Doctor Who is a long-running, award-winning British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a mysterious time-traveller known as "the Doctor" who travels in his space and 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 is listed in Guinness World Records as the longest-running science fiction television show in the world. It has been recognised for its imaginative stories, creative low-budget special effects during its original run, and pioneering use of electronic music (originally produced by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop). In Britain and elsewhere, the show has become a cult television favourite and has influenced generations of British television professionals, many of whom grew up watching the series. It has received recognition from critics and the public as one of the finest British television programmes, including the BAFTA Award for Best Drama Series in 2006.
The programme originally ran from 1963 to 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. Some development money for the new series is contributed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), which is credited as a co-producer. Doctor Who has also spawned spin-offs in multiple media, including the current television programmes Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures.
The show's lead character is currently portrayed by Matt Smith. In the programme's most recent series, which is currently airing, Jenna-Louise Coleman plays the Doctor's companion, Clara Oswald. She assumed the role mid-season after the departure of the Doctor's previous companions, Amy Pond played by Karen Gillan and Rory Williams played by Arthur Darvill.