Trivia / Doctor Who

Trope Namer for:

Image Source for:


Miscellaneous Trivia:

  • Of the 253 episodes of "Doctor Who" that were produced in the 1960s, 97 no longer exist in the BBC Television Archives due to an archive purge in the 1970s.
    • In addition to 97 episodes that no longer exist, some episodes no longer exist in their original format. Four episodes only survive in an edited state — The Time Meddler: "Checkmate", The Celestial Toymaker: "The Final Test", and The War Machines episodes 3 and 4. Furthermore, twelve episodes only survive in black and white whilst originally filmed in color — The Ambassadors of Death episodes 2, 3, 4 and 7, The Mind of Evil (all six episodes), Planet of the Daleks: Episode 3, and Invasion of the Dinosaurs: Part 1 (also titled "Invasion").
      • Planet of the Daleks episode 3 has been restored to colour for DVD by a combination of two different techniques: one based on computer matching between shots in the b/w episode and similar shots in the surviving colour ones, and another which can actually extract the original colour information from traces of the original colour remaining on the b/w films thanks to a quirk (usually a fault) in the telecine process. There was also a LOT of manual tweaking and colourising. The result is impressive to say the least. Unfortunately this was too expensive to be feasible for the other black-and-white episodes. The second process only was used on the first episode of Invasion of the Dinosaurs for DVD, with noticeably inferior results, and on the episodes 2-4, 6, and 7 of The Ambassadors of Death and episodes 2-6 of The Mind of Evil, with mixed results. Episode 1 of The Mind of Evil was manually recolourised using a different process.
    • William Hartnell's regeneration at the end of The Tenth Planet survives only as a clip that was shown on the children's programme Blue Peter.
    • The Beatles make a cameo appearance in the 1965 story The Chase, in which they're seen on the Time-Space Visualizer performing "Ticket to Ride" on their only ever appearance on the venerable UK chart show Top of the Pops in 1964. Originally, the plan was to have the actual musicians appear as themselves as old men in the future, but the idea was vetoed by Beatles' manager Brian Epstein. Ironically, the live footage used in the episode is all that remains of this performance, as said Top of the Pops episode was erased.
    • A print of the 1965 episode The Daleks' Master Plan: "Day of Armageddon" was returned by former BBC engineer Francis Watson in January 2004.
  • The format of the show's entire run before cancellation was a series of cliff-hanger adventure serials. Although, as originally conceived, the series would have only run for fifty-two episodes (i.e. one a week for a year), which would have made up one single extra-length serial. The series' format evolved out of this. Each of the Doctor's adventures would be told across several 25 minute episodes, with a cliff-hanger ending each one. Each "season" of the show would be broken into several stories, taking usually 4 to 6 episodes to play out — on-screen, each individual episode would begin with the title of the story, followed by the story's author, then what episode number of the story the audience were watching. This method of titling wasn't established until late in the third season; prior to this every episode was given its own unique title. There are no definitive official story titles for many of the earliest adventures, though semi-official ones have been consistently used on DVDs, books, etc.
  • When the series was first syndicated in the US, many stations did not show it in its original cliffhanger format. Instead, a "movie version", made up of all episodes of one adventure, but with the cliff-hanger endings edited out, would be shown. Since the number of episodes used to tell one story would sometimes vary (usually four episodes, but sometimes 6, 7, or only 2), the "movie versions" varied in length. Because of this, many stations showed the movie versions on weekends, in late-night or early-morning slots, where their schedules were more flexible.
    • One one occasion (Silver Nemesis in 1988), the "movie version" was shown in New Zealand at the same time that Episode 1 was aired by the BBC, marking one of the few instances of episodes premiering outside the UK.
      • A second rare instance of episodes premiering outside the UK was for "The Five Doctors" in 1983, which aired for Children in Need in the UK a day or two after the anniversary. In the US (and likely elsewhere in the world too), it aired on the actual anniversary on the 23rd.
  • On six occasions, past Doctor actors have to returned to the series as the Doctor in stories known as "multi-Doctor" stories, meaning that they feature multiple incarnations of the Doctor.
    1. In 1973, the 10th-Anniversary story The Three Doctors saw William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton return to the role alongside Jon Pertwee. Though William Hartnell had a significantly reduced role compared to the other two due to failing health.
    2. In 1983, the 20th-Anniversary story "The Five Doctors" saw Troughton and Jon Pertwee return to the role alongside Peter Davison whilst Richard Hurndall played the First Doctor (Hartnell had passed away some years earlier) and Tom Baker appeared only in footage filmed for Shada, which was abandoned due to strike action.
    3. Troughton reprised his role as the Second Doctor alongside Colin Baker's Sixth in The Two Doctors.
    4. The 30th-Anniversary special, 1993's "Dimensions In Time", had five of the seven Doctors (William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton both gave it a miss, what with them being dead as a doornail at the time, but their waxworks gladly attended the festivities).
    5. Peter Davison's Fifth Doctor met David Tennant's Tenth in the 2007 Children in Need special "Time Crash".
    6. Tennant returned to join forces with Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor for the 50th Anniversary special "The Day of the Doctor".
      1. With all the other previous doctors reappearing via archive footage and Peter Capaldi making a split-second cameo. Tom Baker also reappears as a Museum Curator implied to be a retired version of the Doctor from the future.
  • Asteroid 3325, a small main belt asteroid discovered in 1984, is named TARDIS after the Doctor's time/space machine.
  • Many actors have been considered for the role of the Doctor over the years but only Ron Moody has twice declined the role. He was first choice after Hartnell left but refused (as did Peter Jeffrey), and he also turned down the chance again in 1969 when Troughton left. Graham Crowden turned down the role after Pertwee and veteran British comedian Richard Hearne was also considered but rejected for insurance purposes. In the revived version, Bill Nighy came closest to assuming the role after Christopher Eccleston left but was rejected at the last minute in favour of David Tennant (Nighy amusingly blamed Tennant for being better-looking).
    • Bill Nighy was also in the running to play the Ninth Doctor, to the extent that some media sources inaccurately reported that he'd been given the role when Eccleston's casting was announced.
  • Jon Pertwee had incredible difficulty learning some of the Techno Babble that the Doctor is famous for. The crew hid cue cards around the set and Pertwee would write some of his lines in Biro on the TARDIS console.
  • The Celestial Toymaker received complaints that the character Cyril was based on the Billy Bunter character created by Frank Richards, whose lawyers were incensed. The BBC issued a statement saying that Cyril was merely a Bunter-like character.
  • The original pilot episode was rediscovered in 1978 in a mislabeled film can. After an archive purge by the BBC between 1972 and 1978, the film survived by chance and was originally thought to be lost.
  • When the BBC attempted to register the appearance of the TARDIS as a trade mark, the Metropolitan Police complained and they went to court. The judge decided that the image was more recognisable with Doctor Who, and the police had never actually used the Police Box as a brand for commercial purposes, so the BBC was allowed to register it.
  • The pilot episode of the series would have been the first transmitted edition had it not been remounted on the recommendations of BBC executives. It has been shown on television in the UK once, in 1991, and remains the only surviving episode from the 1960s held in its original unedited format.
  • When it became clear that failing health was affecting his performance and relationship with the cast and crew, William Hartnell, the first actor to play the Doctor, was asked to leave the show. Rather than cancel the successful series, the writers came up with the Doctor's ability to regenerate his body when he is near death, which allows for the smooth transition from one actor to another playing the role. Their first attempt to eject Hartnell from the show happened some time earlier in The Celestial Toymaker, where the Doctor was made invisible at one point in the story. The original intention was for the Doctor to come back played by a different actor as part of the Toymaker's games, but this was vetoed and it was Hartnell that reappeared.
  • Originally, the Doctor's time machine, the TARDIS, was to have a different appearance in order to blend in wherever and whenever it materializes due to its "chameleon circuit". However, it was realized that this constant changing of a regular prop would be too expensive, and so it was decided that the circuit would be permanently disabled due to the TARDIS' age, thus retaining the appearance of a 1963 Police Box. A few decades later, the in-story reason for why the Doctor didn't keep trying to fix the circuit was that he'd grown fond of the shape.
  • The name of the Doctor's time machine, the TARDIS, is short for "Time And Relative Dimension In Space". In later serials, this was changed to "Time And Relative Dimensions In Space" (Dimensions in plural), but the series revamp in 2005 has reverted to the singular usage.
  • Ian Marter, who played Surgeon Lt. Harry Sullivan, also wrote the novelizations of several Doctor Who stories.
  • Julia Sawalha auditioned for the role of Ace.
  • As William Hartnell's illness progressed, he started to have memory problems and often forgot his lines. Many unusual ad libbed lines in place of those scripted were passed off as part of the Doctor's character.
  • The distinctive TARDIS sound effect is officially classified as a piece of music and was created by rubbing the bass strings of a piano with a key.
  • Two reasons are given for the first episode of the first series series being repeated the following week: a) it aired the day after John F. Kennedy's assassination and as a result drew lower than expected audiences. b) there was a widespread power failure and the episode was not seen nationwide.
  • Jon Pertwee's catchphrase "Reverse the Polarity of the neutron flow" is a Beam Me Up, Scotty! (he said that specific phrase once in four years, although "reverse the polarity" was more common), but that didn't prevent it being used in Shout Outs and Mythology Gags later in the series.
  • The series was originally devised as an educational program for kids, with co-creator Sydney Newman having no intention of featuring "bug eyed monsters." The first episodes featured cavemen. But when the Daleks were introduced, the attitude of the program was forever changed. Even so, the series continued to alternate between science fiction and purely historical stories for several seasons.
  • During the 1970s, series star Tom Baker and Ian Marter (who had played his companion Harry Sullivan) co-wrote and attempted to have a feature film entitled Doctor Who Meets Scratchman, which would have co-starred Vincent Price. When a copy of the script was discovered in John Nathan-Turner's archives, it turned out to consist of non-stop surrealism more reminiscent of the weirder episodes of The Avengers or The Prisoner than Doctor Who, making "The Mind Robber" look Mundane Dogmatic.
  • The series was in part inspired by the British Quatermass TV serials of the 1950s. In 1988, the show paid homage by referring to Quatermass in the 1988 serial Remembrance of the Daleks...where it's also implied that this episode takes place the day Doctor Who made its debut.
    • Quatermass was alluded to again in 2009's "Planet of the Dead".
    • In a weird but fitting piece of coincidence, David Tennant was starring in a modern day Live Episode remake of The Quatermass Experiment the day when he learned that he had been cast as the Tenth Doctor.
  • Although a number of televised spin-offs were considered throughout the course of the programme (including vehicles for the Daleks, for UNIT, and for the Jago and Litefoot characters from the Tom Baker serial The Talons of Weng Chiang), only one was ever produced before the show's 2005 return — "K-9 and Company": A Girl's Best Friend, aired initially as a Christmas special in 1981. Although the pilot fared well in the ratings, the BBC decided not to proceed with a series. After the 2005 return of the series, four spinoffs were made — Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures, K9 and Class.
  • When the script called for him to recite coordinates to program the TARDIS, Tom Baker would sometimes rattle off a string of digits that was actually the telephone number to the Doctor Who production office; no one ever caught on.
  • "Dalek" and "TARDIS" became so familiar to British audiences that they were added to the Oxford English Dictionary.
  • Several versions of the theme tune were used over the years, with the most famous being used from 1963 to 1980 (albeit with a slight rearrangement and the addition of an echo chamber effect being added in 1966). A disco version of the tune became a hit in the UK in 1978, and in 1988, The Timelords (later to be famous as the art rock/techno act The KLF) had a #1 hit with "Doctorin' the Tardis", a song that mashed the theme song together with Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll Part 2" and Sweet's "Blockbuster".
  • The version of the Doctor Who logo that was used from 1970 to 1973 during the Jon Pertwee era would later resurface as the logo for the 1996 revival film, after which it once again became the official logo for most Doctor Who-related merchandise. As of 2005, it is used as the official logo for the "classic series" with a brand new logo used on all merchandise relating to the Russell T Davies era and a second new one used on all merchandise relating to the Steven Moffat era.
    • As of 2014, even the DVD boxsets of the Eccleston, Tennant and Smith seasons use the 1970 logo, though only on the packaging - the actual disc contents are identical to the 2005-2013 releases. Titan's comic books also use the Pertwee logo despite featuring the 10th, 11th and 12th Doctors.
  • Due to ill health, William Hartnell was unable to appear in the third episode of The Tenth Planet, which was also his penultimate episode. Ironically, the final episode of the serial has since been lost and consequently the last surviving episode from the Hartnell era doesn't even feature Hartnell.
  • TV editing was very difficult in the 1960s, and so (in common with most other British TV drama at the time) many early episodes of "Doctor Who" were recorded "as live". If the actors fluffed their lines, the others had to cover for him/her. There are several obvious instances of this in the series, such as in The Web Planet where actor William Hartnell forgot his lines, leading to co-star William Russell to prompt him by asking "What galaxy is that in then, Doctor?". In order to facilitate this style of recording, the actors were allowed a four-day rehearsal period (Monday-Thursday) followed by camera rehearsal on Friday day and the actual studio recording Friday evening. Saturdays were often spent on location recording inserts for future episodes, and the actors were given Sunday off before the process started again for the next episode on Monday morning. Although editing techniques improved over the years, it remained the case that studio scenes would usually be taped almost as live, using a multi-camera system, until the series ended in 1989.
  • Michael Jayston, a Shakespearean actor, played an evil Enemy Without of the Doctor known as the Valeyard who was created somewhere between Doctor's twelfth and final incarnations.
  • In the 1976 season, the Doctor started operating his TARDIS from the craft's secondary control room, an obviously older version of the main control room with wood paneling and a Victorian design motif. This set was abandoned when it was discovered that the paneling warped while in storage during the hiatus and the series had the Doctor begin using the regular control room again.
  • The music playing when the Fifth Doctor visits the Brig in Mawdryn Undead is a traditional English dance melody called "Lillibullero". It's sometimes attributed to Henry Purcell.
  • Steven Moffat, who took over Doctor Who in 2010, is the first straight guy to produce the show since 1979.
  • Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith is also the eleventh Matt Smith on IMDb.
  • The regeneration process was based on the negative sides of LSD. Regenerative trauma and Drugs Are Bad indeed.
  • 11th Doctor Matt Smith guest-starred on an episode of Billie Piper'snote  show Secret Diary of a Call Girl as a shopkeep who ends up bedding Piper's character.
  • Troughton's pre-Who career involved a large batch of family television, including appearing in a Robin Hood series (interestingly, his grandson was Much in the 2006 TV version). Later he played Father Brennan in The Omen (1976).
    • Troughton's role in Robin Hood was briefly referenced in the Twelfth Doctor episode "Robot of Sherwood" when The Doctor viewed images of Robin Hood on the TARDIS screen.
  • Pertwee's pre-Who career involved a fairly-well-remembered comedy called The Navy Lark. Later, he would play Worzel Gummidge.
  • Tom Baker played Rasputin in the film Nicholas and Alexandra (1971). Perhaps the most recognisable Doctor voice, impressionist Jon Culshaw has often used the voice for telephone spoofs in Dead Ringers.
  • Peter Davison's pre-Who career included Tristan Farnon in All Creatures Great and Small, while his post-Who career included the title character of Campion.
  • Paul McGann played 'I' in Withnail & I, with Richard E. Grantnote  as Withnail.
  • First TV show to get its own Nightmare Fuel page on TV Tropes.
    • And the first to get its own Foe Yay page.
    • A scene in Remembrance of the Daleks involving Ace inspired the creation of the Crowning Moment of Awesome section, which dropped the "Crowning" later on.
    • First live-action TV show on this site to get its very own gush page since it's so beloved.
    • The vast majority of Wild Mass Guessing pages on this site will have a theory supposing someone is a Time Lord.

Trivia "tropes"

  • Acting for Two: David Tennant portrays both his usual Tenth Doctor character along with this duplicate in "Journey's End".
    • Jenna Coleman arguably portrayed more different individual characters - all aspects of companion Clara Oswald, or someone impersonating her - than anyone else in the show's history.
    • A popular trope with the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) was this incarnation meeting himself and even interacting with earlier and later versions of himself on occasion.
    • In The End of Time Part 1 Everyone on Earth (with a few exceptions) turns into John Simm's Master.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • The First Doctor companion, Ian Chesterton, was played by William Russell, famous as the lead of the 1950s swashbuckling series The Adventures Of Sir Lancelot. In "The Crusade", he gets knighted and the Doctor jokes that he could always have imagined him as a knight.
    • And much earlier, "Colony in Space" had the Brigadier tell the Doctor he'd nearly arrested the Spanish ambassador, mistaking him for the Master. The actor who played the Master, Roger Delgado, had previously played Mendoza, the Spanish envoy to the court of Elizabeth I in Sir Francis Drake.
    • Valentine Dyall, who played the Black Guardian during seasons 16 and 20, had previously been well-known as The BBC's radio Horror Host "The Man in Black".
    • "The Christmas Invasion" included a scene of the Tenth Doctor (played by David Tennant) choosing his new costume in the TARDIS wardrobe. In addition to the Continuity Nod of past Doctors' costumes being present, there was also a vivid red "Regency" shirt resembling one Tennant had worn in Casanova, and a Hogwarts uniform, referencing his role as Barty Crouch Jr. in Goblet of Fire.
    • School Reunion featured Anthony Stewart Head as the villain, Mr. Finch. When confronted by a laser equipped K9, he told his followers to "Forget the Shooty-dog thing."
    • "The Satan Pit" - Rose and Mr Jefferson are discussing escape plans, and Jefferson mentions the ducts used by maintenance robots that run under the base. Rose assumes they're ventilation shafts, which gets Jefferson to say "I appreciate the reference". His actor was in the third Aliens movie.
    • The special "Time Crash" as a whole is an especially poignant one. Peter Davison reprises his role as the Fifth Doctor opposite Ten, who tells him how much he loved his time as Five and finally getting to be young and nice. He then breaks the fourth wall entirely with the line "You were my Doctor;" fans typically use "my Doctor" to refer to the actor who they grew up with and love in the role, and Davison was that Doctor for Tennant, so much that he became an actor solely so that he might get to play the role himself one day.
    • In "The Doctor's Daughter", Jenny is played by Georgia Moffett, who actually is the daughter of Fifth Doctor Peter Davison. And her mother is Sandra Dickinson (Trillian from the The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy). When Jenny appears for the first time, a bit of the theme music from the Hitchhiker Series can be heard.
    • In "The End of Time", The Doctor is told that "the universe will sing you to your rest", which may reference a line from Hamlet, a production which David Tennant had played the title role in.
    • In "The Vampires of Venice" the Doctor proudly talks about being a friend of Casanova. The 2005 BBC series on Casanova had him played by previous Doctor David Tennant, and it was written by previous showrunner Russell T Davies. It's actually how the two met and became friends.
    • In "The Lodger", the Doctor played soccer. His actor, Matt Smith, played soccer before becoming an actor.
    • In "The Girl Who Waited", Amy mentioned how Rory pretended to be in a band. Rory's actor, Arthur Darvill, is in a band in real life.
    • In "Deep Breath", the Twelfth Doctor asks a random hobo (thinking he's Clara) if he's seen the Doctor's new face before. The Doctor gets the feeling that he has seen this face at some point. Peter Capaldi played Caecilius in the Tenth Doctor's adventures in "The Fires of Pompeii", where he and Tennant interacted quite a bit with each other. In a semi-related note, Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) appeared in this serial as well, before going on to play Eleven's companion.
    • In "Time Heist", Peter Capaldi tells people to "shutity up!" And in Dark Water, his psychic paper illusion is pockmarked with enormous amounts of swearing, which the Doctor chalks up to be "a lot of internalised anger".
    • For a little while (until the series revival), the canonical Ninth Doctor was Richard E. Grant who played an Ink-Suit Actor version of him in the animation "Scream of the Shalka". The Eighth Doctor had been played by Paul McGann - basically, he had regenerated into the other half of Withnail & I.
    • Amy Drives Like Crazy. Karen Gillan had legitimately never learned how to drive... until she had her first driving lesson on Top Gear, that is...
    • Series 9 (2015) introduced a new character trait for the Twelfth Doctor - playing the electric guitar, a reference to Peter Capaldi's real-life early career as a rock musician in the early 1980s.
  • Actor Existence Failure: Dealt with in different ways, including regenerating the character (the "crispy" versions of the Master in between Roger Delgado and Anthony Ainley), using other actors (Richard Hurndall as the First Doctor in "The Five Doctors"), using prop heads (the terrifying heads of the First and Second Doctors in "Dimensions in Time") and clever editing of footage (changing the dialogue in classic footage for the all-Doctor team-up in "The Day of the Doctor"). The eighth season finale "Death in Heaven" compensated for the death of Nicholas Courtney by bringing The Brigadier back as a Cyberman.
  • Actor-Inspired Element: Most, if not all, actors taking the lead role on Doctor Who have had at least some input into their costume design and The Nth Doctor's idiosyncrasies.
    • The First Doctor's Character Tic of Accidental Misnaming was inspired by William Hartnell's difficulty remembering the name 'Ian Chesterton' in rehearsal. Since it fit the Doctor's detached and absent-minded personality perfectly, and because William Russell (who played Chesterton) was able to make the cast and crew crack up by adlibbing around them, it was agreed it would become one of his most memorable quirks. (Some fans believe that the manglings of 'Chesterton' in the series itself are all genuine flubs, but a quick look at the script proves this is not the case.)
    • Patrick Troughton played the recorder himself, and always carried his recorder with him. This quirk was ported straight into the character of his Doctor. The Second Doctor's Social Expertise also stemmed from Troughton, an intuitive people-watcher who loved reading social dynamics - this impressed Gerry Davis enough that he insisted Troughton play the Doctor like that.
    • Jon Pertwee was a gadgets and cars aficionado, and asked if these could be incorporated into his character, along with a moment or two of "charm". Suffice to say his Doctor became the closest to James Bond.
    • The Fourth Doctor offering Sarah Jane jelly babies was come up with by Tom Baker and ran with. The fact that Tom Baker's favourite jelly babies were the orange ones was eventually written into the character in "The Invasion of Time". Also, the Attention Whore characteristics written into the character from Season 15 onward were added in when the crew realised they weren't able to stop Tom Baker hamming it up for attention any more.
    • Peter Davison suggested his cricket outfit, as he was a fan of the sport.
    • It was Colin Baker's idea for the Sixth Doctor to wear a cat badge.
    • The Seventh Doctor's hat actually belonged to Sylvester McCoy.
    • Christopher Eccleston suggested that his Doctor wear a leather jacket, as he wanted a less showy costume than before.
    • David Tennant came up with the Tenth Doctor's trenchcoat, having seen Jamie Oliver wear one on a talk show.
    • Steven Moffat conceptualised Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor with a piratical theme and personality, so when Smith asked to wear a bow tie and to have a dotty and professorial personality, Moffat rejected it out of hand, calling it a 'cartoon idea' of what the Doctor is like. However, Smith eventually persuaded Moffat to give this persona a spin, and Moffat realised it worked perfectly and wrote the scripts to suit.
    • According to a Reddit AMA with the writer of "Mummy on the Orient Express", a scene where the Twelfth Doctor offers a cigar case to someone he's interrogating only to reveal it's full of jelly babies was Capaldi's idea.
      • Capaldi's past as the guitarist of a punk band (with Craig Ferguson!) has also been added to the series, with the Doctor playing guitar in many Season 9 episodes.
      • He also helped design his costume so that it would be easier for cosplayers to replicate.
  • Ascended Fanon:
    • As a long-time fan himself, Steven Moffat incorporated his own fan theories into the show, such as the reason why the Doctor never reveals his name because there is some Dark Secret behind it. This plot point literally became a cliffhanger at the end of Series 6, where it's revealed that the reason the Silence want the Doctor dead is to prevent the Question from being answered.
    Doctor: What Question?
    Dorium: The Question. The oldest one in the universe, hidden in plain sight! Doctor Who?!
    • He also incorporated his theory that the word 'doctor' has come to mean 'healer' (or something similar) throughout the universe because of the Doctor going around introducing himself as 'Doctor' wherever he goes.
    • In the Comic Relief special "Doctor Who: The Curse of Fatal Death", the Doctor regenerates into a woman. In The End of Time, the Eleventh Doctor feels his face and hair and freaks out, thinking he's regenerated into a woman. In The Doctor's Wife, the Doctor mentions that the Corsair has had both male and female incarnations. In "The Night of the Doctor", the Sisterhood of Karn gives the Doctor the chance to control his next regeneration, part of the choices being a woman. And now, established characters the Master and the General have regenerated into a woman, though the latter sort of threw a spanner into some of the headcanon by stating on screen that changing genders is not considered the norm and that Time Lords do have baseline genders.
    • Pretty much every Doctor Who writer in the revived series has applied this to some effect.
    • In a more direct example, Sarah Dollard, writer of "Face the Raven", (as evidenced by her Tumblr) a supporter of the headcanon that Clara is bisexual, pretty much confirmed it in her episode. (This is debatable as all that occurs on screen is a continuation of a Running Gag from the first episode of the season; however, Dollard had originally planned a scene for the episode in which Clara and Jane would have met each other again.)
  • Author Existence Failure: Ian Marter wrote a novel about his character Harry Sullivan's War. He'd planned to kill Harry off at the climax, but was prevented by the publisher, who was considering a sequel. Unfortunately, Ian died the same month the book was published.
    • Marter was also a prolific writer of Doctor Who novelisations, and his death left a couple of the books unfinished, forcing the series editor to complete them.
  • Banned in China: In a literal sense. The show has been banned in Mainland China because the Chinese government has deemed time travel plots to "Lack positive thoughts and meaning" and ordered a blanket ban on any productions showing time traveling.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!:
    • There's a widespread belief that the catsuit Zoe wore in "The Mind Robber" was purple, and it's frequently drawn like this in fanart. This seems to have originated from fan colourizations of black and white screenshots; there are colour photos on the DVD showing it was actually silver.
    • Tegan's supposed fondness for using "Rabbits!" as a swear word. She actually only uses it twice.
    • Clara uttered "Oh my stars" only a couple of times early on, if that, but fans adopted it as a catchphrase for her. She never utters it at all in Series 8 or 9.
  • Cash Cow Franchise: The BBC has been prompt to capitalize on the show's new-found success since it returned. Two decades of Expanded Universe literature and audio have also helped.
  • Cast Incest: David Tennant, the Tenth Doctor, is married to Georgia Moffett, who played the title character in "The Doctor's Daughter", and is the daughter of 5th Doctor actor Peter Davison, who interestingly enough is one of Tennant's favorite Doctors. The couple has three children, too.
  • The Cast Showoff:
    • Jon Pertwee jumped at any excuse during the show to show his interest and skill in motor vehicles of any sort. Consequently, he was the only Doctor to drive motor vehicles (Bessie and the Whomobile) on a regular basis.
    • Early on in his run, Sylvester McCoy would show skills of his from his old vaudeville act, such as playing spoons. As the show got Darker and Edgier, and as the Doctor's character became more complex, such displays were discarded.
    • Averted on several occasions: for example, despite having Kylie Minogue appear in a Christmas episode with a song interlude ("Voyage of the Damned" and song being "The Stowaway"), she is never called upon to sing; Billie Piper similarly was allowed to do straight acting and not have to sing; and with a few exceptions, Catherine Tate was allowed to tone down her comedic acting and play Donna Noble straight.
    • The football match in "The Lodger" highlights that Matt Smith was headed to be a professional footballer before he had a Career-Ending Injury.
    • Katherine Jenkins, whose character Abigail Pettigrew's voice was pretty much a Chekhov's Gun.
    • Peter Capaldi used to play guitar in a band, so having him play electric guitar into an axe battle (for real!) worked well in "The Magician's Apprentice". Not only does he play the guitar again in "Before the Flood", the episode features a special arrangement of the title theme featuring a guitar solo by him! He also plays the iconic "Clara's Theme" in "Hell Bent".
  • Celebrity Paradox: In one of the audio episodes ('Pier Pressure'), a young actor in the 1930s features. He is called Billy and stars in two feature films that First Doctor actor William Hartnell did, back when he went by Billy Hartnell. It has not been confirmed if the character is the Doctor Who star, but if not then by default of his films existing, Hartnell is present in the DW Universe, too.
  • The Character Died with Him: Geoffrey Noble, the Brigadier and Harry Sullivan (though not Barbara or Sarah-Jane).
  • Contractual Immortality: A literal Real Life example with the Daleks. The deal with Terry Nation's estate for the revival series contractually obligates the producers to bring them back at least once per season.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: It's become generally accepted, by fans and production alike, that The Doctor's name is not "Doctor Who", but the media doesn't seem to know this. Even the end titles sometimes list the character as "Doctor Who". (That last is less egregious of an error in early episodes, when the name distinction wasn't firmly established yet.)
    • That being said, the character of the Doctor HAS been referred to as "Doctor Who" on rare occasion in the show ("The War Machines", for one), and even the actors who've played the role (such as Colin Baker or Sylvester McCoy) regularly refer to the character not as "the Doctor" but as "Doctor Who."
  • Creative Differences:
    • Maureen O'Brien, who played Vicki, got on very well with William Hartnell both in-character and on-set. When a new production team led by John Wiles took over, he began moving the show in a Darker and Edgier, Failure Hero-led, Internal Deconstruction direction that Hartnell disliked. O'Brien formed a team with him and supported all of Hartnell's attempts to Wag the Director, and Wiles decided to fire her in the hope of breaking Hartnell. Vicki was first pencilled in to be killed off, but was eventually Put on a Bus to Hell to get rid of the actress sooner.
    • William Hartnell's departure was also at least in part due to creative differences with a new production team (although his failing health was also a factor). He saw the show as a children's programme, but the new producers had other ideas. "So did I, so I left", as he said in a letter to a fan.
    • During the Troubled Production of "Nightmare of Eden", the entire cast and crew had it in for the director Alan Bromly, an ageing director pulled out of retirement, unused to modern production schedules and values and with a very authoritarian attitude. This especially inflamed Tom Baker, who had been Wagging The Director frequently and who felt he was best when he could Throw It In and do unscripted business. Seeing Bromly as incompetent, Baker took rather sadistic pleasure using his acerbic wit to bully and humiliate him in front of the crew, eroding his authority further, and their animosity eventually culminated in a screaming match between them in the BBC corridors which producer Graham Williams had to intervene in. The chaos had sent recording well behind schedule and Bromly was decided to have been responsible. Bromly quit, citing creative differences with Baker, and Williams, who had become sick of Baker's difficult personality already, announced his intention to quit at the end of the season also because of creative differences with Baker. Williams' replacement was John Nathan-Turner, who Baker hated, and who wanted a new Doctor to leave his stamp on the show - so Baker eventually left the role stating he felt he had no further to go with his character and citing creative differences with Nathan-Turner.
    • On "State of Decay", writer Terrance Dicks and director Peter Moffatt clashed with script editor Christopher H. Bidmead. They were in favour of a Hammer Horror approach, which he didn't think was the style that he wanted for the series.
    • The most notorious and damaging Doctor Who example was the conflict between the producer John Nathan-Turner and script editor Eric Saward over the ending of the "Trial of a Time Lord" season. Saward, out of his general love for Darker and Edgier content and his hero worship of the recently departed writer of the arc Robert Holmes, wanted the season to end with a Cliffhanger in which the Doctor and his Enemy Without the Valeyard were seemingly either dead or trapped eternally in a Sealed Evil in a Duel situation. Nathan-Turner felt, with considerable justification, that since the BBC wanted to cancel the show altogether, writing an ending that could be seen as a Bolivian Army Ending for the whole show was a very bad idea. Saward, whose relationship with Nathan-Turner was already strained due to personality clashes and his belief that Nathan-Turner was paying insufficient attention to the artistic content of the series, accused Nathan-Turner of having no respect for Holmes' last work, quit with no finalised script for the final episode, threatened to sue the BBC if they made a final episode with any similarity to any draft he'd worked on, and then gave an interview to a fan publication viciously slagging off Nathan-Turner. The whole affair led to a somewhat disjointed on-screen end to a season that, in reality, had been seen as the show's make-or-break chance to avoid cancellation, and contributed to the show's actual cancellation a few years afterwards.
    • Christopher Eccleston left the revival, due to his fights with the executives "over the way things were being run", and, according to him, his distaste for non-acting personnel getting bullied by directors.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • A minor one, though. A former Doctor Who director was quoted as thinking they made the revival a bit too sexy and romance-y.
    • Tom Baker was reportedly keen to distance himself from Doctor Who after leaving the show, refusing to appear in "The Five Doctors", and for a long time refusing to do conventions and public appearances related to the show. This was at least partly due to the length of time he spent on the show and being quite burnt out about it, partly because the role was intensely personal to him and the idea of other actors playing the character disturbed him, and partly because his iconic performance largely overshadowed everything else he did since then. It's worth noting that by 1980, sources show Baker as alcoholic, despondent, and nearly impossible to work with; Executive Meddling and heavy typecasting had taken a toll, his marriage was on the rocks, and he was not at all enamoured of newer writers like Christoper Bidmead or producer John Nathan-Turner. He was nearly 50, and had little career left. He seems a lot more comfortable being associated with the show in recent years, however. In 1993, Baker filmed a small part for the short "episode" "Dimensions in Time". It's said there was far more planned using a different script, but Executive Meddling and a primadonna host got in the way. From 2009, Baker returned as the Doctor for three five-part series of audio dramas for BBC Audio, and in 2011, he finally began to star in the audio dramas for Big Finish Productions. He has shown some regret about not doing "The Five Doctors" and distancing himself from the series at large, but at over 80 years old his health will not allow more involvement with the exception of a brief cameo towards the end of the 50th Anniversary special.
    • It took a long time for Peter Davison to become comfortable with his tenure as the Doctor. With most of his career still ahead of him, he had been terrified of being typecast and did everything possible to prevent it, including insulting the show to the press. In recent years, Davison has also mentioned the show's low budget and poor treatment from the BBC were a major source of his resentment towards the franchise. He has since said that he wishes that he could have worked on the show when it had the budget, studio support, and prestige it enjoyed under the leadership of head writers Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat. From the late '90s onwards, he's happily been playing the Doctor in monthly Big Finish Doctor Who episodes, and in 2007, reprised his role on TV in the mini-episode "Time Crash" as part of a charity drive. David Tennant used the short as a massive fan-gasm shout-out to Davison's tenure on the show: "you were MY Doctor." Tennant has repeatedly cited Davison's interpretation of the Doctor as his primary inspiration, and reason for becoming an actor. Davison had always felt that he was too young for the role. In "Time Crash" he felt he was at a more fitting age to play the Doctor, and had a grasp on the character that he was happy with. Ironically, the role of the Doctor being played by a younger man (and the contrast between the character's physical age and his actual age) was one of the primary things that carried over into Tennant and Matt Smith's portrayals, thanks in part to Davison's example.
    • Patrick Troughton quit the show in 1969 to avoid being typecast, and because he wished to return to other programs. He went as far as to urge Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury to depart at the same time. Troughton enjoyed making comebacks in "The Three Doctors" and "The Five Doctors", and finally alongside Colin Baker in "The Two Doctors", and looked like he was thoroughly enjoying himself in all of them. Of course Troughton didn't hate the character — he would make himself available at conventions, and any time he and Jon Pertwee were at the same convention, the two would appear at joint panels and jokingly mock-bicker as Two and Three did in "The Three Doctors" and "The Five Doctors". Troughton also counselled Davison to stay on only 3 years, and this aided in his decision to leave the show in 1984.
    • Janet Fielding has stated that she was pretty bitter towards the show when she left because she wasn't happy with how she and her fellow companions were treated. This reached its highpoint with a notorious on-stage outburst at Panopticon 1993 when she told a room full of fans that any show that treated its female characters as badly as Doctor Who did deserved to have been cancelled. She's since gotten over it and is much more comfortable with the show now, although her negative remarks about certain stories on DVD commentaries have still caused controversy.
    • Surprisingly subverted by Colin Baker, who you would think — given that he was the only actor playing the Doctor to be fired from the role, that his era was for a long time not incredibly popular with fans and that, well, he had to wear That Coat — would have plenty of reason to not want to have anything to do with the show again. Instead, barring some rather understandable regrets, he's always appeared quite enthusiastic about the show, being associated with the show and returning to it in some form on occasion. Baker, long before David Tennant took the trope and ran with it, was the Promoted Fanboy on Doctor Who, having been a childhood fan of the show. He too has been doing Big Finish dramas as the Doctor continuously since the late 90s, and he (and the writers) went the extra mile to completely rehabilitate Six's reputation, leading to him being a poster boy for Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
      • Both Baker and Davison later took part in The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, a special made for the show's fiftieth anniversary. It's notable for the sheer amount of Adam Westing the actors took part in.
    • Christopher Eccleston left after Series One, due to having spats with the executives over "the way things were being run" and, according to him, people being bullied by directors on-set was common. He (politely and after a few cordial meetings with Moffat) declined to return in person for the 50th anniversary - which could have had to do with his commitment to Thor: The Dark World.
    • "Shada", written by Douglas Adams, was originally rushed out by him in four days when his previous script got rejected thanks to Executive Meddling. Some of the script was shot, but then shooting was interrupted with a strike, causing it to be cancelled. Adams, for his part, was happy about this, because he thought "Shada" was not up to much - however, since people love Douglas Adams' writing, fan demand became huge. In 1992, he accidentally signed away rights for the BBC to make a direct-to-video version of it with linking narration by Tom Baker, and was so distressed by this that he declared he would give away every penny of the proceeds he made of it to charity as penance. People who have seen the script say that while it wasn't anywhere near as godawful as the notably perfectionistic Adams thought it was (notably, it contains one of the all-time-brilliant Douglas Adams characters, Professor Chronotis), and gives the Fourth Doctor some of the wittiest, most enjoyable dialogue he was ever given), it is not up to the standard of his usual work, having gaping plotholes, minor characters who never get to come into the limelight, a very boring villain and being mostly a lazy, watered-down, low-budget retread of his previous Who script "City of Death". Both the Big Finish version (which was forced to shoehorn the Eighth Doctor into the role as Tom Baker refused to do radio scripts at the time) and the 2012 novelization by Gareth Roberts (written after his death as Douglas Adams would not allow anyone else to novelize it) were both attempts to fix the problems that Adams himself had identified - not to mention Adams' own Ascended Fanfic of the story, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, which replaces the Doctor, Chris and Claire with Expies and rescues Professor Chronotis from oblivion.
    • Steven Moffat regards "The Beast Below" as his least favorite episode he wrote, calling it a bit of a mess. A lot of the fandom agree with him, this episode being widely considered the worst of Series 5.
    • Moffat doesn't have high thoughts on Series 7.
    "I didn’t enjoy my third year as much. It was a bit miserable... The workload was just insane. I wasn’t coping as well. No-one else’s fault, all mine. The 50th was looming, and I didn’t know if we could make it work. It was a tough, tough time. My darkest hour on Who was that."
    • Moffat also feels the opening episode to Series 9 wasn't original enough.
    • A regular occurrence with the showrunning producers. In the 1980s fan backlash got so intense against then-producer John Nathan-Turner that The BBC's lawyers warned some of the more vocal fanzine publications to cool it. More recently, both Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat are often the targets. Chris Chibnall has also experienced backlash even though he isn't scheduled to begin producing the series until sometime in 2017!
  • Creator's Favorite:
  • Dawson Casting:
    • Carole Ann Ford was 23 when Susan was passing for 15.
    • Maureen O'Brien was 22 when playing the teenaged Vicki.
    • Dodo was a teenager but Jackie Lane was almost 25.
    • Zoe's age varies depending on what production member you ask, but she probably wasn't intended to be out of her teens, like Wendy Padbury was.
    • Turlough was supposed to be posing as a British schoolboy. Mark Strickson looked quite a bit older than his character, quite frankly.
    • Sophie Aldred was 24 when Ace was 16.
    • Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill and Nina Toussaint-White played school-aged versions of Amy, Rory and a teenage-passing-for River in "Let's Kill Hitler" at ages 23, 29 and 25.
    • Jean and Phyllis in "The Curse of Fenric", who are supposed to be teenagers, although both actresses were in their early twenties at the time of filming.
    • In "Paradise Towers" the Kangs are definitely meant to be younger than the actresses playing them. In an odd way, this adds to the general creepiness of the estate: none of these kids attend school, and the Doctor is the first parental figure they've had in perhaps a decade. Their immaturity is part of the point.
    • Nancy in "The Empty Child" / "The Doctor Dances" looks about fifteen or sixteen but is actually twenty or twenty-one (the Doctor's estimate, which she doesn't contradict). Actress Florence Heath actually was just shy of twenty-one when the episodes were broadcast.
  • Defictionalization: In reference to the fake Mona Lisa plot from "City of Death", prints of the Mona Lisa were once made available at a Tom Baker signing, signed "This is a fake — TOM BAKER".
  • Disabled Character, Disabled Actor:
    • Sil, the alien villain of "Vengeance on Varos" and "Mindwarp", is a mostly aquatic amphibian who is very clumsy on land and has to be carried around by flunkies. Nabil Shaban, who played him, has severe osteogenesis imperfecta, causing him to be very short and use a wheelchair.
    • Deaf scientist Cass in "Under the Lake" / "Before the Flood" is played by actual deaf actress Sophie Stone.
  • Enforced Method Acting: According to Word of God, Alex Kingston (River Song), Karen Gillan (Amy), and Arthur Darvill (Rory) all knew certain things about their character that hadn't been revealed. These details had been intentionally withheld from Matt Smith. So when he doesn't know something, he really doesn't know.
    • According to interviews given by Jenna Coleman (Clara), when they filmed Clara's death scene for "Face the Raven", she had not yet been made aware of how her character arc was going to be resolved at the end of the season.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • The show's cancellation following the Sylvester McCoy era has been explicitly, if not exclusively, pinned on BBC executive Michael Grade's personal distaste for it (though he was no longer controller by the time of the actual cancellation).
    • Seventh producer Philip Hinchcliffe was moved on from the show following complaints about the levels of violence and horror during his tenure.
    • The sacking of Sixth Doctor Colin Baker was at the behest of BBC management. The fairness of that decision is still hotly debated.
    • Executive Meddling is why Susan was the Doctor's granddaughter: it looked too odd otherwise.
    • K-9 was kept on after "The Invisible Enemy" because the production team saw his potential appeal with younger children. And they were right.
    • Executive Meddling actually made Tegan have the '80s Hair, amusingly enough. Producer John Nathan-Turner somehow thought that fans might somehow mistake Janet Fieldingnote  for Adricnote  in long shots. It's a miracle that Ms. Fielding didn't take the guy's head off.
    • Turlough had red hair to differentiate Mark Strickson (schoolboy outfit) with Peter Davison's Fifth Doctor (cricketing uniform).
    • Kamelion was originally going to be played by a series of humans, as he was a shape-changing robot. Instead turned into a real mechanical prop, which was then shelved when the only person on the planet (and we mean the real planet Earth) who knew how to operate the blasted thing died without telling anyone else how to work it.
    • A reference that Ace lost her virginity to Sabalom Glitz never made it past the censor.
    • Executive producer John Nathan-Turner demanded the Sixth Doctor's becoming "totally tasteless" in terms of fashion sense, rather than the Ninth Doctor-esque dark clothes and jacket Colin Baker wanted. And thus, the multicoloured suit was born.
    • Anthony Ainley wanted to play the Master as serious and understated, but the producers wanted a retread of Roger Delgado's over-the-top villain. It wasn't until "Survival" that Ainley was allowed to give the performance he wanted.
    • In "Planet of Evil", Sorenson was going to die, but the producer felt the death of a sympathetic character was inappropriate.
    • The ending to episode 11 of "The Trial of a Time Lord", "Terror of the Vervoids", was supposed to be a model shot of the Hyperion III flying towards the Black Hole of Tartarus. John Nathan-Turner thought that all episodes of the "Trial" season should end on a close-up on the Doctor's face however (even though episode 9 memorably avoided that), and had the episode re-edited to end on a shot of the Doctor looking vaguely annoyed at Lasky.
    • "The Ultimate Foe", also known as episodes 13 and 14 of "The Trial of a Time Lord" was to be a four-part story written together by Robert Holmes and script editor Eric Saward. Then it was turned into a two-part story when Pip and Jane wrote a pretty sweet story. Then, after Holmes passed away, Eric turned in a final script that kept the original plot; in this ending, the Doctor and Valeyard are left tumbling through the Matrix, fighting to the death. note  Producer John Nathan-Turner rightly felt this could give the BBC the excuse they needed to axe the program... so Saward resigned and refused permission for his script to be used. As such, the televised version of the final episode was written by Pip and Jane Baker in a matter of days, without being allowed to know anything about the originally intended version. People, it's nothing less than a miracle that this serial was even finished.
    • The first edit of "The Trial of a Time Lord Part 14" ran to some 38 minutes; Nathan-Turner managed to get permission to extend the running time by five minutes, but still had to make it up by cutting out large amounts of material featuring the Master and Glitz.
    • Russell T Davies originally proposed bringing the show back in 1998, but was blocked because the BBC's commercial arm insisted on approaching producers for a Hollywood movie.
  • Executive Veto: Midge's somewhat unexplained death in Survival is because the original script had the Master inciting the other youths to tear him limb from limb for showing weakness, which was vetoed as too horrific even for Doctor Who.
  • Fake American:
    • "American" Companion Peri Brown is played by British Nicola Bryant. Bryant has confirmed in interviews that when she joined the series an attempt was made to hide the fact she was British, to the point where she was asked to stay "in character" as an American even for TV interviews. The charade lasted only a few months before she was allowed to be a Brit again off-camera.
    • Don't forget Jack Harkness, played by Glaswegian John Barrowman, who does have an American accent in real life (except when talking to his parents). Harkness is a Fake American In-Universe as well, being from another planet in the 51st century but posing as an American officer in World War II. He does frequently show his British assimilation by yelling "Oi!" at people.
      • Barrowman is more like half-British: While born in Glasgow, he moved to Illinois at the age of eight with his family, went to university in California, and moved back to Britain at the age of 22, and currently maintains dual citizenship.
    • In "The Chase", the Daleks chase the First Doctor and his companions through a New York skyscraper, where a tour guide (Noo Yauwk) and a tourist (Allabayama) are entertainingly fake. William Hartnell's Old West adventure, "The Gunfighters", is full of the same.
    • In "The Tomb of the Cybermen", Vienna-born George Roubicek and Welshman Clive Merrison play Captain Hopper and Jim Callum. Their accents are quite awful.
    • In "The Space Pirates", Milo Clancey has an outrageous hillbilly accent courtesy of New Zealander Gordon Gostelow.
    • The classic example is Bill Filer in "The Claws of Axos". He even has his own fan-produced spinoff.
    • Yee Jee Tso, who played Chang Lee in "The TV Movie", is actually Canadian.
    • In "Dalek", the American characters are played by Kiwi Anna-Louise Plowman, Canadian Nigel Whitney, and British Steven Beckingham. Corey Johnson (who plays the Big Bad) was born in New Orleans, but much of his accent sounds strained and over-precise at times; it's obvious he's heavily trained and spends a lot of time in the UK.
    • "Daleks in Manhattan" / "Evolution of the Daleks" had British Miranda Raison and Ghanaian-born British-raised Hugh Quarshie as guests of that story. As well as the rarely playing a british guy, Andrew Garfield doing an Oklahoma accent.
    • In "The Sontaran Stratagem" / "The Poison Sky", British actor Ryan Sampson plays Luke Rattigan.
    • Brits Mark Sheppard and William Morgan Sheppard play Canton Delaware in "The Impossible Astronaut" / "Day of the Moon". Other guests include Nigerian Chukwudi Iwuji, British Mark Griffin and Canadian Kerry Shale.
  • Fake Nationality: Latoni, the indigenous South American in "Black Orchid", is played by the rather more Asian-British Ahmed Khalil.
  • Fandom Nod: In "Blink", policeman Billy Shipton tells Sally Sparrow the TARDIS can't be a real police box because "the windows are too big" (amongst other things). It's been confirmed by episode writer Steven Moffat that this was a reference to complaints made by fans on the popular Outpost Gallifrey discussion forums in 2004. (Likewise "Time Crash" and "Love & Monsters" both make oblique reference to Fandom.)
  • Fan Nickname:
    • The Second Doctor is typically called "The Cosmic Hobo".
    • The Eighth Doctor is referred to by some fans as "The Oncoming Pretty".
    • In some circles, both Susan and Romana have been known as Sailor Gallifrey.
    • Fans seem to prefer the name "Robot Santas" to "Roboform".
    • Roger Delgado's Master is known as the UNIT Years Master.
    • The Pratt/Beevers Master is called Crispy Master, while Geoffrey Beeves' Master is called "Skeletor".
    • The Monk has been given the expanded nickname of the Meddling Monk
    • In "The End of Time", Timothy Dalton's character Rassilon is nicknamed "James Rassilon".
    • The Tenth Doctor is sometimes "the Oncoming Sulk" due to his depressive nature after season 2
    • The Eleventh Doctor is the "Cosmic Nine Year Old" thanks to his childlike actions, and is often the dubbed "The Hipster Doctor" due to his fashion choice.
    • The War Doctor (the John Hurt regeneration, as he's credited) has quickly picked up the alternate name of "the Warrior", mainly to avoid the confusion of calling a non-Doctor Doctor "the Doctor".
      • The 8.5th Doctor, due to his mix of 8 and 9's clothing.
      • Regeneration Zero, based on the theory he's a mix of all the previous Doctors.
      • The Forgotten Doctor. Due to the fact he's, well, forgotten.
      • The Other Doctor, a Pun from a version of the Doctor from the EU named "The Other".
      • The Mayfly Doctor, due to his only appearances being the final scene of The Name of the Doctor and The Day of the Doctor.
      • The Warlock, meaning "Traitor" or "Oath-Breaker", and as a reference to how the Doctor is a "good wizard" in fairy tales.
      • The Hurt Doctor, both referring to his actor John Hurt and a pun on The Hurt Locker.
      • The Storm / The Oncoming Storm, the moniker used by the Daleks in the Time War.
      • The Valeyard, based on a theory that this is said character's re-introduction to the Whoniverse: both are "dark incarnations" of The Doctor; he really would be a Doctor who abandoned "the name of The Doctor" both metaphorically and physically; and both, to quote, "had no choice" in their evil actions.
    • The 12th Doctor is being called "The Thin White Doctor" thanks to him basing his wardrobe and part of his performance on David Bowie.
    • For the Metacrisis Doctor popular ones are "The Handy Doctor", due to his origins, or the more derogatory "Dildo Doctor", due to the implications of his Doppelgänger Replacement Love Interest status.
  • I Knew It: A few fans successfully guessed the revelation regarding Clara in "The Name of the Doctor": that the modern London Clara is the original and somehow ends up splintered across time to save the Doctor's life countless times.
    • Arthur Darvill had several guesses as to River Song's true identity before it was revealed on the show, and would sometimes bug Alex Kingston with them on set (she being the only person other than Moffat who knew). Eventually he guessed right, and she just said "Hello, Dad."
    • Rassilon turning out to be evil in "The End of Time" was this for many fans. "The Five Doctors" and much Doctor Who Expanded Universe material had already depicted him as fairly shady.
    • After he first appeared in "The Name of the Doctor", fans speculated that the War Doctor was a previously unknown incarnation of the Doctor from between his eighth and ninth incarnations. The minisode "The Night of the Doctor" proved this to be true.
    • Missy's identity, which was revealed at the end of "Dark Water", was correctly guessed ahead of time by savvy fans.
    • Although the actual mechanics remained unspoiled. many fans predicted Clara's death at the end of Series 9 as early as the end of Series 8, though granted some expected her to die (as was actually originally planned) in the 2014 Christmas special.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The 1993 charity special "Dimensions in Time", a crossover with EastEnders, was created on the condition that it'd never be rerun or released on home video. You can find it on YouTube, however.
    • It was in part due to this trope that a number of lost episodes have been recovered over the years, and complete audio recordings of every lost episode exist.
    • Fan-made recreations of missing episodes have been circulating for decades.
  • Lying Creator: The BBC website made it sound like the Cybermen would be major enemies in "A Good Man Goes to War". In reality, they're merely cold open cameos.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor:
    • Roger Delgado, who played the first incarnation of the Master in the original series, was legendary for his lovely personality off (and sometimes even on) the set. In fact, Jon Pertwee and Roger Delgado were good friends, and Delgado's untimely death in Turkey while filming a movie was one of the catalysts that led Pertwee to decide to finally leave the series.
      • This led to what seems to be a mistake in "Frontier in Space". While the Master is leading Jo through a BBC Quarry, he can be heard gently reminding her to be careful; arguably not something the Master would do. (Katy Manning has very poor eyesight, which may be why she needed some help climbing around gravel quarries. This also happens to be the reason Jo and the Doctor held hands so often.)
      • As a matter of fact, Jon Pertwee described him as one of the sweetest, gentlest people he'd ever met. And even watching the show, one can tell that despite all the murder attempts, his and Delgado's characters are not that far off from being Vitriolic Best Buds.
    • Anthony Ainley, Delgado's eventual successor in the original series, was likewise known as a genuinely likeable man, who enjoyed the company of fans and even answered most of his own fan mail. Colin Baker (Doctor Number Six) mentioned in a interview that the only thing he could get Anthony Ainley to talk about outside of rehearsals were cricket and the Master's character. Having a private income meant that he could choose to take only the roles he enjoyed - and he really enjoyed playing the Master.
    • Jon Pertwee often played the Doctor as something of a Jerkass, but was well-liked on set. In fact, when he died in 1996, Elisabeth Sladen (who played Sarah-Jane Smith in his last season as the Doctor) was said to have cried inconsolably for weeks. Katy Manning, then a young girl fresh to the world of acting, who played Jo Grant (the Doctor's companion when The Master was first introduced), has charmingly described the relationship on the set as her having two kindly god-fathers who put her under their wings and who guided her through the stressful waters of weekly television work, who showed her that it was okay to spend your life playing make-belief on a stage or in front of a camera... and who just happened to be ruthless enemies whenever the director yelled "Action!".
      • As mentioned above under Roger Delgado, Katy Manning was Blind Without 'Em, having a severe case of nearsightedness. During one of the first locations shoots, while running after Jon Pertwee, she allegedly ran right into a tree. After that, Pertwee always tried his best to make sure she was holding onto his hand so he could guide her during running sequences to help her avoid injury.
    • Colin Baker gave the Doctor a much darker personality, which was not well received (at first; time has been kind to him). He was also lumbered with production decisions that he was not comfortable with, and caught up in internal BBC political manouvering not of his own making, and he was eventually shuffled out by the BBC. Nowadays he takes part in Audio adventures in spite of this, and is a terrific man, well-loved by fans.
      • Made even better when you realize Baker was a long-time fan of the show even before being cast, and the pretty rotten experience of playing The Doctor in that particular period in the show's history did nothing to dampen that enthusiasm for the show or the character.
    • John Simm gave one of the most twisted and psychotic performances of The Master to date on camera. Off camera, his own performance disturbed him so much that he forbade his children to watch it because he didn't want to frighten them with his onscreen actions. Ironically, he became The Master to impress his children, but clearly his role as a loving father takes precedence over his acting career.
    • Karen Gillan is this as well in some measure — while Amy Pond is not a villain, she does have some rough edges and can come across as a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. People who have met or worked with Gillan say that she is a very sweet person, who had a wonderful working relationship with Matt Smith and Arthur Darvill, even delving into good-natured Vitriolic Best Buds territory.
  • Meaningful Release Date:
  • Name's the Same:
    • Strax the Sontaran medic shares his name with a controversial Florida medical facility. This could be coincidence... or Moffat could have picked up the name while visiting the US. He does have an affinity for Space Florida, after all…
    • In World War Z, Peter Capaldi played a "W.H.O. Doctor". According to rumors, this was done deliberately as a joke on the part of casting.
    • The King Kong Show had a bald, villainous scientist named "Dr. Who". When the same character showed up in the film King Kong Escapes, they gave him grey hair and a cape, there were too many similarities.
    • Amy Pond, sometimes known as Amy Williams, shares her name with skeleton racer Amy Williams.
  • No Export for You:
    • Americans had to wait until 1972 before finally seeing an episode on their screens (and even then the syndicators chose to skip over Pertwee's first story, and it wasn't until the 1980s that Americans finally got to see episodes from the 1960s). Nearly happened again in 2005 when US broadcasters initially refused to buy the new series, reportedly because it was "too British".
    • France was notoriously one of the only major countries never to import the original series. Other countries were late adopters as well; India, for example, never aired the series until 2008. Though to be fair this might be more a case of "No Import for You".
    • From about 2006 to 2010 it was commonplace for online content produced related to the series to not be viewable outside the UK (behind the scenes videos, prequels, games etc). This has improved in the last couple of years, but there is still extensive content that cannot be viewed outside the UK (at least until someone posts it to YouTube...). Although some original content eventually makes its way onto DVDs that get released in North America, there have been some notable exceptions, such as the "TARDI Sodes", a series of prequels released online in the UK only and never included on DVD, and Captain Jack's Monster Files, a web series featuring John Barrowman that remains web-only in the UK, and the minisode "Good as Gold" which was included in the UK box set of Series 7 but not included in the North American release.
    • Initially applied to a series of computer games produced for online distribution beginning in 2010. Eventually were made available via a retailer with North American release rights, except for the Mac version, even though it was available for Mac in the UK.
    • In a minor reversal, only viewers in North America and Australia viewed a unique pre-credits sequence narrated by Karen Gillan that was added to non-UK broadcasts of Season 6 in order to introduce new viewers to the show. This opening never made it onto the DVD releases in the UK or anywhere else.
      • When the episode "Let's Kill Hitler" first aired on BBC America in 2011, it included an exclusive animated scene sponsored by an advertiser that aired in lieu of a commercial break and filled a gap in the story (it expanded on Rory and Amy's motorcycle chase through Berlin). Although later announced as being planned for inclusion in the Series 6 DVD box sets in North America and the UK, this never happened.
    • Averted with "The Day of The Doctor". Normally, there's several hours between the airing in the UK and the airing in the US, allowing fans to find and download the episode. For DoTD, the episode was shown at the exact same time in 94 countries, earning a Guinness record for biggest global simulcast.
    • BBC Worldwide's Asia arm has never been good with the specials (Easter specials are outright skipped over, while other specials are chosen at its own discretion, irrelevant of the interest shown on social media). However, most egregiously, "The Time of the Doctor" was skipped over back in 2013, and this special is important as it showcases the regeneration of Matt Smith to Peter Capaldi, and regenerations are extremely important events to Whovians. Many have wrote to the BBC, who claims that they have noted the interest of Asian viewers in the episode, but have announced that it will not be aired in the near future. It finally aired in mid-Febuary 2015, during ''Chinese New Year'' and over a year after it's premiere in other regions, but BBC Entertainment Asia will still hand pick which specials it will and will not show in the future. And oh, the pre-2005 episodes have never been aired on BBC Asia's feeds, either.
    • In 2009, Astro Malaysia dropped BBC Entertainment from it's channel lineup. As it was the only Pay TV provider carrying the channel, Malaysians were denied off the show until 2012, when competing provider Hypp TV picked it up. Unfortunately, Hypp TV decided to drop the channel on December 1st, 2015, halfway through Series 9. To say that Malaysian Whovians aren't pleased with that decision is an understatement. Thankfully, the show became available on Netflix Asia in mid-2016, and then Hypp TV quietly proceeded to pick up the BBC First Video-on-Demand service in October 2016, making the good doctor, along with a whole slew of BBC programming that went away with BBC Entertainment, once again available in Malaysia.
    • In another case of "No Import for You" the CBC in Canada never bothered airing the 2007 Christmas special Voyage of the Damned, leaving the Season 3 cliffhanger unresolved for those who hadn't bought the DVDs; ultimately, the special wouldn't air on English language TV in Canada until 2010 when Space obtained the rights to show it.
  • Official Fan-Submitted Content: A few monster designs, among other things.
    • In Series 8, the title sequence is based on an immensely popular fan-made sequence.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Generally averted in favor of The Nth Doctor. It's played straight, however, with the recasting of the late William Hartnell as the First Doctor in The Five Doctors. The recurring villain Davros has also been played by four different actors on TV - the heavy make-up helps to disguise it, but their voices are definitely different.
    • Done for a grand total of 3 seconds during the Sixth Doctor's regeneration process, as Colin Baker didn't return to portray the Doctor for a fraction of an episode. The Sixth Doctor's Dick Sargent to Colin Baker's Dick York was Sylvester McCoy, who simply wore a curly blond wig while sparkly special effects covered his face. It didn't work. Leave it to the producers of the "Time and the Rani" DVDs to sneak an Easter Egg in that seeks to make the regeneration look better by carefully rotoscoping in Colin's face, which is, soothingly, much better.
      • Colin Baker jokingly insists that since he never actually regenerated, he's still the Doctor and all the later ones are mere pretenders to the part.
    • Paul McGann briefly plays the War Doctor after the regeneration but he doesn't speak and when the face is seen in a reflection it is John Hurt.
    • The Master at some points. Doesn't reach The Nth Doctor level because Peter Pratt and Geoffrey Beevers played the same incarnation. Gordon Tipple played the Master briefly in the 1996 Movie, though sources vary on whether the Tipple Master and Ainley Master are supposed to be the same one.
    • Davros was played by four different actors over the years, the only one decidedly off being the Gooderson Davros, who was suddenly Scottish.
    • John Leeson wound up replaced by David Brierly as K9 in Season 17 for one reason or another, but came back for the other appearances. Also, Roy Skelton did his voice for a fleeting scene in "Destiny of the Daleks", where all that K-9 did was make a brief coughing and croaking noise, incapable of speaking because he had contracted robot laryngitis and had to be confined to the TARDIS to recuperate. Who better to provide that kind of noise than someone who voiced aliens who have croaky voices all the time?
  • Out of Order: Twice during Sylvester McCoy's tenure:
    • "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" was supposed to air before "Silver Nemesis", which creates a continuity error of Ace wearing Mags' medallion before she embarked on that adventure.
    • "The Curse of Fenric" was supposed to be the first story of Season 26, as it debuted the Seventh Doctor's new brown jacket. Furthermore, Ace's line about haunted houses was meant tot foreshadow "Ghost Light".
    • Series six of the revived series was split into two parts, and after it was decided that the first half was too repetitive with all its episodes about people going around a dark area with flashlights, the episode "Night Terrors" was pushed to the second half, while "The Curse of the Black Spot" was moved into its place. The latter apparently required quite a bit of rewriting to make sense in its new spot, but specifics haven't been given. As for "Night Terrors," they got away with simply adding a little tag to the end (although it does now contain Foreshadowing for something that had already happened).
  • Permanent Placeholder: In-Universe, the Doctor's title. In the second episode of the first serial Ian Chesterton calls him "Doctor Foreman," thinking that's his name, and the title character says "Eh? Doctor who?" He denies being Foreman but the title "Doctor" remains with him.
    Eleventh Doctor: I'm the Doctor. Well, they call me the Doctor. I don't know why. I call me the Doctor too. Still don't know why.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Then-known for his comedic talents and funny voices, Jon Pertwee subverted his own screen persona with the no-nonsense performance of the Third Doctor.
    • Mark Sheppard playing Canton Delaware, a genuinely heroic character.
    • Sylvester McCoy had, prior to his role as the Doctor, been best known for vaudeville, kid's T.V, juggling, human blockhead exploits and the such, including, for some reason, stuffing ferrets down his trousers. As the Doctor, while at first still playing a variation on his previous roles, he eventually grew into one of the most straight-up manipulative, amoral, calculating incarnations of the Doctor.
  • Promoted Fanboy:
    • Colin Baker had been a fan of the franchise since the first episode was aired and leapt at the chance to even be in the story, much less portray the Doctor himself. He's also the president of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society.
    • Matthew Waterhouse (Adric) and the author of his introduction story, Andrew Smith.
    • Nicholas Briggs started out creating and starring in fan audios (Doctor Who Audio Visuals) using at least half a dozen pseudonyms. He managed to befriend all of the cast and crew of Doctor Who, created documentaries, convinced many of the Doctors and companions to star in The Stranger and The Airzone Solution (both written by him), and eventually became the Show Runner of Big Finish Doctor Who. He promptly re-wrote many of his Audio Visuals into official episodes. Oh, and he now voices the Daleks and the Cybermen in the TV show.
    • David Tennant. Not only did he start acting just to become the Doctor, there was a special that landed him with his favorite Doctor, Peter Davison. The following year, Tennant met Peter's daughter Georgia, fell in love and proposed, later having a child together, Olivia. Not only is Tennant clearly the ultimate Promoted Fanboy, but Olivia and her younger siblings are the only people who can claim both her father and grandfather were the Doctor.
    • Steven Moffat. He's getting the chance to put ideas he thought of back in 1995 into the show now.
    • Peter Capaldi is a lifelong Doctor Who fan.
    • "Pfutz" and Oursler, designers of a pinball machine based on the series, were big fans of the series.
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • Karen Gillan and Caitlin Blackwood are cousins who had never met before being cast to play Amy.
    • As Edward Travers, Jack Watling twice appeared alongside his real-life daughter Deborah, who played companion Victoria.
    • Canton Delaware's older self is played by Mark Sheppard's own father.
  • Reality Subtext: Adric, whose older brother is killed shortly before Adric joins the Doctor, was played by Matthew Waterhouse, who sadly knew from experience what it's like to lose an older brother. Twice.
  • Recursive Adaptation:
    • The Third Doctor was based partially on James Bond, who was allegedly partially inspired by Jon Pertwee.
    • Since 2005, several TV episodes have been based, to a greater or lesser extent, on stories from various parts of the expanded universe.
  • Recycled Set: The garden location where the "Heaven" scene in "Deep Breath" was filmed was previously used as the Garden Zone in "The Girl Who Waited".
  • Recycled Script:
    • "The Gunfighters" has the same plot as "The Myth Makers", both by the same writer. A comedic historical story where the Doctor is mistaken for a historical figure (Zeus/Doc Holliday) and through a series of farcical events, people die.
    • Not only is "The Moonbase" a Sequel Episode to "The Tenth Planet", it rehashes the same plot, just replace the North Pole with the moon and the sub-plot involving the space capsule in danger with one about a mysterious illness.
    • Both "The Android Invasion" and "The Brain of Morbius" — two consecutive serials! — feature a genius Mad Scientist who treats bodies like playthings and has a complex about creation and destruction, and a more sympathetic assistant who was rescued from a spaceship accident by the scientist and is missing a body part, who does a Heel–Face Turn upon discovering that the body part was actually accounted for all along. Part of this was because both scripts had to be heavily edited by Robert Holmes, who wrote most of the material between Styggron and Crayford in "The Android Invasion" to pad out the run time, and who adapted "The Brain of Morbius" to feature a mad scientist/The Igor pair to reduce the required budget; presumably he'd had this dynamic on the brain.
    • The story "The Seeds of Doom" (by Robert Banks Stewart) was recycled from The Avengers "Man-Eater of Surrey Green". (Stewart had written for The Avengers, but not that episode, which was by Philip Levene.) "The Seeds of Doom" feels wrong for a Doctor Who story in many ways, since it follows the Avengers formula. For example, the Fourth Doctor casually jumps on top of a bad guy and punches him out!
    • The Doctor is coerced into leading his companions on a key Fetch Quest, which takes them to a wide variety of locales. Among the obstacles encountered are a Kangaroo Court trial at which one of them is sentenced to death. Upon completion of their mission, they must not turn the found items over to the one who demands them. Is this the First Doctor tracking down the Keys of Marinus, or the Fourth looking for the Key to Time?
    • The Fifth Doctor story "Warriors of the Deep" plot bears striking similarities to the final First Doctor story, "The Tenth Planet". Both feature the Doctor and his companions accidentally arriving at an isolated military base and being mistaken for spies, and in both stories the Doctor's warnings go unheeded until the base is besieged by an alien threat. In both there is a section of the story where the alien invaders seize the bridge and the Doctor is forced by circumstances to stand by without interfering for a time.
    • Also the story "Night Terrors". A child in an everyday contemporary Earth environment turns out to be an alien whose reality-warping powers cause his fears to threaten his family and neighbours. When did we see that before?
    • "Fear Her" itself is very similar to "The Idiot's Lantern" from the same season. Both feature an alien who imprisons people during a major televised event in London (the Queen's Coronation and The Olympic Games) and a child with an abusive father.
    • "Fear Her" also was revisited in "Flatline" in Series 8: The antagonists in both stories can turn two-dimensional things into three-dimensional ones and vice versa. The Doctor ends up trapped by them and can only assist his female companion from afar in protecting others and ensuring his return, whereupon he sends the antagonists back where they came from. The main difference is that the "Flatline" antagonists, the Boneless, are malicious rather than misguided-but-sympathetic.
    • The Minisodes "Meanwhile in the TARDIS 2" and "Clara and the TARDIS" are both virtually identical accounts of the Eleventh Doctor's companion getting the TARDIS to show them a slideshow of former companions (with the male ones conspicuously missing) and show comical disgust at the Doctor's perceived womanising, as well as his "typical male" interests in machines and women, with the implication that the TARDIS is doing it out of female jealousy. "Clara and the TARDIS" also swipes scenes from the Red Nose Day special where multiple Amys get stuck in a time loop and flirt with each other, when multiple Claras get stuck in a time loop and flirt with each other.
    • "Victory of the Daleks" borrows big chunks of the lost serial "The Power of the Daleks", but with more of a knowing, Whole Plot Reference approach. The stuff that's borrowed — Daleks feigning servitude to humans, the Doctor protesting that they're pure evil and no-one believing him, a quirky scientist who discovered them promoting them to the leader of his people as a new development that can solve all of their problems, the Daleks doing it all as a plan to grow their ranks — is all aesthetic stuff, and the actual plot machinery itself is fairly different.
    • "Day of the Daleks" was apparently a rush adaptation from The Outer Limits (1963) script "Soldier".
    • "The Curse of the Black Spot" (Eleventh Doctor) uses almost exactly the same Twist Ending as "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances" (Ninth Doctor), revealing that the Monster of the Week was actually just medical software for an abandoned alien ship, and that its actions were the result of it blindly following its programming and trying to heal injured humans without understanding human physiology. The plot even involves a young boy's relationship with a distant parent that he barely knows. It takes place in The Golden Age of Piracy instead of World War II, and the monster is a siren instead of a zombie, but the plots are otherwise exactly the same.
    • "Deep Breath", the Twelfth Doctor's debut story:
      • The basic plot is sort of a Darker and Edgier version of the Fourth Doctor's first story, "Robot", which Steven Moffat mentioned using as a reference — with the A and B-plots swapped. The Doctor regenerates and suddenly develops an absolutely crazy and seemingly uncaring personality that disconcerts his companion(s) and the people his previous self works with ("Robot" B-plot, "Deep Breath" A-plot, with Clara's discomfort central to the story) while a robot with an ambiguously humanlike personality and psychological complexes mirroring the Doctor's own is responsible for some bizarre murders ("Robot" A-plot, "Deep Breath" B-plot). The Doctor's defeat of it is rather ambiguous as a happy ending, but the companion agrees to give the new Doctor a chance to befriend her — after a bit of talking to from the Doctor. Several lines and setpieces from "Robot" were lifted into "Deep Breath" to indicate the similarities: Vastra quotes one of the Brigadier's lines apropos of nothing, and the Twelfth Doctor's white nightgown is similar to how the Fourth Doctor is dressed in the infirmary.
      • The minisode playing before it in cinemas shows Strax giving a Field Report to the audience about all of the previous faces the Doctor has had, with funny descriptions of their personalities, to assuage an audience needing a reminder that the Eleventh Doctor was not always the Doctor — a format previously used for one of the "Strax's Field Report" online minisodes. The introduction is repeated almost word-for-word, although Jenny and Vastra interrupt it in the cinema version. Few of the jokes are recycled, though — Strax's opinions on the other Doctors (not to mention which gender he thinks they are) are completely different between both minisodes.
    • "Dark Water"/"Death in Heaven", the Series 8 finale, combines the central plots of two previous season finales: "Army of Ghosts"/"Doomsday" in Series 2 and "The Sound of Drums"/"Last of the Time Lords" in Series 3. In Series 2, beings that are assumed to be the souls of deceased humans turn out to be Cybermen planning an invasion of Earth via a parallel universe; Series 8 has deceased humans being tricked into letting their consciousnesses and remains becoming the basis for a Cyber-army. In both Series 3 and 8, a recurring background character is revealed to have been a regeneration of the Master all along, planning to wipe out humanity with an army of robotic minions — leading to a pivotal scene aboard an airborne UNIT base where "The President" holds court as Earth's representative. Replace ghosts with skeletons, "Mr. Saxon" with "Missy", the Toclafane with the Cybermen, Valiant with "Boat One", and the President of the United States with the President of Earth! All three stories also end with the Doctor and his current companion parting ways under unhappy circumstances, but that's par for the course for NewWho season finales; notably, all three companions are reunited with the Doctor sometime afterward.
    • "Heaven Sent" draws upon the classic series serials "The Deadly Assassin", in which a companion-less Doctor is trapped in a nightmare world and pitted against an implacable, deadly foe for a lengthy stretch, and "Castrovalva" in that said world (the city of Castrovalva/a mysterious castle) is the creation of an enemy and capable of shifting and changing its form, leaving the Doctor to figure out a way to escape before he's destroyed. In addition, the villains in both stories turn out to be Time Lords. But much as "Deep Breath" focuses more on its characters and their emotional states than "Robot" did, "Heaven Sent" is at heart a tragic character study of the Doctor instead of a conventional adventure. The reason he is companion-less is not because he couldn't take her with him to where he is, but because she is dead, meaning his mood is much different than in "The Deadly Assassin". Save for one scene he's the only character who has dialogue, and the episode is only about him trying to survive and escape the isolated location — there's no villain for him to defeat, only a monster to run from, and he doesn't confront the party responsible for his torment until the next episode.
  • Referenced by...: Got its own page.
  • Romance on the Set:
    • Tom Baker and:
      • Sue Gerrard, who had been working as an editor on "Horror of Fang Rock". He had an on-and-off relationship with her, broke it off to marry Lalla Ward (see below), and then, after divorcing Lalla, rekindled his relationship with Sue and married her. They've been married ever since.
      • Lalla Ward. They eventually got divorced after 16 months. Eagle-eyed viewers can play along at home noting whether or not Tom and Lalla got along at the time of shooting their scenes. There are noticeable moments when the two of them absolutely refuse to look at each other.
    • David Tennant has dated several of his Doctor Who guest stars. In fact, he's married to and has a daughter and a stepson / and now officially adopted son with Georgia Moffett, who's the real-life daughter of Fifth Doctor Peter Davison, and who played the daughter of Tennant's Doctor (well, "genetic clone") on the show. That's right, there is a kid out there that has the Doctor as her father and grandfather. (Yes, the Doctor's daughter played the Doctor's daughter and then had the Doctor's daughter. Try to get your mind around that!)
      • Another one was Tennant and Sophia Myles, who appeared in series 2's "The Girl In the Fireplace."
    • Frazer Hines (Jamie) and Deborah Watling (Victoria) briefly dated during their time together on the show.
    • Deborah Watling also developed something of a reputation for flings with the monster operators. Over her tenure she went out with a Yeti, a Cyberman and a couple of Ice Warriors (which was awkward because they were "too tall").
    • Averted with regards to Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman, with the former happily married a quarter century and the latter in a relationship with Richard Madden for most of her time in the series. However, Capaldi and Coleman developed such a deep friendship and were so prone to hugging and staying close to each other at public events - and reportedly tended to spend most of their time on the set together when they weren't filming, to the point where Coleman has stated in interviews that the production had to force them apart on occasion in order to get work done - that many fans assumed, erroneously, that a real-life romance existed.
  • Running the Asylum: It's the longest running Science Fiction show in existence, heavily influencing just about everyone in England who ever did anything related to Science Fiction. Its a fair bet that there's a few long-time fans on the payroll, such as David Tennant.
  • Screwed by the Network:
    • Happened quite a few times in the 80s, which ultimately put the show on a year and a half hiatus and was the reason Colin Baker was fired.
    • Arguably happened with Series 8 and 9. The BBC moved the time of broadcast from spring to autumn which meant it had to air after Strictly Come Dancing at a time too late for a family show. It also had to compete with ITV's The X Factor and at one point a few rugby games. The result was really low ratings. Series 9 also suffered from trailers spoiling some episodes and a bad publicity campaign.
    • Subverted by Series 10. At first, no series in 2016 sounds like getting screwed but this is to allow Series 10 to be broadcast and not suffer competition from the Olympics and other events. Plus, it allows the series to be broadcast in the spring. This prevents the problems the last two series' had and allows Moffat to work on Sherlock without Doctor Who suffering the way Series 6 did (see Troubled Production below).
    • Indirectly screwed by the satellite provider monopoly Astro in Malaysia back in 2009, when said provider screwed BBC Entertainment over by dropping it from their channel lineup. The show, along with other BBC programming, remained unavailable in Malaysia until 2012 when a IPTV provider, Hypp TV, finally picked up the channel. Hypp TV dropped the channel in December 2015, but it turned out that Hypp TV was advised by The BBC that they were going to discontinue BBC Entertainment in 2017 in favor of launching the BBC First VOD service and to not renew their contract. They picked up BBC First in October 2016, as soon as the BBC ended the trial in Singapore and opened up the VOD service to other providers in Asia.
    • The 50th anniversary release of the animated "Power of the Daleks" reconstruction got shafted out of its 8:25 PM timeslot, putting it at 11 PM to make room for yet more Star Trek: The Next Generation reruns.
  • Series Hiatus:
    • The 1985-86 hiatus.
    • The cancellation of the classic series in 1989 was originally described as a "hiatus" by the BBC. And it was, of a sort. It just lasted considerably longer than the earlier one: at least seven years (until the 1996 TV movie) and up to sixteen years (until the series resumed on a regular basis with "Rose" in 2005).
    • The BBC also announced that Doctor Who will be on hiatus between the 2015 and 2016 Christmas Specials, since Steven Moffat is busy with Sherlocknote  The BBC themselves felt it was a good time to allow a hiatus since they were broadcasting so many events such as the Olympics it would constantly interrupt their flagship series.
  • Throw It In:
    • William Hartnell's habit of flubbing his lines was left in due to limited budget. (If you watch carefully, many early episodes will be peppered with minor flubs, usually a slight but noticeable delay or stutter. On a few occasions you might even hear Hartnell correct himself on camera, restating a word he'd misspoken.)
      • William Russell was able to ad lib so well off of Hartnell's frequent hashings of the character's name that it was eventually written in the scripts that the Doctor would mispronounce it.
      • Viewers in the 1960s became so used to errors being left in (something that was not unique to Doctor Who back in the day) that when Ian begins choking in an episode of "The Reign of Terror", concerned viewers thought they'd actually recorded the actor having a choking fit (but it was scripted).
      • This is referenced in the recent video game The Eternity Clock in which River writes in her diary about going back in time to meet the First Doctor, and she transcribes his words to her as containing several "flubs", restarting his sentence and mis-ordering his words. She sarcastically comments that the Doctor had had more erudite selves.
      • This is also referenced in the Expanded Universe First Doctor book The Plotters, where the Doctor often misspeaks — but the garblings are used for Leaning on the Fourth Wall. (For instance, when he has his suspicions of alien activity quashed in what had previously been a pure historical story, he admits "For one moment there, I thought this episode — I mean to say this episode of my life — was going in a different direction.") The book caused some Internet Backdraft upon being released because of this, as some fans found the inclusion of "Billy-fluffs" to be disrespectful.
    • Patrick Troughton frequently varied his lines or added unscripted business during his time as the Doctor, including the first ever (albeit non-romantic) Doctor/companion kiss.
    • In "The Seeds of Death", Zoe pulls open a door and the Doctor comes bursting in on a wave of 'toxic fungus' (represented by soap foam). He makes as if to dash off and then promptly slips on the soapy floor and falls over onto his face. This was not supposed to happen and, while Troughton doesn't break character in the least, Wendy Padbury, who plays Zoe, can be seen Corpsing her face off for the rest of the shot.
    • The Shower Scene in "Spearhead from Space" happened because the house The BBC had rented to shoot in had a truly amazing old-fashioned shower in it that everyone decided was too good not to use. A scene was altered so it could happen while the Doctor was in the shower, providing the show's first proper Doctor Costume Test Montage (a tradition ever since).
    • In the scene with the Auton fake policemen in "Terror of the Autons", a stunt performer was accidentally hit by a car (it was supposed to stop a few inches away from him, with the impact implied by an off-screen sound effect) and knocked all the way to the bottom of a quarry. Since the stunt artist wasn't seriously injured, the spectacular fall was left in the finished show.
    • Almost every time the Fourth Doctor steps on his scarf or gets it stuck in something, it was a genuine mistake caused by how insanely impractical the outfit was to wear, but it was all left in because Tom Baker was extremely good at not breaking character and it fits the Fourth Doctor's Cloudcuckoolander personality to be constantly locked in struggle with his own clothes.
    • The scarf itself is an example. The producers wanted a scarf to make the new Doctor look unlike the Third, and arranged for a woman to knit one. Not knowing how much wool they'd need, they bought what they were sure was more than enough, expecting the woman to only use what she needed. Instead, she used the lot. But the moment Baker tried it on, they knew it was perfect.
    • In "Pyramids of Mars", there's a funny bit where Sarah and the Doctor enter a room where a mummy has its back to them and immediately turn around and head back out without apparently reacting to it, in a The Marx Brothers-like manner. This was a suggestion from Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen - the director had told them it was a funny idea but they didn't have enough time to rehearse it, so Tom and Lis did it on the first take anyway, nailed it, and it went in.
    • Baker and Sladen notoriously rewrote and ad-libbed most of their material in "The Android Invasion" due to hating the script, including the entire ending scene. Some are obvious unrehearsed adlibs, which have a noticeably more natural, mumbly feel than Who acting usually does (like the Doctor and Sarah's "fee fi fo fum" bit). The original dialogue was at best functional - the rewritten dialogue is much odder and more exciting as well as showing off how well-read Tom Baker actually was when making off-the-cuff references to Anna Karenina and namedropping obscure historical figures.
    • In "The Hand of Fear": after Sarah has been freed from Eldrad's mind control, she says "Eldrad must live!... Just testing." That was an ad-lib.
    • In "The Deadly Assassin", there's a part where the Doctor is sitting in a chair being lectured by a Time Lord, and suddenly stands up with a stormy expression on his face, looming over the other man and causing him to falter at the end of his sentence as if afraid. This was an ad-lib from Tom Baker.
    • In "The Robots of Death", Tom Baker changed the in-universe name for the Uncanny Valley effect ("Gimwol's Syndrome") to "Grimwade's Syndrome", turning it into an affectionate jab at a production assistant notorious for always ending up working on robot-related stories.
    • Leela kissing Adam Colby on the cheek in "Image of the Fendahl" was ad-libbed by Louise Jameson. The surprised look on his face is genuine.
    • Soldeed in "The Horns of Nimon" begins laughing hysterically during his death scene, while yelling "you are all doomed! All doomed!". The line was scripted. The laughter was (nearly literal) Corpsing. The actor had thought it was a camera rehearsal, but the take got used. It works because his general performance, in the words of TARDIS Eruditorum blogger Philip Sandifer, "has a sufficient amount of ham involved that it borders on the anti-semitic".
    • "The Caves of Androzani" features several scenes of the villain Morgus turning to the camera and making Aside Comments. This was because the actor misunderstood the stage directions, but the director decided to keep it in because it felt Shakespearean and tied into the plot's resemblance to early-modern revenge tragedies.
    • Colin Baker was personally responsible for several notorious puns during his time as the Doctor, including the "Perrier water" joke (punning on the name of his companion Peri) in "Vengeance on Varos", and the Doctor's "No 'arm in trying" in "Revelation of the Daleks", after Davros' hand is blown off.
    • In "Planet of the Dead", the bus prop got heavily damaged during shipping to Dubai, so Russell T Davies added an exchange in which the Doctor explains the bus got damaged by passing through the Negative Space Wedgie. (It doesn't make a lot of sense if you think about it too hard, since the premise is that the bus's immunity to wormhole damage shields the living people inside... but considering the circumstances, it's reasonable.)
    • The Doctor ripping off a strap in "The Time of Angels". First take was an accident but the producers loved it so they told Matt Smith to rip it off in subsequent takes.
    • The Doctor/Rory snog in the episode "Dinosaurs on a Spaceship" was completely ad-libbed by Matt Smith. So yes, Arthur Darvill was just as surprised as he looked.
    • Matt Smith shaved his head for a role in the film Lost River, and it did not grow back in time to reform his Doctor's signature coif for his final episode "The Time of the Doctor". He shaved his head again for a bald cap and donned a wig. A script re-write incorporated the wig into the story, leading to several of the episode's funniest moments.
    • In case you think on-camera errors disappeared after the 1960s, not once but twice during the Capaldi era the lead actors have been captured sneezing on camera, yet it's been left in. The first is in the 2014 special "Last Christmas" when Peter Capaldi suddenly sneezes when he enters an area with (fake) snow flying around; the second sees Jenna Coleman in "The Zygon Invasion" let off an inaudible but still obvious sneeze while standing on an airport tarmac. In both cases, the actors continue with the scene without missing a beat.
  • Troubled Production:
    • "The Reign of Terror". The main director, Henric Hirsch, had a mental breakdown during the shoot due partially to the punishing shooting schedule and the mutual dislike between himself and William Hartnell, and ended up in hospital. Another director had to be drafted in at short notice to finish the job, but no surviving members of the cast or crew are able to remember who it was. John Gorrie is the man usually credited with it and he doesn't remember doing it. The alternate theory is that the episode was effectively co-directed by producer Verity Lambert and assistant director Tim Combe. For the record, the actual episode does not credit a director.
    • The Web Planet's demanding nature took its toll on the production. The first episode required a 16-minute overrun, brought about by a variety of flubbed lines, missed cues, equipment problems, and troubles with the Zarbi costumes, one of which broke and had to be repaired. The start of recording on the third was delayed when it was found that some of the sets had not been delivered to the studio, and the Carsenome floor had not been painted. Lighting and camera problems continued to plague the increasingly frazzled cast, and this time taping went 37 minutes beyond the schedule. One of the Zarbi operators, his vision impaired by his costume, ran right into the camera. So rushed was the recording, however, that this blooper was retained in the finished episode.
    • "The Celestial Toymaker" was going to centre around two characters from a popular absurdist play, who never appear in the play itself, actually showing up. This caused a full-blown copyright dispute. Similarly, the budget was starved and the producer was forced to go ahead with the point of the script removed and No Budget, resulting in a famously poor story with little in the way of structure, no Doctor and most of the action being characters playing board games. The BBC ended up in legal action anyway due to an adlib from Billy Bunter Expy Cyril saying "my friends call me Billy", which caused the people who owned the Billy Bunter IP to attempt to sue. The BBC had to release a public statement saying Cyril was a perfectly legal Captain Ersatz. The fiction-world idea eventually did happen in the show, in a much more careful form, in "The Mind Robber".
    • The DVD release of "The Underwater Menace" was also a troubled production. Episode 3, then the only existing episode, was released as part of the Lost in Time boxset in 2004. After Episode 2 was discovered in 2011, pressure was on to release it on DVD too. The two missing episodes were originally slated to be animated (As other stories' missing episodes had been), but this was cancelled after the animation company went bust, and the DVD was cancelled too. Then, in October 2015, the story was finally released with extremely basic tele-snap reconstructions of the missing episodes, which were significantly worse than both previous official efforts and popular fan-made ones.
    • Season 5 had serious problems with the scripts thanks to some poor production decisions. The producer and script editor had developed a habit of sinking lots of time, effort and money into various script ideas and then abandoning them halfway through, forcing various last-ditch efforts. Much got hastily reordered and even shoved back a season (""The Dominators"" had been planned for Season 5 but was such a disaster it was edited down into five episodes and shoved into Season 6), which upset Patrick Troughton as it meant the material was under-rehearsed, eventually striking up a deal with the producers that for Season 6 he (and the rest of the cast) would only work on one story at a time. In order to churn out competent entertainment quickly, the producers decided to focus on Strictly Formula Base Under Siege plots using recycled monsters, which Troughton found boring and repetitive, and at the beginning of Season 6 he announced his intention to quit the role - just after these problems had been extinguished, too.
    • The ending of Season 6 was a fiasco due to multiple scripts falling through after production had started, and replacements being hurriedly written as well as extended with tons of Padding. "The War Games", the grand finale of the season, was written in mere weeks to take up the space of a six-parter and a four-parter that fell through. Several more stories had to be heavily rewritten - Patrick Troughton was going to quit at the end of the season, and lead companion Frazer Hines at first announced he would be going mid-season but later decided to quit at the end of the season with Troughton. This vacillation was bad enough to kill at least one story at the last minute - "The Prison in Space" was commissioned as a comedy serial that wrote out Jamie and when Hines announced that he was staying, the serial had to be rewritten to include him. The production team and director hated the script for various reasons (it was an outrageously sexist Mars-and-Venus Gender Contrast comedy set in a dystopian Matriarchy and included setpieces like Jamie disguising himself as a woman and, later, spanking Zoe to break her out of Straw Feminist brainwashing) and requested changes, and when the writer announced he was sick of rewriting the script the producer decided to cut his losses and commissioned "The Krotons" as a rush replacement. Between the production trainwreck and the lead actor departure the BBC was going to cancel the show, and so the finale is a Bolivian Army Ending that ended the Doctor's travels and kept ambiguous the Doctor's new face. The show was recommissioned because the BBC didn't have any better ideas for what to go in the slot, although it was a massive Retool.
    • "Spearhead from Space" was derailed when the video camera operators went on strike, leading producer Derrick Sherwin to make the whole thing on film instead. This made the whole thing very expensive, which was bad enough even before Sherwin and Peter Bryant were suddenly sent to rescue a disastrous German TV production mid-shoot. Barry Letts took over at the last minute, got it done — and got handed the producer job for the Jon Pertwee era as a result. (The film production unwittingly meant the serial could be released in HD in the distant future, which no other Classic serial can ever be due to quirks of the usual Video Inside, Film Outside production.)
    • "The Mind of Evil" ran seriously over budget to the point that director Timothy Combe (who had worked on the show before) was not invited back for another story. It also required a re-shoot at Dover Castle as one of the film negatives got damaged to the point it could not be used and there hadn't been time to shoot close ups. With no actors available, several production staff had to step in as extras.
    • "Revenge of the Cybermen" suffered from a long string of bad luck attributed by the director to witchcraft. When scouting the ancient cave system of Wookey Hole - a place associated by the locals with bad luck and supposedly the grave of an ancient witch - for its suitability for location shoots, the director's wife found some Iron Age arrowheads and decided to take them home, unwittingly calling an ancient curse on the Doctor Who production team. First, the team encountered a strange individual in potholing gear who had apparently wandered into set, of whom the staff had no knowledge, which the director began to believe was the ghost of an Irish potholer who had died in the cave three years earlier. The boats used in the cave scenes repeatedly broke down; one production team member had to be replaced due to an attack of claustrophobia, and another was taken seriously ill. On a day when staff disobeyed instructions not to touch the 'Witch' formation (said to be the petrified body of the witch), Elisabeth Sladen nearly died - her boat went haywire and she had to dive overboard to keep herself from smashing into the cavern wall, where a stuntman had to pull her out to save her from drowning, and who later fell ill. An electrician broke his leg when a ladder collapsed under him, and the pyrotechnician found nothing would light or work correctly. The director took the arrowheads from his wife and reburied them, after which production ran smoothly.
    • "The Brain of Morbius" was largely the result of two writers having a falling out. Terrance Dicks submitted a story concerning a robot building a new body for a Time Lord war criminal currently stuck as a disembodied brain, but the serial got stuck as the Bottle Episode of the season, so to save money the script editor Robert Holmes rewrote it from the ground up to replace the robot with a human character. This enraged Dicks, who felt the rewrite opened up massive plot holes - he saw the story as a Turned Against Their Masters scenario about a robot that cannot understand beauty building a new body for his master, while a human would be able to understand Morbius would rather be in a better body - and was also upset about how Holmes' rewrite turned the story into more of a Hammer Horror pastiche than science fiction. Eventually Dicks realised he'd lost the argument and suggested Holmes replace his name on the script with 'some bland pseudonym', so Holmes passive-aggressively credited the story to "Robin Bland".
    • Season 15: The previous producer Philip Hinchcliffe had been sacked due to Moral Guardians, and in revenge he boosted the budgets for the final two serials of Season 14, meaning that incoming producer Graham Williams was money-starved just at the time a crippling UK recession and industrial strikes hit (leading to a memorable occasion where the budget was so low they couldn't even afford sets — "Underworld" just used (poorly executed) CSO to put the actors into Miniature Effects). The companion character Leela was originally intended to be added for only three stories in Season 14 but was kept around as a regular due to the incoming team's desire to cause as little upset as possible with everything else going wrong. Executive Meddling forced the writers to remove all of the horror from the scripts of what had at the time been a Gothic Horror show - jokes were used to plug the gaps but with varying degrees. Robert Holmes quit halfway through the season due to a combination of money problems and burnout. The stories were hastily re-edited to insert a toyetic Robot Dog Kid-Appeal Character added by executive mandate and shown out of order, spoiling the character development going on. Tom Baker's mental health, which had begun failing him in Season 14, tanked - he loathed both companion characters, wanted to be the sole star, and started threatening to quit in order to Wag the Director into letting him do whatever he wanted while also bullying his co-star Louise Jameson due to his dislike of the character she played, who quit after this series due to his treatment of her. Despite all this, the fandom opinion of Season 15 is that it's So Okay, It's Average - two bad stories, one okayish story, and three good ones (including two all-time classics).
      • That season's finale, "The Invasion of Time". Firstly the original writer gave the production team a set of scripts that would have been impossible to realize on a film budget, resulting in the producer and script editor having to come up with a totally new storyline in just a few days. Then the UK's economy imploded due to the Winter of Discontent, rendering the British Pound nearly worthless and leaving No Budget for the serial. On top of all that, virtually every department of the BBC went on strike at the same time, resulting in a hasty studio session filmed with sets left over from "The Deadly Assassin," followed by location filming at anywhere which would let them shoot, just so that they could get everything in the can. Not to mention the producers didn't believe that the actress playing Leela really wanted to leave, so they delayed writing in her exit and had to add a hastily written romance with Andred.
    • Season 17 essentially had the problems of Season 15 turned Up to Eleven. Season 16 hadn't been entirely trouble-free, not least because Graham Williams was sidelined for most of the season due to health problems, but things were held together by production manager John Nathan-Turner on the filming side and script editor Anthony Read in the production office. However, Read quit at the end of the season, along with both Romana's actress Mary Tamm and K-9's voice actor John Leeson. The companion losses weren't too damaging, as new Romana actress Lalla Ward proved way more popular than her predecessor, and David Brierly was a capable enough replacement for Leeson. Read's replacement with Douglas Adams proved far more damaging; whereas Read did a lot to hold the production team and cast together, Adams was more interested in goofing around — including going on a pub crawl in Paris with the director of "Destiny of the Daleks" during the filming of "City of Death" — and rewriting scripts to incorporate his off-beat brand of humour. Combined with Tom Baker acting up more than ever (now with even his tempestuous offscreen love-life bleeding into production note ) and the budget problems and labour disputes returning (in the latter case managing to totally derail production of the season finale "Shada") both Williams and Adams unsurprisingly decided to call it quits at the end of the season. Seasons 16-17 was also the victim of Executive Meddling, with BBC bosses first saying that it couldn't be horrific because of the Moral Guardians, and then that Adams needed to tone down the comedy. And if Doctor Who can't be scary or funny, there's not much left.
      • Even among the chaos of Season 17, "Nightmare of Eden" stands out for having one of the most troubled, disastrous shoots in the show's entire run. Already suffering the usual behind-the-scenes issues, things went further south with the hiring of ageing director Alan Bromly. Not only did Bromly not get along with Baker, Ward, or Brierly at all, he insisted on using outdated shooting schedules and production techniques, making things even harder for the crew. Baker frequently refused to follow instructions and constantly picked fights with Bromly, and later on in the shoot, when it became obvious that literally no-one on the crew supported him in his arguments with the lead actor, Bromly quit, leaving Graham Williams to direct the remainder of the episode, and visual effects designer Colin Mapson to oversee editing and post-production. On the last day of filming, one of the production assistants had t-shirts reading "I survived the Nightmare of Eden!" printed up for the rest of the crew.
    • "Warriors of the Deep": Margaret Thatcher announced an election and all the studio space was given to the coverage, meaning this serial lost two weeks of valuable production time. Thus most scenes were shot in one take and much of it was not even rehearsed, resulting in some truly dreadful acting all around. There were many rewrites, partially to Bowdlerise/remove political subtext that might influence the election, and partially due to Ian Levine,a meddling Promoted Fanboy obsessed with preventing Series Continuity Errors. The Myrka (a ludicrous panto horse creature) costume was completed only half an hour before filming and the paint and glue on it weren't dry — it visibly smears on the sets as it staggers around, the actors inside the costume being light-headed from the fumes. Peter Davison had No Stunt Double and got tossed into an ice-cold pool of water (after being assured that it was warm) because the BBC didn't have the budget to afford warm water. The writer wanted the base to be dark and the sets had been built with that in mind, but Lawful Stupid BBC studio engineers insisted on lighting it as if it was on the surface of the sun, in line with regulations intended for chat shows. This story became an iconic example of the show being awful — and Executive Meddling to kill the show began, with the Fight Scene Failure of the Myrka sequence screened by execs to demonstrate why it didn't deserve to live.
    • "Frontios" has a sad air hanging over its production, with the deaths of two people involved before going before the cameras. Production designer Barrie Robbins killed himself after having done much of the preparation work and was replaced by David Buckingham. The role of Range was originally given to Peter Arne, but he was murdered in his own home - the crime remains unsolved, although the prime suspect (a student Arne was in a relationship with )was later found dead in the Thames, it's not clear what the motive was. William Lucas was cast to replace him. In addition, the Tractator costumes proved overly constrictive and badly ventilated, requiring rewrites for the former and air to be pumped in during recording breaks for the latter.
    • The latter stages of Series 22 had a troubled time thanks to some location filming mishaps. The initial location shoot for "The Mark of the Rani" had to be abandoned halfway through due to atrocious weather conditions, forcing it to be remounted later on at considerable cost. Then, midway through the already-expensive Spanish location shoot for "The Two Doctors", the production team were informed by the film processing lab that the footage which had already been shot was unusable due to a scratch on the negative, forcing them to extend the shoot and fly guest actors James Saxon and Lawrence Payne back out to Spain, only for the team to later be told that the lab had made a mistake, and that there was actually nothing wrong with the original footage. During the shoot there was also a major spat between director Peter Moffat and Producer John Nathan-Turner, which resulted in the latter deciding not to hire Moffat for the show again (and possibly also not film outside the UK again, although it ended up being academic due to the latter seasons not having big enough budgets to permit international shoots). As a result of the money eaten up by these two serials, Nathan-Turner ordered script editor Eric Saward to put a script named "Timelash" into production next, as it could be done on a low budget. Saward objected to this, as he had wanted to move it back to the following year due to the writer's glaringly obvious inexperience, but Nathan-Turner overruled him. Making things worse, Saward didn't have much time to mentor the writer, as he himself was busy writing "Revelation of the Daleks", and further budget cuts to "Timelash" ended up resulting in an infamously cheap, poorly-regarded story. Then, just to really stick the knife in, the BBC told the production team that they were pulling the plug on the show, as they felt it had gone too far off the rails...
    • The "Trial of a Time Lord" arc. Producer John Nathan-Turner and script editor Eric Saward were desperately trying to keep the show on the television after it had been Un-Cancelled, seeing the serial as their 'trial' to prove to executives trying to kill the show that it still had value. They also both loathed each other and their mutual egotism caused them to purposefully derail each other's ideas out of spite. The script editor, against the wishes of the producer, recruited Robert Holmes to write an arc, and he came up with an excellent plot with an ambiguous ending which involved the Doctor fighting his Enemy Without with no clear winner...before he himself dropped dead. The producer canned this because he felt that it would give the executives a way in to kill the show, so he handed it to another writing team famous for their Campy style and told them to write an unambiguous happy ending, without telling them any of what the previous script editor had planned (as legal reasons made this impossible). The result was a complete Gainax Ending, and the show went through several soft reboots in the final three seasons that followed.
    • After the location filming for "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" had been completed, the studio sessions were cancelled because of asbestos contamination. At first it was thought that the serial would have to be abandoned, but eventually it was found possible to erect a tent in the car park at Elstree Studios and film there. (It was actually very fortuitous that they were working on that particular serial because the tents made this arrangement possible. With any other serial around that time they might have had to simply throw out the location footage, but John Nathan-Turner was desperate to avoid another "Shada" debacle and arranged the makeshift solution.)
    • The first shoot of the 2005 revival series was a very troubled affair. The full details have never been made public, but by all accounts the director set about making himself unpopular, and after the first week of shooting they managed to be three weeks behind schedule. Christopher Eccleston has since implied in interviews that tensions on-set were among the reasons he decided to quit the show after the first series. He returned to film and theater and speaks fondly of his fans from the show, but did not participate in any of the events or episodes in the run-up to the show's 50th anniversary in 2013.
    • In a less tense version of this, Russell T Davies had never managed a Sci-Fi series before, and didn't really know how to properly budget it. This led him to blow the majority of the first series' budget on its second episode, "The End of the World". While the rest of Series 1 did struggle a little because of it — the settings and sets are noticeably limited — the show was already a guaranteed success from the revival's initial episode and remains fondly remembered today despite this.
    • "Planet of the Dead" was made when the new production team was being trained by the old one. Due to location shooting in Dubai and David Tennant only having a small gap in his schedule in which to film, the team only had six days to shoot. Unfortunately the double-decker bus prop on which the story relied got heavily damaged while transporting to Dubai. Russell T Davies decided to Throw It In and added lines in the script addressing the damage to the bus, but couldn't do a lot about the sandstorm that prevented shooting for several precious days!
    • The Steven Moffat era had multiple problems getting the TARDIS set(s) to work. The original intention was for a large console room and they planned for other rooms in the same style, like a laboratory and a kitchen, but construction went massively overbudget and several questionable design decisions were made that led to parts of the set being actively dangerous to operate. This is why you rarely see the Time Rotor in motion during Series 5 - merely running it was a huge risk that chanced blowing a very expensive handblown glass prop. For Series 6, the set was heavily revised to make repairs easier (most of the wall panels and lighting housing were changed out) but had many of the same problems. It was so bad that Series 7 had to build a new TARDIS interior from scratch with No Budget, focusing on practicality of shooting — and that had to be revised heavily for Series 8 owing to the changeover from the Eleventh Doctor to the Twelfth. So, the Moffat tenure started out with a set that was designed to last for at least three years, and ended up having to build a new set each year for four years!
    • "Let's Kill Hitler": Steven Moffat was overseeing six episodes of Doctor Who, making three film-length episodes of Series/Sherlock and writing several Hollywood movies, and was stretched too thin and overworked. When filming was due to commence on "Let's Kill Hitler" Moffat's only option was to hand the actors his first draft and hope for the best. Most of the problems people have with the episode (ignoring people who feel They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot due to Hitler being window-dressing despite that being the point of the episode, or who simply hate the Arc it was in or Moffat's writing in general) are things like lazy filler jokes ("She's trying to kill me... plus, she's a woman!") and the lack of anything addressing the brutal finale of the last series, which likely would have been fixed had Moffat had more time to write it.
  • Unfinished Episode: Douglas Adams wrote a couple of serials which were never filmed and later recyled:
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Unavoidable, given its age. This can even be observed within the revived series - you can tell "Rose" is still early 2000s because Rose has to visit her boyfriend to look something up on the Internet, and "Blink" came out around the end of DVD rental stores.
  • Viral Marketing: There have been, at various times, an actual Cybus Industries website, a conspiracy site based on the one from the first revival episode, and another telling you to vote for Mr. Saxon.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The original script for "City of Death" was a Bond-esque adventure by David Fisher with much of the action occurring in a Monaco casino. After the idea was floated to film the Paris scenes on location, it was decided to drop the casino angle, partly because setting the entire story in Paris would allow them to make the most of the locations and partly because the producer, Graham Williams, was having second thoughts about featuring gambling so heavily in a family programme. With Fisher unavailable, Williams and script editor Douglas Adams worked non-stop for several days to rewrite the story. Only a few lines from the original survived (notably, the Doctor's line about getting only "one throw of the dice" during his final confrontation with Scaroth).
      • Doctor Who has something of an aversion to casinos. Gerry Davis's original script for "Revenge of the Cybermen" had space station Nerva as a sort of galactic service station with a casino, whose gold would be used against the Cybermen. This was dropped, partly because of producer Phillip Hinchcliffe having similar doubts about featuring gambling, and partly because of the next story being moved to the opener of the next season, which suddenly gave him a lot more money to play with. He decided to spend it on a location shoot at Wookey Hole, and so had his script editor Robert Holmes turn Nerva into a beacon orbiting a golden planetoid called Nerva, which Wookey Hole could represent. Very little of Davis's script made it to screen.
    • The Canadian animation studio Nelvana at one point proposed a Doctor Who animated series, which never got beyond the concept art stage. It would apparently have featured a Doctor who dressed like Tom Baker's version but bore a heavy facial resemblance to Christopher Lloyd.
    • Way too many unmade feature films, and pre-2005 attempts at a revival (at one point involving Steven Spielberg).
    • Before Alex Kingston took the role of River Song, the producers had Kate Winslet in mind.
    • Similarly, when RTD was writing "The Waters of Mars," he wrote the character of Adelaide Brooke with Helen Mirren in mind.
    • The Ood were created for "The Impossible Planet" / "The Satan Pit" because the prosthetics were cheap — originally the Slitheen would've filled the role. Later in "The Doctor's Wife", an Ood again appeared because there was no budget for the new original alien Neil Gaiman had designed.
    • Adric's character was originally conceived as "an Artful Dodger IN SPACE!," though largely in terms of his relationship with the Doctor. While wisps of this concept crop up in Adric's abilities once in a blue moon, the student-mentor dynamic more or less runs headlong into a brick wall after the Fourth Doctor regenerates.
    • Bernard Cribbins and Peter Cushing were considered to play the Fourth Doctor before Tom Baker won the role.
    • Many, many unmade and/or unfilmed serials and projects for the serial are documented on this Wikipedia article.
    • "The Mark of the Rani" and "Paradise Towers" both had different soundtracks during production. However, the composer on the former story suffered Author Existence Failure before he could finish the soundtrack, while the latter story's composer got canned after John Nathan-Turner decided the soundtrack was too dull and lacking in energy. The DVD releases of both stories include the alternate soundtracks.
    • Steven Moffat wanted John Barrowman to appear in "A Good Man Goes to War", but he was unavailable due to filming Torchwood: Miracle Day. Yes, that's right, the Doctor's army would have included Captain Jack.
    • Simon Pegg was originally slated to play Rose's father, Pete Tyler. However, Pegg was unavailable during the filming of "Father's Day", so his role was transferred to that of the Editor.
    • Originally, "Survival"'s Cheetah People were supposed to be a lot more human-looking, with their possession by the cat-spirits of the Cheetah World represented by false eyes, teeth and some skin-colouring to suggest cheetah spots. Then, someone decided it'd be a good idea to make them actual Cheetah People. The writer, Rona Munro, was less than impressed by the result, describing the end effect as 'puss-in-boots' (not to mention brutally hot for the actors).
    • According to Carole Ann Ford, when she accepted the role she was told that Susan would be a weird inhuman telepathic Action Girl, sounding very much like a 1960s version of River Tam. When this came out, fans were even more disappointed in what was actually made. Although they somewhat kept the idea for the seventh serial the Sensorites.
    • Russell Tovey, the actor who portrayed Alonso in "Voyage of the Damned" and "The End of Time", was actually a strong candidate to play the Eleventh Doctor, and would have likely gotten the role had Matt Smith not auditioned for it.
    • Imagine if Eccleston had decided to stay on beyond the first season, who knows how many things would've been different.
    • At one point RTD was planning on talking to his opposite numbers in the USA who were behind the Star Trek franchise about doing some type of crossover or charity special, but the cancellation of Star Trek: Enterprise put an end to it, although the legal and logistical concerns made it a long shot to begin with. There is, however, now a comic book miniseries that crosses over the franchises.
    • Disney considered buying Doctor Who in the late 80s and early 90s, and was even considering opening up a "walk-through" TARDIS in Disneyland if they did.
    • Wilfred Mott was originally meant to be just a one-shot character. He was only written as Donna's grandfather after the man who was going to play Donna's father vacated the role due to dying.
    • The appearance of The Beatles on the Space-Time Visualiser was originally scripted to be the band playing a concert at some point in the future as old men. The Beatles themselves were reportedly interested, but this was nixed by their management and a promo of "Ticket to Ride" filmed for Top of the Pops was substituted instead. Given what would happen to John Lennon well before he reached old age, this also had the unintended effect of nixing a potential "Funny Aneurysm" Moment as well.
    • One idea whose abandonment was an unquestionable good thing - it was seriously proposed to have Louise Jameson play Leela in Blackface, and there are hideously embarrassing make-up test photos online to prove it. As it turned out, her natural skin tone was very slightly darkened to play the part, but to a level that was more plausible and less offensive for a white person who grew up mostly outdoors in the tropics.
    • John Nathan-Turner was keen to reintroduce a familiar companion to the regular cast to ease the transition from Tom Baker to Peter Davison after the former's seven year tenure in the lead role, and approached both Elisabeth Sladen and Louise Jameson to ask if they would like to reprise their parts as Sarah Jane Smith and Leela respectively. Neither were interested in going back to the programme, so Tegan was created instead.
    • The original last line of "Revelation of the Daleks"? "I'm taking you to Blackpool!" Because the next story "The Nightmare Fair" took place in Blackpool. The series was put on an 18-month "rest" after nearly being cancelled, so the edit was made to cover up the last word.
    • Once Bonnie Langford decided she was leaving, initially the new companion was going to be Ray from "Delta and the Bannermen"; the production team later went with Ace, but we could have had a 1950s Welsh tomboy mechanic travelling with the Doctor instead...
      • Funnily enough, Sophie Aldred, who initially auditioned for the part of Ray (she is fully qualified to drive motorbikes), was asked to reapply for the part of Ace.
    • "The Happiness Patrol" was originally planned to be filmed in black-and-white to compliment its Film Noir-ish atmosphere.
      • Kandyman was originally a portly, bald man with black teeth and wearing a white lab coat. Costume designer Dorka Nieradzik turned him into the Bertie Bassett-like robot seen.
    • "Lungbarrow" very nearly made it to air, but was nixed by the producers and ended up as a New Adventure title instead. Focusing on the Doctor reunited with his estranged family, the story was less about Sylvester McCoy and more a re-imaging of Gallifrey in keeping with his darker Doctor; less Crystal Spires and Togas, and more "The Addams Family on acid."
    • Interestingly, the original concept of the 1996 movie actually focused on the Doctor learning that he was half-human, and that the Master was his long lost half-brother. However, these concepts get the occasional Discontinuity Nod in canon nowadays. Paul McGann's screen test shows some snippets of the original script.
    • The book Regeneration by Philip Segal and Gary Russell goes into detail about some of the proposals for a full Continuity Reboot series that preceded the TVM.
      • The Doctor and the Master would have been half-brothers, and good and evil rival claimants for the presidency of the Time Lords.
      • "Barusa" would have been the Doctor's and Master's paternal grandfather, and on his last regeneration at the start of the series. He would have been mortally wounded by the Master, but his personality would have been Brain Uploaded into the Doctor's TARDIS so that he could continue to act as a mentor.
      • Davros would still have created the Daleks on Skaro, but the Master would have been The Man Behind the Man, and after disposing of Davros would have led the Daleks in an assault on Gallifrey.
      • The Cybermen would have been reimagined as Apunkalyptic biker-punk barbarians with a love of Body Horror hi-tech body modifications.
      • When not fighting the Master, the Doctor would have been searching for their Disappeared Dad, the Time Lord Ulysses.
      • One late version of the series would have given the Doctor a (non-robot) bulldog as a Loyal Animal Companion. Because he's a British hero!
    • A deleted subplot from "The Long Game" was to have revealed that Adam's father suffers from arthritis, and the first thing Adam looked up before he looked up "fabulous wealth-making future technology" was potential cures. It was presumably cut because it would have made Adam more sympathetic than he was intended to be. It is possible this inspired Adam's motivations in Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time.
    • The original Cybus Cybermen voices were different, as heard from both behind the scenes footage and sound clips found on the former official website.
    • A few sources claim that House, the villain of "The Doctor's Wife", was originally to be the Great Intelligence.
    • Creator/BRIANBLESSED} was approached for the role of the Second Doctor, but turned it down as he was too busy at the time.
    • Russell T. Davies expressed interest in utilizing the Raston Warrior Robot from "The Five Doctors", but nothing ever came of it.
    • Interviewed for the Big Finish non-fiction audio release Tom Baker at 80, Baker reveals that he actually proposed that the series allow the Doctor to have a romantic moment with one of his companions, albeit as a joke. (Baker's idea: that the companion kiss him, the Doctor act shocked, but then decides he likes it and asks to be kissed again.) This was decades before the TV movie broke the "no kissing" taboo. Baker doesn't identify which companion this was proposed for, though given he was involved in a real-life romance with Romana II actress Lalla Ward, she's the most likely suspect.
    • Steven Moffat originally had planned an entire Series 8 with the Eleventh Doctor set almost entirely on Trenzalore, but Matt Smith's decision to step back after the end of Series 7 threw a kink to that plan. So instead, Moffat took most of his ideas for that version of Series 8 and condensed them into what became The Time of The Doctor.
    • Jenna Coleman originally planned Series 8 as her last as Clara and didn't even plan to be in the post-season Christmas special; she first decided to stay on for the special, and then Series 9. This meant that the endings of first "Death in Heaven" and then "Last Christmas" had to be rewritten; initially the Doctor's encounter with an elderly Clara was in the real world and not the last layer of the Dream Within a Dream one. This also raises the question of how different Series 9 would have been if it had been busy breaking in a new companion for the Doctor rather than making an established one key to the Story Arc.
    • It was rumoured that Charles Dance would play the Master opposite Peter Capaldi. https://uk.pinterest.com/pin/478014947929584445/, https://lockerdome.com/6802567644724545/6859734934504724.
  • You Look Familiar: Such a long-running series inevitably has numerous instances of actors appearing multiple times in different roles, sometimes decades apart. This includes seven companions — and two Doctors — played by actors who had previously appeared in guest roles, and three cases of guest roles going to actors who had previously played companions:

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/DoctorWho