A long-running award-winning British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a mysterious time-traveller known as "the Doctor" who travels in his time ship, the TARDIS, which appears from the exterior to be a blue police phone box. With his companions, he explores time and space, solving problems and righting wrongs.
The programme is listed in Guinness World Records as the longest-running science fiction television show in the world and is also a significant part of British popular culture.It has been recognised for its imaginative stories, creative low-budget special effects during its original run, and pioneering use of electronic music (originally produced by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop). In Britain and elsewhere, the show has become a cult television favourite and has influenced generations of British television professionals, many of whom grew up watching the series. It has received recognition from critics and the public as one of the finest British television programmes, including the BAFTA Award for Best Drama Series in 2006.
The programme originally ran from 1963 to 1989. A television film was made in 1996 as a back-door pilot for a new series (which never entered production), and the programme was successfully relaunched in 2005, produced in-house by BBC Wales. Some development money for the new series is contributed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), which is credited as a co-producer. Doctor Who has also spawned spin-offs in multiple media, including the current television programmes Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures.
The character of the Doctor was initially shrouded in mystery. All that was known about him in the programme's early days was that he was an eccentric alien traveller of great intelligence who battled injustice while exploring time and space in an unreliable old time machine called the TARDIS.
As a Time Lord, the Doctor has the ability to "regenerate" his body when near death. Introduced into the storyline as a way of continuing the series when the writers were faced with the departure of lead actor William Hartnell in 1966, it has continued to be a major element of the series, allowing for the recasting of the lead actor when the need arises. The serial The Deadly Assassin established that a Time Lord can regenerate twelve times, for a total of thirteen incarnations (although at least one Time Lord, The Master, has managed to circumvent this and at last count was into his 15th incarnation, at least). To date, the Doctor has gone through this process and its resulting after-effects on nine occasions, with each of his incarnations having his own quirks and abilities but otherwise sharing the memories and experience of the previous incarnation:
Dr's clockwise from top left
First Doctor, played by William Hartnell (1963–1966)
Second Doctor, played by Patrick Troughton (1966–1969)
Third Doctor, played by Jon Pertwee (1970–1974)
Fourth Doctor, played by Tom Baker (1974–1981)
Fifth Doctor, played by Peter Davison (1982–1984)
Sixth Doctor, played by Colin Baker (1984–1986)
Seventh Doctor, played by Sylvester McCoy (1987–1989, 1996)
Eighth Doctor, played by Paul McGann (1996)
Ninth Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston (2005)
Tenth Doctor, played by David Tennant (2005-2010)
The Eleventh Doctor
The BBC have cast Matt Smith to replace David Tennant who is departing from Doctor Who in early 2010
Despite these shifts in personality, the Doctor has always remained an intensely curious and highly moral adventurer, who would rather solve problems with his wits than through violence.
Throughout the programme's long history certain controversial revelations about the Doctor have been made. For example, in The Brain of Morbius (1976), it was hinted that the First Doctor may not have been the Doctor's first incarnation (although the other faces depicted may have been incarnations of the Time Lord Morbius); during the Seventh Doctor's era it was hinted that the Doctor was more than just an ordinary Time Lord. In the Eighth Doctor movie, it was suggested that the Doctor was "half human", though the canonicity of this is highly contested. The very first episode, An Unearthly Child, revealed that the Doctor has a granddaughter, Susan Foreman, and in "Fear Her" (2006), he remarked that he had, in the past, been a father. The 2005 series revealed that the Ninth Doctor thought he had become the last surviving Time Lord, and that his home planet had been destroyed.
A product of Time Lord technology, a properly maintained and piloted TARDIS can transport its occupants to any point in time and space. The interior of a TARDIS is much larger than its exterior, which can blend in with its surroundings through the ship's chameleon circuit. In the series, the Doctor pilots an unreliable, stolen, obsolete Type 40 TARDIS, once referred to as a TT Capsule, whose chameleon circuit is faulty, leaving it locked in the shape of a 1950s-style London police box. It was stolen from Gallifrey where it was undergoing maintenance, and the unpredictability of the TARDIS's short range guidance — that is, relative to the size of the entire Universe — has often been a plot point in the Doctor's travels.
The Doctor almost always shares his adventures with up to three companions, and since 1963 more than 35 actors and actresses have featured in these roles.
K-9, or K9, is the name of several fictional robotic dogs in the long-running British science fiction television series, Doctor Who, and its spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures. There have been at least four separate K-9 units in the series, with the first two being companions of the Fourth Doctor. Voice actor John Leeson has provided the character's voice in most of its appearances.A new television series starring K-9, K-9, is currently in development and is planned to air in 2008.Highly intelligent, with an extensive database and equipped with sophisticated sensors as well as a laser weapon built into its nose, K-9 was instrumental in helping the Fourth Doctor and Leela defeat a sentient virus. At the end of the story, Marius suggested that K-9 join the Doctor on his travels.
All the K-9s referred to whoever owned them as "Master" or "Mistress" depending on their gender. The units were programmed to be both loyal and logical, with a penchant for taking orders literally, almost to a fault. The Fourth Doctor would often use a glib remark to disarm those who were surprised by K-9's appearance; in The Stones of Blood he said, "They're all the rage in Trenton, New Jersey." The Tenth Doctor defended its less-than-streamlined design ("...so disco!") to Rose Tyler, remarking that it was cutting edge in the year 5000.
Notable adversaries of the Doctor in the original series include the Autons, the Cybermen, the Sontarans, the Zygons, the Sea Devils, the Silurians, the Ice Warriors, the Wirrn, the Yeti, the Master (a Time Lord with a thirst for universal conquest), and, most notably, the Daleks. This continued with the resurrection of the series in 2005, which has featured the Daleks, the Cybermen, the Master and, less-prominently, the Autons and the Macra. The new series has also introduced new monsters, including the Slitheen, the Ood, and the Judoon.
Of all the monsters and villains, the ones that have most secured the series's place in the publics imagination are the Daleks
The Daleks are Kaled mutants in tank-like mechanical armour shells from the planet Skaro. Their chief role in the great scheme of things, as they frequently remark in their instantly recognizable metallic voices, is to "Exterminate!" all beings inferior to themselves, even destroying the Time Lords in the often referenced but never shown Time War. Davros, the Daleks' creator, became a recurring villain after he was introduced in Genesis of the Daleks, in which the Time Lords send the Doctor back to either destroy the Daleks, avert their creation, or tamper with their genetic structure to make them less warlike.
The Daleks were created by writer Terry Nation.
Music playing is the 1985 version of the Dr Who Theme
Dr. Who (Dalek films)
Dr. Who is a character in two films made by AARU Productions in the 1960s based on Doctor Who.
He was portrayed by the actor Peter Cushing.
Although based upon the character of the Doctor from the television series, the character has fundamental differences as described below.
The character appeared in two motion picture releases: Dr. Who and the Daleks, which was based upon the televised serial The Daleks, and Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD, based upon the serial The Dalek Invasion of Earth. Plans for a third film, based on The Chase, were abandoned after the poor box office performance of the second film.
Unlike the Doctor in the television series, he is apparently human, not a Time Lord, and is actually named "Dr. Who" (first name not given), and not called "the Doctor" .
He is an eccentric inventor who claims to have created his TARDIS, although the films never provide an explanation for the appearance of the machine in the form of a police box.
In the first film, Doctor Who travels with his grand-daughter, Susan, who is much younger than Susan of the TV series. In the sequel, Susan is joined by Doctor Who's niece, Louise.