17 October 1936: birth of Timothy Combes, director of Doctor Who and the Silurians (Third Doctor, 1970) and The Mind of Evil (Third Doctor, 1971).
17 October 1966: birth of Mark Gatiss, author of eight New Who TV stories, An Adventure in Space and Time (First Doctor dramadoc, 2013), four novels and two Big Finish audios, and also plays the eponymous scientist in The Lazarus Experiment (2007) and the Captain in Twice Upon A Time (Twelfth Doctor, 2017; incidentally the only televised Who set in Belgium, though some of The War Games is set in a depraved alien simulation of the landscape).
17 October 1971: birth of Patrick Ness, show-runner for Class (2016).
17 October 2018: death of Derrick Sherwin. On paper, he was producer of Doctor Who for only two stories and 14 episodes, the shortest tenure of anyone in the old regime. In fact he was the man who rescued the programme from collapse in Seasons 5 and 6 (as script editor and de facto assistant producer), invented UNIT and the Time Lords, and successfully rebooted the show in colour with a new Doctor in 1970. He also wrote, uncredited, one of the best single episodes of the entire original run, the first part of The Mind Robber.
ii) publication and broadcast anniversaries
17 October 1979: cover date of first issue of Doctor Who Weekly, now of course Doctor Who Magazine.
17 October 1996: publication of New Adventures novel Damaged Goods, by one Russell T. Davies. I wonder if he kept up his interest in Doctor Who?
17 October 2011: broadcast of first episode of The Man Who Never Was (SJA). Awkward meeting between Clyde and Rani; meanwhile tech guru Joseph Serf has invented a new computer, the Serfboard.
17 October 2015: broadcast of The Girl Who Died. The Doctor and Clara are kidnapped by Vikings who are also having trouble with alines; one of the Vikings will be very familiar to Game of Thrones fans.