The universe inhabited by The Doctor
. It is a large and unwieldy beast full of internal contradictions. Fortunately, it's a really, really
big universe encompassing, er, the entire universe and a history stretching, oh, from the Big Bang to 100 trillion years in the future (plus an alternate universe or five).
The Whoniverse resides in (or sometimes near near) the Softest end of the Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness
. Sometimes it's another genre entirely
, just with Aliens and Monsters
The BBC and other copyright holders have never defined what part, if any, of the Doctor Who Expanded Universe
, though the adventure games produced from 2010-2011 are said to have been produced alongside the show as extra "episodes". Further complicating things is that the universe is about time travel, allowing for alternative and overwritten timelines. To put it as simply as possible: the Expanded Universe
franchises usually comply with the available TV series canon, but the TV series can always freely ignore the Expanded Universe
The main Live-Action TV series set in the Whoniverse:
Behind-the-scenes TV series:
The Expanded Universe
contains many different branches, timelines and continuities, which have a strong tendency to reference each other and mutually contradict each other in the same breath. These usually comply with the available TV series canon, but the TV series can always freely ignore the Expanded Universe
A full listing with accompanying tropes, release dates and background information of these stories can be found on the Doctor Who Expanded Universe
page. Works and media with their own pages on this website include:
- Aliens and Monsters: In about 85% of any television set in the Whoniverse. K-9 & Company, in a subversion of viewer's expectations, had a Scooby-Doo Hoax. Torchwood had one episode where the lack of Aliens and Monsters was Played for Drama, and the heroes had to come to terms with ordinary humans being the gruesome villains.
- Aliens in Cardiff
- Alien Invasion: A signature trope.
- Aliens Speaking English
- All Myths Are True: Vampires, werewolves, fairies, Satan and minotaurs have all appeared, more or less as described by mythology. Other variants of the above have also appeared, including minotaurs... again. And let's not forget two different explanations for the Loch Ness Monster!
- Ancient Astronauts
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy
- Broad Strokes: Continuity tends to operate on this basis in regards to the universe itself, less so for the characters.
- Canon Welding: During the period when Doctor Who Magazine was owned by Marvel UK, there were some variously subtle hints dropped about links between the Whoniverse and the Marvel Universe. Michael Moorcock's Eleventh Doctor spin-off novel The Coming of the Terraphiles is a full-on Intercontinuity Crossover with Moorcock's "Second Ether" novels, which means that the Whoniverse is also part of Moorcock's multiverse. And Chris Boucher's audio spin-off Kaldor City and Fourth Doctor novel Corpse Marker both strongly hint that Doctor Who and Blake's 7 share a universe.
- Doing in the Wizard : Though The Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood in particular allow the wizard to live.
- Earth Is the Center of the Universe
- Eldritch Abomination
- Fantasy Kitchen Sink (especially so in the Expanded Universe)
- The show drifted this way over the course of its very long run, starting out as relatively hard science fiction, with some lapses, such as the Celestial Toymaker and the Land of Fiction. The turning point was possibly the Key to Time Story Arc, which featured two god-like Anthropomorphic Personification of Order and Chaos, respectively, and then did not try too hard to call them anything else. Even so, fans complained when Silver Nemesis depicted Lady Peinforte using magic and naming it as such, though this was handwaved the next season as not literal magic, as such, but really the work of a Cosmic Horror called Fenric.
- Heroes R Us: UNIT, Torchwood, Sarah Jane's bunch...
- Invisible Aliens: (The Whoniverse also has several species of literally invisible aliens.)
- Magic from Technology
- Magical Database: Torchwood and Sarah Jane have the literal kind. The Doctor's (and Captain Jack's) wealth of knowledge and experience serves as the equivalent.
- Masquerade: Some modern stories set in the Whoniverse have suggested that ordinary humans have now gotten to accept that aliens exist... Took them long enough.
- Mr. Exposition: The Doctor, Captain Jack, Sarah Jane, K-9, Mr Smith...
- Set Right What Once Went Wrong: More commonly, setting things right before they go wrong, often by means of a Stable Time Loop.
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien
- Space Is Magic
- Technobabble: The Technobabble phrase Reverse The Polarity, in fact, originated in Doctor Who.
- There Are No Global Consequences: Played straight in earlier years, but mostly averted on Torchwood and Russell T Davies' run of Doctor Who.
- Time Travel (as you may have gathered already)
- Weird Science
For tropes associated with Doctor Who
, specifically, see that article.
Debate on the content of the Whoniverse is the stuff of legends. Countless works of the Universe Concordance
kind (some official, some not) try to keep them straight. Good luck, folks!