HE has had 11 faces, is etched into the consciousness of millions; yet no-one knows his name – he is known simply as “The Doctor”.
Next year marks 50 years since Doctor Who first appeared on British television screens.
It’s long enough to enthrall and often terrify more than two generations and become a quintessentially British institution.
Booked.net presents a potted history of a sci-fi cult phenomenon.
The key to his longevity is simple, yet genius and locked in his DNA. It’s now an established part of Doctor Who that its main character will physically change his appearance and basic personality whenever the incumbent actor bows out of the show.
First airing on the BBC in 1963, the original show finished in 1989 after seven incarnations, The Doctor and his blue police box-like time machine the TARDIS disappeared from television screens, but not from the memories of millions.
An attempt was made to resurrect the series in 1996 in the form of a television film (the only appearance by the Eighth Doctor), but it was unsuccessful in reviving the franchise.
Finally, the show was relaunched in 2005 thrilling fans of its original run, introducing the character to a new generation and even gaining a foothold in the United States where it enjoys a cult following.
From the unmistakable theme tune, 11 faces, more than 40 companions, various versions of the TARDIS, hundreds of adversaries from Daleks to Cybermen and Doctor Who is more popular than ever.
Produced in-house by BBC Wales in Cardiff, such is Doctor Who’s popularity it stands to reason the locations used in the series should be fan or “Whovian” hotspots.
The Welsh capital has been where much of the series has been filmed since its 2005 return and http://britmovietours.com offers several tour packages of Cardiff.
They range from a four-hour bus trip taking in filming locations in and around Cardiff and a just launched one-hour walking tour through to private tours, a three-day tour of English and Welsh locations to a tour solely of London locations.
Accommodation options in Cardiff can be found here.
Meanwhile, for the uninitiated here’s a fan-made video showcasing every Doctor Who storyline ever made (so far) – starting from 1963.