Beginners’ guide to Doctor Who

Enthusiasts Gather For Dr Who Experience Day
LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 16: Max Hardy, aged 6, stands by a street sign from the Doctor Who Experience as Dalek, from the cult television show Doctor Who watches him on April 16, 2011 in London, England. The Doctor Who Experience Exhibition is currently running at Kensington Olympia Two, celebrating the science fiction programme that was originally screened in 1963. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images for BBC Worldwide)

By, Heather Maloney

This guide is to assist those who have never watched Doctor Who. Even though Doctor Who has been on the air almost 50 years, many are still unsure what the show is about. In the United States, Doctor Who can be seen on BBC America. The new season is rumored to begin this fall, yet no exact date has been released.

Doctor Who?

The Doctor is an alien from the planet Gallifrey. Members of his species are called Time Lords and can live indefinitely due to their ability to regenerate. When a Time Lord is about to die, they can regenerate into a new form of themselves. The Doctor has regenerated ten times (that we know of). He travels through time and space in a Time Lord ship called The Tardis. The Doctor travels to help those who are being preyed upon by other evil creatures or civilizations. Out of all of the planets, Earth is his favorite and he is very protective of human kind.

What is the Tardis?

The Tardis, or Time And Relative Dimension in Space, is a Time Lord vehicle that allows travel through both time and space. The Tardis has the capability to disguise itself in order to fit into its surroundings; however The Doctor’s Tardis took the form of a British police box and became stuck. The Doctor liked it so much he never fixed it. Even though the Tardis appears as a phone box, the inside is in another dimension. This allows the inside of the Tardis to be as big as one’s imagination. Most companions that step into the Tardis utter the line “It is bigger on the inside”.

Who are these Companions that The Doctor Travels With?

Throughout his travels, The Doctor helps out others and in the process makes new friends. Some of these friends are invited to travel with him through time and space. These travelers are referred to as Companions. They can travel with The Doctor for years or just one day, however they assist The Doctor and keep him grounded in reality. The current Companions are Amy Pond and Rory Williams.

The Daleks aren’t so scary… are they?

On a planet called Skaro, there once lived a race called the Daleks. They are small aliens that have encased themselves in armor to survive mutation and the deterioration of their planet. Daleks have no empathy nor do they seek logical thought. Their main goal is to destroy or “Exterminate” anything that is not Dalek. As the Time Lord’s mortal enemy, The Daleks cannot be reasoned with. Their long feud turned into the ‘Time War’ which resulted in both the Time Lords and the Daleks being locked away in time to save the universe from destruction. However, some Daleks are still in our universe and are still determined to destroy The Doctor, as the one remaining Time Lord.


Published by: Heather Maloney

Heather Maloney is an avid Doctor Who and British science fiction fan. She attends the Gallifrey One Convention in Los Angeles annually, and facilitates the Doctor Who Panels for the Starfest Convention in Denver. During her active Doctor Who Fandom, she has met four Doctors, countless companions and numerous Doctor Who actors, writers and directors. Contact Heather at

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