Doctor Who: Thirty Years in the TARDIS

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Doctor Who: Thirty Years in the TARDIS
Genre Fantasy Arts documentary
Directed by Kevin Davies
Starring Jon Pertwee
Colin Baker
Sylvester McCoy
Narrated by Nicholas Courtney
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 1
Executive producer(s) Sue Kerr
Producer(s) Kevin Davies
Editor(s) Paul Ratcliffe
Running time 50 minutes
Original network BBC One (BBC Two in Scotland)
Picture format 4:3 Ratio
Audio format Stereo
Original release 29 November 1993
Related shows Doctor Who

Doctor Who: Thirty Years in the TARDIS is a one-off, 50-minute television documentary, broadcast to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the science-fiction series Doctor Who. It was originally transmitted on Monday 29 November 1993, on BBC One (BBC Two in Scotland).[1]

The programme was the first BBC-produced, in-depth documentary chronicling Doctor Who since the earlier Whose Doctor Who was broadcast in April 1977, although a thirty-minute, categorized compilation of archive clips had been broadcast in 1992 on BBC2 entitled Resistance is Useless. The show featured many clips from episodes of the show transmitted to date, along with interviews with members of the cast and crew. Several iconic scenes from the show's history were recreated using a young actor (Josh Maguire) playing the part of a child imagining himself involved in the settings.

Some of the interviewees included: Carole Ann Ford, Verity Lambert, Roberta Tovey, Jennie Linden, William Hartnell's granddaughter Jessica Carney, Deborah Watling, Frazer Hines, Nicholas Courtney, Jon Pertwee, Elisabeth Sladen, Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred & Alan Yentob.

The show was never repeated on the BBC, but an expanded version premiered at BAFTA on 5 November 1994, titled Even More Than Thirty Years in the TARDIS. This was followed by a release on VHS, titled More Than... Thirty Years in the TARDIS, this version ran to 90 minutes and included many interviews and clips not featured in the broadcast version. In 2013, More Than... Thirty Years in the TARDIS was released on DVD, as part of The Legacy Collection box set alongside the uncompleted 1979 Doctor Who serial Shada.

The programme was produced and directed by Kevin Davies, with Sue Kerr as Executive Producer.

Davies's initial idea for the programme had been a part-documentary, part-drama called The Legend Begins, which would have mixed interviews with those responsible for the creation of Doctor Who with a dramatised strand showing how these events took place.[1] This later evolved into a proposal called Eulogy for the Doctor, which would have featured several actors who had appeared in the series as the Doctor's companions returning to their roles for a drama linking between archive clips from the series.[1] Eventually, all of these ideas were scaled-down or abandoned in favour of a more straightforward documentary format.[1] The idea of a drama depicting the origins of Doctor Who would, however, later be used for the programme's fiftieth anniversary in 2013, when the one-off special An Adventure in Space and Time was broadcast on BBC Two.


  1. ^ a b c d Pixley, Andrew (20 August 2003). "DWM Archive Extra: Thirty Years in the TARDIS". Doctor Who Magazine. Panini Comics (333): 26–27.