I thought it worth championing the occasions down the years that The Doctor has helped this worthy cause, and it creates quite a list.
Having written the follow list, I realise the impact Children In Need has had on Doctor Who cannot be overlooked, and we sometimes forget how it was almost a testing ground for ideas and formats we still see today.
1983The late November timing of Children In Need has made it the stable-mate for Doctor Who and the support the Doctor Who production team have given dates back to the near start of Children In Need in the 1980s.
What we sometimes forget is that the 20th anniversary story, The Five Doctors, was shown as part of that year’s fund raising night.
After the episode Peter Davison landed his TARDIS alongside Terry Wogan and offer the coat off his back to auction off to raise funds.
1985When Colin Baker was in the role, the TARDIS appeared yet again, this time transporting a whole host of actors to the Children In Need studio.
Appearing were: Patrick Troughton, Carole Ann Ford, Maureen O’Brien, Peter Perves, Jacqualine Hill, Jon Pertwee, Caroline Johns, Nicholas Courtney, Richard Franklin, John Levene, Elizabeth Sladen, Louise Jameison, Peter Davison, Janet Fielding, matthew Waterhouse, Mark Strickson, Nicola Bryant and Colin baker and trooped out of the familiar Police Box to deliver a massive cheque for £1,000 (it was a lot in those days).
1993Who can forget the 1993 Doctor Who / Eastenders cross-over story entitled Dimensions In Time, which was the last time Jon Pertwee donned his Inverness cape in character on a BBC Doctor Who episode, abet not canon.
Doctors Sylvester McCoy, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker (in isolation only), Peter Davison and Colin Baker all blundered around with the ‘help’ of companion, Sophie Aldred, Carole Ann Ford, Deborah Watling, Nicholas Courtney, Richard Franklin, Caroline John, Elisabeth Sladen, Louise Jameson, K-9 voice John Leeson, Lalla Ward, Sarah Sutton, Nicola Bryant, Bonnie Langford
Contractual problems prevent it being seen again, so it is liable to become the Star Wars Holiday Special of the Doctor Who world.
Since the start of the new Who, the baton has been passed and an annual contribution in the form or either specially shot mini-episodes or sneak preview clips from the following month's Christmas special has become a regular highlight for Who fans waiting between seasons.
2005While we were on on tenter hooks as to how David Tennant would handle the role of The Doctor, we were treated to the first ever bridging scene which directly linked The Parting Of The Ways to The Christmas Invasion.
2006The 2006 contribution was in the form of a spectacular concert in Cardiff, which formed the template for the BBC Proms in 2008 and 2010.
Daleks, Cybermen and Ood were on hand to suitably terrorise the audience.
The concert seems to have been historically over-shadowed by the later Prom concerts, so I thought it worth listing the music played, as many were never played again publicly.
01 - Prologue
02 - Westminster Bridge From Rose
03 - Rose's Theme
04 - The TARDIS - From The End of the World
05 - The Slitheen (Aliens in London and World War Three)
06 - Cassandra's Waltz: Jabe, Cassandra, The Face of Boe and other monsters (The End of the World)
07 - Monster Bossa Nova
08 - Robot Dance and The Girl & The Doctor (The Girl in the Fireplace)
09 - Werewolves in Torchwood (Tooth and Claw)
10 - From The Christmas Invasion
11 - Suite for The Tenth Doctor
12 - The Ood (The Impossible Planet and The Satan Pit)
Music from The Runaway Bride:
13 - Sneak preview of the coming episode
Questions from the fans
14 - Answered by David Tennant, Murray Gold and Russel T. Davies
15 - Dalek Theme with Choir (Bad Wolf)
Music from The Cybermen:
16 - Cyberman Theme with Choir (Rising of the Cyberman)
Music from The Daleks Part 2:
17 - Battle against the Dalek fleet with Choir (The Parting of the Ways)
18 - Rose's Swan Song featuring Melanie Pappenheim (Doomsday)
Love Don't Roam:
19 - Love Don't Roam featuring Garry Williams (2005 Christmas Special)
20 - Song for Ten featuring Garry Williams (2006 Christmas Special: Runaway Bride)
Doctor Who Theme:
21 - Doctor Who Theme
2007Undoubetly the most popular Children In Need special mini-epiosde was Time Crash, which brought back a classic series Doctor for the first time.
In subsequent years I think the Doctor Who production office went into a bit of a lethargy, with them only providing preview clips from the up-coming Christmas special for that year.2008 – 2009 – 2010
Keen as we always are to see any little tidbit of what’s to come, they seem a little vacuous looking back and they provide nothing unique to add to the archive.
But then this week it was revealed that an impromptu mini-episode had been written by Steven Moffat and it had been filming at BBC tv centre, the near ancestral home to the classic series, I now CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!!
If you have any spare cash, I’m sure the children that are helped by this evening’s fundraising will warmly welcome anything you can give, as much or as little as it might be