Today In DOCTOR WHO History: November 23rd - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Today In DOCTOR WHO History: November 23rd

Nothing of any importance happened on this day in Doctor Who history. Honestly...

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 23rd
Welcome to a special edition of our regular daily column, celebrating the broadcast anniversary of the very first episode of Doctor Who which premiered on BBC One back in 1963 on a Saturday afternoon at 5:16pm. I'm sure you all knew that, right? 4.4 Million viewers sat down to watch An Unearthly Child, part one in a four part adventure that at the time of broadcast went under the title of 100,000 BC (original working title being The Tribe of Gum). Now, of course, we refer to the whole story as An Unearthly Child, likely thanks to the 1973 Radio Times Tenth Anniversary Special which called it that.

November 23rd is now referred to as fan's around the world as Doctor Who Day, and it's a perfect occasion to, perhaps, rewatch a classic episode or two from the series, so why not make it one which was also a celebration of the anniversary itself? An Unearthly Child was not the only Doctor Who episode which premiered on November 23rd throughout the show's long history, as on the fifth anniversary of the series episode four of the classic Second Doctor Cybermen adventure The Invasion had the honour of being broadcast on this day in 1968 and was watched by 6.4 million viewers.

Now, you may well be thinking that the Tenth Anniversary special The Three Doctors is next on our list, but actually that was broadcast from December 30th 1972, just under 11 months from the actual tenth anniversary date. Rather than a tenth anniversary special it was the first story of the tenth season of Doctor Who. Something that probably seemed quite unlikely back in 1963, but it's a great celebration of the first decade of Doctor Who and perfect viewing for Doctor Who Day.

Moving on to the 80's and the actual 20th anniversary special The Five Doctors was also not broadcast on the anniversary, here in the UK that is as it was delayed two days so it could coincide with the BBC's Children in Need charity night. However it did premiere in the USA on November 23rd 1983, making it the first Doctor Who story to receive it's debut screening anywhere other than in the UK. What it lacks in plot it makes up in fan-pleasing appearances. So many loved and cherished Doctors, companions and monsters appear in The Five Doctors that it's hard not to have a soft spot for it. Sort of a Doctor Who Greatest Hits, Terrence Dicks, who wrote the adventure, really did a great job of honouring the series for both hard core fans and casual viewers alike.

We do have two more 80's episodes which were broadcast on November 23rd that you may like to consider viewing. 5.5 million people tuned into part one of the 1987 adventure Dragonfire. The following year 6.10 million people saw the Seventh Doctor do battle with the Cybermen in the first part of Silver Nemesis. The latter being billed as something of a 25th anniversary special but is more cobbled together for the occasion than any other supposed celebration of the broadcast anniversary.

Currently the only story from the revived series which has been broadcast on Doctor Who's actual anniversary is the 2013 50th Anniversary special, The Day of The Doctor. Simulcast around the world in cinemas and on television, it kicked off at 7:50pm with a huge BBC One audience of 12.8 million viewers. A wonderful celebration of the series, Steven Moffat described it as an "impossible task", pleasing every Doctor Who fan from across 50 years of the show, but I personally think he did a great job and The Day Of The Doctor really did feel like something very special indeed. Plus for those people who were upset about the lack of classic Doctors featured in the episode, if you pressed the Red Button afterwards...

Related Programming'd have been able to enjoy the marvelous The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot. In fact, let's watch it again shall we? It's great fun! It's the satirical tribute I never knew I wanted but loved every minute of. Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy are on fine form, and, just like the actual The Five Doctor, there are so many cameos and appearances by other people involved with the series that it's something og a fanboy's dream.

As well as The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot there were a variety of other special programmes broadcast on November 23rd 2013 including; 12 Again: Doctor Who Special which premiered on CBBC iat 2:30pm, which saw fans of Doctor Who as well as cast members past and present share their memories of watching the show when they were young, Doctor Who Live: The Afterparty aired on BBC Three at 9:07pm, straight after The Day Of The Doctor finished, 1.58 million viewers tuned in for interviews with many of the cast, including Tom Baker, and Doctor Who: Behind The Lens which also premiered on the BBC Red Button service, which was a sorta mini Doctor Who Confidential but voiced by the Sixth Doctor, Colin Baker, with special interviews featuring Matt Smith, David Tennant, Jenna Coleman, Billie Piper and John Hurt, as well as Steven Moffat, discussing their 50th Anniversary experiences.

How about some Doctor Who related birthdays for you? Michelle Gomez, or Missy to you and I, was born on this day in 1966, and fifty years before that in 1916 Michael Gough arrived on the planet. He'd go on to play both the Toymaker in The Celestial Toymaker and Councillor Hedin in Arc of Infinity.

Happy birthday to you.

How are you celebrating Doctor Who day? Let us know in the comments below.

Join us again tomorrow for another round-up of the episodes broadcast, the spin-offs aired, the special events, the birthday's celebrated and anything else of note that went down on this day in Doctor Who history.

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