Who is our influencer of the week? Yes, it’s Who.
I’m not quite sure how to quantify the influence of this week’s nominee. He’s a man with many faces that everyone remembers differently, depending on their age. He has influenced generations of parents and children on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as nations, planets, galaxies and launched the careers of many of an actor. He is currently influencing every major media channel and platform, including today’s Google Doodle, which is unusual for someone who is best appreciated from behind the settee.
Yes it’s the one and only (well actually there’s been 11) Doctor Who.
Love him or loath him, and before Christopher Eccleston you did fall into one camp or the other, The Doctor is celebrating his 50th Anniversary this weekend. The TV show is listed in the Guinness World Records as the longest-running science fiction television show in the world, and as the “most successful” science fiction series of all time – based on ratings, book and DVD sales and iTunes traffic.
Not bad considering it was originally conceived as a partly educational programme.
From those humble beginnings of filling the spot between Grandstand and Jukebox Jury, Doctor Who has gone on to record nearly 800 episodes, is still being broadcast in over 50 countries and has repeatedly had UK audience figures of over 10 million. Oh, and it won BAFTAs for five years on the bounce.
Perhaps the Doctor’s greatest achievement has been his regeneration for an entirely new audience. Following a 15 year absence from UK TV it returned in 2005 with Christopher Eccelstone as a very different doctor, and with no guarantee of being relevant to an entirely new audience.
The viewing figures for the first episode, “Rose”, were 10.81 million.
Since then it has gone from strength to strength, and after this weekend’s celebrations, which involves two special episodes, there is the countdown to the first appearance of Doctor Who #12, to be played by Peter Capaldi – whose unveiling had its own live TV show.
By the way, Peter Davidson was my Doctor, who was yours?