Celebrating Doctor Who’s 50th
Guest contributors Dan S and Dale Harrison celebrate the momentous day.
By Dan S.
Well Doctor Who, you’re 50! Absolutely fantastic! It’s funny – it all started out as a mild curiosity in a junkyard… It’s turned out to be quite a great spirit of adventure! I never thought when I entered this amazing Whoniverse that a thing disguised as a police box standing in a junkyard could go anywhere in time and space (and that it’s bigger on the inside!) but it’s now clear that anything’s possible and nobody can do what we, the Whovians, are doing. I’d never wondered what it would be like to be a wanderer in the fourth dimension!
That old, new, borrowed, blue box and the madman inside it showed me the universe and everything in it. Some corners of the universe have bred the most terrible things and I know that they must be fought – by a lonely wanderer, who’s like fire and ice and rage, and like the night and the storm at the heart of the sun. And he’s probably been! That man, that impossible man took us on a journey, before changing his whole body in the blink of an eye. But, as he himself once said, “you may disguise your features, but you can never disguise your intent.” And, boy, was his intent good: to explore the universe, but not always in the right order. Then again, a straight line is always the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting!
Eventually, however, the day came. December 6th 1989. You were over. There were worlds out there where the sky was burning, and the sea was asleep, and the rivers dreamt (and the tea was getting cold), but we couldn’t travel on. We’d been promised though, all those years ago, that one day he would come back. Yes, he would come back. And he did, as a floaty head. And as the dashing, romantic gentleman. And as a farting comedian. And as Joanna Lumley (actually, let’s not go there). You didn’t want to go. But it was not to be. Everything has its time, and everything ends…
But the moment had been prepared for! You came back, but his planet was gone. It was just rocks and dust. Gallifrey was lost. He was the last of the Time Lords. He’d run for his life and we joined him again. We were taught that bananas are good, that dinner suits are really unlucky and that bow ties are cool. We saw all sorts of things: ghosts from the past, aliens from the future, and the day the Earth died in a ball of flame. When you came back, Doctor Who, you weren’t quiet and you weren’t calm, you just took our hands and said: “RUN!” And we’ve never stopped. Parallel universes, wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey problems and perception filters became the norm, to which we said: “Geronimo!”
So here’s to the next 50 years – allons-y! Here’s to 50 more years of adventuring through the cosmos. Oh, come on, what’s the point in being grown up if you can’t be childish sometimes?
So… All of time and space. Everything that ever happened or ever will. Exploring the universe, in a rackety old TARDIS, just how it all started. And it is gonna be…
The trip of a lifetime.
By Dale Harrison
Fifty years ago, a single day after one of the biggest events in history changed the world completely, the world would be changed again. This time it would not be through hate or guns, there would be no bullets. The world would change through something that no one in their wildest dreams could imagine possible; Doctor Who.
Typing those letters brings a shiver down my spine and gives me goosebumps. Two normal words, immortalized by the actions of revolutionaries, and for me Doctor Who is a revolution. For Verity Lambert, the first female producer to work for the BBC, through regenerations, the show has always been about revolution.
It makes me proud when I read the comments on this site, that people devote so much time and attention, to praise those that they like, to the friendship and love that develops between people whose common interest is a television programme, and for me that is something that can only make this world a better place.
In a world torn apart by war and hatred, by economic crises and racism, for 70 minutes on Saturday 23rd November, there will be a world united. A world brought together by love, by friendship, by one common interest. Millions of people, watching the same thing, dreaming the same dream. There is no racism., There is no black and white. There is no religion to argue about, no political feuds. Purely love for Doctor Who.
For me, that is the most important thing of this most wonderful of television shows. I truly believe that if more people in this world would be like the Doctor, if more people classed themselves as ‘a man who never would’, we could open a newspaper every day and read articles where it isn’t just about suicide bombs and nuclear weapons.
The people that have been involved in the show from the very first day through to now deserve to be worshipped as heroes. Regardless of who they are, what job they did, from Sydney Newman and the tea lady from 1963, through to Matt Smith and Steven Moffat today. Every single person has left their mark on the show, and in doing so left a mark on the souls and in the hearts on billions of people.
A thank you to these wonderful, amazing people probably cannot do justice to the joy and happiness they have brought into people’s lives. There probably isn’t a single thing that comes close. For me, the biggest thank you for these people is to be a man who never would. To be a person that loves humanity despite its flaws.
To imagine a world coming together over an event of happiness such as this is, I believe, unheard of. To finish with a quote from a favourite song of mine, for 70 minutes, ‘Tonight, we can truly say, together we’re invincible.