By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol
11:05 AM CST, November 8, 2013
BBC America on Friday announced the air time of "The Day of the Doctor:" 1:50 p.m. CST Nov. 23.
The 50th anniversary special of "Doctor Who" will be simulcast globally in 75 countries, then BBC America will rebroadcast is again at 6 p.m. CST Nov. 23 with new, exclusive looks at Matt Smith, who plays the 11th Doctor, and David Tennant, who plays the 10th Doctor.
Smith and Tennant star in "Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor," which was written by lead writer/exec producer Steven Moffat. Jenna Coleman, Billie Piper and John Hurt also star.
BBC America also announced plans for a Doctor Who Takeover of the network Nov. 18-24 with special "Doctor Who" programming set to celebrated the 50th anniversary of the "most successful sci-fi series in history."
Beginning at 8 a.m. (all times are Central in this post) Nov. 18, the network will rebroadcast marathons of "The Doctors Revisited" specials before presenting new programming, including specials about the science behind the series, the TARDIS, a "The Doctors Revisited" dedicated to the 11th Doctor, Matt Smith, and finally, the premiere of the film "An Adventure in Space and Time" about the creation of the series and the 1st Doctor, William Hartnell.
Doctor Who Takeover Schedule
MONDAY, NOV. 18
"Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited" marathon
8 a.m.–8 p.m.: The 1st through 10th Doctors
"Doctor Who: Tales from the TARDIS"
8 p.m. U.S. Premiere
The new special features the series' actors and producers from the show's 50-year history sharing their experiences and memories of the world's longest-running sci-fi show, including actors who have played the Doctor (Matt Smith, David Tennant, Tom Baker, Peter Davison), actors who have played companions (Jenna Coleman, Karen Gillan, Freema Agyeman, William Russell), and current exec producer Steven Moffat. The discussion includes how the actors got cast, how the roles changed their lives, how a 'regeneration' is recorded and how filming the show in the '60s compares to today.
"The Science of Doctor Who with Brian Cox"
9 p.m. U.S. Premiere
A former rock star and Britain's popular TV physicist, Professor Brian Cox explores the universe of the world's favorite Time Lord when he takes the audience on a journey into the wonderful universe of Doctor Who, with the help of celebrity guests. In this exclusively recorded special from the lecture theater of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, Brian reveals the science behind the spectacle and explains the physics that allows Doctor Who to travel through space and time. Fun but filled with real science, it's a special night for Who fans and anyone with a thirst for understanding.
TUESDAY, NOV. 19
Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor marathon
9 a.m.–9 p.m. The Ninth Doctor-Christopher Eccleston
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 20
Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor marathon
1 a.m.–10 p.m. The Tenth Doctor-David Tennant
THURSDAY, NOV. 21
Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor marathon, Part I
8 a.m.-10 p.m. The Eleventh Doctor-Matt Smith
FRIDAY, NOV. 22
Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor marathon, Part 2
8 a.m.- 7 p.m. The Eleventh Doctor-Matt Smith
"Doctor Who Explained"
7 p.m. U.S. Premiere
The new special explores the mysterious, two-hearted alien who is the Doctor. Through exclusive interviews with principal cast members from the show's 50-year history, including Matt Smith, David Tennant, Peter Davison, Tom Baker, Jenna Coleman, Karen Gillan and Freema Agyeman, viewers get an insight to what happens behind-the-scenes of the award-winning sci-fi show.
"An Adventure in Space and Time"
8 p.m. U.S. Premiere
What do you get when you mix C.S. Lewis with H.G. Wells, and sprinkle in a bit of Father Christmas? An alien Time Lord exploring space and time in a Police Box spaceship called the "TARDIS" (Time And Relative Dimension in Space). Written by Mark Gatiss, the BBC America co-production stars David Bradley as the actor who played the First Doctor, William Hartnell, Brian Cox as BBC Head of Drama Sydney Newman, Jessica Raine as producer Verity Lambert and Sacha Dhawan as director Waris Hussein.
An unlikely trio of misfits set out to create a genre series that all ages would love. William 'Bill' Hartnell, displeased with his career, was presented with a chance to break out of the hard-man roles he'd become known for. And with the instincts of first time producer, Verity Lambert and first time director Waris Hussein, the Doctor was born.
As the success of the show grew, William went from unhappy curmudgeon to beloved TV star who relished his career resurgence and found a new lease on life. But all good things come to an end. How will Bill face leaving behind the part that has made him a hero to millions of children? And can the show survive without him? Journey back 50 years through space and time to witness the exciting beginning and untimely end of the First Doctor in this touching drama.
SATURDAY, NOV. 23
Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor marathon, Part 3
12 a.m.–1 p.m. The Eleventh Doctor–Matt Smith
"Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor"
1:50 p.m. Global Simulcast, World Premiere
The centerpiece of BBC America's celebrations is the global simulcast of Doctor Who's 50th anniversary special written by Steven Moffat. The Doctors (Matt Smith and David Tennant) embark on their greatest adventure across space and time.
In 2013, something terrible is awakening in London's National Gallery; in 1562, a murderous plot is afoot in Elizabethan England; and somewhere in space an ancient battle reaches its devastating conclusion. All of reality is at stake as the Doctor's own dangerous past comes back to haunt him.
Starring Matt Smith, David Tennant, Jenna Coleman, with Billie Piper and John Hurt. Last seen as the Doctor on Jan. 1, 2010, this will be the first time David Tennant has reprised his role as the 10th Doctor. During his reign as the Time Lord, Tennant appeared in three seasons as well as several specials. He was first revealed as the Doctor in the 2005 season finale, "The Parting of the Ways." Meanwhile Billie Piper, who played companion Rose Tyler for two seasons following the reboot in 2005, will appear in the show for the first time since featuring in David Tennant's last episode, "The End of Time" in 2010. The special is directed by Nick Hurran, executive produced by Steven Moffat, Faith Penhale and produced by Marcus Wilson.
"Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor" encore
BBC America will premiere exclusive "Inside Look" interviews with Matt Smith and David Tennant during this broadcast. The special will be followed at 8 p.m. by the premiere of new fantasy-adventure series "Atlantis."
"The Graham Norton Show" with guests Matt Smith and David Tennant
9 p.m. U.S. Premiere
"Doctor Who" stars Matt Smith and David Tennant make their first appearance together on BBC Americas hit talk show "The Graham Norton Show." Emma Thompson, singer Robbie Williams and comedian Jimmy Carr also will appear.
SUNDAY, NOV. 24
"Doctor Who: Matt Smith Countdown"
8 a.m.-7 p.m.
BBC America counts down the top 11 episodes from the 11th Doctor, Matt Smith, as voted on by fans.
"Doctor Who: The Doctors Revisited-The Eleventh Doctor"
7 p.m. U.S. Premiere
BBC America celebrates the 11th Doctor, Matt Smith, in this new special. Matt Smith first stepped into the TARDIS in 2010 and, after starring in the 50th Anniversary Special airing Nov. 23, will regenerate in the Christmas special. "The Doctors Revisited" begins with Matt Smith, Jenna Coleman (companion Clara Oswald), Karen Gillan (companion Amy Pond), Arthur Darvill (companion Rory Williams), lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat and others examining the human side of this Doctor and taking a look at how his extraordinarily long life has affected him.
The special is followed by the 11th Doctor two-part story, "The Impossible Astronaut" and "Day of the Moon," in which a strange summons reunites the Doctor, Amy (Karen Gillan), Rory (Arthur Darvill) and River (Alex Kingston) in the middle of the Utah desert and unveils a terrible secret the Doctor's friends must never reveal to him. These were the first "Doctor Who" episodes to be filmed in the U.S.
More from BBC America about "Doctor Who":
"Doctor Who" follows the Doctor, an alien from the planet Gallifrey, the last of the powerful Time Lords, on his adventures through all of space and time. Traveling in the TARDIS, the time machine resembling a vintage British blue police box that is bigger on the inside, the Doctor almost always side-steps danger armed only with his incredible intelligence and fix-anything sonic screwdriver.
The Doctor routinely cheats death by regenerating--changing into a new, fresh body. Eleven actors have starred in the iconic role. First played by William Hartnell, the Doctor was portrayed by seven actors before the series went off the air in 1989, including Tom Baker, who held the role the longest, from 1974-1981. After being off the air for seven years, the Doctor regenerated again in a 1996 TV movie.
When "Doctor Who" returned to TV with a new lead writer and executive producer, Russell T Davies, in 2005, the title character once again had a new face. The series was resurrected with Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor, and Billie Piper as his companion Rose. David Tennant took on the role in 2006.
In 2010, Steven Moffat became lead writer and executive producer while Matt Smith, made his first appearance as the Doctor--the youngest actor ever to play the character. He is the first actor to be nominated for a BAFTA Award in the role. Last season Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) became his companion, the impossible girl who routinely appears when he needs the most help. The thrilling season finale ended on a cliffhanger with the closing shot saying "Introducing John Hurt as The Doctor."
Matt Smith will hang up his bow tie at the end of this year after starring in the 50th Anniversary special and regenerating in the Christmas special. Having starred alongside companions, Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill), River Song (Alex Kingston) and most recently Clara Oswald, Matt's Doctor has fought Daleks (mutated beings encased in a metal shell and bent on destruction) and Cybermen (humans who have been upgraded to soulless metal robots) as well as Weeping Angels (frightening creatures that are erased from memory the moment someone looks away) in New York. Regularly heard shouting "run" and "Geronimo," through Smith's Doctor fans have been introduced to a new culinary combination--fish fingers and custard.
Earlier this year, "Doctor Who" won an Institutional Peabody Award. The series is BBC America's highest-rated series and is one of the most talked about shows in social media.
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