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Suicide was the act of killing of one's self. If it was done for the benefit of others, it was a form of self-sacrifice.

Many robots, such as K9 and the Pain-Maker, were built with a self-destruct function. This usually resulted in an explosion. (TV: Regeneration [+]Shayne Armstrong and S.P. Krause, K9 series 1 (2009)., Robot Gladiators [+]Jim Noble, K9 series 1 (2010)., Hound of the Korven [+]Shayne Armstrong and S.P. Krause, K9 series 1 (2010).) Cyborgs such as Daleks could also self-destruct. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks [+]Ben Aaronovitch, Doctor Who season 25 (BBC1, 1988)., Dalek [+]Robert Shearman, adapted from Jubilee (Robert Shearman), Doctor Who series 1 (BBC One, 2005)., Asylum of the Daleks [+]Steven Moffat, Doctor Who series 7 (BBC One, 2012)., COMIC: Extermination of the Daleks [+]Steve Cole, DWBIT comic stories (GE Fabbri Ltd, 2008).)


In the 15th century, an unnamed human committed suicide after Barbara Wright stopped his sacrificial ceremony. (TV: The Aztecs [+]John Lucarotti, Doctor Who season 1 (BBC1, 1964).)

In 1580, the Saturnyn calling herself Rosanna Calvierri committed suicide after the Eleventh Doctor defeated her plan to save her people. (TV: The Vampires of Venice [+]Toby Whithouse, Doctor Who series 5 (BBC One, 2010).)

In 1851, Thomas Brewster's mother committed suicide by throwing herself into the River Thames. (AUDIO: The Haunting of Thomas Brewster [+]Jonathan Morris, Main Range (Big Finish Productions, 2008).)

In 1856 of an alternate timeline, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart attempted suicide by shooting himself in the head, but survived and his wounds healed almost instantly due to having been granted immortality. (AUDIO: My Own Private Wolfgang [+]Robert Shearman, 100 (Main Range, Big Finish Productions, 2007).)

On 27 July 1890, Vincent van Gogh committed suicide by shooting himself. (PROSE: Vincent van Gogh [+]2010.)

In 1898, Gordon Seavers committed suicide after Richard Harries blackmailed him. (PROSE: The Banquo Legacy [+]Andy Lane and Justin Richards, BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures (BBC Books, 2000).)

In July 1915, Haitian President Jean Vilbrun Guillame Sam committed suicide rather than be assassinated by General Bobo. (PROSE: White Darkness [+]David A. McIntee, Virgin New Adventures (Virgin Books, 1993).)

In an alternate timeline in 1930, Edith Thompson committed suicide because Charley Pollard died in the crash of the R101. This created a paradox, as Charley had not died, but had been saved by the Eighth Doctor. The paradox was resolved when the Doctor talked Edith out of suicide. (AUDIO: The Chimes of Midnight [+]Robert Shearman, Main Range (Big Finish Productions, 2002).)

In 1938, after being relentlessly chased by Weeping Angels determined to imprison him in Winter Quay for the rest of his life to feed off his time energy, Rory Williams decided to commit suicide by jumping off the building in order to create a temporal paradox and kill the Angels. His wife Amy Pond joined him and the plan worked: all but one Weeping Angel were killed and the negating of the alternate timeline restored them to life in a 2012 New York City graveyard. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan [+]Steven Moffat, Doctor Who series 7 (BBC One, 2012).)

After being implicated in a plot to remove Adolf Hitler, Field Marshal Erwin Rommel committed suicide to save his family. (COMIC: The Instruments of War [+]Mike Collins, DWM Comics (Panini Comics, 2014-2015).)

On 30 April 1945, Hitler committed suicide at the end of World War II rather than face capture or defeat. (PROSE: The Shadow in the Glass [+]Justin Richards and Stephen Cole, BBC Past Doctor Adventures (BBC Books, 2001).)

In the 1950s, Alan Turing committed suicide after being hounded out of academia by Professor Jeffrey Broderick. (AUDIO: Artificial Intelligence [+]Matt Fitton, Counter-Measures: Series 1 (Counter-Measures, Big Finish Productions, 2012).)

In November 1963, at the end of the Shoreditch Incident, the Supreme Dalek self-destructed when the Seventh Doctor revealed that Skaro was destroyed. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks [+]Ben Aaronovitch, Doctor Who season 25 (BBC1, 1988).)

In March 1965, Lady Catherine Waverly seemingly committed suicide due to her guilt over murdering her husband Commodore Charles Waverly less than a week earlier. (AUDIO: Manhunt [+]Matt Fitton, Counter-Measures (Big Finish Productions, 2013).)

In the late 1960s, Margaret Bridgeman committed suicide after euthanasing her vegetative husband; both deeds were done with the use of sleeping pills. (PROSE: Invasion of the Cat-People [+]Gary Russell, Virgin Missing Adventures (Virgin Books, 1995).)

In 1977, unable to move after looking into the eyes of the Fendahl core, Maximillian Stael committed suicide in the cellars of Fetch Priory rather than be transformed into Fendahleen. The Fourth Doctor passed him a gun from the nearby altar to assist him in this. (TV: Image of the Fendahl [+]Chris Boucher], Doctor Who season 15 (BBC1, 1977).)

On 31 December 1999, Alex Hopkins committed suicide after killing the rest of the Torchwood Three team, having used Object 1 to see a vision of the 21st century. (TV: Fragments [+]Chris Chibnall, Torchwood series 2 (BBC Three, 2008).)

Evelyn Smythe received a suicide letter from her student Sally. She had the Sixth Doctor take her back in time to prevent this. (AUDIO: Doctor Who and the Pirates [+]Jacqueline Rayner, Main Range (Big Finish Productions, 2003).)

On 30 March 2006, Agatha Ellis committed suicide. (PROSE: Curtain Call [+]Joseph Lidster, Short Trips: Farewells (Short Trips short stories, 2006).)

Suzie Costello committed suicide after her crimes were exposed. (TV: Everything Changes [+]Russell T Davies, Torchwood series 1 (BBC Three, 2006).)

In 2008 Colin Acres Junior committed suicide, fearing that Torchwood wanted conduct experiments on him. (PROSE: Mrs Acres [+]David Llewellyn, Torchwood - Short story.)

John Ellis committed suicide after being displaced from 1953 and learning that his family was gone. (TV: Out of Time [+]Catherine Tregenna, Torchwood series 1 (BBC Three, 2006).)

Following his wife's death, Robert Pugh considered suicide on multiple occasions, including with a razor in the shower and by taking pills. (AUDIO: More Than This [+]Guy Adams, Torchwood (Big Finish Productions, 2016).)

In 2008, after being fatally wounded by a gunshot from Lucy Saxon, the Saxon Master consciously refused to regenerate, realising that doing so would lead him to being eternally imprisoned by the Doctor in his TARDIS. As such, he died in the Doctor's arms. (TV: Last of the Time Lords [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who series 3 (BBC One, 2007).)

Owen Harper attempted suicide in the 2000s by drowning after the resurrection gauntlet was used to bring him back, reducing him to a zombie-like state. He later talked Maggie Hopley out of her attempt to suicide. (TV: A Day in the Death [+]Joseph Lidster, Torchwood series 2 (BBC Three, 2008).)

By 2009, suicide rates rose, the evidence for the existence of aliens leading to crises of faith. (TV: Children of Earth: Day One [+]Russell T Davies, Torchwood series 3 (BBC One, 2009).)

John Frobisher committed suicide after killing his wife and children to spare themselves from the 456. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Five [+]Russell T Davies, Torchwood series 3 (BBC One, 2009).)

After Miracle Day, in which people on Earth ceased to die, suicide became impossible, but some people became 'inventive', finding ways to get as close to death as possible. For example, the 45 Club believed that jumping from 45 floors up or higher was the only guaranteed way to lose consciousness forever. (TV: The Middle Men [+]John Shiban, Torchwood series 4 (Starz, 2011).)

In 2012, a Dalek, which, after the Last Great Time War, the Ninth Doctor believed to be the last of its kind at the time, self-destructed when it was mutated by human DNA from Rose Tyler. (TV: Dalek [+]Robert Shearman, adapted from Jubilee (Robert Shearman), Doctor Who series 1 (BBC One, 2005).)

Etoine, a Zygon who had been posing as a human, committed suicide after his alien nature was exposed. (TV: The Zygon Inversion [+]Peter Harness and Steven Moffat, Doctor Who series 9 (BBC One, 2015).)

In 2017, the virtual Shadow World contained the Veritas. Everyone who read it appeared to go mad and commit suicide. The duplicate Twelfth Doctor of the Shadow World discovered that the document actually contained evidence that their entire world was a virtual creation, and a tool for the Monks to better take over the "real" world. As a result, people who read the Veritas chose to kill themselves due to a combination of despair at realising they were "not real", and to "save the (real) world" by making the simulation inaccurate and thus rendering it useless to the Monks. (TV: Extremis [+]Steven Moffat, Doctor Who series 10 (BBC One, 2017).)

In 2019, an agent of Beltane who had been captured by P.R.O.B.E. swallowed a poisonous pill, killing herself, to avoid being interrogated by Tasha Williams and potentially jeopardising the surviving Beltane members' plans. (AUDIO: Broken Bonds [+]James Hornby, True Origins (P.R.O.B.E., BBV Productions, 2021).)

In 2059, Adelaide Brooke committed suicide to partly revert the changes the Tenth Doctor made to the future by saving her life. (TV: The Waters of Mars [+]Russell T Davies and Phil Ford, Doctor Who Autumn Special 2009 (BBC One, 2009).)

In the 22nd century, a group of Daleks on Earth initiated self-destruction after the Tenth Doctor used a proton cannon to make them intangible. (COMIC: Extermination of the Daleks [+]Steve Cole, DWBIT comic stories (GE Fabbri Ltd, 2008).)

On Világ, Dr Andrew Szabó committed suicide after confessing his crimes. (AUDIO: Thicker Than Water [+]Paul Sutton, Main Range (Big Finish Productions, 2005).)

Terrin and Alyst Blakely committed suicide by ejecting themselves out of the airlock of their ship to keep the information they had on the Cradle of the Gods safe from the Daleks. They were later recreated by the Cradle and the mind of their daughter Jenibeth. (PROSE: The Dalek Generation [+]Nicholas Briggs, BBC New Series Adventures (BBC Books, 2013).)

On the Dalek Asylum, a Dalek committed suicide in order to try to kill the Doctor as its weapons were disabled. The Doctor reversed the Dalek into a number of its own kind and it killed them instead in the blast. Later, Oswin Oswald effectively committed suicide after learning of her conversion into a Dalek by lowering the Asylum's force field so the Parliament of the Daleks could destroy it and then not leaving while the Asylum was destroyed. (TV: Asylum of the Daleks [+]Steven Moffat, Doctor Who series 7 (BBC One, 2012).)

In the far future, Xana committed suicide to avoid being arrested and tried for her crimes. Three thousand years later, her lover Kane committed suicide after the Seventh Doctor revealed that his home planet Proamon had been destroyed in a supernova, leaving no one on whom he could take his revenge. (TV: Dragonfire [+]Ian Briggs, adapted from Seventh Doctor Audition Tapes (Andrew Cartmel), Doctor Who season 24 (BBC1, 1987).)

In the far future, Cordo attempted suicide because he could not afford to pay the Company's taxes, but was stopped by the Fourth Doctor and Leela. (TV: The Sun Makers [+]Robert Holmes, Doctor Who season 15 (BBC1, 1977).)

At the end of the universe, the inhabitants of the Institute of Time committed suicide after seeing what the universe had come to. (PROSE: The End [+]Alexander Leithes, Short Trips: Life Science (Short Trips short stories, 2004).)

In a parallel universe, the Doctor committed suicide by jumping off a pylon to escape the Time Lords, causing him to regenerate into a female incarnation. (AUDIO: Exile [+]Nicholas Briggs, Doctor Who Unbound (Big Finish Productions, 2003).)

In an alternate reality, Panda committed suicide by slitting his throat, and in another alternate reality, he jumped out of a window in a block of flats. (PROSE: Framed [+]Mark Michalowski, The Panda Book of Horror (The Panda Book of Horror, 2009).)

Behind the scenes[]

Asked in an interview to cite an interesting piece of information he had learned regarding Doctor Who, Fifteenth Doctor actor Ncuti Gatwa turned to Ruby Sunday actress Millie Gibson, stating she had a really good one regarding suicide rates on Christmas day. She stated that every time there was a Christmas episode, there were less suicides the year following.[1]


  1. Scott, Darren SFX Magazine - "The Dying Days", June 2024, Issue 379