Celebrate Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary with Christopher Eccleston, Catherine Tate and Matt Smith!

Posted on 23 November 2023

Sixty years ago today, 23 November 2023, the first ever episode of Doctor Who aired, and ever since then the sanctuary behind the back of the sofa has been a prime spot for children on a Saturday night. It wasn’t until the fourth episode of the first series that the Tardis first appeared (then disappeared, then reappeared) on the television sets, and a new wave of adventures, aliens and distant planets (which all bore a striking resemblance to a Welsh quarry pit…) came streaming in to living rooms up and down the country, providing escapism and excitement to generations.

Doctor Who quickly became a British institution (despite its star being proudly Gallifreyan). In fact the character of The Doctor was based on another British hero, Sherlock Holmes, and much like the deer stalker clad detective, The Doctor is also known for their iconic clothing.     

Whether they’re donning a pin stripe suit, a two-foot-long scarf, or even a piece of celery as a brooch, The Doctor has always been at the cutting edge of fashion. In fact, when Matt Smith’s Doctor proudly proclaimed that ‘bow ties are cool’ the British High Street reported a 94% rise in the sales of the knotted neck wear!

Since its first inception back in the swinging 60s, there have been a whopping fifteen Doctors and 54 companions (including a robot dog, ancient Egyptian Queen and an actual, medical, doctor). Now, some of the most iconic stars are taking off on another spellbinding journey, travelling from the heart of Gallifrey straight into to a West End play.


A Christmas Carol

Christopher Eccleston played the ninth doctor in the smash hit, but to many millennials he will always be their first. Rebooting the series in 2005, the northern nomad brought the sonic screwdriver, Daleks and malicious mannequins back on to the screens and into the hearts (and sometimes nightmares) of children and adults alike!

In his only series as the infamous Time Lord, Eccleston’s Doctor meets A Christmas Carol author Charles Dickens. The pair quickly become friends before battling supernatural spirits, in Victorian England, on Christmas Eve, naturally. Eccleston, therefore, has had one hell of an introduction to the source material of his latest play!

Mince pies, music and merriment, Ebenezer Scrooge (Christopher Eccleston) is certainly not living his best life. Grumbling through the throng of festive revellers, the uptight, upper-class, business owner makes his way back to his imposing abode. His vast house is bare and uninviting, not the place you would expect to see brimming with Christmas Spirit(s), but after a visit from his recently departed business partner, it becomes just that…   

Plagued with chains as a punishment for his greed when he was living, Marley warns his old friend to change his ways to avoid the same fate. When that doesn’t work, he employs three ghosts to transport him to his past, present and future, each forcing Scrooge into an unwelcome journey of self-reflection. The spirits implore Ebeneezer to change his ways, but will the stubborn septuagenarian do so?

You may have seen the story before, but, with unique staging, The Old Vic immerses its audience in London’s longest running adaptation of this beloved festive favourite, making it a truly unique experience. Booking until the 6 January 2024, don’t miss your chance to see this Christmas classic.  

The Enfield Haunting

Catherine Tate will reprise her role as Donna Noble, The Doctor’s runaway bride turned companion, in the first of the Doctor Who specials airing this weekend. When she’s not hurtling through space and time in the police phone box with the regenerated David Tennant, Tate can be seen tackling the poltergeists in London’s West End…

It was the story that gripped the nation and haunted the headlines for years. Stunning sceptics and causing hysteria across the nation. The UK's most infamous ghost story started with a footstep, and soon found its way into every home in England.

1977; the UK was bathed in orange, Tom Baker wore a fetching stripey scarf in the fifteenth series of Doctor Who, and a council house in England became a hotspot for paranormal activity. The Hodgson family became terrified of their home as objects began to fly across the rooms and otherworldly sounds were heard in the walls. Scared, Peggy, a single mum with three children, contacted the police. The force didn’t offer much sympathy at first, and she soon found herself pounding on the doors of the Society for Psychical Research.

As the investigators delve deeper into the mystery, they uncover a complex and disturbing history surrounding the house and the land it was built on, and as the phenomena escalate, it becomes clear to even the most hardened of cynics that something supernatural is happening.

An Enemy of the People

Before he became a dragon owning Prince in the Games of Thrones prequel or patrolled the streets of 60s London in Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho, Matt Smith burst onto screens as the tweed wearing Doctor back in 2010. As the Doctor, Smith battelled The Silence, Cybermen and Minotaur’s, but in his latest production, misinformation and greed are his foe.

Doubt spreads more rapidly than any illness in Ibsen's thought-provoking play An Enemy of the People, which explores the concept of truth within a society that hungers for power and wealth.

When Dr. Stockmann (Matt Smith) makes an astonishing discovery about the dangerous and bacterial properties of the local, and highly profitable, Baths' water, the fate of the town, and its economy, instantly falls into his hands. However, those who have much to lose are unwilling to accept his claims and meet him with resistance and opposition. As the battle goes beyond contaminated water, barriers are broken in this contemporary production as Ostermeier shows us why this perennial class will be relevant forever. 

Making his West End debut, celebrated German director Thomas Ostermeier’s iconoclast production of An Enemy of the People plays at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited run. Don’t miss you chance to see this explosive new adaptation when it opens on the 6 February next year.