HomeThis week in historyDoctor Who airs on TV on this day in 1963

Doctor Who airs on TV on this day in 1963


On November 23rd 1963 Doctor Who first aired. The TV series revolves around the time travelling doctor, an extraterrestrial Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey taking human form. The doctor travels through space in his TARDIS (a time travel machine) to fight evil, save civilisations, and help those in need. The original doctor was played by William Hartnell, who took on the role for 3 years. Due to Hartnell’s ill health and falling ratings the lead role was given to a new actor, Patrick Troughton. Since then there have been 13 actors taking the role, including the first woman in 2017!

Doctor Who famously always has a companion. His first companion was his granddaughter, Susan, and there has been more than 40 since. The show is also famous for the Dalek’s, the doctor’s nemesis throughout the series.

The show was originally intended to be a kids’ TV show. The show’s format was to be an educational blend of science in history, which was prevalent in the earlier years of the show. Whilst there are still historical elements to the show, it is less central to the storyline.

Doctor Who had two tenures. The first lasted from 1963 until 1989. The show restarted in 2005 and became a hit all over again.

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