Doctor Who (1963–1989)

TV Series  |  TV-PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Family
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Time and Space traveling adventures of a Gallifreyan Time Lord only known as the Doctor and his companions, traveling through time and space.

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Title: Doctor Who (1963–1989)

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1989   1988   1987   1986   1985   1984   … See all »
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Doctor Who / ... (178 episodes, 1974-1984)
...
 Dr. Who / ... (143 episodes, 1963-1984)
...
 Doctor Who / ... (132 episodes, 1970-1984)
...
 Dr. Who / ... (131 episodes, 1966-1985)
Frazer Hines ...
 Jamie McCrimmon / ... (117 episodes, 1966-1985)
...
 Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart / ... (109 episodes, 1965-1989)
Pat Gorman ...
 Guard / ... (90 episodes, 1964-1985)
...
 Sarah Jane Smith (83 episodes, 1973-1984)
Jacqueline Hill ...
 Barbara Wright / ... (80 episodes, 1963-1980)
...
 Jo Grant (78 episodes, 1971-1984)
William Russell ...
 Ian Chesterton (77 episodes, 1963-1965)
John Scott Martin ...
 Dalek / ... (76 episodes, 1965-1988)
...
 Sergeant Benton / ... (74 episodes, 1967-1983)
Edit

Storyline

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 <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 September 1975 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dr. Who  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

£4,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(15 episodes) | (679 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(1963-1987)| (1988-1989)

Color:

(1963-1969)| (1970-1989)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tom Baker left the series in 1981 after seven years, because he felt he had done all he could with the part and it was time to move on. Furthermore, he strongly disliked the changes producer John Nathan-Turner made during his final year. Baker claimed that he half-jokingly said he wanted to leave and was half-surprised when the response was, "Okay, when do you want to go?" See more »

Goofs

When the TARDIS doors open from the inside, its outside shows the circle decorations, but it should show the Police Public Call Box doors. See more »

Quotes

The Doctor: To the rational mind, nothing is inexplicable; only unexplained.
See more »

Crazy Credits

While several episodes made use of teaser sequences before the opening credits (though only a handful in the show's 26-year history), the 1970 7-part story "The Ambassadors of Death" was unique in that it was an experiment in changing the format of the opening credits that was not repeated. At the start of each chapter, the credits would begin as usual but end right after the title "Doctor Who" appeared (before the episode and writer titles appeared). A brief teaser then followed, followed by the remainder of the opening sequence, as usual. Another story from the same season, "Inferno", also altered the format of the opening credits slightly by showing the episode and writer titles over footage of bubbling lava. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rediscovering 'The Urge to Live' (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Incidental Music (1989)
Written by Eden Akhavi
Performed by Eden Akhavi
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
a lifetime's worth of entertainment...
10 May 2002 | by (Brooklyn, NY) – See all my reviews

Doctor Who ran for 26 years, and its last episode was as fresh and imaginative as its first.

The show chronicles the adventures of a time-and-space traveling alien who wanders the universe battling evil conquerors, ruthless corporations, and other exploiters of the innocent and oppressed. Every few weeks, the Doctor would travel to a different planet or time, allowing the show's cast, setting, and tone to constantly change. Even the Doctor himself was periodically replaced by a new actor, "regenerating" his body whenever he was on the verge of death. This format gave the show an amazing freshness and allowed it to last for over a quarter of a century without becoming stale.

Since the show's cancellation, Doctor Who has been sustained by hundreds of books and radio shows. Although the concept is beginning to seem a bit old now, great "Who" stories are still coming out all the time.

Television remains the ultimate format for Doctor Who, however, and the series has something to offer for just about everyone. The early episodes, starring William Hartnell, were mysterious and realistic in tone, and are terribly underrated by the show's fans. Tom Baker, the most popular Doctor internationally, had a succession of wild and colorful adventures that are more entertaining and a lot funnier than most of the sitcoms on TV today. In its dying days, when Sylvester McCoy was in the lead role, Doctor Who became highly allegorical and politically charged.

Every Doctor's era has some merit, though some are obviously more inspired than others. In the early 70s and early 80s in particular, the show suffered from some poor production values and repetitive plots, but even the bad episodes are fun to watch and often redeemed by some strength – good performances, an interesting plot twist, etc.

Lovers of modern, flashy science fiction will probably laugh Doctor Who off the screen because of its modest special effects, but nevertheless it remains one of the most visually inventive TV shows ever made. Episodes like Tomb of the Cybermen and Remembrance of the Daleks contain unforgettable images that stack up to anything Hollywood produced on a 100x bigger budget. If you want to pick the show's visuals apart, you can, but you'll be doing yourself a disservice if you don't suspend your disbelief and allow yourself to be drawn into the Doctor's universe.

I may be in the minority, but I enjoyed the 1996 TV Movie that attempted to resurrect Doctor Who years after its cancellation. I don't buy the argument that Doctor Who couldn't survive in today's big-budget entertainment arena. The intelligence of the X-Men and Spider-Man movies has convinced me that a slick, cerebral version of Doctor Who could be produced today that would be faithful to the not-so-slick, cerebral original. But regardless of whether Doctor Who returns or not, it remains one of the great TV shows of all time. It still wins awards even today, and enjoys widespread popular and critical acclaim. Even Doctor Who's detractors only serve to prove that the show is famous enough to draw criticism!

In short, Doctor Who is smart, fun, and endlessly creative. It has kept me entertained for over fifteen years, and my enthusiasm for it has barely waned. Science fiction is in a dumb rut right now, so you could do a lot worse than look back at this show, one of the genre's crowning achievements.


81 of 91 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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