On the 23rd of November 1963, this was seen for the first time on BBC television.
49 years on and 11 Regenerations later its hard to imagine life without The Doctor and his adventures. Indeed William Hartnell himself was quoted as saying that he felt the series had potential to run past his own turn as the renegade Time Lord. It is amazing to think that, despite numerous rests or hiatus from our view, Doctor Who is the longest running sci fi tv series in history. It has never needed a 'reboot' or a reinvention and, to this day, remains as fresh and as healthy as it was back when it started.
A show that can change both its titular and main characters actors without effecting the ratings or the feel of the show is worthy of praise. Actually, I believe this is core to Doctor Who's success as allowing this to happen maintains a freshness and allows each regeneration to show a different dimension to The Doctor. In addition to this, boasting villains and monsters that are as famous as The Doctor himself has given Doctor Who a considerable edge over other Sci Fi shows.
Doctor Who is not without its lighter moments. Throughout the shows history we have witnessed many laugh out loud scenes which have earnt a place in many fans memories. For me, watching The Doctor wade through a corridor fall of foam (The Second Doctor, The Seeds of Death) is a stand out one. The banter and rapport between The Brigadier and The Second Doctor in the anniversary story The Five Doctors being just another example.
Few would admit it now, but in the late 90's and into the turn of a new millennium it seemed that Doctor Who would never return. Yet here we are now about to move into The BIG FIFTY and its back with Matt Smith and looks like it could run for another fifty!
In closing I would just like to pay a fond and tearful "five rounds rapid" to all of the Doctor Who actors and actresses who are sadly not with us anymore. The Doctor Who fan base across the world mourns their loss but, at the same time, celebrates the part they have played in making Doctor Who the program it is today.
Here's to the next Fifty One years!