This Week In DOCTOR WHO History: May 22nd to May 28th

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There's a McGanniversary on the horizon and The Beatles put in an appearance 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.

May 22nd
The opening episode of The Chase was broadcast on this day in 1965, titled The Executioners it was watched by a mighty 10 million viewers who all got the chance, along with the TARDIS crew, to catch a glimpse of The Beatles, thanks to the Time and Space Visualiser. The First Doctor remarked that the Fab Four had a good sound but he didn't think they were a patch on 1980s German New Wave combo Nena, who he had a particular penchant for! Maybe.

Two regenerations and 6 years later, part one of the highly regarded Third Doctor adventure The Daemons was watched by 8.1 million viewers. Then, on this day in 2010, 6.49 million viewers tuned in to catch the Eleventh Doctor in The Hungry Earth.

May 23rd
Look out! Old Firstie is right miffed at Barbara when she says that she doesn't rate Nena's sixteenth studio album, Du bist gut, and it's unremittingly bleak lyrics on tracks like Ich habe dich verloren. So angry is he that he's taking the TARDIS crew back to ancient Mexico for the first part of The Aztecs, titled The Temple of Evil, where he'll seek solace with a young lass called Cameca.

Before that, he'll get snappy with Barbara even more reminding her that you can't rewrite history (or the lyrics to Deine Fl├╝gel brechen nicht). This all took place on this day in 1964 from 5:16pm with 7.4 million viewers as witnesses - to some of it.

Also on this day, in 1970 the Third Doctor starred in the third episode of Inferno, which was watched by 4.8 million viewers.

May 24th
Just one Doctor Who episode has been broadcast on this day, and that is part six of the Second Doctor's final adventure The War Games. If you were tuned into BBC1 at 5.15pm that Saturday then you would've been joined by 4.2 million others waiting to discover how the Doctor, Zoe and Carstairs would rescue their friends.

May 25th
On this day in 1968 6.8 million people were watching the Second Doctor in episode five of The Wheel In Space, an installment which along with parts 1,2 & 4 is now sadly missing from the archives. Skip forward one regeneration and 6 years and we have the STUFF OF NIGHTMARES!!!! If you have an arachnid phobia that is! It's the Third Doctor's swansong Planet of the Spiders. Part four was broadcast on this day in 1974 and watched by 8.2 million viewers.

May 26th
On this day in 1973 episode two of The Green Death was broadcast to an audience of 7.2 million viewers. Then we jump into a Type 40 and travel 34 years into the future for our first new-Who story of the week, and that Tenth Doctor eh? Always kissing someone! This time it was the school nurse Joan Redfern, who get herself all tangled up in a bit of Human Nature. Broadcast in 2007 at 7:11pm, the start of the Chamelion Arch two-part adventure was watched by 7.74 million viewers.

May 27th
This day gave us another classic Second Doctor adventure, in the form of episode 2 of The Evil of the Daleks. Broadcast in 1967 at 5:50pm and watched by 7.5 million viewers, it is the only installment of the seven-part adventure which currently resides in the BBC archives. One regeneration later and the Third Doctor did battle with The Time Monster on this day in 1972. Episode two was broadcast that Saturday at 5:51pm, and watched by 7.4 million viewers.

Then it's McGanniversary time, as on this day in 1996 it was the start of a (very brief) new beginning for Doctor Who. The TV Movie (aka The Enemy Within), jointly produced between the BBC and Fox, was hoped to be the start of a new series of adventures featuring Paul McGann's Eighth Doctor. Alas it was not meant to be, as although a mighty 9.08 million tuned into the UK broadcast on that Bank Holiday Monday evening, its premiere on US television on Tuesday May 14th saw a rather disappointing 5.6 million tune in, just a 9% share of the audience.

Finally we have one new-Who adventure broadcast on this day in Doctor Who history, from 2006 it's The Idiot's Lantern, which was watched by 6.76 million viewers.

May 28th
Episode 1 of The Savages was broadcast on this day 1966, a story which may have seen the First Doctor attempt to educate the Elders and the bands of roaming savages in the ways of 1980's German synth-pop. Alas as the story is entiirely missing from the BBC archives we can never be sure if he succeeded, only the 4.8 million viewers watching when it was broadcast would know.

Then 39 years later it was party time, sort of. "Everybody lives" and so the Doctor Dances! The Ninth Doctor adventure was broadcast in 2005 at 6:59pm and watched by 6.86 million viewers. Then moving on to 2011 and the Eleventh Doctor adventure The Almost People which drew an audience of 6.72 million.

That's it for this week, but did you watch any of these adventures live? We'd love to hear your memories about any of them. Tell us in the comments below.

Until next Sunday...

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