Info from Extracts from the Doctor's 500 Year Diary, Early Man: Dalek Invasion of Earth 2150 B.C., and The Diary of a Dr. Who Addict needs to be added.
In addition, information from The Thief of Sherwood should, per the revelations at Thread:272817#35, be moved to a separate Doctor Who (Godfrey Porter's World) page.
These omissions are so great that the article's factual accuracy has been compromised. Check out the discussion page and revision history for further clues about what needs to be updated in this article.
- You may wish to consult
Doctor Who (disambiguation)for other, similarly-named pages.
Doctor Who was a BBC science fiction/drama series that premiered either in late 1963, (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks, PROSE: Stop, Thief!, et al.) or the 2060s. (PROSE: Lady Penelope Investigates the stars of the Sensational new film Dr. Who and the Daleks!)
The series oriented around the adventures of the eponymous time traveller, commonly referred to as "the Doctor", "Doctor Who", and Dr. Who.
- 1 History
- 2 Behind the scenes
- 2.1 History of the concept
- 2.2 Other notes
- 2.3 Information from invalid sources
- 2.3.1 Roland Rat
- 2.3.2 Oh Mummy!
- 2.3.3 Eye on... Blatchford
- 2.3.4 Attack of the Graske
- 2.3.5 Verity
- 2.3.6 The Sixth Doctor is on trial AGAIN!
- 2.3.7 The Home Assistants of Death?!
- 2.3.8 A New Year's message from the Doctor
- 2.3.9 Tom Baker strs in John Lloyd's lost Doctor Who adventure, The Doomsday Contract
- 3 External links
- 4 Footnotes
History[edit | edit source]
In the 19th century[edit | edit source]
The Fourth Doctor once wrote and dispatched two letters at a post office on Ganymede on 42 Paztenmber, relative to 1845 "Earth-time", as the Doctor wanted to ensure his letters arrived in time to be printed in the first issue of Doctor Who Weekly. In the first letter, the Doctor talked about several features in the magazine, and in the second letter, the Doctor explained how to use the rub-down action transfers on two colour panoramas illustrated by Dave Gibbons. (PROSE: A Letter from the Doctor)
In the 20th century[edit | edit source]
Development[edit | edit source]
November 1963[edit | edit source]
Early on, there was a novel called Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks, which, according to the Eighth Doctor, contradicted another book, Doctor Who and an Unearthly Child. (PROSE: Bafflement and Devotion) This book was later illicitly shared around on Gallifrey during The War, albeit with its title partially censored for security reasons. (PROSE: The Taking of Planet 5)
Sometime in the mid-1960s, Monica, Buttons, and Cuthbert tried to get Dr. Who's autograph after seeing him on television, but after they arrived at the studio and chased by a guard, they took refuge in Dr. Who's TARDIS that had been "parked" outside the studio. Buttons pressed a button, causing the TARDIS to take them to the Stone Age, which they spent little time exploring due to a caveman chasing them for trying to access a Stone Age TV Studio. After they returned to the 20th century, they left the TARDIS, and were chased by the guard once again. (COMIC: TV Terrors)
1970s[edit | edit source]
Sometime in the 1970s, Terrance Dicks listened in on a conversation a Doctor Who fan from the future, who was asking UNIT for help regarding COVID-19. He would join in on the conversation a few minutes later, where he came up with a name for a Doctor Who story, "who's for a brew". He wrote it down, intending to share it with Barry, before disconnecting from the call. (WC: U.N.I.T. On Call)
In 1974, a serial of the series aired, portraying the regeneration of Third Doctor into his next incarnation, the Fourth Doctor. (PROSE: Fanboys) The Fourth Doctor was played by Tom Baker, and was Paul Magrs' favourite actor to portray the Doctor. (PROSE: The Story of Fester Cat)
In 1978, Iris Wildthyme was sent by the Ministry to investigate Geoff Love as the Ministry suspected him of secreting in subliminal messages into his reworkings of classic TV sci-fi themes. Iris helped Geoff develop a remixed Doctor Who theme while proving that the Ministry was indeed correct with their suspicions. (PROSE: Bafflement and Devotion)
1980s[edit | edit source]
Prior to 1981, serials known as The Seeds of Doom, State of Decay, Planet of the Spiders were broadcast, the latter of which depicting the Fourth Doctor's regeneration into the Fifth Doctor, who was set to return in the following season. By this time, the Wirrn, Zarbi, Sontarans, Krynoids, Zygons, Mechanoids, Yeti, and the Brain of Morbius all had been featured in the show, serving the role of the villains.
In early 1981, David and Chris were major fans of the series. They obsessed over the series, and when they went to Darlington on a semi-regular basis, where they would treated by their parents by taking them into WHSmith's to buy Target novelisations of Doctor Who stories. On one such occasion, they bought copies of State of Decay and Planet of the Spiders. (PROSE: Fanboys)
1990s[edit | edit source]
In the 21st century[edit | edit source]
2000s[edit | edit source]
Around the early 2000s, Paul Magrs wrote in a short piece of prose about his books and inspirations. In this piece, he stated that the second and fourth incarnations of the Doctor were Patrick Troughton and Tom Baker, respectively, and that his collection of all 150 Target novels written by Terrance Dicks had been stolen. (PROSE: Bafflement and Devotion)
By the 21st century, Cybermen, Weeping Angels, Sontarans and Slitheen had appeared. David Karpagnon, an orphan with dissociative personality disorder, watched the show around this time. The Doctor helped him with his problems from inside his head. (PROSE: The Terror of the Umpty Ums) In the early 2010s, Matt Smith was an actor in the series. (TV: The Doctor Drops In, The Doctor Appears)
In 2008, Paul Magrs worked on several scripts for Doctor Who CDs, which, once completed, would require Paul to travel to London and help with the production, where he got to meet Tom Baker. (PROSE: The Story of Fester Cat)
2010s[edit | edit source]
On Red Nose Day 2013, Dermot O'Leary surprised his co-presenter Claudia Winkleman with a guest appearance of the Eleventh Doctor. At the event, an episode of Doctor Who played on screen behind them with an actor portraying Walter Simeon, and flirtatiously Claudia chased the Doctor around. (TV: The Doctor Appears) Later that year, The Day of the Doctor was broadcast in 3D. (TV: The Doctor Appears, WC: The Zygon Isolation)
Peter Capaldi was cast as the Twelfth Doctor in 2013, where he attended a meeting with Steven Moffat. Capaldi prepared for this meeting by reading issues of DWM. Later, he wrote a letter to the readers of DWM, writing about his more than positive opinions of the magazine. (PROSE: A Letter from the Doctor (DWM 464))
In November 2014, (PROSE: "Assessing the Risk") when the Earth became overgrown with trees, a double decker bus had an advertisement on its side, depicting the TARDIS and individuals closely resembling the Twelfth Doctor and Clara Oswald. An unknown source rated the show four stars out of five commenting "A-MAZE-ING ENTERTAINMENT!". (TV: In the Forest of the Night)
Around October of 2015, the ninth series of the show was broadcast on BBC One, starring another unspecified incarnation, who travelled with a companion called Clara; the twelfth incarnation of the Doctor bore a great similarity to this fictional depiction, and the same could be said about Clara Oswald. (WC: The Zygon Isolation)
On 29 April 2016, Peter Capaldi was asked by Doctor Who Magazine to write a letter for the five-hundredth issue. He had written another letter for the magazine a while back, but couldn't remember if it was for the one-thousandth or the one hundred-thousandth issue. In his letter, he noted that the magazine had a comic strip, and he was proud to have his likeness be captured so well, as well as how inspirational the magazine was to its fans. (PROSE: A Letter from the Doctor (DWM 500))
2020s[edit | edit source]
By 2020, the show had 12 series and 167 episodes that were available on BBC iPlayer. The ninth series appeared to include episodes such as The Magician's Apprentice, The Witch's Familiar, Under the Lake, Before the Flood, The Girl Who Died, The Woman Who Lived, The Zygon Invasion, The Zygon Inversion, Sleep No More, Face the Raven, and Heaven Sent. There also a periodical called Doctor Who Magazine. (WC: The Zygon Isolation)
On 10 May, 2020, the two Osgoods conversed over Zoom. Afterwards, one of the duo went onto BBC iPlayer after ending the chat, scrolling past several episodes of Doctor Who from series nine, until she decided to watch The Zygon Invasion. (WC: The Zygon Isolation)
In late 2020, after a fan finished watching an episode, she rang UNIT in the 1970s, asking for help from the real Third Doctor, Jo, and the Brigadier, and they told her to remain positive despite the hardships. They disconnected, and Terrance Dicks then applauded the trio, and told the fan a tea break was deserved. He then came up with an idea for the name of a story, and then too disconnected. The fan then drank a cup of tea while watching an older episode of Doctor Who. (WC: U.N.I.T. On Call)
2060s[edit | edit source]
By 2065, (PROSE: Peaceful Thals Ambushed!) William Hartnell was playing the part of "Dr. Who" in "the television series". (PROSE: Lady Penelope Investigates the stars of the Sensational new film Dr. Who and the Daleks!)
In the 26th century[edit | edit source]
2590s[edit | edit source]
In 2596, Chris Cwej and Clarence once watched a show on a vidscreen that ran for "thirty-odd years" and mostly comprised of "people being captured and escaping, a lot of running and an explosion at the end". Clarence found this series to be predictable, but they both preferred it to the alternative, which were cookery shows. (PROSE: Twilight of the Gods)
Undated events[edit | edit source]
In Melanie Bush's spacestation headquarters, the Seventh Doctor gave Mel a copy of Doctor Who The Collection Season 24, which he claimed was a "holographic, six-dimensional record" of his and Mel's adventures. They had decided to watch an episode, but not the one with the Tetraps. (WC: 24 Carat)
Other accounts[edit | edit source]
Other accounts of the Doctor appearing in Earth fiction, sometimes as a character called "Doctor Who", suggested that some of the movies and TV programmes about the character were based on records and testimonies of the real Doctor. (PROSE: Stop, Thief!, Salvation, The Day of the Doctor) It has been suggested that when the Doctor's existence has become too noticeable to a world, they have a favorite "panic button", going back in time and introducing themselves as a fictional character in that world's mythology. (PROSE: Afterword)
Premiering in the 1950s, (PROSE: In Search of Doctor X) the television series Doctor X shared similarities Doctor Who, (PROSE: In Search of Doctor X, WC: Case File - Doctor X, et al.) with the series both being primarily science fiction, centering around a mysterious, epynomynous time traveller, with similarly named books, (PROSE: In Search of Doctor X, Bafflement and Devotion) as well as a dedicated fanbase. (PROSE: Bafflement and Devotion, The Story of Fester Cat, WC: Case File - Doctor X)
Parallel timelines[edit | edit source]
In one reality, where the Doctor did not appear to ever have existed as a real individual, from 19 September to 24 October 1964, a six-part story entitled The Outlaws was first broadcast, starring actor William Hartnell as a version of the First Doctor. The six episodes were titled: "The Deserted Castle", "The Thief of Sherwood", "The Alchemist", "Errand of Mercy", "Ransom" and "A Guest For the Gallows". Episodes 3 and 5 were missing but still existed as off-air recordings. It had the production code "I".
The guest cast for "The Deserted Castle" included William Russell in a dual role also as Robin Hood, Archie Duncan as Little John, Ronald Hines as Will Scarlet, Frank Thornton as the Sheriff of Nottingham, Anneke Wills as Maid Marion, Milton Johns as the peddler, Carl Bernard as a villager and Ivor Colin as a man-at-arms. The writer was Godfrey Porter, the title music was by Ron Grainer with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, the incidental music was composed and conducted by Harper C Bassett, the story editor was David Whitaker, the designer was Barry Newbery, the associate producer was Mervyn Pinfield, the producer was Verity Lambert and the director was Patrick Whitfield.
While doing an alchemy demonstration for the Sheriff in Episode 3, the Doctor nearly blows himself up while mixing chemicals, leaving him absent for two episodes while Hartnell recovered from a short illness.
The Daleks appeared in one of the first eight stories of this version of Doctor Who; the tenth story was titled Planet of Giants and followed on from a cliffhanger in which the fault locator warned of a build-up of pressure within the TARDIS.
The Eighth Doctor encountered a version of the Doctor Who TV series in a parallel universe where he realised that he did not exist as a real individual; instead, he encountered the actor Tom Baker, who resembled the Doctor's fourth self. (COMIC: TV Action!)
The Eleventh Doctor also found himself stranded in a "meta-fictional" Parallel universe where Doctor Who existed as a TV programme with a long and storied history; to his surprise, all of the series' episodes matched events in his past exactly. (COMIC: The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who)
Another universe existed where Doctor Who was the failed creation of Martin Bannister; in the original timeline, it was extremely popular, but excessive time travel caused the programme to be effectively replaced by Juliet Bravo. (AUDIO: Deadline, PROSE: All Our Christmases)
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
History of the concept[edit | edit source]
The existence of the TV series Doctor Who within the Doctor Who universe is a metafictional gimmick with a long and storied history within licensed Doctor Who fiction. The show itself stopped just shy of confirming the existence of a series called Doctor Who within its universe on two occasion; the first was in Remembrance of the Daleks, where a TV series whose title began with "Doc…", and which debuted on the same date as the real-life Doctor Who, was briefly mentioned — only for the characters (and viewers) to miss the full name of the programme. Many years later, a poster featuring the Twelfth Doctor, Clara Oswald and the Doctor's TARDIS was glimpsed in the background of the Series 8 episode In the Forest of the Night, but with no title visible.
As a significant part of popular culture of Earth history in their own universe, television programmes and books based upon the Doctor have also been referenced in other in-universe sources; some, like Sarah Jane Smith's Doctor series, were reminiscent but distinct from real-life Doctor Who productions, while others, such as the mention of the two Peter Cushing movies in Steven Moffat's Day of the Doctor novelisation, intentionally matched pieces of real-life Doctor Who fiction. However, though instances such as the short story Stop, Thief! (where Winston Churchill commissions a "BBC TV programme about the Doctor's life") push the implication as far as it may be pushed, no story deemed valid by this Wiki has yet directly posited an in-universe TV series called Doctor Who as existing in the Doctor's own universe and being based in some obvious causal manner on the Doctor's "real" exploits. Several television and prose stories (The Doctor Drops In, The Doctor Appears, and A Letter from the Doctor) have come rather close, showing the Doctor to endorse and promote the series, but still did not explicitly spell out that the in-universe Doctor Who series was based on the real Doctor's adventures.
As an in-universe concept, Doctor Who has been additionally used in parallel universes — where the logically thorny implications of the series known to the viewer simultaneously being a true account of a time-traveller's life, and a piece of fiction which the same individual could theoretically watch, would be lessened. The Eighth Doctor discovered the existence of Doctor Who in TV Action! while the Eleventh Doctor dealt with chapters of his life being chronicled as episodes of a television programme in The Girl Who Loved Doctor Who. The articles from The Thief of Sherwood, which depict an adventure with the First Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara where they meet Robin Hood, is placed in "an alternate version of our world", belonging to the Doctor's multiverse, by authorial intent.
Other notes[edit | edit source]
The bus seen in In the Forest of the Night was cardboard, as it was too hard to transport a real bus into the forest. The advert seen on the bus was a fan-made poster for series 8 of Doctor Who, made by Logan Fulford.
The Doctor Who annuals seen in COMIC: A Groatsworth of Wit, while are clearly recognizable, the specific years are too small to make out. In the real world, these annuals correspond to the 1968 and 2006 annuals.
In some stories, vague allusions towards Doctor Who stories have been made, such as in PROSE: I Am the Doctor, where Nardole watches The Chase, and in TV: The Return of Doctor Mysterio, where a cinema was shown to be playing something titled The Mind of Evil; whether these stories were meta-fiction references to Doctor Who, or were references to the gameshow called The Chase and an unrelated film are currently unclear. Similar instances have occurred with characters, where they've been named after or in homage to real world individuals involved with Doctor Who, with ambiguity surrounding whether they're supposed to be direct, in-universe counterparts, equivalents of, or even entirely unrelated individuals in all but name.
Many of Douglas Adams' Doctor Who stories, such as TV: Destiny of the Daleks and TV: Shada, have implied a shared universe with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, however an authorised sequel And Another Thing... seems to contradict this by having Arthur Dent compare the destruction of Earth to early special effects on Doctor Who, however by the content gathered on this page, this disparity can be easily reconciled.
Information from invalid sources[edit | edit source]
Roland Rat[edit | edit source]
After the Sixth Doctor finished telling the audience that they had been watching Roland Rat: The Series, and that they should now switch over to BBC1's Doctor Who, Ron Rat jumped up, shouting that Doctor Who was "rubbish", which caused the Sixth Doctor to promptly attempt to murder the rat. (NOTVALID: Roland Rat: The Series special)
Oh Mummy![edit | edit source]
When Sutekh auditioned for the role of himself, Philip Hinchcliffe set fire to many objects to see if Sutekh could hold back the flames. Unbeknownst to him at the time was that one of these objects was a copy of Fury from the Deep. (NOTVALID: Oh Mummy!)
Eye on... Blatchford[edit | edit source]
Attack of the Graske[edit | edit source]
Inviting a human aboard the TARDIS, the Tenth Doctor voices his awareness that they have been watching his adventures. He in turn admits to having watched some of theirs. (NOTVALID: Attack of the Graske)
Verity[edit | edit source]
A young woman, Verity, went to the BBC, and became the producer of the show, despite the protests of the "Men Who Knew What To Do". By standing her ground against their blatant sexism, she helped the Doctor Who series flourish with her creative ideas.
The Sixth Doctor is on trial AGAIN![edit | edit source]
Colin Baker was once put on trial for not paying a parking fine, which he recieved whilst filming ten hours of new content for Doctor Who Season 23, which included updated special effects and extended versions of every episode, as well behind the scenes material such as The Writers' Room: The Missing Season 23, The Doctor Who Cookbook Revisited, and The Doctor's Table: Season 23. Despite showing the magistrate evidence of this on his iPad which had been beamed directly from the Matrix, he was "put away" in a cell with his friend Nicola Bryant, who had been put there for marrying Brian Blessed. (NOTVALID: The Sixth Doctor is on trial AGAIN!)
The Home Assistants of Death?![edit | edit source]
In her garden, Louise Jameson spoke to her friend Tom Baker about how wonderful her new Home Assistant is, until she gave it too many orders, causing it to malfunction so severely it attempts to kill Louise, so hanging up on Tom, she grabs Doctor Who The Collection Season 14, using it to bludgeon the Home Assistant down. (NOTVALID: The Home Assistants of Death?!)
A New Year's message from the Doctor[edit | edit source]
Tom Baker strs in John Lloyd's lost Doctor Who adventure, The Doomsday Contract[edit | edit source]
In 1978, Douglas Adams became the script editor for Doctor Who after he finished writing The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for Radio 4. John Lloyd, who had assisted Adams with the writing for Hitchhiker's, submitted a story treatment entitled The Doomsday Contract. Despite putting a lot of work into multiple drafts, the episode was never produced and Lloyd moved onto other projects.
In 2021, Big Finish produced a "full cast audio version" of the unproduced serial The Doomsday Contract, written by John Lloyd and Nev Fountain, starring Tom Baker, Lalla Ward, John Leeson, and Julian Wadham. (NOTVALID: Tom Baker stars in John Lloyd's lost Doctor Who adventure, The Doomsday Contract)
[edit | edit source]
Footnotes[edit | edit source]