This Week In DOCTOR WHO History: Nov 29th to Dec 5th

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Sarah Jane! What happened to you this week in Doctor Who history?


Click on any red text to read our full retrospectives/reviews for that episode. All dates and viewing figures are for UK premier broadcasts unless otherwise stated

November 29th
Two part two's from two Fourth Doctor stories were both broadcast on this day. Firstly in 1975, an audience of 11.3 million tuned in to The Android Invasion, less than half that were watching in 1980 when 5.3 million saw State of Decay.

The Sixth Doctor was still on trial this day in 1986 when the first part of The Ultimate Foe (part thirteen of The Trial of a Time Lord) was broadcast in 1986 to 4.4 million viewers.

The penultimate episode of classic Doctor Who was broadcast on this day in 1989. That would be part two of Survival (a story we revisited here), which drew an audience of 4.8 million viewers. None of whom liked Coronation Street!

And finally on this day in 1993 the documentary 30 Years In The TARDIS was broadcast at 8:02pm, and watched by 4.3 million viewers. All still shaking their head over the recent memory of Dimensions In Time (*shudder*).


November 30th
On Saturday November 30th 1963 the very first Doctor Who repeat aired on BBC1. As the opening episode of An Unearthly Child had been overshadowed by the assassination of John F Kennedy, the decision was made to give it a second airing. It would go out immediately preceding part two - The Cave of Skulls. So at 5.05pm the repeat began, and records show that come 5:29pm 5.9 million viewers were watching the new episode, in which the Doctor smokes a pipe! It was a very different time.

Also broadcast on this day in Doctor Who history was episode five of The Invasion, the 1968 Second Doctor adventure was watched by an audience of 6.7 million viewers. Fast forward 19 years and five Doctors to part two of Dragonfire. The whole of season 24 went out on Monday evenings, and up against Coronation Street but still managed to pull in 4 million viewers. The following year, Sylvester McCoy faced the Silver Nemesis, with part two of the story going out to 5.2 million viewers, who had all tuned in on that Wednesday evening at 7:35pm.


December 1st
Remember that time when Tom Baker auditioned for Strictly Come Dancing? His inter-species foxtrot was to die for! Oh, hang on - my bad, it's just a screen-grab from the only classic Who episode broadcast on this day. Back in 1979 we have part two of Nightmare of Eden pulling in a very respectable 9.6 million viewers.

Also on this day, episode two of The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith was broadcast in 2008 at 4:35pm, and watched by 0.89 million viewers.


December 2nd
Episode four, which is one of the surviving installments from the Second Doctor adventure The Ice Warriors was broadcast in 1967 at 5:25pm, and watched by 7.3 million viewers. But Uncle Tom easily topped that! With the promise of a Jelly Baby he enticed 10.1 million Brits to tune in for part two of the 1978 story, The Androids of Tara.


December 3rd
Only the 8 million people who watched episode five of Patrick Troughton's debut adventure, The Power of the Daleks, ever got to see this 1966 missing-presumed-wiped classic adventure. Then in 1977 we have yet another 'part two', this time for The Sun Makers, a story which gained a million viewers from its previous installment and has a recorded audience of 9.5 million.

Why oh why do They Keep Killing Suzie? All is revealed in the Torchwood episode first broadcast on this day in 2006 at 10:00pm, and watched by 1.12 million viewers.


December 4th
The First Doctor was neck deep in The Daleks' Master Plan. Episode four, entitled The Traitors, was broadcast in 1965 at 5:50pm and watched by 9.5 million viewers.

It may not be considered canon but episode four of the 40th Anniversary animated web adventure Scream of the Shalka was released onto the BBC's Doctor Who website at noon on this day in 2003.


December 5th
The third episode of The Dalek Invasion of Earth, entitled Day of Reckoning, was broadcast on this day in 1964 and watched by 11.9 million viewers. Some 45 years later the Tenth Doctor's animated adventure, Dreamland, received it's debut airing at 10am. Having already been available to watch on the BBCs Red Button service since November 21st it still drew an audience of half a million. Not 'alf bad.

Some of you may have rushed out on this day in 1997 to purchase the PC Game, Destiny Of The Doctors. It featured specially recorded audio by Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, and Nicholas Courtney, and specially recorded audio and video with Anthony Ainley reprising his role as the Master.

Sadly it would be the final time Ainley would reprise the role. He was invited to play the Master for Big Finish Productions' Doctor Who audio stories, beginning with Dust Breeding in June 2001. But Big Finish were unable to reach a suitable deal with him, and so the part went instead to Geoffrey Beevers.

And that wraps up another week in Doctor Who history, looking ahead though, on Saturday December 5th 2015 we'll be wrapping up series nine with Hell Bent. And we know you'll be watching that!

So did you watch any of these adventures live? Did you own Destiny of the Doctors? Tell us in the comments below.

Until next Sunday...

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