Even though “Doctor Who” is celebrating its 50th anniversary, longtime Whovians know that number is a lie. While the show did debut in 1963, there is a pretty noticeable gap in the series. The BBC canceled “Doctor Who” in 1989, and it stayed that way until it was revived in 2005, outside of one TV movie starring Paul McGann as the eighth Doctor.
While the BBC might like to forget that mistake, there’s someone who definitely won’t let them: “Doctor Who” showrunner Steven Moffat. Writing about the 50th anniversary celebration for the Radio Times, Moffat says, “Ah, 50 years. What can one say about 50 years of ‘Doctor Who’? Well, first of all, one can be pedantic. ‘Doctor Who’ hasn’t been on for 50 years — owing to the outright stupidity and unforgivable blindness of the BBC (sorry guys, it needs to be said), there was a 16-year gap.”
However, Moffat believes that the missing time is important to the show’s standing in pop culture, adding, “It confers something very special on this most special of all shows: immortality. ‘Doctor Who’, for once and for all, is the show that comes back. Axe it at your peril, someone like me is going to call you a fool, and lots of people like you are going to read along and nod.”
He also notes that while BBC got rid of the show, it lived on in other forms, such as books and radio dramas, all of which starred former Doctors.
Now, “Doctor Who” is stronger than ever, mere days from it’s most-anticipated episode yet. The 11th (Matt Smith) and 10th (David Tennant) Doctors will meet in an instantly classic adventure across space and time.
“The Day of the Doctor” airs November 23 on BBC America.