November 23rd 1963, that was the date Doctor Who made its day view some 45 years ago on BBC television, little did the shows creators know that they had just launch what would become the longest running science fiction series of all time!
So How Did Doctor Who Come To Be?
In 1962 the year before Doctor Who’s first ever Television debut, the BBC’s head of Drama, Sydney Newman, needed a new Saturday night family series to fit in between it’s current programs for Saturday night, Grandstand and Juke Box Jury.
Ideas for the new series ranged from trouble-shooters from the future, flying saucers, telepathy and a time machine. Of cause we all know which one came out on top, time travel
There were four main characters for the series; two of them would be formed by the two school teachers, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright. The teenage viewers could identify with Susan Foreman, one of their pupils, even if she happened to be an alien, she look just like a human so it made no difference. And then there was the absolute star of the show, the Doctor him self. An anti hero known only by the Doctor, from where the title for the series would come; Doctor Who? The phrase would come up continuously in future episodes as new characters inquired into who the Doctor was, Doctor Who??
The Doctor and his companions set off on there adventures for the first time in November 23rd of 1963, traveling 100,000 years into earths past to help some cavemen discover fire for the first time.
Doctor Who’s icons
Probable the most memorable thing in Doctor Who, other than its characters, was and still is the Tardis, the time machine that allowed the Doctor and his companions to travel though space and time. From the concept of it being far bigger on the inside than on the outside, to its appearance as an old blue British telephone box, to the unique sounds it emits while in operation, it has become one of the icons of Doctor Who.
Another thing that no one forgets easily about Doctor Who, is its theme music, being one of the first ever electronic pieces of music ever created, it is to this day a time less piece. There had been nothing like it when it was created and to this day there still continues to be nothing like it, it’s simply unique!
Expanding the series into other Medias
The popularity of Doctor Who grew and grew and soon the BBC was running exclusively written episodes for radio performed by past actors of the series who had played the Doctor. In addition to this in the mid seventies the BBC started to release soundtracks of the television episodes in audio book format! Again due to there popularity The BBC started to bring out the radio episodes in Doctor Who audio book and even totally new episodes written exclusively for audio book release! More recently Doctor Who has had its first spin-offs with Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures!
Where so many Sci-Fi serials have come and gone, Doctor Who has managed to stay afloat and become the longest running Sci-Fi series of all time, not even the great Star Trek and Star Gate Sci-Fi serials have been on the air for as many calendar years. Doctor Who’s ability to always change with the times, so as to always appeal to it’s audience is in my mind what has allowed it to go on for so long, the only question is, will it continue for another 45 years? Only time will tell.