Doctor Who Marathon

In 1963, Doctor Who producer Verity Lambert and director Waris Hussein would have been astounded to learn that their low-rent show would run as an Easter marathon fifty years in the future – but here we are.

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There was early doubt that the show had legs beyond season one (yet, here in 2014, the Doctor is regenerating into his twelfth pair of legs). Furthermore, TV marathons didn’t happen in the 60s–They barely did reruns. But the idea that the Horror Channel in the UK will rerun 30 of the scariest classic Doctor Who episodes this Easter week would have been baffling and thrilling for them.

We can only imagine what they would have thought about streaming TV service FilmOn’s simultaneous broadcast. Or the internet, for that matter.

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The marathon begins on April 18 with the first episode, An Unearthly Child, starring William Hartnell as the Doctor. An Unearthly Child, part of the story arc titled 100,000 BC, was one of the rare episodes that, under extraordinary circumstances, was rerun during the 60s. Doctor Who debuted on the day President John F. Kennedy was shot, so viewers turned to more pressing issues than men in cave men costumes prancing around. An Unearthly Child reran right before episode two.

Throughout “Who on Horror” weekend, there will be one episode from each of the first seven Doctors. The following week will see double-bills in the daytime and in the evenings until the week is out.

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Although Doctor Who is not specifically a horror television show, Easter week will air the episodes most notorious for making children cower behind the sofa. The Curse of Fenric is a spooky tale of sea vampires. The demons in The Daemons turn out to be more than your run-of-the-mill pitchfork-carrying goblins. The Talons of Weng Chiang is a Sherlock-esque adventure with giant mutant rats, enough said.

In The Caves of Androzani, we say adieu to the fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) and learn that drugs are bad, especially if they come from bats. The Doctor’s greatest enemies will also make an appearance in The Mind Robber, Genesis of the Daleks, and Attack of the Cybermen.

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Upon looking at the broadcast list, Dave Thompson, author of Doctor Who FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Most Famous Time Lord in the Universe, recommends a few more terrifying episodes: Pyramids of Mars (rampaging mummy robots), Terror of the Autons (killer daffodils), Ghost Light (haunted houses and a hint of cannibalism), and The Visitation (Death).

We hope to see these on computer screens this Easter as well. “But truly,” Thompson says, “nothing beats watching The Green Death with your arm inside a bag of rotting potatoes.”

Jaime Nelson is editor of, a British TV and comedy blog for Americans.

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