3rd: Doctor Who (1963 – 1989, 2005 – present, BBC)
Doctor Who is an original BBC science-fiction programme focused on the eponymous main character, an alien Time Lord who travels in a time-travelling space ship disguised as a blue Police phone booth. The Doctor’s purpose is to fight various creatures that put in peril civilisations and save those in need with the help of his many companions.
With 26 seasons of the initial series, two feature films from 1965 and 1966 – “Dr. Who and the Daleks” and “Daleks – Invasion of the Earth: 2150 AD” -, one TV movie from 1996, 7 spin-offs, many comics and books, 8 seasons of the new version and a total of 813 episodes out of which 97 are missing, it is no wonder that this show is indeed very popular and one of the best existing series.
What keeps the audience glued to their seats are the constant changes and the lack of repetition. Despite its long run, Doctor Who has managed to become a true time-travelling TV series as it has fans from different decades and of different ages.
When it was told that the Doctor can regenerate his body 13 times, people really believed and they were not disappointed. So far, the humanoid alien has been portrayed by 12 different actors. And with each actor and version of the Doctor, comes a new personality and, obviously, a new look.
The First Doctor, played by William Hartnell, is a mysterious grumpy old man with a frail Edwardian appearance despite his actual strength and will. The Second (Patrick Troughton) was a childish “cosmic hobo”, while the Third (Jon Pertwee) was a suave dandy and the Fourth (Tom Baker) was the most unpredictable one due to his change of moods.
The Fifth (Peter Davison) was sensitive and even vulnerable, the Sixth (Colin Baker) was rather an egoist and a megalomaniac with a love for colours, the Seventh (Sylvester McCoy) was a buffoon similar to the Second reincarnation and the Eight (Paul McGann) a charming romantic version of Severus Snape.
The Doctors of the new generation are four at number and portrayed by Christopher Eccleston – a less flamboyant and eccentric version -, David Tennant – a talkative merciful Doctor -, Matt Smith – a capricious lover of bowties and fezzes – and the most recent one, Peter Capaldi – a “total adrenaline junkie” as described by the actor himself.
Thou the Doctors are not the only ones large at number. Each one of them has had a significant number of companions meant to be the Doctors’ friends and assistants. Out of the over 60 companions, the fan favourite ones are Rose Tyler (Billie Piper), Susan Foreman (Carole Ann Ford), Amy Pond (Karen Gilan), Donna Noble (Catherine Tate), Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) and Sarah-Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen).
2nd: Supernatural (2005 – present, The WB | The CW)
Supernatural is an original horror television series created by Eric Kripke. The series narrative follows the Winchester brothers Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles), two demon, ghost and monster hunters as they travel across the country solving mysteries and dealing with the supernatural in order to save the innocents while driving their family’s old Impala and listening to good music.
The Family Business
If there is one thing Sam and Dean are not, that is average. One major point of this series is the complexity of its characters, especially the main ones. Going through the traumatic death of their mother and their father’s obsession with the mystic and his constantly disappearances, it is no wonder that the two men had a rough upbringing, followed by a rough adulthood.
Right from the start, they set off to look for their father, after Sam’s girlfriend dies in the same manner as their mother did, this way getting involved with more and more supernatural creatures.
Later, as they discover more about their family’s past, they befriend hunters such as the Harvelle women Jo (Alona Tal) and Ellen (Samantha Ferris), the angel Castiel (Misha Collins), Bobby Singer (Jim Beaver), the prophet Kevin Tran (Osric Chau) and run into some not so friendly angels and demons, the tricky Bela Talbot (Lauren Cohan) and Crowley (Mark Sheppard) the King of Hell and his gang.
Get the Salt
In its 10 seasons and over 200 episodes, Supernatural has depicted various mythological and legendary creatures of Christian, Greek, Norse, Nippon and urban origins. The most common were the ghosts which are generally trapped or vengeful as it appeared in the Pilot episode. Other creatures are vampires, shape shifters, skin walkers, werewolves, djinns, dragons, fairies, sirens, zombies, witches and even amazons.
An appearance make also the deities such as Mercury, Calliope, Osiris, Odin, Artemis, Zeus, Loki, Leshi, Ganesh, Kawkaw and even God (Rob Benedict), along with leviathans and the horsemen. But the most important roles are played by the archangels – Michael, Lucifer, and Gabriel -, angels – Balthazar, Zachariah – and demons – the frenemy Meg, Abaddon, Lilith, the tricky Ruby and Azazel.
1st: Game of Thrones (2011 – present, HBO)
The HBO adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Fire and Ice” novels, Game of Thrones is a fantasy drama series. Inspired by actual historical events and figures, Game of Thrones, with the action set on the fictional Westeros and Essos, depicts the fight for power and the Iron Throne between the noble houses of Baratheon, Lannister, Tyrell, Targaryen, Stark, Bolton, Karstark, Florent, Arryn, Martell, Greyjoy, Frey and Tully.
The Rise and the Fall
The series begins with the rise of Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark (Sean Bean) as the King Robert Baratheon’s (Mark Addy) chief advisor after the mysterious death of the previous chief. But after some investigations lead the Stark family to suspect the House of Lannister, to whom Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) belongs to, the Starks start digging their own tombs, despite things looking positive at some point. And when the Iron Throne gets in the hands of the young psychotic Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson), everything goes down for everyone.
With Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) in the hands of the evil Lannisters, the Tyrells playing their game to get Margaery (Natalie Dormer) as the queen, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) still knowing nothing and with Daenerys Targaryen making her way reclaiming the seven kingdoms, one can be sure that as long as George R.R. Martin doesn’t kill anyone, we will still have the greatest TV series to watch.
The Good, the Bad, the Lannisters
While the story line is absolutely fantastic, the fandom is more attached to the characters and once you start watching Game of Thrones, you will get it why. There are the handsome and never forgotten Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) the shy but mature Jon Snow, who has a great sense of honour, unlike most characters, and the arrogant yet complex Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), but also the fabulous sardonic Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage).
However, not only the men in this show are interesting. The female characters are the most compelling ones, either if we are talking about the tomboy Arya (Maisie Williams) who, in a world where women are victims, she is a warrior, or Daenerys the strong Khaleesi and mother of the dragons.
Of course, there are the characters we love to hate – mainly the Lannister family including the incestuous manipulative but strong Cersei, her sadistic tyrant son Joffrey, Lord paedophile lecherous Walder Frey (David Bradley) and Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) whom we wouldn’t want near any man or living creature in general. But let’s be honest! Without all of them, Game of Thrones wouldn’t be so addicting.