As a direct result of the series’ longevity as the longest running sf show in time and relative dimension in space, we are all well-versed in the Whoniverse. Travelling through ‘Time and Relative Dimension in Space’ has become a science fiction phrase that we have taken to our hearts, even if we don’t fully understand it. Doctor Who since its inception in 1963 has proffered engagement with other worlds and other possible existences, extending our conception of scientific possibility and potential futures. In offering us a dialogue relationship through which to explore society’s mores and excesses through the safety of our armchair; the inhabitation of other worlds and lives has been made possible through our engagement with the show, as we live out other existences vicariously through the distinct incarnations of the Doctor and his time-travelling companions.
Much like the Doctor’s regeneration which offers the ability to introduce new characters and a renewal of interest in the series, so too have the series’ writers experienced a long and creative regeneration process. With an extensive line of creative Who progeny, fifty writers have been credited for the creation of the Doctor Whoniverse over the last fifty years; during that time, crafting no less than twelve Doctors. Each of these writers have brought their own unique extensions to the series, renewing interest and reinvigorating storylines and narrative arcs for audiences anew.
With Russell T. Davies’ and Steven Moffat’s most recent incarnations as writers for the series, play has been extended for a brand new generation of Whovians through the most recent upgrade of the series. With David Tennant and Matt Smith each bringing their own unique brand of Whovian eccentricity to the role, coupled with John Hurt’s resurrection in Moffat’s ‘The Day of the Doctor’, we are tantalised with the promise of an inter-galactic who’s who in the simulcast transmission scheduled for 23rd November 2013.
If re-runs and repeats of the original Doctor Who series have been adopted by new fans for its retro-fitted science fiction resilience, Moffat’s re-energisation of the series offers a future-fitted incarnation which plays with the conventions of the format through its extended generic hybridisation and its increasingly intra- and extra-textual storylines. The 50thanniversary celebration episode, ‘The Day of the Doctor’ offers up an immersive experience in which Doctor’s stories meet for a moment in time and space that promises to regenerate the Whoniverse as we know it.
The success of the series is largely dependent upon whose Doctor Who you are viewing. We each have our own favourites, but in an extended world that spans fifty years in its generation and a narrative story arc that extends in aeons, the Whoniverse has made possible a vast range of engagements. In the series’ capacity to hail an equally divergent audience and to keep them through renewing interest and the investment offered to each new generation of Whovians, Doctor Who offers something for everyone and as such secures its position as a social unifier. For fans, young and old, the show offers a point over which families can share in the inter-galactic simulcast through which our beloved time-traveller(s) will quite literally stop us is dead in our tracks to mark Whovian history as we unite in a science fiction moment across the Whoniverse.
Until the moment arrives, we are left feeling like the Whovians who waited with anticipation in overdrive, so keep yourself busy making one of Cyberdrone’s TARDIS Cubees (above). However, for those of us without the capacity for time travel, fortunately, a number of distinct engagement opportunities have been generated while we wait. For those lucky enough to have secured tickets, London’s Excel is host to the Doctor Who Official 50th Celebration event (22nd-24th Nov 2013) and is offering access to the series’ cast and production crew, delivering special effects and stunts shows and offering the opportunity to design your own monster, as well as teaching Whovians how to walk like a monster.
For those of us not fortunate enough to snap up one of the ‘Sold Out’ tickets, follow @DWCelebration, the official Twitter account for the Doctor Celebration event. They are live tweeting photos and content (#savetheday), so we can still participate in true inter-galactic style. In between updates, have a razzle on the Google search bar interactive game and outwit the Daleks, have a fishfinger and custard dunk courtesy of Greggs(Greggs, 2013), track down a set of Kayleigh O’Connor‘s amazing Dr Who nails
or hunt out a TARDIS engagement ring box from BitsWithByte for the loved companion who might just have waited long enough…
Doctor Who is set for simulcast globally to cinema venues and television sets across 75 countries to coincide with the BBC One UK broadcast on 23rd November 2013 at 7.50pm (Doctorwho.tv, 2013). And if the simulcast of ‘The Day of the Doctor’ wasn’t enough, as a special treat, Peter Davison has also written and directed ‘The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot’ which will be available on the BBC’s Red Button at 10.05pm on 23rd November 2013.
The good old BBC are quite literally masters of the Whoniverse.