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Dr. Who is a character based on the BBC science-fiction television series Doctor Who. Although based on the Doctor appearing in the TV series, the film version of the character is fundamentally different.

Dr. Who
Dr. Who Cushing.jpg
Peter Cushing as Dr. Who
First appearance Dr. Who and the Daleks
Last appearance Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.
Portrayed by Peter Cushing
Gender Male
Occupation Inventor
Family Susan, Barbara (granddaughters)
Louise (niece)

The character, portrayed by the actor Peter Cushing, appeared in two films made by AARU Productions: Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965), which was based on the televised serial The Daleks (1963), and Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (1966), based on The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964). Plans for a third film, to be based on the serial The Chase (1965), were abandoned following the poor box office reception of the second film.[1]

Cushing made no mention of the films in his autobiography,[2] although he kept a collection of newspaper clippings about them in a scrapbook.[3]



As portrayed by Cushing, Dr. Who is an eccentric inventor who claims to have created his TARDIS in his back garden.[4] He is a gentle, grandfatherly figure, naturally curious, sometimes absent-minded but not afraid to fight for justice. He is shown to have a keen and somewhat juvenile sense of humour, a strong sense of adventure, a will of iron and very strong morals.

Unlike his TV counterpart, where the character's real name is never revealed, his surname is clearly stated to be "Who" in both films.


In the first film, Dr. Who travels with his two granddaughters: Susan (Roberta Tovey), who is portrayed as a younger character than the Susan depicted in the TV series, and Barbara (Jennie Linden). They are joined by Ian Chesterton (Roy Castle), Barbara's "new boyfriend", who is depicted as a generally clumsy and comical figure (whereas the TV version of the character is more heroic, and his relationship with Barbara is amicable and professional rather than romantic).

In the sequel, Susan is joined by Dr. Who's niece Louise (Jill Curzon) and an inept male companion, police constable Tom Campbell (Bernard Cribbins).


The exterior of Dr. Who's TARDIS (not 'the' TARDIS, as referred to in the television series) resembles a police box, although the films, unlike the TV series, offer no explanation as to why the machine has this appearance. Other than appearing bigger on the inside the interior set bears no relation to the clean, high-tech TV version of the time. In the first film it is filled with a chaotic jumble of wiring and electronic equipment, replaced in the second film by a number of simple consoles adorned with buttons, gauges and lights. In some scenes the interior of the police box prop can be clearly seen from the exterior due to the windows being glazed with plain, rather than frosted, glass and the use of interior illumination. As with the TARDIS seen in the 2005 TV series onward, the interior and exterior are shown as being directly connected by the external doors.

Other appearancesEdit

In addition to the two films, Dr. Who appeared in the comic strip Daleks versus the Martians in the 1996 "Spring Special" of Doctor Who Magazine, as well as in the short story The House on Oldark Moor by Justin Richards, published in the BBC Books collection Short Trips and Sidesteps.

A "doubly-fictional" duplicate of the Seventh Doctor, who appeared in the Virgin New Adventures novel Head Games, was also known as "Dr. Who".

Proposed radio seriesEdit

During the late 1960s, there were plans for a radio series starring Peter Cushing as the voice of Dr. Who. A collaboration between Stanmark Productions and Watermill Productions, a pilot was recorded and a further 52 episodes were to be produced. The pilot story (titled Journey into Time) featured Dr. Who and his granddaughter travelling to the time of the American Revolution. The script was written by future Doctor Who TV series writer Malcolm Hulke and the recording was subsequently lost.[5]


  1. ^ Peel, John and Terry Nation: (1988). The Official Doctor Who & the Daleks Book. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-02264-6, pp. 99-100.
  2. ^ Peter Cushing. Peter Cushing: an autobiography. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
  3. ^ Hearn, Marcus (2013). "The Peter Cushing Scrapbooks". Doctor Who Magazine. Panini Comics (461): 16–21. 
  4. ^ Norton, Charles (2013). Now On The Big Screen, p. 17. Telos Publishing, Prestatyn. ISBN 978-1-84583-084-7.
  5. ^ Foster, Chuck (2012-01-15). "Missing Radio Script Discovered". Doctor Who News Page.