’s boyfriend, the P.E— sorry, I mean the Maths teacher, in the series, was born in 1982, and Jenna Coleman, who played Clara or Oswin Oswald, was born in 1986.
Ciara Janson, who portrayed Amy/Abby in the Fifth Doctor’s audio adventures, was born in 1987. Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS was first broadcast in 2013, and in 2021, Big Finish released The First Doctor Adventures: Volume Five.
Raymond Cusick, who designed the Daleks, was born on this day in 1928. In relation to Daleks, in 1973, the fourth episode of Planet of the Daleks was broadcast. Unfortunately, Anthony Coburn, the scriptwriter of An Unearthly Child, passed away on this date in 1977. The year 2007 saw the premiere of Evolution of the Daleks. In 2015, Big Finish released Jago & Litefoot: Series Nine, followed by Jago & Litefoot: Series Eleven in 2016. Finally, in 2020, Big Finish released Class: The Audio Adventures: Volume Three and Class: The Audio Adventures: Volume Four.
1949 saw the birth of Anita Dobson. Spoiler for Series 14, Anita will play Mrs Flood, Ruby Sunday’s (Millie Gibson) neighbour. Moving back in time, in 1967, the fourth episode of The Faceless Ones was first broadcast, and five years later, in 1972, the fourth episode of The Mutants was aired.
Jo Martin, who portrayed the Fugitive Doctor in Series 12 and 13 of Doctor Who, was born in 1980. Big Finish released the audio story Embrace the Darkness in 2002, and School Reunion— seeing Sarah-Jane for the first time since K-9 & Company— was first broadcast in 2006. Finally, in 2017, Thin Ice was first broadcast.
A Holiday for the Doctor was first broadcast in 1966. Moving ahead to 2005, Dalek was first broadcast. Big Finish released The Haunting of Thomas Brewster in 2008 and Shadow of the Past in 2010. Day of the Moon was first broadcast in 2011. In 2013, Big Finish released New Frontiers. Lastly, in 2020, Big Finish released Dead Woman Walking.
Joanna Lumley, an actress who played a notable role in the 1999 Red Nose Day special—The Curse of Fatal Death, was born on this day in 1946. Interestingly, Lumley portrayed a character referred to as the original Thirteenth Doctor, which is a coincidence considering that Jodie Whittaker would play the Thirteenth Doctor in the future, who is also female, 18 years later.
In 1965, the episode The Dimensions of Time was first broadcast, followed by episode four of Colony in Space in 1971. Sacha Dhawan, who played the Master in Doctor Who was born in 1984. In 2010, the episode Flesh and Stone was first broadcast, and in 2013, Big Finish released the audio story Smoke and Mirrors.
Doctor Who History: Week Eighteen – 1st May to 7th May
In 1964, the Snows of Terror episode of Doctor Who was first broadcast, followed by the broadcast of episode seven of The Ambassadors of Death was first broadcast, in 1970. In 2009, The Scapegoat: Part 1 was first released in Big Finish’s Eighth Doctor Adventures Series 3.
In 1969, the third episode of The War Games was first broadcast. Moving forward to 1975, the third part of Revenge of the Cybermen was first broadcast. In 2004, actor Anthony Ainley died. Ainley played the role of the Tremas Master, which is an anagram for Master. The episode The Poison Sky was first broadcast in 2008. Finally, in 2016, Big Finish released the audio story Ghost Mission.
The second episode of The Wheel in Space was first broadcast in 1968, followed by the first part of Planet of the Spiders in 1974. In the year 2000, Big Finish released Red Dawn. In 2013, The Crimson Horror was first broadcast, and in 2017, Big Finish released The Ninth Doctor Chronicles. Finally, in 2022, Big Finish released Back to Earth.
Delia Derbyshire, who created sound effects for the famous Ron Grainer theme music, was born in 1937. Richard E Grant, who played the first version of the Tenth Doctor in The Curse of Fatal Death, was born in 1957. The fifth episode of Planet of the Daleks premiered in 1973. The Lazarus Experiment was first aired in 2007. Big Finish released The King of the Dead in 2015 and Heritage 3 in 2020.
In 1967, the fifth episode of The Faceless Ones was broadcasted on television. Moving forward to 1972, the fifth episode of The Mutants aired. In 2006, The Girl in the Fireplace was first broadcast. Finally, in 2017, the episode Knock Knock was first aired on television.
In 1966, the episode Don’t Shoot the Pianist was first broadcast. Fast forward to 2005, The Long Game was first broadcast. In 2011, The Curse of the Black Spot was first broadcast. Finally, in 2019, Big Finish released The Moons of Vulpana.
Doctor Who History: Conclusion For This Fortnight
All, in all, this fortnight has been quite an eventful one in Who-istory, or Doctor Who history, if you prefer to put it that way. There were 2 Curse of the Fatal Death Doctors born, and there were many things relating to Russell T Davies. We had a couple of mentions of Sarah-Jane Smith, and we had the birth of a Master and a death of a Master.
I’ll be back in a fortnight to tell you more Doctor Who history…
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.