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Russell T Davies' classic picks from the Whoniverse as Doctor Who episodes land on iPlayer

As 60 years of Doctor Who episodes come to The Whoniverse on the BBC iPlayer, Russell T Davies picks out three for fans old and new

All the lead actors from Doctor Who - as classic episodes arrive in The Whoniverse on BBC iPlayer

Enter The Whoniverse, with a vast new archive of classic episodes, monsters, and original content. Image: BBC

From November 1, Doctor Who fans can go on a magical history tor through time and space – by entering The Whoniverse.

More than 800 episodes of the classic series, which celebrates its 60th birthday this month, are all coming to this newly curated Doctor Who area on BBC iPlayer – complete with subtitles and audio description.

There will also be new, original content – beginning with Tales of the TARDIS. The six-part series will reunite beloved classic Doctor Who duos – including Peter Davison and Janet Fielding, Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant, Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred – for a nostalgic journey in a specially created Tardis, to relive their adventures together.

Fans can also delve into a brilliantly curated and incredibly extensive new Doctor Who archive. Davies told The Big Issue: “Tens of thousands of pieces of paperwork from the offices of Doctor Who are being made available – and all the behind-the-scenes stuff that used to be DVD extras. It is astonishing. A phenomenal piece of work. You will get lost in there for days and days and days.”

And for those who don’t have the time and space in their diaries to watch all the archive episodes in The Whoniverse, Russell T Davies has chosen three classic episodes for fans old and new to dive into – especially for Big Issue readers…

Spearhead From Space (1970)

“This is Jon Pertwee’s first episode and is the first time Doctor Who went into colour. It features the Autons, which were shop window mannequins that come to life, and which were so brilliant and scary and unbeatable as a monster that they are the enemies I used when I brought Doctor Who back in 2005. Because there was simply no better enemy – so to see that original story is fantastic. It also shows you how the programme reboots itself every so often. The Doctor landing on Earth, staying on Earth and living on Earth and meeting new friends.”

Ark In Space (1974)

“This is from Tom Baker’s first series. An absolute classic. Alien before Alien came out at the cinema. Don’t worry about the bubble wrap monsters – just watch it with the imagination of a child and see how thrilling it is.”

Terror of the Vervoids (1986)

“This one features Colin Baker and Bonnie Langford. You can see the 1980s in their full joy – it’s a mad, colourful, bizarre story with talking plants that are out to kill everyone and turning people into compost.

“You’ll find out what sort of fan you are when you watch it. Because it’s bright and it’s vivid. I adore it – so come and join us. Take away your preconceptions. Don’t worry about the colours. Don’t worry about the loudness of it. Enjoy the fun – it is really, really, really a hoot. So come along and have a hoot!”

Read more from Russell T Davies – about the 60th anniversary episodes, the return of David Tennant and Catherine Tate, and Ncuti Gatwa’s arrival at Christmas in an upcoming edition of The Big Issue.

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