YMMV / Doctor Who

WARNING! THERE MAY BE UNMARKED SPOILERS!

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YMMVs for the TV series:

  • Abandon Shipping: A subverted example. The announcement of the 12th Doctor as 50-something Peter Capaldi initially led many to jump off the 'Whouffle' ship as an ongoing concern, sticking to shipping Clara with just 11. This was spurred by a false rumor that Capaldi himself had allegedly stated that he was adamant about not having so much as romantic tension between the two, stating that there would be "no flirting". And then came episodes like "Time Heist" or "The Caretaker" where the Twelfth Doctor's outright jealousy towards Danny Pink was no longer just a matter of conjecture. At one point in "Caretaker" the Doctor attempts to "ship" Clara and a fellow teacher who happens to resemble the Eleventh Doctor! Which led many to now jump back on the ship and write 12/Clara fanfics, which have become quite popular and even gained a new name, "Whouffaldi." And then along came "Mummy on the Orient Express"... Then it turned out the "no flirting" thing was completely inflated by the media because certain segments of the fanbase would probably like to hear that - See this interview where both Moffat and Capaldi basically state that they never said any such thing. Various statements by writers and actors alike have since confirmed that it is basically more of a mixture between them playing up the 'socially inept' part of socially inept genius and an Anchored Ship situation, to the point that certain lines in "Mummy on the Orient Express" and "Dark Water" were intended as indirect love confessions. With those, Doctor/Clara shot up there with Doctor/Rose, Doctor/River and Doctor/TARDIS as far as canonicity goes, only further confirmed from "Last Christmas" onward. The Series 9 finale trilogy was revealed in its conclusion to be one big anchored ship/ Lost Lenore scenario between the Doctor and Clara (with general consensus being that the Doctor stating "I had a duty of care" and Clara's off-screen statement to the Doctor in the Cloisters were additional Love Confessions), an Official Couple anchored perhaps for good: the Doctor lost most of his memories of her, and Clara moved on without him...because their relationship was too close for everyone's safety.
  • Accidental Aesop:
    • "The Power of the Daleks": Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it—unless the Doctor arrives in time.
    • "The Dominators" was intentionally written with an anti-pacifist message. However, it's also possible to read it as encouraging student activists to fight for justice, rejecting rote learning and irrational laws.
    • "The Unquiet Dead" was perceived in some quarters as an attack on immigration (since the episode features aliens who come to Earth on the pretence of finding a new home after their planet was blown up, but are actually attempting to invade), even though the subtext was entirely unintentional.
    • "Kill the Moon":
      • Some viewers reacted angrily to what they saw as a pro-life (as in anti-abortion) message in the episode. There's a question of preventing a birth and the Doctor gives the women the "choice" to terminate it. Then, in a democratic method, the whole world together decides to prevent the birth. But finally, Clara just can't bear to "kill the baby", and her decision to save it is proven to be the right one in the end.
    • "Face the Raven": Those who aspire to greatness — or, in this case, to be the Doctor — are to be punished. ''Doctor Who Magazine' #494 printed a fan letter condemning the episode for implying this by having Doctor-aspiring Clara die because of it. The ending of "Hell Bent" does rectify this somewhat as Clara is quasi-revived, convinces the Doctor not to be a Woobie, Destroyer Of Worlds but to keep to his ideals, and becomes a Doctor-figure herself complete with TARDIS.
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • From one of the Fifth Doctor serials, we have this spit-take inducing line:
      The Doctor: Nyssa's skirt... There's blood on it!
    • Fifth Doctor serials seem to have a knack for this. "The Visitation" gives us this exchange...
      Tegan: Hurry up!
      Adric:note  It's stiff.
      Tegan: You were boasting your strength a minute ago. Get on with it!
    • The sonic vibrator Nyssa builds in the same serial may also deserve mention. Made worse by Adric's line, "I don't see why you wanted to work in here (her bedroom)."
    • Yes, Jamie, it's a big one.
    • Three words: Tissue Compression Eliminator. So phallic the cast and crew were falling over laughing.
    • The jury is out on whether the Doctor's dodgy time disturbance detection device in The Time Monster was deliberately phallic or not. But... he built it to detect The Master. That probably tells us everything we need to know.
    • The fact that the title "companion" carries some pretty... adult... connotations. Lampshaded immediately when the Ninth Doctor first used the term to refer to Rose. The policeman questioning him immediately asked if it was sexual. Occasionally the show tries to shy away from using the term directly, preferring "assistant" and "friend" among others, but "companion" is often used, and occasionally the innuendo is invoked. Ironically, in "The Husbands of River Song", the Doctor's actual wife (who also travelled with him occasionally) is only referred to as his "consort".
  • Actor Shipping: Almost a secondary pastime for many fans.
    • Tom Baker and Lalla Ward - actually subverted as the two were in fact a real-life couple during their time on the show and were later married for a couple of years.
    • David Tennant and Billie Piper.
    • Matt Smith and Karen Gillan.
    • Matt Smith and Alex Kingston (due mainly to the two flirting during interviews for Doctor Who Confidential).
    • The chemistry between Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman proved to be so strong that some fans actively began shipping them with the name Colepaldi sometimes attributed to the pairing, despite Capaldi being happily married, Coleman in a long-standing relationship, and no indication of anything but deep friendship between the two. Ironically, the relationship displayed in real life by the two actors - confirmed as even extending onto the set, per Word of God (directors, writers, Moffat, and even the guy who shot a publicity photo with the two on the Abbey Road zebra crossing) - actually exhibits all the traits sans romance that some fans say should exist between the Doctor and Clara and other companions.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy: Adric.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Some of the companions have heavy overtones of this, especially Vicki (who lost her whole family and then spent years marooned on a planet being terrorised by a villain) and Nyssa (who had both her parents murdered by the Master, had the Master start walking around in her father's body, and then had her entire home star system destroyed).
    • Eleven in general in comparison to both Nine and Ten. It's shown in series 6 he still has guilt for what he did to Rose, Martha and Donna, as well as the loss of the Time Lords, however.
      • By Series 7, he's gotten considerably more morose. He left a bomb in a Villain of the Week's ship and nearly shot another. This was before he lost Amy and Rory. The second half starts with him trying to stay out of all world-threatening events. He snaps out of it when he realizes there's a new mystery to solve in the universe, and even then he shows signs of trauma and such.
      • Turns out he's some bizarre combination of willfully trying to forget the past and outright pretending it doesn't bother him.
  • Anvilicious:
    • During the years that Andrew Cartmel was script editor (1987-1989) had a tendency to be a bit on-the-nose about how 'right-on' the show was. In 2010 this was admitted by people who worked on the show and who claimed they had filled the McCoy/Seventh era (1987-89) with attacks on the Thatcher government. This "revelation" was largely treated with derision, firstly for the sheer hubris of those involved (the show's days as a national favourite were well behind it and the audience by the late '80s consisted of hardcore fans and kids, neither of whom were a large voting block) and secondly because this was barely a secret since the attacks on Thatcherism had all the subtlety of, well, an anvil. Add in the fact that a LOT of shows were attacking Thatcher, so it was also a bit of "yeah, you and a thousand other blokes."
    • Yeah, painting the TARDIS pink in "The Happiness Patrol" was probably a bit on-the-nose...
    • In "The Beast Below", there is the "Doctor = Space Whale" parallel.
    • To a lesser extent, if you started a drinking game about how many times Rory being a nurse got brought up, you'd be drunk very quickly.
    • "The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe" has a thumpingly unsubtle Motherhood Is Superior message, especially when the tree people reject males (even the Doctor) as their vessel because "You are weak", but accept females - Madge in particular - as "the mothership". British journalist Caitlin Moran figured that having spent the day corralling the family and making Christmas dinner for everyone, mothers would appreciate the boost "Yeah, we're the USS Enterprise".
    • "Kill the Moon":
      • Humanity gave up on space exploration, and then found they were in desperate need of it.
      • Part of the reason for the angry reaction to the pro-life aesop is that the episode is not exactly subtle when it continually refers to the creature as a 'baby'.
      • Even if it not necessarily an anti-abortion episode, it is still a very heavy-handed Thou Shall Not Kill story.
      • Danny advising Clara not to make a big decision over a "bad day."
    • "In The Forest of the Night". Trees are good. Don't bother them.
    • Series 9 touched none-too-subtly on topics ranging from the futility of war (via the Doctor's epic speech on the subject) to allegories to Syrian refugees in not one but two episodes.
  • Arc Fatigue: Many a fan has grown tired of the show playing up the Doctor questioning his morality, especially since we all know full well it'll never come down on the side of him being a bad person. That said, especially with the arrival of the darker Twelfth Doctor, he still finds himself doing things that some might vehemently disagree with from a moral perspective.
    • Similarly the Doctor's angst and self-loathing over being the last of the Time Lords was, in the minds of many a fan, milked until there was nowhere else to really go with it, and it seems Steven Moffat agreed, hence "The Day of the Doctor" playing out as it does.
    • The whole Silence arc in the renewed series had several fans complaining about how long it was stretched. The prophecy that "the Silence will fall" was first spoken in the first episode of the fifth season. At the end of that season, we find out that the Silence are the ones who blew up the TARDIS, but there are no clues to who they are or why they did it. In the sixth season, the nature of the Silence is revealed and they become the Big Bad of that season, but we still don't find out what the whole "Silence will fall" thing is really about. Series 7 ignored it until the season finale, but its true meaning is still not revealed. It's not until "The Time of the Doctor" that the Silence arc finally reaches its conclusion, over three-and-a-half-years after it was first introduced!
  • Ass Pull: So many episodes end with the villains being foiled by some brand-new, never-before-seen trick of time, space, the TARDIS, or the Doctor's sonic screwdriver that it's difficult to keep count.
    • It may sound incredible, but the now core concept of regeneration was itself an Ass Pull. William Hartnell was getting too ill to play The Doctor, but they didn't want to end the show - so Hartnell himself came up with the idea that Time Lords could regenerate into a new body.
    • The Doctor managing to disrupt the Daleks' power supply in "The Power of the Daleks".
    • The glass-shattering scream that Gallifreyans are capable of, which resolved a cliffhanger in "The Power of Kroll" but was never mentioned before and will probably never be used again.
    • The Doctor's previously unmentioned 'respiratory bypass system' which saves him from strangulation in "Pyramids of Mars" note .
    • Undoing Peri's death off-screen. Actress Nicola Bryant didn't even know about this until years later, to boot!
    • Then there's Captain Jack Harkness' performance in "Bad Wolf". While completely naked he reaches behind himself and produces a small laser gun. This is immediately lampshaded when he is asked where he got it from. While the act in itself is an Ass Shove, it also qualifies as Ass Pull as there was no indication that he had it prior to using it. It was a scene played for laughs though.
    • The Gallifreyan mind meld in "The Girl in the Fireplace". Has there really never been a suitable reason to use it at any time in the previous 27 seasons?note 
    • "Journey's End" features some of the biggest Ass Pulls in the history of the show. Suddenly the Doctor is able to send enough regeneration energy into a severed hand to conveniently grow a half-human Doctor when a human touches it. And when the human touching it is electrocuted she suddenly gets Time Lord intelligence, just in time to stop the Daleks destroying the Universe.
    • The above event actually provides a double helping of ass-pull as many fans feel this of Ten preventing his regeneration by sending the energy into his severed hand. Then again a few series' later when it's revealed that it still counted as a used up regeneration.
    • In "Journey's End", the Doctor is forced to wipe Donna's memories, saying that if she ever remembers him, her head will be incinerated. A year and a half later in "The End of Time", she does remember him - only then the Doctor says he added a "defence mechanism" which knocks out her and everyone in the vicinity. This comes very handy in incapacitating an enemy that the Doctor could not possibly have foreseen.
    • In "The Day of the Doctor", having the Queen pretending to be the leader of the Zygons, somehow knowing exactly what their plan was, and pulling it off well enough to fool the other Zygons.
    • "Robot of Sherwood":
      • Although the spoon has relevance to the swordfight, it does seem to appear out of nowhere in the TARDIS. The Doctor is discussing Robin Hood, he's flipping through a book, he turns away from Clara, we hear a "CHING" sound effect and suddenly there's a big spoon in his hand covered in an unknown white foodstuff (leading to momentary thoughts of this trope being applied literally), which the Doctor sheepishly licks. Clara doesn't even seem to notice. And the spoon appears to vanish when the Doctor starts hunting for the Polaroid. If the Doctor hadn't later needed the spoon for the swordfight (and as it is said spoon is completely devoid of said white substance when it does appear) this would have qualified most criteria for a Big Lipped Alligator Moment.
    • In "Kill the Moon", the moon creature lays a second egg right after it's born, without any sign given before that it could, neatly sidestepping any problems destroying the moon would cause and proving Clara was right.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Quite a few examples over the years:
    • At the end of "The Daleks" the Daleks are all killed off, which caused the writers a problem when they became an instant huge success. "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" has the Doctor speculate that he's gone back to a time before they all died. Later stories simply ignore it, with some Expanded Universe stories and much commentary on the show taking advantage of the "Daleks" Daleks' weaker powers and different personality to suggest that they were simply a splinter faction of the main Dalek civilisation, or surviving descendants of early experiments by Davros.
    • After the violent Sixth Doctor era the series tried this by becoming more light hearted. Audiences continued to drop, with the Doctor coming across as a goofy clown. So the stories became darker and the Doctor became more mysterious. Though the series was cancelled after another two seasons, those two seasons of the Seventh Doctor's era became a Cult Classic.
    • The revelation in the TV Movie that the Doctor is a Half-Human Hybrid was hated by many fans who saw it as parochial and an imitation of Star Trek. After some Armed with Canon disputes in the 1996-2005 expanded universe material as to whether it was real or not, it was finally rejected in "The Stolen Earth"/"Journey's End", where it's a major plot point that no human-Time Lord hybrid has ever existed.
    • Though it may not have been intended this way, the reveal in "The Christmas Invasion", that in the first day after regeneration a Time Lord can perform drastic body alterations, has been seized on in Fanon as an explanation for Romana's notorious regeneration scene in "Destiny of the Daleks", where she appeared to waste several of them just to "try out" different looks.
    • Some fans considered that the Happiness in Slavery depiction of the Ood in "The Impossible Planet"/"The Satan Pit" and the Doctor's unthinking acceptance of it was a gross breach of the show's and the character's usual moral principles. Two years later, the story "Planet of the Ood" revealed that the Ood were only happy because evil humans were lobotomising them, and the Doctor explicitly expressed guilt for being too preoccupied with the earlier story's major threat and not investigating.
    • The "New Paradigm" Dalek redesign introduced in "Victory of the Daleks" was loathed by fans and critics in a way that was much more universal and long-lasting than the normal They Changed It, Now It Sucks. Starting with "Asylum of the Daleks," the Ninth and Tenth Doctor-era design was reinstated as the main one, with the New Paradigm Daleks being used to fill out crowd scenes in that story and later "The Time of the Doctor."
    • After "The Pandorica Opens"/"The Big Bang", some fans yelled that a Dalek begging River for mercy was out of character for them and an example of Moffat Character Shilling River. "The Magician's Apprentice"/"The Witch's Familiar" confirms that the Daleks do have a concept of mercy, and makes it a huge plot point. It's also later revealed that River supposedly killed the Doctor, which would give the Daleks a reason to be afraid of her.
    • In Matt Smith's last three episodes, Steven Moffat utilized disparate plot threads dating back to the earliest days of the revived series to negate the whole issue of the Doctor only having thirteen lives, in case the BBC felt like cancelling the series when the thirteenth actor left.
    • Clara's exit from the show is written as a direct counterpoint to Donna's, where she was removed of all her agency and development just to focus on the Doctor's pain. Here he tries to do it again but has the technique bounced back at him, so he's the one who forgets Clara as she gets to keep having her own badass adventures. In addition, it's a counterpoint to Rose's departure and Ten wrecking his next relationship with Martha because he couldn't get past it, as Twelve forgetting his key personal/emotional memories of her, but not the adventures they had leaves him far less likely to hold new companions to Clara's standard.
  • Awesome Ego:
    • The Doctor
    • K-9.
    • The Master is an evil version.
    • Clara Oswald, who on not one but two occasions actually pretended to be the Doctor and became him in all but name at the end of Series 9.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice:
    • Nyssa's skirt-removal in "Terminus". The in-story Hand Wave for why she decided to strip down to her slip was that she was feeling feverish. This doesn't really come across on screen, so Nyssa appears to strip off her clothes for no reason.
    • The Fifth Doctor's moving death scene in "The Caves of Androzani" is somewhat undermined by the excellent view the audience get of Peri's trembling cleavage. Davison has joked about this turn of events at times.
    • Peri entered the TARDIS wearing a bikini (being carried by Turlough, who was wearing bikini briefs). There was a long-running joke/tradition that Companions always left the TARDIS wearing less clothes than they entered in, which many were waiting to see if it would hold true...
    • Most of Peri's costumes seem to be designed to show as much cleavage as possible on a family show. Also note that a lot of people note that Peri is pretty.
    • And Zoe clinging to the TARDIS console in "The Mind Robber", while the camera drools over her bottom in a very tight catsuit.
    • We've got Leela in her fur bikini and split skirts, while Romana 1 was a very attractive woman with nice skin tone and a cleavage window.
    • Most media coverage of new companion Karen Gillan (Amy Pond) at the start focused on her skimpy kissogram costume in her first episode.
    • There were some media attempts at this when Jenna Coleman made her first appearance in "Asylum of the Daleks", in which Oswin wore a short, form-fitting dress, and the fact a miniseries titled Room at the Top in which Coleman appeared topless aired soon after didn't help matters. Ultimately averted, however, as the decision was made to dress Clara conservatively.
  • Bizarro Episode: "The Feast of Steven", the Christmas Episode in the middle of the grim 12-parter "The Daleks' Master Plan". And "Love and Monsters" from the New Series.
    • "The mind robber" could also count as it a very bizarre, but imaginative story coming from the time when many 2nd Doctor serials were base-under stories.
    • "Sleep No More", an experimental episode depicted in the first-person "found footage" format and without a traditional resolution. Often described as a "marmite" episode (after a particularly divisive foodstuff popular in the UK): those who love the episode really love it, and those who hate it tend to rank it among the worst in the franchise's history.
    • "Heaven Sent": A an episode in which the Doctor is (almost) completely alone for the entire hour in a surreal scenario sparked by the death of his companion.
  • Cargo Ship:
    • Some fans pair Doctor and sonic screwdriver. The series itself has lampshaded this by having the Doctor actually acknowledge this in "A Christmas Carol" and in the made-for-DVD mini-episode "Clara and the TARDIS" Clara Oswald says the Doctor is in a "co-dependent" relationship with his screwdriver.
    • The show itself pairs the Doctor and the TARDIS. (With some serious squick potential when we see the ship's Cronenberg-esque telepathic circuits for the first time in Series 8.) This climaxes in the episode "The Doctor's Wife" when the TARDIS - the titular "wife" of the title - briefly takes on human form and ultimately is heard to say "I love you" to the Doctor before she reverts to her original form.
  • Crack Is Cheaper: Classic serials are each collected, packaged, and sold on individual DVDs, rather than being grouped together by season or by Doctor. Collecting them all can quickly get very, very expensive. (To be fair, this is in part due to the fact full season sets are impossible for several Doctors, and because of the serialized nature of the show at that time, each storyline is treated like a movie, with is own making-of documentary and supplementary material. It also offers the added bonus of allowing buyers to (for the most part) avoid stories they don't like).
    • The revival series DV Ds varied in price wildly, with some parts of the world seeing rather high prices charged for box sets, though less-expensive half-season sets were also available and discounted reissues followed.
      • Of course, with the advent of streaming, this cost issue has become moot for many people as they are now able to view virtually all existing episodes on services such as Netflix, Amazon and Playstation.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Pretty much every Doctor.
    • Vincent van Gogh. He's the only person who can see the Monster of the Week. So he stabs it with his easel. It works.
    • Some of River's stunts are this. Highlights include jumping out of an airlock, confident that the Doctor would show up to save her and defacing the oldest mountain in the universe to leave a message for him. Oh, and fighting Nazis with regeneration.
    • John Simm's Master.
    • Missy.
  • Creepy Awesome: In general, if a villain or monster is popular, at least part of it comes from the fans being terrified of it.
  • Critical Backlash: There comes a point at which the sheer amount of hatred that gets directed at the Sixth Doctor makes it difficult not to root for him as a Good Is Not Nice Anti-Hero.
    • Thanks to DVD releases, a lot of fans have given the critically maligned Seventh Doctor era a positive reassessment, with Season 26 in particular now acclaimed as one of the strongest of the entire series, even though that was the year the ratings bottomed out and the original series was terminated, while some fans were mounting a campaign to have the showrunner ousted.
    • Modern Era showrunners Russell T Davies and Steven Moffat endure a lot of hatred from some aspects of fandom. There have been many cases of people going into modern Doctor Who expecting a trainwreck based upon what they've read on forums, etc., and coming away wondering what show the haters were actually watching.
  • Critical Dissonance:
    • For a very long time (due to home video not being invented when the show began) there was simply no way to find out the quality of stories you had missed (due to not having been born when they aired) save for: 1) buying one of the heavily altered and variable in quality Target novelisations, or 2) buying a book written by someone who had seen the episode in question summarising what it was about and, more importantly, saying whether or not it was good. Both these methods led to serious distortions of truth in the fandom.

      A particular 1980s review tome - "Doctor Who: A Celebration" - contained reviews of all of the stories, in some case based on guesswork themselves (looking at the general quality of actors playing guest stars) which were taken as gospel by people who had never actually seen the stories, leading to "The Gunfighters"'s reputation as an absolute disaster and "The Celestial Toymaker"'s reputation as a classic - there is an anecdote about a woman who stood up at a Who-con to announce that the two aliens she definitely didn't want to see return were the Zarbi and the Gunfighters. Now that all the surviving footage is widely available thanks to the internet and DVDs, fans nowadays (such as Expanded Universe and new series writer Paul Cornell) tend to find that "The Gunfighters" is a self-referential and funny comedy episode and "The Celestial Toymaker" is slow-paced, badly-plotted, racist garbage - but "The Celestial Toymaker" had the benefit of a quality actor playing the villain and a quirky premise, while "The Gunfighters" had no-names and a very straightforward "the Doctor in the Wild West" premise.

      The book also panned comedy episodes simply because they were comedy and the author felt they had no place in a serious science fiction show, causing comedy episodes to fall out of fashion amongst the fanbase for a while, even though comedy episodes are extremely popular with the modern fandom and the highly popular revival series incorporates strong elements of sitcom.
      • A term used to refer to inaccurate memories of lost or not-seen-in-decades episodes, "the memory cheats", is often invoked within Doctor Who fandom.
    • Professional reviewers loved "Love & Monsters", but the fanbase does not.
    • Averted with "Journey's End", where critics and the fans have quite mixed thoughts. However critics tend to have a lower opinion.
    • While "Kill the Moon" seems to be a Broken Base for fans, critics for the most part loved it. In fact, the bulk of critics seem far less divided and substantially more positive about the Twelfth Doctor era (particularly Series 9) as a whole than the fanbase.
  • Critical Research Failure: In The Sound of Drums, American President Arthur Winters introduces himself as "President-Elect Arthur Coleman Winters." In America, the President-Elect is someone who's been elected President in the November elections but hasn't been sworn in yet at the January Inaugural. Thus, he wouldn't be the President yet, and wouldn't have the political power to do what Winters does here. Except for that one line, everything else in the script indicates Winters is supposed to be the current American President. If he was, there's no good reason (not even a stupid reason) why he'd call himself, "President-Elect"? Outright admitted by RTD, who had no idea what "president-elect" meant but thought it sounded cooler than "president".
    • "Hell Bent" suggests that the lifespan of the universe is measured in mere billions of years, when in fact scientists estimate the universe is more likely to survive for many trillions of years. This error also reflects a research failure within the show itself, as the episode "Utopia" had already established that the end of the universe occurs at some point after the year 100 trillion.
  • Crossover Ship:
    • Amy Pond has a couple of Crossover Ships with some popularity:
    • The Doctor himself with Sailor Pluto.
    • Clara also gets tons of it. One particularly popular little oddity seems to be to ship her or any of her echoes with practically every single character Peter Capaldi has ever played. For that matter, due to Capaldi and Jenna Coleman's intense chemistry and close friendship off-screen — if one wasn't aware that he'd been happily married for a quarter century and she was likewise in a long-term relationship, and ignoring the age disparity, one could easily mistake them for a real-life couple — a branch of shipping emerged dedicated to shipping the actors themselves.
  • Cult Classic: The Seventh Doctor's tenure, which had the lowest ratings from the series' history but a very loyal fanbase.
  • Damsel Scrappy:
    • Tegan—though, as a woman of normal intelligence stuck on the TARDIS with three alien super-geniuses (The Doctor, Nyssa, and Adric/Turlough), she was Damsel Scrappy By Default. You want a real Damsel Scrappy in Doctor Who, try Vicki, Victoria Waterfield or Peri Brown.
    • In a rare male example, Adric. In addition to being a widely disliked character, he was repeatedly captured and/or mind-controlled by various evil manipulators; most notably the Master in "Castrovalva", the Vampire Orcon in "State of Decay", and the Cybermen in "Earthshock".
    • Mel was the only companion during her tenure, and thus had the duty of getting captured. This would be fine if she were useful or likable. And then she was followed by Ace. Who killed Daleks with homemade explosives (stored in deodorant cans) and a super-charged baseball bat.
  • Die for Our Ship: The Russell T Davies era upped the (previously unspoken) romantic side of traveling through space and time with a heroic, dashing genius, with each companion dealing with it in their own way. Of course, everyone has their favorites. Every Doctor-companion pairing has been the subject of this, with competing factions (most notably Doctor/Clara and Doctor/River) not seeing eye to eye.
  • Dork Age
    • Obviously the 16 years when the original show was off the air (including, to some, the TV movie during that gap), though many fans tend to agree that "The Trial of a Time Lord" and then Sylvester McCoy's first season (Seasons 23-24) are the low point of when it actually was airing.
    • For the new series, the Seasonal Rot page argues Series 6-8 collectively fell into this thanks primarily to Story Arcs that were by turns too complicated, underwhelming, and gloomy, once-popular characters (Amy and Rory, the Weeping Angels, River Song) hanging around too long to diminishing returns before being succeeded by an underwhelming new crew (Clara, Danny) that temporarily and accidentally usurped the Doctor's position as protagonist just as he was switched over from Eleven to Twelve. Keep in mind, though, that this run is still regarded as better than the corresponding dork age of the original series. Also keep in mind that as can be gathered from the size of the Base-Breaking Character and Broken Base sections EVERYTHING is divisive for this show's fandom, no exceptions.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: The Master has benefited from a lot of this, particularly thanks to John Simm's depiction and the increased Foe Yay it's given him with the Doctor. It can be a bit too easy for fans so inclined to handwave his lengthy list of evil deeds and the body count they have resulted in just because he acts a bit quirky and flirty to the Doctor or because of the Freudian Excuse the drums in his head (introduced in the 2007 episode "Utopia" as a symbol of his insanity) give him.
  • Dry Docking: The fandom has "Stay away from the Doctor!"
  • Dry Docked Ship: Doctor / Master - while the latter is an unrepentant mass-murderer, the sheer amount of Foe Yay between the two (especially in the revival) makes it very easy to read them as bitter exes. Especially after the Master becomes Missy.
  • Ear Worm:
    • The Master's drumbeat.
    • The theme tune.
    • The Sontaran's Battle Cry. Sontar HA! Sontar HA! Sontar HA!
  • Ending Fatigue: The 15-minute farewell scenes in The End of Time. Though to be fair, in "The Death of the Doctor" The 11th Doctor told Jo Grant that during that scene he also visited all of his classic companions offscreen. As awesome as that would be, we should probably be lucky it was only fifteen minutes.
    • The farewell scenes in "Journey's End", which partially led to the episode overunning by 20 minutes.
  • Engaging Chevrons: The rocket launch in "The Seeds of Death", with a full one-minute countdown.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • Series 5 has, thus far, generated reams of fan theories, ranging from very clever, probably right ones, to the fact that the barely legible text of the library card in "The Vampires of Venice" has a slightly wrong post code on it.
    • Series Six has followed in suit, and the Spoilers Wild Mass Guessing page had to be broken down into folders sorting the different type of speculation- e.g. The Silence, Rory's Death, who is River, etc.
    • And of course, Season 7 has the mystery of who Clara is and why she keeps coming back from the dead in various time periods. Steven Moffat really likes instigating these.
    • Series 8 before it came out already had a page.
    • Likewise with Series 9.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: "The Happiness Patrol" is the most (over)analyzed story in the history of Doctor Who. Is it a biting criticism of Thatcher? Is it about homophobia? Is it a satire of runaway commercialism smothering society? Is it just plain crap? Or all of the above? Just about the only thing anyone can agree with is that it features a candy robot that kills people.
  • Escapist Character: The Doctor and his companions.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop:
    • "The Dominators". Pacificism, even if war-hungry ways have nearly wiped out the planet and left a whole island a nuclear wasteland full of corpses, is bad, because the first attacker will destroy you. Gun control is also bad. Arm the hippies.
    • In "The Ark in Space", the Doctor manipulates Sarah Jane out of a situation in which she's panicking and screaming by giving her a very hurtful and rather sexist "The Reason You Suck" Speech until she pulls herself together out of pure rage. It's an awesome moment and one of both Sarah Jane's and the Doctor's best, but does give the impression that bullying your best friend and crushing her self-esteem is a good idea to do to someone in a panic. This also occurs with Ace in "The Curse of Fenric" but even worse, with the Doctor going so far as to call the troubled teen "an emotional cripple," a phrase that would not be allowed on TV today.
    • "Face the Raven" punishes Clara for aspiring to emulate the Doctor in the worst way possible. Want to stay alive? Do what you're told, don't make waves. Double whammy as the Doctor likewise is punished for allowing his companion to aspire to greatness. "Hell Bent" does alleviate this somewhat though.
  • Fandom Berserk Button: It's the Doctor, not Doctor Who!
    • And TARDIS is spelled in all caps, not as Tardis.
    • Also, say that the 50th Anniversary Special was a disappointment/terrible/horrible/overhyped, etc, and the fandom will feed you to the Weeping Angels. Or throw you to the Daleks/Cybermen.
    • "The Doctor is in love with..." In many fandom circles you don't get to complete that sentence without being screamed at that the Doctor can never fall in love with anybody and should never because he's an asexual time lord, etc. Until the TV show does it at which point the screaming is directed at Russell T Davies/Steven Moffat (delete as appropriate).
  • Fandom Rivalry:
  • Fanfic Fuel: "The Big Bang":
    • Rory spent 1894 years staying out of trouble note  and going from Britain to Rome to Germany/France to Italy in 1240 and then back to Britain by 1941. And whatever he went through, he learned that you shoot Daleks in the eyestalk.
    • At the end there is the whole Egyptian Goddess and Orient Express IN SPACE!; even if it never ended up being addressed in the series you can almost hear the sound of a million keyboards screaming and suddenly being silenced. (Actually they finally got around to it in season 8)
    • The talk of "Star Cults" who believe in the onetime existence of stars (and who are right, as the disappearance of said stars signals that the universe is wrong) and their head prophet Richard Dawkins. Who's willing to bet that said cults are made up of many of the Doctor's previous companions? Just think of the possibilities...
    • From "The Name of the Doctor": what all of the Clara-fragments were doing and how they saved the Doctor.
    • The Doctor spending hundreds of years on Trenzalore fighting of various Monsters.
    • The Time War itself.
    • The Eighth Doctor's regeneration, before "The Night of the Doctor".
    • It's been heavily speculated that The Ninth Doctor, after leaving Rose and Mickey in "Rose" only to reappear a split second later, went on a bunch of unknown adventures during that time. As the start of the episode hinted he just regenerated, this fills the plot holes of (while alone) visiting Krakatoa and saving a family from boarding the Titanic. "The Beast of Babylon" confirmed this.
    • Series 9 gives us the immortal Ashildr/Me. It's revealed that she was present at the battle of Agincourt, helped end the Hundred Years' War, was (unsuccessfully) drowned as a witch after saving from scarlet fever, and other historical achievements. Later, she decides she will look after the Doctor's companions after he leaves them.
    • And Series 9 ends with the launching of a potentially infinite number of adventures featuring the functionally immortal Clara Oswald and Ashildr.
    • "The Husbands of River Song" raises the question of how the Twelfth Doctor and River Song spent those 24 years together.
  • Fanon: Pretty much every question that's gone unanswered has fan theories, some more widely accepted than others.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Eric Roberts' Master always dresses for the occasion.
  • Faux Symbolism: "Kinda" and "Snakedance" writer Christopher Bailey derived the Mara from a demon of the same name in Buddhist philosophy which, as in Doctor Who, symbolises temptation rather than evil (at least, in the sense of "sinfulness"). In Kinda, Dukkha, Panna, Karuna, Anatta and Anicca's names and functions all derive from Buddhism as well.
  • Fountain of Memes:
  • Franchise Original Sin: All the problems with the original series in the mid-eighties — Author Tracts, useless companions, unintentionally inappropriate music, Camp, Chewing the Scenery, hilarious Special Effects Failure — were all present in the seventies. But in the eighties they became highly prominent and common, and had few good plots or characters to balance them out, leading to viewership dropping like flies, a brief hiatus, and then another one that lasted for 16 years. (Ironically, the second hiatus was implemented just as those elements had been mostly stripped.)
    • If any one story from the classic series counts as this, it would probably be "Earthshock" from 1982. On its first broadcast — and even today, in fact — it was a hugely popular story thanks to its action, gritty and mature feel, the return of a classic villain and the brave decision to kill off an ongoing character for the first time ever (all previous companion deaths were character that had only been with the Doctor for a short time; Adric had been with the Doctor for most of two seasons). However, attempts to recapture all of these elements in future stories would play a major part in driving the series into the ground in the mid-1980s. The continuity aspects were emphasized to such an extent that it led to major Continuity Lockout. This is well-shown by the Cybermen's next major story, "Attack of the Cybermen", which is basically incomprehensible without a good knowledge of Cyber-History and incredibly violent.
    • The Doctor and Rose's Implied Love Interest status started out with Rose helping to heal the emotionally damaged Doctor and him ending up effectively sacrificing himself for her, with their relationship slowly developing in the background. However it got to the point where the narrative kept presenting her as the Doctor's One True Love, to the point that even a lot of fans who liked her started viewing her as a Creator's Pet. This got worse when she appeared in Series 4, undermining what a lot of fans felt was a satisfying and emotional departure.
    • The moral debate over the Doctor's actions, particularly with the Daleks, started as an interesting (though controversial) departure from the original series, with the Doctor wracked with guilt over his actions and always uncertain about whether he's doing the right thing. After this point, it was alternately ignored or given such disproportionate focus (sometimes the Doctor would wipe out a species without any moral conundrum, sometimes he'd waver back and forth on killing an Always Chaotic Evil species that's about to kill a bunch of innocent people) that it lost any sort of impact, and something that started as a way to explore the Doctor's morality was repeatedly used as a way for the Doctor to lord his moral superiority over everyone else (like Harriet Jones or Handy). Eventually this aspect was dropped completely, returning to the times of killing villains no questions asked (which started its own Broken Base), only for it to come back from the dead for season 8, making just as little sense. (Killing villains by yourself is justifiable, but killing them with a Cyberman army which makes this more effective is bad? Huh?)
      • Aspects of this can be seen earlier in the Series 1 finale "The Parting of the Ways", where the Doctor deliberates over wiping out the Daleks even though it will destroy all life on Earth and finally refuses to do so, considering it the moral high ground. Even though the Daleks have just wiped out nearly all life on Earth and the Doctor points out earlier the human race has spread to other worlds and will survive.
      • "Journey's End" in many ways is a good example of the aspects of the RTD era done badly. Author Favouritism for Rose? Very much so. The moral debate about the Doctor's actions, such as killing Daleks, being inconsistent and not making much sense? Yes. A ridiculous Deus ex Machina? On multiple occasions.
    • The criticisms of Steven Moffat's run of the reboot series are largely present back in the episodes he wrote for the series when Russell T Davies was in charge, including convoluted plots, Soap Opera-level interactions between the cast, female characters who revolve entirely around the Doctor, and Everybody Lives endings via flimsy Deus ex Machina. For individual episodes his style worked marvelously, especially as it contrasted with the rest of the episodes at the time, with "Blink" still regarded as one of the best (and scariest) episodes in Who history. But when Moffat graduated to showrunner this stuff took over the show so that plot intricacy became alienating incoherence and the once-creepy elements (the Weeping Angels, the use of repeated phrases etc) were overused to the point of Narm.
    • To some classic fans, the Tennant and Smith eras are bashed for the Doctors' seemingly newfound appreciation for humanity as well as rather soapish elements with the companions becoming a Romantic Plot Tumor. But these two complaints both have elements of them showing up as early as Peter Davison's tenure, with his overall more kind persona as well as the sheer amount of companions he had causing various B-plot conflicts, this might be Older Than They Think.
    • Steven Moffat's storylines were criticised for not giving a satisfying payoff that really explained the aspects. What a lot of people forget is that the S4 Finale didn't explain many of the plot points throughout the series, such as how Rose appeared in "Midnight" or much of her role in "Turn Left". It seems that the prospect of Rose coming back distracted a lot of people (including the writers) from the lack of a full explanation, however such a character hasn't yet appeared under Moffat (though Clara would be the likely candidate post-"Hell Bent").
    • It might be quicker to say that almost anything that gets people riled up about Steven Moffat's version of the show can be found in some way, shape or form in Russell T. Davies' or the classic series.
  • Freud Was Right:
    • You know that Master-detector-things the Doctor builds? It really looks like a penis.
    • And TOMTIT? Come on!
    • Alpha Centauri: an eight-foot willy in a cloak.
    • Erato, the "Creature from the Pit", looks like... um... It would probably have been better if the Doctor hadn't tried blowing into the protruding bit.
    • Many people, on seeing a Vervoid for the first time, have remarked that it reminds them of something... WH Smith refused to stock a copy of Doctor Who Magazine with a Vervoid on the cover as they felt it contained an "inappropriate adult image".
    • In "The Vampires of Venice".
      Rory: Yours is bigger than mine.
      The Doctor: Let's not go there.
    • And then there's Eleven and Ten showing off their sonic screwdrivers in Day of the Doctor.
    • Bigger on the Inside
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • The Blake's 7 fandom tends to have a lot of overlap with classic series fandom, due to the similarities in style and close links between the production teams; the former is generally considered the adult sister show to the latter.
    • Similarly, a lot of fans of Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss' Sherlock tend also to be fans of Moffat and Russell T Davies' eras as head writer as well (Gatiss and Moffat having contributed episodes to both eras).
      • SuperWholockians. The above friendly fandoms with Supernatural thrown in for some reason. Very common amongst the fandom side of Tumblr.
    • Fans of Douglas Adams and Neil Gaiman also tend to overlap with the show. As both authors also wrote for Doctor Who (and in the case of the former served as a script editor), this is also understandable.
    • The Affectionate Parody spoof Inspector Spacetime on Community was very well received by Doctor Who fans. Both Matt Smith and Karen Gillan have expressed appreciation of the other show and an interest in appearing on it.
    • Due to several actors appearing in both franchises, most notably John Barrowman and Alex Kingston in the main series and Arthur Darvill in one of its spinoffs, Doctor Who and Arrowverse fans manage to get along pretty well.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment
    • At the end of "Shada", the Fourth Doctor muses about how future generations of Time Lords might remember him as a criminal.
    • "A Fix with Sontarans" was a wacky wish-fulfillment skit for a fan, with Jim'll Fix It presenter Jimmy Savile presented as Faux Horrific via the Sixth Doctor and Tegan's reactions. After his death in 2011, it came to public light that Savile was perhaps the most Depraved Kids' Show Host of all time.
      • To add even more to it, Colin Baker was later, in an interview made a few years before Savile's death, asked about the special and he commented that considered Savile "much more frightening than the Sontarans."
  • Genius Bonus: Professor Bracewell is a sort of Bracewell Probe.
  • Gotta Ship Em All: Doctor is shipped with almost every single one of his companions (most of whom were strictly platonic friends) over the course of the show's 50 year existence. Other companions from different eras are shipped together regardless if they've ever actually met. One-Shot Characters are all shipped with random companions, the Doctor, and other one shot characters. The Doctor's daughter/Opposite-Sex Clone Jenny deserves a special mention for being a Launcher of a Thousand Ships despite appearing exactly once and having previously met none of the people she's most commonly shipped with.
  • Growing the Beard: Being that the series has a few decades of history, it's a bit inevitable that there have been a lot of times when the show's quality gets lower a few times and then back up later.
    • The First Doctor's second serial, "The Daleks", is seen as where the show really took off, after a mostly dull first serial involving cavemen.
    • The Second Doctor's arrival made the Doctor younger, paving the way for more action-orientated episodes, and properly established him as an eccentric but sympathetic character.
    • The Third Doctor's tenure saw arrival of colour TV, more political and Earth-based stories and the growth of a maturer fanbase.
    • But it was the Fourth Doctor's era that the classic series reached its creative peak. Now how many shows achieve this after being on the air for over ten years?
    • The Seventh Doctor in season 25, particularly "Remembrance of the Daleks", is seen as marking the point when the 1980s Doctor Who began to show a maturer and more confident approach. Unfortunately, the show's ratings did not improve and this led to its cancellation after the following season.
    • The revival in general has, regardless of opinions, given much more publicity and relevance to and awards won by the show than when it faded through the 1980s, leading to its eventual cancellation in 1989. The BBC has also cared a lot more about its status as a flagship British drama and a fifty-plus-year cultural icon when comparing the Steven Moffat era side by side with the days of Michael Grade's near-cancellation of the show in 1985.
    • Some people would claim "Dalek" was this for the revived series and the Ninth Doctor.
    • For the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant's performance in his first series (Series 2) was actually very well-received, but fans were less impressed by several storylines, the romance between the Doctor and Rose and the Torchwood story arc (although all three have their defenders). Depending on who you ask, the concluding episodes of Series 2 or Series 3 saw a significant overall improvement.
    • The Twelfth Doctor had a similar situation to the Tenth as far as debuts went (Series 8) — the fantastic lead performance by Peter Capaldi was hamstrung by his character's personality initially coming off as too grumpy and insensitive (though this starts softening as early as episode 3, "Robot of Sherwood"), companion Clara became a Spotlight-Stealing Squad and Romantic Plot Tumor via belated Character Development after serving as more puzzle than person in Series 7, and there were a few absurd-even-by-Who-standards plots in "Kill the Moon" and "In the Forest of the Night". Series 9, which consisted primarily of multi-parters — allowing for character-based, introspective, slower-moving stories still filled with comedy and action — took the strengths of Series 8 and ran with them. Even the debate over the finale "Hell Bent"'s effectiveness in tying up the year's Story Arcs (particularly Clara's fate) couldn't undo the acclaim many episodes, especially "Heaven Sent", and the season as a whole received. Familiarity with Series 8's events and especially how they affected Clara and the Doctor's Character Development is needed to fully understand Series 9.
    • As a complement to the above listing: Usually both the production team (writers, etc.) and whoever is portraying the Doctor at the time usually tend to need an episode/serial or two before they gel together and click into place to really truly deliver their vision of Doctor Who. Now which episodes/serials these are for the respective Doctors is a matter of endless debate.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • At the end of "The Time Monster", when the Third Doctor states that eternal torment was something he'd never subject anything to. About that... also at the end of "Doomsday" while he had no choice in the matter, he didn't feel any remorse for sending millions of Daleks and Cybermen into the void. Even worse, many of the Cybermen were innocent humans converted.
    • In "The Mind of Evil", it's shown that the Doctor's worst fear is worlds burning down. See Doctor, there's this certain time war that you'll stop...
    • The Fourth Doctor's parting "Until we meet again, Sarah" was always going to be heartbreaking after the death of Elisabeth Sladen. But it's magnified by the fact that she spent more than a decade trying to convince Tom Baker to do a series of Big Finish audios with her. He finally caved and signed a contract a week before she died. So, in essence, Four and Sarah Jane never did meet again.
    • At the end of "Flesh and Stone", River says "You, me, handcuffs... must it always end this way?" Then you remember that's exactly how she died.
    • Davros using human corpses to make food out of in "Revelation of the Daleks" was pretty grim to start with. But the Big Finish I, Davros audio dramas make it clear that the same was standard practice in Kaled society while he was growing up, due to the effects of the Hopeless War.
    • "The War Games" has the Second Doctor simply having his appearance changed before his exile by the Time Lords. Today, with the Time Lords' 12 regenerations limit well-established, it now is more like the Doctor was essentially executed by forcing him to use one of his regenerations.
    • In "The Web of Fear", the Great Intelligence seems to view "revenge" as petty and beneath it, and is only interested in the Doctor again because of his usefulness. Come "The Name of the Doctor", revenge seems to be its primary motivation.
    • For the Doctor, at least: the description of the end of the alternate 21st Century given by the Controller in "Day of the Daleks" matches nearly perfectly with the fate of Gallifrey in the 2005 series.
    • The little girl is released from the Daleks' mind control in "Remembrance of the Daleks"! But a later short story shows that she was driven irreversibly mad by the experience.
    • The little girl in "Day of the Moon" being forgotten about only to find herself sick and dying in New York could be bad enough, until you realise this is a young River Song and the baby Amy was pregnant with. It also leads into the attempted murder of the Doctor.
    • The scene of Rory sadly playing with the dream!cot in "Amy's Choice" is made even more heartbreaking by what happens in series 6.
    • After witnessing the Doctor's judgment upon the Racnoss, Donna tells him that he "needs someone to stop him". Much later, we see him breaking under the strain of hearing the explorers on Mars dying... and he's all alone. And not even Captain Brooke can get through to him. Only her suicide can.
    • The above is taken even further in "Heaven Sent" and "Hell Bent", when Clara's death and 4.5 billion years spent alone in the confession dial experiencing Cold-Blooded Torture causes him to snap and try to bring back Clara while risking the existence of the entire universe. He has to not only have a Heel Realization but lose his memories of Clara to regain his best self, thanks to how badly damaged he is by that point...which was partially the fault of his own people, which arguably spoils the triumphs of the post-Series 7 specials. He saved Gallifrey for THIS.
    • "I never should have met you, Doctor. I was better off when I was a coward." Considering everything that happens to him later, Jack was right.
  • He's Just Hiding:
    • Fans are known for mourning their favourite Doctors after their regeneration, even though the character isn't technically dead, and cooking up elaborate theories for how Doctors can regenerate back into whatever the fan's preferred version of themselves is. These theories were eventually confirmed in "The Day of the Doctor", in which Tom Baker, who played the very much loved Fourth Doctor, reappears as a far future regeneration of the Doctor, playing Eccentric Mentor to his young self and assuring him that maybe he'll find himself 'revisiting old favourite faces'.
    • Possibly confirmed in "Timewyrm: Revelation" where it is claimed that when a Doctor regenerates he lives on in the Doctor's mind.
    • The Time Lords were all killed, with the Doctor as the Last of His Kind. Then the Master was revealed to have concealed himself by temporarily becoming human, leading fans to endlessly speculate about who else did this (the Rani being the most popular choice). "The End of Time" and then even less ambiguously "The Day of the Doctor" revealed that Gallifrey was actually locked away from the rest of the universe rather than being destroyed, and could potentially be rediscovered. It is at the end of Series 9!
    • "Journey's End":
      • Theories regarding Donna's Time Lord memories/self/whatever and how she can regain them are similarly endless.
      • In the commentary producer Julie Gardner expressed her belief that Harriet Jones, former Prime Minister wasn't dead and had escaped through a trap door.
    • "Death in Heaven":
      • Fans were quick to notice that if Danny had the opportunity to return to the living world two weeks after his Cyberman body was killed, similar means could be used to resurrect any other character killed in the episode. Especially Missy.
      • Fans were also adamant that Missy killed a Zygon and not the real Osgood. Ingrid Oliver, Osgood's actress, would certainly like to think her character's just hiding. Series 9 doesn't quite reveal what happened. Either the Zygon duplicate or the original Osgood is still alive, and she's not telling anyone which she is; she considers herself both human and Zygon, and that's all she cares to reveal. Later another Zygon also takes the form of Osgood, and again neither of them will reveal which of them is which!
      • Missy was using her disintegrator device to blast people into a fine red dust left and right. It seems kind of odd that the same device disintegrates her into a fine blue dust instead, not unlike her teleportation earlier. To this, many reasoned the device itself wasn't used to disintegrate her, with it instead being the Brigadier's Cybermen artillery that did the job. Moffat himself enforced this trope with his comments immediately after the episode aired, noting that he hoped Missy would emulate Anthony Ainley's Master in reappearing without a scratch after getting involved in Deader Than Dead situations. She turned up alive and well at the top of Series 9 — she had a vortex manipulator all along and it was that which caused her to vanish blue.
      • Since Seb isn't actually alive, but an A.I., it's unlikely he would have been "killed" by Missy. This, in turn, provided a small Hope Spot regarding Osgood's survival, though it wasn't what Moffat and co. went with...
    • Post-"Face the Raven", partially because there were two episodes still to come, there was much speculation in Radio Times and elsewhere that the original Clara Oswald was not actually Killed Off for Real. As it turned out, she was, but the Doctor removes her from the timeline at the last possible moment in "Hell Bent". She's agelessly "alive" as a result, and as the story ends heads out with Ashildr to travel the universe in a TARDIS of their own — but since her death remains a fixed moment in time, she must eventually return to that moment to preserve time and space.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient:
    • The series does outdo itself constantly in this area due to thrills and scares, but very few can compare to the sudden reemergence of the TIME LORDS in the final scene of The End of Time Part One, and their Title Drop of just what they plan to do.
    • Specifically, when the viewer gets out ahead of the plot on that one and realizes what's coming just soon enough to scream 'HOLY SHIT' about twenty times before the event actually happens.
    • The Daleks returning at the climax of "Army of Ghosts"? That was a big secret held by the production team at the time. These days, the following episode "Doomsday" is generally known for being Daleks v Cybermen.
    • The Doctor on the point of near-death dies ten times, and has his appearance forcibly changed at the end of the Patrick Troughton era.
    • "The Day Of the Doctor" provided this just through the extent of its Call Backs to the show's history, from every Doctor showing up to help freeze Gallifrey in the show's climax, to the revelation of the Twelfth Doctor's input, to the appearance of Tom Baker as the Curator in the episode's epilogue (marking his first appearance in an official episode of the show for the first time since leaving it in 1981).
  • Home Grown Hero: The Doctor sure seems to have a thing for British assistants on his galaxy-saving travels. Then again, the aliens love Cardiff too.
  • Hype Backlash:
    • Fandom example. Rose was a fine character on her own, but when Martha was frequently compared to her by both the show and the fanbase, even some of the people who liked her have come to see her as The Scrappy.
    • There are several Missing Episodes from the 1960s which have developed a reputation for being almost legendarily good classics, despite this being hard to confirm or refute without seeing them. Consequently, there have been several occasions in which these episodes have been found, to the delight of all... only for a slightly awkward moment to set in as everyone realises on looking back that these episodes, while perhaps not exactly bad, weren't actually as good as they were made out to be. "Tomb of the Cybermen" and "The Web of Fear" are two which have suffered this fate.
  • I Am Not Shazam: The main character's name is "The Doctor", not "Doctor Who" (in spite of what the credits might sometimes say).
    • And never, ever call him The Who. Good natured fans might chuckle at the coincidence that both are British icons that started in the 60s and the band's song are actually quite good, and may occasionally crack a joke about it. The more rabid ones will most likely unleash a verbal storm at you for mixing up the two, followed by a lecture about the Doctor's name.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • In "The Girl in the Fireplace", the Doctor's solution to clockwork droids attacking Madame De Pompadour is to ride a horse through one of the time windows, breaking the connection to the ship in the future. He then engages in Talking the Monster to Death. However he is left trapped thousands of years from his companions and the TARDIS and it is only some flimsy writing that lets him get back. It doesn't occurred to him to find some other way to disrupt the time window (if smashing them can break them then it shouldn't be too difficult). This could be justified by him wanting to convince the droids to shut down but couldn't he have used the TARDIS to get there? Even if he doesn't want the droids to know about the TARDIS he could just materialise in another room a few minutes before the connection is broken.
    • The Series 2 finale "Army of Ghosts"/ Doomsday" suffers a lot from this. When Torchwood find a way to draw energy from the void ghosts start appearing all over the world. What is Torchwood's reaction to this? Nothing, just treating it as a natural phenomenon. Within a couple of months people start thinking the ghosts are loved ones, for reasons that are never made clear. Then the Doctor closing the void and using it to suck the Daleks and Cybermen back. He decides to hold on using a metal clamp right next to the void and send Rose to the parallel world so she will be safe. However she returns and hangs on with him. Due to a lever breaking she turns it on again and ends up sucked towards the void, but her Parallel father saves her by taking her to the Parallel world. It never occurs to the Doctor to use the TARDIS, which is not sucked into the void despite having been through there, to keep safe. Or to find some way of turning on the void shift that doesn't involve them being right by the breach.
    • "The Lodger" has the Doctor pretending to be a human, and clichés every "Alien trying to fit in" trope one can think of. He also very awkwardly interrupts Craig and his girlfriend completely oblivious to the fact that they want "Alone Time" despite Craig outright announcing it earlier. And after unintentionally making Craig jealous (All his friends and co-workers loving him more, which he really should have picked up on) he still seems surprised when Craig tells him "I hate you, get out!" The writer has stated in his defence 'this is the Doctor acting like the Doctor, he's just doing it in a "normal" situation for once'.
    • "The Sontaran Experiment". Really now, so much of this would have been averted if there was less time falling down crevasses and more time talking.
    • "The Android Invasion". So Crayford never took off that eyepatch?
    • This review of "The Caretaker" sums it up nicely.
    • Not stupidity, but "Kill the Moon" would have been over in fifteen minutes if not for the Doctor being a dick.
  • Inferred Holocaust:
    • In "The Dominators", the Dominators' plan to explode the planet into a radioactive mess as a fuel source is foiled. But the Dominators have been repeatedly sending messages to the main fleet to come that way. When the fleet arrives, will it sit back and take it? Especially against a Perfect Pacifist People?
    • "The Time Warrior". So, the kitchen staff got out of Irongron's castle before it exploded... right?
    • In "The Armageddon Factor", it's implied that the Atrians unknowingly managed to wipe out the Zeons very early on in the war, and that the subsequent conflict was engineered by the Shadow simply so that he wouldn't get bored waiting for the Doctor to arrive.
    • Multiple episodes end with it being very unclear whether things won't just go back to normal after the Doctor leaves, or if he has actually improved anything at all. Became Ascended Fridge Horror in "Bad Wolf", which explicitly states the Doctor's actions in "The Long Game" made things many times worse.
    • The climax of "Journey's End" has Earth dragged through space at phenomenal speeds, which is shown to cause such a large amount of shaking that characters have to take shelter to protect themselves from the wind and flying debris. What is essentially a world-wide earthquake would have caused widespread damage, killing thousands, maybe tens of thousands of people, and would be worse than normal given all the damage the Daleks did beforehand. Yet the only thing that Doctor comments on is that the disturbance will lead to a lot of rain. And despite all this the Earth-pulling is treated as a happy moment. That's not to mention the gravitational disturbances throughout the Solar System and the Moon getting back into place. The original script has the Doctor say they still have time before the system falls apart but this goes unmentioned.
    • "The Lodger", made and set in 2010, mentions that the population of Earth is several hundred million less than the real life 2010 population. This leaves the conclusion that all the alien invasions the Whoniverse Earth has experienced have resulted in the deaths of hundreds of millions of people. (One possibility is that these people have been erased by the cracks, meaning that they're back at the end of the season. Still an inferred holocaust, albeit a temporary one.)
    • In "Time Heist", the solar storm causes a literal holocaust as waves of fire wash over the surface of the planet. The bank patrons are last seen shouting in alarm, and Madame Karabraxos flees with what valuables she can grab, an act that suggests that even her most secure vault will eventually be destroyed by the flare.
    • In "Kill the Moon", mention is made of horrendous destructive tides. The moon's increase in mass would have many other repercussions for the weather, plate tectonics, etc. But no specifics are given; the only report from the earth is that things are going "badly", but apparently the developed world still has electricity, even the parts along coastlines.
    • "In The Forest of the Night":
      • What happened to aeroplanes in flight when every runway in the world was suddenly taken over by the forest?
      • If animals could escape from the zoos thanks to the trees, could prisoners escape from prison thanks to the trees? And speaking of which, what kind of ecological catastrophe could ensue if the zoo is unable to get the animals back? And what about critically endangered animals in captive breeding programmes? Wouldn't their escape cause a severe blow to international conservation efforts?
      • No way Nelson's Column is the only large structure to collapse from the growth of the trees. How many other such events occurred worldwide?
      • The reason humankind initially tried to burn down the trees was to make room for essential services. With that stymied, there are no ambulances to deal with medical emergencies or accidents. No quick relief for fires or crimes.
      • And what about the astronauts? Everybody on the space station probably got fried, unless it happened to be behind the earth at the time. (Is this why humans gave up on space travel by 2049?)
  • Informed Wrongness: Prime Minister Harriet Jones note  ordering the destruction of a retreating Sycorax warship in "The Christmas Invasion". Yes, killing a retreating enemy isn't exactly honorable, but it is understandable. Jones' argument in her defense—that the people of Earth can't always rely on the Doctor to protect them—actually makes some sense, but it's instead used for a straightforward Humans Are the Real Monsters message.
    • Later, in "Stolen Earth", it proved that she was right to try and arm Earth in case the doctor isn't there, and actually set up a program that seeks out help in an emergency.
    • It's especially notable because this is Ten, who is not above doing some fairly nasty things for vengeance rather than possibly-misguided protection of the Earth.
  • Internet Backdraft:
    • The reveal that the person cast as the companion for Series 7 was another white woman had several fans upset, to say the least. It doesn't help that the previous potential companion from the episode "The God Complex" was a woman of color who was killed off.
    • Really, it would be far quicker to list the things about the show that hadn't caused buckets of frothing internet nerdrage at some point or another.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Nyssa. The Master kills her family and takes over her father's body. Then her entire planet is destroyed. Then she starts traveling with the guy who was unable to prevent any of it, and was later unable to prevent one of their other friends from dying. And she still gets up in the morning and gets on with life and is sensible and quietly helps repeatedly save the universe and doesn't talk much about any of it.
    • The Ninth Doctor.
    • Amy.
    • In series 5's "The Big Bang", Rory spends 1894 years alone guarding his in-suspended-animation fiancee in a giant metal box keeping it safe from outside influences, following it wherever it is taken and writing himself into the myths and legends of a dozen civilizations in the process. Then in Series Six he has to deal with all his memories of 2,000 years threatening to overwhelm him, the constant suggestion that Amy prefers the Doctor over him (she doesn't), his wife dissolving into goo, then his child dissolving into goo, and then the revelation that River is his daughter. Poor guy.
    • The Star Whale from "The Beast Below". Say what you will, there's something touching about choosing to continue ferrying the humans who tortured you for roughly two hundred years.
    • River.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: In regards to the revival, not everyone cared for the prospect of the show "going back to basics" as was promised with the Twelfth Doctor era. It's been criticized for abandoning some of the tropes familiar to audiences since the show came back in 2005, with the choice to Abandon Ship being a particular issue — though, as noted above, that turned out to be a huge subversion. The intentionally 1980s-style theme arrangement introduced in 2014 similarly divided fans.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • New fans might be surprised that it took years to build on the fact that the Doctor is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey.
    • The reveal of the Cybermen in part 1 of "Earthshock" was well-hidden. Today it is widely known; a Cyberman is even featured on the DVD cover.
    • Every male character in "The Caves of Androzani" (apart from the Sixth Doctor) dies.
    • All episodes in which the Doctor regenerates or a companion leaves the show suffer from this, often thanks to publicity before the episode is even broadcasted.
    • Given the iconic status of the Daleks, it's very easy to forget that them having survived the Time War was originally a twist in the first season of the revival.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Turlough. Especially in his first episode. He gets better.
    • Chang Lee.
    • Thanks to copious amounts of Moral Dissonance right from the get-go, the Tenth Doctor.
    • Amy as well, thanks to her Bitch in Sheep's Clothing moments.
    • That poor Dalek near the end of "The Big Bang".
  • Like You Would Really Do It:
    • Every time The Master is killed off. Ditto for the Daleks... and Davros... and the Cybermen.
    • Russell T. Davis implied this about Davros in "Journey's End". He stated that he didn't want to be the one to have permanently killed off such a legacy character. So as far as Word of God is concerned, he survived somehow. And he did - Darvros returns for the Series 9 opener.
    • Series 6 hinted very strongly that the Doctor is going to die For Realsies This Time and it in fact begins with a future version of the Eleventh Doctor apparently getting shot to death and cremated (except not really, as revealed in the finale). Since this would bring the entire series to an end, all but a few were pretty convinced he'd get around it somehow — the question lay in what the 'somehow' in question was. The same episode had Rory in trouble. The trailers for the next episode didn't even hide his survival.
    • "Night Terrors". Admit it, you were relieved when Amy turned into a doll. Nothing to do with how you feel about Amy. It's just that once Amy turned into a doll, you knew she and all the other dolls would turn back to normal by episode's end and this would be an episode where Everybody Lives.
    • "The Time of the Doctor". Even if Peter Capaldi hadn't shown up last time, this really wouldn't be fooling anyone.
    • "In The Forest of the Night". Killing a companion? Okay. Do timey-wimey things that would destroy the futures seen in previous episodes? Fair enough. Destroy Earth in a present-day episode... and one with kids in it, at that? No way.
    • The prologue short to the Series 9 premiere has the Twelfth Doctor in The Last Dance mode, preparing for a confrontation with an old enemy that will surely kill him once and for all, giving Ohila his last will and testament to deliver... but none of the pre-release publicity even pretended he wouldn't survive the opening two-parter and have more wacky adventures.
    • The preview for "Hell Bent" implied the Doctor would regenerate. The story's set on Gallifrey, where pretty much everyone can regenerate, but yep, it's totally the Doctor regenerating!
    • Every time the Doctor's morality is questioned. As the star of the show, he is not going to suddenly make some morally ambiguous/outright wicked choice that is going to make him lose audience sympathy for good; he always comes back from the Moral Event Horizon (see below) — even in the finale of Series 9, which sees Twelve temporarily become a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds, he is brought back to his best self and accepts a karmic punishment for going too far.
  • Magnificent Bastard: So very many. The Master pretty much takes home the gold, though. Davros gets the silver.
    • The Doctor himself. He gets platinum, as he frequently beats all of them.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Barbara Wright, fairly badass in the TV stories, is often treated by fandom as an unstoppable stone killer in pumps and a turtle-neck.
    • Rory "Chuck Norris" Williams.
    • Stormaggedon, Dark Lord of All; because everyone who isn't "Mum" is either a peasant or "Not Mum" if you're his dad or the Doctor.
    • Ace. She took on a Dalek with a baseball bat and got it to call for REINFORCEMENTS.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Yartek, LEADER OF THE ALIEN VOORD! is a classic one, stemming from a description of the story in tie-in material.
    • Many things associated with John Simm's Master; the four drum beats, his nice choice in music, the gas mask..
    • And everyone in Series 5 is a duck.
    • Eleven has a meme now. Memes are cool.
    • Every second of the Doctor Who cast and crew's 500 Miles music video.
    • Sue from Catering now has her own Facebook and Tumblr tag.
    • EGGGGGGGGGGS!
    • Goddammit Steve!
    • Thanks to Peter Capaldi's role as Malcolm Tucker on The Thick of It, the Twelfth Doctor has been almost universally characterized by the fans (prior to his debut) as incredibly foul-mouthed. Amusingly enough this is referenced in "Dark Water", where the psychic paper has swearing on it.
    • Stormageddon, the Dark Lord of All
    • Thanks to Ten's most famous line, the phrase "wibbly-wobbly" has essentially become shorthand for "too complicated to bother explaining".
    • As is "Timey-Wimey" when used to explain complicated Time Travel plots.
    • EVERYONE is a Time Lord.
      • Related, every female character is The Rani.
    • "Capaldi Intensifies!" is often used to describe Peter Capaldi's three-second appearance in "Day of the Doctor".
    • At least one meme points out that being a constant savior of all of Timespace with little more than a time machine, a sonic screwdriver, and the greatest intellect in the universe, kinda dwarfs the exploits of certain other muscle-bound heroes in tights.
    • "Like a hybrid!"
  • Moe:
    • Jo Grant provides an excellent live action example.
    • Amy; the original entry on the Characters page compared the chibi-like fanart for her to Karen Gillan.
    • On the male side of things, Rory, with his adorkableness, Undying Loyalty and almost constantly sad eyes.
  • Moff’s Law: Often a factor when fans get into emotional debate over an aspect of the series. Regardless the era or the nature of the "complaint", someone will invoke the law at some point.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Word of God confirms that in "The Time Meddler", the Vikings did, in fact, rape Edith.
    • One could argue "Logopolis" for The Master. Yes before he had manipulated, threatened, and killed lots and lots of people, but compared to the number of people The Doctor had manipulated, threatened and killed, they were basically even, and before Delgado died he was even supposed to have a Death Equals Redemption plot. And then, when he gets a proper new body again, he destroys one-quarter of the universe, including the home planet of one of the Doctor's companions (though admittedly that was an accident he caused by going on a killing spree). And the new body he got is the corpse of said companion's father. After that, there was really no going back for him.
    • In "Dragonfire", Kane has the tourists, passers-through, and residents herded into a spacecraft and blows it to Kingdom Come.
    • In "The Curse of Fenric", Millington locks two men up in a cellar, leaving them to their Haemovorey death.
    • "The End of Time":
      • Rassilon and Time Council when they decided to put the signal of drumming into Master'a head to save himself and Gallifrey, driving Master at least even more insane.
      • the Time Lords themselves have gone off the deep end as they are willing to destroy the fabric of space and time to escape their own demise.
    • In "Dalek", Van Statten is just arrogant and ignorant... until he decides to keep the Doctor as a specimen, for torturing. And later he dismisses his soldiers as "dispensible" when the Dalek massacres them. After that, there's no excuse.
    • Miss Mercy Hartigan from The Next Doctor may have been a more sympathetic character particurlarly with her implied Rape As Back Story past. However, when she enslaves children, whatever sympathy one may have had for her vanishes. Moreover, when she decides that the children are disposable, you're actively rooting for her defeat. Interestingly, RTD later stated that, in hindsight, he felt that he should have given her a chance for Redemption Equals Death in the climax - specifically by having her What Have I Become? not result in her killing herself in horror, but for the Doctor to prompt her to transport the Cyberking away herself before it explode (if only to avoid the Doctor's Deus ex Machina-ish solution to the problem). By the time Davies thought of this solution, however, it was too late to implement it and we're left with what we got.
    • "The Name of the Doctor" reveals that one incarnation of the Doctor (played by John Hurt) did something so monstrous that the other incarnations (including those who have committed multiple genocides and doomed their own species,) have disowned him, stripped him of the name "Doctor" and tried to forget he ever existed. However, "The Day of the Doctor" ends up portraying him more sympathetically as a war-torn Well-Intentioned Extremist who, with the help of the Tenth and Eleventh (and the other ten) Doctors, eventually averts this and ends the episode content with the possibility of having failed in doing the right thing as opposed to the guilt of having succeeded in doing the wrong thing.
    • In "The Crimson Horror", when Mrs Gillyflower takes her own daughter hostage.
    • Invoked by Moffat in an interview, who is well aware of Missy's Draco in Leather Pants tendencies. In "Death in Heaven", he had her kill off fan-favorite Osgood to remind us that just because she's a woman now the Master isn't any less of a psycho she's always been.
    • Fortune-teller and (indirectly Trickster, her boss) from "Turn Left", cross this when she makes Donna turn right, which created a parallel world, where Doctor is dead, multiple catastrophes and disasters are not prevented, and it ended destruction of reality itself. Knowing that Trickster is a being feeding on chaos, it really one for them.
    • Whoever made the poor Doctor, the man who saved Gallifrey, go through more than 4 billion of years of Mind Rape in his confession dial in "Heaven Sent" — possibly solely to extract information about the Hybrid from him — has definitely crossed this. It is heavily implied to be Rassilon himself, and if so, he gets off easy by being exiled.
    • The Doctor nearly crossed this twice:
      • "The Waters of Mars": The Tenth Doctor decides to save Adelaide without respect to time laws and possible catastrophes. He does it very smugly, not at all caring about Adelaide's worries when she pulls What the Hell, Hero? on him. Only her suicide leads him to remorse and averts it. Keep in mind that it was a fixed point. The whole universe could have been destroyed.
      • "Hell Bent" has the Twelfth Doctor messing with a fixed point in time by spiriting his beloved Clara from the moment of her death in "Face the Raven", which keeps her functionally alive but threatens the stability of the universe and defies her wishes; he intends to keep her safe from his enemies by mind wiping her memories of him. This is more sympathetic in that it stems from extreme anguish in the wake of a cruel betrayal by his own people, a loved one's senseless death, and his imprisonment in the confession dial, which induced a Sanity Slippage. When Clara tinkers with the mind wiping device and he ends up unable to remember her, he admits to himself and others that he was selfish and deserves this. From there, things are put back on course.
  • Most Annoying Sound: The Web Planet is an average episode at best, but the noise the aliens make throughout most of the serial, is a high-pitched squeal. Just try to watch it without wanting to tear off your own ears.
    • Occasionally lampshaded for comedy with regards to the TARDIS' distinctive sound, which River Song at one point claims is due to the Doctor leaving the parking brake on. See also Most Wonderful Sound.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The characteristic TARDIS dematerialisation sound created, according to River Song, by the Doctor leaving the brakes on. (He claims it's deliberate). Of course, this raises the question as to why Romana and the Master had it happen to them, but River could have just been messing with the Doctor.
      The Moment: You know the sound the TARDIS makes? That wheezing, groaning? That sound brings hope wherever it goes. To anyone who hears it, Doctor. Anyone. However lost. Even you.
    • Given River's penchant for crazy-dangerous stunts (like blowing herself out an airlock), it's quite possible that the "handbrake" is a safety feature that only River is crazy enough to want to disable.
    • Clara comes close to uttering the trope name when talking about how much she missed the TARDIS sound in "Last Christmas".
    • Anytime the 9th Doctor says "Fantastic".
  • MST3K Mantra: Required if you want to be able to sit back and enjoy the show, given all the cheesiness and timey-wimey business.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Often, the series manages to be cheesy while still being on the edge of your seat tense. Any non-humanoid Auton in particular.
    • In the Master's first-ever appearance in "Terror of the Autons", he fed a man to a chair and tried to take over the world with plastic daffodils. It's widely regarded as his best performance in the role, and one of the best stories from Pertwee's era.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • The Sixth Doctor trying to strangle Peri, which they themselves don't get over until "The Mysterious Planet".
    • Another widespread example is Adric being persuaded to approve of Monarch's evil plan in "Four To Doomsday" in about three minutes of conversation, which led to massive Flanderisation of him as "always siding with the villain".
    • Classic series fans generally take one or two episodes from the 2005 revival and blow it out of proportion as a reason why over a hundred episodes from dozens of writers (two of whom are head writers with very differing styles) suck.
    • On the flip side, there are plenty of New Series Fans, who take a single particularly bad story (or even sequence) and use it as undeniable proof that the show was nothing but bad acting, unrealistic costumes, terrible special effects and bad music during its classic period; and declare it's only nostalgia that means it has fans. While it's true it did suffer from those elements (perhaps more often than some fans are willing to admit), the sheer logical flaws of that sustaining it for twenty six years, and actually being enough that it was brought back are mind boggling.
    • Not to mention the fans who bash David Tennant and/or Matt Smith solely because of the now-infamous line "I don't want to go."
    • Thanks to Peter Capaldi's prior work and his best known Verbal Tic, the fans are having a ball of a time depicting the Twelfth Doctor as the pottymouthed one.
    • Romana wasting several regenerations just so the Doctor would like her new look. It wasn't intended that way, but the story's writer didn't quite grasp how the process worked.
  • Nightmare Retardant: The cheaper costumes of the classic era. Sometimes pops up every now and then afterwards, though more with the CGI than the prosthetics costumes.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • Tom Baker and Lalla Ward's punting scene in Sha- err, "The Five Doctors".
    • The Raston Warrior Robot slaughters a group of Cybermen and simply leaps into thin air, never to be seen again in the episode.
    • The disassembled, lone Cyberman's fight against the Doctor and Amy in "The Pandorica Opens".
    • A number of the Doctor's allies in "A Good Man Goes to War", including the Judoon, the Space Spitfires, and the pirate captain and his son.
    • Derek Jacobi's five minutes as the Master in "Utopia".
    • Peter Capaldi's three-second appearance as the Twelfth Doctor in "Day of the Doctor".
  • One True Pairing: Virtually every companion-Doctor partnership has, at one time or another, been considered an OTP by some aspect of fandom, regardless of whether any on-screen romance is depicted. Broken Base, above, describes in greater detail this aspect. Tends to intersect with Ship-to-Ship Combat, especially with regards to certain pairings such as the Doctor and River Song (who actually marry) and the Doctor and Clara (whose relationship threatens to destroy time itself at the end of Series 9).
  • Padding: Often suffered by the classic series, especially in the earlier years when stories would sometimes run for six or seven (and in one notable instance twelve) episodes, but also with the more standard four-parters; the stereotypical third part episode would involve the regulars, having been captured or imprisoned at the end of the previous episode, breaking free and spending a lot of time running up and down corridors before being recaptured at the end. In some of the worst cases from the Jon Pertwee era, entire episodes are given over to a 25 minute chase sequence which doesn't advance the plot at all.
    • The chase-scene padding in the Jon Pertwee era can often be put down to Wag the Director — Pertwee loved driving motor vehicles around very fast (in fact, the "Whomobile" seen in a couple of episodes was not the BBC's property, but his own personal car). The episode-long chase scene in Planet of the Spiders has been explicitly mentioned to have been a farewell present from the writers to him.
    • The one-shot special to announce the actor who would be playing the Eleventh Doctor was basically five minutes of padding and fifty-five minutes of mindless filler.
    • Particularly painful padding in the classic series is the long shots of characters turning knobs and levers ever so slowly, or lingering on them making tea (or doing something equally mundane) just a bit longer than necessary.
    • In "City of Death", there's a whole lot of shots of the Doctor and Romana just merrily running around Paris; excused partly by the BBC wanting to get their money's worth out of the location shooting (literally all they could afford was a silent shoot with Tom Baker, Lalla Ward and no other actors, and they may... um, not have asked permission to film from anyone), and partly for Scenery Porn.
    • Inferno has been described as a four-part story with episode three removed and replaced with another four-part story. Fortunately, both stories are generally considered classics.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • The Autons. Basically anything made of plastic could come to life.
    • "The Waters of Mars". Don't drink the water. Don't even touch it. Not One Drop. Being turned into a monster if you touch something that your body physically needs is terrifying.
    • How about: "Don't blink. Don't even blink. Blink and you're dead! They are fast. Faster than you could believe. Don't turn your back, don't look away, and don't blink! Good Luck."
    • Steven Moffat seems to be determined to give the entire planet a phobia of everything. So far he's covered ticking, statues, shadows and now cracks on the wall and... whatever the Smilers are.
      • And now anything that captures the image of a Weeping Angel becomes an angel. You have one on your television screen? It might just come out and get you, so don't look away. And if you stare at it too long, you might get one in your head. "Don't blink, don't look at it."
      • Makes people scared to death of their Gran's angel collection, too.
      • He's now extended that to Wifi, finding something that is completely undetectable to human senses and is virtually omnipresent.
      • In "Deep Breath", he managed to make you scared of breathing.
      • "Listen." Scared. Of. Literally NOTHING. This one should be fairly hard to top.
      • But "Last Christmas" may have managed it. Because you can never, ever, EVER be sure that one of those Dream Crabs isn't already slurping on your brain...
    • Speaking of Moff, he also came up with the Silence, monsters that you instantly forget exist whenever you're not looking at them. Also, they look like Slender Man.
    • Gangers. Human clones with the same memories. So how are you going to tell the original and the copy apart? Well, you can't, unless the Ganger is incomplete and has that smooth, transparent face. Just hope you won't be seeing it in the mirror. And then there's the twist of "The Almost People": who's to say that you aren't unknowingly piloting a ganger right now, separated from all your friends and family who don't even know you're missing?
    • "A Christmas Carol". So you're just minding your own business, ruling a planet as the Scrooge you are. Then a guy comes into your house, shows you footage of your childhood, then appears in said footage and changes it, rewriting your memories in the meantime. At the same time, a guy appears when you're 8 and starts saying stuff like "I'm better than your nanny" at an age you can probably see the Double Entendre, even if the time-traveling alien doesn't. Then the guy almost kills you in your past several times, while you see the live feed in your present. And there's nothing you can do about it.
    • The Silence are made of this. They're everywhere on Earth, they could be in this very room, and forget about them every time you look away from them, and they can plan suggestions in your head forcing you to do something without you ever knowing why. If you know they exist, you'll still forget them after seeing them.
    • Moff did it again with the Daleks of all things. In "Asylum of the Daleks" we are introduced to the Dalek Puppets; people that have been partially transformed into Daleks using nanotechnology. You can't tell they are Daleks until their eyestalk pokes through their forehead. And the kicker? The Dalek-ified people don't even realize that anything's wrong until they remember that they died. You or anyone else can be a Dalek and you'd never know it.
  • Periphery Demographic: The classic series was popular with the gay community. As there was almost no suggestion of any sexuality at all, viewers could add their own interpretations on the various relationships between characters.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Most of the games based on the show have been incredibly poor. Until Doctor Who Legacy came along, probably the best were the Adventure Games released in 2010—2011, and even they suffered from uneven design and graphics that were barely PlayStation 2 standard, though at least they were free to people in the UK.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Donna Noble, thanks to a lot of Character Development. Unfortunately all undone at the end of Series Four, and many fans still wish the show would do something about that someday...
    • Mickey Smith starting with "The Age of Steel"; solidified at the end of "Army of Ghosts".
    • The Seventh Doctor was regarded as a bumbling fool during his first season, with his mixing of metaphors and playing the spoons. However in the next two seasons he turned into a darker character known for being The Chessmaster of the Doctors, meaning he is one of the best regarded Doctors.
    • Clara had her fair share of haters in Series 7, who accused her of being more of a plot device than a character and a poor replacement for Amy. After the mystery of her existence was resolved, she was able to spend Series 8 becoming a real character, and turned many haters around. But she did get complaints about becoming a Spotlight-Stealing Squad and Romantic Plot Tumor in the process, and she went back to Base-Breaking Character territory after she tried to blackmail the Doctor in "Dark Water" for selfish, if understandable, reasons. Her character saw more positive reception from detractors during Series 9 — she may have become the Doctor's Distaff Counterpart but the show eased away from outright turning into "The Clara Show", even as the final stretch of the season dealt with the highly complex circumstances of her and the Doctor being separated for good.
    • The Sixth Doctor was widely regarded as the worst Doctor, but Big Finish did such a good job with him he is thought of as the best BF Doctor.
      • Peri and Mel have received similar treatment from Big Finish as well.
  • Retroactive Recognition:
    • In "The Sun Makers", Goudry is played by Michael Keating, better known for his later role as Vila Restal of Blake's 7.
    • The policeman pursuing the kidnappers in "The Twin Dilemma" is Mr Gibbs.
    • Lisa Bowerman and Adele Silva appear in Survival.
    • Maxil is the Sixth Doctor
    • Five years before becoming the first actor to play Davros, Michael Wisher has a fairly minor role as a broadcaster in "The Ambassadors of Death". He also appeared in "Terror of the Autons" and "Carnival of Monsters" and voiced the Daleks in "Death to the Daleks".
    • Lon from "Snakedance" is Gary from Men Behaving Badly and Doc Martin.
    • The Celestial Toymaker is Alfred Pennyworth.
    • John in "Remembrance of the Daleks" is Geoffrey from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
    • Series 3 and 4 co-star Freema Agyeman shows up in the series 2 episode "Army of Ghosts" Martha's strangely-identical cousin.
    • Jeff from "The Eleventh Hour" is Sir Percival.
    • Jethro from "Midnight" is Merlin himself.
    • Frank from "Daleks in Manhattan" and "Evolution of the Daleks"? Spider-Man.
    • King Richard the Lionheart from The Crusaders and Count Scarlotti from City of Death would become General Veers and Walter Donovan, the last bringing the Retroactive Recognition inadvertently full circle.
    • Hal from The Time Warrior is Boba Fett.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • The RTD era means that it can be fun to look out for barely noticeable arc words such as "Bad Wolf", "Torchwood", "Harold Saxon", missing planets and "The bees are disappearing!"
    • The Moffat series are good for a re-watch purely because of the extreme amounts of timey-wimey-ness, especially in relation to River Song's arc. There's so much Foreshadowing, Call Backs and Book Ends that entire lines and scenes can gain a new meaning.
    • In "Utopia", once you know that Yana is actually the Master, a lot of his more subtle parallels with the Doctor start to become obvious. He admits that he's never taught at a university, and that the title "Professor" is just an affectation—just like a Time Lord's title. His relationship with Chantho is deliberately written to evoke the Doctor's relationships with his Companions. He's an excitable Cool Old Guy with a love of science and experimentation, and he wears flamboyant antiquated clothing—just like all of the Doctor's earliest incarnations.
    • "Deep Breath":
      • On second viewing of the scene where Clara is recaptured, it's apparent that the head-covering of the "robot" which brings her to the Half-Faced Man isn't fitted quite properly, because the Doctor's wearing it over his hair. There's also a visible seam on the back, although that wouldn't be surprising in a Droid either.
      • When the Doctor rips that face off, it looks oddly like Matt Smith's. That's because it is. They took a cast of the mannequin of Matt from the Doctor Who Experience for Peter to pull off. He literally pulls off his old face to show his new one.
      • Fridge Horror on the rewatch: Mancini's is a "Family Restaurant" and they have a "Children's Menu".
      • Several reviewers have noted that the fact Strax attempts suicide rather than betray his friends is a notable moment often missed on the first viewing.
      • Peter Capaldi's accent takes a little getting used to. As such, there are sequences (such as the alley scene and the new Doctor meeting Strax and company for the first time) that benefit from being rewatched. Not everyone catches that the Doctor mistakes Strax for one of the Seven Dwarves at the very start.
    • If you watch "Time Heist" again and listen to the Architect, it's blatantly obvious that it's the Doctor. You can still hear parts of Capaldi's accent.
    • Following the conclusion of Clara's story in Hell Bent, if one rewatches her episodes from "Asylum of the Daleks" onwards, one catches dialogue and actions that directly foreshadow events from the final episode. Not to mention that "Hell Bent" puts Clara's letimotif into a completely different context.
  • Robo Ship: Doctor and TARDIS. Hinted at at various occasions, especially during the tenth and the beginning of the eleventh Doctor's tenure. Now, official, in-universe canon
  • Rooting for the Empire: Let's face it, there are people out there who aren't Doctor Who fans per-se, but really Dalek fans. During the 60s when Doctor Who first started and the Daleks first appeared, the case of people rooting for the Dalek Empire was so great, it led to the Daleks becoming the first recurring enemy of the show, and subsequently a wave of pop culture surrounding them called 'Dalekmania', marked by an excess of Dalek merchandise, comic books focused on them, and film versions of their first two TV serials. They even got comic strips before the Doctor before their second appearance.
  • Rule of Sean Connery: No matter how bad a particular storyline might be, or even an entire production era, odds are someone will point out that the best part about the episode/era is the actor playing the Doctor and often (but not always) the companion(s) as well.
  • Scapegoat Creator:
    • The series has no one creator to lay blame on, but aside from original producer Verity Lambert, legendary writer Robert Holmes and arguably Tom Baker's second producer, Philip Hinchcliffe, just about everyone who's ever worked on the show has been designated Scapegoat Creator by some segments of fandom. John Nathan-Turner (Producer, 1980-9) and Russell T Davies (Executive Producer and Head Writer 2005-2010) are both frequent and popular targets of this.
    • Current Head Writer Steven Moffat has become the target of this, as of Series Six. Heck, the mid-season finale alone broke the fanbase like a damaged spinal cord, to say nothing of the series finale. And it only got worse as time went on. Series 8 was acclaimed by many, but was also the most controversial season in the franchise's history, and Series 9 likewise caused some aspects of fandom to treat Moffat like a bad penny, even as many others sang his praises.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Adric was a failed attempt at the producers creating an audience surrogate for the prime fan base. Instead, he came off as a snotty, pompous, whining, arrogant and almost entirely unbearable maths geek. And despite being incredibly arrogant about his intelligence, he has a tendency to either screw up the Doctor's plans or, as in one notable case, gets suckered into helping the bad guy's Evil Scheme, despite it being very transparently evil, thus making his reported intelligence something of an Informed Ability.
    • The Sixth Doctor (at least his television incarnation) was found to be obnoxious, abrasive, and an empty attempt by the producers to make the show Darker and Edgier. Expanded Universe media have largely contributed to this character being Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
    • Danny Pink. Clara gets enough hate as it is, but Danny is near universally hated and is largely blamed for "ruining" Clara in Series 8 by contributing to her Spotlight-Stealing Squad status and a Romantic Plot Tumor. He is viewed as a pointless Satellite Love Interest with a forced rivalry with the Doctor that is modeled after Mickey Smith — and Die for Our Ship also comes into play for those who want to see Clara with the Doctor. His relationship with Clara also suffered from getting Strangled by the Red String and poor writing not helped by the actor who had a lot of Dull Surprise moments. Quite a few people were delighted when he was killed off in "Dark Water".
    • The New Paradigm Daleks. Audiences mockingly dubbed them the "Rainbow Daleks" or "iDaleks" due to their bright color casings, and so they were quietly written out and the old Bronze colored Daleks were brought out of retirement.
    • Peri has also gotten this, though admittedly some of that stems from her being an American played by a British actress with one of the worst American accents ever, but that's hardly the only reason fans hate her.
    • Her successor Mel, as well, is not well liked.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • While not a severe case of this trope, the last full seasons for both the First and Second Doctors are felt to be a slight step down after two very solid seasons each. Like with Pertwee, there is a cheeky game amongst fandom in trying to spot the moment when Troughton 'quits' the series.
    • The Third Doctor's last season is easily his worst, despite the arrival of Sarah Jane. Even Jon Pertwee and producer Barry Letts admitted this being the case, due to a combination of fatigue (the duo, plus script editor Terrance Dicks had been in the job longer than any of their predecessors) and depression over the death of Roger Delgado.
    • The Fourth Doctor's era is generally regarded to have gone downhill after the departures of Philip Hinchcliffe and Robert Holmes. Whether or not this applies to his final season usually depends on whether you're the type who thinks Doctor Who should be serious sci-fi (in which case it's usually regarded as a decent send-off) or whether you think it should be campy and fun (in which case it's where the Fourth Doctor's run completely went to hell). Tom Baker, for his part, relished the Lighter and Softer tone, often ad-libbing his own jokes and pantomines — much to the annoyance of the crew.
    • The Fifth Doctor's middle season is generally considered the weakest of his three, due to nearly every story being So Okay, It's Average and lacking any of the memorable episodes such as "Earthshock" in Davison's first season, and "The Caves of Androzani" in his last. In fact, Peter Davison himself might support this viewpoint to some degree - in one of the DVD Commentaries he mentions that, although he'd been taking the advice of Patrick Troughton to leave after just three seasons, he essentially felt like his last season was better written overall and that if he'd had writing of that level earlier in his tenure, he'd have seriously considered coming back for just one more season. For the record, Colin Baker was already set to succeed Davison by the time Season 21 even started airing, and by the time Davison was reconsidering his decision to not renew his contract, it was too late to do so.
    • While neither of the Sixth Doctor's two seasons are considered high points for the show, most agree that his first season is okayish, and that his second and final season, "The Trial of a Time Lord" suffers from the show's behind-the-scenes issues becoming glaringly obvious on-screen. Then again, there are some fans who consider season 22 to be overly violent garbage that suffered from poor writing and unlikeable protagonists, while Trial of a Time Lord started to recover with its unified story and character development for both the Sixth Doctor and companion Peri — only to suffer further rot in...
    • The Seventh Doctor's first season (season 24), which is this to the show in general. Many fans consider it the show's absolute worst season. The following two seasons are actually regarded as being pretty good however, making this a rare inversion of the trope.
    • Series 2 of the new series (season 28 overall) is considered the least of the first five, due in part to an over-reliance on the Doctor/Rose ship and the show in general becoming a little too goofy, even for Who. A lot of people also found 10 and Rose's behaviour unbearable. It also produced two of the least liked Doctor Who stories, "Love and Monsters" and "Fear Her". On the other hand, it wasn't a complete disaster; David Tennant's performance as the Doctor was fantastic, catapulting him to star status and making him the most popular Doctor since Tom Baker. Another positive is the finale, which had Daleks vs Cybermen and a very satisfactory ending to the season's arc. Though that ending is becoming a bit of a base breaker due to Rose gaining quite a hatedom. And many people don't think the arc had a good payoff.
    • The general consensus for Series 6 is that the series had good ideas that were marred by shaky writing. Fans complained that the overall story arc was at once far too convoluted and far too simplistic. Constant twists marred the overall story arc, causing odd swerves in tone and character development. Some accused the River Song arc of being a Romantic Plot Tumor, or just disliked her in general. Amy's pregnancy was another source of controversy, with some claiming it had Unfortunate Implications. Though episodes like The Doctor's Wife and The Girl Who Waited are well liked by many fans and critics.
    • Series 7 had problems, ironically they were partially caused by trying to get away from the problems of Season 6. The overly-complex Silence plotline was dropped completely, only getting a belated and perfunctory tie-up in the next year's Christmas special. Writers instead focused on standalone episodes, but these suffered from lackluster execution, sometimes as a result of Pacing Problems. Casting changes were also criticized. Some fans don't think The Ponds got the exit they deserved, and Clara is either one of the best companions of the new series or a glorified MacGuffin Girl and Creator's Pet.
    • Series 8 isn't as badly regarded as the above two, but the Twelfth Doctor's debut season suffered for Clara becoming a Spotlight-Stealing Squad via belated Character Development; Twelve's unusually prickly, if not unlikable, initial characterization and relationship dynamic with her proving inconsistent; a Romantic Plot Tumor between Clara and Danny Pink; too-silly-even-for-Who plots in "Kill the Moon" and "In the Forest of the Night"; and a gloomy Story Arc with a Bittersweet Ending that felt more like a Downer Ending for the leads. At least it laid the groundwork for the very well-received "Last Christmas" and Series 9.
  • Shipping: Jamie with Victoria, Peri and Zoe. And Two.
    • Romana/Four. Especially when she was the first woman the Doctor notes as attractive. Helps that Tom Baker and Lalla Ward were in a real-life relationship at the time.
    • Nyssa and the Fourth/Fifth Doctors.
    • Chesterton/Wright. Canon as of The Sarah Jane Adventures' fourth series, which mention an "Ian and Barbara Chesterton".
    • Ben/Polly. Running an orphanage according to the above SJA episode.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: People pretty much ship Anyone/Anyone on the show. Canon or not, they can get very defensive over their ship(s).
  • Signature Scene: Every incarnation of the Doctor has at least one.
    • "Genesis of the Daleks" has two scenes that have loomed large not just over that story but over the entire franchise. The first is The Doctor asking Davros if he would use a virus that would destroy all life, and Davros's maniacal answer; the second is The Doctor, on the brink of wiping out the Daleks, wondering if he has the right to do so.
    • Twelve's thoughtful speech on the nature of war and revanchism from "The Zygon Inversion" is fast becoming this. You know you've made it when hobbyist voice impersonators start recording adaptations of that same speech with voices of different Doctor incarnations - such as the Second Doctor, Third Doctor, War Doctor or Tenth Doctor. Paul McGann also did a reading of the speech at a fan event in November 2015.
  • So Bad, It's Good: In a long-lived series like this one, some stories have earned some good-natured infamy.
    • "The Underwater Menace"; one printed review in SFX magazine describing it as "Plan Nine from Doctor Who".
    • The cheesealicious, chock-full-o'-synthesizer soundtrack of the late-1980s, especially in "Remembrance of the Daleks".
    • "The Horns of Nimon" has this reputation. Graham Crowden's performance as Soldeed is by far one of the hammiest, most over-the-top performances in the entire series, and that is really saying something. His death scene is proof enough.
    • "The Invisible Enemy" can count since it has many special fx failures, an insane plot and a hilariously unthreatening villain, but it is entertaining and the script is decent; plus it introduced K-9, one of the most iconic companions.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped:
    • Some of the episodes during the Third Doctor's era which have a very political stance. A good example of this is "The Mutants". While the message about not treating other races badly and of colonialism being bad seems obvious, at the time there was an apartheid regime in South Africa.
    • While a heavy-handed episode, "The Sun Makers" does highlight the oppressive nature of an out-of-control bureaucracy especially when it's revealed the Usurians are using the system to work and tax the human race to death.
    • "Turn Left" is one of the most mature depictions of modern fascism that you'll ever see on mainstream television because it specifically avoids positioning an Obviously Evil dictator in a convenient villain role. As the episode points out, oppressive regimes don't just rise to power because of evil people with evil agendas, they rise to power when a populace becomes too scared and beaten-down to question its authority figures. Far too often, it just takes a few random disasters to rob people of their hope.
    • Sure, "Vincent and the Doctor" was basically a Very Special Episode about depression - even the monster that provides the plot can be read as a metaphor for van Gogh's mental illness - but it was handled so maturely that it falls squarely into this category. Even knowing that his paintings will be incredibly famous and loved in the future, Vincent still kills himself, because it's not a matter of cheering him up: he's got a disease that nobody in his time understands.
    • "Kill the Moon". Humanity gave up on space exploration, and then found they were in desperate need of it.
    • "The Zygon Invasion" and "The Zygon Inversion" have a lot to say about warmongering and the integration of immigrants into society, which have become even more relevant since the episode aired in light of the terrorist attacks that occurred shortly afterwards and the subsequent rush to demonise all Muslim immigrants from certain elements of society. As long as prejudice against immigrants exists, it is quite likely that the Aesop of the story will remain relevant.
  • Sophomore Slump: The second years of both revival showrunners (series 2 and series 6) have been accused of this. They both have several well-liked episodes, but their overall arcs aren't as highly regarded - especially if you don't like Doctor/Rose or think Moffat overcomplicated things.
  • Squick:
    • The pulsating brain in "The Trial of a Time Lord: Mindwarp" is nauseating. Great effect, though.
    • In "Love & Monsters", Elton mentions having a love life with a slab of concrete, with the slab rightfully telling him not to go into any more detail.
    • The Doctor gets himself and Amy ejected from a giant mouth by making the animal vomit. They go out screaming, with their mouths open.
    • The Headless Monks. All that remains of their heads is a tied-off stump.
    • "The Creature From the Pit". OH GOD.
  • Strangled by the Red String:
    • "The Invasion of Time": Companion Leela decides to stay on Gallifrey and marry the guard Andred. There's been nothing romantic between them. While the actors tried to suggest attraction in the story with their acting, the script didn't give them much to work with. It was basically, Doctor: "Come on, Leela, let's go." Leela: "No, I'm going to stay here and marry Andred." Doctor: "Okay, bye." This happened because the actress told the producer she was leaving at the end of the season, and he kept trying to change her mind. The Big Finish audio drama series Gallifrey ends up subverting this relationship in a fairly satisfying way.
    • The posthumous pairing of Peri with King Yrcanos at the end of "Trial of a Time Lord". Apparently, Colin Baker was distressed by Peri's death at the end of the "Mindwarp" portion of the Story Arc and mentioned this to producer John Nathan-Turner. JNT, in his usual subtle way, fixed the problem by giving the Inquisitor a quick line stating that Peri is living happily with Yrcanos as a warrior queen, despite how nothing in the story apart from the brief clip of his putting his hand on her shoulder that is shown after that line supports that romance, and doing a Retcon of it makes a hash of the entire end of the story.
    • Martha Jones and Mickey Smith, two characters who before "Journey's End" had never even met, and had only been onscreen together in the scene where everybody from the new series ever flies the TARDIS, are shown in their "happy ending" vignette in The End of Time as a married couple, freelancers and fighting a Sontaran. This is despite the fact that Martha had been shown to be engaged in a previous appearance (though her fiance never showed up). This naturally got a lot of accusations that they were only paired up because they're both black.
    • River and Eleven for some, due to the main gimmick of their relationship being that they meet in the wrong order and therefore one tends to gain affection as the other loses it. Post-"The Wedding of River Song" they seem to be on the same wavelength, alleviating this aspect of their relationship.
    • Clara Oswald and Danny Pink are this to some fans too. The relationship has rushed development that includes getting together at the end of "Listen" when they'd just endured a disastrous date. Wooden acting and bad writing on Danny's end really did not help, nor did the unsubtle introduction of a Love Triangle -esque scenario midway through the season (Clara continuing to travel with the Doctor while lying to Danny about it).
  • Strawman Has a Point: In "The Sontaran Stratagem", the Doctor insists that he is going to handle the situation and that Colonel Mace of UNIT should listen to him and not attack the Sontarans who have already killed several dozen people and are warming up a full force invasion. While the Doctor is right that something fishy is going on with the Sontaran tactics and that UNIT could easy be crushed if the Sontarans actually tried, Colonel Mace is dealing with an alien invasion; he knows that attacking that building may end with all of his men dead, but he points out that they cannot simply sit around and wait to be conquered.
    • In the serial "The Invasion", aspiring glamour photographer Isobel suggests getting proof of the Cybermen's presence in the sewers by going down to take pictures. The Brigadier agrees, but intends to use his own men instead, on the basis that such a situation is no place for a lady. Isobel blows up at how backward and sexist he's being, but the Brig refuses, and both girls gang up on Jamie for agreeing with him and both she and Zoe walk away in a huff to get the pics themselves with Jamie worriedly tagging along, which ends up getting a police officer and a UNIT soldier sent to rescue them killed. While it could easily be argued that the Brig was in the wrong to assume they could not handle themselves for being women, it might have been better to let trained and experienced soldiers do the dangerous work, and neither of the girls are called out for their reckless actions getting two men killed. To add insult to injury, Isobel's photos end up being useless since she's never done any surveillance or dim-lighting photography.
    • Both Harriet Jones and Torchwood One are presented by both the Doctor and the script writers as being entirely in the wrong for activities such as harvesting alien technology. Problem is that the Doctor is reckless who treats death like a game and he is someone who is not likely to be there when the Earth needs him and he is responsible through his indirect actions for a good portion of the threats the Earth encounters - the Master becoming Prime Minister being the best example. We need people like them (and UNIT) to guard us in a very dangerous universe.
    • In "Journey's End" the Doctor is disgusted when his clone destroys the Dalek fleet and treats him like a monster, even though the Daleks are fanatical mass-murderers who never negotiate and letting them live would inevitably lead to countless more deaths. They had just come close to destroying the Universe and it probably wouldn't be too difficult for them to try again, considering from what we see the Doctor was just willing to leave them like they were, when it probably wouldn't be too difficult for them to recover. We later see that a few Daleks surviving rebuild their race, which has led to a lot more death and destruction throughout the Universe.
    • Whizkid in "Greatest Show In The Galaxy" is a cruel stereotype of the Doctor Who fans of the period, complaining that "although I never saw it in the early days I know it's not as good as it used to be." Except, as pointed out in The Completely Useless Encyclopedia, Whizkid is right about the circus, and the reasons are pretty much exactly the criticisms fans were making about eighties Doctor Who.
    • In "The Curse of Peladon" Hepesh is treated as an unreasonable nationalist willing to do anything not to deal with the Second Great and Bountiful Human Empire. But "The Mutants" two serials later shows that an earlier Human Empire did to the planet Solos exactly what Hepesh feared would happen to Peladon, exploited to the point of destruction and with the native population almost wiped out. Decades later, "Planet of the Ood" would give another good reason to dislike the empire.
    • The Doctor often criticised the Time Lords in the original series for sitting around being pompous instead of using their powers to intervene more, content to let whole civilisations be destroyed on their watch. However with all the dangerous renegades like the Monk, the War Chief, the Master, and the Rani running around with all the damage they cause, and the Doctor himself often centimetres away from full A God Am I status, it makes sense the Time Lords prefer not to intervene except for major problems. When they first appeared they did interfere, the Doctor calling them in to stop a plan to conquer a galaxy with an Army of the Ages assisted by a rogue Time Lord, and the Time Lords occasionally sent the Doctor, especially the Third, to assist affairs on an important scale. That's before considering that when the Time Lords intervened in "The Trial of a Time Lord" this action almost destroyed Earth, and when they sent the Doctor to destroy the Daleks before they were created it ended up being the first shot in a Great Offscreen War that nearly destroyed the universe.
      • The serial "Underworld" even revealed that when the Time Lords first interacted with another planet by giving them advanced technology, the planet and nearly all of the species were wiped out.
    • Ten and Eleven criticize Kate Stewart for being willing to blow up the Black Archive (and a good chunk of London with it) in order to keep the Zygons from using the technology stored in the Archive to conquer Earth. Sure, the Doctors came up with an alternate solution, but, at the time, Kate didn't see another option (although there are only a few Zygons, and she can summon an army).
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • The Doctor certainly has some choice words for Adric and his dubious behavior in "Four to Doomsday":
    5th Doctor: Now listen to me, you young idiot, you're not so much gullible as idealistic. I suppose it comes from your deprived delinquent background.
    • And earlier in the same story, Nyssa tells him to shut up.
    • In an extra on the DVD version of "Earthshock", Adric survives the spaceship crash, lands on prehistoric Earth... and is promptly eaten by a Tyrannosaurus. A detached Cyberman head remarks, "Excellent."
  • Theme Pairing: There's a portion of the fandom that ships Adric/Nyssa because they look cute together as Orphaned Human Alien Teen Geniuses traveling through time and space together.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks:
    • Fan reaction to almost any regeneration and companion addition, sometimes initial, sometimes permanent. Given that the show is over 50 years old and finished its 33rd season in 2013, with regular change of cast and fourteen different actors who played the main character's thirteen different incarnationsnote , it is bound to invoke this trope.
    • This is particularly true for Matt Smith's run as the Doctor since they changed basically everything at the same time: new Doctor, new companions, new showrunner, new tone, new cameras, new TARDIS interior, new title sequence, new theme song arrangement, new foes (including a new look for the Daleks, though this was relegated later on), and even a new sonic screwdriver. And if you add the facts that Matt Smith is the youngest actor ever to play the Doctor, that he directly succeeded David Tennant (who as of 2013 is still considered the most popular Doctor and casts a gigantic shadow over Eleven and Twelve, especially to younger fans), and that Smith's Doctor is the goofiest yet of the revived series (Tennant and even Christopher Eccleston had their moments, but that was it). It's typical for Who actors to say they owe a great debt to their immediate predecessor, but Matt Smith sounded like he genuinely believed it.
    • The Twelfth Doctor hasn't been as popular with mainstream audiences as Ten and Eleven were/are. After Matt Smith, the fandom was expecting someone just as great, or better. Matt was 26 (and looked 18, perfect skin and all); younger fans may have been disappointed with the 55-when-cast Peter Capaldi in part out of hoping for another Doctor who looked their age. Moreover, Twelve's by-design pricklier, broodier personality didn't sit well with those used to cheery Ten and Eleven. Twelve has a lot of Character Development and becomes Younger and Hipper in spirit as time passes, but he's still at an arm's-length to general audiences in a way that Tennant and Smith never were. In a case of Critical Dissonance, Capaldi is regarded by critics as one of the, if not the, best actors to have played the part and deserving of a better reception, with his seasons (Series 9 especially) regarded as Growing the Beard for the show again after the Seasonal Rot of Smith's final two seasons.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • The Shapeshifting android Kamelion was shoehorned into the series in "The King's Demons", then promptly never appeared again until "Planet of Fire" where he was killed off. Apparently the complex animatronic puppet that represented the character was a nightmare to operate, never really worked correctly in the first place, and just to really top it off, its creator (who was the only person who really knew how to work the damn thing) had died without leaving any instructions. Ironically, it was only in Planet of Fire where they used the character in a way that should have allowed him to appear in the other intervening episodes- being a shapeshifting android, Kamelion takes the forms of Peri's stepfather and The Master for most of the serial as he acts under The Master's control. It baffles the mind that they didn't simply have Kamelion shape-shift into a human actor (or even several) to take part in the story if they had any interest in using the character (possibly they didn't).
    • The Great Intelligence in the second part of Series 7. The show makes an effort to reimagine him as an Evil Counterpart to The Doctor, and seems to leave the impression he'll be an interesting long-term enemy. Not only are the implications or similarities to The Doctor and Great Intelligence left mostly unexplored, but by the end of the series, the Intelligence is most likely dead, or at least won't be appearing again for a long time. (Not to mention that fact that, according to the EU, he is the disembodied mind of Yog-Sothoth, embodiment of time and space.)
    • Canton Everett Delaware III. "The Impossible Astronaut" almost outright states that he's one of the Doctor's most trusted still-living human allies, since he's one of just five people that he chose to tell about his impending "death" (the other four being Amy, Rory, River and himself). Aside from that, he's a very memorable Badass Normal maverick FBI agent who answers directly to the President of the United States, and he's openly engaged in an interracial same-sex relationship in the 1960's. In spite of all that juicy development, though, he's completely dropped after the two-part opener of Series 6 and never mentioned again. The last we see of him from his timeline is the older Canton 40 years later coming to see the Eleventh Doctor's "death" and then outright saying that this will be the last time he'll be seeing Amy, Rory, and River.
    • Osgood, an Adorkable fan stand-in who proves to be quite badass in her own right in "The Day of the Doctor", and is then killed off in only her second appearance ("Death in Heaven") to serve as a Kick the Dog moment for The Master. Subverted with her unconventional comeback in Series 9 ( it's not revealed if it's the original Osgood or her Zygon double but the personality is the same), in which she continues to be awesome in new ways!
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot
    • At the end of "The End of Time Part 1", the Master has turned every human on Earth into the Master except two people: the Doctor's current companion, Wilfred Mott and Wilfred's granddaughter, former companion Donna Noble and Donna's starting to remember! OMG! Are we about to see the return of the Doctor Donna? Maybe she'll find a clever way to keep her memories without dying! At the very least, she's bound to play a key, pivotal role in Part 2, right? Right?? Wrong. At the start of Part 2, she gets chased around a little, then some Applied Phlebotinum the Doctor left in her brain kicks in, knocking her and her pursuers out, and she doesn't wake up (and isn't seen again onscreen) until after the main crisis is over, and she wakes with her damn amnesia still intact. Also, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures are going on at the same time — what happened to those people? Gwen was pregnant around the day the Master created his new race. Luke apparently didn't change, because he is an artificial human manufactured by the Bane with strange differences from ordinary human DNA. Too bad that's never explored.
    • The most consistent complaint about the Series 9 finale "Hell Bent" was that an event that one would have expected to be the focus of an entire episode — the Doctor returning to Gallifrey for the first time since the Time War and confronting Rassilon — is, rather, the setup for the endgame of his relationship with Clara.
  • Too Cool to Live:
    • As noted, the claim for shortest tenure belongs to the Eighth Doctor. Which for all the flaws of his one singular appearance on-screen, most will agree that Paul McGann gave it all it was worth and was a great Doctor nevertheless.
    • The Ninth Doctor had the second-shortest tenure — 12 weeks. At least Eight and even the War Doctor (see below) have Expanded Universe material Big Finish audio stories to their credit.
    • The War Doctor has a paltry screen time of under an hour, even less than McGann — he's really a guest star instead of a tenure holder. This being the incarnation who fought a huge and terrible war.
    • Oddly enough, while Tennant's run as the Doctor is the longest of anyone in the revival to date, his Doctor is this in-universe. Every other incarnation is established as living for at least a century before regenerating (with the Ninth fitting in roughly 100 years of travel after meeting Rose and before she took up his offer to join him). With the Tenth, however, it's implied that he was less than a decade old by the time he died!
    • Father Octavian from "The Time of Angels"/"Flesh And Stone". He sets a standard for Face Death with Dignity that from now on everyone's going to be struggling to match.
    • Isaac from "A Town Called Mercy". He's loyal, brave, is a man of integrity and a leader that everyone seems to trust, has a dry sense of humour and is quite easy on the eyes (being played by Ben Browder). Of course he's doomed.
  • Too Sexy for This Timeslot: Some of the papers felt that Amy's policewoman outfit was this.
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • "The Caves of Androzani" just feels like it set the bar way too high for "The Twin Dilemma". The producers should have waited until the next year to introduce the Sixth Doctor and formulate a better story, instead of rushing to the plate with the hype for Colin Baker's portrayal. At least that would have provided a lot of time for a better script.
    • The Fourth Doctor. Regardless of who your favourite Doctor is or what you think of the quality of the show when he was the star, the simple fact is that Tom Baker played the Doctor on television for the longest period of time and was watched by more people in the UK than any of his predecessors or successors (episode four of "City of Death" continues to hold the record for the largest amount of viewers that a Doctor Who TV story has enjoyed on first UK broadcast). His episodes where also the ones that first began to break into the American market. His look, with the distinctive curly hair and eighteen-foot multicoloured scarf, is instantly iconic, and it's fair to say that almost every one of his successors, including those in the modern revival, has been inspired by or drawn on his portrayal in some way. It's also telling that Tom Baker was the only classic series Doctor to appear in the 50th anniversary special in person rather than as just stock footage. Put simply, even today for many people the Fourth Doctor simply is the Doctor.
    • Sarah Jane Smith is considered by a slew of fans who grew up with the original run of the series to be the Companion. Her chemistry with the Fourth, her Bad Ass and smart personality and being immensely beloved that she got her own TV series should be a sign of that otherwise. Her constant appearances starting around Series 2 of the Russell T. Davies era of the show were met with open arms and fans were heartbroken with the passing of her actress, Elisabeth Sladen. As a result, most companions are met with either okay reception (Martha), polarizing results (Rose, Amy, Clara, Donna), or flat out hate (Ardic). And even with the immense love some companions get, they never seen to top The Companion, that is Sarah Jane Smith.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: The Seventh Doctor serial "Ghost Light" is relatively confusing and nonsensical. Naturally many fans see it as brilliant commentary.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • The Adipose (cutest Body Horror ever!)
    • Prisoner Zero can be this when it's not trying to scare people. Especially when you hear its voice.
    • The Ood. In fricking spades.
    • Ganger-Jennifer. Her degeneration makes her look like Voldemort's younger sister.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • The Autons have this as their main schtick.
    • Incomplete Gangers, likely also done on purpose, have pale skin, visible veins, and oddly smooth features. Even seeing one of The Doctor is unsettling.
    • The way the Sky-creature from "Midnight" moves its head at first is just wrong.
    • The Family in "Human Nature", but Son of Mine in particular... he never blinks...
    • The Cybermen's blank faces in most incarnations.
  • Values Dissonance:
    • Even accepting the recons and the wonky production values, many people trying to get into the Hartnell/Troughton era nowadays find it hard due to the rather questionable portrayals of race and gender in it.
    • Even allowing for some Deliberate Values Dissonance of the 'Victorian horror-adventure pulp' feel it's evoking, "The Talons of Weng-Chiang" itself reflects some questionable (1970s) attitudes towards race; in particular The Dragon, a Chinese character, is played by a white actor in yellowface. Granted, the character is otherwise depicted in a well-rounded and even sympathetic fashion, but even so.
  • Values Resonance: "Vengeance on Varos", despite being made in The '80s, could almost be a parody on certain forms of modern reality TV, seeing as Varosian society (with televised Bread and Circuses entertainment and viewers voting if people live or die) almost seems to resemble Big Brother or The X Factor meets Nineteen Eighty-Four.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Alpha Centauri, an alien hermaphrodite, who has an obviously female voice and mannerisms but is usually referred to as "he". Apparently he was meant to be played like a gay civil servant.
  • Villain Decay:
    • The Classic Series' Cybermen went from "no known weaknesses" to "gold dust interferes with their respiratory systems" to "holy crap, anything gold kills them dead". "The Five Doctors" and "Attack of the Cybermen" didn't utilise any gold weaknesses, but they were still quickly shot down in droves, including one who forgot it was immune to ordinary bullets. The trend has been reversed since "Rise of the Cybermen", the first Cyberman episode since the Sylvester McCoy era. Although the ones that appeared from 2006-2008 weren't from Mondas, a single Mondasian Cyberman in "The Pandorica Opens" has more nasty tricks up its sleeve than they ever did in the classic episodes — including lasers, tranquilizer darts, Combat Tentacles and the ability to function separately as a body and a severed head when necessary. Three years later, "Nightmare in Silver" (described by Word of God as a "cross-breeding" of Cybus [the corporation that created the 2006-08 Cybermen] and Mondas tech, and in-story using some of the source code of the older Cybermen in its Cybermites) added Adaptive Ability and Super Speed to their arsenal, while keeping a nod to the "body working separately from the head" seen in "The Pandorica Opens". Ironically, the episode also brought back a mild form of gold weakness.
    • The Master underwent some serious Villain Decay in his two stories opposite the Sixth Doctor, "The Mark of the Rani" and "The Ultimate Foe", in both of which he achieves very little and mostly acts as comic relief to the Doctor's conflict with a new Time Lord villain. (The fact that he isn't the title character in "The Ultimate Foe" sums it up.) This was fortunately reversed in his only Seventh Doctor story, "Survival", in which his desperation to escape a decaying planet makes him even more ruthless than usual and his sadism is played up considerably more than it had been for a long time. However, it was reversed quickly by the TV movie, where The Master's behavior is outright ridiculous (not to mention the fact that he was played by Eric Roberts, who isn't even British). And this was later reversed again in Utopia, when they got Derek Jacobi to play The Master while he was "Professor Yana", a kind old scientist trying to help humanity survive at the end of the universe. And when then he turned back into the Master, Jacobi's performance was nothing less than thrilling. Then Jon Simm came along and brought out the crazy in The Master, giving us an entirely new side to him. Finally, they brought Michelle Gomez to play "Missy", a female incarnation of the Master, and subsequently took it Up to Eleven in both craziness and hamminess.
    • The Slitheen were fairly menacing (if goofy) in "Aliens of London", "World War Three" and "Boom Town" in Series One. By the third series of The Sarah Jane Adventures, they were quickly caught by their "cousins".
  • Vindicated by History: During the era of the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy), Doctor Who received poor ratings and drew much criticism, resulting in it being put on hiatus for 15 years. The second and third seasons of that Doctor's tenure is now widely praised for its gritty realism, complex plotting, and return to a more mysterious portrayal of the Doctor.
    • Also, Colin Baker - often proclaimed "Worst Doctor Ever!" - made a great many fans come around with his outstanding performances in the Big Finish audios. Additionally, over time there has become a growing agreement in the idea that Colin Baker himself was not to blame for the show's problems, but rather the quality of the scripts as well as behind-the-scenes difficulties. The infamous rainbow coat on the other hand, is still much-maligned.
    • Similarly Paul McGann. While many proclaimed him the worst Doctor for the TV Movie, a lot of people over time have decided he actually gave a great performance and his many appearances in Big Finish have won him a lot of fans. "The Night of the Doctor", showing his regeneration and acknowledging his audio adventures as canon, has also helped.
    • While the contemporary criticisms of Season 16 and 17 for being too silly remain agreed upon (although with some grudging admission that it was amazing they got anything on the screen at all with all the strikes, budget problems and lead actor mental health issues), "City of Death" was much hated by the fanbase when it aired for being too farcical and stupid. Nowadays, it's one of the most beloved Classic serials and frequently makes top ten lists. Steven Moffat is a huge fan, and 4chan's perennial Doctor Who discussion thread "/who/" even voted it the best Doctor Who TV story ever.
    • Season 16 itself has also risen in the opinions of fans, with the consensus being that while it contains no true classics, it begins with one of the most solid runs (four good stories) in the series' history and that the overall "Key to Time" arc was at the very least an interesting attempt at something different, even if it did come to a severe Anti-Climax.
    • "Pure historicals", stories set in historical periods with the presence of the TARDIS crew being the only science fiction element and usually dealing with questions like the morality of interfering with history, were considered by contemporary audiences to be dry and boring and got progressively more and more unpopular as the series progressed. Ratings tanked especially hard during "The Gunfighters", the story which all but killed the format. There has always been a minority calling for the return of this format, but today it is generally agreed upon that Hartnell's pure historicals tend to be his best stories. They tend to have rather more mature and witty writing than the show's early attempts at science fiction, don't suffer from Special Effect Failure to the same extent, and have less Early Installment Weirdness than many of the surrounding stories, despite the fact that being a historical is itself Early Installment Weirdness. Pure historicals usually cited as amongst Hartnell's best include the rather mythologised Missing Episode "Marco Polo", "The Romans", "The Myth Makers", "The Massacre of Saint Bartholemew's Eve", and "The Aztecs" (often given as a contender for his very best story). "The Crusade" and "The Reign of Terror" are less popular, but have more defenders than the contemporarily highly popular sci-fi serials "The Web Planet" and "The Chase". The only pure historical that is generally considered bad is "The Gunfighters", although that's a special case: 1) fan lore held that it was an awful story due to an especially damning write-up in the review book Doctor Who: A Celebration which was around before home video, so fandom took its opinion as gospel (although its loving write up in the later review book The Discontinuity Guide is eroding its reputation), and 2) it's a comedy and to some extent a Musical Episode, so was always going to be a Love It or Hate It story.
    • "The Deadly Assassin", a Doctor Who storyline with no companions, a focus on alien politics, and with an awful lot of Family-Unfriendly Violence was viewed at the time as a failed experiment at best (the absence of The Watson made the plot much harder to follow than normal, and the execs said it was never to happen again no matter how much Tom Baker insisted that it worked) and tasteless and audience-inappropriate at worst (notoriously attracting so many complaints that the show was Re Tooled into a much less violent, more comedy-based series for most of the rest of Tom Baker's run). Fans nowadays tend to appreciate the attempt at trying something other than Monster of the Week, the more impressionistic and political tone, the especially brutal and exciting action, and in particular the Alternate Character Interpretation that the Doctor gets in the story; due to not having an ally to talk to, he comes off as a brooding, quiet and much more mysterious character with a pinch of Spaghetti Western hero about him, a sharp contrast to his usual funniness and Obfuscating Stupidity. It's not a usual candidate for Tom Baker's best serial (those would be "Genesis of the Daleks", "The Talons of Weng-Chiang", or "City of Death") but is often listed as a standout, must-see episode and a bit of a hipster favourite. Its reputation may go up further now that it's had a Spiritual Successor in the wildly-acclaimed modern-Who episode "Heaven Sent" (no companion aside from a mental construct the Doctor's using as a coping mechanism, extremely dark story involving a deadly adversary in an Eldritch Location, Family-Unfriendly Violence, the Doctor at his broodiest, etc.).
    • Doctor Who has a lot of Missing Episodes which tend to get regarded as 'classics' simply because they can't be watched, but no-one really cared about "The Enemy of the World" - it's a bit of an Out-of-Genre Experience in that it's a spy story focusing on a human Diabolical Mastermind and with no monsters, and the recons made the story seem silly and difficult to follow (not helped by the fact that it's about a Criminal Doppelgänger and Impersonating the Evil Twin). Additionally, the only episode to survive in full was a comic-relief one with many deliberately-silly scenes. But when the whole thing was suddenly discovered in Nigeria, fans suddenly were able to see the surprisingly good action scenes in the first episode, and observe the character acting from Troughton that made the story make sense, and suddenly reappraised it as one of the best Troughton stories. DWM pointed out that in their top 200 stories poll of 2009 it was the 30th rated story of the '60s, but in 2014 it was the 10th rated.
  • Wangst:
    • Tegan was always whining and complaining about something.
    • These moments were very common during Russell T Davies' run on the show, with the Tenth Doctor and Rose getting the worst of it.
  • What an Idiot: So, Dorium, what did you think would happen when you attemped to negotiate with the Headless Monks?
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: The show itself is considered family viewing, despite its dark tone of certain episodes and surprising amount of sexual innuendo and it is shown around the supper hour on a Saturday. Doctor Who is over fifty years old and neatly matches the second paragraph of this trope's description. It's very much seen as a family/children's show, but it's been violent from the very beginning. A BBC audience research survey conducted in 1972 found that Doctor Who was the most violent show it produced at the time (cf. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Who ). The show was especially violent during the first few Fourth Doctor seasons, consistently getting complaints, and the show was also so violent in 1985 that it got the show cancelled for 18 months. For instance, The Brain Of Morbius (1976) featured a man getting shot in the stomach with an explosion of blood, then crawling, dying, down a corridor.
    • Even the first few stories could be really dark. In the first story "An Unearthly Child" the Doctor is a quite morally ambiguous figure, and there were some surprisingly violent scenes, such as a Caveman covered in blood and a cave of broken skulls. "The Edge of Destruction" uses haunted house tropes and has Susan wildly stabbing a bed with scissors.
    • Also a number of classic and revival stories have been rated 12 by the BBFC.
    • A lot of stories from the '80s, thanks to writers and producers making the show Bloodier and Gorier. Attack of the Cyberman has a 15+ rating in Australia, but it was still shown at 6 o'clock at night.
    • Season 22 is notorious for this, showing someone having their hands crushed and showing several people being stabbed to death. This is lampshaded in "Vengeance on Varos".
    • John Simm stated that Doctor Who being a kids' show was the main reason why he decided to play as The Master (he wanted to show his son that he could act). Of course, the episodes he was in involved twisted monsters from the future wiping out a good portion of humanity, the Master being resurrected as a superpowered being who devours humans to satisfy his endless hunger, and turning the entire human population into copies of himself.
    • Current show runner Steven Moffat has written about how annoyed and insulted he is whenever people use the phrase "kid's show" as a derogatory thing.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?:
    • Pretty much every time they've shown up, there's some sort of political tie-in that can be debated with the Silurians. The old-series seemed to have a more Soviet/Communist slant to the reptilians, while the modern re-imagining almost mirrors conflicts between native peoples of a land and those who would come to settle on it.
    • The McCoy era has had several examples of this, some confirmed, some jossed. Word of God has specifically denied fan theories that the red, blue and yellow Kangs were a reference to the colours of the UK's three major political parties at the time.
    • In the Russell T. Davies era, UNIT took a much more aggressive and morally questionable approach towards alien threats all in the name of "Homeworld Security". Notably the Brigadier is not impressed at this new mindset at all and says as much in the Sarah Jane Adventures:
    • The Twelfth Doctor's "Independently angry eyebrows" may be a jab at the Scottish independence movement. Clara's mouth wanting to "go solo" might be taken as a second comment in that direction. Bits of one's face running off elsewhere is rather problematic.
    • "The Zygon Inversion": The Doctor's war speech at the end is unapologetically political, coming near the end of a storyline that directly references the concept of terrorism and refugees.
    • "The Husbands of River Song" includes a near-Big Lipped Alligator Moment where the Doctor for no real reason begins to rant against the concept of the monarchy.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • The 2005 reboot was a resounding triumph for the Britain's biggest sci-fi hero following the series' ignominious death back in 1989 and the failed pilot on Fox.
    • Following "Kill the Moon" proving to be incredibly polarising, Base Breaking and poorly received with a large portion of the audience, "Mummy on the Orient Express" was received with near universal admiration. To the point multiple fans have outright referenced this trope when talking about it.
    • After the polarising Series 8 (which was critically acclaimed and heavily criticized in equal measure), Series 9 did this with fans and critics alike, with many episodes attracting strong critical praise. Its Story Arc is thematic/conceptual (hybrids, consequences, the Doctor's lonely existence, Clara becoming his Distaff Counterpart), allowing for strong almost-standalone stories where most Series 8 episodes were bogged down by the Clara's double life/Danny Pink/Nethersphere arc. The return of the "multi-parter" format allowed plots and characters to be fleshed out better. The Twelfth Doctor's character also warms significantly; he is no longer has quite the cynical, misanthropic personality that many fans found rather jarring. Its overall critical reception was probably the best since Series 5.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • John Nathan-Turner's era as producer in general has been strongly criticised by many fans for Stunt Casting without much consideration as to whether the celebrity guest was actually suited to the role, one notable example being Beryl Reid as Captain Briggs in "Earthshock", due to Nathan Turner's love for light entertainment.
    • Nicholas Parsons' casting as Reverend Wainwright in "The Curse of Fenric" might appear to be an example of this at first glance, given that he was best known for being a quiz show host at the time of the story's airing. In reality Parsons was actually a pretty experienced actor, although he hadn't done any TV acting work for over a decade when the story was made. (The director wasn't aware of this prior to recording of the story, but when he noticed Parsons could actually act a number of scenes were hastily rewritten to give his character more development.)
    • Eric Roberts as the Master in the TV movie.
    • While the Russell T Davies era was praised for its intelligent casting of celebrity guests in roles that were suited to them, with celebrities who weren't really actors reserved for walk-on roles or cameos as themselves, some felt that not all their celebrity cameos exactly made sense, such as biologist Richard Dawkins being interviewed about the astronomical location of earth. As with many Doctor Who issues, others thought the casting brilliant, given that Dawkins' impassioned emphasis on factual evidence in the episode was identical to his impassioned statements against the position of Young Earth Creationists in the (real life) popular media. Of course this reaction could be partially down to Dawkins being a controversial figure even among atheists, which has increased since this episode aired.
    • The reaction of some fans to the casting of Matt Smith ("Too young!") and Peter Capaldi ("Too old!").
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: While all incarnations of the show and the title character are guilty of it to some degree or another, the crowner of this trope is probably Colin Baker's costume. There is no good explanation for that coat.
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