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Dr Who at 50 @ BFI Southbank

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by Angela Lord (subscribe)
Freelance writer specialising in arts, travel and entertainment news, previews and reviews.
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Anniversary celebration for TV's favourite Time Lord

Dr Who has been travelling through time and space in the Tardis since the sixties, and the 50th anniversary of the popular sci-fi series is now being celebrated by the BFI on London's Southbank.

The Time Lord from Gallifrey battles aliens, armed only with quick wits, resourcefulness and a "sonic screwdriver", a handy tool whose many uses include opening locks.

Among his most famous adversaries are the daleks, intent on world domination and the extinction of the human race, as immortalised in their catchphrase: "Exterminate! Exterminate!"

Back in the days of black and white TV, low budgets and basic special effects, the daleks came armed with a sink plunger and were easily avoided by going upstairs, as they couldn't manage the steps. Nowadays, the daleks have overcome this problem by upgrading their abilities to include levitation.

The doctor, in his many incarnations, has been played by 11 different actors on TV, from William Hartnell to Matt Smith, and also by Paul McGann in a film adaptation, and the BFI will look at each one, month by month.

Classic episodes from the TV series wil be showcased, including The Tomb of the Cybermen (1967) on 8 February and The Mind of Evil (1971) on 2 March.

Events continue throughout the year until 23 November 2013, when the TV show celebrates its official 50th birthday.
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Why? Dr Who 50th anniversary
When: Now until 23 November 2013
Where: BFI Southbank London SE
Cost: Check website for details and booking
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