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It is generally believed that Generation X began in 1963 and this period marked a great interest in science and society. It was the heyday of the paperback book, a large number of which were of the science fiction genre. In 1966 the Nebula Awards began and science fiction books regularly hit the best-seller list.

Early 1962 Eric Maschwitz, Assistant to the Controller of Programmes at BBC Television asked Donald Wilson of the Script Department to take a look at the possibility of producing a major science fiction series. A report was prepared by Alice Frick and Donald Bull with a follow-up report made by Frick and John Baybon in July. This report was more specific and advised that time travel would be a concept worth exploring. Time Travel was a hot concept in the Fifties and Sixties explored in many science fiction novels.

In December 1962 Canadian-born Sydney Newman arrived at BBC Television as the new Head of Drama. Newman brought a new enthusiasm to the BBC. He was an avid science fiction fan and when made aware of the ideas that the script department had for a new series jumped at the opportunity. At the same time an opening was available in the Saturday evening schedule and hence it was suggested a new teen based sci fi show could be developed. Meetings were held with Wilson, Braybon, Frick and another BBC staff writer, C. E. 'Bunny' Webber.

Wilson and Webber primarily developed the format of the programme and its initial cast of characters. The first formal document was written by Wilson, Webber and Newman. It was Sydney Newman who had the amazing idea of a time machine which was larger on the inside than the outside and the concept of the Doctor, he also chose the name Doctor Who.

Verity Lambert and story editor David Whitaker took over as co-ordinators of the show with Donald Wilson as producer. Writer Anthony Coburn also contributed, writing the first episode from a draft initially prepared by Webber. It was Wilson who came up with the innovative visual cue that the TARDIS should look like a police box. The name TARDIS was created as an acronym for Time And Relative Dimensions In Space.

Looking back, one of the strangest aspects of the story of Doctor Who is that it was originally planned as an educational series. The concept was that the TARDIS would transform into an object representing the given period under exploration. A column from ancient Greece, a Mayan statue etc). This was explained as occurring due to the unique electronics of the TARDIS called the "Chameleon Circuit". It became clear that changing the TARDIS every program would be way outside the budget of this new show. So it was suggested that the Chameleon Circuit had malfunctioned and the TARDIS became locked in a 1950's telephone box design.

Doctor Who first made it to air on BBC Television at 5:15 pm 23rd November 1963. The first episode was An Unearthly Child, starring the first incarnation of the Doctor, played by character actor William Hartnell.

Supporting him were William Russell and Jacqueline Hill as Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, respectively, and Carole Ann Ford as the Doctor's granddaughter, Susan Foreman. This group would form the core cast of the series throughout its first two seasons.

The series was developed to appeal to a general family audience with a focus on younger viewers. The BBC Serials division produced it for 26 series on BBC One. Many well respected actors appeared on the show in guest roles and cameos. While it became somewhat of a BBC institution it also engendered controversy. Just like most television in the Sixties and Seventies it began to become more adult in its content and explore more mature themes. It increased its quotient of violence and gore, even though this still would be considered mild compared to the cinema of the period.

For example, in Season Eight, Episodes 55-59 The Terror of the Autons (1971) over a series of four episodes we have The Master up to all sorts of shenanigans. There are images murderous plastic dolls, a living chair that suffocates, daffodils killing unsuspecting victims and a policemen who is not what he seems, but is really an Auton.

These sort of images brought out the moral crusaders, puritans and kooks and Mary Whitehouse repeatedly demanded changes to the show. Strangely such demands simply increased viewership. It seems kids loved to be scared.

Sadly in 1989 the show seemed to be losing viewers so production stopped after series 26. The fact that the quality of the script writing had fallen and production values lowered certainly didn't help.

The BBC had hoped to find an independent company to take over the series. While this did not occur it did lead to the Doctor Who television film in 1996. This was a co-production with Universal with the hope of creating a new series of Doctor Who for the American market. It introduced Paul McGann as the eighth doctor. While well liked in the UK it did not go down well in the US and hence an American series never saw the light of day.

Doctor Who is listed in Guinness World Records as the longest-running science fiction television show in the world and as the "most successful" science fiction series of all time, in terms of its overall broadcast ratings, DVD and book sales, of course, downloads. Awards have included the BAFTA Award for Best Drama Series in 2006, and five consecutive wins at the National Television Awards since 2005, in the Drama category.

This brings us to the new series of Doctor Who. While novels, audio books and comics continued to explore new plots. It wasn't until 2003 that the BBC announced a new series. The executive producers of the new incarnation of the series were writer Russell T Davies who had made his name with the controversial series Queer as Folk and BBC Cymru Wales Head of Drama Julie Gardner. Russell T Davies was an interesting and controversial choice. Queer as Folk had been an extremely in your face gay show with an open and explicit portrayal of sex and while receiving lots of praise had also been censored in many countries in the world. In Australia it was cut for release. This was followed by Bob and Rose based on a gay friend who married a woman and fathered a child.

Davies injects a different sort of energy into the programs he directs, exploring the variations of human emotion and sexuality; he continued to do so with both Doctor Who and Torchwood.


The first episode of the new series was Rose, broadcast on BBC One on 25th March 2005. Series have continued to be made. In 2009 due to commitments held by David Tennant, four specials were made. Series five began in 2010 and marked Russell T Davies leaving the Doctor in the hands of Steven Moffat.

The Doctor Who Theme Music

The Doctor Who theme music is one of the most readily identified pieces of electronic music ever recorded. It was composed by Australian Ron Grainer (who also wrote the music for the ITV series The Prisoner and for the film The Omega Man). The tune remained in use for eighteen years with only minor changes.

The score was handed to the BBC's Radiophonics Workshop for realisation. At this time there were no synthesisers or sequencers available so each note was laboriously generated by an oscillator and saved to tape and a limited range of techniques used to modify the sound. A note could be played backwards, put through a Ring Modulator (to make it "echo") or otherwise modified. The notes were then cut and spliced to make up a single track audio tape of each part of the theme. The individual tracks were then played back on a bank of carefully synchronised tape recorders and recorded onto a master machine (no multitrack tape recorders in those days either).

The work was given to Delia Derbyshire in the Radiophonics Workshop. On hearing the finished work Grainer is supposed to have said "Did I really write that? "Me was so impressed that he offered to split the royalties with her, but the BBC would have none of that. Delia was just a staff technician and they received no credit for their work except for a mention of the Radiophonics Workshop.

The theme was so good that only a few changes were made over the years. One of the first, for instance, was a slight strengthening of the bass line. I feel that this is still one of the best versions. The same driving bass line and haunting high melody served well for many years. Even with the availability of synthesisers little was done to change the basic theme and it wasn't until 2002 that the theme was even converted to stereo using Delia Derbyshire's original masters.

From 1970 the first part of the theme was used in a briefer form to introduce each episode and the full theme used at the end to accommodate the ever-growing credits. Phrases of the theme were duplicated as needed to extend the theme, added to the end of the credits and a electronic sliding-downscale "shriek" was introduced at the cliffhanger moment at the end of each episode to begin the theme.

With the introduction of synthesisers an attempt was made in the 1960s to modernise the theme. Although the new version perhaps sounded a little more up to date it lost the haunting feel of the original and just sounded like bland synthesiser music. . Another try was made by Dominic Glynn in 1986, but it so lost the feel of the original that it only lasted one season. Successive attempts were no more successful.

In 2005 the series was revived following a long break. A new version of the theme was scored for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. It restored many of the original motifs but I feel it falls flat because it was .... well, just too orchestral. Although beautifully played it lost the raw, eerie feeling and sounded a little more like elevator music.

The Doctors First Doctor William Hartnell (until 1966)

Veteran British actor Hartnell was perhaps an unusual choice for a science fiction show aimed at a younger audience. His age, personality and schoolmaster's demeanor should have been enough to put kids off. Strangely it worked his elderly wizard like appearance added a sense of credibility to his role. He played the doctor until October 1966 when he retired due to ill health.

He played a diminished role in the 1973 Three Doctors but he had passed away by the time the 1983 Five Doctors program was made and his role was played by a substitute actor.

As the show developed his clothing changed from standard dress (in the pilot) to an Edwardian custom with a cane. He was ever shown smoking a pipe. Something today which would never pass in a kids program !!

Second Doctor

Patrick Troughton 1966 - June 1969

Troughton played the part with a lighter touch. His character was carefully developed from Hartnell's - something of the same fussiness, the slightly old-fashioned look - but he was more "human" if that's the word to describe a Time Lord.

Third Doctor

Jon Pertwee 1970 - 1974

Pertwee is fondly remembered by many fans. Calm, wise and approachable, he made the Doctor a little more humorous and warmer.

Fourth Doctor

Tom Baker 1974 -1981

Many believe Tom Baker to be the most popular doctor of all time. Warm, credible and almost universally popular, Baker helped transition the Doctor from a children's audience to more sophisticated science fiction. The Seventies marked a period of great change and Doctor Who had to keep us with the times to sustain its audience.

Fifth Doctor

Peter Davison 1981 - 1984

The producers got it badly wrong here. Davison had just finished a series called All Creatures Great and Small where he played a young, irresponsible country vet. They tried to transplant his part into Doctor Who and it just didn't work. Davison gradually made the Doctor more serious but it was a battle. It wasn't helped by a silly piece of costuming that had him wearing shirts and braces with little question marks embroidered on them. Why? The Doctor never introduced himself as anything but "the Doctor" so such tinsel was completely unnecessary and quite silly.

Seventh Doctor

Sylvester McCoy 1987-1989

Sylvester McCoy came with his offsider Ace. In my humble opinion he was the worst Doctor of all, he seemed like a bad copy of Mr. Bean. McCoy constantly rolled his R's and talked in a silly manner. His outfitting was woeful and The Doctor still has those damn question marks on his vest. An attempt was made to update the theme which failed miserably.

Eighth Doctor Paul McGann 1996

Paul McGann only played Doctor Who once and that was in the 1996 movie. It was hoped this film (coproduced with Universal) would kick start a new series made in the U.S, it didn't.

Ninth Doctor

Christopher Eccleston 2005

Eccleston was an interesting choice of Doctor. Russell T. Davies was chosen to create a new series of Doctor Who updated for a very new audience. The scripts were sophisticated and hence the Doctor needed to reflect a different type of time lord. The Doctor as portrayed in the first new series is a warrior. He is cold, battle weary and tough. While Rose helps soften his edges, he is a very different sort of Doctor.

Tenth Doctor

David Tennant 2005-2010

David Tennant took over from Eccleston after only one season. Personally I think this is a shame as I feel that Eccleston's warrior persona brought something different to the role of the Doctor. As the last timelord having survived a terrible timewar he was clearly battle scarred and this added an edge to the role. Tennant was an interesting choice who took a lot of fans a little while to warm to.

The new Doctor is a sophisticate, a bit metrosexual and very educated. He brings a strong emotional presence to the Doctor as well as a sense of humour. Rather than a warrior the Doctor is more wounded and lonely, having suffered too much loss through his eight hundred plus years of life.

Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith 2010-

Matt Smith is the newest incarnation of the Doctor. He is the youngest choice so far at 27 years of age. While this has proved very popular with the teen market, I believe that his choice has moved the focus of the show to a much younger audience. The combination of this teen focus and the fact that the show is now directed by Steven Moffat has changed the feel of the series and the ramifications of this are yet to be seen. The first new series starring Smith also starred Amy Pond with the tale beginning with her as a child. While there were interesting episodes the teen emphasis of the series somewhat put me off. I will be intrigued to see where Smith and Moffatt take the Doctor in the next series.

Other Doctors

There have been other actors who played the Doctor in a range of media.

Peter Cushing, Dr. Who and the Daleks. (1965) Peter Cushing, Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD (1966)

Trevor Martin, Doctor Who and the Daleks in the Seven Keys to Doomsday (2008) (Stage play and audio, Martin is shown as the regenerated doctor)

Adrian Gibbs, Logopolis (Castrovalva) (1981) The Watcher/The Doctor Richard Hurndall, The Five Doctors, (1983) The First Doctor

Michael Jayston, The Trial of a Time Lord (1986) Evil Version of the Doctor Michael Jayston, He Jests at Scars, Audio (2003) The Valeyard, alternate reality Doctor Geoffrey Hughes, The Trial of a Time Lord: The Ultimate Foe (1986) Mr Popplewick (a disguise used by The Valeyard)

Sylvester McCoy, Time and the Rani (1987) The Sixth Doctor (briefly, under a curly blonde wig before regenerating) David Banks, Doctor Who - The Ultimate Adventure, Stage (1989) understudy for Jon Pertwee)

David Banks, The Planet of Storms, Stage (1996) The Doctor

David Banks, The Web of Fear, Stage (2000) The Doctor

Nick Scovell, Fury From the Deep, Stage (2002) The Second Doctor Nick Scovell, Evil of the Daleks, Stage (2006) Nick Scovell, The Daleks Masterplan, Stage (2007) The First Doctor

Lenny Henry, The Lenny Henry Show (1985) Spoof

Rowan Atkinson, Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death (1999), Spoof, The Ninth Doctor Richard E. Grant, Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death (1999) Spoof, The Tenth Doctor Richard E. Grant, Scream of the Shalka, Webcast (2003) The alternate Ninth Doctor Jim Broadbent, Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death (1998) Spoof, The Eleventh Doctor Hugh Grant, Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death (1999) Spoof, The Twelfth Doctor Joanna Lumley, Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death (1999) Spoof, The Thirteenth Doctor

Mark Gatiss, The Web of Caves (1999) Spoof, The Doctor

Nicholas Briggs, Minuet in Hell Audio (2001) The eighth doctor is making a materialization in an alleyway in Malebolgia and something goes wrong. His mind is temporarily merged with Gideon Crane, a British journalist from the London Torch.

Nicholas Briggs, Exile Audio (2003), The previous incarnation of Arabella Weir's Doctor (likely the Second Doctor).

Nicholas Briggs, Seven Keys to Doomsday, Audio (2008) The Third Doctor Geoffrey Bayldon, Auld Mortality, Audio (2003) Alternative First Doctor

Geoffrey Bayldon, A Storm of Angels, Audio (2005) Alternative First Doctor David Warner, Sympathy for the Devil, Audio (2003) Alternative Doctor (possibly third) David Warner, Masters of War, Audio (2008) Alternative Doctor (possibly third) David Collings, Full Fathom Five, Audio (2003) Alternative Doctor

Ian Brooker, Full Fathom Five, Audio (2003) Alternative Doctor (uncredited) Derek Jacobi, Deadline, Audio (2003) A delusional writer who believes he is the Doctor Arabella Weir, Exile, Audio (2003) Alternative Doctor (possibly third) Jon Culshaw, The Kingmaker, Audio (2006),

The Fourth Doctor

One of the stranger cases is where Jackson Lake (David Morrissey) believes he is the Doctor and even has created his own TARDIS. A memory device backfired and flashed the doctor's memories into his mind leading him to believe his is now the Doctor.


As William Hartnell became more and more ill a difficult decision had to be reached about how to bring in a new doctor. By the second story of Season four, The Tenth Planet, the decision had been made to replace Hartnell with a younger actor. Lots of ideas were discussed. According to recently released BBC internal memos the concept of renewal was finally decided on with the use of special effects a "bit like a bad LSD trip". The concept was that at a given time the Doctor would die and through renewal appear in a new body. This would be achieved through the power of the TARDIS. This process is described in The Power of the Daleks episode as being akin to a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. It is first stated in The Deadly Assassin (1976) that a Time Lord can regenerate twelve times before dying. In later episodes it is stated the Doctor can regenerate forever. It was only at the end of the Third Doctor's era, in Planet of the Spiders (1974) that the Doctors renewal is finally called regeneration.

Many have conjectured that as time has gone regeneration has taken on characteristics of the concept of reincarnation. The Doctor experiencing death and then being reborn in a new body with memories which only slowly return has much in similarity with both Hindu and Buddhist ideas on the life-death process.

The Doctor's Regenerations are:

The First Doctor slowly grows older and then dies of exhaustion in The Tenth Planet. The Second Doctor is exiled to Earth by the Time Lords and is forced to regenerate in The War Games.

The Third Doctor dies of radiation poisoning from the Great One's cave of crystals on Metabelis Three in Planet of the Spiders. The Fourth Doctor falls from the Pharos Project radio telescope and merges with the Watcher in Logopolis.

The Fifth Doctor dies of Spectrox Toxemia exposure in The Caves of Androzani. The Sixth Doctor regenerates when the Rani shoots down the TARDIS in Time and the Rani.

The Seventh Doctor dies in a San Francisco hospital during exploratory heart surgery by a doctor unfamiliar with Time Lord physiology. (1996 TV Movie)

The Eighth Doctor's reason for regenerating is unknown. This was due to the fact that there was a large gap between the TV movie and the series revival in 2005.

The Ninth Doctor dies of cellular degeneration, caused by absorbing the energies of the Time Vortex to save Rose Tyler's life, in The Parting of the Ways.

The Tenth Doctor dies of radiation poisoning, caused by the power supply of the Immortality Gate in The End of Time which had been left on by The Master.

The Companions

Doctor Who is accompanied by a range of assistants throughout the series. In the early series many of these are young, female assistants but an effort was made to avoid any suggestion of emotional entanglements. In the new generation series (post 2005) the Doctor is generally pictured with a primary female companion with some various degrees of emotional attachment, from strong and intense emotional closeness such as with Rose to a buddy role with Donna.

The First Doctor

In the first series the Doctor had a range of male and female companions, of varying significance. Susan Foreman was the first companion of the Doctor and she stayed on Earth after the Dalek Invasion in the 22nd century. It is suggested she is a Gallifreyan as well as the doctor's granddaughter. Other characters which play a supporting role include Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright.

As the story develops and the doctor parts from Susan, he invites Vicki, who has survived a

Susan Foreman

spaceship crash on planet Dido to join Ian and Barbara on the TARDIS. In The Chase Steven appears when he is found on the planet Mechanus. He stays with the crew through The Daleks' Master Plan to Steven's journey eventually ends during the The Savages, when he decides to lead the society of Savages and Elders that is attempting to create a lasting peace.

Katrina joins during The Myth Makers where she is a handmaiden of the prophetess Cassandra. She dies during The Daleks' Master Plan.

Sara Kingdom is a security officer for Mavic Chen from the 41st century, she joins the Doctor to work against Chen's interests. She appeared in parts four to twelve of the twelve-part 1965 serial, The Daleks Master Plan.

Polly and Ben are both assistants to the doctor, Polly actually appears as an assistant to the First and Second Doctors as does Ben. In the end they decide to resume their lives as the Doctor continues his travels.


A young Sarah Jane Smith with K-9

Dodo enters at the end of The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve. Dodo somehow walks into the TARDIS thinking it was a real police box. She travels into the future with the doctor but in the end decides to remain in the 20th century.

The Second Doctor

Polly continues on with the second Doctor as does Ben. Jamie is described as a piper of the clan McLaren from the 18th Century and travelled with the second doctor appearing in episodes from 1966-1969. Victoria first appears in The Evil of the Daleks, however, in the end finds she is unsuited to the Doctors way of life. At the end of Fury from the Deep she settles with a family named Harris in the 20th century. Zoe is a young astrophysicist who originally lived on a space wheel in the 21st century, she appeared in episodes from 1968 to 1969. In the end of the series the Time Lords force regeneration on the doctor, wiping Jamie and Zoe's memories and returning them to their own time.

nally young and inexperienced so goes on many adventures with the doctor and develops her own unique role in the series. In The Green Death she falls in love with Professor Clifford Jones a young greenie. She ends up marrying him and going off to study vegetation in the Amazon.

Sarah Jane Smith is one of the more significant companions of the Doctor. She also appeared in Doctor Who spin off series K-9 and The Sarah Jane Adventures.

She was originally a journalist and was a companion to the Third and Fourth Doctors from 1973-1976. She returned in the Fifth Doctor story The Five Doctors (1983), the 30thanniversary story Dimensions In Time (1993). A rather nice touch is that she also returned in the new series of Doctor Who, playing a role in such episodes as School Reunion (2006), The Stolen Earth, Journey's End (2008) and The End of 77me (2010).

The Third Doctor

Liz Shaw was a member of United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, an international organisation that defends the Earth from alien threats. She first appears in Spearhead from Space and was the companion of the Doctor for the 1970 season. In The Sarah Jane Adventures story, Deaf/7 of the Doctor we are told that Liz Shaw is now working on a base on the moon.

Jo Grant appears in Terror of the Autons (1971), having been assigned to the Doctor as a replacement for Liz Shaw by U.N.I.T. While origi


Fourth Doctor

Sarah Jane continues with the Fourth Doctor and one of his most unusual companions becomes a major figure, K-9 a small robotic dog. Other companions include Harry Sullivan, a rather staid English character who plays a medical officer and Leela, who was a violent if unrestrained character who learns from the Doctor how to train her emotions and feelings. Leela was originally a warrior of the savage Sevateem tribe, who were the descendants of the crew of The Mordee Expedition that crash-landed on an unnamed planet in the far future.

Romana is a female timelord, otherwise known as a timelady. She is able to regenerate and hence appeared in two rather different roles. Romana I was played by Mary Tamm from 1978 to 1979. Romana II was played by Lalla Ward from 1979 to 1981.

Adric is from the planet Alzarius, which exists in the parallel universe of E-Space. He was the of companion of the Fourth and Fifth Doctors and appeared in episodes from 1980 to 1982. Adric dies in Earthshock when he tries to stop a superfreighter controlled by the Cybermen crashing into the Earth. Nyssa first appeared in The Keeper of Traken and joins the Doctor on his travels. She appeared in episodes throughout 1981 to 1983. She also continued as a companion to the fifth Doctor.

Tegan was a companion to the Fourth and Fifth Doctors and appeared in episodes from 1981 to 1984. Surprisingly while not as well remembered as Sarah Jane, she was actually the longest companion in terms of continuous years on the series (3 years and 1 month). Tegan is an interesting companion as while she enjoys her adventures with the Doctor they clearly take a terrible emotional toll on her. In the end she after being possessed by an ancient intelligence and facing off against the Daleks she decides this is not the life for her.

The Fifth Doctor

Adric, Nyssa and Tegan continue as companions to the fifth Doctor. Vislor Turlough is an unusual companion in that he has been charged with assassinating the Doctor by The Black Guardian. He continues to vacillate as to whether undertake this duty and the ambiguity of his role made him a very interesting companion. Kamelion is a shape-changing android and appears in episodes between 1983 and 1984. Peri is a companion of the Fifth and Sixth Doctors and appears in episodes from 1984 to 1986.

During the time of the Fifth Doctor much controversy developed over both Vislor as the would- be assassin companion and Peri who seemed to spend most of her time in skimpy outfits.

The Sixth Doctor

Peri continued with the Sixth Doctor with Mel, who is the Companion to the Sixth and Seventh Doctor. Mel is a computer programmer from 20th century earth, she first appears in Terror of the Vervoids, part of the 14-part story The Trial of a Time Lord. In Dragonfire, she decides to travel on the Nosfaratu II leaving the Seventh Doctor to travel on with his new companion, Ace.

The Seventh Doctor

Mel continues with the Seventh Doctor and when she leaves, the Doctor continues on with Ace. Ace comes from 20th-century Earth and appears in episodes from 1987 to 1989. She is a troubled teen who has a difficult life. Since the series essentially ended in 1989 until its revival we do not know how or why she left the Doctor.

The Eighth Doctor

The companion to the Eighth doctor was a cardiologist from San Francisco. She assisted the Doctor against The Master. Since this was for the television movie she doesn't appear again the series. There was also controversy about her role in the film since the doctor actually kisses her breaking the long taboo against the Doctor having emotional entanglements.

The Ninth Doctor

The Ninth Doctor played by Christopher Eccleston marks the beginning of a very new take on Doctor Who. His primary companion is Rose Tyler and she continues through further series. She is down-to-earth, funny and enthusiastic. Support roles are played by her mother, Micky her boyfriend and Captain Jack Harnass. Captain Jack is a radical departure from what has gone before. He is a trickster, openly bi-sexual and flirts with everyone including the Doctor. He plays a significant role throughout the new series and is central to the Torchwood spin-off series.

The Tenth Doctor

Since the Tenth Doctor went over various series we have a transition from Rose to a new companion. There was Donna Noble, one of the stranger choices for a companion. She was played by Catherine Tate, an English comedian with a dry sense of humour. With Donna there was no love interest more of a buddy companion role. Martha Jones was a significant companion to the doctor. She was a medical student on earth and becomes a strong willed and intelligent companion. Later she plays a role in Torchwood. Astrid Peth appears in one episode played by Kylie Minogue, it really was nothing more than a celebrity cameo and fans were pleased when she died at the end of the episode. Captain Jack continues to appear throughout the series and there is even a reappearance of old companion Sarah Jane Smith. Various other supporting characters appear as minor companions in the various specials.

The Eleventh Doctor

The Eleventh Doctor is accompanied by Amy Pond and her boyfriend Rory.

Captain Jack Harkness

Captain Jack is one of the more unusual characters in Doctor Who. While the Doctor is immortal since he is a Timelord, Captain Jack is reluctantly immortal. He slowly ages but cannot be killed. Indeed it is revealed later in the series that over millions of years he aged slowly to become The Face of Boe.

The Doctor is portrayed in various ways in the new series, from a warrior (Christopher Eccleston) to a wounded humanitarian (David Tennant). He always resists violence and refuses to use a weapon. In juxtaposition Captain Jack has a questionable past as a con man and is willing to use whatever means to get the job done. At the end of Children of the Earth (a Torchwood series) Jack faces the loss of the man he loves and realizes that in the war he has fought he has lots his humanity. A unique aspect of Captain Jack's personality is that he is openly bi-sexual. While the Doctor loves his companions he holds back as he has lived to see too many of his companions get old and die as he stays young. While Captain Jack simply enjoys the opportunities that sexual flexibility offers.

Sexuality and Doctor Who

The new series of Doctor Who has a very different approach to sexuality and relationships than the earlier series. The Doctor is seen as emotionally vulnerable and clearly attached to his companions. He is especially hurt by having to leave Rose and works to keep a controlled distance from other companions. In comparison Captain Jack is not just bi-sexual but pansexual, he has relationships with all sorts of other species. In Season 1, Episode 9/10 The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances Captain Jack makes his first appearance and his sexuality becomes immediately obvious. The Doctor explains this by saying that in the future mankind has moved into space and learned to dance with many species, ("dance" being an in-joke between the Doctor and Jack meaning Love), he ends his discussion by saying "there are so many species and so little time".

This approach to sexuality is continued throughout the series, while the Doctor's sexuality is not directly discussed when Captain Jack kisses him on the lips he shows no sign of rejection. In Torchwood the sexual ambiguity continues with Jack having relationships with both Gwen and Ianto.

Adversaries of the Doctor

Doctor Who has had many enemies throughout its long history, just some include the Autons, the Sontarans, the Cybermen, the Silurians, Sea Devils, the Ice Warriors, the Yeti, the Rani, the Daleks, the Slitheen, Ood, Judoon, the Master, the Time Lords and Weeping Angels.

The Autons first appeared in Spearhead from Space (1970). They were life-sized plastic dummies, animated by the Nestene Consciousness. The Nestene was an extraterrestrial intelligence which first arrived on Earth in hollow plastic meteorites.

The Sontarans are a race of humanoids with a stocky build, greenish brown skin, and a distinctive dome-shaped head. They reproduce by cloning. They first appeared in The Time Warrior (1973).

The Silurians first appear in The Sea Devils (1972). They are a different evolutionary stream which evolved on planet earth. They are reptilian and decided to go into hibernation in a large underground complex to survive the upheaval which would be caused when the earth captured the moon. They were brought back quite successfully in the new series in episodes The Hungry Earth and Cold Blood.

The Sea Devils were cousins of the Silurians introduced in The Sea Devils (1972).

The Ice Warriors were introduced in The Ice Warriors (1967) and were a race of reptilian-like humanoids who originated on Mars.

The Yeti first appeared in episodes The Abominable Snowmen (1967) and The Web of Fear (1968). While it looks like a big hairy creature, it is actually a robot controlled by an intelligence from another dimension.

The Rani appeared in The Mark of the Rani and Time and the Rani (1989). She was essentially the female equivalent of The Master, an evil timelord. It is rumored that River Song in the new series may be her new incarnation. Her history is that she was banished from Gallifrey as she liked to manipulate the biochemistry of other species and when this got out of control her lab mouse grew to a huge size and ate the presidents cat !

The Slitheen appeared in the new series episodes Aliens of London and World War Three (2005). Of the new series creatures, they were not the best in presentation. They are creatures of living calcium, hatched from eggs and native to the planet Raxacoricofallapatorius. They use a special device to fit into human skin but it has the awful side effect of making them fart all the time.

The Ood appear in The Impossible Planet (2006) episode and various times after. They are actually a peaceful species who live to serve. They are humanoid in appearance with coleoid tentacles on the lower portions of their faces. They require a translator device, a small sphere connected to their "mouths" by a tube, to facilitate speech between them and humans. They only became enemies of the Doctor when they were used by The Beast.

Judoon first appear in the episode Smith and Jones (2007). They are essentially grunts, fairly unintelligent space police. They are humanoid, with rhinoceros-like heads and only four digits on each hand: they wear black, bulky armor.

The Weeping Angels appear in the Tenth Doctor episode, Blink (2007) and the Eleventh Doctor episodes, The Time of Angels and Flesh and Stone (2010). They are space hunters, they seem to be made of stone but slowly they creep up on you. If you look directly at them you are turned to stone. According to the Doctor, the Weeping Angels "are as old as the universe (or very nearly), but no one really knows where they come from".

There are many minor adversaries of the doctor but they are a good selection. The most famous figures are The Cybermen, The Daleks and The Master.


The Cybermen are a race of cyborgs who return to fight the doctor again and again. Their origins began as a species on Earth's twin planet Mondas. To live longer and achieve greater strength they began to supplement their bodies with artificial parts and then replace organs with superior metallic structures.

Soon they became a master race convinced that only by removing all humanity and becoming metal men could the universe be conquered. They purge their minds of all emotion and become living machines.


The Daleks are the best known of Doctor Who's adversaries. They first appeared in 1963 and have proved immensely popular in every episode in which they feature. They are small alien mutants who live inside mechanical amour shells, they originate on the planet Skaro. They work as a collective and want to exterminate all beings inferior to themselves. They are marked by a loud metallic rasping voice which cries" exterminate".

Originally designed to be an allegory for the Nazis they were updated in the new series and make various appearances. Related to the Daleks is Davros.

He originally created the Daleks and regularly returns as the ultimate villain behind the Dalek onslaught.

The Master

The Master is an intriguing character who is both the Doctors enemy yet also a link to his childhood on Gallifrey. The first actor to play The Master was Roger Delgado, who continued in the role until 1973. The Master was then played by Peter Pratt and Geoffrey Beevers until Anthony Ainley took over and continued to play the character until Doctor Who's hiatus in 1989.

In the new series of Doctor Who The Master has taken on a different focus. In the new series there are no other timelords or timeladys (though River Song may change this in later series), so The Master is the Doctors only remaining link to his old life. In many ways he is like the Doctor's brother yet one who is dangerous and out of control.

The Doctor sees, however, that the Time Lords have actually driven The Master mad by implanting a sound in his mind through which they could reach into the future and escape their death in the timewar. Accordingly the Doctor shows compassion to The Master and tries to save him over and over again. This new approach to The Master adds a great depth to his character and John Simm does a great job creating a complex figure which is both tragic and dangerous.

The Time Lords

The Time Lords are depicted as the Doctors enemies due to the genocide they caused in the Timewar. When they use The Master to return he must work out a way to defeat them since they aim to destroy all time and ascend to a state where they can exist as mind beings alone.

Reflections on the Revival of Doctor Who (2005 Onwards)

Series 1 (2005)

The new series of Doctor Who was an immense gamble, while science fiction is always popular trying to revamp a series after a 16 year hiatus is quite a task. Russell T Davis, while a great director, was known for his controversial programs (such as Queer as Folk) and how his perspective would work on a much loved science fiction series was hotly debated. However it worked. Christopher Eccleston was an excellent Doctor, somewhat of a warrior, aggressive and dominant. He regular called humans stupid and apes and this certainly endeared him to me !!

The first episodes were somewhat uneven as the series tried to find its feet. Episodes such as Aliens of London and World War Three were marked with pretty B grade special effects. The farting Slitheen were not especially memorable. By the time we reached episode 1.6 there was a noticeable improvement in both plot and special effects and the return of The Daleks couldn't have happened at a better time.

The conclusion of this series is intriguing. The doctor seems to be willing to become as vicious as the enemy to save the universe but does a doubletake when the enormity of the genocide he must commit is brought home to him. Rose becomes a temporary time lord and saves the day but since the doctor must absorb the energy of the Tardis to save her it triggers his regeneration. It would have been interesting to see Eccleston develop more as the doctor as he had a much sharper edge and was more "warrior like" that later doctors in the new series.

Starting with Father's Day a far better character developed begins to occur and this really drives the plot. There is also the exploration of darker themes and something unusual for science fiction intelligent emotional content. In Father's Day there is a good exploration of the pain of loss when you lose someone you love and our desire to change the past. The Empty child and the Doctor Dances brings the series into far darker territory and introduces the enigmatic character of Captain Jack.

Series 2 (2006)

David Tennant is now the doctor and matches a suave presentation with a much more wounded soul. He is not as much as a warrior as Eccleston but still fulfils his task well. He comes across as a metrosexual sophisticate and this has its benefits and drawbacks.

My major gripe about Tennant is that the series presents him as some sort of "superman". He can solve every problem. In the first series Eccleston seemed able to fail, while Tennant is some sort of superhero figure and this, at times, takes away from the credibility of the series.

Series 2 includes some excellent episodes including an unusual time travel episode focused on Madame de Pompadour (the mistress of King Louis XV) in the 1700s. The return of the Cyberman is a marvelous sight, while the strangeness of "Satan in space" in episode 2.9 is also memorable, if not for the quirky plot.

At the same time some of the stories in this series such as Love and Monsters and Fear Her were pretty dismal. However, the way in which the Cybermen are again resurrected with Army of Ghosts and Doomsday to create a global war between Cyberman, Daleks and man makes an excellent conclusion to the series which includes an emotional farewell to Rose.

Series 3 (2007)

Martha Jones becomes the Doctor's new companion but he is still dealing with the loss of Rose. The wounded lonely doctor, at times even bitter and angry, is an important motif throughout this series.

Episodes 3.4 and 3.5 proved very popular with a new Dalek theme. This time the Cult of Skaro are working on experiments to merge the Dalek and Human races so that the Dalek race can once again rise.

Episodes 3.8 and 3.9 Human Nature and The Family of Blood are one of the stranger double episodes. To escape the Family of Blood the Doctor imprisons himself on earth wiping his memory. He lives a human life haunted by strange dreams and visions until he awakens and works out who he really is. A fascinating tale which looks at the doctors desire to be "normal" and yet understanding he cannot. It is a great depiction of the Doctor as the immortal outsider, always helping others yet always alone.

The final three episodes are considered the best of all the series. They focus on the battle between the Master and the Doctor. The plot is complex for the doctor, on some level, understands the genesis of the Master having grown up with him on Galefrey. In many ways he loves the Master as a brother yet knows The Master is

dangerous and disturbed. These three episodes offer many revelations including the fact that Jack is the Face of Boe. Martha also takes her leave of the Doctor, opting for family and a medical degree. The Tardis flies away but the Titanic smashes into its control room !

This led into the Christmas episode Voyage of the Damned that featured as a one off Aussie pop singer Kylie Minogue. The episode was interesting but the celebrity nature of Minogue took away from the plot and many viewers applauded when she plummeted to her death !

Series 4 (2008)

Series 4 features Donna Noble, played by Catherine Tate, an English comedian as the Doctor's companion. Her role in Doctor Who is debated among fans. While she has a devoted fan base for her comedy, her cynical tone and constant attempts at humour grated many and more than any other companion she seemed to wear out her role before the series ended.

A number of the episodes in series 4 have historical themes including The Unicorn and the Wasp which has an Agatha Christie plot and The Fires of Pompeii which is set in Pompeii.

One of the stranger episodes is Partners in Crime which feature the rather loveable fat babies, the Adipose, small white alien babies made from human fat !

There are lots of good themes in these episodes including an exploration of cloning in The Doctor's Daughter and the Cyberman and Daleks return at the conclusion of the series in Journeys End.

Season 5 (2010)

Season 5 stars Matt Smith is now the new doctor. He is a lot younger than any of the doctors and the focus of the show does seem to be on a younger, if not teen, audience. It is hard to evaluate Matt Smith as the series is still young. In this first season many of the episodes are excellent but they do seem to lack some of the bite of earlier series. However it may be that he simply has to grow into the role.

Season 5, Episode 3: Victory of the Daleks is an impressive new take on the Daleks placing them in World War II and given them a multi colour makeover. There is a re-occurring theme about a crack in time which gives the season an overarching plot not found in the other series. This is a new development and does give it a bit more depth. Series 1 did include an overarching motif about Bad Wolf but the crack in time was the most evolved overarching plot to date.

Episode 12 and 13 The Pandorica Opens and The Big Bang is impressive with all the doctors' enemies ganging up to lock him in the Pandorica. Now it is up to Amy and Rory to save the doctor and the world.

We are now up to Season 6 and it will be interesting to see what develops next.

REVIEWS Doctor Who Tardis Consoles

The very first console used by the Doctor.

Davidson's console

The Pertwee Console

Sylvester McCoy's Console

Tom Baker's rather steampunk Tardis control room. It didn't last long as it was made of wood and hence went mouldy in storage ! It has controls hidden behind panels and was a very cool looking console !

McGann Television Movie Console, part steampunk part H.G. Wells Time Machine

Better view of the McGann Console The Modern Tardis Console Different Views

Tardis Close/Wardrobe

Feature The Tom Baker Years

David Kennedy

Thomas Baker was born in January 1934 in Liverpool, England. He was the fourth actor to play the Doctor in the BBC Sci-Fi series Doctor Who. Baker left school at the age of 15 to study to become a Roman Catholic monk but fortunately for us he then lost his faith (more commonly known today as "he woke up to himself"). He then joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and served for a period of two years. Prior to Tom taking the reins of the T.A.R.D.I.S he had worked in many roles with a local theatre company.

Early in 1974 Jon Pertwee's Doctor fell at the hands of some psychically evil spiders in Episode 74 - Planet of the Spiders. As a Time Lord the Doctor has the uncanny ability to rise from the dead that is meant to be that he is able to regenerate his body into a new shell. In doing so the Doctor's personality is also changed, and as such the more flamboyant Tom Baker makes his debut as the 4th Doctor

Tom's role as the 4th Doctor marks a major turning point in the overall history of Doctor Who series to that date. The BBC moved away from the authoritarian schoolmaster stereotype to a character that now portrayed a dashing adventurous personality. Tom Baker's Doctor was fun, eccentric and yet just as technically competent and certainly more socially competent. The BBC realised that Doctor Who was no longer the educational show with a science fiction background that they had envisioned, but had developed a cult following with the British and Australian populace who demanded that BBC now promote the series as credible science fiction in its own right.

Previous Doctors had a rather boring image while the BBC still regarded Doctor Who as a kids' show. John Pertwee was introduced to soften the character a little and they made him human by adding a little drama rather than slapstick. Pertwee played the part in a lighter vein but still had an air of seriousness and authority when needed. It was a good mix of drama and light-hearted scifi but still his Doctor was a little aristocratic.

With Tom Baker the seriousness was played down even more.

This made Baker one of the most popular Doctors in the early history of the show. He played the part from 1974 to 1981 (Season 18). He had originally received his training in the Laurence Olivier National Theatre Company. While this gave him great acting skills it hardly seems to be preparation for the role of the Doctor.

He played the Doctor as slightly eccentric, with an ever-ready bag of Jelly Babies. His Doctor was charismatic, tall and flippant, traits that Baker himself developed in the Doctor as he settled in to the part. That character didn't change much during Baker's seven years so he must have had a clear vision of what the Doctor should be. The audiences liked the character too. Baker became one of the most popular Doctors and the show occasionally drew audiences of 12 million viewers. From 1978 Douglas Adams, well known comedy SF writer, became the Script Editor. His skills undoubtedly helped Baker continue to improve the character.

The long scarf wasn't planned as part of the Doctor's look - it was loaned to Baker by a stage hand on a cold day. Everyone liked it - it only made him look a little more eccentric - so the scarf stayed. That's one story. The other has the costume designer's wife being supplied with too much wool. She just kept on knitting until she ran out.

The BBC also took the opportunity to revamp the Tardis as well. Baker's Tardis was quite good, with its simplistic mechanical key to open the door.

In the time he was in the series Baker had a lot of companions. The popular and competent Sarah Jane Smith from Season 1 1 was one of the best. The robot dog K9 Mk1 and Mk2 (built by Professor Marius) also appeared but wasn't as popular as hoped. Romana came before that, and Tegan. Many of the episodes became classics and are among my favourites, especially Key to Time, Seeds of Time, and Genesis of the Daleks.

The role of UNIT and its commanding officer Brigadier Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart was continued and strengthened during Baker's period. UNIT, originally the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, was designed to combat extraterrestrial and paranormal threats to earth. It first appeared in the second Doctor episode The Web of Fear. Various Doctors worked with UNIT over the years before it dropped into obscurity. It was last seen in the 1976 Tom Baker episode The Seeds of Doom, but has been revived again in the new series. In 2005, quoting UN dissatisfaction with the use of their initials, Russell T, Davies arranged to change the name. In 2008 in the episode The Sontaran Stratagem UNIT reappeared as the Unified Intelligence Taskforce, a neat compromise.

Tom Baker was replaced for Series 19 in 1982 by Peter Davison. It was a bad choice as Davison took the lightheartedness to an extreme and trivialised the Doctor's role. He just wasn't up to the same standard as the Doctor that Tom Baker had potrayed.

If you think you have heard Baker's voice on the TV recently, you are probably right. He did the narrator's voiceover for the British comedy Little Britain. Following his Doctor Who appearances his voiceover work has flourished. He is regarded as the fourth most recognisable voice in Britain after the Queen, Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher.

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