Doctor Who, the world’s longest-running science-fiction television series, marks its 50th birthday this year, and Royal Mail is issuing stamps on March 26, four days before an Easter special is broadcast.

A set of 11 sheet stamps illustrates all the actors who have played the Doctor over the years, each with the backdrop used in the title sequence in his period. The earliest two are in black and white, as broadcast.

In addition, a five-stamp self-adhesive miniature sheet features the Doctor’s space and time travelling machine, the Tardis, and four of his most famous foes.

The set was designed by GBH, with sheet stamps in litho by Cartor and the miniature sheet in gravure by Enschedé.

VERDICT

COMMEMORATIVE WORTH 
It’s a 50-year-old British success story, but is a TV series really worth 16 new stamps?

QUALITY OF DESIGN  
The acquisition of image rights is as important as original design here

WOW FACTOR 
The series’ many fans will be delighted if they see these stamps on their mail

1st class The Eleventh Doctor
With his trademark tweed jacket and bow tie, Matt Smith was the youngest actor appointed to play the Doctor, taking up the role in 2010.

1st class The Tenth Doctor
David Tennant’s Doctor, in post from 2005-2010, was a garrulous extrovert with a tendency to babble.

1st class The Ninth Doctor
With his leather jacket and northern accent, Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor was a departure from previous incarnations when given the role for the series’ revival in 2005.

1st class The Eighth Doctor
In a 1996 television film, Paul McGann’s Doctor regenerated in a San Francisco morgue after being caught in a gang shootout.

1st class The Seventh Doctor
Sylvester McCoy played the Doctor from 1987 until the original series ended in 1989, and made a brief appearance in the 1996 movie.

1st class The Sixth Doctor
Wearing a multi-coloured frock coat and yellow trousers, Colin Baker’s Doctor from 1984-86 was bombastic and overbearing.

1st class The Fifth Doctor
Taking on the role between 1981-84, Peter Davison wore a costume based on an Edwardian cricketers’ outfit.

1st class The Fourth Doctor
The longest-serving incarnation of the Doctor has been Tom Baker’s from 1974-81. He had wild hair and an absurdly long scarf.

1st class The Third Doctor
Jon Pertwee’s Doctor, from 1970-74, was a dandy in frilled shirts and velvet suits.

1st class The Second Doctor
Described as a cosmic hobo, Patrick Troughton’s Doctor (1966-69) saw the show move towards faster-paced stories, with more monsters.

1st class The First Doctor
From the show’s introduction in 1963 to 1966, William Hartnell played the Doctor as an irascible old man.

MINIATURE SHEET
1st class TARDIS

The Tardis (an acronym which stands for Time And Relative Dimension In Space) is the Doctor’s ship, capable of travelling anywhere in space and time but stuck with the outward appearance of a mid 20th-century police telephone box.

2nd class Dalek
The Daleks aim to purge the universe of all other life forms. They first appeared in The Daleks in 1963.

2nd class The Ood
Almost humanoid but with tentacles on their lower faces, the Ood first appeared in The Impossible Planet storyline in 2006.

2nd class Weeping Angel
The deadly Weeping Angels are statuesque, moving only when not being watched. Their first appearance was in Blink in 2007.

2nd class Cyberman
Cyborgs with every emotion deleted from their minds, the Cybermen first appeared in The Tenth Planet storyline in 1966.

OTHER PRODUCTS
Besides the presentation pack, stamp cards and first day cover, this huge issue contains a prestige stamp book, a retail booklet and Smilers sheets.

PRICES

Set of 11 stamps £7.10
Miniature sheet £2.60
Presentation pack £9.70
Stamp cards £7.65
Prestige stamp book £13.77
Retail stamp book £3.60
First day envelope £0.30
First day cover (3 stamps)  £2.64
First day cover (8 stamps) £6.24
First day cover (miniature sheet) £3.60
First day cover (PSB pane) £4.82
Smilers generic sheet £12.00
TOTAL £74.02