BBC America on Sunday will begin a year of Doctor Who 50th anniversary celebrations with a rare broadcast of one of the show’s earliest episodes.
As part of “Doctors Revisited,” the premium cable channel will show the 1964 William Hartnell serial “The Aztecs,” presented in its entirety. The episode, which will follow a documentary special, features the original TARDIS crew of the crotchety Doctor, his granddaughter Susan (Carole Ann Ford) and her teachers Ian and Barbara (William Russell and Jaqueline Hill) visiting ancient Mexico and becoming embroiled in the machinations of a scheming high priest. And the Doctor has a brief romance with an Aztec widow.
If you don’t have BBC America, the episode has long been available on home video and also streams on Netflix. (But you’ll want to look into getting BBC America, because the rest of the current incarnation’s seventh series returns Easter weekend.)
When I first subscribed to BBC America, Doctor Who had been off TV for years and there was no revival in sight. The channel aired the classic series for a while, but only the Tom Baker years — and it was always the 1976-77 season featuring Elisabeth Sladen and Louise Jameson as companions Sarah Jane Smith and then Leela the savage.
What classic episodes are you hoping will be shown as part of the celebration in the months ahead?