Title and running time of ‘Doctor Who’ 50th anniversary special revealed

Birthday episode uniting Matt Smith and David Tennant is set to air on November 23

The title and running time of Doctor Who‘s forthcoming 50th anniversary special has been revealed.

The birthday episode is called The Day Of The Doctor and will spread over 75 minutes when it airs on BBC One on November 23. The show’s current stars Matt Smith and Jenna-Louise Coleman will be joined for the episode by popular former Timelord and companion David Tennant and Billie Piper.

The BBC has also announced a series of special programmes to celebrate the show’s 50th birthday including a Doctor Who-themed episode of The Culture Show, a BBC Two lecture by Dr Brian Cox on the science behind the series and An Adventure In Space And Time, a one-off BBC Two drama penned by Mark Gatiss about the creation of the series in the early ’60s. Meanwhile, BBC Four will broadcast a restored version of An Unearthly Child, Doctor Who‘s first ever adventure from 1963.

In addition, BBC Three has sifted through the archives for Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide and is planning a Doctor Who: Monsters And Villains Weekend featuring a countdown to the show’s best-loved baddie. Further special programmes will air on CBBC and BBC radio.

“50 years has turned Doctor Who from a television show into a cultural landmark,” the show’s executive producer Steven Moffat said in a statement. “Personally I can’t wait to see what it becomes after a hundred.”

The Day Of The Doctor will mark Matt Smith’s penultimate appearance as the Doctor before he regenerates into Peter Capaldi‘s new Timelord in this year’s Christmas special.