An eclectic website about Women, Christianity,
History, Culture and the Arts--
and anything else that comes to mind.
Dr. Who is a time lord from the Planet Gallifrey. He wanders
through time and space in a time machine or TARDIS (Time and
Relative Dimension in Space) disguised as a blue police call box that
is notable for being much larger inside than it is outside. I recall
episodes in which people were chased from room to room for an
amazingly long time.
Dr. Who began broadcasting on the BBC the day after President
John Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in 1963, so this year is its
50th anniversary, just as it is the 50th anniversary of my husband
Frank's and my wedding.
Though Dr. Who's first showing in the U.S. in 1972, was
unsuccessful, Tom Baker's first four series appeared on PBS in
1978, and became a cult classic. That's when I met Dr. Who, when
Frank and I got our first TV set. I still watch a later embodiment of
the doctor today and have recently enjoyed a series of specials on
each of the doctors.
To maintain such a long-running program, the producers came up
with a brilliant ploy. Each time lord is regenerated in a new body, so
we're now at something like the 11th doctor. That allows for variety
within the context of the same basic character. It allows for a change
of actors without the break in continuity that usually involves. And it
allows each doctor to put his own distinctive stamp on the series.
As the series grew older, the doctors grew younger, from the first
doctor, 54-year-old William Hartnell, to the 11th doctor,
27-year-old Matt Smith. Over the years, the special effects have
improved, while the series has maintained its imaginative plots and
excellent writing (Neil Gaiman has written several recent episodes).
My doctor--that is, the first one I watched, the one who set his image
in my mind--was the 4th doctor, Tom Baker (1974-81), with his
frizzy hair and impossibly long scarf. I remember one scene where he
disappeared into a cave, and we watched as the scarf slowly
followed, like a big, striped snake.
Following a 16-year hiatus, the series was revived by Executive
Producer Russell T Davies in 2005.
The doctor looks like a human being, but he has two hearts (a fact
that causes all sorts of trouble when he's hospitalized), and he speaks
every language in the universe--including horse (see final article in this
website). His toolkit contains only one very versatile tool--the sonic
Additional articles in this website include the Companions, the
Villains, and the Morality of Dr. Who.
I hope you'll write me your reactions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|The TARDIS surrounded by the first 10 doctors.
The inside of the TARDIS.