When an old enemy, the Cylons, resurface and obliterate the 12 colonies, the crew of the aged Galactica protects a small civilian fleet - the last of humanity - as they journey toward the fabled 13th colony of Earth.
Edward James Olmos,
Five hundred years in the future, a renegade crew aboard a small spacecraft tries to survive as they travel the unknown parts of the galaxy and evade warring factions as well as authority agents out to get them.
The Doctor is a renegade Time Lord: an eccentric, highly-intelligent scientist from a distant planet. He travels through time and space in the TARDIS, a curious device, larger on the inside than on the outside, which was designed to change its appearance to suit its surroundings. Unfortunately, the Doctor's TARDIS seems to be broken, and always appears as a blue British police box. The Doctor has a soft spot for the planet Earth, and often visits there, either to save it from various alien threats or to whisk a choice few inhabitants away to the distant parts of the galaxy to help him fight evil there. The Doctor has many foes, including Daleks (led by Davros), and The Master, another renegade Time Lord. Time Lord biology enables them to regenerate their bodies, and so both the Doctor and the Master appear to evolve over the years... Written by
Murray Chapman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Dr. Who featured a cast of characters who from the first stories in the 60's seemed to me to be playing their roles more in the way that one might expect actors in a stage drama. While in many television programs character dialogue plays less of a part than action in a scene, in Dr. Who an entire episode might be carried out with almost no props and pretty much the same background throughout - and it would be really interesting.
The idea of Dr. Who is blinding in it's simplicity. Simply put, the Dr. and his companions can go anywhere and at any time - allowing them to go through any conceivable adventure. No other series I know of has come close to this type of theme.
Another major element is that Dr. Who is remarkably good as a horror series. Especially in such stories as The Dead Planet, the long winding and empty hallways with many doors that unexpectedly shut on you from behind create an eerie atmosphere most horror screenwriters would have a hard time reproducing. While not all the cliffhangers are earth-shattering, some are particularly chilling.
I would recommend that Dr. Who be watched from the first episode (An Unearthly Child) to the last in chronological order, as I have done. Since this is a series with continuation, any deviation from the natural order may mean you'll see an episode where a reference is made to something you haven't seen.
Dr. Who undoubtedly made the acting careers of much of its cast. In some cases, though, it seems to have pushed the actors away from acting. In the case of Carol Ann Ford, who plays a phenomenal performance in the first Dr., the mediocre scripts seem to have caused her to leave acting for nearly 20 years after she quit.
Any Trekkies will be amazed to see that Dr. Who featured many of the same stories and aliens long before they appeared on Star Trek. In particular the Borg, who in Dr. Who, 30 years previously, are known as the Cybermen.
Regrettably many of the finest stories of Dr. Who (such as Marco Polo) were destroyed during a short-sighted BBC archive purge in the 70's. This should not dissuade you all from getting hold of the excellent reconstructions made from soundtracks and stills.
In order to really enjoy the early Dr. Who you need to be able to appreciate black and white films and series in general, but if you can - there's scant better acting or plot to be found anywhere.
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