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An Important Milestone: Doctor Who Has Now Been Back on TV Longer Than It Was Off Air

Today is a time to celebrate for Doctor Who fans. As of now – that is, 14th July 2020 – Doctor Who has been back on TV for longer than it was off screen, between Survival and Rose.

This, of course, doesn’t include the Eighth Doctor’s core TV outing, the 1996 TV Movie, as that never turned into a full series.

The third and final part of Survival, the last regular instalment of Classic Who, aired on 6th December 1989, while Rose, which relaunched the programme with the Ninth Doctor, screened on 26th March 2005.

Colouriser, Kieran Highman worked out:

“[Today marks] 5,589 days since ‘Rose’ first aired, which was itself 5,589 days after ‘Survival: Part 3’ aired. 15 years, 3 months, 20 days.”

It’s an amazing bit of trivia. Does so-called “NuWho” even feel that old?!

Of course, a lot of good came from the “Wilderness Years”, including a wealth of multi-media content from a number of people who would go on to work on NuWho, including Paul Cornell, Rob Shearman, Gareth Roberts, and former showrunners, Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat.

As is the nature of time, 2005 sometimes feels like so very long ago; other times, it feels like yesterday. Personally – as a child of the 1990s – I can remember hearing about the return of this show I’d always liked the sound of (and Dad had enjoyed when he was a kid). So I was glued to Rose and, from The End of the World, decided to record every episode (and accompanying Doctor Who Confidential episodes) onto VHS.

And since then, Doctor Who has changed my life. Literally. Look, I’m here, right now, typing this. Those 15 years have given me a number of favourite stories like: The Empty Child/ The Doctor Dances; The Impossible Planet/ The Satan Pit; Smith and Jones; Midnight; The Eleventh Hour; The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang; A Christmas Carol; The Girl Who Waited; The God Complex; The Bells of St. John; The Rings of Akhaten; The Day of the Doctor; Mummy on the Orient Express; Under the Lake/ Before the Flood; Sleep No More (yeah, that’s right); The Pilot; and Smile. Pleasingly, Rona Munro, who wrote Survival, has even come back, to pen Eaters of Light!

What about you, dear DWC readers? Do you recall watching Rose? Have you any new favourites from the past decade-and-a-half? Let us know in the comments below!

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

An Important Milestone: Doctor Who Has Now Been Back on TV Longer Than It Was Off Air

by Philip Bates time to read: 2 min
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