50 Years Ago, TV Changed Forever

William Hartnell plays Doctor Who 1966
William Hartnell plays Doctor Who

On the 29th October 1966, TV drama changed, forever.  At 18:13, the popular TV series, Doctor Who took the bold move of introducing regeneration and wide mouthed audiences across the country watched their beloved Doctor played by William Hartnell metamorphose into Patrick Troughton, the second Doctor.  It came about by Hartnell’s failing health and BBC’s need to infuse the show with more energy.  The story behind this is rather well captured by An Adventure Through Time And Space made a few years back.

Why did this change TV drama forever?  It showed that a show can be larger than it’s cast.  Doctor Who was already wildly popular, but by having a regeneration, it attracted an even larger audience and the term ‘regeneration‘ though used later, became culturally associated with Doctor Who and is a term that even non-Who fans are aware of and it’s significance.  It’s allowed a TV show to run for fifty years, the longest running television drama show. It’s created a legacy that is a part of British and now international conciousness.

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