"Doctor Who," a British sci-fi series about the titular, basically immortal alien who travels around the universe saving people and hunting things, has been running off and on for 50 years. It has gone through 11 different Doctors (they regenerate whenever an actor leaves) and as many dips and peaks in popularity. The series is experiencing something of a peak now, as it has been since being revived by the BBC in 2005.
This year's anniversary, also know as "Doctor Who Day," is a little different. It isn't just the 50th anniversary. The occasion is being celebrated by a special episode (a special special, if you will) which airs tonight and which will reunite several of the series' characters, as well as previous incarnations of the Doctor.
With the rise of Anglophilia (and the ease of streaming afforded by services such as Netflix), "Doctor Who" has a cultural cache that may seem far larger than it deserves. This is a show, after all, that has featured frequent exclamations of phrases such as "Geronimo!" and "Allons-y!" But its beguiling blend of comedy, pathos, and gymnastic surreality has made it a favorite for British children as well as a whole new generation of American college students.
How can you celebrate? Start with this CNN.com story about the anniversary and what it means for loyal Whovians throughout the years.
Also BBC America is basically doing a minute-by-minute countdown until the episode airs.
Of course, the best way to celebrate your love of the series is to find the nearest blue police box and hope that it is much bigger on the inside.