‘Doctor Who’ Roundup: 51st Anniversary And Other News

On November 23, 1963, Doctor Who aired for the first time. Now, 51 years after “An Unearthly Child” hit the airwaves, fans of the Doctor find themselves digesting the happenings in the recently concluded latest season of the long-running show. With no Doctor Who episodes set to air until this year’s Christmas episode, fans are left to not only look forward to what is to come, but also look back at what was.

Digital Spy recently turned their gaze to the past, highlighting the original pilot of Doctor Who. The pilot was shot on September 27, 1963, but when Sydney Newman, the head of BBC drama, saw the episode, he insisted on a re-shoot.

The unaired pilot has garnered derision from fans over the years, due to sloppy production work including microphones on screen and malfunctioning equipment. However, Digital Spy remarks on how similar the episode is to “An Unearthly Child.” The characters and story, while certainly different than in the final product, were much closer than legend has grown to claim over the years.

In other Doctor Who news, the Mary Sue is reporting BBC is very happy with the ratings for Doctor Who Series 8.

“Series 8 saw Peter Capaldi take up the iconic role of The Doctor, with an average consolidated audience of 7.4m viewers every week in the UK. This an increase of 39% on the overnight figures reported the day after broadcast. This includes the 9.2m average audience that watched Deep Breath, Peter Capaldi’s debut episode, which is the highest figure for a non-special episode (Christmas/50th anniversary) since the opening episode of series 5 (Matt Smith’s debut) in 2010. These figures show how ‘Doctor Who’ has consistently achieved big audiences across the last three series – series 7a/7b combined had an average consolidated audience of 7.4m, series 6a/6b attracted 7.5m and series 5 was viewed by 7.3m. There has been over 18.9m requests to watch Doctor Who series 8 on BBC iPlayer – an average of 1.6m requests for each of the 12 episodes.”

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, rumors had begun to surface about concerns over the shows reduced overnight ratings. Clearly, the delayed viewing numbers have more than made up the difference, and BBC is happy with the performance of the legendary sci-fi show.

The Inquisitr also reported that Peter Capaldi has been confirmed to return as the Doctor for Season 9. Jenna Coleman has received no such confirmation as companion Clara Oswald. The events of Series 8 certainly point towards an exit for the character, but nothing has been confirmed to-date. The actress recently sat down with Digital Spy to discuss the release of the Series 8 DVD, but wouldn’t give any clear comments on the future for Ms. Oswald.

“I don’t know yet. I don’t know. To be honest, it’s hard when you’re in the middle of it… we’ve still got the Christmas episode to come out.”

With only the Christmas Special left before a long offseason, fans are left to choose between re-watching old episodes and scouring the web for news to get their Doctor fix. Luckily for them, the Doctor has left plenty of both at their disposal.

[Photo courtesy of Moviepilot.com]