News and press releases
Royal Mail and BBC Worldwide to Celebrate 50 Years of Doctor Who
- 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, the longest-running science fiction series in the world; the first episode was broadcast on 23 November 1963
- Each of the Eleven Doctors is featured in the set of 11 stamps depicting the actors who played the role over the last five decades
- Fans can pre-order the stamps by registering at www.royalmail.com/DoctorWho
- From 26 March 2013, the stamps will be available online at www.royalmail.com/stamps by phone on 08457 641641, and in 9000 PostOffices across the UK
March 26 2013, will see Royal Mail celebrate the 50th anniversary of the world’s longest running science fiction series in TV history - Doctor Who - with the launch of a special set of 11 stamps.
The stamps will feature each of the actors who have played the role of the Time Lord over the last 50 years. The stamp design will see the face of each Doctor appearing out of the iconic swirling screen idents, made famous by the opening credits of the TV show. The first two stamps are in black and white, as the first two incarnations of the Doctor were broadcast in monochrome.
Featuring on the stamps are the present Doctor, Matt Smith, as well as David Tennant, Christopher Eccleston, Paul McGann, Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker, Peter Davison, Tom Baker, Jon Pertwee, Patrick Troughton and the First Doctor, William Hartnell.
In addition to the 11 stamps featuring the Doctors, a five stamp miniature sheet will also be available. In the centre of the sheet is a stamp featuring the Doctor’s space and time travelling machine, the world famous Time and Relative Dimension in Space or the TARDIS as it is more commonly known.
The remaining four stamps feature some of the Doctor’s most famous foes; a Dalek, a Cyberman, an Ood and a Weeping Angel.
Andrew Hammond, Managing Director, Stamps and Collectibles at Royal Mail, said: “We are delighted to be able to celebrate this remarkable 50th anniversary. These stamps pay tribute to the brilliant actors that have played the Doctor over the years as well as the adversaries that helped make the show so popular.”
Fiona Eastwood, Product Development Director, BBC Worldwide Consumer Products said: “The Doctor Who stamps are the perfect way to mark and celebrate the 50th anniversary of this much-loved programme. The collection is really impressive, and I am sure they will delight all Doctor Who fans.“
The stamps launch on March 26 2013, but fans can pre-order today by registering at www.royalmail.com/doctorwho.
The Doctors in order:
First Doctor: William Hartnell – First broadcast in 1963 until 1966
Second Doctor: Patrick Troughton – First broadcast in 1966 until 1969
Third Doctor: Jon Pertwee – First broadcast in 1970 until 1974
Fourth Doctor: Tom Baker – First broadcast in 1974 until 1981
Fifth Doctor: Peter Davison – First broadcast in 1982 until 1984
Sixth Doctor: Colin Baker – First broadcast in 1984 until 1986
Seventh Doctor: Sylvester McCoy – First broadcast in 1987 until 1989
Eighth Doctor: Paul McGann – First broadcast in 1996 (TV film only)
Ninth Doctor: Christopher Eccleston – First broadcast in 2005
Tenth Doctor: David Tennant – First broadcast in 2005 until 2010
Eleventh Doctor: Matt Smith – First broadcast in 2010 to date
For further information:
Royal Mail Press Office
100 Victoria Embankment
London EC4Y 0HQ
Tel: 020 7449 8250
Mobile: 07436 280002
Notes to Editors
For almost 50 years, Royal Mail’s Special Stamp programme has commemorated and celebrated events and anniversaries pertinent to UK heritage and life. Today, there are an estimated 2.5 million stamp collectors and gifters in the UK and millions worldwide. Her Majesty the Queen approves all UK stamp designs before they are printed.
Stamps and stamp products are available at all Post Office Branches, online at www.royalmail.com/stamps and from Royal Mail Tallents House (tel. 08457 641 641), 21 South Gyle Crescent, Edinburgh, EH12 9PB.
About BBC Worldwide Ltd. BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The company exists to exploit the value of the BBC’s assets for the benefit of the licence fee payer and invest in public service programming in return for rights.
The company has five core businesses: Channels, Content & Production, Sales & Distribution, Consumer Products and Global Brands. In 2011/12, BBC Worldwide generated headline profits of £155 million on headline sales of £1085 million and returned £216 million to the BBC. For more detailed performance information please see our Annual Review website: www.bbcworldwide.com/annualreview
Some facts about Doctor Who
- The first Doctor Who episode was broadcast on 23 November 1963 at 5.15pm
- The series became essential teatime viewing across the nation, drawing audiences of up to 16 million
- The rebooted series, from 2005, has seen audiences reach 10 million and has won five BAFTA awards
- Doctor Who has sold to over 206 territories worldwide and is a top selling programme on the BBCWW drama portfolio.
- Numerous well known actors have made guest appearances in the show including Sir Derek Jacobi, Peter Kay, Zoe Wanamaker, Sir Michael Gambon, Bill Bailey, Meera Syal, Bernard Cribbins, Kylie Minogue and Simon Pegg
- Matt Smith, the current Doctor Who, was the youngest actor appointed to play the role
- Tom Baker, the oldest living Doctor, played the role for the longest – from 1974 to 1981 and has starred in the most episodes
- Jon Pertwee, the Third Doctor, was the first to be filmed in colour
- TARDIS stands for Time and Relative Dimension in Space and is the Doctor’s time and space travelling craft in the shape of a traditional police phone box from the mid Twentieth century
- Daleks have had every emotion purged from them except hatred and are popularly known for their catchphrase “Exterminate!”
Doctor Who stamp by stamp:
The Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith
With his trademark tweed jacket and bow tie Matt Smith was the youngest actor appointed to play the role. Regenerating from David Tennant in the 2010 Christmas special, Smith’s Doctor’s original companions were Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and her boyfriend Rory (Arthur Darvill) until 2012.
His present companion is Clara (Jenna-Louise Colman). The series marked the return of the Silurians, new villains like the Silence and regular appearances of Alex Kingston as the Doctor’s wife River Song.
The Tenth Doctor David Tennant
Kitted out in a slim fitting pinstripe suit, long brown coat, spiky hair and trainers Tennant’s Doctor was a garrulous extravert with a tendency to babble. He also had a darker more ruthless side when dealing with enemies.
Regenerating from Christopher Eccleston at the end of the 2005 series, Tennant’s Doctor’s companions were Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) and Donna Noble (Catherine Tate). Returning villains included the Cybermen, Dalek leader Davros and the Master alongside new aliens like the Ood and the Weeping Angels.
The Ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston
With his leather jacket, jeans and Northern accent Eccleston’s Doctor was a radical departure from previous incarnations. He ushered in the rebooted 2005 series, with his companion Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) at his side and a brand new TARDIS set. The series also saw the reintroduction of the Daleks and the Autons alongside new villains like the Slitheen.
The Eighth Doctor Paul McGann
Taking on the role for the 1996 made-for-television film, McGann’s Doctor regenerates in a San Francisco hospital mortuary after being caught in a gangland shooting.
The Doctor fought his old enemy the Master for the fate of the earth on Millennium Eve, and shared a kiss with Dr. Grace Holloway (Daphne Ashbrook). Although critically well received, this one off adventure was ultimately unsuccessful as a pilot for a new series.
The Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy
McCoy played the Doctor from 1987 to the series cancellation in 1989. This Doctor began as an outwardly bumbling eccentric with the habit of playing the spoons,but developed into a cunning manipulator of his enemies. His assistants were Mel (Bonnie Langford) and later Ace (Sophie Aldred). McCoy made a brief appearance as the 7th Doctor in the 1996 TV Movie before regenerating into Paul McGann.
The Sixth Doctor Colin Baker
Kitted out in a multi-coloured frock coat, yellow trousers and orange spats Baker’s Doctor was bombastic and overbearing egoist. However, beneath this brash exterior he retained a strong sense of morality and empathy.
Playing the role between 1984 and 1986 he was assisted by Peri (Nicola Brown) and Mel (Bonnie Langford) and was put on trial by his own people, the Time Lords.
The Fifth Doctor Peter Davison
Davison took on the role between 1981 and 1984. His costume was based on an Edwardian cricketers’ outfit, down to the cricket ball carried in his pocket. More of a team player than previous Doctors,
Davison was assisted by Adric (Matthew Waterhouse), Nyssa (Sarah Sutton), air hostess Tegan (Janet Fielding), alien assassin Turlough (Mark Strickson), the android Kamelion (Gerald Flood) and Peri (Nicola Bryant).
The Fourth Doctor Tom Baker
The longest serving incarnation of the Doctor to date, Tom Baker played the role from 1974 to 1981. A tall figure with boggling eyes and wild curly hair, Baker’s Doctor favoured an absurdly long scarf and a frock coat with pockets stuffed full of useful junk and bags of jelly babies.
Brooding and eccentric, Baker’s Doctor is the one most frequently referenced in popular culture. His assistants included Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen), Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter), the savage Leela (Louise Jameson), robot dog K-9, Time Lord Romana (Mary Tamm and Lalla Ward), Adric (Matthew Waterhouse), Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) and air hostess Tegan (Janet Fielding).
The Third Doctor Jon Pertwee
Between 1970 and 1974, Pertwee’s Doctor was a 1970s dandy in frilled shirts and velvet suits, and the first Doctor to be filmed in colour. He was also a bit of an action man.
Stranded on Earth and forced to regenerate as a punishment by the Time Lords, Pertwee’s Doctor worked with the military taskforce UNIT to save the planet from creatures like the Autons, Silurians, Sea Devils, Sontarans and renegade Time Lord the Master. He was assisted by Liz Shaw (Caroline John), Jo Grant (Katy Manning) and journalist Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen).
The Second Doctor Patrick Troughton
Regenerating from William Hartnell in The Tenth Planet, Troughton’s tenure as the Doctor between 1966 and 1969 saw the show move towards faster paced stories with more monsters. Often described as a cosmic hobo, Troughton’s Doctor favoured a baggy suit and bow tie and often played the penny whistle.
During his travels he was assisted by Polly (Anneke Wills), sailor Ben Jackson (Michael Craze), Highlander Jamie (Frazer Hines), Victoria (Deborah Watling) and future astro-physicist Zoe (Wendy Padbury).
The First Doctor William Hartnell
From the show’s start in 1963 through to 1966, Hartnell played the Doctor as an irascible old man in Edwardian dress. Initially accompanied by his granddaughter Susan (Carol Ann Ford) and her teachers Barbara (Jacqueline Hill) and Ian (William Russell) their adventures through time and space were intended to educate young viewers about history and science.
The introduction of the Daleks in the second serial secured the show’s success, leading to it becoming on the world’s longest running science fiction series. Hartnell’s Doctor later met the Cybermen and was joined by orphan Vicki (Maureen O’Brien), space pilot Steven Taylor (Peter Purves), ancient Trojan Katerina (Adrienne Hill), Sara Kingdom (Jean Marsh), Dodo Chaplet (Jackie Lane), Polly (Anneke Wills) and sailor Ben Jackson (Michael Craze).
Doctor Who Miniature Sheet Stamp by Stamp
The TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space) is the Doctor’s ship, capable of travelling anywhere in space and time. A product of Time Lord technology, the interior of the ship is much larger than its exterior. The Doctor’s TARDIS is an unreliable, obsolete TT Type 40, Mark 3 TARDIS with a faulty chameleon circuit, stuck in the shape of a mid-twentieth century police telephone box.
Humanoid in appearance, but with tentacles on the lower portions of their faces, the Ood speak through a translator device: a small sphere connected to their "mouths" by a tube. The tube originally connected their bodies to a hive brain, but in the far future, a cruel human organisation isolated them from the brain and used them as a slave race. Their first appearance was in The Impossible Planet, 2006.
The Cybermen were originally humanoids originating on Earth's twin planet Mondas. They implanted more and more artificial parts into their bodies leaving them coldly logical and calculating cyborgs, with every emotion deleted from their minds. Their first appearance was in The Tenth Planet in 1966.
The Cybermen returned as a parallel universe version in the 2006 two-part story, Rise of the Cybermen and The Age of Steel, and have been recurring villains in the revived series ever since.
The Weeping Angels are an ancient race of aliens that feed off the time energy created by sending their victims back in time. When they are not being observed by another being, they can move very quickly and silently, but when they are being watched, they become "quantum-locked", occupying a single position in space and becoming stone.
If two Weeping Angels look at each other at the same time, they are trapped in stone form until an outside force moves them apart, so they cover their eyes while moving, giving the impression that they are weeping. Their first appearance was in Blink in 2007.
Bent on dominating the Universe the Daleks were created on the planet Skaro by the crazed scientist Davros when he implanted mutant Kaled bodies into tank-like robotic shells during the thousand-year war between the Kaleds and the Thals. They have had every emotion purged except hate, leaving them with the desire to purge the Universe of all non-Dalek life.
They are popularly known for their catchphrase "Exterminate!" and are a well-recognised reference point in British popular culture. The Daleks first appeared in 1963’s The Daleks.
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