TODAY, November 23, marks the 58th anniversary of the first ever episode of Doctor Who airing on TV.

The day is also known as Doctor Who Day and celebrates the first episode – An Unearthly Child – premiering in 1963.

The show – which follows alien Time Lord The Doctor in their time-travelling TARDIS and companions as they save the earth from sci-fi monsters - quickly became a cult favourite in the UK and also gained popularity in the United States. Doctor Who ran from November 23, 1963, until 1989 before new episodes continued the story from 2005 to the present day.

William Hartnell played the first Doctor for almost three years, and he was followed by Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker – the longest running Doctor - Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy before the series finished in 1989.

Paul McGann became the eighth doctor for a TV movie in 1996 before Christopher Eccleston revived the role for the 2005 continuation of the series. He was followed by David Tennant, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi and current Doctor Jodie Whittaker – the first female to hold the role.

South Wales Argus:

The show – and its spin-offs Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures – has been filmed in and references Newport on a number of occasions. Newport was saved in 1999 from an alien creature known as a Spiroform.

In 2008 Newport is the scene of a haunting, while a caravan trip is planned to Newport in a 2017 comic.

The episodes Love & Monsters and Blink were also filmed in Newport. With Diverse Records being a filming location for the latter episode featuring Carey Mulligan and introducing the Weeping Angels in November 2006. There was an untidy desk in the storeroom of the store and rather than clearing it up, the programme makers used it as a prop in the episode.

South Wales Argus:

The Shakespeare Code was partly filmed in Newport Market and the Celtic Manor Resort was used for Arachnids in the UK.

Tredegar House has been used a number of times, including David Tennant’s debut as The Doctor in the 2005 episode The Christmas Invasion.

South Wales Argus:

Victoria Place in Newport was also used as a filming location in the Christmas 2008 special as well as in scenes filmed in January 2014. Former writer Russell T Davies was said to love how the street looked like a street in London.


St Woolos Cemetery has also appeared as Cybermen and Cybershades attacked mourners at a funeral procession.

South Wales Argus:

Duffryn High School was also used for the 2006-episode School Reunion. The school is called Deffry Vale High in the show – and was controlled by an evil head teacher who was played by Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Anthony Head. It was also the episode that saw robo-dog sidekick K-9 reappear.

South Wales Argus:

Last year the latest incarnation of The Doctor – Jodie Whittaker – visited West Usk Lighthouse to film scenes.

How can I celebrate Doctor Who day?

Celebrating is simple - you can dress up and watch (or binge watch) some of your favourite episodes.

There’s plenty to choose from – the original run of Doctor Who (1963 – 1989) has 26 seasons and, since 2005, an additional 12 series have been aired – with the 13th currently airing.

Alternatively, sci-fi fans can enjoy one of the Doctor Who films - there is Dr Who and the Daleks and Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. from the 1960s, plus the TV film Doctor Who from 1966, starring Paul McGann as the TARDIS travelling Time Lord.

Check the gallery at the top of the page to see more from when Doctor Who came to Newport.