What Is Doctor Who?

DOCTOR WHO is the longest running science fiction series on television. It began in 1963 as the result of a commission from Canadian Sydney Newman—then the BBC Head of Drama—to create a series to primarily appeal to children and young adults and teach them about history and science.

As the series unfolded, viewers learned about the title character, known as the Doctor,a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, who travelled in a time machine called the TARDIS which was bigger on the inside than the outside. The role was played by veteran actor William Hartnell from 1963-1966. When Hartnell left the series, it was revealed the Doctor could physically change his form, allowing the Doctor to be portrayed subsequently by Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy.

The series’ appeal has been a versatile format that explored horror, science fiction, humour, action and historical adventure. The series relied on a uniquely British wit and clever scripting that made up for its occasional deficiencies in production values. The Series’ hero, monsters, villains and even its theme song are icons in British culture as a result, and loved in over 100 countries around the world.

The series went off the air in Britain in 1989. A TV movie with Paul McGann as theEighth Doctor was aired in 1996 but did not go to series. The series was kept
alive through novels, audios and webscasts.

In 2005 the series was revived in a brand new version, starring Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and now Matt Smith as the Doctor in a new Doctor Who for a new generation of fans.

What next for the Doctor? Wait and see!

To learn more about the Series:

Recent Stories

Myth Makers 16: Pseudoscope Now Available!

What happens when events unfold before our eyes that defy our conscious understanding? Find out more in the 20th Anniversary Issue of Myth Makers - featuring fan fiction and artwork from some of the best writers and artists in Doctor Who fandom. Order Now!

TARDIS File 06-11: The God Complex

Here comes a TARDIS file to chop off your head…

Issue 163

Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith: Lis Sladen (1946-2011) We pay tribute to the late Elisabeth Sladen. Plus:

  • Why shouldn’t the Doctor be posh?
  • A history of Doctor Who RPGs
  • News and reviews of Doctor Who DVDs, audios, and Time, Unincorporated: Volume 2!

TARDIS File 06-09: Night Terrors

The psychic paper says monsters. Let’s investigate.

Myth Makers 16: Pseudoscope

What happens when events unfold before our eyes that defy our conscious understanding? Is it a dream? An hallucination? An optical illusion? What hidden truths would our subconscious mind perceive? Find out more in the 20th Anniversary Issue of DWIN’s Fiction Anthology, Myth Makers!

Is something broken?

©Doctor Who Information Network (DWIN) 2009