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 a ton of Torchwood-related adventures, the birth of an exceptional Flux space dog actor, and a companion from the 80s that is due to return next year being born. Lastly, we had the anniversary of Big Finish and Doctor Who, 20 years working amongst each other.
Doctor Who History: Week Twenty-Nine– 17th July to 23rd July
1965 the third part of The Time Meddler, A Battle of Wits, was broadcast. In 2018, Big Finish released the Torchwood audio story Instant Karma. A year later, in 2019, they introduced The Legacy of Time, a special classic Doctor crossover event celebrating the 20th anniversary of Doctor Who audios at Big Finish.
In 1908, composer Barry Gray, known in the Doctor Who community for his iconic composing in Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D, was born. In 1978, actor Craige Els, known for playing Karvanista throughout Flux, and for playing the Chief Sea Devil in Legend of the Sea Devils, was born.
Actress Sydney Wade entered the world in 2002. Wade portrayed young Melody Pond, or the Little Girl, in the two-part story The Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon. Finally, in 2018, Big Finish released Machines, offering fans more Torchwood adventures.
The Sirens of Time by Big Finish was released in 1999, which marked the beginning of their now-successful Doctor Who audio range. Fast forward twenty-three years ago, in 2022, Big Finish released the Twelfth Doctor audio novel, Emancipation of the Daleks.
In 1931, the talented voice actor Roy Skelton, known for his voice work as the Daleks and the Cybermen, was born. Actress of Sky Smith— Sarah-Jane Smith’s adopted daughter, Sinead Michael, graced the world in 1998. Big Finish expanded its audio collection in 2005 with the publication of Wildthyme on Top, an anthology featuring the titular Iris Wildthyme. It’s a shame it’s one of the few not available now! A decade later, in 2015, Big Finish released the Seventh Doctor Short Trips audio story, Dark Convoy.
In 1979, the gifted actor Daniel Adegboyega came into the world. Adegboyega portrayed Ryan Sinclair’s dad, Aaron. Unfortunately, in 1995, we bid farewell to the creator of Davros, Michael Wisher. Torchwood fans were treated to the second episode of Miracle Day, Rendition, in 2011. Fans mourned the loss of Deborah Watling, who portrayed Victoria Waterfield, a companion of the Second Doctor, in 2017. Big Finish continued to captivate Torchwood fans in 2022 with the release of Restricted Items Archive Entries 031-049, with Gareth David-Lloyd as Ianto Jones.
In 1937, the world welcomed the birth of the talented actor Adrienne Hill. Hill joined the series in 1965, taking on the role of Katarina, a companion of the First Doctor. Born in 1964, the entertainment world welcomed the arrival of Bonnie Langford. Langford left an indelible mark on Doctor Who as she portrayed the companion of the Sixth and Seventh Doctor, Mel Bush. Recently, Bonnie was announced to be returning to Doctor Who after last appearing in the Centenary Special of the BBC episode, Power of the Doctor. Did you know that Bonnie is due to return for the series 14 finale?!
In 1988, the world welcomed the talented actor Pippa Bennett-Warner, who would play Saibra in Time Heist. She later played War Livia Caralis, president of Gallifrey. Meanwhile, Tosin Cole, the Thirteenth Doctor’s companion Ryan Sinclair, was born in 1992. Turning to the world of audio dramas, in 2001, Big Finish released the Sixth Doctor audio story, Bloodtide. Fast forward to 2012, and fans were treated to the release of The Time Museum, by Big Finish, a Companion Chronicles audio story with Ian Chesterton. Lastly, in 2020, Big Finish released The Robots: Volume 2.
Doctor Who History: Week Thirty– 24th July to 30th July
In 1965, Doctor Who fans tuned in to witness the denouement of season 2 with the broadcast of Checkmate. However, in 2022, the acting community mourned the loss of the talented actor David Warner. Warner portrayed the Unbound Doctor in Big Finish’s Doctor Who Unbound series.
In 1964, Doctor Who fans were treated to Kidnap, the penultimate episode of the story, The Sensorites. Fast forward to 1980, and the talented actor Jemma Powell entered the world. Jemma played Barbara Wright/ Jacqueline Hill in An Adventure in Space and Time. She also plays Barbara Wright in many audio stories. In 2018, Big Finish delighted fans with the release of The First Doctor Adventures: Volume Two, offering exciting new adventures with the iconic First Doctor portrayed by David Bradley, and birthday girl, Jemma Powell. Do you think she listened to her birthday present?
In 1939, the talented writer Bob Baker was born, later writing our favourite metal dog, K-9! In 1966, audiences witnessed the premiere of Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D., a thrilling cinematic adventure featuring the iconic Daleks and Peter Cushing as Dr. Who. Fast forward to 1978, and the gifted actor Eve Myles entered the world, becoming the well-known character Gwen Cooper from Torchwood.
However, in 2012, the Doctor Who community mourned the loss of the talented actress Mary Tamm, who portrayed Romana I. That same year, Big Finish delighted fans with the release of The Blame Game, with the Third Doctor.
27th July— a death for all to mourn
In 1959, the talented actor Siobhan Redmond, who voiced the Second Rani in Big Finish audio stories, was born. In 2017, Big Finish delighted fans with the release of Classic Doctors, New Monsters: Volume Two, an exciting audio production that brought together the classic Doctors with new and formidable adversaries. Fast forward to 2021, and Big Finish treated Torchwood fans with the release of Madam I’m, a captivating audio story set.
However, in 2022, the Doctor Who community mourned the loss of the beloved actor Bernard Cribbins, whose portrayal of Wilfred Mott, the grandfather of Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) touched the hearts of viewers. In 1966, he appeared in the film Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. portraying the character of Tom Campbell. Cribbins is due to return in the 60th-anniversary specials since he was filming on set during the last few weeks of his life.
In 1980, Noel Sullivan was born. Noel played the Sixth Doctor’s companion, Jason, in Big Finish audio stories. On the topic of Big Finish, they treated fans in 2009 with the release of the gripping audio stories The Company of Friends and The Drowned World. Take your Torchwood pill as on this date in 2011, the Miracle Day episode, Dead of Night, aired. The year 2016 witnessed the arrival of Classic Doctors, New Monsters: Volume One by Big Finish, offering thrilling adventures with aliens such as the Weeping Angels, and the Judoon. Continuing the excitement, Big Finish released Downward Spiral in 2020. Finally, in 2022, Big Finish unleashed The Stuff of Nightmares, the third part of the series of Classic Doctors, New Monsters.
We’ve had the death of this man at the start of this week, but now, it’s time for something happier… his birth! The year was 1941, and David Warner was born.
Phil Davis was born in 1953. Davis played Lucius Petrus Dextrus (the Chief Augur of Pompeii) in The Fires of Pompeii. Meanwhile, 1988 witnessed the birth of the actor Alexander Vlahos, voicing Dorian Gray in the titular stories. In 2008, Big Finish released The Boy That Time Forgot, with the Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) and Nyssa (Sarah Sutton). In 2018, The Darkened Earth was released by Big Finish. Fast forward to 2020, The Lovecraft Invasion was released by 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 Bonnie Langford’s birth. Who’s excited about her return? Also, this fortnight had the saddest death in the world of acting, and Doctor Who, Bernard Cribbins, the man who made millions of people’s childhood. You may be wondering why this fortnight’s is called Torchwood Extravaganza. It’s because many releases are from the Torchwood series/ audio stories.
I’ll be back in a fortnight to tell you more about Doctor Who’s history… text. Many thanks to 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.