My 43rd

November 23rd is always a date for the diary to any Dr. Who fan. I usually do something celebratory on or around the birthday of everyone's favourite Time Lord, usually involving a bit of Who watching. That's the original series, of course, not the modern 21st-century muck the B.B.C. have been putting out since Easter 2005!

Marathon TV sessions are usually something reserved for the really big anniversaries, like the 40th in 2003, but for the 2006 Dr. Who birthday, I thought I would make a special exception, mainly because I wasn't doing anything else!

So I decided to try to cram in a story from each Doctor, well, the first six proper ones at any rate, I didn't care much for the show after that!

The picture above shows the stories I selected. I wanted as much variety as possible, with a Doctor debut story, some more Time Lords and definitely Daleks.

The one in the middle on the top row is "The Seeds of Death", by the way. It's my copy taped from UK Gold in 1992 in episode form as the B.B.C. never released this story in episodes on videotape.

I didn't watch these stories in order because I wanted to have "An Unearthly Child" on starting from the exact anniversary at 5.16pm, so I started at 9.30am with "The Seeds of Death", then a quick break to change the tape to the first half (or four episodes to be specific) of "Doctor Who and the Silurians", another quick break to get myself some sandwiches and put in the second tape, then a further break to change the tape to "City of Death".

By that time it was 5.05pm so I had just about 10 minutes to make myself a pot of tea and change the tape to "An Unearthly Child".

I have both B.B.C. video releases of "An Unearthly Child" - this 1990 one and the 2000 release. I bought this tape in June 2006 off E-Bay and this is the first time I watched it. I think it had a slight edit at the very end because I'm sure the final episode has "Next episode - The Dead Planet" just before the credits roll.

In fact, the only tape I have owned from new in this little collection is "Doctor Who and the Silurians". I remember it being very exciting at the time of the 30th anniversary when the B.B.C. started bringing out colourised versions of some of the Pertwee stories they burnt in the late 1970s. All the other tapes have been bought from E-Bay over the years.

At 8.25pm the Whoing resumed with "Resurrection of the Daleks" followed closely by "The Mark of the Rani", finishing just before midnight! I remember these two stories from 1984 and 1985 as I was a regular viewer of the series at this time, which is one of the reasons I chose them.

That's 27 episodes of Dr. Who in a single day, must be some kind of record!

What's that? Only 25 episodes in that lot, you say! Well, technically, you are correct: as originally broadcast, these stories did consist of 25 episodes, but the B.B.C. accidentally put the early 4-part edit of "Resurrection of the Daleks" on the video release instead of the 2-part double-length re-edit broadcast in February 1984.

But it's still a fair number to cram into a single day, and most enjoyable! I should do this more often!