Doctor Who 50th anniversary special called Day of the Doctor

The BBC has commissioned several episodes to mark the 50th anniversary of 'Doctor Who' and confirmed the special 75-minute show on November 23 will be called 'Day of the Doctor'

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Matt Smith and David Tennant

Matt Smith, David Tennant and John Hurt in the Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode poster

The 'Doctor Who' 50th anniversary special will be called 'Day of the Doctor'.

The BBC has confirmed the one-off episode will last 75 minutes and star Matt Smith, who plays the current titular Time Lord, David Tennant, Jenna-Louise Coleman, Billie Piper and John Hurt - and the network has also commissioned several other programmes to help mark the sci-fi show's special year.

Matt said: "'The Day of the Doctor' is nearly here! Hope you all enjoy. There's lots more coming your way, as the countdown to the 50th begins now."

Showrunner Steven Moffat added: "50 years has turned 'Doctor Who' from a television show into a cultural landmark. Personally I can't wait to see what it becomes after a hundred."

Several special 'Doctor Who' shows will be broadcast on BBC Two including a lecture by Professor Brian Cox, who will explore the science behind the 'Doctor Who' universe, while lifelong Whovian Matthew Sweet will look at the cultural significance of the series in 'Me, You and Doctor Who'.

Brian will appear alongside 'Harry Potter' actor David Bradley and 'Call the Midwife' star Jessica Raine in Mark Gatiss' docudrama 'An Adventure in Space and Time', which will chronicle the commissioning of 'Doctor Who' in the early 1960s and the cultural phenomena it became after it hit screens in 1963.

A special re-run of the first ever 'Doctor Who' story, featuring the First Doctor William Hartnell, will air on BBC Four, while those who are less familiar with the cult programme might like to check out BBC Three's 'Doctor Who: The Ultimate Guide'.

What's more, Graham Norton will broadcast his weekly Radio 2 show live from the Doctor Who Celebration in London on November 23.

The three-hour show will see the chat show host take a ride in the TARDIS and chat with some of the series' stars and biggest fans.

Danny Cohen, Director BBC Television, said: "'Doctor Who' is a titan of British television and I'm incredibly proud to have it on the BBC.

"It's an astonishing achievement for a drama to reach its 50th anniversary. I'd like to thank every person - on both sides of the camera - who has been involved with its creative journey over so many years."

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