Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first broadcast of Doctor Who. We’ve been doing our bit to celebrate this event all year, with a series of header images that added another doctor every few weeks, and a number of Doctor Who based comics (plus an appearance in a museum exhibition!).

This is the pinnacle of these celebrations – our biggest comic to date by some margin, which has taken months to plan, write, draw and compile. It’s a little different from most of our strips: we usually keep the punchline for the last panel, and agonise over the best way to draw out the joke without giving too much away before that point. In this case the line in the final panel is just a throw-away comment to end the strip. The real joke is revealed in the very first panel. After that it’s about building a sense of nostalgia, whilst at the same time telling a story.

We’ve tried to invoke a few memories from each era depicted in the comic in order to illustrate the point that each Doctor — ironically for a Time Lord — is a creation of his own time. As fashions have changed, so too has The Doctor — resulting in a set of surprisingly authentic looking bands for each decade we’ve depicted. Yet whilst technology and home decor has moved on (as we hope we’ve illustrated), the character of The Doctor remains the same one that first graced our screens back in 1963. This tension between constant reinvention and a sense of continuity is perhaps what makes Doctor Who so unique, and so timeless.

Such a long running programme inevitably outlasts so many of its stars, creators and viewers. It’s been an almost constant backdrop to British society for so long that entire lives have been acted out in living rooms throughout the country whilst the good Doctor looks on from the goggle box. We’ve tried to tell the story of one such family in our comic strip, with love, life and loss all playing their part in the unfolding drama. So don’t think of the final words in the last panel as being a punchline. It’s nothing so final. It’s just a brief pause in our characters’ lives, before they continue on with a new generation of children, and a new re-generation of Doctor.

Cette bande dessinée est aussi disponible en français
This comic is also available in French

Click here to download the SVG source for this comic

↓ Transcript
[Scene shows a Grey couple on a sofa in the 1960s. A TV is switched on in the background]

TV announcer: Hey-hey pop fans, welcome to another edition of Ready, Steady, Pop!
Here's a new beat combo from Gallifrey, "The Doctors Who", with their latest single, "My Regeneration"

[Close up of TV. We can see that William Hartnell's Doctor is singing, with Patrick Troughton's playing drums]

Hartnell: The Daleks try to put us d-down

Troughton: Talkin' 'bout my regeneration

[View inside the TV studio]

Hartnell: Just because we can walk around

Troughton: Talkin' 'bout my regeneration

[Scene shows the TV studio from the 1970s. Jon Pertwee is singing, with Tom Baker on drums]

Pertwee: The yetis they look awful c-c-cold

Baker: Talkin' 'bout my regeneration

[View of the TV, now a 1970s model]

Pertwee: You know I'm over 900 years old old

Baker: Talkin' 'bout my regeneration

[View of the living room in the 1970s. The couple now have a son who is hiding behind the sofa whilst watching the TV]

Pertwee: This is my regeneration, this is my regeneration baby

[Living room in the 1980s. The boy is now a teenager, sitting on the floor in front of the TV]

Davison (from TV speaker): My TARDIS it just f-fades away

Colin Baker (from TV speaker): Talkin' 'bout my regeneration

[Close up of 1980s TV]

Davison (from TV speaker): Don't try to dig what the Ood all s-s-say

Colin Baker (from TV speaker): Talkin' 'bout my regeneration

[Inside the TV studio, with a 1980s set. Peter Davison is on lead guitar and vocals. Colin Baker is on keytar and backing vocals. Sylvester McCoy is on bass, and Paul McGann is on drums.]

Davison: I'm not trying to cause a big s-s-sensation

Colin Baker: Talkin' 'bout my regeneration

[TV studio with a set from the 2000s. Christopher Ecclestone is on keyboards, David Tennant on drums, and Matt Smith on vocals]

Smith: I'm just talkin' 'bout my re-re-re-generation

Tennant: Talkin' 'bout my regeneration

[View of the TV set, now a wide flat screen model]

Smith: This is my regeneration, this is my regeneration baby

[Living room from the 2000s. The son is now grown up and on the sofa with a woman. Their child is playing with a toy Dalek and TARDIS on the floor. The father is sitting in his armchair, with a picture of his wife by the side of him]

Father: Fifty years I've been watching this…
…and I still don't understand it!