David Tennant has been named Britain's favourite ever Time Lord ahead of Doctor Who's 50th anniversary celebrations. The Scot played the time-travelling Doctor between 2005 and 2010 and has topped a poll by RadioTimes.com to find viewers' most beloved incarnation of the cult TV figure.
He gained 56 per cent of the vote, followed by current Time Lord Matt Smith, who will be stepping down later this year (13) to make way for the new Doctor, Peter Capaldi.
In third was Tom Baker, who played the character from 1974 to 1981, fourth went to Christopher Eccleston, who only lasted one run when the show was rebooted in 2005. The top five was rounded out by 1960s Doctor Who Patrick Troughton.
Meanwhile Tennant's sidekick, Billie Piper, was named as best companion, followed by Elisabeth Sladen and Catherine Tate.
A 50th anniversary special will air in the U.K. later this month (Nov13).
In a turn of events that only seems possible due to some kind of glitch in the laws of time and space, nine previously misplaced episodes of classic Doctor Who were discovered in Nigeria. Of all places.
These nine episodes, which date back to the 1960s, were part of a group of 106 that were thought to be lost forever. They went missing in the days before conserving and preserving episodes of television was commonplace. Of course, no one could predict that Doctor Who would become the world wide phenomenon it is today. The tapes were recovered at a television station in Nigeria by archivist Phillip Morris.
The uncovered episodes are part of two serials starring the second Doctor, Patrick Troughton, that are called "The Web of Fear" and "The Enemy of the World." Both previously unreleased serials have already been made available for download via iTunes with the missing episodes added in. "The Web of Fear" is still missing one yet to be recovered segment, but that missing episode was reconstructed with photos and surviving audio. This is a huge turn of events for Whovians the world over since these episodes haven't been seen since they were first broadcast almost 50 years ago. Doctor Who has a long and fluid history of classic villains and plotlines that still carry weight in the series' current incarnation, so the discovery of these lost episodes is delightful news for fans and creators alike.
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Fans of the British sci-fi series were recently sent into a frenzy when reports suggested TV bosses were planning to bring together all of the remaining actors who previously played the doctor for an anniversary episode with current star Matt Smith.
However, when a follower on Twitter.com asked sixth Doctor Who Baker if the story is true, he replied, "(I) wish I could (say it was true) but alas... I am not aware of any 50th (anniversary) stories nor have I been approached."
Current plans to mark the show's 50th anniversary celebrations this year (13) include a series of tributes at the British Film Institute (BFI) in London throughout 2013.
A number of the show's former stars will give talks at the institute's headquarters and chat with fans at monthly question-and-answer sessions.
Doctor Who has previously been played by actors including David Tennant, Sylvester McCoy and Peter Davison.
The actor who played the first doctor, William Hartnell, died in 1975, and Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee have also passed away.
The complete episodes, featuring the first two Time Lords William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton, were among more than a hundred from the 1960s that were thought to have been destroyed.
Film collector Terry Burnett purchased them from a village fair near Southampton, England in the 1980s and was unaware they were actually missing material.
Doctor Who writer/actor Mark Gatiss says, "Christmas has come early for Doctor Who fans everywhere. It's always wonderful when a missing episode turns up but it's been years since the last one so to have two is just brilliant... What more could we all ask for?"