50 Years of Doctor Who

The Doctor is an alien - the last of the powerful Time Lords. An intrepid traveller, a wanderer through space and time. He is, he agrees, "a madman with a box".

THE STORY

Armed with only his intelligence, charm and trusty sonic screwdriver, he has pitted himself against the deadliest creatures in the universe.

He chooses travelling companions from those he befriends, briefly sharing his life with them and showing them the astonishing wonders of the universe.

He travels in his extraordinary ship - the TARDIS - a time machine that is bigger on the inside than the outside.

Meet the Doctors

23rd November 1963

Doctor Who was first broadcast on BBC One at 5.15pm on Saturday November 23, 1963.

Created as an educational family show to fit between the football results and evening entertainment programmes, Doctor Who was the brainchild of Canadian TV producer and BBC Head of Drama, Sydney Newman.

When the First Doctor William Hartnell wanted to leave the series after three years, the idea of renewing their leading man was born.

After an initial run of 26 years, the series was rested. It returned for a one-off TV movie featuring the Eighth Doctor in 1996. Doctor Who was fully resurrected in 2005 and has gone from strength to strength ever since.

In its 50th anniversary year, the series is watched by an estimated 80 million viewers in 206 countries. It has been honoured by Guinness World Records as both the longest running and most successful science-fiction series in the world.