Tomorrow, November 22nd is the 50th Anniversary of the kickoff of the popular SciFi show Doctor Who. Since I am a huge Doctor Who fan, I thought what better to kick it off than with the history of Doctor Who and the USA!
The 50th episode will have both the 10th Doctor and his companion Rose Tyler as well as the 11th Doctor and his companion Clara Oswald and the new “War Doctor” who is rumored to be the Doctor Who incarnation that fought in the fabled Time War.
On 4 November 2013, the BBC released the official synopsis: “The 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.” (source: Wikipedia)
So let’s get on with some interesting US-Britain Doctor Who stuff shall we?
The 50th anniversary of the Kennedy Assassination was today. In the photo above you can see the Kennedy Family meeting the Queen of England. Their grand-daughter held a memorial service in England today. The memorial service was held at Runnymede Meadow, Berkshire and Caroline Kennedy’s daughter, Tatiana Schlossberg, represented the family.
“An Unearthly Child” was the very first Doctor Who episode and it aired the day after Kennedy’s Assassination. It aired 1 minutes and 30 seconds late because the news show before it went slightly over time relating the latest details known about what happened with Kennedy. Another little known fact is that they replayed the first episode the following week, fearing people had been paying more attention to the news about Kennedy and the audience they were trying to reach was not there on November 23rd.
In February 1985, “The Mark of the Rani” was aired in which two opposing Time Lords are present and trying to use the disguise of war to hide their evil deeds. It is during the American Revolutionary War against colonial rule by Britain when Rani is using the cover of the violence to steal soldiers in the war and tap their brains for a chemical fluid to use on her home planet’s population. Also in 2005, the Ninth Doctor claims to have been part of the Boston Tea Party.
In one TV Show, two audio (radio) broadcasts and one book, the Doctor and his companions are in the USA during the American Civil War between 1862 and 1865. About 15 years later, in 1880, is the time frame when the First Doctor was involved with the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and later, the 10th Doctor and his companion Martha landed in Redwater during the 1880’s. There they battled a unique foe who was a weapon that would take over it’s host and had killed their previous civilization which had invented them to help win a war, though the origins are never explained in detail.
Later in the 1930’s (in the show, not the actual 1930’s) the Cult of Skaro was killing citizens of New York City trying to turn them into a new race of Daleks and in 1938 during the broadcast of War of the World, the Eighth Doctor thwarted an attempt to take over the planet starting in the USA using the radio show as cover for it’s alien invasion. This was a radio broadcast episode also, which made it a little extra creepy!
Area 51 made an appearance on the show with the episode where in 1958 the Doctor is taken to Area 51 to have his mind erased and where he discovers the true alien secret behind area 51.
The 1960s was a popular time for Doctor Who characters to travel to. 6 TV Episodes, a book and a radio show all include the Doctor travelling to some time in the 1960s. In a two part episode, set in 1969, a little girl calls President Richard Nixon somehow, and tells him about a spaceman that was coming to eat her, and warns him about monsters in the oval office. Which of course, turns out to be true.
In the early 1960s, the United States Military confronted the Soviet Union and Cuba in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Fear of nuclear war during the crisis “kept Barbara Wright awake at night”. This was from an Audio episode of Doctor Who which was played on the BBC Radio in 1963.
After the 1960’s episodes, the future gets a little confusing. For example, in the 1990’s and 2000’s episodes, some of them were traveled to “in the future” from episodes actually filmed as long as 30 years earlier. This causes some strange inconsistencies with what people in 1970 thought 2010 would really look like. However, if you take it with a grain of time-travelling salt and explain it away with the past having modified the present… well, at least for me, it all works out in the end.
“Despite the franchise’s popularity in the US, since 1963 only a handful of TV episodes have featured scenes set within the US, and to date there have only been seven TV stories set in their entirety in that country: The Gunfighters (the only story of the classic 1963-89 series set entirely in the US), the 1996 TV movie, Dalek, the two-parter Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks, the 2009 animated serial Dreamland, the Series 6 two-parter opener, The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon, and the Series 7 episodes A Town Called Mercy and The Angels Take Manhattan.” (source: TARDIS Data Core)
I hope all you Doctor Who fans out there enjoyed this little throw back on some Doctor Who USA History and I\are as excited as I am to see the 50th anniversary special!