In 1963, the British Broadcasting Corporation launched the pilot of Doctor Who, a science-fiction television show that starred William Hartnell as a character known simply as "The Doctor." The character is revealed to be a Time Lord of the planet Gallifrey, who travels through time and space combating evil. His time machine, which resembles a blue British Police Box, is called the TARDIS (Time and Relative Dimension in Space), and is famous for being "bigger on the inside" due to its inter-dimensional properties. While the Doctor's body can die, his consciousness does not, and he regenerates into a new body after suffering mortal wounds. While each Doctor is unique in looks and personality, memories and experiences remain embedded in his mind, and his mission to defeat his enemies - including Daleks, Cybermen, and the rogue Time Lord known as the Master - continues on.
To date, 12 actors have portrayed The Doctor onscreen. The BBC originally broadcast Doctor Who from 1963 to 1989, which covered the first seven of his incarnations. In 1996, a backdoor pilot featured the Eighth Doctor, but this attempt to revive the series failed. However, in 2005, the show was successfully rebooted with Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor. As of 2016, the series continues with Peter Capaldi as the Twelfth Doctor.