The Doctor, from a race called the Time Lords whose home planet is Gallifrey, travels through time and space in his ship the TARDIS (an acronym for Time and Relative Dimensions In Space) with numerous companions. From time to time he regenerates into a new form (which is how the show has been running since 1963).
For the first series, producers were fearful of alienating new audiences with references to the original show, such as names and events, so such things were kept to a very bare minimum until audiences adjusted to the mythology. Even the first journey to another planet beyond Earth didn't take place until series two, which is unusual considering the universe-trotting nature of the original series. See more »
During the first season, Christopher Eccleston is credited as "Doctor Who", as set in the Classic Series. Beginning with the second season - reportedly at the behest of the show's new star, David Tennant - the credit has been changed to read "The Doctor". See more »
Blew the mind of an uninitiated, long time sci-fi lover
For as long as I can remember, I've heard about the good Doctor, references, inside jokes and the like. Such as "Real Daleks don't climb stairs, they flatten the building".
The quandary was this: Where do I begin, with thousands of episodes aired? I was afraid of getting myself into something deep, dense, voluminous and possibly repetitive, impossible to get back out of.
The very simple yet belated answer was, of course, by accident.
On one of those sleepless nights, flipping channels, I saw astronauts in a Victorian library, and was immediately intrigued by the weird homage to Kubrick. Before the commercial break, I was treated to electronic ghosts and invisible floating piranhas.
Then this absolute beauty comes up, I paraphrase - "You've been living in a computer simulation, your physical body is elsewhere" - "But I've been dieting"
Bleak, subtle and sophisticated humor? Check, and count me in.
As it turned out, I had stumbled into the middle of a Sy-Fy Channel short marathon of Doctor Who. I resisted going to sleep until the damn thing ended five or six episodes later, at ten in the morning.
What wildly imaginative premises, what a high-quality level of writing, what a gem this is! There is serious brain-power at work here, courtesy of the BBC yet again, on a continuing heroic mission to sacrifice short-term profit for long-term legacy. As evidence, I present "Monty Python's Flying Circus", "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy", "The Singing Detective", "Brideshead Revisited".
From what little I've seen in half of a short marathon, Doctor Who deserves a ten out of ten.
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