A Short Essay
Doctor Who, produced by the British Broadcasting Company, is the longest running SF series ever created.
Beginning in November of 1963, the show survived through 26 years of TV until 1989 when it was canceled.
Though there were hiccoughs (like cancellations, dropping audience figures and criticism for its violence) along the way,
the show had a remarkable run all the way through its television career.
However, the story, as it were, did not stop when the show was cancelled by the BBC. A series of books was
licensed out to Virgin Publishing in the early 90s continuing the adventures with the Seventh Doctor and his companion,
Ace, called the New Adventures.
In 1996 the Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) was introduced in Doctor Who: The Movie. Though the movie provoked a
mixed response from fans and critics alike, it was an official change of actor for the Doctor. BBC Books took over the
franchise from Virgin Publishing in 1997, producing a line of books for the continuing adventures of the Eighth Doctor
and his companions known as the Eighth Doctor Adventures or EDAs. A series of books for the previous Doctors,
known as Past Doctor Adventures or PDAs, continued the idea of Virgin's Missing Adventures.
Between the Target novelizations (dating from the early 70s), Virgin Publishing and BBC Books, the book series, for
good or ill, has had a remarkable run of its own. In 2003, the course of the books and the history of television changed
when the BBC officially ordered 13 episodes of Doctor Who to be produced for the 2005 season.
With Christopher Eccleston at the helm of the TARDIS as the Ninth Doctor, and Billie Piper as his companion Rose Tyler,
Doctor Who hit an all time high with audiences in the UK.
Current books, called the NSAs, are now featuring the Tenth Doctor.
Big Finish Productions is producing a line of successful audio adventures featuring several of the actors who have played
the Doctor, such as Peter Davison and Colin Baker and companions old and new, such as Sophie Aldred and India Fisher.
Some of the authors of the audio adventures have also written in the book lines. Robert Shearman, author of the audio
Jubilee also penned the fan favorite: Dalek (nominated for a Hugo at the 2006 Worldcon).
While currently, the good Doctor, in his Tenth incarnation, is being played byDavid Tennant,
the Eleventh Doctor is on the horizon. He will be played by
the versatile, and very young, actor, Matt Smith.
And we're in for other changes, as current Executive Producer, Russell T. Davies
will step down at the end of 2009 and hand the reigns over to Steven Moffat
(The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, Blink and other good things).
No doubt, there are more good things to come!
Doctor Who will be celebrating its 46th Anniversary in November.