Doctor Who - Classic series
Much beloved flagship of British television science fiction that sent generations scuttling behind the sofa.
In typically hectoring fashion, the BBC first imagined their new time-travelling hero as an excuse to bring history to the masses, planning to use him as a Trojan horse for some historical 'edutainment'. This soon fell by the wayside as it became clear that viewers were responding more positively to the Doctor's battles with various monstrous races intent on the destruction of the Earth.
The Doctor in question is a benign intergalactic Time Traveller who has taken it upon himself to act as protector for planet Earth. The producer's stroke of genius was the decision to have the Doctor's body transform as each lead actor quit (or was sacked) from the series, giving the show an unlimited shelf life. Heavily influenced in the first instance by H G Wells' The Time Machine, the show soon struck out on its own, introducing the likes of the Tardis, Daleks and Cybermen into the lexicon. Like James Bond, everyone has their favourite actor - who's yours?