FAQ: What Is Doctor Who and Other Questions Answered

The Day of the Doctor close

We show you the basics of time travel adventure and provide you with an answer to the question “what is Doctor Who?”

What is Doctor Who about?

Doctor Who is a BBC television production that ran for 26 years from 1963 until 1989, then continued in 2005 to date, with a TV movie in 1996. The basic concept is simple: a humanoid alien who can travel through time and space, having adventures with a collection of mostly human companions.  

Who is Doctor Who?

Doctor Who is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, in the constellation of Kasterborous. Possibly half-human, and usually referred to as “the Doctor” (and addressed as “Doctor”) most people refer to the character as “Doctor Who.” (The show’s title refers to the fact that we know little about the character, name included).

The Doctor is extremely old, possibly over 1000 years old, and is able to regenerate into a new body when fatally wounded, a gift shared by the other Time Lords. Extremely intelligent, the Doctor also has a wide experience of other life forms, and spends a great deal of time stopping alien races attacking the Earth. Humans are the Doctor’s “favourite species.” 

What is a Dalek?

A Dalek is a mutated humanoid that travels in a small tank-like vehicle.  They originate from the planet Skaro and are the Doctor’s oldest enemy.  The Daleks were created by Davros, an insane scientist who realised the Daleks as the future of his race.  The Doctor was present at their conception. 

What is the TARDIS?

The TARDIS was a term coined by the Doctor’s grand-daughter, Susan, and is an acronym for Time and Relative Dimensions in Space. It has the ability to transport its occupants to any place in the Universe at any point in history. It has also been known to travel outside of our Universe. Wherever the TARDIS lands, the Doctor will have an adventure. 

Why is the TARDIS shaped like a Police Box?

A TARDIS is a product of the highly advanced Time Lord technology. As such they have many special abilities – one of these being the ability to blend in with their surroundings. They are also dimensionally transcendental; the TARDIS is considerably bigger on the inside. 

Why the fuss about Doctor Who?

The answers to this question are countless. Here are a few: 

Doctor Who is considered by many to be the finest concept for television drama. The format (time travelling to any point in the Universe) allows the telling of virtually any kind of story. The actors who have played Doctor Who have all given varying yet compelling performances. The actresses who have played the Doctor’s companions have always been popular with the male viewers.

During the series’ heyday in the 1970s, Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker went on to become household names as Doctor Who. The Daleks, Cybermen, Autons, Sontarans, Ice Warriors, giant maggots and the Master have all become lodged in British folklore. 

How come other actors have played Doctor Who?

As mentioned above, Time Lords can change their appearance as a mechanism for avoiding death. The Doctor has had 13 lives to date, portrayed by William Hartnell (later Richard Hurndall and David Bradley), Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi, and Jodie Whittaker.

Peter Cushing played “Dr Who” in two 1960s films, “Dr Who and the Daleks” and “Dalek Invasion Earth 2150” and John Hurt played the unknown “War Doctor” in the 2013 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor.

Who is Russell T Davies?

Russell T. Davies (also known as RTD) is one of the UKs most renowned writers of original television drama.  Before his time running the show from 2005-1020 he had written a Doctor Who novel, “Damaged Goods,” but was most well known for his TV work, such as “The Second Coming” (which starred Christopher Eccleston), Bob & Rose (2001), Queer as Folk (1999), Touching Evil (1997), The Grand, (1997), Children’s Ward (1993-1995).

Since his time running things first time around, RTD continued with Torchwood and more recently gave us Years and Years, Banana, It’s a Sin, and a Very English Scandal.

Where can I watch Doctor Who?

Currently there are three ways to watch Doctor Who when it isn’t on air:

  • BBC iPlayer features every episode of the show from 2005 to date.
  • Britbox offers all of the classic series, 1963-1989 for a monthly subscription
  • You can also buy DVDs and Blu-ray collections of Doctor Who episodes on Amazon

Any questions? Let us know below.

Leave a Reply