This Week In DOCTOR WHO History: Dec 15th To Dec 24th - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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This Week In DOCTOR WHO History: Dec 15th To Dec 24th

Don your finest British racing green blazer and join us for a bumper edition of our regular look back into the Who archives...

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.

We've got a bumper 10 day edition of our look back into the episodes broadcast, the birthday's celebrated and the special events that happened this week in Doctor Who history. Why? You ask. Well with Christmas coming up there's another special edition of this column coming on December 25th and publishing an article just covering three days next Sunday felt like we'd be cheating you. So get comfy and we will begin...

December 15th
On this day in 1973 season 11 of Doctor Who got underway with the Third Doctor meeting a young journalist called Sarah Jane Smith. The story was The Time Warrior, and it also marked the very first appearance of The Sontarans. Part one was watched by 8.7 million people. Also, the final part of the Fourth Doctor adventure Nightmare of Eden was broadcast in 1979, and watched by 9.4 million viewers.

December 16th
The Second Doctor adventure The Ice Warriors reached its conclusion on this day in 1967. Part 6 of the story was watched by 7.5 million viewers. Also reaching its conclusion was the Fourth Doctor adventure The Androids of Tara. The 1978 story had an audience of 9 million.

It's not a TV show but still it is some Doctor Who you might've been watching. On this day in 1974 the Fourth Doctor made his stage debut - but it wasn't Tom Baker! Although Tom had been seen briefly at the end of Planet Of The Spiders, when Jon Pertwee regenerated, another actor played the Fourth Doctor before Baker properly took control of the TARDIS for his first full adventure. That man was Trevor Martin, (who had already played a Time Lord on screen in the Second Doctor adventure The War Games), he starred in the stage show Doctor Who and the Daleks in Seven Keys To Doomsday. Penned by Terrance Dicks, the show opened at the Adelphi Theatre two weeks before Baker's debut story Robot began.

Another non-Who episode yet Who-related item comes in the form of the Never Mind the Buzzcocks: Doctor Who Special, which was shown in 2009 at 10:00pm, and watched by 3.72 million viewers. Shall we watch it?...

Also on this day in 2011 we bid a sad farewell to the wonderful Nicholas Courtney who passed away at the age of 81.

Five rounds rapid in salute to you Sir.

December 17th
On this day in 1966 the Second Doctor met young Jamie McCrimmon for the first time, and a beautiful friendship began. 6.7 million viewers tuned into episode 1 of The Highlanders to witness the event.

Whereas that was only the beginning, The Sun Makers was coming to an end. Part Four of the Fourth Doctor adventure was broadcast in 1977 and watched by 8.4 million viewers.

It's Torchwood time. Or to be more exact Torchwood: Out of Time which was broadcast in 2006 at 10:00pm and watched by 1.03 million viewers.

Also on this day, Jacqueline Hill, who played Barbara Wright, one of Doctor Who's original companions, was born on this day in 2029.

December 18th
Only one televisual episode of Who for this day, and it's episode 6 of The Daleks' Master Plan, entitled Coronas of the Sun, which was broadcast in 1965. It's one of the installments that is on the missing list so only the 9.1 million people who tuned in have ever seen it. 

Also on this day the final part 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 19th
Another day with only a single Doctor Who broadcast to date, and it sees us heading back to 1964 to find 'Grandfather' taking a trip to London to see the lights and get some last minute Christmas presents... What's that? I'm wrong? Oh, well he must be getting ready to say goodbye to Susan then, as she'd be off next week. First though she'd need to survive part 5 of The Dalek Invasion of Earth, entitled The Waking Ally, which was broadcast at 5:40pm, and watched by 11.4 million viewers.

Also on this day, it's a happy birthday to everyone's favourite classic Who companion Adric (a-hem), or rather Matthew Waterhouse, who was born on this day in 1961.

December 20th
December 20th is a rare Winter's day in Doctor Who history. In the Summer months we're used to no Who gracing our screens but to date no actual episodes of the show have received their premiere broadcast on British television on December 20th.

However, back in 2010 there was a series of the popular BBC2 quiz programme Celebrity Eggheads produced in aid of Children In Need - a charity event that Doctor Who has a long relationship with. On this day at 6pm 2.4 million viewers tuned in to a Doctor Who special. The celebrity team featured Colin Baker, Katy Manning, Frazer Hines, Louise Jameson and John Leeson. You can see a clip of the episode above.

December 21st
I may be wrong but I think that Dalek only wants Barbara to help him put a star on the top of his Christmas tree. Poor thing, he hasn't got his extendable grabber device thingy working properly yet.

Oh. What's that? Turns out I am wrong. It's actually episode 1 of The Daleks, entitled The Dead Planet, which was broadcast on this day in 1963. 6.9 million viewers tuned in to catch Barbara cornered by a man waving a sink plunger (the actual Dalek prop wasn't ready for this episode), and within a couple of weeks Dalekmania would sweep the country, essentially sealing Doctor Who's future.

Also on this day, in 1968 The Invasion was coming to an end, with 7 million watching episode 8. Fast forward twenty years and five Doctors and we have 5.3 million tuning on to part two of The Greatest Show in the Galaxy.

December 22nd
That's the last time the Doctor samples the Brigadier's home made loganberry wine at the UNIT Christmas party. Turned him quite queezy it did, so much so he needed a long sit down.

Good thing too, as he was just in time for part 2 of The Time Warrior which was broadcast on this day in 1973. Six years later The Horns Of Nimon got underway. Who had the more viewers? Well that'll be the Third Doctor story which was watched by 7 million viewers, exactly 1 million more than his successor had. 

December 23rd
Well, it's nearly Christmas isn't it. Go on Troughton, treat yourself to that Cuban cigar. You've earned it.

Rediscovered in 2013, the Second Doctor adventure The Enemy of the World began on this day in 1967. Episode 1 was watched by 6.80 million viewers. Also getting underway on this day was the 1978 Fourth Doctor adventure The Power of Kroll. 6.5 million sets of eyes were watching.

December 24th
A Christmas Eve treat was awaiting the 6.8 million viewers who were tuned in to BBC One at 5.50pm on this day in 1966. Little did they know, but they would be the only people in the UK to watch episode 2 of The Highlanders, as sadly this and the other 3 parts of the story are all missing, presumed wiped.

Remember folks, it's Christmas for Weevils too. Get them a nice intensive 24hr moisturiser gift set. They're worth it. Then settle down and snuggle up with the 0.83 million other Weevil lovers (not fighters) and watch Combat, the eleventh episode of season one of Torchwood which was first broadcast in 2006 at 9:30pm.

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 Christmas Day...

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