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 On November 23, 1963 – the day after the Kennedy assassination – Doctor Who premiered in the UK. 47 years, 11 Doctors, various companions, and countless evil adversaries later, the show is still working at the height of its powers.

For the past couple of years, the BBC has been digitizing early documents from its Doctor Who archives. In celebration of this Whoniversary, the BBC is providing a sort of open house — an open TARDIS, if you will — showcasing documents that go back as far as 1962. The pièce de résistance is the background document for Who as the show went into development in 1963, and it includes a description of the Doctor as a character. “A frail old man lost in space and time…he is suspicious and capable of sudden malignance [sic]; he seems to have some undefined enemy; he is searching for something as well as fleeing from something.” It’s quite astonishing how faithful the series has been to that early character sketch.

Here’s a clip from the very first episode, “An Unearthly Child,” featuring William Hartnell as The Doctor.

So Doctor Who fans, how long have you been watching the show?

by Kevin Wicks

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Filed Under: Doctor Who
By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.