Spoilers are precisely defined here. Rules vary by the story's medium. Info from television stories can't be added here until after the top or bottom of the hour, British time, closest to the end credits roll on BBC One. Therefore, fans in the Americas who are sensitive to spoilers should avoid Tardis on Sundays until they've seen the episode.



Rose was the first episode of the BBC Wales version of Doctor Who. As the first televised story of the 21st century, it had to introduce the concept of the programme, as well as new regulars, Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper. Its success on BBC One was immediate. As of 2013, it remained the second highest-rated season opener in Doctor Who history, behind only Destiny of the Daleks, a story that aired without any competition from other broadcasters. Aired in March, 2005 — several years before the BBC offered full scale digital content streaming — it picked up nearly 11 million terrestrial and cable BBC One viewers. The episode boasted a number of behind-the-scenes firsts, aside from merely being the first episode to feature Russell T Davies' vision of the show — such as being the first episode shot in a widescreen aspect ratio. It was also the first British-made episode to utilise an modern production style, and was thus the first time that credited cinematographers, production designers, colourists, digital artists, and any number of skilled professions had been credited on British-made Doctor Who.

The women who gave Doctor Who back to us
Click for video

Think Doctor Who is just for boys? Don't you believe it. Not only was the show's very first producer a woman, but it would never have come back without the fierce advocacy of Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner. Considering her importance to Doctor Who it's somewhat ironic that Tranter's only on-screen credits are for Torchwood: Miracle Day. But Gardner, her "partner in crime", is tied only with Russell T Davies as the most prolific producer in Doctor Who history.

Industrial action


Click for a video of a 21st century geek as he takes delivery of one of the two Paintboxes used by the BBC in the 1980s
The Quantel Paintbox was a graphics workstation that allowed Doctor Who to have a primitive form of colour grading in the 1980s. To find out more about the "business of show", go to category:production information, where you can read about colour separation overlay, low loaders, telerecordings, vidFIRE, rostrum cameras, 2" quad tape, Ealing Studios and tons more.
Surprising guest star
Click to see David Tennant giving Kylie a Brit Award
Though she's never had much of a Stateside career, Kylie Minogue has been a Big Damn Deal everywhere else since she first appeared on the Australian soap, Neighbours. That's why RTD's team pursued her vigorously when looking for a 2007 Christmas Special guest companion. Her turn as Astrid Peth worked a treat, giving the show some of the highest ratings in its history — and getting tons of free copy in the global English press. Find out more about the thousands of actors who have been on Doctor Who by exploring Doctor Who guest actors.
Ex-Doctors never die, they just make audios

The careers of the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Doctors are significantly longer in audio than on television. Check out their latest works at category:2022 audio stories

The relevance of comics

Officially, only The Lodger has been explicitly adapted from a comic strip — also called The Lodger.


However, several stories have clearly taken material from comic strips — often those in Doctor Who Magazine. The Shakespeare Code contains a good amount of material from A Groatsworth of Wit, and the notion of the Doctor absorbing the time vortex in order to spare a companion was explored in both The Parting of the Ways and The Flood.

The first of the "money men"

Donald Baverstock was the BBC executive who set the the wheels in motion that eventually led to the creation of Doctor Who. Essentially the original commissioner of the programme, he hired Sydney Newman and later imposed a sense of financial responsibility upon producer Verity Lambert.

But Baverstock wasn't the only BBC executive to have a profound impact on the development of Doctor Who. Make sure you read about Lorraine Heggessey, Mark Thompson, Danny Cohen, George Entwistle, Tony Hall, Shaun Sutton, Sydney Newman and others.
Things released on 16 May

Did you know…

16 May births and deaths
Production history for 16 May