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 be showing you the key moments in Doctor Who history – every fortnight for the whole year. What better way to celebrate than that!
If you haven’t already, you can read our first article covering January 1st to 15th here.
Doctor Who History: Week Three – 16th January to 22nd January
The Slave Traders – the first episode of The Romans – was first broadcast in 1965. Terror of the Autons: Part Three was first shown in 1971. Peter Butterworth, who portrayed the first-seen incarnation of the Monk, sadly passed away on 1979. Attack of the Graske, an interactive mini-episode, was given a website release in 2006.(It had first released prior on the BBC Red Button Service on December 25th 2005. Since the depreciation of Adobe Flash, it is no longer playable in an official manner.)
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang premiered in 2008, kicking off Series 2 of Torchwood. Big Finish had a busy day in 2019 with the releases of four Fourth Doctor Adventures stories: The Sinestran Kill, Planet of the Drashigs, The Enchantress of Numbers, and The False Guardian. A year later, Big Finish released the special Torchwood boxset, The Sins of Captain John.
A day of Part Threes! Spearhead from Space: Part Three was initially broadcast in 1970. Part Three of The Brain of Morbius was first shown in 1976. Part Three of Warriors’ Gate was first broadcast in 1981. Big Finish initially published Luna Romana in 2014. Big Finish originally released Kingdom of Lies in 2018.
The Expedition, the fifth episode of The Dead Planet/The Daleks, first aired in 1964. The Krotons‘ fourth episode premiered in 1969. In 1975, Part Four of Robot was first televised. Part One of Four to Doomsday was first shown in 1982. Part One of Snakedance debuted in 1983. Big Finish published Uncanny Valley in 2016. Big Finish had another busy day, yet again in 2018, as they released The Sons of Kaldor, The Crowmarsh Experiment, The Mind Runners, and The Demon Rises. Gotta love those boxsets!
1974 saw the release of Invasion of the Dinosaurs – Part 2. 1982 saw the debut of Four to Doomsday – Part 2. The second part of Snakedance was originally shown in 1983. In 1984, The Awakening: Part One was broadcast. 1985 saw the initial airing of Vengeance on Varos – Part 1. Big Finish made Before the Fall available in 2017. The first airing of Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror took place in 2020. (Has it really been so long? Oh, how we miss Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor. Madly, to put it in perspective, it’s been almost a year since this trailer…) Big Finish put out Colony of Fear in 2021… and followed that up by releasing Charlotte Pollard: The Further Adventures in 2022.
Another Doctor birth-day in Doctor Who History!
Another Doctor was born— this time the Fourth Doctor actor himself, Tom Baker, was born in 1934. The fifth part of The Enemy of the World aired in 1968. Episode Four of The Three Doctors premiered in 1973. Part 1 of The Armageddon Factor was first televised in 1979. Part two of The Awakening was first shown in 1984. Big Finish first released the audio story The Creed of the Kromon in 2004. Circular Time – an audio collection of connected stories – was released by Big Finish in 2007. Big Finish released the first volume of The Fourth Doctor Adventures Series 10, two years ago.
Episode Two of The Underwater Menace premiered in 1967. (And would then be unseen in the UK until 2011 when a TV engineer discovered a copy of the episode among material he had bought!) Part three of Underworld aired in 1978. Big Finish produced the audio tale Project: Infinity in 2002. Furthermore, in 2010, Big Finish first released A Thousand Tiny Wings and Leviathan. Dark Universe was first published by Big Finish in 2020.
Yet another Doctor birth-day in Doctor Who History!
John Hurt, the actor who portrayed the War Doctor, was born in 1940. The Abandoned Planet first aired in 1966, as part of The Daleks’ Master Plan. The fourth episode of Day of the Daleks was initially shown in 1972. Part four of The Face of Evil was first broadcast in 1977. Tommy Knight, who played Luke Smith in The Sarah Jane Adventures and a few episodes of Doctor Who, was born in 1993. Big Finish first published the audio tale Storm Warning in 2001.
In 2005, Big Finish first released the audio tale A Storm of Angels – one of their very creative Unbound stories… handling an unexpected incarnation of the Doctor. (We’re all getting used to that sort of thing now…) Big Finish put out The Judgement of Isskar, The Prisoner’s Dilemma, and The Transit of Venus in 2009. In 2019, Big Finish released The Diary of River Song: Series Five. 3 years ago, Big Finish originally released The Fourth Doctor Adventures Series 9: Volume 1.
Doctor Who History: Week Four – 23rd January to 29th January
All Roads Lead to Rome was first broadcast in 1965. In 1971, Part Four of Terror of the Autons was initially shown. Sleeper was first broadcast in 2008. Big Finish initially released Graceless IV in 2017. Big Finish released The Diary of River Song: Series Three in 2018.
The fourth episode of Spearhead from Space was first aired in 1970. Part Four of The Brain of Morbius debuted in 1976. The fourth episode of Warriors’ Gate was first broadcast in 1981. Ruth Bradley, the actress who played Molly O’Sullivan (the Eighth Doctor’s companion in the Big Finish audio collections Dark Eyes to Dark Eyes III) was born in 1987. Big Finish released Bernice Summerfield and the Criminal Code in 2010.
The Ordeal, the sixth episode of The Dead Planet/The Daleks – first aired in 1964. The first episode of The Seeds of Death was broadcast in 1969. Part One of The Ark in Space was first broadcast in 1975. Four to Doomsday: Part Three was first transmitted in 1982. Part Three of Snakedance premiered in 1983. Actor John Hurt, who portrayed the War Doctor, passed away in 2017.
Doctor Who History changed with a surprise new Doctor debut!
The third part of Invasion of the Dinosaurs was first aired in 1974. Four to Doomsday: Part Four was televised for the first time in 1982. Snakedance: Part 4 was first shown in 1983. The first episode of Frontios was broadcast in 1984. Part Two of Vengeance on Varos premiered in 1985. Fugitive of the Judoon premiered in 2020, surprising fandom with Jo Martin as the Fugitive Doctor! (And she’s been surprising us ever since – including in The Power of The Doctor…)
The sixth episode of The Enemy of the World premiered in 1968. Carnival of Monsters aired its first episode in 1973. Part Two of The Armageddon Factor was first broadcast in 1979. Part Two of Frontios premiered in 1984. Big Finish released The Diary of River Song: Series Eight two years ago.
Episode Three of The Underwater Menace premiered in 1967. (This episode stuck around in the BBC Archives, thankfully!) Episode Four of Underworld premiered in 1978. Big Finish first released Invaders from Mars in 2002, and Gardens of the Dead in 2016. Furthermore, Big Finish first made Peladon available in 2022.
Yet another episode of The Daleks’ Master Plan – Destruction of Time was originally broadcast in 1966. The first episode of The Curse of Peladon was broadcast in 1972. Part One of The Robots of Death was first broadcast in 1977. Catrin Stewart, who plays Jenny Flint, was born in 1988. Oh, and in 2019, Big Finish issued Bernice Summerfield: The Gods of the Underworld.
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. Another day that had a solid consecutive run of audio releases for Big Finish! We had the birth of Tom Baker, the Doctor of Jelly Babies and long scarves, and John Hurt’s birth – alongside his sad passing.
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.
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