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Doctor Who first appeared on BBC television at 17:15 GMT on 23 November 1963,[12] following discussions and plans that had been in progress for a year. The Head of Drama, Sydney Newman, was mainly responsible for developing the programme, with the first format document for the series being written by Newman along with the Head of the Script Department (later Head of Serials) Donald Wilson and staff writer C. E. Webber. Writer Anthony Coburn, story editor David Whitaker and initial producer Verity Lambert also heavily contributed to the development of the series.[13] The series' title theme was composed by Ron Grainer and realised by Delia Derbyshire of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.[14] The programme was originally intended to appeal to a family audience.[15] The BBC drama department's Serials division produced the programme for 26 series, broadcast on BBC One. Viewing numbers that had fallen (though comparably increased at some points), a decline in the public perception of the show and a less prominent transmission slot saw production suspended in 1989 by Jonathan Powell, Controller of BBC One.[16] Although (as series co-star Sophie Aldred reported in the documentary Doctor Who: More Than 30 Years in the TARDIS) it was effectively, if not formally, cancelled with the decision not to commission a planned 27th series of the show for transmission in 1990, the BBC repeatedly affirmed that the series would return.

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