Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a Time Lord, a time travelling, humanoid alien with two hearts known as the Doctor. He explores the universe in his TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space), a sentient, telepathic time-and-space-travel machine that flies through the time vortex. Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, a common sight in Britain in 1963, when the series first aired. Along with a succession of companions, the Doctor faces a variety of foes while working to save civilisations, help ordinary people, and right wrongs.
The character of the Doctor was initially shrouded in mystery. All that was known about him in the programme's early days was that he was an eccentric alien traveller of great intelligence who battled injustice while exploring time and space in an unreliable time machine, the "TARDIS", (an acronym for Time And Relative Dimension(s) In Space), which appears much larger on the inside than on the outside.
The initially irascible and slightly sinister Doctor quickly mellowed into a more compassionate figure. It was eventually revealed that he had been on the run from his own people, the Time Lords of the planet Gallifrey.
Changes in appearance
As a Time Lord, the Doctor has the ability to regenerate his body when near death. Introduced into the storyline as a way of continuing the series when the writers were faced with the departure of lead actor William Hartnell in 1966, it has continued to be a major element of the series, allowing for the recasting of the lead actor when the need arises. The serials The Deadly Assassin and Mawdryn Undead and the 1996 TV film suggest that a Time Lord can regenerate 12 times, for a total of 13 incarnations. Death of the Doctor, a 2010 episode of the spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures, has the Doctor claiming that he can regenerate 507 times, but episode writer Russell T Davies later indicated that this was intended as a joke, not to be taken seriously.
The Doctor has fully gone through this process and its resulting after-effects on ten occasions, with each of his incarnations having their own quirks and abilities but otherwise sharing the consciousness, memories, experience and basic personality of the previous incarnations.
Red Dwarf is a British comedy franchise which primarily comprises eight series (plus a ninth smaller series named Back To Earth) of a television science fiction sitcom that aired on BBC Two between 1988 and 1999 and on Dave in 2009 and 2012. It gained cult following. It was created by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, who also wrote the first six series. The show originated from a recurring sketch, Dave Hollins: Space Cadet part of the mid-1980s BBC Radio 4 comedy show Son of Cliche, also scripted by Grant and Naylor. In addition to the television episodes, there are four bestselling novels, two pilot episodes for an American version of the show, a radio version produced for BBC radio 7, tie-in books, magazines and other merchandise.
The main dramatic thrust of the early series is Lister's desire to return home to Earth, although the crew's ownership of an unlimited time-space travel drive in series seven was to later negate this intention.
As their journey begins, the not-so-intrepid crew encounters such phenomena as time distortions, faster-than-light travel, mutant diseases and strange lifeforms that had developed in the intervening millions of years.
During the second series, the group encounter the service mechanoid Kryten, rescuing him from a long-since crashed vessel.
Initially, Kryten only appeared in one episode of series two, but by the beginning of series three he had become a regular character.
At the end of series five, Red Dwarf itself is stolen by persons unknown, forcing them to travel in the smaller Starbug craft for two series, with the side-effect that they lose contact with Holly.
In series seven, Rimmer departs the crew to take up the role of his alter ego from a parallel universe, Ace Rimmer, whose name has become a long-standing legend and a legacy passed down from dimension to dimension. Shortly afterwards, the crew found a parallel version of themselves from a universe in which Kristine Kochanski, Lister's long-term love interest, had been put into stasis at the time of the leak and so became the last remaining human.
A complicated series of events leaves Kochanski stranded in "our" universe, where she is forced to join the crew. At the end of series seven, we learn that Red Dwarf had been stolen by Kryten's service nanobots, who had abandoned him years earlier.
Space: 1999 is a British science-fiction television series that ran for two seasons and originally aired from 1975 to 1977. In the opening episode, nuclear waste from Earth stored on the Moon's far side explodes in a catastrophic accident on 13 September 1999, knocking the Moon out of orbit and sending it and the 311 inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha hurtling uncontrollably into space. The series was the last production by the partnership of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson and was the most expensive series produced for British television up to that time.
The premise of Space: 1999 centres on the plight of the inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha,
Earth's Space Research Centre on the Moon, following a scientific cataclysm. Humanity had
been storing its nuclear waste in vast disposal sites on the far side of the Moon.
Prefaced by wild emissions of an unknown form of magnetic radiation, the accumulated
waste reaches critical mass and, on 13 September 1999, detonates in a massive thermonuclear
explosion. The force of the blast propels the Moon like an enormous booster rocket, hurling
it out of Earth orbit and into deep space at colossal speed, thus stranding the 311 personnel
stationed on Alpha. The runaway Moon, in effect, becomes the "spacecraft" on which the protagonists
travel, searching for a new home. During their interstellar journey, the Alphans encounter an array
of alien civilizations, dystopian societies, and mind-bending phenomena previously unseen by humanity.
The concept of traveling through space to encounter aliens and strange worlds is similar
to Lost in Space and Star Trek, although the programme's visual aesthetic was heavily
influenced by 2001: A Space Odyssey. In another nod to Kubrick's film, the first series
of Space: 1999 explored mystical and metaphysical themes, and offered little explanation
of plot points. The inhabitants of Alpha were unwilling travelers, and represented
present-day Earthmen cast adrift in a vast, unexplainable universe where Earth-bound
logic and laws of nature no longer operated. Several episodes hinted that the Moon's
journey was influenced (and perhaps initiated) by a "mysterious unknown force",
which was guiding the Alphans toward an ultimate destiny.