The series launched on BBC Television at 5.16pm, sandwiched between Grandstand and the Tele-Goons, where it was watched by 4.4 million people.
Over the following 48 years, eleven actors have taken the role of The Doctor. There have been 224 stories and 783 episodes as well as numerous spin-offs in the form of Books, Audio Plays and Cinema films.
The programme is listed in Guinness World Records as the longest-running science fiction television show in the world, and as the "most successful" science fiction series of all time, in terms of its overall broadcast ratings, DVD and book sales, iTunes traffic, and downloads.
The first episode, An Unearthly Child, saw the introduction of William Hartnell as The Doctor, Carole Ann Ford as Susan Foreman, Jacqueline Hill as Barbara Wright and William Russell as Ian Chesterton.
Written by Anthony Coburn and CE Webber it was directed by Waris Hussein, designed by Peter Brachacki, script edited by David Whitaker and produced by Verity Lambert. The whole series was overseen by BBC Head of Drama, Sydney Newman and Head of the Script Department Donald Wilson.
The first appearance of The Doctor