Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC which depicts the adventures of a mysterious time-traveller known as "the Doctor" who travels in his time ship, the TARDIS, which appears from the exterior to be a blue police phone box.
With his companions, he explores time and space, solving problems and righting wrongs.
The programme originally ran from 1963-1989. A television film was made in 1996 as a backdoor pilot for a new series (which never entered production), and the programme was successfully relaunched in 2005, produced in-house by BBC Wales.
Doctor Who premiered in South Africa on BBC Prime (which became BBC Entertainment in September 2008) on Saturday 1 September 2007, at 19h00. See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.
Season 7 premiered on BBC Entertainment on Saturday 9 February 2013, at 19h35. The season went on hiatus after five episodes (and the Christmas Special "The Snowmen") had aired.
Season 7 resumed on BBC Entertainment on Sunday 31 March 2013, in the new timeslot of 19h00. New episodes broadcast weekly. There are 13 episodes in the seventh season.
The 2005 series (which is ongoing) first starred Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor and Billie Piper as Rose Tyler, but David Tennant took over as The Doctor from the end of 2005 until the present.
The story revolves around the time-travelling Doctor who, along with a little help from some Earthling friends, spends his time travelling through time to fight evil and save the universe, hundreds of times over.
His primary mode of transport is the TARDIS, which stands for Time And Relative Dimension (or Dimensions) In Space. The TARDIS is a 1950's-style police box which looks small on the outside but which is large inside, with all the controls to travel through time and space.
The Doctor and his companion spend each episode on new adventures, fighting recurring baddies like Slitheens and Daleks that are dotted throughout the series.
A feature of the show is not CGI and glittering, hi-tech effects, but rather clever, low-budget animations and FX which have turned the show into a cult.
David Tennant steps into the role of Doctor Who, becoming the tenth incarnation of the Time Lord in the second season of Russell T Davies' revival of the international TV hit.
The new season is full of new thrills, laughs, new heartbreak and some terrifying new monsters.
At the end of the first season, Rose and the Doctor defeated the Daleks and saved the Earth – but at a cost. The Doctor that Rose had grown to love has gone. Can she trust a man with a new face?
Together, they travel back in time to the Highlands of Scotland to find Queen Victoria confronted by a terrifying werewolf, and back further still, to 18th Century France where lethal Clockwork Androids stalk Versailles.
In the future, an evil race of Cat Nurses hide a sinister secret at the heart of their hospital, and the human race are threatened by a remorseless silver army of emotionless Cybermen.
Throughout their adventures in time and space, the Doctor and Rose have stood shoulder to shoulder. But as the season builds to a dramatic climax, could their partnership be tragically ended...?
Doctor Who who returns for a new season of extraordinary encounters. This time round he has a new companion: medical student Martha Jones, played by Freema Agyeman.
As happened with Rose, the moment he walks into Martha's life he changes it forever. Together they find themselves facing amazing worlds and faces - both old and new - as they battle to fight for good.
In Elizabethan London, they meet William Shakespeare at the Globe Theatre where witch-like creatures are plotting to create a Carrionite empire on Earth.
In the year Five Billion and Fifty-Three, mankind and catkind are caught in a terrible trap, while back in present day London 76-year-old Professor Lazarus recaptures his youth with consequences that threaten Martha’s entire family.
Martha and the Doctor’s journey also brings them face to face with the ruthless Judoon, a vicious plasmavore and the Doctor’s sworn enemies, the Daleks, who have been hiding in 1930s New York with a terrifying plan for humanity.
Catherine Tate is the Doctor's new companion, returning to her role as Donna who featured in the Christmas special The Runaway Bride.
Donna mysteriously vanished as she prepared to marry her boyfriend in a glittering ceremony on Christmas Eve. She reappeared, much to her astonishment, in the Tardis with the Doctor.
As the Tardis raced to the church, it soon became apparent that Donna was the key to an ancient alien plan to destroy the Earth.
The episode ended with The Doctor inviting Donna to travel with him – an invitation which, at the time, was declined...
The first episode of the new season witnesses Donna determined to find The Doctor again – even if it means braving the villainous Miss Foster, an enigmatic and powerful businesswoman, and her hordes of sinister Adipose.
But when the alien threat escalates out of control, can Donna find her Time Lord, before the march of the Adipose begins?
Donna and The Doctor – David Tennant – will also be travelling through time for an encounter with the legendary murder mystery novelist, Agatha Christie.
Agatha Christie will be played by Jekyll star Fenella Woolgar and The Good Life actress Felicity Kendal will star as Lady Clemency Eddison.
The couple are destined to experience a series of wonderful adventures throughout the new season including meeting one of Doctor Who's most popular aliens, The Ood, in a brand new episode, Planet Of The Ood.
Blackadder and Notting Hill actor Tim McInnerny will also guest star later in the series.
Freema Agyeman, who played Martha Jones, The Doctor's companion throughout the third season, returns to the show to join The Doctor and Donna mid-season.
Matt Smith and Karen Gillan star as the Doctor and his companion as Doctor Who returns for a new season.
After his explosive regeneration, the Eleventh Doctor awakes to discover his TARDIS is about to crash. After falling from the sky, he pulls himself out of the wreckage to come face-to-face with young Amy Pond.
Still wearing the remains of the Tenth Doctor's suit, ripped and raggedy from the damage after the TARDIS control room exploded, the Doctor promises to take Amy to the stars.
But before they can begin their journey, they become embroiled in an alien plot that could destroy the Earth.
Later, the Doctor makes good his promise, and Amy boards the regenerated TARDIS, ready to take to the stars on a series of wild adventures that will change her life.
Amy and the Doctor explore time and space, visiting 16th century Venice, France during the 1890s and the United Kingdom in the far future, when the entire nation is floating in space.
As always, wherever the Doctor goes, his oldest enemies are never far behind – the Daleks are hatching a new master plan from the heart of war-torn London in the 1940s.
But they are not the only strange creatures the Doctor and Amy must face – there are also alien vampires, humanoid reptiles, old enemies such as the Weeping Angels, and a silent menace that follows Amy and the Doctor wherever they go.
The Doctor (Matt Smith) returns, alongside newlyweds Amy (Karen Gillan) and Rory (Arthur Darvill), to face monsters and mysteries and adventures across time and space.
Together they find themselves in 1960s America, battling the invasion the world forgot, then journey on the high seas of 1696 aboard a pirate ship, to solve the mystery of the Siren.
In a bubble universe at the very edge of reality, the Doctor meets an old friend with a new face, and after crash-landing in 1930s Berlin encounters the greatest war criminal in the Universe.
The travellers also find themselves trapped in the shifting corridors of a nightmare hotel, and visit a deadly hospital before the Doctor embarks on a personal journey to save the Earth and all of mankind.
Can even the truth about River Song save the Time Lord's soul?
Only two things are certain. Silence will fall. And a good man is going to die...
The new season sees the Doctor (Matt Smith), his companions - Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) - and numerous friends on their latest escapades through space and time where they puzzle an unexpected invasion of Earth, save a spaceship full of dinosaurs, don Stetsons in a Wild Wild West adventure and in the season premiere were kidnapped by the Doctor's oldest foe - The Daleks.
This season features the return of the Daleks and the Weeping Angels - both of them poll-topping Doctor Who adversaries - in cracking new stories.
There are also Dinosaurs on a Spaceship (it's what you've always wanted), a glorious western with a Cyborg Gunslinger, the most unusual invasion Earth story ever and location shooting in New York for the Pond finale.
In the season opener, Asylum of the Daleks, the Doctor is forced on an impossible mission after being kidnapped by his oldest foe - to a place even the Daleks are too terrified to enter.... the Asylum.
A planetary prison confining the most terrifying and insane of their kind, the Doctor and the Ponds must find an escape route.
But with Amy and Rory's relationship in meltdown, and an army of mad Daleks closing in, it is up to the Doctor to save their lives, as well as the Pond's marriage.
The explosive season concludes with Amy and Rory's heart-breaking farewell - a race against time through the streets of Manhattan.
Will the Doctor really lose the Ponds forever? There's only one way to find out...
Series exclusive to BBC Entertainment
Season 1 (13 episodes)
Premiere: 1 September 2007 | Finale: 24 November, 2007 | Saturdays, 19h00
Special: The Christmas Invasion
Aired: Sunday 7 September 2008, at 18h30 | Length: 1 hour
Season 2 (13 episodes)
Premiere: 14 September 2008 | Finale: 7 December 2008 | Sundays, 18h40
Season 3 (13 episodes)
Premiere: 18 January 2009 | Finale: 12 April 2009 | Sundays, 19h00
Special: Voyage of the Damned
Aired: Sunday 4 April 2010, at 18h10 | Length: 2 hours
Season 4 (13 episodes)
Premiere: 11 April 2010 | Finale: 4 July 2010 | Sundays, 18h25
Special: The Next Doctor
Aired: 11 October 2010, at 20h30 | Length: 1 hour
Special: Planet of the Dead
Aired: Monday 18 October 2010, at 20h30 | Length: 1 hour
Special: The Waters of Mars
Aired: Monday 25 October 2010, at 20h30 | Length: 1 hour
Special: The End of Time
Aired: 1 and 8 November 2010, at 20h30 | Length: 2 hours
Season 5 (13 episodes)
Premiere: 15 November 2010 | Finale: 7 February 2011 | Mondays, 20h30
Special: A Christmas Carol
Aired: 25 December 2011, at 16h05 | Length: 1 hour
Season 6 (13 episodes)
Premiere: 26 December 2011 | Finale: 7 January 2012 | Daily, 16h10
Special: The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe
Aired: 8 January 2012, at 16h05 | Length: 1 hour
Season 7 (13 episodes)
Premiere: 9 February 2013 | Finale: 19 May 2013 | Sat, 19h35/Sun, 19h00
Special: The Snowmen
Aired: 16 March 2013, at 19h35 | Length: 1 hour