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23 November in

the DWU • production history • vital statistics • releases

23 November




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23 November was notable for a number of highly varied events on Earth and its parallels.

In 1638, the Seventh Doctor launched the Nemesis statue into orbit after battling Lady Peinforte with the help of Roundheads in a meadow in Windsor. The Doctor calculated that the statue would pass Earth every twenty-five years before returning in 1988, and set his watch to remind himself. (TV: Silver Nemesis)

In 1863, Victoria Waterfield's mother Edith Waterfield died of pneumonia at the age of 37. (PROSE: Downtime, The Age of Ambition)

In 1866, Clara Oswin Oswald, a splinter of companion Clara Oswald, was born, as she would later claim, "inside Big Ben." (TV: The Snowmen)

In an unknown year, Barbara Wright's aunt Cecilia was born. (AUDIO: 1963)

In 1945, James Stevens was born in New Zealand. He was technically born on 22 November G.M.T. time. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)

In 1948, Debbie was born. (PROSE: Those Left Behind)

In 1962, James Stevens turned seventeen. The couple that he knew as his parents told him that he was adopted. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)

According to Barbara Wright's mother Joan, 23 November 1963 was the date on which Barbara disappeared, along with fellow teacher Ian Chesterton and student Susan Foreman. Barbara left in the morning at 8am with students' work, textbooks, the previous day's Evening Standard and The French Revolution for Susan. (PROSE: A Long Night) However, the journalist James Stevens dated this event to 22 November. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)

In 1963, a creature called the Shroud entered Earth soon after the assassination of the president and fed off of people's grief all around the world. The Eleventh Doctor and Clara Oswald stopped the alien before it could take over the planet, and the whole event was written off as a chemical attack. (PROSE: Shroud of Sorrow)

In 1963, Jorjie Turner was sent from 2050 to 1963. She was retrieved by K9 Mark 2 and Starkey. They also saved William Pike from being arrested by Barker. These actions resulted in preventing Darius Pike from being erased from history. (TV: The Cambridge Spy)

In London in 1963, a man was stabbed in an alleyway with a flick knife. His murderer was never found. Elsewhere in the city, a baby boy was born and named John Fitzgerald after U.S. President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated the previous day. (AUDIO: 1963)

In 1963, over the course of two hours, the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Doctors and their respective companions Susan Foreman, Ian Chesterton, Barbara Wright, Jamie McCrimmon, Zoe Heriot, Sarah Jane Smith, Leela, Nyssa, Peri Brown, Ace and Charley Pollard all visited Bob Dovie at 59A Barnsfield Crescent in Totton, Hampshire, much to his annoyance. (AUDIO: The Light at the End)

In 1963, the Fourth Doctor and K9 Mark II returned to 76 Totter's Lane to retrieve a Heshrax insect which he had been tracking the day that he left. While there, they met Debbie, Susan's best friend from Coal Hill School. Debbie, who turned fifteen that day, was concerned about Susan's sudden disappearance as she knew that Susan would never miss her birthday. She had met the First Doctor on one occasion but the Fourth Doctor did not recall seeing her before. He also did not remember Susan ever mentioning Debbie but admitted that he was not always the best listener. He told Debbie that Susan decided to stay on 22nd century Earth but then amended this by adding that he chose for her, expressing the hope that this decision was for the best. Debbie was thankful that she met the Doctor as, while she knew that she would never see Susan again, she could at least live her life safe in the knowledge that she was safe in the future rather than spend it wondering what happened to Susan and fearing the worst. (PROSE: Those Left Behind)

In 1963, in a relatively early battle of the Last Great Time War, the Eighth Doctor and Susan Foreman prevented both the Daleks from the Time War and the Renegade Daleks from acquiring the Hand of Omega. With 1963 deemed temporally significant, the only way for the Doctor and Susan to enter and exit was by travelling via the backwash of their fateful departure with Barbara and Ian. (AUDIO: The Shoreditch Intervention)

In 1964, Joan Wright remembered the day Barbara Wright disappeared, one year prior. She spent time in Barbara's room, and then settled herself in bed with a crossword and a cup of cocoa. She eventually fell asleep, and dreamt that she was chatting with Barbara in the kitchen over tea, and that Barbara told her she was all right, she was travelling, and she'd be home very soon. Elsewhere in space and time, Barbara had the same dream in the TARDIS. (PROSE: A Long Night)

In 1986, Clara Oswald was born. (TV: Death in Heaven)

In 1988, the Nemesis statue returned to Earth, crash landing in the spot in Windsor from which it was launched. The Seventh Doctor battled Lady Peinforte, Cybermen, and Neo-Nazis to prevent the statue from falling into the wrong hands. (TV: Silver Nemesis)

In one of the infinite parallel universes of "possible space", (COMIC: Fire and Brimstone) 23 November 1994 in Egypt was the point in space-time where Ulysses left his last message to his son the Doctor. Accordingly, it was also one of the first points in Earth's history visited by the Doctor after he was banished from Gallifrey by his half-brother the Master. (PROSE: The Chronicles of Doctor Who?)

In 1997, the re-coronation of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom took place. (PROSE: The Dying Days)

In 2006, the former Torchwood agent Lucia Moretti died of heart disease. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Three)

In 2010, Sarah Jane Smith, Clyde Langer and Rani Chandra arrived at the Shopkeeper's shop after the day's issue of the Ealing Echo had the main story featuring him claiming that an alien was in his shop. He revealed that it was a ploy to get them there and sent them through a time window, each to a different time period, so they could find three special objects. (TV: Lost in Time)

In 2013, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright were on their fourth honeymoon. The Eleventh Doctor reunited with Clara Oswald to investigate a Zygon plot, leading to them encounter the War and Tenth Doctors on an adventure that ultimately ended with them saving Gallifrey at the end of the Last Great Time War. The entirety of the Doctor's first life cycle then meets for tea in the National Gallery. (PROSE: The Day of the Doctor)

In 2015, the Twelfth Doctor helped Clara Oswald celebrate her birthday. (COMIC: The Partying of the Ways)

Behind the scenes

The in-universe significance of 23 November, particularly in 1963 at 5:00, is due to many homages to the premiere date of Doctor Who itself.

In A Long Night, 23 November 1963 is given as the in-universe date on which Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright disappeared (a reference to the premiere date). From a real-world standpoint, this would be unlikely, as 23 November fell on a Saturday in 1963, and their disappearance occurred after they followed Susan home from school. The novel Who Killed Kennedy more accurately dates this event to the day before.