Sci-fi drama series Doctor Who tells the adventures of a mysterious traveller in time known only as “The Doctor” who travels around the universe with a variety of different companions in his Police Box shaped TARDIS time machine which has the extraordinary feature of being bigger on the inside than its outward appearance would suggest.
As the series progressed more was discovered about the Doctor:- he is over 900 years old; has two hearts; is from a planet called Gallifrey and is of a race called The Time Lords who have mastered time travel but have a strict policy of non-interference with other races whether for good or ill. In direct contravention of this policy the Doctor stole a TARDIS and went off to explore the universe helping to right wrongs and fight evil wherever he went. When the Doctor becomes mortally wounded his race have the ability to regenerate their bodies into a new form with a completely new appearance and personality – this unique quality enabled the series to re-invent itself every few years with a new lead actor.
With the series revival in 2005 more facts were gradually revealed about the Doctor’s history such as a great war which had wiped out the Time Lords leaving the Doctor as the last of his race. In the fourth season of New Who the Doctor’s grand daugter (played by Georgia Moffatt) was re-introduced briefly. The lively performance of David Tennant made the show a true TV stand out and his departure at end of 2009 once again heralded a new direction for the show. Stephen Moffatt (one of New Who’s best writers also replaced Russell T. Davies as the show’s creative head at the end of the 2009 season.
Trvia: Cult writer of The Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams was script editor on the show during the late 1970’s. The show was first broadcast in the UK the day after the assassination of Kennedy. The idea for the Daleks was by extremely culty writer Terry Nation.
(1)(1963-66) William Hartnell was the first to play the Doctor arriving in London in 1963 with his granddaughter Susan and taking her two teachers Ian and Barbara on a series of often historical adventures, Hartnell was already quite old when he took on the role of the crotchety doctor and when he began to have trouble with the demands of the part the producers handily came up with the regeneration angle.
(2) (1966-69) Patrick Troughton played the part very differently as a mischievous character hiding his keen intelligence from adversaries behind a bumbling exterior. At the end of his time in 1969 the Time Lords finally caught the Doctor and tried him for his meddling ways and as punishment exiled him to Earth with a changed appearance.
(3) (1970-1974) This ushered in the changed format of the Jon Pertwee era with most of the stories set on present-day Earth and with the show made in colour for the first time. Trapped on Earth the Doctor joined a military organisation called UNIT (United Nations Intelligence Taskforce) as their scientific adviser. Commanded by Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart whom the Doctor had twice before met in his previous incarnation, UNIT was set up to tackle alien invasions of which there were many.
(4) (1974-81) Now freed from his exile, the role of the Doctor was taken over by Tom Baker who played him with an irresistible charm and a very long scarf.
(5) (1982-84 ) The early eighties saw Peter Davison take on the role as the youngest-looking incarnation yet and a lover of cricket. During this time the show was moved away from its traditional Saturday tea-time slot to mid-week.
(6) (1984 – 86) Next Colin Baker took over wearing the most garish costume imaginable. This era saw the programme’s popularity waning and it was suspended for 18 months before being brought back by public pressure.
(7) (1987 – 89) Sylvester McCoy became the Doctor in 1987 for its final three years. The show was finally cancelled in 1989.
(8) (1996) Then in 1996 there was an attempt to make a new series with American backing with a TV movie pilot produced in the states with Paul McGann taking the lead – it followed BBC series continuity with McCoy reprising his role briefly for a regeneration scene. A full series was never commissioned.
(9) (2005) After a 16-year absence Doctor Who returned in a proper new BBC made series with Christopher Eccleston taking on the part. His Doctor was a leather jacket wearing Northerner who grins in the face of danger. But also had an intensely serious side as the last living Time Lord following a devastating war between Time Lords and Daleks which saw his people annihilated.
(10) (2005 -2009) With Eccleston quitting after the first series the excellent David Tennant took over the role, appearing in the Christmas episode (broadcast 25 December 2005) and the new series which started 15 April 2006.
(11) (2010 -) Tennant bowed out in the Christmas 2009 episode The End of Time with Matt Smith taking over as the new Doctor and bringing a darker edge to the character. He was if anything even more popular than Tennant!
(12) (2014 – ) With the departure of Smith the BBC went for a completely different approach with the middle aged Peter Capaldi becoming the latest Doctor. The changeover generated massive worldwide interest and he has managed to claim the role as his own.
Enemies: The other vital ingredient of Doctor Who is the adversaries he encounters in each story. His most famous foes are The Daleks, ruthless mutated creatures who can only survive inside metal travel machines; Also The Cybermen, Yeti, Autons, Ice Warriors, Sontarans and countless other alien races who perhaps only ever made a single appearance. The Doctor’s arch-enemy is The Master – another renegade Time Lord, but a totally evil one.
Archives: Regrettably many of the 1960s episodes of Doctor Who no longer exist in the archives and some of the Pertwee stories now only exist in B&W form. Off-air soundtrack recordings of all the missing episodes do survive however.
Gap Years: During the years from 1989-2005 with no new TV Who (other than the one-off TV Movie) the Doctor still flourished with new adventures in book form with “missing” adventures of old doctors told and further adventures of the Paul McGann incarnation. There were also some BBC radio plays featuring Jon Pertwee. Also special (non-BBC) CD Audio Adventures were made with TV cast involvement and a few video productions featuring peripheral Doctor Who characters.
Films: There were also two feature films in the 1960s which starred Peter Cushing as the Doctor. These films were based on the first two William Hartnell Dalek stories and are not considered to be part of the TV series continuity.
(a) BBC1 / 679x25m-e 15x45m-e 1x90m-e / 1963-89 (26 years) (first ep: 23 November 1963)
(b) BBC1 / 1x85m / 27 May 1996
(c) BBC1 / 2005 -2010 (first ep: 26 March 2005)
Creator: Sydney Newman (uncredited) / Theme Music: Ron Grainer
(a) Original Producer: Verity Lambert
(b) Writer: Matthew Jacobs / Director: Geoffrey Sax / Executive Producers: Alex Beaton, Philip Segal, Jo Wright
(c) Executive Producer & main writer: Russell T Davies (2005-2009), Stephen Moffatt (2010-)
The Doctors (in chronological order) WILLIAM HARTNELL / PATRICK TROUGHTON / JON PERTWEE / TOM BAKER / PETER DAVISON / COLIN BAKER / SYLVESTER McCOY / PAUL McGANN / CHRISTOPHER ECCLESTON / DAVID TENNANT / MATT SMITH / PETER CAPALDI
Some of the Companions: CAROLE ANN FORD as Susan Foreman / WILLIAM RUSSELL as Ian Chesterton / JACQUELINE HILL as Barbara Wright / PETER PURVES as Steven Taylor / FRAZER HINES as Jamie / DEBORAH WATLING as Victoria Waterfield / WENDY PADBURY as Zoe / KATY MANNING as Jo Grant / ELIZABETH SLADEN as Sarah Jane Smith / LOUISE JAMESON as Leela / MARY TAMM as Romana(1) / LALLA WARD as Romana(2) / JANET FIELDING as Tegan / SARAH SUTTON as Nyssa / NICOLA BRYANT as Peri / SOPHIE ALDRED as Ace / BILLIE PIPER as Rose Tyler / FREEMA AGYEMAN as Martha Jones / CATHERINE TATE as Donna Noble / KAREN GILLAN as Amy Pond / JENNA COLEMAN as Clara Oswald / PEARL MACKIE
Also: NICHOLAS COURTNEY as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart / ROGER DELGADO, ANTHONY AINLEY, DEREK JACOBI AND JOHN SIMM have all also played The Doctor’s chief rival The Master.
News and updates on the series.
Jenna Coleman says no to more Who
13 October 2016... Former companion Jenna Coleman who has made a serious step into the big time thanks to her starring role in high profile and popular ITV drama Victoria has told the radio times that she definitely has no plans to return to Doctor Who. “Yeah, I think there’s a bit of interest from fans there in particular. I mean it’d be fun to do, but again maybe some things are best left in the imagination.” She told the magazine. She also said that she is looking for to new young adult Who spin-off Class “That was part of the story that I loved, I thought it worked really well, of having Clara as a teacher and then run away into the stationery cupboard and Narnia, and sometimes by accident bringing along a couple of kids. I thought it had really huge appeal. So yeah, I really look forward to seeing that.”
Absentia (AXN 2017, Stana Katic, Patrick Heusinger)
Thriller series Absentia is about FBI agent Emily Byrne (Stana Katic) who, while hunting one of Boston’s most notorious serial killers, disappears without a trace and is declared dead. Six years later, she is found in a cabin in the woods, barely alive and with no memory of the years she was missing. Returning home to learn her husband has remarried and her son is being raised by another woman, she soon finds herself implicated in a new series of murders.
Stana Katic as Emily Byrne
Patrick Heusinger as Nick Durand
Cara Theobold as Alice Durand
Amber Agar as Ericsson
Angel Bonnani as Tommy Gibbs
Christopher Colquhoun as Agent Crown
Ralph Ineson as Adam Radford
Patrick McAuley as Flynn Durand
Borislava Stratieva as Violet
Neil Jackson as Jack Byrne
Matthew Cirulnick, Gaia Violo
26 September 2017 on AXN
number of episodes
10×50 minute episodes
Arctic Air (CBC 2012, Adam Beach, Pascale Hutton)
Canadian TV show Arctic Air is a one-hour adventure series set in the booming Arctic, about a maverick airline and the unconventional family who runs it. On the ground, Bobby, the headstrong business partner, struggles to save the airline from crashing financially while Mel, the cantankerous co-owner, keeps his crew of pilots in the air. Caught in the crossfire is Mel’s hotshot pilot daughter Krista.
As the series progresses the character-based drama will deliver hard-hitting emotional stories – from the romantic entanglement of Bobby and Krista, to the conflicts that spark between Bobby and his competitors, his business partners and even his extended family. There’s a new gold rush heating up under the permafrost, and there are new fortunes of diamonds and oil to claim.
Adam Beach, Pascale Hutton, Kevin McNulty, Stephen Lobo, Carmen Moore, John Reardon, Timothy Webber, Emilie Ullerup, Tanaya Beatty,
Ian Weir, Michele McMahon
11 January 2018 on CBC
number of episodes
35×50 minute episodes
Kings Row (ABC 1959, Jack Kelly, Victor Jury)
Drama series Kings Row told stories of the residents of a small town, especially psychiatrist Dr Parris Mitchell.
The series was one of three rotating series that aired under the umbrella title of Warner Brothers Presents. The other two were Casablanca and Cheyenne.
Like the other two series the show was also based on a movie (made in 1942). Future Western stars Jack Kelly (Maverick) and Robert Horton (Wagon Train) starred in the roles originated on the big screen by Bob Cummings and Ronald Reagan respectively.
Kings Row along with Casablanca were both dropped after each aired for only one season and a handful of episodes. The third series, Cheyenne, was a hit in the ratings and continued on for seven more seasons mostly on a rotating basis with other Western series.
Jack Kelly as Dr. Parris Mitchell
Robert Horton as Drake McHugh
Nan Leslie as Randy Monaghan
Victor Jory as Dr. Tower
Robert Burton as Dr. Gordon
Lillian Bronson as Grandma
Executive Producer: William T. Orr
Producer: Roy Huggins
Music: David Buttolph
Set Designer: William Holland
Based On The Works Of: Henry Bellamann
Network and Production Companies: ABC – Warner
Duration: x50 minute episodes
Aired From: 13 September 1955 – 17 January 1956 Tuesdays at 07:30 pm
THIS JUST IN
Hazell: Hazell and Hyde (ITV 7 June 1979, with Maev Alexander)
In Hazell and Hyde James is asked to find a young woman, Claudine, who has apparently joined a group of...
Hazell: Hazell and the Suffolk Ghost (ITV 31 May 1979, with Meg Davies)
In Hazell and the Suffolk Ghost our intrepid hero pays a visit to the seaside when an accountant, Peter Harlow,...
Hazell: Hazell Gets The Boot (ITV 10 May 1979, with Billy Murray)
In Hazell Gets The Boot Hazell finds himself more or less coerced into taking on a supposedly simple job for villain...
More to View
Previews2 months ago
Father Brown: The Dance of Death (BBC-1 9 Jan 2018, with Diana Kent)
Previews3 months ago
Father Brown: The Angel of Mercy (BBC-1 4 Jan 2018, with Wanda Ventham)
News3 months ago
Channel 9, Married At First Sight 2018 New Series Premieres 29 Jan
Previews3 months ago
Father Brown: The Jackdaw’s Revenge (BBC-1 2 Jan 2018, with Kate O’Flynn)
Previews3 months ago
Father Brown: The Devil You Know (BBC-1 8 Jan 2018, with Clive Wood)
Previews3 months ago
Father Brown: The Face of the Enemy (BBC-1 5 Jan 2018, with Nancy Carroll)
Episodes3 months ago
Lethal Weapon: Digging Up The Dirt (Fox Jan 9 2018, with Tony Plana)
Features3 months ago
Kick-Ass TV Heroines: Xena – Warrior Princess