Spoilers are precisely defined here. Rules vary by the story's medium. Info from television stories can't be added here until after the top or bottom of the hour, British time, closest to the end credits roll on BBC One. Therefore, fans in the Americas who are sensitive to spoilers should avoid Tardis on Sundays until they've seen the episode.


We've decided to render all story titles with italics. Yes, this isn't what your English teacher will tell you to do, but it was felt easier for our editors to consistently italicise all story titles, regardless of medium or length.

We also consider each BBC Wales episode a story, and so italicise them. However, Hartnell-era episodes are parts of a larger serial, and therefore enclosed in double quotation marks.

Only italicise titles; do not also enclose them in quotation marks.

We render all story names in italics. This goes contrary to standard English rules, which generally hold that shorter works of fiction would be enclosed in quotation marks. Nevertheless, it was felt easier for our editors to consistently italicise all stories, regardless of medium or length, and all BBC Wales episodes.

There are also other things which may be italicised, a list of which is given below.

The biggest exception to the "always italicise" rule is that Hartnell-era episode titles, like "The Cave of Skulls", should be enclosed in quotation marks to clearly indicate when a Hartnell episode, rather than a full serial, is being referenced. This is particularly important because some Hartnell serials, like An Unearthly Child, have episodes of the same name.

Story names

Names of stories should be:

  • Capitalised
  • Italicised


Tooth and Claw
Everything Changes

This means that they should be italicised everywhere, infoboxes, source citations — even page titles.

Note that infoboxes about stories will automatically italicise titles properly.

To change a page title into italics, please use:

{{retitle|SS ''Bernice''}}

Other cases

Aside from story titles, there are a number of other instances where one must make a choice between italicising and enclosing in "double quotations". This chart sorts out these other cases.

Type Quotes or italics Example
Reference book Italics The Writer's Tale
Song Quotation marks "Song for Ten"
Album Italics 30 Years at the Radiophonic Workshop
Poetry Quotation marks (epic length poems italicized) "All Things Will Die", The Odyssey
Hartnell-era episode[it2 1] Quotation marks "Bell of Doom", "The Death of Doctor Who"
Games Italics The Gunpowder Plot, Destiny of the Doctors
Plays Italics Hamlet, Doctor Who: The Ultimate Adventure
Non-English words Italics deus ex machina,
Works of art (paintings, sculptures, etc.) Italics The Church at Auvers
Most major religious texts Neither The Bible
Commercial products Neither iPod
Legal documents Neither Magna Carta, Constitution of the United States
Periodical Italics TV Action, Doctor Who Magazine, The New York Record
Vehicle name Italicize only the name HMS Teazer
  1. This is helpful in distinguishing between information which comes from a single episode of a serial, versus that which is applicable to the entire serial. One of the most helpful cases is the very first story, An Unearthly Child. The first episode, "An Unearthly Child" is so markedly different than the the rest of the story, that one would often have the need to cite the episode rather than the serial. Thus (TV: An Unearthly Child) is an attribution to the whole serial, whereas (TV: "An Unearthly Child") is the best way to cite simply the episode. Note that this only applies to Hartnell episodes; BBC Wales episodes are always italicised.

Don't use quotation marks

Some people get confused and put italicised title within quotation marks. Please don't do this.

Do Don't
''The Snowmen''
"''The Snowmen''", ''"The Snowmen"''