231 Doctor Who Facts That You Will Love About The Show

Akinwalere Olaleye
Oct 09, 2023 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Jan 19, 2022
Doctor Who facts every fan must know.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 14.6 Min

Doctor Who is a sci-fi show that was made by the creators Donald Wilson and Sydney Newman.

Two series have been made with a gap of time. The classic one ran from 1963 - 1989 for 26 years, whereas the recent one started in 2005 and still running.

William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, and other actors have played the role of the Doctors in the classic series. Whereas Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, Matt Smith, and other actors have played the role of the Doctors in the recent series. The show deals with aliens and how each Doctor fights them to save the planets and universes. Each actor has acted so well as the Doctor that the show has become a cult favorite for many people.

Fun Facts About Doctor Who

'Doctor Who' has become a cult favorite show for a large group of fans worldwide. There are thousands of new planets, aliens, and strange things that have been intriguing all fans for all time and space.

No fans know the Doctor's real name. Even in the show, other than a very few individuals, including Clara Oswald, River Song, and the Master, no one else knows the real name of the Doctor. In the show's history, 'Doctor Who' never reveals the name of the Doctor, which has become a big allure of the show.

The classic 'Doctor Who' had many three to four-part episodes. One such four-episode special, named 'The Curse of Fatal Death', was planned for Red Nose Day. This special casted many star actors of that time, including Joanna Lumley, Jim Broadbent, Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Grant, Richard E. Grant, and more.

The Master has always been shown as the Doctor's nemesis. The Master had been making life miserable for the Doctor for a long time since the classic 'Doctor Who' series. The fun fact is, the Master was initially planned to appear as the Doctor's brother. However, the original actor who played the role of the Master died, so this story could not be put into action. From then on, many different actors have played the role of the Master.

The show became so popular in a short time that tapes of Doctor Who were stolen. To prevent such incidents, the early episodes of the show were named 'Torchwood', an anagram of 'Doctor Who'. This codeword was later used in some episodes of the show, and they even started a spin-off series with the same name.

The show 'Doctor Who' has gained two titles from the Guinness World Records. It won 'world's most successful science fiction series, which was based on the sales and broadcast ratings of the show in 2009. It also won the 'longest-running science fiction television show in the world' in 2007.

The first episode of the classic 'Doctor Who' aired on November 23, 1963. This very first episode was named 'An Unearthly Child'. As a classic, this first episode started the show around a story of making fire, humanity's first-ever greatest achievement.

Different Doctor Who Actors

There have been various renowned actors who have played the role of the Doctor over the years, from only one season to as long as seven seasons. However, they all have made their place in the hearts of fans.

First Doctor: The first and original Doctor was played by William Hartnell from 1963 - 1966 at the age of 55 years. The First Doctor looked like a frail old person, but he was exactly the opposite of how he looked. This Doctor dodged everything the Daleks put him through; he fooled French revolutionaries and Roman emperors and played dangerously with the Celestial Toymaker.

Second Doctor: The Second Doctor was played by Patrick Troughton from 1966 - 1969 at the age of 46 years. He had his sharp mind underneath a playful personality. He froze the emotionless Cybermen but was later tried and exiled on earth by the Time Lords for interference.

Third Doctor: The Third Doctor was played by Jon Pertwee from 1970 - 1974 at the age of 51 years. After his exile, the Third Doctor worked to help the extraterrestrial task force unit fight fellow renegade Time Lord, Sea Devils, The Master, polluted giant green maggots, living plastic Autons, and more.

Fourth Doctor: The Fourth Doctor was played by Tom Baker from 1974 - 1981 at the age of 40 years. His run as a Doctor spanned for seven seasons, making him the longest-serving Doctor to this day. During his time, the Fourth Doctor became the Lord President of the High Council of Time Lords, resembled and found the Key to Time, prevented the universe's death at Logopolis, witnessed the genesis of the evil Daleks. He portrayed the Doctor as a highly adventurous one.

Fifth Doctor: The Fifth Doctor was played by Peter Davison from 1981 - 1984 at the age of 30 years. The Fifth Doctor fought in the Death Zone on Gallifrey by reuniting with his past selves. This kind, considerate, and clever Doctor's world was full of science and fascination.

Sixth Doctor: The Sixth Doctor was played by Colin Baker from 1984 - 1986 at the age of 41 years. He defeated the Rani, the amoral Gallifreyan scientist, and went head-to-head with the slimy Sil's corporate greed. The Sixth Doctor portrayed an explosion of emotions, words, and colors. He may have been passionate, but he was quick to anger and not a man to be trifled with.

Seventh Doctor: The Seventh Doctor was played by Sylvester McCoy from 1987 - 1989 at the age of 44 years. He played chess with the evil and ancient Fenric, played in the God of Ragnarok's circus, toppled empires in one single night, and more. The Seventh Doctor was a fun person full of deep dark secrets.

Eighth Doctor: The Eighth Doctor was played by Paul McGann, who only appeared three times as the Doctor - once on December 31, 1999, when he saved the world from the Master after waking up in a hospital morgue after regenerating and teaming up with Grace Holloway. Another time was when he played the Doctor in the Doctor Who movie in 1996. Lastly, he appeared again in a 2013 50th anniversary special clip.

Ninth Doctor: The Ninth Doctor was played by Christopher Eccleston only for only one season after the series was renewed in 2005 when the actor was 41 years old. He proved that at least once he could save everyone, inspired Charles Dickens, and took his companion, Rose Tyler, to show her the end of the world. The Ninth Doctor was the only survivor of the Last Great Time War, which scarred him. He was portrayed as an emotional and intense man.

Tenth Doctor: The Tenth Doctor was played by David Tennant from 2005 - 2010 at the age of 34 years. The Tenth Doctor is deemed as one of the favorites, and the best Doctor voted by fans worldwide. He woke up after regenerating on Christmas Day and fought with Sycorax high above London. Traveling with his companion Rose, he fought the Devil itself, werewolves, Cybermen, Daleks, and more. The tenth Doctor had a chirpy character with a bit of darkness.

Eleventh Doctor: The Eleventh Doctor was played by Matt Smith from 2010 - 2013 at the age of only 28 years. Matt Smith is actually the youngest actor ever to play the role of the Doctor to this day. He and his companion, Amy Pond, fought against Vincent van Gogh's depression, thousands of Weeping Angels, new paradigm Daleks during World War II, and more. He was one of the Doctors with a more positive attitude.

Twelfth Doctor: This role was played by Peter Capaldi from 2013 - 2017 at the age of 55 years. He battled with the Time Lords, Zygons, Davros, the Veil, Cybermen, Daleks, and more. He also appeared in some episodes previously. Peter Capaldi's incarnation is known for some of the best Doctor Who quotes, including the iconic monologue that the Doctor says before regenerating into Jodie Whitaker's version!

Thirteenth Doctor: The thirteenth Doctor was played by Jodie Whittaker, who started playing the Doctor in 2017 and, as of 2021, is still playing the role. She's the first-ever female to play the role of the Doctor. She travels with four companions, and it was revealed to her by the Master that the Doctor is actually a Timeless Child.

The Fugitive Doctor: The Fugitive Doctor, or Ruth Clayton, was played by Jo Martin. She is not only the first black Doctor but also the first black female Doctor. She appeared in a total of three episodes alongside the thirteenth Doctor, Jodie Whittaker.

The War Doctor: The War Doctor was played by John Hurt, who appeared only in two episodes - in 'The Name Of The Doctor', the season seven finale, and in 'The Day of the Doctor', the 50th-anniversary special episode of the show. His origin was explained when the eighth Doctor wished to regenerate as a Warrior and not a Doctor to stop the war going on in their home planet, Gallifrey.

The Doctors belong to a race of aliens, Time Lords.

Unknown Facts About Doctor Who

Even though Doctor Who has spanned 39 seasons and is still running, there are still many mysteries the show is unraveling, and there may be many things you still don't know, so read on.

To this day, two Doctor Who movies have been made to date. The first one, 'Dr. Who And The Daleks' was released in 1965, and the other one, 'Daleks - Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D', was released the next year in 1966.

There's no confirmation about whether the Doctor is actually a doctor. During the season four episode 'The Moonbase' of the classic Doctor Who, Polly, the Doctor's companion, asked the Second Doctor whether he was a medical doctor. In response, he told her that he might have been once. He said that he thought he took a degree once in 1888 in Glasgow.

In 1963, Verity Lambert accepted a role as the youngest drama producer to work on 'Doctor Who' at the BBC. Starting her work that year, she also became the first woman in such a role in the history of television.

Flynn Gordon, a six-year-old boy, was declared the biggest 'Doctor Who' fan of the United Kingdom by the Doctor Who Adventures magazine in 2013. He won the nationwide competition by hosting a monster-themed tea party and writing a letter in which he explained how much he loved the show. He, along with his twin brother, said that they both want to be future Doctors.

The season four episode two 'Fires Of Pompeii' of the new series starred two future Doctor Who stars, Peter Capaldi, the future twelfth Doctor, and Karen Gillan, the future companion of the eleventh Doctor. After regenerating, when the twelfth Doctor first looks in the mirror, he states that he's seen that face before then, which is an Easter egg to Peter Capaldi's previous appearance.

There have been many fan-made theories where many fans think that Clara Oswald is the Doctor's daughter. However, there has been no proof of this, but as the twelfth Doctor explained time and again, she was 'the only mystery worth solving'.

In real life, David Tennant, the Tenth Doctor, is married to Georgia Moffett, the daughter of Peter Davidson, who was the Fifth Doctor. Georgia Moffett also played the role of the Doctor's cloned daughter in one episode, which makes the real-life Doctor's wife the Doctor's daughter in reel-life. Head-spinning, isn't it?

The Doctor possesses two hearts (binary vascular system), a 'respiratory bypass system' that allows him to go without air, an internal body temperature of 15–16 °C (59-60.8 °F), and the ability to absorb, endure, and expel massive amounts of particular forms of radiation.

Doctor Who Timeline

The show started back in 1963 and went on for 26 seasons till 1989. The show then went into a long hiatus until it came back in 2005. The classic series of 1963 ended with the Eighth Doctor, and the new one started with the Ninth Doctor. Hence, the timeline of the Doctor is quite long.

Firstly, the Doctor is an alien, specifically a Time Lord. Time Lords are a race of aliens from the planet Gallifrey who can travel through space and time. However, even that has been challenged as it was very recently found out that he was a Timeless Child. The origin of the Timeless Child is still unknown. The Timeless Child is still a mysterious being who was captured by the Time Lords. The very First Tecteun was extracted from the Timeless Child by the Time Lords to start their regeneration process. As told by the Spy Master, the incarnation of the Timeless Child was the actual original incarceration of the Doctor, which was long before the First Doctor.

The Doctors themselves don't have many memories of their time on their home planet, Gallifrey. There have been glimpses of their life on the planet, but as it turns out, they have lost some memories where the Doctor was experimented on by Time Lords for the secrets of the regeneration process. As per the Doctor's memories, the Doctor was a being of high intellect, was forever curious, and wished to travel and explore the universe. According to three fellow Time Lords, the Doctor always held a particular affinity towards human beings and was also compassionate. The Time Lords had a policy of not interfering with any conflict or problem, but the Doctor could never turn away. For this reason, as problems between the Doctor and the Time Lords were towering, the Doctor stole a spaceship, the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space), and ran off.

As the Doctor left Gallifrey, he couldn't go away for long or very far as the Daleks started to threaten the entire race of Time Lords. Daleks are emotionless metal beings with the only objective of killing each and everyone in the universe that is not them. When these aliens started targeting the oldest alien species, the Time Lords, the Doctor fought for Gallifrey a few times, but mostly to stop the Daleks overall. This war known as 'the Time War' spanned for thousands of years, and when the creator and leader of all Daleks, Davros, tried to use a weapon, the Hand of Omega, to destroy all Time Lords, the Doctor tricked him into using the weapon on Skaro, the home planet of the Daleks. Davros came to the negotiating table after this humiliating defeat. Both Daleks and Time Lords came to the agreement to execute the Master, who committed crimes against both sides.

However, the Master survived execution which caused the Time War to begin again. This caused millions of Daleks and Time Lords to continue the battle through all time and space. When the battle was on the verge of ending all lives across the entire universe, the Doctor decided to destroy their own home planet, Gallifrey, along with most of the Daleks. However, later it was found out that owing to the effects of war throughout time and space and the effects of the Doctor's wartime incarnation, 'the War Doctor', the memory of Gallifrey's destruction was somehow erased from the Doctor's mind. Gallifrey was actually taken away from the prying eyes of others in this universe to a pocket universe.

The classic series, till the incarnation of the Eighth Doctor, held the weight of the Time War. As the new series began in 2005, that weight had left, and the Ninth Doctor was still coming to terms with his previous crimes and the horrors of the war he had seen. He was still carrying the weight of the lives he thought he murdered. He was still hesitant about having his companion, Rose Tyler; he was afraid of hurting her, but he started taking his wall down.

The companions play a big role in the lives of the Doctors, and the lives of the different incarnations of the Doctor became much more adventurous. During the time of the Eleventh Doctor, the timeline started to become a little more complicated as the death of the decoy Eleventh Doctor from 200 years in his future takes place. This is also the time when River Song was introduced.

River Song is the daughter of the eleventh Doctor's companions, Amy Pond and Rory. As River was conceived inside the TARDIS, it gave her some of the powers of a Time Lord, including the ability of regeneration. The timeline of River Song flows at the opposite flow of the Doctor. The first time the Doctor saw River Song, during his tenth incarnation, was the last time she saw the Doctor as she was dying. Whereas, the last time the Doctor saw River, during his twelfth incarnation, she didn't recognize the Doctor, which meant she was seeing him for the first time. The Twelfth Doctor was also the very first Doctor to live with the realization that the War Doctor exists.

The arrival of the Thirteenth Doctor threw all known facts about the Doctor out of the window when she encountered the Master. As the Master took her to Gallifrey's Time Lord library, the Matrix, she realized that her first-ever incarnation was a child who was captured by Tecteun, an explorer. She found out that she is actually a Timeless Child who gave the Time Lords their ability to regenerate. We, the fans, will figure out the rest of the Doctor's life as the series goes on.

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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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