There are many secrets and not-so-secrets to the astounding longevity of Doctor Who: one of them is that the show is constantly reinventing itself. Charlie Jane Anders at io9 runs down the “10 Totally Different TV Shows that Doctor Who Has Been Over the Years.” A taste:
3. An Avengers knock-off
At least, that’s one way to describe the first few years of Jon Pertwee’s tenure as the Doctor in the early 1970s. All of a sudden, the Doctor was elegant and debonair, like The Avengers‘ John Steed. He brandished lots of gadgets and got into fight scenes. And instead of flying around the universe, he drove around England solving local problems (which usually turned out to be aliens, or mad scientists.) The TARDIS was grounded by the Time Lords, and the Doctor joined up with a military organization under the United Nations, to save the planet from a nearly endless series of threats. The Doctor even got his first proper supervillain, the Master.
4. Gothic horror movies
Around the time Tom Baker took over the lead role in the mid-1970s, the creative team got very interested in gothic horror, and started openly plundering everything from Hammer movies to classic gothic literature for story ideas. There was a Jekyll-and-Hyde-with-antimatter story, there was a Frankenstein story, there was a Manchurian Candidate knock-off, and there was even a sort of Day of the Triffids shout-out. And all of it was very, very violent. And bloody. The amount of blood that found its way onto the screen in this era would give people a fit nowadays. Oh, and strangling. An awful lot of strangling. Oh, and did we mention drowning?
Head over to io9 for the other eight things.
(If you stumble across a cool Doctor Who thing, feel free to email me with a link.)