The 799th episode of Doctor Who will air as a global simulcast, itself a historic television event, today.
From "The Man In The Box," by Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, November 11, 2013:
"Doctor Who" is the most original science-fiction television series ever made. It is also one of the longest-running television shows of all time.... It was first broadcast in 1963, three years before "Star Trek," and, with apologies to Gene Roddenberry, is smarter and, better still, sillier. The U.S.S. Enterprise, for all its talking computers and swooshing doors, is a crabbed and pious Puritan village; Doctor Who tumbles through time and space in the Tardis (Time and Relative Dimension in Space), a ship that from the outside looks like an early-twentieth-century British police box, painted blue and bearing a sign on its door that reads, "POLICE TELEPHONE. FREE FOR USE OF PUBLIC. ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE OBTAINABLE IMMEDIATELY.""
Through manipulation of time-and-space relativity, the TARDIS is bigger on the inside, which has, as Lepore describes it:
something of the character of the reading room of The British Library, if the British Library had a swimming pool and were a pub designed by some who adored Frank Gehry, Lewis Carroll, and typewriters with missing keys.
From this blog, here are some earlier posts about Doctor Who:
Doctor Who Saves the World (Nov. 23, 2006)
Craig Ferguson's "Doctor Who" Cold Open (Nov. 23, 2011; embedded video)
Ray Cusick, designer of the Daleks - obit from The Economist (Mar. 2, 2013)
I was six or seven years old when I saw my first episode of the BBC television show "Doctor Who." It was a broadcast on Iowa Public Television. The episode was from the story "The Sea Devils." Jon Pertwee portrayed the Doctor.