“So… all of time and space, everything that ever happened or ever will – where do you want to start?”
Doctor Who‘s 60th anniversary month officially begins today with the arrival of the Whoniverse on BBC iPlayer.
UK based fans, or BBC licence fee payers if you will, can time travel through Doctor Who history with most episodes now available to stream as part of a specially grouped iPlayer collection.
While all the episodes of the modern series have been available for some time, they’re now joined by much of the show’s classic run, as well as spin-off and behind the scenes shows.
The Whoniverse even warrants its own introduction video…
Beginning with the face of Ncuti Gatwa’s incoming Fifteenth Doctor, it pulls out to show friends and foes from through the show’s six decades. It’s all very MCU!
So what’s in this “Whoniverse”?
That’s 1963 – 1988, from William Hartnell through to Sylvester McCoy, plus the 1996 TV Movie starring Paul McGann. The show’s catalogue is grouped by season, with some missing episodes represented by animations using the show’s original soundtrack.
The classic era joins all of modern Doctor Who 2005 – 2022, from Christopher Eccleston right thought to Jodie Whittaker. There’s even two Tennant era animations included – ‘The Infinite Quest’ and ‘Dreamland’.
Spin off shows
Plus, 1981’s K-9 & Company: A Girl’s Best Friend, which sees the robot dog team up with Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen). It’s worth a watch for the opening credits alone!
The show has been the subject of a number of documentaries and behind-the-scenes shows over the years.
The Whoniverse includes all of Doctor Who Confidential, which followed the modern series for its first six series.
Plus, there’s Delia Derbyshire: The Myths and the Legendary Tapes, a docudrama on the show’s theme arranger, The Science of Doctor Who fronted by Professor Brian Cox, and 1977’s Whose Doctor Who.
Three editions of Doctor Who at the Proms are also present, that’s concerts from 2008, 2010 and 2013.
Tales of the TARDIS
However, the sparkling anniversary diamonds of the Whoniverse are the Tales of the TARDIS.
Six classic adventures are presented in a feature-length format, topped and tailed by reminiscences from two Doctor Who characters. In each, the pairs find themselves in a jumbled ‘Memory TARDIS’ which requires that a tale to be told…
The parings see The Fifth Doctor and Tegan reunited to remember the events of ‘Earthshock’ and the death of Adric, while the Sixth Doctor and Peri recall ‘Vengeance on Varos’. Companions Jamie and Zoe consider the events of ‘The Mind Robber’, while Vicki and Stephen relieve ‘The Time Meddler’.
The Seventh Doctor and Ace confront the horrors of ‘The Curse of Fenric’, while Jo Jones (née Grant) relives the show’s 10th anniversary tale ‘The Three Doctors’ with Clyde Langer of The Sarah Jane Adventures.
We’ve watched all six now. They’re an absolute treat – heartfelt and warm, each with a point to make. There are also a few delightful additions to some of the companions lives after the Doctor too.
Sadly for fans outside the UK, there are no plans for Tales of the TARDIS to appear anywhere other than BBC iPlayer at the moment.
More to come?
Presumably this is just the start. BBC Four airs a new documentary tonight – Talking Doctor Who sees David Tennant present rare clips from the BBC archives and compare some of his own experiences with the actors who came before him. The channel follows this a presentation of the recent Doctor Who @ 60: A Musical Celebration concert (the audio of which is also available on BBC Sounds).
We imagine new episodes, starting with the show’s 60th anniversary specials, will appear inside the Whoniverse too. Will they warrant their own section – new, new Doctor Who perhaps?
We’ll keep you posted on the ever-expanding Whoniverse!