Fifty years ago (July 21, 1969, at 02:56:15 UTC) Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. It’s an important event (see NASA), and, conspiracy theories aside, marked a step change in the human psyche. It also could well have marked the end of Doctor Who…
I was one of those woken up by my mother to stare blurry eyed at the TV screen to watch (remember it was nearly four in the morning in the UK) and for anyone growing up in the 1960s and seeing the vision of technology, science, computers and progress (thanks Tomorrow’s World) and now the world of TV shows such as Star Trek and Doctor Who seemed just around the corner.
Meanwhile, the Second Doctor had finished his run at the end of The War Games on June 21, just a few weeks before Apollo 11 launched. Did we need a new series? The Second Doctor had been to the moon more than once and to do so again would be passé. Had the zeitgeist changed such that we didn’t need Doctor Who any more? It might well have happened in the desire to do something new.
Of course a different choice was made, Jon Pertwee was cast as the Third Doctor and an Earth-bound time lord made his appearance in colour the following year. It might well have been very different, and in which case life for many fans would also be unrecognisable. There’s room (somewhere) for a nice what if post, but for now I’ll just salute those involved in 1969, wish NASA well for the future, and carry on blogging!
PS – yes this covers the same ground as my earlier post, Should Doctor Who have finished after War Games? but takes a more Moon Landing centric view. I felt it important to mark the occasion!