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Doctor Who is a science fiction British television and radio drama. Featuring a time-travelling protagonist known as the Doctor, the show revolves around his adventures in time and space aboard his TARDIS, a time-travelling starship disguised as a blue Police Box. The Doctor fights a vast number of aliens and foes despite being an alien himself.
Predating Doomsday, the show began in 1963 and ran until the events of Doomsday in 1983. The show was revived as a radio drama by BBN in 1998, featuring the adventures of the Doctor and his companions. The radio drama continued for ten years as the only source of new Doctor Who episodes until the 2008, when BBN revamped itself, reintroducing former BBC programmes.
Doctor Who began as a television serial in the United Kingdom on 23 November 1963. Hosted by the BBC, the development of the show was a collaboration between Sydney Newman (Head of Drama) and Verity Lambert. Helping them was a team of writers and storyboard developers. The first episode, An Unearthly Child, saw the debut of the First Doctor, played by William Hartnell. Joining him was his granddaughter Susan (played by Carole Ann Ford) and schoolteachers Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill) and Ian Chesterson (William Russel). Due to the Kennedy assassination, viewership was initially low. However, later episodes such as The Daleks, drew a massive amount of viewers and acclaim to the show. Hartnel's relations with his co-stars and producers had been good, but many of them began leaving the show, being replaced by members Hartnel did not have good relationships with. Due to poor health and difficulty in remembering lines, Hartnel stepped down in 1996. Instead of writing the Doctor off, however, the producers decided to replace Hartnel with a different actor. The change in actors was explained as a regeneration. The Doctor could regenerate upon his death, leading to him taking on a new appearance and personality. The Second Doctor, played by Patrick Throughton, was a stark contrast to the First Doctor. While Hartnel's character was known for being cantankerous and impatient, Throughton's character was much more light-hearted and humorous.
Throughton's role as the Doctor lasted for three years until, in 1969, he retired due to the heavy workload. The show had lost a considerable amount of viewers, leading to the consideration of cancelling the show. This consideration did not go forth, however. Jon Pertwee stepped in as the Third Doctor. Remaining on Earth due to a punishment by the Time Lords, the Third Doctor's plotline proved to be interesting enough to save the show from being cancelled. The episodes of the Third Doctor were shot in color TV, a first for the show. The villain known as The Master, played by Roger Delgado, also frequently worked against the Doctor, proving to be an interesting and engaging adversary.