Doctor Who has had an expansive history, from what happens in the show to what happens outside the show. In this article, we look back at the introduction of River Song (Alex Kingston), but we also have the reveal of who she actually is. We had two people’s birthdays regarding the Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker). Additionally, as we go through the Doctor Who 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?
Doctor Who History: Week Twenty-One– 22nd May to 28th May
The Executioners, The Chase‘s first episode, aired in 1965. The first episode of The Daemons aired in 1971. The Hungry Earth made its debut in 2010. We Always Get Out Alive, a Torchwood – Monthly Range story, was released by Big Finish in 2018, and Sync, another Torchwood – Monthly Range story, was released in 2019.
In 1964, The Temple of Evil was broadcast for the first time in the second season. Episode three of Inferno was first aired in 1970. The Cannibalists: Part 2 was first released by Big Finish in 2009. This audio drama starred Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor and Sheridan Smith as his companion, Lucie Miller. The UNIT audio story, Assembled, was first released by Big Finish in 2017. Big Finish first released Regeneration Impossible in 2020, featuring Jacob Dudman’s talent to voice the Eleventh Doctor and Twelfth Doctor.
Graham Williams, who produced Doctor Who from seasons 15 through 17, was born in 1945. Actor Jim Broadbent, born in 1949, played the original version of the Eleventh Doctor in the 1999 Comic Relief special The Curse of Fatal Death. In 1969, episode six of The War Games was first broadcast. Big Finish released the audio story Creatures of Beauty in 2003. The Gallifrey audio story, Enemy Lines, was first released by Big Finish in 2016. 2 years later, in 2018, Jago & Litefoot Forever was first released by Big Finish.
It’s the year 1939, on the 25th of May, and Ian McKellen, the voice of the Great Intelligence, was born. Episode five of The Wheel in Space was first broadcast in 1968. Six years later 1974, part four of Planet of the Spiders was first broadcast.
Peter Cushing, the actor who played the role of Dr Who in Dr Who and the Daleks (1965) and Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966). In 1973, the second episode of The Green Death was broadcast. In 2007, Human Nature was first aired. This episode featured the Doctor taking on the human persona of school teacher John Smith and is based on the novel of the same name by Paul Cornell. Big Finish released The Robots: Volume Five for the first time in 2022.
In 1967, the second episode of The Evil of the Daleks was first broadcast. The Time Monster‘s second episode was first aired in 1972. In 1981, Kit Pedler, or Christopher Magnus Howard Pedler, passed away. Pedler worked with Gerry Davis to co-create the infamous cybermen.
In 1966, the first episode of The Savages was aired. Coincidentally, Sharon D Clarke, the actress who played Grace O’Brien— wife and grandmother to two Thirteenth Doctor companions, was also born in the same year. Two years later, in 1968, the world welcomed the talented Kylie Minogue, who went on to portray Astrid Peth in Voyage of the Damned. Don’t blink as you read this next one.
A couple of decades later, in 1985, the brilliant actress Carey Mulligan was born, who would later play Sally Sparrow in one of the most beloved episodes of Doctor Who, Blink. In 2005, the episode The Doctor Dances was first broadcast, while in 2011, The Almost People episode premiered, leaving fans on the edge of their seats due to a certain companion being a Ganger.
Doctor Who History: Week Twenty-Two – 29th May to 4th June
In 1965, The Death of Time episode was first broadcast. The second episode of The Dæmons was aired in 1971. Pearl Mackie, the talented actress who portrayed Twelfth Doctor companion, Bill Potts, was born in 1987. And in 2010, the thrilling episode Cold Blood was first broadcast, where Rory dies for the first time.
The Warriors of Death episode aired in 1964, while Inferno‘s fourth episode was broadcast in 1970. Big Finish released The Eight Truths: Part 1 as part of their Eighth Doctor Adventures Series 3 in 2009, and in 2017, they released Falling, part of their Short Trips series. In 2019, Big Finish released Under ODIN’s Eye, another part of their Short Trips series.
In 1969, episode seven of The War Games was first broadcast. Claudia Grant, who portrayed Carole Ann Ford in An Adventure in Space and Time, was born in 1985. In 2008, Silence in the Library was first broadcast, featuring the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble, introducing Alex Kingston as River Song into Doctor Who. In 2010, The Time Vampire was first released by Big Finish, while in 2016, This Sporting Life was first released.
1946 the talented actor Brian Cox, who portrayed Sydney Newman in An Adventure in Space and Time, was born. A year later, in 1947, actor Jonathan Pryce was born, who famously played The Master in the Doctor Who Comic Relief comedy, The Curse of Fatal Death. In 1968, episode six of The Wheel in Space was broadcast, while in 1974, the penultimate episode of Planet of the Spiders was put on the air for the first time.
Jon Culshaw, who plays the Brigadier in Big Finish’s audio adventures, was born in 1968. The third episode of The Green Death debuted in 1973. In 2007, The Family of Blood premiered. 2011 saw the release of both Animal and The Cold Equations by Big Finish. The Gates of Hell released Big Finish in 2021, featuring the Tenth Doctor and the Fifth Doctor.
In 1946, Penelope Wilton was born. Wilton played Harriet Jones, yes we know who she is! 21 years later, in 1967, the third episode of The Evil of the Daleks was first broadcast. Episode three of The Time Monster was first broadcast in 1972. In 2006, The Impossible Planet aired for the first time. This episode introduced the Ood into the Doctor Who universe. The First Doctor: Volume One was first released by Big Finish in 2015. 2 years later, in 2017, The Lie of the Land was first broadcast.
Bradley Walsh was born three years before the show started in 1960. Bradley played Graham O’Brien, companion to the Thirteenth Doctor, husband to Sharon Clarke’s character Grace O’Brien, and grandfather to Tosin Cole’s Ryan Sinclair. Episode two of The Savages was first broadcast in 1966. The voice actor of the 7th Doctor companion in Big Finish, Philip Olivier, was born in 1980. Boom Town first broadcast in 2005. On this date in 2011, we discovered who River Song was when A Good Man Goes to War was aired. The Cloisters of Terror was first released by Big Finish in 2015.
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. We had the introduction of River Song in Silence of the Library. River Song was revealed to be Melody Pond— daughter of Rory Williams and Amy Pond. We had the birthdays of Bradley Walsh and Sharon D Clarke.
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.