Named in Guinness World Records as the longest running science fiction TV series in the world, the BBC-produced television program, Doctor Who, will celebrate its fiftieth year in 2013. Since its conception in 1963, the show has become a major part of British pop culture and has continued to garner new fans with each generation.
The series centers on the adventures of the main character known simply as the Doctor, who is a Time Lord—a time traveling humanoid alien—who explores the universe in his TARDIS, a telepathic time-and-space-travel machine that, on the outside, resembles a classic blue British police box. Over the years, the Doctor has been accompanied by a wonderful array of companions who have helped him battle his enemies and save civilizations.
Since 1963 there have been eleven actors who have played the title role of the Doctor, each one written into the plot by regeneration—a life cycle that takes place after the Doctor has sustained an injury that would be considered fatal to others, but instead forces him to take on a new humanoid form. British actor Matt Smith stars as the current Doctor. Smith took over the role in 2010 and in 2011 he became the first Doctor ever to be nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
Doctor Who: The Vault is a journey through 50 years of Doctor Who, via carefully selected photographs, props, costumes, stills, production memos, letters, scripts, merchandise, and toys. This "museum in a book" tells the story of Doctor Who year-by-year, from the first pre-production memo in 1963 to the most recent props created for the latest series in 2013. It also includes new interviews with key players such as William Russell (one of Doctor Who's companions appearing in most of the episodes of the first two seasons in 1963 and 1964), Terrance Dicks (the main Doctor Who script editor from 1968 – 1974 and writer of more than 60 novelizations of the TV series), Tom Baker (the hugely popular Fourth Doctor), Steven Moffat (the current lead writer, showrunner and co-creator of Sherlock), and Matt Smith.