It is 50 years since fans watched in shock as the beloved Time Lord regenerated for the very first time a gamble that enabled the show to still be with us today
Fifty years ago tomorrow, at 6:13pm, a unique moment in television history took place. A camera closed in on the face of an actor lying motionless on the floor. The image blurred, faded to white, then came back into focus, revealing that for the very first time, Doctor Who had changed his face.
It was the stroke of genius that saved the series from being a three or four season wonder, and instead ensured it would go on to become one of the UKs most iconic pieces of popular culture.
Switching the lead from William Hartnell to Patrick Troughton was an audacious move, brought about because of falling ratings, plus Hartnells ill-health and attitude.
And whereas the announcement of a new Doctor in the 21st-century merits a live TV unveiling with accompanying liveblog, in 1966 the Manchester Guardian noted that the childrens television show was changing its lead in the same news-in-brief column that announced who had won Miss Blackpool.