While we still don’t know who will grace the U.S. postage stamps saluting science fiction authors this year, we do know Who — The Doctor, that is — will appear on a set of British stamps that will be issued March 26.
In honor of the “Doctor Who” TV show’s 50th anniversary on BBC, the Royal Mail, Britain’s post office, will release stamps depicting all 11 actors who have portrayed the legendary Time Lord on television.
“Doctor Who” debuted in November 1963 as a cheesy and cheeky adventure show aimed at children and ran annually through 1989, when the series was canceled. A made-for-TV movie aired in 1996, and the current version — boasting top-notch production values, scripts and casts — rebooted in 2005.
The stamps feature portraits of every Doctor: William Hartnell (1963-66), Patrick Troughton (1966-69), Jon Pertwee (1970-74), Tom Baker (1974-81), Peter Davison (1981-84), Colin Baker (1984-86), Sylvester McCoy (1987-89), Paul McGann (1996), Christopher Eccleston (2005), David Tennant (2005-2010) and Matt Smith (2010-present).
Accompanying the stamp set is a miniature sheet with five stamps showing the TARDIS, the police call box that serves as Doctor Who’s marvelous mode of transportation through time and space; an Ood, a member of a telepathic race that has appeared in several episodes; a Dalek and a Cyberman, two of the Doctor’s archenemies; and a Weeping Angel, a creepily dangerous foe.
The Weeping Angels first showed up in “Blink,” a 2007 episode that won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form) in 2008. For my money, it’s one of the most ingeniously scripted hours of television in any genre.
The individual Doctor and TARDIS stamps bear no denominations but are designed for first-class mail (currently 60 pence), which promises overnight delivery across the U.K. The other four miniature sheet stamps are for second-class mail (50 pence), which is for slower delivery.
In addition to his TV show, Doctor Who has been the subject of two movies, “Dr. Who and the Daleks” and “Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.” (in which he was played by Peter Cushing), several stage productions, audio plays, his own magazine and a number of novels.
More information about the stamps and how to obtain them at face value is available at the Royal Mail store