BBC America sets 'Doctor Who' 50th anniversary celebration


November 08, 2013|By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol | RedEye

BBC America on Friday announced the air time of "The Day of the Doctor:" 1:50 p.m. CST Nov. 23.

The 50th anniversary special of "Doctor Who" will be simulcast globally in 75 countries, then BBC America will rebroadcast is again at 6 p.m. CST Nov. 23 with new, exclusive looks at Matt Smith, who plays the 11th Doctor, and David Tennant, who plays the 10th Doctor.

Smith and Tennant star in "Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor," which was written by lead writer/exec producer Steven Moffat. Jenna Coleman, Billie Piper and John Hurt also star.

BBC America also announced plans for a Doctor Who Takeover of the network Nov. 18-24 with special "Doctor Who" programming set to celebrated the 50th anniversary of the "most successful sci-fi series in history."

Beginning at 8 a.m. (all times are Central in this post) Nov. 18, the network will rebroadcast marathons of "The Doctors Revisited" specials before presenting new programming, including specials about the science behind the series, the TARDIS, a "The Doctors Revisited" dedicated to the 11th Doctor, Matt Smith, and finally, the premiere of the film "An Adventure in Space and Time" about the creation of the series and the 1st Doctor, William Hartnell.

Doctor Who Takeover Schedule

"Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited" marathon
8 a.m.–8 p.m.: The 1st through 10th Doctors

"Doctor Who: Tales from the TARDIS"
8 p.m. U.S. Premiere
The new special features the series' actors and producers  from the show's 50-year history sharing their experiences and memories of the world's longest-running sci-fi show, including actors who have played the Doctor (Matt Smith, David Tennant, Tom Baker, Peter Davison), actors who have played companions (Jenna Coleman, Karen Gillan, Freema Agyeman, William Russell), and current exec producer Steven Moffat. The discussion includes how the actors got cast, how the roles changed their lives, how a 'regeneration' is recorded and how filming the show in the '60s compares to today.

"The Science of Doctor Who with Brian Cox"
9 p.m. U.S. Premiere
A former rock star and Britain's popular TV physicist, Professor Brian Cox explores the universe of the world's favorite Time Lord when he takes the audience on a journey into the wonderful universe of Doctor Who, with the help of celebrity guests. In this exclusively recorded special from the lecture theater of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, Brian reveals the science behind the spectacle and explains the physics that allows Doctor Who to travel through space and time. Fun but filled with real science, it's a special night for Who fans and anyone with a thirst for understanding.

Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor marathon
9 a.m.–9 p.m. The Ninth Doctor-Christopher Eccleston

Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor marathon
1 a.m.–10 p.m. The Tenth Doctor-David Tennant

Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor marathon, Part I
8 a.m.-10 p.m. The Eleventh Doctor-Matt Smith

Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor marathon, Part 2
8 a.m.- 7 p.m. The Eleventh Doctor-Matt Smith

"Doctor Who Explained"
7 p.m. U.S. Premiere
The new special explores the mysterious, two-hearted alien who is the Doctor. Through exclusive interviews with principal cast members from the show's 50-year history, including Matt Smith, David Tennant, Peter Davison, Tom Baker, Jenna Coleman, Karen Gillan and Freema Agyeman, viewers get an insight to what happens behind-the-scenes of the award-winning sci-fi show.

"An Adventure in Space and Time"
8 p.m. U.S. Premiere
What do you get when you mix C.S. Lewis with H.G. Wells, and sprinkle in a bit of Father Christmas? An alien Time Lord exploring space and time in a Police Box spaceship called the "TARDIS" (Time And Relative Dimension in Space). Written by Mark Gatiss, the BBC America co-production stars David Bradley as the actor who played the First Doctor, William Hartnell, Brian Cox as BBC Head of Drama Sydney Newman, Jessica Raine as producer Verity Lambert and Sacha Dhawan as director Waris Hussein.

An unlikely trio of misfits set out to create a genre series that all ages would love. William 'Bill' Hartnell, displeased with his career, was presented with a chance to break out of the hard-man roles he'd become known for. And with the instincts of first time producer, Verity Lambert and first time director Waris Hussein, the Doctor was born.

As the success of the show grew, William went from unhappy curmudgeon to beloved TV star who relished his career resurgence and found a new lease on life. But all good things come to an end. How will Bill face leaving behind the part that has made him a hero to millions of children? And can the show survive without him? Journey back 50 years through space and time to witness the exciting beginning and untimely end of the First Doctor in this touching drama.

Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor marathon, Part 3
12 a.m.–1 p.m. The Eleventh Doctor–Matt Smith

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