The British charity Children In Need held their annual telethon Friday night, and with it came a new offering of 'Doctor Who' to whet the fans' appetites for the Christmas special (all in the name of raising money to help the kids, of course!)
This time out we got a two minute teaser - the first two minutes of the Christmas special, in which the Doctor lands in Victorian London (?) and meets up with someone claiming to be the Time Lord known only as the Doctor and his companion, the dusky Rosita. (Not sure if that would be politically correct now to say, but it probably would have been back then. And after reading that new book about Becky Sharp, it just felt right.)
As the Doctor we know (played by David Tennant) got his bearings, he asked a young lad about when he was. Upon learning that he had arrived on Christmas Eve, 1851, the Doctor was a little put out because 1851 was so boring.
Here are a few things that happened in 1851:
The Taiping Rebellion began in China.
The New York Times , the Reuters news service, and Western Union were all founded.
Ariel and Umbriel, moons of Uranus, were discovered by William Lassell.
Herman Melville's novel "Moby-Dick; or The Whale" was published in the U.S. by Harper & Brothers.
"Rigoletto" was first performed at La Fenice in Venice. (I can just picture Tennant's Doctor having fun with saying "La Fenice in Venice"!)
The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations in the Crystal Palace, Hyde Park, London was opened by Queen Victoria. (It would run until October 18.)
R.H. Macy began his department store.
The first white men reportedly saw Yosemite Valley.
Among those who died in 1851: John James Audubon, Mary Shelley, and James Fenimore Cooper.
And on December 24, the day of the Doctor's arrival that year, the Library of Congress burned.
Yeah...... not really that exciting a year, was it?