Whilst I am not the fan I once was, (in no small part because I have missed a lot of episodes and so tend to not like watching later episodes of anything that I have missed earlier material of), the Dr Who 50th anniversary episode is something I'm looking forward to. The BBC digital channels ("on the red button" as it is called here in the UK) have a little 10min prequel that shows the McGann doctor regenerating on a war torn world as the warrior "war doctor" referred to in the main series. John Hurt will be playing this so a lot of people are looking forward to this.
Dr Who premeried the day after the Kennedy shooting of course so it's launch would have been missed by many at the time. I watched the 1st episode on BBC4 during the week and the 1st doctor, to my surprise, pretty much sets the parameters for the character - at times rude, irreverant and at other times charming, eccentric and funny - William Hartnell - who up to that time was a serious stage actor who also specialised in fairly brutal military characters on TV (and was quite a disagreeable old sod from a different era with all that goes with it) - set the template others have followed and developed upon.
There was also a treat after that episode - a dramatic reconstruction of the making of the first Dr Who episodes up to the Patrick Troughton era called "A journey through time and space". Really well done - a quality drama that the BBC used to do so well before they decided to start bringing themselves down to the level of commercial TV for reasons I have yet to fathom.
I'm sad I missed this, but I can't really watch it because I only caught a few episodes of the revamped series. Hopefully one day Christina and I can get around watching the new series in order. It's a shame Eccelstein is such a jerk about it.
Agreed re Ecclestone. He kind of betrayed the BBC in my view - but then he was probably really afraid of being typecast as he is a very serious actor here in the UK.