Not many shows are still airing new episodes 50 years after their debut. Doctor Who premiered in 1963 and is still as popular as ever, with new episodes currently being filmed, starring Matt Smith as the latest Doctor. However, seeing as this is the 50th anniversary, the Doctors of the past will not be forgotten.
Every month during 2013, from January to November (which is the month that Doctor Who Debuted) BBC America will air a TV special dedicated to one of the 11 actors who played the eponymous time-traveling hero. The specials will begin on Sunday January 27th with a night dedicated to the original Doctor, Wiliam Hartnell. The special will be followed by the classic 1964 Hartnell episode, “The Aztecs“. Each month BBC America will dedicate another special to each of the successive Doctors–Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and finally Smith–followed by an episode starring each one.
Later this year, there will be a TV documentary covering the 50 year history of the series, as well as a made-for-TV movie about how the show got started, and the efforts of the people involved in it’s creation–Producers Verity Lambert and Sidney Newman, as well as series star William Hartnell–to make a quality show.
Hopefully, all these tributes will make up for the strange decision by the powers-that-be at the BBC to cut down the number of new Dr. Who episodes being filmed (only seven instead of the usual 14) for the anniversary year.