Any Doctor Who-like series out there?

OK, I’m really show to pick up on good things. I got into Terry Pratchett after so many Dopers recommended him that it annoyed me enough to pick him up. I finally saw “Donnie Darko” last year, even though the DVD’s been on my shelf for two years. I still haven’t seen an episode of “Mad Men” or “Breaking Bad” or [insert favorite show here].

Which is the long way of saying I finally started watching the rebooted Doctor Who, and loving it. I’m at that stage where I don’t pick which one’s my favorite doctor, because I’m fond of them all. (Currently, we’re watching season 3, after picking up one and two and five – the latter because Gaiman’s “The Doctor’s Wife” was on it – (and, yes, I was late to “Sandman” as well, and loved it so much I picked up the Absolute versions).

But a question has been bugging me. The notion of a space and time traveler having adventures seems like a great archetype, but I can’t think of any books based on it. Part of it is sheer ignorance – I read a lot more fantasy and science-fiction – so I’m hoping y’all can help.

I’m not looking for Who-based fiction, but simply adventure series with time traveller(s).

Any suggestions?

It’s not used that often. Doctor Who sort of created the genre and few wanted to risk the comparison.

Voyagers! comes to mind (and is well regarded), as does Sliders (not quite time travel – it was parallel worlds – and generally awful and unimaginative in execution).

Have you seen Torchwood?

Inspector Spacetime.

You really don’t want to watch Torchwood. Just enjoy Jack Harkness in his hilarious role in Who and forget Torchwood.

Except for the one episode James Marsters (Spike from Buffy) was in.

Sapphire & Steel starring Joanna Lumley and David McCallum tried to be a Doctor Who for a more mature audience. I don’t recall how well they succeeded as I haven’t seen an episode in decades.

Then there’s the more recent Primeval. It’s about a team of scientists that are researching randomly appearing time portals that transport various prehistoric creatures to modern day England. Lots of time travel hijinks ensues. It doesn’t really resemble Doctor Who all that much, but it’s clearly aimed at the same audience.

If what you are asking for is a science fiction TV series about a guy traveling to random times and places, and having adventures wherever he arrives, then Quantum Leap springs to mind. In most respects it is not much like Dr Who, though, and all the places are on Earth. (Mind you, given the size of the universe, Dr Who himself seems to wind up on Earth, or even in England, surprisingly often.)


Even weirder than Doctor Who.

It’s weird that the OP asked about books or stories with similar themes to Dr Who and all the responses thus far have suggested other television shows. Is it a reading comprehension problem? (I went back and read it several times to ensure the reading comprehension problem wasn’t mine! It’s been known to happen to me.)

There’s lots of science fiction where a hero goes through space or time to a location where he then has an adventure. If you’re looking for a series that has the same hero doing this over and over, it’s a little tougher.

There were a lot of Sci-Fi series in the 50s and 60s that consisted of “our hero” zipping through the universe solving problems on different worlds. Keith Laumer’s Retief stories comes to mind, along with E.C. Tubb’s bazillion books about the man trying to find his way back to Earth. (Parenthetically, the Tubb books were the first place I ever ran into boilerplate text in fiction. The initial descriptions of the hero and his plight were word-for-word identical in each of the books I read). Alternately, you could just read stories written by authors who published in John Campbell’s Analog magazine. As a rule the heroes of these tales were interchangeable northern European men, so you could just rename them “Bob” or something and have yourself a series. :slight_smile:

Well, the op asked for a series in the subject. Most people associate that with a tv series. Doctor Who is a tv series. Most people assumed this was a tv thread.

Quantum Leap? You did say that you tend to be slow to pick up shows so perhaps you missed this one. :smiley:

The problem is that while the literature has various space adventurers, there aren’t many who travel trhough time. The best I can think of is the “Time Machine” stories that appeared in** Boys Life** in the 50s and 60s. There are some rough parallels to Doctor Who, though I doubt anyone at the BBC had ever heard of it. The Wikipedia link I gave also has links to the stories.

Sapphire and Steel is chilling and spooky and mysterious and alluring and boring as all get out. You have absolutely no idea who they are, where they come from, or what their philosophy is except for some nebulous and vague comments about corridors and Time. The villains they fight are almost completely opaque and the dialogue is the worst kind of nonsense babble turned up to 11. On top of all this is absolutely glacial pacing. It aired for 6 series. Each series has one thread line that takes anywhere from 6 to 8 episodes to resolve. Too little happens in one episode to make it seem worthwhile to watch them one at a time but the recap editing makes watching more than 2 or 3 in a row absolutely sleep-inducing. I’m glad I watched them but I will probably never watch them again.

Blake’s 7

It was British SF, with space travel, but they didn’t travel in time.

The BBC streaming audio channel Radio 4 Extra was recently running a series of shows set in the Blake’s 7 universe, called Blake’s 7: The Early Years. The announcer said “True to the spirit of the original TV series, Blake isn’t in it, and there aren’t seven of them.” :smiley:

(Those who watched past the first season of the original show will get this.)

I loved Lexx :slight_smile:

Time for a remake, then. Give the Observers from Fringe a spinoff.

True, but on the other hand, Joanna Lumley in her prime.

I haven’t read the series myself, but Simon Hawke’s TimeWarsseries sounds like something similar to what you’re looking for.

As Fry would say, Shut up and take my money!

Exactly the sort of thing for people who are into that sort of thing. David McCallum was not quite my cup of tea so I had to rate the show purely on its strength as a sci-fi series.