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Doctor Who has been around for over 50 years. Multiple characters sharing names was practically inevitable. This also covers spinoffs Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, and Big Finish Doctor Who and the rest of the expanded universe.


Lists are sorted alphabetically.

Companions

So far each of the companions has had a different name, although there have been some close calls.
  • Amy: In one story arc, Big Finish used two characters called Amy and Zara. After the Eleventh Doctor's first companion was called Amy, the Big Finish character was renamed to Abby.
  • Dodo and Ace are both nicknames, but have virtually identical real names: Dorothea and Dorothy, respectively. Both are almost always called by their nicknames, however.
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    • Short-lived spinoff Class had headmistress Dorothea Ames.
  • Elizabeth:
    • Dr. Liz Shaw, assistant to the Third Doctor in season 7.
    • The show has three monarchs by that name (the two historical ones and a future Elizabeth X).
  • Grace:
  • Ian:
    • Chesterton, one of the original companions.
    • One of the elves in "Last Christmas".
  • Jack:
  • Jamie:
    • McCrimmon, long-time companion of the Second Doctor.
    • The eponymous Empty Child.
  • Polly:
  • Sara Kingdom, short-lived companion of the First Doctor, and Sarah Jane Smith, companion to the Third and Fourth Doctors.
  • Susan:
  • Victoria and variants:
    • Vicki, companion to the First Doctor.
    • Victoria Waterfield, companion to the Second Doctor.
      • The Vicki/Victoria confusion helps bungle a Continuity Nod in "Pyramids of Mars", where the scene was scripted such that Sarah emerges in a dress belonging to Victoria, and for the Doctor to absently call Sarah by that name. Tom Baker fiddled with the line and said "hello, Vicky" (something Victoria was never called during her tenure in the show). Fans could be forgiven for thinking it's Vicki's dress — it's not really either girl's style, being an Edwardian gown (both girls mostly wore 60s fashion).
    • Queen Victoria has met the Doctor at least once.
  • Though it was never said on-screen, production materials give Polly's last name as "Wright", the same as Barbara.
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Other Characters

Other

  • An aversion is lampshaded in "The Face of Evil", in which the Doctor goes out of his way to point out that he's never met anyone called "Leela" before.
  • "The Horns of Nimon" features a character named Teka. "Logopolis" introduces Tegan, who becomes one of the Doctor's travelling companions. As an added bonus, both characters are played by actresses named Janet; Teka is played by Janet Ellis (who went on to present Blue Peter a few years later), Tegan by Janet Fielding.
  • A revealing aversion is in "Terror of the Vervoids", which uses the name Hyperion for the ship, the same as the ship from the Pertwee story "The Mutants". This appears trivial — you can't expect creators in 1986 to remember trivial details from 1972 — but makes a lot of sense if you know BNF "continuity advisor" Ian Levine's first-ever script tweak was to reject the name Hyperion for the ship in "State of Decay" on the grounds of this trope. Levine had a fight with the producer over the casting of Bonnie Langford as the companion and quit, at exactly the same time as "Terror of the Vervoids" was being produced. From this we can surmise that the aversion was intended as a Take That! to Levine. As an extra hint, the ship in "Vervoids" was specifically Hyperion III: in other words, the third Hyperion.
  • The ultimate villains in "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" were named as the Gods of Ragnarok. The following season, "The Curse of Fenric" used many themes from Norse mythology, but the author was not allowed to refer to Ragnarök by name due to this trope.

Meta

  • In a curious meta example, none of the Doctors' actors shared a given name (although Tom and Colin were both Bakers, and Jon (Pertwee) and John (Hurt) come close) until Peter Capaldi (sharing a given name with Peter Davison). If you want to get outrageously trivial about it, both Tom Baker and Percy Kent-Smith used the name "Sylvester" as a pseudonym, although at wildly different points in their life and only one of them did while playing the Doctor ("Brother Sylvester" was what Tom renamed himself during his years as a Trappist monk).
  • Of the actors who played companions, William Russell (Ian) and Peter Purves (Steven) share their given names with William Hartnell, Peter Davison, and Peter Capaldi. In addition, John Levene (Sergeant Benton) and Matthew Waterhouse (Adric) have given names which are similar to the names of the actors who played the Third and Eleventh Doctors, Jon Pertwee and Matt Smith. Of the actresses who've played female companions, Carole Ann Ford (Susan) and Caroline John (Liz) have similar names, as do Jacqueline Hill (Barbara) and Jackie Lane (Dodo).


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