Over the decades, numerous logos have been used for the Doctor Who televised series.
Overview[edit | edit source]
1963-1967, 2013[edit | edit source]
The first logo featured the words "DOCTOR WHO" in block white capitals, written in a simple sans serif font. The weight and size of the two words were arranged to keep both at the same width, a trend that would continue through the next two logos. Emphasis was placed on the word "WHO" by use of a heavier, more elongated typeface than that used for "DOCTOR".
Although this logo is primarily associated with William Hartnell's tenure as the Doctor, it remained in use for Patrick Troughton's first four stories, through to The Moonbase. This logo saw some use in merchandising; such as Doctor Who annual and the Frederick Muller novelisations. The latter utilised a variant of this logo, in which the word "WHO" is shown to be fuzzy and distorted. In the 1980s, Marvel Comics merged elements of the 1963 & 1973 logos for its Doctor Who comic book.
An updated version of this logo (featuring the BBC logo, as is now common practice) was used for The Day of the Doctor.
1967-1969[edit | edit source]
This logo again featured white capital letters, this time presented in 'Times New Roman'. The use of identical font and weight in both words severely diminished the differential emphasis featured in the 1963 logo.
This logo made its first appearance in Patrick Troughton's fifth serial, The Macra Terror, alongside a new title sequence and theme. This logo was not widely used in merchandising, but an altered version of the logo was featured on record release Variations on a Theme years later.
1970-1973[edit | edit source]
This logo gave the programme a much more unique visual identity. It featured a specially styled typeface and was presented in a bold shade of cyan, contrasting the simplistic, white logos of the 1960s. The enlargement of "WHO" as opposed to "DOCTOR" continued a trend that would remain in all future logos until the series' revival in 2005.
This logo was the first to be shown in colour, debuting with the Third Doctor's first serial. Although primarily associated with Jon Pertwee, this logo was later used as the basis for the logo used in the 1996 television movie. This updated logo would continue to be used in several pieces of non-televised media in later years, including comics by Titan Publishing Group (2014-2018) and the Dr. Men series.
1973-1980[edit | edit source]
This logo, known informally as the "diamond logo", featured a bluish tint when used on-screen. The diamond-shaped background was often omitted in merchandising, with the colouring of the lettering and background also sometimes changed.
Although commonly associated with Tom Baker's time as the Fourth Doctor, this logo was introduced during Jon Pertwee's final season as the Third Doctor. This logo was used greatly during the 1980s and 1990s, being used for video releases (in lieu of the 'neon-tube' logos), for the Virgin Missing Adventures book line, as well as replacing the 1987 logo on most tie-in publications and merchandising during the early 1990s. More recently, the logo was briefly reused for BBC Audio's new series of Fourth Doctor adventures.
The non-diamond variant of this logo has the distinction of being the only series logo to be acknowledged in-universe. The Kingmaker includes references to a series of books, Doctor Who Discovers (in turn a reference to the real-world series of books of the same title). The cover art for the audio incorporates the cover of one of these books, featuring this logo.
1980-1984[edit | edit source]
This logo featured the words "DOCTOR WHO" presented in a neon-tubing style, leading to it being commonly referred to as the "neon-tubing logo". After one season of use, the logo was noticeably cleaner when Peter Davison made his debut as the Fifth Doctor, with fringing around the edges having been removed.
Introduced in the final season of Tom Baker's era, this revamp of the logo complemented the new "star-field" title sequence, as well as the first non-Delia Derbyshire arrangement of the theme. It was then used throughout Peter Davison's entire tenure as the Fifth Doctor.
1984-1986[edit | edit source]
With the introduction of Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor, the logo was tinted purple to give it a more colourful hue, matching the updated title sequence. It also took on a slightly curved appearance.
This variation of the logo was used almost exclusively on TV, with merchandising and books from the Colin Baker era tending to use either the 1973 or 1980 logos.
In the "Season 23: The Collection" re-edited standalone version of Terror of the Vervoids, the curved sign was presented inside a star-filled purple-ish space-like Time Vortex instead of a "star-field".
1987-1989[edit | edit source]
This logo was the first to be a three-dimensionally animated element of the title sequence. The word "Doctor" appeared at an angle in a signature-esque font over "WHO", which was presented in a metallic style with a red glow surrounding it. It underwent minor modifications when featured on the rebranded New Adventures books, beginning with Happy Endings. "Doctor" became less angled and more central, and the entire logo was more stencilled, with no texturing applied.
Following the TV series' end in 1989, this logo and variations on it would continue to be used for the Virgin New Adventures novels and other merchandise including Doctor Who Magazine until the early 1990s when it was replaced on most products (except the New Adventures) by the more famous 1973 logo. It was also featured on the spine of the majority of Virgin Publishing books, both fiction and non-fiction, was used for BBC Video's "Years" series of retrospective VHS releases in the early 1990s, and featured in the 1993 special Dimensions in Time, which remains its final TV use.
1996[edit | edit source]
Doctor Who (TV Movie)
This logo was essentially a modified version of the 1970 logo. The colouring was changed from cyan to a darker blue, and a metallic texture applied. Some letters were slightly reshaped (noticeably C, T, R, and W). It was presented as a three-dimensional object in space, echoing the 1987 logo. The logo is also seen from the rear. This logo has seen continual use in merchandising from 1996 to the present day. As such, there have been multiple variations. These include:
- In merchandise from 1997 to 1999, an ice-like pallet was applied to the logo rather than the dark blue tone seen in the TV Movie. The TV Movie design started to be used in merchandise in 1999, around the same time as Doctor Who Magazine finally adopted it to replace the diamond logo (which never used this version of the 1996 logo).
- To mark the show's 40th anniversary in 2003, the "H" in "WHO", was modified to make the logo read "W40". This was notably used, for example, on classic series VHSs and DVDs released in Australia during 2003, and for The Reign of Terror box set, which became the final story to be released on home video that year.
- The logo was stylised to feature the 'howl around' effect of the original title sequence for the 50th anniversary year, with a BBC logo included in the upper left.
- The logo was retextured to match the "steel" look used in merchandising throughout Matt Smith's final year as the Doctor. This featured a grey-white-grey gradient.
- The logo continued to be used until 2019, usually being featured in block colours such as white, blue, black, gold, and silver (similar to the usage of the 2014 logo).
Following the TV Movie, it was used as part of the BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures and Past Doctor Adventures, and largely replaced the diamond logo to represent the classic series as a whole in merchandise after 1996. It was used extensively during the 40th and 50th anniversary years (as mentioned above).
Although it was replaced when the series was revived in 2005, this logo remained the franchise's official logo on merchandise such as books, DVDs, and audio releases (including the Big Finish Productions line, but not AudioGO's Fourth Doctor line) which related to the first eight Doctors. The logo was in continuous use in one form or another from 1996 to 2019, making it the longest-running logo. While the 2018 logo became the primary logo on nearly all Doctor Who merchandise in 2018, the 1996 logo continued to appear on The Complete History covers and The Target Storybook in 2019, and most recently appeared on the Target novelizations of the TV Movie, Dalek, The Crimson Horror and The Witchfinders published in March 2021.
2005-2010[edit | edit source]
Beginning with The Runaway Bride, this logo was modified, and now featured lettering considerably more squat than the 2005 logo, and a new background for the 'shield'. However, the overall design wasn't impacted too heavily. Variations of this logo used in merchandising have seen the shield changed to an off-white or grey, with black lettering, or a gold or black shield with white lettering.
After being updated for the 2006 Christmas special, this logo was used in Doctor Who Magazine, BBC trailers, the BBC Tenth Doctor Adventures book line, comic books, and in Doctor Who Confidential. This logo was used for the last time on television in The End of Time Part 2. Doctor Who Magazine used its alteration of the logo for the last time with Issue #416.
The logo was not completely phased out right away, however, as several pieces of merchandise, including Tenth Doctor audios from BBC Audio, a Quick Reads novel and the American Doctor Who Ongoing comic book series continued to use the logo into April 2010. The Doctor Who DVD Files magazine series was the only Doctor Who merchandise to continue using this logo, all the way up to its final edition in 2014. It is also still used on the BBC Doctor Who The Classic Series website (presumably as it was archived and no longer updated when the logo was phased out).
2010-2011[edit | edit source]
This logo was the first to be comprised of two distinct elements, which were both presented in different arrangements in differing contexts. The words "DOCTOR" and "WHO" comprise one element, with a "DW" icon, representing the shape of the TARDIS (which it also transforms into during the title sequence), comprising the second.
Upon the first release in late 2009, the logo had the words "DOCTOR" and "WHO" on two levels, with the DW icon sitting alongside to form a square-shaped logo. The BBC logo was featured underneath, but wouldn't be featured in a televised logo until 2011. Later released was the far more commonly used horizontal arrangement. The DW icon being positioned between the two words. After one season of use, the on-screen appearance was slightly updated. The BBC logo was added, the texture slightly altered, and the flare slightly increased to give a more purple hue.
The BBC began using this logo for promotional trailers and its website within days of the broadcast ofThe End of Time, the horizontal version of the logo being adopted by Doctor Who Magazine with issue #417. In merchandise, the size of the DW was decreased. The arrangement of the logo with the words on two lines was almost never used. This logo was used on most Eleventh Doctor merchandise, including books, audios and magazines, as well as for Doctor Who Confidential.
The DW icon was used in BBC promotions for the series, often without any other wording. This would lead to a slight alteration of the logo in 2012. Although the DW was no longer featured in the show's logo, the DW wa still used extensively in promotions and merchandise until about 2014.
2012-2013[edit | edit source]
Following extensive use of the DW icon separately to any other element of the 2010 logo, the logo was slightly adjusted for Series 7. The DW icon was moved to the right of "DOCTOR WHO", leaving the title uninterrupted and impacting how the logo was presented in the title sequence. During Part 1, "DOCTOR WHO" appeared on screen, with the BBC logo directly underneath. It would then fade away, with the DW appearing, transforming into the TARDIS as previously. From The Snowmen, the DW icon was dropped on-screen.
Series 7 featured many variations of the logo's texture - throughout the Part 1, it differed from episode to episode. These variations included:
- For Asylum of the Daleks, it was bronze with numerous golden spheres, representing Dalekanium.
- For Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, it had a texture of green scales, representing the dinosaurs that appeared in the story.
- For A Town Called Mercy, it had a texture with a wooden look with gunshots, representing the story's Western setting.
- For The Power of Three, it had a texture that resembled the ubiquitous, black Shakri cubes featured throughout the story.
- For The Angels Take Manhattan it had marks resembling the Statue of Liberty's crown, representing the story's New York City setting.
- For The Snowmen, it had an icy texture, representing the story's Christmas setting.
- From The Bells of Saint John to The Time of the Doctor, the logo had a weathered metallic texture.
This rearranged logo was used by Doctor Who Magazine from #450 to #476. During 2012 and 2013, merchandising featured two variants of the logo: the familiar blue texture (used during Series 7 Part 1), and a gradient grey-white-grey (used during Series 7 Part 2). This marked the first time a logo was used across multiple title sequences, and starting with The Snowmen, the title sequence featured the Doctor's face again for the first time since 1989.
2014-2017[edit | edit source]
This logo featured a shiny, bluish metal texture, along with a thicker version of the typeface that had been used for the previous logo. Introduced with a new title sequence, marking Peter Capaldi's debut as the Twelfth Doctor, the logo no longer fades away, instead, zooming into the screen.
From 2014, merchandising featured this version of the logo, presented as a block colour, often white, with the BBC logo on the upper left of "DOCTOR". This version has been used by Doctor Who Magazine since #477. The "DW" logo is no longer incorporated in the logo but is still frequently seen separately.
Counting the 2005 logo and its modifications in The Runaway Bride as separate logos, this logo has the highest episode count of any used in the revived series, at 39 episodes.
2015 "Found footage" logo[edit | edit source]
Sleep No More (Series 9)
During the Series 9 episode Sleep No More, a special logo was used to reflect the found footage style of the story. The letters DOCTOR and WHO are highlighted shown vertically among what appears to be horizontally-aligned text similar to computer code, appearing alongside numerals and various character names from the story, including "GAGANRASSMUSSEN", "OSAMUCHOPRA", "DEEP-ANDO", "LEVERRIER", and "CLARAOSWALD", shortly after Gagan Rassmussen's beginning video message.
2018-present[edit | edit source]
The Ghost Monument - present (Series 11 to present)
Since the 2005 return of Doctor Who to television, the 1996 version of the logo had been used on most merchandise pertaining to the "classic" era of the programme (that is, the first eight Doctors), and the then-current version of the logo was used for most merchandise related to the 21st century incarnations. However, with the introduction of this logo, that practice was abandoned, with the new 2018 logo being used on all new Doctor Who merchandise, with the exception of The Complete History and The Target Storybook (and, as of 2021, all Target novelizations of TV stories thus far).
The first Big Finish Productions story to feature the new logo was a vinyl re-release of Energy of the Daleks on 26 May, although the logo was used by them in the trailer for Jago & Litefoot Forever just days earlier on 24 May. Despite all of this, Big Finish had adopted the new logo as its new "placeholder" image for future Doctor Who releases weeks prior to this.
Logo varients[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- The Doctor Who Logo Collection (up to 2010 logo)