Question of the week: is it Doctor Who or isn’t it?

There was, of course, a British TV show that ran for 26 years from 1963 to 1989 called Doctor Who. There was a TV movie that followed it, along with books, comics and audio plays.

Now on TV there’s a TV show called Doctor Who. It has many similarities to the original, ranging from TARDISes to Time Lords, the Doctor through to actors from the first series playing the same roles in the second series.

But are they the same?

On the one hand, obviously they are since they’re so similar and the production teams say they are. But they still refer to their show as being series one to five, rather than series 27 to 31. There are contradictions and a gap of 16 years or so between series. 

So despite the same name, is the new Doctor Who to the original Doctor Who what Star Trek II/Star Trek: The Next Generation was to Star Trek or what the remake of Battlestar Galactica was to the original series?

And is it, any sense at all, important? (You may have guessed this started as a discussion on a mailing list…)

As always, leave a comment with your answer or a link to your answer on your own blog.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.