There are not many shows that could celebrate their 10th anniversary two years after their 50th, but then that’s timey-wimey typical of Doctor Who: which, a decade ago today, was revived by Russell T Davies to spectacular acclaim with opening episode Rose.
Airing on BBC1, it starred Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor, the brooding, leather enthusiast who would tell Billie Piper’s Rose Tyler to, “run!” And run they did – away from the uncertainty of whether an old sci-fi classic could capture the imagination of a new generation, and away from a first series that had no idea of just how enormous the show would grow to be.
For from Eccleston would come the sensationally popular David Tennant, from David Tennant would come Matt Smith and new showrunner Steven Moffat, who would both take the show international, and then there’s current Doctor Peter Capaldi, who now stands on top of what has become a modern cultural institution. Along the way, there would be numerous stars caught up in the show’s momentum. There would be companions such as Karen Gillan, Catherine Tate, Jenna Coleman and John Barrowman. There would be guest stars like Jessica Hynes, Sophia Myles, Simon Pegg, Frank Skinner and Suranne Jones. And, of course, there would be the talents of some the best writers and directors working in television today.
So, to celebrate Doctor Who’s 10th anniversary, we have asked those who have been involved with the show over the last decade to send their cake and wishes for a birthday like no other. There was, sadly, a distinct lack of cake but the response for wishes was fantastic, with Doctors, companions, guest stars and writers all wanting to say, ‘Happy birthday to Who.’
And where better to begin than the beginning, with the man and woman who made it all happen…
Russell T Davies
Executive producer, 2005 – 2009