Doctor Who (also abbreviated to Dr. Who) is the title of a long-running BBC TV science fiction serial, first broadcast in November 1963. The weekly episodes recount the adventures of the principal character, a 'Time Lord' who is nameless although is often referred to as 'The Doctor', as he travels both through space and time in his TARDIS (the original series run was subtitled 'An adventure in space and time').

The TV series has had two main production runs. the first or 'classic' series ran from 1963 to 1989, the second began with a revival in 2005 and continues to run (as of November 2018). A TV movie featuring the character (co-produced by the BBC) was also made in 1996, although did not result in a full revival.


The Doctor's time and space machine is known as the TARDIS, an acronym for Time and Relative Dimensions in Space. The TARDIS has the characteristic of firstly taking the semblance of a 1960s police telephone box (originally intended to 'camouflage' it in 1960s London) and is also much larger on the inside than it is on the outside. This second characteristic habitually confounds the Doctor's companions and other characters who are invited in.


Although The Doctor's adventures take him to a number of planets and galaxies at various points in time, they also often involve Earth and its inhabitants and throughout the series he usually travels with one or more human companions. Some famous companions include:


  • Daleks
  • Cybermen
  • The Master


The Doctor periodically undergoes a 'regeneration' process in which his human form is transformed. Although his character and appearance change, he usually retains his memory and certain character traits. This transformation was devised in order for the series to change the actor playing the role. (see also [1]

Actor First full episode [1] date Final episode [2] date
1 William Hartnell An Unearthly Child 23 November 1963 The Tenth Planet (pt.4) 29 October 1966
2 Patrick Troughton The Power of The Daleks 05 November 1966 The War Games (10/10) 21 June 1969
3 Jon Pertwee Spearhead from Space (1/4) 03 January 1970 Planet of the Spiders (1/6) 08 June 1974
4 Tom Baker Robot (1/4) 28 December 1974 Logopolis (1/4) 21 March 1981
5 Peter Davison Castrovalva (1/4) 04 January 1982 The Caves of Androzani (4/4) 16 March 1984
6 Colin Baker The Twin Dilemma (1/4) 22 March 1984 The Ultimate Foe 06 December 1986
7 Sylvester McCoy Time and the Rani [3] 07 September 1987 Survival (3/3) 06 December 1989
8 Paul McGann Doctor Who (TV movie) 27 May 1996
9 Christopher Eccleston Rose 26 March 2005 The Parting of the Ways 18 June 2005
10 David Tennant The Christmas Invasion 25 December 2005 The End of Time (2/2) 01 January 2010
11 Matt Smith The Eleventh Hour 03 April 2010 The Name of The Doctor 18 May 2013
12 Peter Capaldi Deep Breath 23 August 2014 Twice Upon a Time (Christmas Special) 25 December 2017
13 Jodie Whittaker The Woman Who Fell To Earth 07 October 2018
  1. not including 'regeneration' scene
  2. may include 'regeneration' scene
  3. the regeneration scene takes place in this episode although the Sixth Doctor is not played by Colin Baker himself.

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