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Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC since 1963. The programme depicts the adventures of a Time Lord called “the Doctor”, an extraterrestrial being, to all appearances human, from the planet Gallifrey. The Doctor explores the universe in a time-travelling space ship called the TARDIS. Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, which was a common sight in Britain in 1963 when the series first aired. Accompanied by a number of companions, the Doctor combats a variety of foes while working to save civilisations and help people in need.
The show is a significant part of British popular culture, and elsewhere it has gained a cult following. It has influenced generations of British television professionals, many of whom grew up watching the series. The programme originally ran from 1963 to 1989. There was an unsuccessful attempt to revive regular production in 1996 with a backdoor pilot, in the form of a television film titled Doctor Who. The programme was relaunched in 2005, and since then has been produced in-house by BBC Wales in Cardiff. Doctor Who has also spawned numerous spin-offs, including comic books, films, novels, audio dramas, and the television series Torchwood (2006–2011), The Sarah Jane Adventures (2007–2011), K-9 (2009–2010), and Class (2016), and has been the subject of many parodies and references in popular culture.
Thirteen actors have headlined the series as the Doctor. The transition from one actor to another is written into the plot of the show with the concept of regeneration into a new incarnation, a plot device in which a Time Lord “transforms” into a new body when the current one is too badly harmed to heal normally. Each actor’s portrayal is unique, but all represent stages in the life of the same character. Together, they form a single lifetime with a single narrative. The time-travelling feature of the plot means that different incarnations of the Doctor occasionally meet. The Doctor is currently portrayed by Jodie Whittaker, who took on the role after Peter Capaldi’s exit in the 2017 Christmas special “Twice Upon a Time”.
Jodie Auckland Whittaker (born 17 June 1982) is an English actress. She came to prominence in her 2006 feature film debut Venus, for which she received British Independent Film Award and Satellite Award nominations. She was later praised for her roles in the cult science fiction film Attack the Block (2011), the Black Mirror episode “The Entire History of You” (2011), and as grieving mother Beth Latimer in Broadchurch.
On 16 July 2017, the BBC announced that Whittaker would become the thirteenth and first female incarnation of The Doctor in the British TV series Doctor Who. She formally assumed the role from Peter Capaldi in the 2017 Christmas special episode “Twice Upon a Time” when Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor regenerated into Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor. Whittaker appears in her first full series as the Doctor in the eleventh series, which premiered in October 2018. She is set to continue in the role in the twelfth series in 2020.
Chris Chibnall (born 1970) is an English television writer and producer, best known as the creator and writer of the award-winning ITV mystery-crime drama Broadchurch (2013–2017). A lifelong fan of the long-running BBC sci-fi Doctor Who, Chibnall has written five episodes of the series under previous showrunners Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat, and was also the head writer for the first two series of the spinoff Torchwood. In 2016, the BBC announced that Chibnall would succeed Moffat to become the showrunner and head writer of Doctor Who, beginning with the eleventh series in 2018.
The eleventh series of the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who premiered on 7 October 2018 and concluded on 9 December 2018. The series is the first to be led by Chris Chibnall as head writer and executive producer, alongside executive producers Matt Strevens and Sam Hoyle, after Steven Moffat and Brian Minchin stepped down after the tenth series. This series is the eleventh to air following the programme’s revival in 2005 and is the thirty-seventh season overall.
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