50th Anniversary BBC TV Programmes Line-Up

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Below you will find details and airdates for several of the BBC’s special programmes celebrating the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who.

UPDATE: More programme details and images added.

The Science of Doctor Who

14 November at 9pm on BBC2

science-of-doctor-who-cox-smithFor one night only, Professor Brian Cox explores the universe of the world’s favourite Time Lord, Doctor Who.

Brian takes an audience, with the help of celebrity guests, on a journey into the wonderful universe of The Doctor, in a specially recorded programme from the lecture theatre of the Royal Institution of Great Britain.

Brian reveals the science behind the spectacle and explains the physics that allows Doctor Who to travel through space and time. Fun, but filled with real science, it’s a special night for Who fans as well anyone with a thirst for understanding.

Brian is in the unique position of knowing The Doctor’s universe inside out as well as the reality behind the drama. When the TARDIS travels through time and space, Brian understands the physics involved. And when it comes to life on other planets, Brian knows the real science that could prove extra-terrestrial life might just really exist in our galaxy.

Greatest Monsters & Villains Weekend

15 November at 7.05pm on BBC3
16 November at 8pm on BBC3
17 November at 7.30pm on BBC3

50th-anniversary-art-bbcw-monstersPart 1 – A countdown of the show’s ten most popular antagonists as voted for by viewers, to mark the 50th anniversary of the long-running BBC sci-fi drama. The Time Lord has been confronted by many enemies during his adventures, including Cybermen, Daleks and Zygons, and this programme aims to shed light on why some of these creatures still inspire awe in members of the public. The first of three compilations looks at the monsters and villains in places 10 to seven, which make an appearance in four back-to-back Doctor Who episodes. Presented by Joel Dommett.

Part 2 – With the long-anticipated 50th anniversary now just a week away, the countdown of the sci-fi show’s 10 most popular antagonists continues. Monsters from the classic era line up alongside aliens and ne’er-do-wells from 2005 onwards as comedian Joel Dommett reveals which of the Doctor’s many nemeses have been ranked six to four in the public vote.

Part 3 – The countdown draws to a close as comedian Joel Dommett reveals which of the show’s impressive roster of enemies have been voted the top three. Among the villains expected to place highly on the list are the ancient Earth-dwelling Silurians, the legions of the Ood and the memory-bending assassins the Silence, along with the cold, calculating Cybermen, the hateful mutant Daleks and the Master, the Doctor’s nihilistic Time Lord nemesis.

Children in Need

15 November from 7.30pm on BBC1

children-in-need-2013-matt-smithA world exclusive preview clip from The Day of the Doctor is being shown.

Sir Terry Wogan, Tess Daly, Fearne Cotton, Zoe Ball and Nick Grimshaw play host to an array of stars, as they join in to help raise money for disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.

Amongst those lending a hand are One Direction, Doctor Who, Harry Hill, and cast of Call The Midwife.

Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide

18 November at 8pm on BBC3


Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman celebrate the 50th anniversary of the space-travelling Time Lord and take an in-depth look at of one of the most intriguing fictional characters of all time.

With the 50th anniversary episode, The Day of the Doctor, about to hit our screens there’s a look at all 11 incarnations of the Doctor and their most famous scenes and storylines, an exploration of the many sides to the Doctor and asking what is he really like. Plus, a look at The Doctor’s many travelling companions and adversaries over the years and how they all contribute to creating the longest running sci-fi show of all time.

Featuring David Tennant, Paul McGann, Sylvester McCoy, Noel Clarke, Rick Edwards, Konnie Huq, McFly, Joel Dommett and many more, it’s the best preparation possible for the 50th anniversary episode.

Doctor Who: Blue Peter Special / Doctor Who: Blue Peter Party

Blue Peter Special – 21 November 2013 at 5.30pm on CBBC
Blue Peter Party –  23 November at 9.30am on CBBC

bluepeter-logoCBBC is celebrating 50 years of Doctor Who with the launch of an exciting new Blue Peter Doctor Who competition and two live Blue Peter specials; a must see for all young Doctor Who fans.

In an exclusive competition, Blue Peter viewers aged between six and 15 will be asked to design new sonic devices for Sontaran Commander Strax, Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint. Their gadgets will feature in the iconic science fiction series. The winner will get the unique opportunity to see their gadget in action on the set of Doctor Who.

On Thursday 21 November and Saturday 23 November, Barney, Lindsey and Radzi will be joined by aliens and monsters in the studio and the audience will be able to design their very own alien live on air.

Blue Peter viewers will have their questions answered by Matt Smith; they will be able to get ready for the 50th anniversary show by making their very own cushion (to hide behind); and we’ll help them to host a Doctor Who party by showing them how to make Dalek cupcakes.

An Adventure in Space and Time

21 November at 9pm on BBC2

An-Adventure-in-Space-and-Time-William-Hartnell-dalekThis special one-off drama travels back in time to 1963 to see how the beloved Doctor Who was first brought to the screen.

Actor William Hartnell felt trapped by a succession of hard-man roles. Wannabe producer Verity Lambert was frustrated by the TV industry’s glass ceiling. Both of them were to find unlikely hope and unexpected challenges in the form of a Saturday tea-time drama, time travel and monsters!

Allied with a team of brilliant people, they went on to create the longest-running science fiction series ever, now celebrating its 50th anniversary.

An Unearthly Child (Restored)

21 November from 10.30pm on BBC4

doctor-who-an-unearthly-child-aBBC Four will introduce audiences to the first Doctor, William Hartnell, with a special re-run of the first-ever story, which marked the start of 50 years of history. The four episodes are being shown in a restored format, not previously broadcast in the UK.

Two teachers investigating the strange behaviour of a pupil find themselves in a junk yard, where they meet her grandfather and force their way inside a police box – with frightening results.

The Culture Show: Me, You And Doctor Who

22 November at 9.30pm on BBC2

5061313-high-me-you-and-doctor-who-a-culture-show-specialLifelong fan Matthew Sweet explores the cultural significance of the BBC’s longest running TV drama, arguing that it’s one of the most important cultural artefacts of modern Britain. Put simply, Doctor Who matters. He’ll examine how the show has become a cultural force in its own right and tell the stories of some of the unsung cultural heroes, who pioneered its innovative music, design and storytelling.

The Graham Norton Show

22 November at 10.35pm on BBC1

Matt Smith and David Tennant will both be joining Graham Norton on his TV chat show. Emma Thompson, Jimmy Carr and Robbie Williams are also guests.

12 Again: Doctor Who Special

23 November at 2.30pm on CBBC

12-again-logoSuper fans join cast members past and present to share their memories of watching TV’s top Time Lord when they were young. Who was their Doctor when they were a kid? Which aliens had them hiding behind the sofa?

Featuring CBBC’s super fan Chris Johnson, impressionist Jon Culshaw, Tommy Knight (Luke Smith), Warwick Davis (Porridge), Neve McIntosh (Madame Vastra), Dan Starkey (Strax) Louise Jameson (Leela) and the Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy.

We’ll find out about the Doctor himself, the TARDIS and the famous theme tune as we travel back to a different dimension with our celebrities as they become 12 Again.

Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor

23 November at 7.50pm on BBC1

50th-day-of-the-doctor-landscape-posterThe Doctors embark on their greatest adventure in this 50th anniversary special.

In 2013, something terrible is awakening in London’s National Gallery; in 1562, a murderous plot is afoot in Elizabethan England; and somewhere in space an ancient battle reaches its devastating conclusion. All of reality is at stake as the Doctor’s own dangerous past comes back to haunt him.

Doctor Who Live: The Afterparty

23 November at 9.05pm on BBC3

doctor-who-live-afterpartyLive from London’s Southbank, Zoe Ball and Rick Edwards will get the afterparty started on BBC Three, as they are joined by Matt Smith and guests to discuss the Doctor’s most epic adventure yet.

As soon as titles roll on BBC One’s The Day Of The Doctor, viewers can join the current Doctor himself, as well as a host of previous Doctors and their time-travelling companions in the ultimate celebration of 50 years of Doctor Who on BBC Three.

As well as all the gossip on the The Day Of The Doctor, there will be exclusive interviews, show-stopping monster moments and fans around the world will be giving their reaction, as they showcase how they are celebrating the special anniversary.

One Direction will also be joining the party as they gate-crash the show live from LA to wish the Doctor a happy birthday.

For the radio line-up see here.

BBC America line-up

Monday, November 18

  • Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited Marathon – 9:00am – 9:00pm ET
  • Doctor Who: Tales from the TARDIS – 9:00 –10:00pm ET (U.S. Premiere)
    An all-new special, Doctor Who: Tales from the TARDIS, features the series’ actors and producers sharing their experiences and memories of the world’s longest-running sci-fi show. The special features exclusive interviews with principal cast members from the show’s 50-year history, including actors who have played the Doctor: Matt Smith, David Tennant, Tom Baker, and Peter Davison, actors who have played companions: Jenna Coleman, Karen Gillan, Freema Agyeman, and William Russell, as well as the current lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat. The discussion includes how the actors got cast, how the roles changed their lives, how a ‘regeneration’ is recorded, and how filming the show in the 60’s compares to today.
  • The Science of Doctor Who with Brian Cox – 10:00–11:00pm ET (U.S. Premiere)

Tuesday, November 19

  • Doctor Who – The Ninth Doctor Marathon – 10:00am –11:00pm ET

Wednesday, November 20

  • Doctor Who – The Tenth Doctor Marathon – 2:00am –11:00pm ET

Thursday, November 21

  • Doctor Who – The Eleventh Doctor Marathon Part I – 9:00am – 11:00pm ET

Friday, November 22

  • Doctor Who – The Eleventh Doctor Marathon Part 2 – 9:00am – 8:00pm ET
  • Doctor Who Explained – 8:00pm – 9:00pm ET (U.S. Premiere)
    An all-new special, Doctor Who Explained, explores the mysterious and two-hearted alien who is the Doctor. Through exclusive interviews with principal cast members from the show’s 50-year history, including actors who have played the Doctor: Matt Smith, David Tennant, Peter Davison, and Tom Baker as well as actors who have played companions:Jenna Coleman, Karen Gillan, and Freema Agyeman, viewers get an insight to what happens behind-the-scenes of the award-winning sci-fi show.
  • An Adventure in Space and Time – 9:00pm ET (U.S. Premiere)

Saturday, November 23

  • Doctor Who – The Eleventh Doctor Marathon Part 3 – 1:00am – 2:00pm ET
  • Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor – Global Simulcast – 2:50pm ET
  • Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor ENCORE primetime broadcast – 7:00pm ET
    BBC AMERICA will premiere exclusive Inside Look interviews with Matt Smith and David Tennant during the broadcast.
  • The Graham Norton Show with guests Matt Smith and David Tennant – 10:00pm ET (U.S. Premiere)

Sunday, November 24

  • Doctor Who – Matt Smith Countdown – 9:00am – 8:00pm ET
    BBC AMERICA counts down the top 11 episodes from the Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith, as voted on by fans.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited –The Eleventh Doctor – 8:00pm –10:30pm ET (U.S. Premiere)
    BBC AMERICA celebrates the Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith, in a new special of Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited. Matt Smith first stepped into the TARDIS in 2010 and, after starring in the 50th Anniversary Special on November 23, will regenerate in the Christmas special. The Doctors Revisited begins with Matt Smith, Jenna Coleman (companion Clara Oswald), Karen Gillan (companion Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (companion Rory Williams), lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat, among others, examining the human side of this Doctor and taking a look at how his extraordinarily long life has affected him.

    The special is followed by the Eleventh Doctor two-part story, The Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon, in which a strange summons reunites the Doctor, Amy (Karen Gillan), Rory (Arthur Darvill) and River (Alex Kingston) in the middle of the Utah desert and unveils a terrible secret the Doctor’s friends must never reveal to him. These were the first Doctor Who episodes to be filmed in the U.S.