Countess Elizabeth Báthory de Ecsed was a Hungarian noblewoman and serial killer from the noble family of Báthory, who owned land in the Kingdom of Hungary. She has been labeled by Guinness World Records as the most prolific female murderer, though the precise number of her victims is debated. Báthory and four collaborators were accused of torturing and killing hundreds of young women between 1585 and 1609; the highest number of victims cited during Báthory's trial was 650. However, this number comes from the claim by a serving girl named Susannah that Jakab Szilvássy, Countess Báthory's court official, had seen the figure in one of Báthory's private books; the book was never revealed, Szilvássy never mentioned it in his testimony. Despite the evidence against Elizabeth, her family's influence kept her from facing trial, she was imprisoned in December 1610 within Čachtice Castle, in Upper Hungary, held in solitary confinement in a windowless room until her death four years later. The stories of her sadistic serial murders are verified by the testimony of more than 300 witnesses and survivors as well as physical evidence and the presence of horribly mutilated dead and imprisoned girls found at the time of her arrest.
Stories describing her vampire-like tendencies were recorded years after her death, are considered unreliable. Her story became part of national folklore, her infamy persists to this day, she is compared to Vlad the Impaler of Wallachia. Nicknames and literary epithets attributed. Elizabeth Báthory was born on a family estate in Nyírbátor, Kingdom of Hungary, in 1560 or 1561, spent her childhood at Ecsed Castle, her father was Baron George VI Báthory of the Ecsed branch of the family, brother of Andrew Bonaventura Báthory, voivode of Transylvania, while her mother was Baroness Anna Báthory, daughter of Stephen Báthory of Somlyó, another voivode of Transylvania, of the Somlyó branch. Through her mother, Elizabeth was the niece of the Hungarian noble Stephen Báthory, the king of Poland and the grand duke of Lithuania of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the prince of Transylvania, her older brother was Stephen Báthory. During her childhood, multiple sources say that she suffered multiple seizures that may have been caused by epilepsy stemming from the inbreeding of her parents.
At the time, symptoms relating to epilepsy was diagnosed as Falling Sickness and treatments included rubbing blood of a non-sufferer on the lips of an epileptic or giving the epileptic a mix of a non-sufferer's blood and piece of skull as their episode ended. This leads to the speculation that Elizabeth's killings during her life were part of her efforts to cure the illness she had been suffering from since she was a young child, however there is no hard evidence supporting the speculation; as another attempt to explain Elizabeth's cruelty in her life, many sources say that she was trained to be cruel by her family. Stories include Elizabeth as a child witnessing brutal punishments executed by her family's officers, being taught by family members involved with Satanism and witchcraft. Again, there is no hard evidence for these claims. Elizabeth was raised a Calvinist Protestant; as a young woman, she learned Latin, German and Greek. Born into a privileged family of nobility, Elizabeth was endowed with wealth, a stellar social position.
Before her first marriage, at the age of 13, Elizabeth gave birth to a child. The child, said to have been fathered by a peasant boy, was given away to a local woman, trusted by the Báthory family; the woman was paid for her act, the child was taken to Wallachia. Evidence of this pregnancy came up long after Elizabeth's death through rumors spread by peasants, therefore the validity of the rumor is disputed. Elizabeth was engaged at age 10 to Ferenc Nádasdy, the son of Baron Tamás Nádasdy de Nádasd et Fogarasföld and Orsolya Kanizsay in what was a political arrangement within the circles of the aristocracy; as Elizabeth's social standing was higher than that of her husband, she refused to change her last name, instead Nádasdy assumed the surname Báthory. The couple married when she was 15 at the palace of Vranov nad Topľou on 8 May 1575. 4,500 guests were invited to the wedding. Elizabeth moved to Nádasdy Castle in Sárvár and spent much time on her own, while her husband studied in Vienna. Nádasdy's wedding gift to Báthory was his household, Čachtice Castle situated in the Little Carpathians near Nové Mesto nad Váhom and Trenčín in present-day Slovakia.
The castle had been bought by his mother in 1569 and given to Nádasdy, who transferred it to Elizabeth during their nuptials, together with the Čachtice country house and 17 adjacent villages. The castle was surrounded by a village and agricultural lands, bordered by outcrops of the Little Carpathians. In 1578, Nádasdy became the chief commander of Hungarian troops, leading them to war against the Ottomans. With her husband away at war, Elizabeth Báthory managed the estates; that role included responsibility for the Hungarian and Slovak people providing medical care. During the Long War, Eliz
The Poles referred to as the Polish people, are a nation and West Slavic ethnic group native to Poland in Central Europe who share a common ancestry, culture and are native speakers of the Polish language. The population of self-declared Poles in Poland is estimated at 37,394,000 out of an overall population of 38,538,000, of whom 36,522,000 declared Polish alone. A wide-ranging Polish diaspora exists throughout Europe, the Americas, in Australasia. Today the largest urban concentrations of Poles are within the Warsaw and Silesian metropolitan areas. Poland's history dates back over a thousand years, to c. 930–960 AD, when the Polans – an influential West Slavic tribe in the Greater Poland region, now home to such cities as Poznań, Kalisz and Września – united various Lechitic tribes under what became the Piast dynasty, thus creating the Polish state. The subsequent Christianization of Poland, in 966 CE, marked Poland's advent to the community of Western Christendom. Poles have made important contributions to the world in every major field of human endeavor.
Notable Polish émigrés – many of them forced from their homeland by historic vicissitudes – have included physicists Marie Skłodowska Curie and Joseph Rotblat, mathematician Stanisław Ulam, pianists Fryderyk Chopin and Arthur Rubinstein, actresses Helena Modjeska and Pola Negri, novelist Joseph Conrad, military leaders Tadeusz Kościuszko and Casimir Pulaski, U. S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, politician Rosa Luxemburg, filmmakers Samuel Goldwyn and the Warner Brothers, cartoonist Max Fleischer, cosmeticians Helena Rubinstein and Max Factor. Slavs have been in the territory of modern Poland for over 1500 years, they organized into tribal units, of which the larger ones were known as the Polish tribes. In the 9th and 10th centuries the tribes gave rise to developed regions along the upper Vistula, the Baltic Sea coast and in Greater Poland; the last tribal undertaking resulted in the 10th century in a lasting political structure and state, one of the West Slavic nations. The concept which has become known as the Piast Idea, the chief proponent of, Jan Ludwik Popławski, is based on the statement that the Piast homeland was inhabited by so-called "native" aboriginal Slavs and Slavonic Poles since time immemorial and only was "infiltrated" by "alien" Celts, Baltic peoples and others.
After 1945 the so-called "autochthonous" or "aboriginal" school of Polish prehistory received official backing in Poland and a considerable degree of popular support. According to this view, the Lusatian Culture which archaeologists have identified between the Oder and the Vistula in the early Iron Age, is said to be Slavonic. In contrast, the critics of this theory, such as Marija Gimbutas, regard it as an unproved hypothesis and for them the date and origin of the westward migration of the Slavs is uncharted. Polish people are the sixth largest national group in the European Union. Estimates vary depending on source, though available data suggest a total number of around 60 million people worldwide. There are 38 million Poles in Poland alone. There are Polish minorities in the surrounding countries including, indigenous minorities in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and eastern Lithuania, western Ukraine, western Belarus. There are some smaller indigenous minorities in nearby countries such as Moldova.
There is a Polish minority in Russia which includes indigenous Poles as well as those forcibly deported during and after World War II. The term "Polonia" is used in Poland to refer to people of Polish origin who live outside Polish borders estimated at around 10 to 20 million. There is a notable Polish diaspora in the United States and Canada. France has a historic relationship with Poland and has a large Polish-descendant population. Poles have lived in France since the 18th century. In the early 20th century, over a million Polish people settled in France during world wars, among them Polish émigrés fleeing either Nazi occupation or Soviet rule. In the United States, a significant number of Polish immigrants settled in Chicago, Detroit, New Jersey, New York City, Pittsburgh and New England; the highest concentration of Polish Americans in a single New England municipality is in New Britain, Connecticut. The majority of Polish Canadians have arrived in Canada since World War II; the number of Polish immigrants increased between 1945 and 1970, again after the end of Communism in Poland in 1989.
In Brazil the majority of Polish immigrants settled in Paraná State. Smaller, but significant numbers settled in the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Espírito Santo and São Paulo; the city of Curitiba has the second largest Polish diaspora in the world and Polish music and culture are quite common in the region. A recent large migration of Poles took place followi
A horror film is a film that seeks to elicit fear. Inspired by literature from authors like Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, horror has existed as a film genre for more than a century; the macabre and the supernatural are frequent themes. Horror may overlap with the fantasy, supernatural fiction, thriller genres. Horror films aim to evoke viewers' nightmares, fears and terror of the unknown. Plots with in the horror genre involve the intrusion of an evil force, event, or personage into the everyday world. Prevalent elements include ghosts, extraterrestrials, werewolves, Satanism, evil clowns, torture, vicious animals, evil witches, zombies, psychopaths, ecological or man-made disasters, serial killers; some sub-genres of horror film include low-budget horror, action horror, comedy horror, body horror, disaster horror, found footage, holiday horror, horror drama, psychological horror, science fiction horror, supernatural horror, gothic horror, natural horror, zombie horror, disaster films, first-person horror, teen horror.
The first depiction of the supernatural on screen appear in several of the short silent films created by the French pioneer filmmaker Georges Méliès in the late 1890s. The best known of these early supernatural-based works is the 3-minute short film Le Manoir du Diable known in English as The Haunted Castle or The House of the Devil; the film is sometimes credited as being the first horror film. In The Haunted Castle, a mischievous devil appears inside a medieval castle and harasses the visitors. Méliès' other popular horror film is La Caverne maudite, which translates to "the accursed cave"; the film known for its English title The Cave of the Demons, tells the story of a woman stumbling over a cave, populated by the spirits and skeletons of people who died there. Méliès would make other short films that historians consider now as horror-comedies. Une nuit terrible, which translates to A Terrible Night, tells a story of a man who tries to get a good night's sleep but ends up wrestling a giant spider.
His other film, L'auberge ensorcelée, or The Bewitched Inn, features a story of a hotel guest getting pranked and tormented by an unseen presence. In 1897, the accomplished American photographer-turned director George Albert Smith created The X-Ray Fiend, a horror-comedy that came out a mere two years after x-rays were invented; the film shows a couple of skeletons courting each other. An audience full of people unaccustomed to the idea would have found it frightening and otherworldly; the next year, Smith created the short film Photographing a Ghost, considered a precursor to the paranormal investigation subgenre. The film portrays three men attempting to photograph a ghost, only to fail time and again as the ghost eludes the men and throws chairs at them. Japan made early forays into the horror genre. In 1898, a Japanese film company called Konishi Honten released two horror films both written by Ejiro Hatta. Though there are no records of the cast, crew, or plot of Bake Jizo, it was based on the Japanese legend of Jizo statues, believed to provide safety and protection to children.
The presence of the word bake—which can be translated to "spook," "ghost," or "phantom"—may imply a haunted or possessed statue. Spanish filmmaker Segundo de Chomón, regarded as one of the most significant silent film directors, was popular for his frequent camera tricks and optical illusions, an innovation that contributed to the popularity of trick films in the period, his famous works include Satan at Play. The Selig Polyscope Company in the United States produced one of the first film adaptations of a horror-based novel. In 1908, the company released Mr. Hyde, now a lost film, it is based on Robert Louis Stevenson's classic gothic novella Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, published 15 years prior, about a man who transforms between two contrasting personas. Georges Méliès liked adapting the Faust legend into his films. In fact, the French filmmaker produced at least six variations of the German legend of the man who made a pact with the devil. Among his notable Faust films include Faust aux enfers, known for its English title The Damnation of Faust, or Faust in Hell.
It is the filmmaker's third film adaptation of the Faust legend. In it, Méliès took inspiration from Hector Berlioz's Faust opera, but it pays less attention to the story and more to the special effects that represent a tour of hell; the film takes advantage of stage machinery techniques and features special effects such as pyrotechnics, substitution
Atlantis is a fictional island mentioned within an allegory on the hubris of nations in Plato's works Timaeus and Critias, where it represents the antagonist naval power that besieges "Ancient Athens", the pseudo-historic embodiment of Plato's ideal state in The Republic. In the story, Athens repels the Atlantean attack unlike any other nation of the known world giving testament to the superiority of Plato's concept of a state; the story concludes with Atlantis falling out of favor with the deities and submerging into the Atlantic Ocean. Despite its minor importance in Plato's work, the Atlantis story has had a considerable impact on literature; the allegorical aspect of Atlantis was taken up in utopian works of several Renaissance writers, such as Francis Bacon's New Atlantis and Thomas More's Utopia. On the other hand, nineteenth-century amateur scholars misinterpreted Plato's narrative as historical tradition, most notably in Ignatius L. Donnelly's Atlantis: The Antediluvian World. Plato's vague indications of the time of the events—more than 9,000 years before his time—and the alleged location of Atlantis—"beyond the Pillars of Hercules"—has led to much pseudoscientific speculation.
As a consequence, Atlantis has become a byword for any and all supposed advanced prehistoric lost civilizations and continues to inspire contemporary fiction, from comic books to films. While present-day philologists and classicists agree on the story's fictional character, there is still debate on what served as its inspiration; as for instance with the story of Gyges, Plato is known to have borrowed some of his allegories and metaphors from older traditions. This led a number of scholars to investigate possible inspiration of Atlantis from Egyptian records of the Thera eruption, the Sea Peoples invasion, or the Trojan War. Others have rejected this chain of tradition as implausible and insist that Plato created an fictional nation as his example, drawing loose inspiration from contemporary events such as the failed Athenian invasion of Sicily in 415–413 BC or the destruction of Helike in 373 BC; the only primary sources for Atlantis are Plato's dialogues Critias. The dialogues claim to quote Solon, who visited Egypt between 590 and 580 BC.
Written in 360 BC, Plato introduced Atlantis in Timaeus: For it is related in our records how once upon a time your State stayed the course of a mighty host, starting from a distant point in the Atlantic ocean, was insolently advancing to attack the whole of Europe, Asia to boot. For the ocean there was at that time navigable. For all that we have here, lying within the mouth of which we speak, is evidently a haven having a narrow entrance. Now in this island of Atlantis there existed a confederation of kings, of great and marvelous power, which held sway over all the island, over many other islands and parts of the continent; the four people appearing in those two dialogues are the politicians Critias and Hermocrates as well as the philosophers Socrates and Timaeus of Locri, although only Critias speaks of Atlantis. In his works Plato makes extensive use of the Socratic method in order to discuss contrary positions within the context of a supposition; the Timaeus begins with an introduction, followed by an account of the creations and structure of the universe and ancient civilizations.
In the introduction, Socrates muses about the perfect society, described in Plato's Republic, wonders if he and his guests might recollect a story which exemplifies such a society. Critias mentions a tale he considered to be historical, that would make the perfect example, he follows by describing Atlantis as is recorded in the Critias. In his account, ancient Athens seems to represent the "perfect society" and Atlantis its opponent, representing the antithesis of the "perfect" traits described in the Republic. According to Critias, the Hellenic deities of old divided the land so that each deity might have their own lot; the island was larger than Ancient Libya and Asia Minor combined, but it was sunk by an earthquake and became an impassable mud shoal, inhibiting travel to any part of the ocean. Plato asserted that the Egyptians described Atlantis as an island consisting of mountains in the northern portions and along the shore and encompassing a great plain in an oblong shape in the south "extending in one direction three thousand stadia, but across the center inland it was two thousand stadia."
Fifty stadia from the coast was a mountain, low on all sides... broke it off all round about... the central island itself was five stades in diameter. In Plato's metaphorical tale, Poseidon fell in love with Cleito, the daughter of Evenor and Leucippe, who bore him five pairs of male twins; the eldest of these, was made rightful king of the entire island and the ocean, was given the mountain of his birth and the surrounding area as his fiefdom. Atlas's twin Gadeirus, or Eumelus in Greek, was given the extremity of the island to
The House That Dripped Blood
The House That Dripped Blood is a 1971 British horror anthology film directed by Peter Duffell and distributed by Amicus Productions. It stars Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Nyree Dawn Porter, Denholm Elliott, Jon Pertwee; the film is a collection of four short stories, all written and subsequently scripted by Robert Bloch, linked by the protagonist of each story's association with the eponymous building. The film carries the tagline "TERROR waits for you in every room in The House That Dripped Blood." Shortly after renting an old country house, film star Paul Henderson mysteriously disappears and Inspector Holloway from Scotland Yard is called to investigate. Inquiring at the local police station, Holloway is told some of the house's history, he contacts the estate agent renting out the house, who elaborates further by telling Holloway about its previous tenants. Method For Murder A hack writer of horror stories moves into the house with his wife and is haunted by visions of Dominic, the murderous, psychopathic central character of his latest novel.
Waxworks A retired stockbroker and his friend become fixated with a macabre waxwork museum that appears to contain a model of a lady they both knew. Sweets to the Sweet A private teacher is perturbed by the cold and severe way a widower treats his young daughter forbidding her to have a doll; the teacher feels like a helpless bystander. The Cloak Temperamental horror film actor Paul Henderson moves into the house while starring in a vampire film being shot nearby, he buys a black cloak from a peculiar shopkeeper to use as his film character's costume. The cloak seems to instill in its wearer strange powers, something Paul's co-star discovers. "Framework" John Bennett as Detective Inspector Holloway John Bryans as A. J. Stoker John Malcolm as Sergeant Martin"Method For Murder" Denholm Elliott as Charles Hillyer Joanna Dunham as Alice Hillyer Tom Adams as Richard/Dominic Robert Lang as Dr. Andrews"Waxworks" Peter Cushing as Philip Grayson Joss Ackland as Neville Rogers Wolfe Morris as Waxworks Proprietor"Sweets to the Sweet" Christopher Lee as John Reid Nyree Dawn Porter as Ann Norton Chloe Franks as Jane Reid Hugh Manning as Mark Carleton Hobbs as Dr. Bailey"The Cloak" Jon Pertwee as Paul Henderson Ingrid Pitt as Carla Lynde Geoffrey Bayldon as Theo von Hartmann Jonathan Lynn as Mr. Petrich Freddie Francis was wanted for the director's chair but he had prior commitments to a film in Hollywood, California that fell through.
Director Peter Duffell wanted to have the title Death and the Maiden as he used Franz Schubert's composition of the same title in the film. Producer Milton Subotsky insisted on The House That Dripped Blood, telling Duffell "We're in the marketplace, we have to use that title". Not one drop of blood appears in the actual film; when Peter Duffell was engaged the participation of actors Lee and Pitt had been decided by the producers. All other actors were cast by Duffell. Roger Greenspun of The New York Times wrote in a mixed review that he was "of several minds" about the film, calling the first two stories "as dull in development as they are in idea, but the latter two stories, though too short and too schematic, generate some interest, humor, a bit of characterization." Variety called it "one of the most entertaining of its genre to come along in several years and should prove strong opposition to the general monopoly of that market by Hammer Films... for filmgoers who don't follow the shocker market, this one is worthwhile."
Kevin Thomas of The Los Angeles Times wrote, "Richly atmospheric settings, muted color photography, an outstanding cast and competent direction do justice to Bloch's fine script, which deals with psychological terror rather than relying on the typical blood-and-guts formula." Tom Milne of The Monthly Film Bulletin called the first two stories "enjoyable enough in a rough-and-ready way" and the fourth story "a pleasant joke which would have been much funnier had it been played by a genuine horror star such as Vincent Price," but singled out the third story as "in an altogether different league... it is a mood piece which brilliantly orchestrates the child's loneliness, the father's hapless cruelty, the governess' well-meaning failure to understand, into a haunting picture of the evil that can come of good intentions."Among more recent reviews, Allmovie's review of the film was positive, calling it "a solid example of the Amicus horror anthology." Halliwell's Film Guide described the film as "neatly made and pleasing despite a low level of originality in the writing."
Time Out called the stories "rough-and-ready but vigorous Grand Guignol fun." The film was a minor success in the UK but did well in the US. Bryce, Amicus: The Studio That Dripped Blood, Stray Cat Publishing Ltd, ISBN 978-0953326136 Callaghan, Peter Duffell and the House That Dripped Blood, The British Fantasy Society Guarisco, The House That Dripped Blood, retrieved 6 July 2012 Greenspun, Roger, "Screen: Horror Tales", The New York Times: 37 Hallenbeck, Bruce G; the Amicus Anthology, Midnight Marquee Press, ISBN 978-1936168569 Halliwell, Halliwell's Film Guide, University of Michigan, ISBN 9780246115331 Milne, Tom, "The House That Dripped Blood", The Monthly Film Bulletin, 38: 50 "R
ITV (TV network)
ITV is a British free-to-air television network with its headquarters in London, it was launched in 1955 as Independent Television under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to BBC Television, established in 1932. ITV is the oldest commercial network in the UK. Since the passing of the Broadcasting Act 1990, its legal name has been Channel 3, to distinguish it from the other analogue channels at the time, namely BBC 1, BBC 2 and Channel 4. In part, the number 3 was assigned because television sets would be tuned so that the regional ITV station would be on the third button, with the other stations being allocated to the number within their name. ITV is a network of television channels that operate regional television services as well as sharing programmes between each other to be displayed on the entire network. In recent years, several of these companies have merged, so the fifteen franchises are in the hands of two companies; the ITV network is to be distinguished from ITV plc, the company that resulted from the merger of Granada plc and Carlton Communications in 2004 and which holds the Channel 3 broadcasting licences in England, southern Scotland, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and Northern Ireland.
With the exception of Northern Ireland, the ITV brand is the brand used by ITV plc for the Channel 3 service in these areas. In Northern Ireland, ITV plc uses the brand name UTV. STV Group plc uses the STV brand for its two franchises of northern Scotland; the origins of ITV lie in the passing of the Television Act 1954, designed to break the monopoly on television held by the BBC Television Service. The act created the Independent Television Authority to regulate the industry and to award franchises; the first six franchises were awarded in 1954 for London, the Midlands and the North of England, with separate franchises for Weekdays and Weekends. The first ITV network to launch was London's Associated-Rediffusion on 22 September 1955, with the Midlands and North services launching in February 1956 and May 1956 respectively. Following these launches, the ITA awarded more franchises until the whole country was covered by fourteen regional stations, all launched by 1962; the network has been modified several times through franchise reviews that have taken place in 1963, 1967, 1974, 1980 and 1991, during which broadcast regions have changed and service operators have been replaced.
Only one service operator has been declared bankrupt, WWN in 1963, with all other operators leaving the network as a result of a franchise review. Separate weekend franchises were removed in 1968 and over the years more services were added; the Broadcasting Act 1990 changed the nature of ITV. This criticised part of the review saw four operators replaced, the operators facing different annual payments to the Treasury: Central Television, for example, paid only £2000—despite holding a lucrative and large region—because it was unopposed, while Yorkshire Television paid £37.7 million for a region of the same size and status, owing to heavy competition. Following the 1993 changes, ITV as a network began to consolidate with several companies doing so to save money by ceasing the duplication of services present when they were all separate companies. By 2004, ITV was owned by five companies, of which two and Granada had become major players by owning between them all the franchises in England, the Scottish borders and the Isle of Man.
That same year, the two merged to form ITV plc with the only subsequent acquisitions being the takeover of Channel Television, the Channel Islands franchise, in 2011. and UTV, the franchise for Northern Ireland, in 2015. The ITV network is not owned or operated by one company, but by a number of licensees, which provide regional services while broadcasting programmes across the network. Since 2016, the fifteen licences are held by two companies, with the majority held by ITV Broadcasting Limited, part of ITV plc; the network is regulated by the media regulator Ofcom, responsible for awarding the broadcast licences. The last major review of the Channel 3 franchises was in 1991, with all operators' licences having been renewed between 1999 and 2002 and again from 2014 without a further contest. While this has been the longest period that the ITV Network has gone without a major review of its licence holders, Ofcom announced that it would split the Wales and West licence from 1 January 2014, creating a national licence for Wales and joining the newly separated West region to Westcountry Television, to form a new licence for the enlarged South West of England region.
All companies holding a licence were part of the non-profit body ITV Network Limited, which commissioned and scheduled network programming, with compliance handled by ITV plc and Channel Television. However, due to amalgamation of several of these companies since the creation of ITV Network Limited, it has been replaced by an affiliation system. Approved by Ofcom, this results in ITV plc commissioning and funding the network schedule, with STV and UTV paying a fee to broadcast it. All licensees have the right to opt out of network programming (except fo
Doctor Who is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC since 1963. The programme depicts the adventures of a Time Lord called "the Doctor", an extraterrestrial being, to all appearances human, from the planet Gallifrey; the Doctor explores the universe in a time-travelling space ship called the TARDIS. Its exterior appears as a blue British police box, a common sight in Britain in 1963 when the series first aired. Accompanied by a number of companions, the Doctor combats a variety of foes while working to save civilisations and help people in need; the show is a significant part of British popular culture, elsewhere it has gained a cult following. It has influenced generations of British television professionals, many of whom grew up watching the series; the programme ran from 1963 to 1989. There was an unsuccessful attempt to revive regular production in 1996 with a backdoor pilot, in the form of a television film titled Doctor Who; the programme was relaunched in 2005, since has been produced in-house by BBC Wales in Cardiff.
Doctor Who has spawned numerous spin-offs, including comic books, novels, audio dramas, the television series Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures, K-9, Class, has been the subject of many parodies and references in popular culture. Thirteen actors have headlined the series as the Doctor; the transition from one actor to another is written into the plot of the show with the concept of regeneration into a new incarnation, a plot device in which a Time Lord "transforms" into a new body when the current one is too badly harmed to heal normally. Each actor's portrayal is unique. Together, they form a single lifetime with a single narrative; the time-travelling feature of the plot means that different incarnations of the Doctor meet. The Doctor is portrayed by Jodie Whittaker, who took on the role after Peter Capaldi's exit in the 2017 Christmas special "Twice Upon a Time". Doctor Who follows the adventures of the title character, a rogue Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey who goes by the name "the Doctor".
The Doctor fled Gallifrey in a stolen TARDIS, a time machine that travels by materialising into and dematerialising out of the time vortex. The TARDIS has a vast interior but appears smaller on the outside, is equipped with a "chameleon circuit" intended to make the machine take on the appearance of local objects as a disguise. Across time and space, the Doctor's many incarnations find events that pique their curiosity and try to prevent evil forces from harming innocent people or changing history, using only ingenuity and minimal resources, such as the versatile sonic screwdriver; the Doctor travels alone and brings one or more companions to share these adventures. These companions are humans, owing to the Doctor's fascination with planet Earth, which leads to frequent collaborations with the international military task force UNIT when the Earth is threatened; the Doctor is centuries old and, as a Time Lord, has the ability to regenerate in case of mortal damage to the body, taking on a new appearance and personality.
The Doctor has gained numerous reoccurring enemies during their travels, including the Daleks, the Cybermen, the Master, another renegade Time Lord. Doctor Who first appeared on BBC TV at 17:16:20 GMT on Saturday, 23 November 1963, it was to be each episode 25 minutes of transmission length. Discussions and plans for the programme had been in progress for a year; the head of drama Sydney Newman was responsible for developing the programme, with the first format document for the series being written by Newman along with the head of the script department Donald Wilson and staff writer C. E. Webber. Writer Anthony Coburn, story editor David Whitaker and initial producer Verity Lambert heavily contributed to the development of the series; the programme was intended to appeal to a family audience as an educational programme using time travel as a means to explore scientific ideas and famous moments in history. On 31 July 1963, Whitaker commissioned Terry Nation to write a story under the title The Mutants.
As written, the Daleks and Thals were the victims of an alien neutron bomb attack but Nation dropped the aliens and made the Daleks the aggressors. When the script was presented to Newman and Wilson it was rejected as the programme was not permitted to contain any "bug-eyed monsters". According to producer Verity Lambert. We had a bit of a crisis of confidence. Had we had anything else ready we would have made that." Nation's script became the second Doctor. The serial introduced the eponymous aliens that would become the series' most popular monsters, was responsible for the BBC's first merchandising boom; the BBC drama department's serials division produced the programme for 26 seasons, broadcast on BBC 1. Falling viewing numbers, a decline in the public perception of the show and a less-prominent transmission slot saw production suspended in 1989 by Jonathan Powell, controller of BBC 1. Although it was cancelled with the decision not to commission a planned 27th season, which would have been broadcast in 1990, the BBC affirmed, over several ye