Another of our comics to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who — but this time we set ourselves the challenge of coming up with a strip that doesn’t actually include the Doctor or any other characters from the series. Because radio and television transmissions propagate out into space at the speed of light, an alien settlement or spacecraft positioned 50 light years away could soon start picking up signals that tell of a strange old man who lives in a peculiar police box with his granddaughter…

There are 133 stars that are visible to the naked eye within 50 light years of Earth, and around 2000 if you include those that can only be seen using a telescope. Some of these are believed to host possible rocky extra-solar planets, with some of those lying within the habitable zone — in other words there are believed to be at least some planets within 50 light years that could potentially host life as we know it.

If there are extra-terrestrials out there, monitoring our broadcasts and laughing at the primitive notion of aliens in early episodes of Doctor Who, let’s hope that they at least kept recordings of all the episodes.

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This comic is also available in French

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↓ Transcript
G1: Captain, we've arrived at the specified coordinates, 50 light-years from the planet

G2: Drop out of hyperspace and prepare for action stations

G1: Incoming electromagnetic wave detected, captain

G2: Deploy the parabolic collection device

G1: The wave's amplitude is modulating, captain — it looks like an encoded signal in the ultra-high frequency range

G2: Decode it, and patch it through to the main viewing screen

Those pathetic earthlings never stopped to think that their radio and television broadcasts would advertise their existence to the rest of the universe…

G2: …which is great for us, because it means we can watch Doctor Who right from the start!

[Scene shows the opening credits of the first Doctor Who episode on the viewing screen]