Danny Cohen, the controller of BBC One, has commissioned a 50th anniversary special from the producers of Doctor Who, the British public broadcaster has confirmed.
The long-anticipated announcement was made this morning, by the BBC's Media Centre, along with a number of other TV commissions for the corporation's flagship channel, for 2013.
The statement reads, "Drama on BBC One takes another big leap in 2013 in the shape of some major event dramas, including The Village, Ripper Street, Luther, The White Queen and the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special. These shows will bring a rich range of tones and worlds to BBC One's fiction."
It has long been expected, but not yet confirmed, that at least one special episode of the world's longest-running science-fiction television drama will be broadcast in the UK and elsewhere on Saturday, 23 November 2013 - the exact day and date that the first-ever episode was shown in 1963.
That episode, An Unearthly Child, starred William Hartnell as the Doctor. Since then, a further ten actors have taken on the role – the current being Matt Smith, who replaced David Tennant in 2010.
The BBC is expected to celebrate the show's golden anniversary in a number of different ways. As reported byDigital Journal in August, a drama chronicling the series' beginnings has already been commissioned by BBC Two. Casting for An Adventures in Space and Time, which is being written by Mark Gatiss, is due to be announced in the new year.
Doctor Who is the world’s longest-running science-fiction television series. Since it began in 1963, eleven actors have portrayed the Doctors on TV – William Hartnell played the First Doctor, followed (in order) by Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant.