50 Years of the Doctor

Doctor Who? Exactly. This weekend, Saturday in fact, is the 50th anniversary of British sci-fi show Doctor Who. That is not to say it has been airing for 50 years. In the 1990s and early 2000s the show was off the air, living on only in audio broadcasts and novelisations. But in 2005, the show was relaunched and it slowly began to acquire a new generation of followers. Some, like your author, have watched it in the States first via SyFy since 2006.

Still 50ish years of television about time travelling through space in a blue police box makes for lots of data. And so back in March Simon Rogers created this infographic to explain some of the history of the show.

The Guide to Doctor Who
The Guide to Doctor Who

If you intend on watching the 50th special this weekend—or Monday in some movie theatres here in the States—and you want to brush up on the timeline of the Doctor and his travelling companions, the Guardian also has this graphic.

The Guardian's gallery of Doctors
The Guardian’s gallery of Doctors

But of course the BBC, which produces Doctor Who, has a more in-depth site about the history of the character and the show. Did I mention the content is displayed within the TARDIS? I know, it’s bigger on the inside.

The BBC's inside the TARDIS
The BBC’s inside the TARDIS

Have you ever watched the show? Do you have a favourite Doctor? A favourite companion?

Credit for the first Guardian piece goes to Simon Rogers.

Credit for the second Guardian piece goes to the Guardian’s Graphic News team.

Credit for the BBC piece goes to Christopher Ashton, Christine Jeavans, Helene Sears, Tian Yuan, Nick Davey, and Ben Fell.

Doctor Who?

I don’t often link to FlowingData because I figure that most of my audience is already looking there. But, sometimes, Nathan’s work is just that good. And sometimes the subject matter is just so fantastic that I have no other choice. (It doesn’t hurt that I was looking to do something like this over the weekend.)

Last weekend, the BBC announced that Peter Capaldi will succeed Matt Smith as the actor behind the lead role in the British science fiction show Doctor Who. The show celebrates its 50th anniversary later this year—quite a feat for a television show from what I gather—as it is enjoying popularity not just in the United Kingdom but now increasingly across the world. But in those 50 years, 11 other actors have held the lead role and Nathan plots out when they had the role . And who.


Credit for the piece goes to Nathan Yau.

A (Time and) Space Race

First of all, I grew up a fan of Star Trek and not Star Wars. Star Trek is, after all, more science-y. Now, for today’s post, I could make references to the battlestar Galactica, the good ship Tardis, Planet Express deliveries, or avoiding the Alliance throughout the Verse. Instead I’ll just submit this interactive graphic from Slate.

Voyager 1 is slow
Voyager 1 is slow

It compares the times needed by various nerd-loved starships/spaceships/space vehicles to reach very distant (and real) stellar destinations. Don’t worry, there is a bar chart in the end with Voyager 1 thrown in for comparison to reality. (Though I suppose they could have just made it Voyager 6.)

Not accounting for differing technologies or laws of physics
Not accounting for differing technologies or laws of physics

See, a bar chart. It fits within the scope of this blog.

Credit for the piece goes to Chris Kirk, Andrew Morgan, and Natalie Matthews.