Doctor Who has been a fixture of British television since the 1960s. Though the first episode aired to dismal ratings, that was because of its aired on November 23, 1963, the day after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The episode aired again a week later, however, and from there the show took off in popularity. It ran for 26 seasons and saw eight men take up the title role of the Doctor (whose surname is not “Who”) before being taken off the air in 1989. A sixteen-year hiatus was interrupted only by a made-for-TV movie in 1996. The show returned to the air in 2005, and has run for six more seasons. During that time it has consistently been one of the BBC’s top rated programs.
New fans often find the show daunting. Nearly fifty years of history can seem like a lot to wade into. Now, just in time for this year’s Christmas Special – “The Doctor, the Widow, and the Wardrobe” airs on BBC and BBC America on Christmas Day – CableTV.com has published a handy infographic. The chart, fortunately neither wibbly-wobbly nor timey-wimey, provides a comprehensive Doctor Who timeline, beginning with the very first adventure, 1963’s “An Unearthly Child,” and bringing us all the way up to the present. Check it out below, then let us know what you think in the comments.