Doctor Who Coins

March 31, 2014

Niue 2013 $200 1oz Gold Proof Coin Tardis Design Doctor Who 50th Anniversary 1963-2013 Mintage 250, struck by the Perth Mint for the New Zealand Mint, trademark designs used under official license from BBC (image courtesy the Perth Mint)

Who would have thought that 50 years after the first televised screening of the British Doctor Who science fiction series on Saturday 23rd November 1963, Doctor Who would still be so popular today, enjoying world-wide appeal and spawning a merchandising arm running into the billions of dollars.

Granted there was a 16 year hiatus -the series was retired in 1989, with an unsuccessful attempt to re-launch in 1996, but finally making a successful revival in 2005, and still being aired today. And during all that time, the show's plot hasn't changed:
• it's all about the story of a time-travelling "Time Lord" male called "The Doctor" - human in appearance but an alien on the run from his own people, the Time Lords of the planet Gallifrey
• The Doctor travels through time and space, sorting out the universe, mankind, alien races and righting wrongs
• Collecting beautiful female "assistants" along the way from the different "earth" time zones he visits, to help him with his quests
• And travelling in his time machine called "The Tardis", a blue British police box, now phased out due to the use of mobile telecommunications. These police boxes were fitted with fixed telephones for police use, or as a visual landmark where the public could contact the police - in essence, a tiny police station inside a telephone booth.

The Doctor Who show was initially developed as an educational program, exploring science and famous moments throughout history. And in 1963 the world was certainly changing -there was the British political scandal "The Profumo Affair", the American Civil Rights Movement was in full swing, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr and President John Kennedy were inspiring and empowering the American nation, the Vietnam War and the Protest Movement was in full swing, the Japanese developed miniaturized TV & video sets, land speed records were being broken, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones took the world by storm, the US Mercury space mission completed 22 Earth orbits, Jacques-Yves Cousteau helped develop the first two-manned submarine, the first artificial heart pump was used ... the list goes on. On a sadder note, the British launch of the series was first aired straight after extended news coverage of President John Kennedy's assassination from the previous day.

The Doctor Who series also developed unique, ground-breaking and revolutionary props, sets, costume design, monsters and even music - most still being used today. Take for instance the "Sonic Screwdriver" introduced in 1968 and still incorporated into modern scripts - it had a myriad of "functions" - from performing medical scans, to tracking alien life, to controlling the properties of atoms and molecules.

"The Dalek" characters, a completely new look and concept for a monster, almost didn't make it into the storyline. The BBC forbade the producers to use "bug-eyed monsters" (as they called it) but as it was the only finalized script available at the time of filming, the Daleks made their first appearance in the second series and have been an iconic character ever since.

During the 1970's, the show came under fire for being unsuitable for children - too frightening and too gory. In fact the phrase "hiding behind (or "watching from behind") the sofa" is a direct reference to the scariness of the Dr Who shows. In 2011 Dr Who was voted as being the "scariest TV show of all time" (credit: Digital Spy online survey results).

2013 Niue 11 x 1/2 oz Fine Silver Proof Dollar Coins 11 Doctors Coloured Set, Mintage 4,000 of each coin, 3,000 in this set presented in a Fob Watch case. (image courtesy New Zealand Mint, trademark designs used under official license from BBC, minted by the Perth Mint and distributed by the New Zealand Mint, legal tender of Niue)

The most pivotal part of the storyline is Doctor Who regenerating himself as he travels through the ages, allowing for different actors to play the part, with the role constantly changing and evolving. To date there have been twelve Doctor Who's with the latest Doctor being played by Peter Capaldi from Christmas Day, Wednesday 25th December 2013.

Besides watching the television series, Australian's can also attend a major exhibition touring through all major cities, between April and June 2014 - "The Science of Doctor Who - Australian Tour 2014".

Or even better, why not purchase the officially licensed, 50th Anniversary Doctor Who coins, depicting eleven of the twelve Doctor Who's. Or how about a collection of the Doctor Who monsters released throughout 2014? There's even a specially minted 1oz fine silver coloured coin from the Perth Mint housed in it's own 3D Tardis model display case that plays the time machine's sound effects when opened -all minted as legal tender for the pacific island of Niue.

Niue 2013 $2 1oz Silver Proof Coin Tardis Design Doctor Who 50th Anniversary 1963-2013 in Tardis Display Case Mintage 10,000, struck by the Perth Mint for the New Zealand Mint, trademark designs used under official license from BBC (image courtesy the Perth Mint)

Posted by harrisk at March 31, 2014 11:08 AM
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