Manchester

Doctor Who course offered by Stockport's Aquinas College

Peter Capaldi as the doctor in front of a blackboard
Image caption About 7.4m viewers watched the last series of Doctor Who, starring Peter Capaldi

A college in Greater Manchester will take students back in time by holding classes on the history of science fiction drama Doctor Who.

The BBC show, which started in 1963, will be the subject of an 11-week course at Aquinas College in Stockport.

Teacher Michael Herbert said it would explore all of the Doctors, their companions and behind-the-scenes production techniques.

"It's about both the programme and the society it was shown in," he said.

"So the role of women is quite interesting, the way that has evolved over the years. Now the Doctor's companions are very feisty and articulate whereas in the past they sometimes had a supportive roleā€¦ and that reflects the changes in society."

Image caption Who is your favourite Doctor?

Mr Herbert, who has watched the show since the age of eight, admits the Tardis-inspired classes are "different" from his usual research, which covers trade unions and the history of working people in Manchester.

But he said his historical interests motivated him to teach the course, which he hopes will attract students of all ages.

"For those people who have, in particular, come to the show in the past 10 years, the idea is to tell them that there's a huge history behind the programme and look at the various eras of the Doctors before Peter Capaldi."

Doctor Who was dropped by the BBC in 1989 before regenerating in 2005 with Salford actor Christopher Eccleston in the lead role.

Made in Cardiff, it is one of the BBC's most popular exports and is watched in about 200 nations and territories.

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