According to several accounts, the Doctor remembered having a mother, although her identity varied between accounts.

The Eighth Doctor remembered that his mother was a human (TV: Doctor Who, et al.) named Penelope Gate. (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors, The Gallifrey Chronicles) At other times, the Doctor remembered that she was a Time Lord (COMIC: The Comfort of the Good) or that rather than having parents on Gallifrey at all, the Doctor had been born from the loom of the House of Lungbarrow (PROSE: Cold Fusion, Lungbarrow) or arrived as the Timeless Child. (TV: The Timeless Children)

If the Doctor's mother did exist, the Thirteenth Doctor believed her and the rest of her family to be dead. (TV: The Woman Who Fell to Earth) Furthermore, the story of the Timeless Child implied that if the Doctor did have a mother in their youth, they were likely adopted. (TV: The Timeless Children)


Penelope Gate

Main article: Penelope Gate

Penelope Gate was an inventor from Victorian era England. She invented a time machine and traveled to 1996, where she was joined by Joel Mintz; later, the Seventh Doctor and Chris Cwej met her in 16th century Japan. (PROSE: The Room With No Doors)

Later, she met the Time Lord Ulysses, and they were married. They had a child, the Doctor, although they kept his hybrid nature secret from the High Council. (PROSE: The Gallifrey Chronicles)

When the Doctor was young, his parents went on a trek in the mountains with him. They owned a summer house on the other side of Kasterborous. (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors)

The Doctor said that his mother used to sing the Zagreus nursery rhyme to him. (AUDIO: Seasons of Fear) When the Doctor was just a "small child", the Doctor's mother sat by the side of his bed and told him the story of Grandfather Paradox. (PROSE: The Gallifrey Chronicles)

The Eighth Doctor relived a memory from his first incarnation where his mother watched his father hold him up as a child to see the stars. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors)

The Doctor often remembered her long, red hair across his incarnations, (PROSE: A Big Hand for the Doctor, The Infinity Doctors, The Gallifrey Chronicles) and the Eighth Doctor often alluded to being half-human "on his mother's side". (TV: Doctor Who, PROSE: Alien Bodies, Grimm Reality, Unnatural History, The Shadows of Avalon)

Time Lord

The woman reveals her face to the Tenth Doctor. (TV: The End of Time)

By another account, the Doctor's mother was a Time Lord who wore Time Lord robes. (COMIC: The Comfort of the Good)

The Tenth Doctor saw a similar-looking woman kneeling next to Rassilon; she made eye contact with the Doctor before he sent Gallifrey back into the Time War. (TV: The End of Time)

Other universes

In the Obverse, the Doctor's mother was a mermaid (PROSE: The Blue Angel) named Magda. (PROSE: The Dreadful Flap)


Maris' potential engine gave several different origins for the Doctor. In one of them he had a Time Lord father and a human mother. (PROSE: Celestial Intervention - A Gallifreyan Noir)

The First Doctor once had a hallucination of his mother stroking his hair and asking him to tell her about his adventures. He thought to himself that she was as beautiful as ever. (PROSE: A Big Hand for the Doctor)

The Sixth Doctor told Peri that his mother told him that babies were delivered by storks. (PROSE: The Twin Dilemma)

The Eighth Doctor said that he couldn't remember if he had a mother "or" if he was loomed, (PROSE: The Shadows of Avalon) among other possibilities. (PROSE: Bafflement and Devotion)

The sentient quantum field of the planet Albert told the Eighth Doctor that there was a reality where he knew his mother's voice. (PROSE: Grimm Reality) In an alternate timeline, the Doctor could remember that his mother's name was Penelope. (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors)

Ultimately, the Doctor chose to think of the universe as his foster family, after his parents "decided to opt out of their responsibilities." (PROSE: Beltempest)

The Talent Scout took on the appearance of the Doctor's mother from the TARDIS' databanks. The Eleventh Doctor referred to her form as a "petty cruelty". (COMIC: The Comfort of the Good)

River Song was unsure if the Doctor had a mother. (AUDIO: My Dinner with Andrew)

When the Eighth Doctor told the "Jane Fonda" Iris that he was unsure if he had a mother, Doctor Who: The Novelisation of the Hit TV Movie was cited. (PROSE: Bafflement and Devotion)

The Thirteenth Doctor stated that her entire family had died a long time prior to her regeneration. (TV: The Woman Who Fell to Earth)


The First Doctor remembered his mother having red hair. (PROSE: A Big Hand for the Doctor) The Eighth Doctor also remembered that his mother had long red hair, and a cut-glass voice; (PROSE: The Gallifrey Chronicles) according to him, she resembled the third incarnation of Romana. (PROSE: The Ancestor Cell) At some point in life the Doctor's mother had grey hair. (COMIC: The Comfort of the Good)

Behind the scenes

The Woman (The End of Time)

Russell T Davies intended for the unnamed woman in The End of Time to be the Doctor's mother. However, he left it up to fan interpretation.[1]

The Woman (Hell Bent)

The woman greets the Twelfth Doctor on Gallifrey. (TV: Hell Bent)

Steven Moffat, the showrunner during the ninth series, has said that he has "no idea" who the woman in Hell Bent is supposed to be, and leaves it to fans to decide whether they want her to be the Doctor's mother or the woman from The End of Time.


  1. March 2009 email printed in The Writer's Tale - The Final Chapter, pages 622-623