Doctor Who has broken a world record by bringing back William Russell as companion Ian Chesterton an incredible 57 years after he first played the character.
A very happy Doctor Who Day indeed!
The BBC sci-fi, which is celebrating its 59th birthday, delighted fans by bringing back Doctors of old as well as classic companions in Jodie Whittaker’s final episode, The Power of the Doctor, which aired in October.
Fans were particularly thrilled to see Russell, 98, who was one of the first ever companions in the 1960s, alongside the First Doctor, played by William Hartnell.
Guinness World Records has verified the record, confirming: ‘The longest gap between TV appearances is 57 years 120 days, and was achieved by William Russell (UK) as the Doctor Who character Ian Chesterton in the ‘The Power of the Doctor’ episode, which aired on 23 October 2022.’
A BBC spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: ‘We’re delighted William Russell, along with other familiar faces, appeared in The Power of the Doctor.
‘It’s testament to the show’s loyal viewers and fanbase that a character can return so many years later and receive such a positive reaction.’
It’s not the only world record Doctor Who holds – it’s also got the most consecutive sci-fi TV episodes ever, with 871 episodes and counting.
Coronation Street actor Philip Lowrie previously held the record for longest gap between TV appearances in the same show, returning to the role of Dennis Tanner after 43 years.
It’s an exciting time for Doctor Who fans, after it was confirmed that 10th Doctor actor David Tennant is returning to the show, this time as the 14th Doctor.
The Power of the Doctor saw Jodie, who bowed out as the 13th Doctor, regenerate into David, who will star alongside returning actress Catherine Tate (Donna Noble) in three specials next year for the show’s 60th anniversary.
New Doctor Ncuti Gatwa will then take over during the festive period next year.
Exciting things to come!
Doctor Who will return to BBC One next year.