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  • Acting for Two:
    • Patrick Troughton plays both the Second Doctor and the evil Salamander in "The Enemy of the World".
    • David Tennant portrays both his usual Tenth Doctor character and a duplicate in "Journey's End".
    • In "The End of Time", everyone on Earth (with a few exceptions) turns into John Simm's Master.
    • A popular trope with the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) was this incarnation meeting himself and even interacting with earlier and later versions of himself on occasion.
    • Jenna Coleman arguably portrayed more different individual characters — all aspects of companion Clara Oswald, or someone impersonating her — than anyone else in the show's history.
  • Actor Existence Failure: Dealt with in different ways, including regenerating the character (the "crispy" versions of the Master in between Roger Delgado and Anthony Ainley), using other actors (recasting the First Doctor with Richard Hurndall in "The Five Doctors" and David Bradley in "Twice Upon a Time"), using prop heads (the terrifying heads of the First and Second Doctors in "Dimensions in Time") and clever editing of footage (changing the dialogue in classic footage for the all-Doctor team-up in "The Day of the Doctor"). The eighth season finale, "Death in Heaven", compensated for the death of Nicholas Courtney by bringing The Brigadier back as a Cyberman.
  • Actor-Inspired Element:
    • Most, if not all, actors taking the lead role on Doctor Who have had at least some input into their costume design and their Doctor's idiosyncrasies.
      • The First Doctor's Character Tic of Accidental Misnaming was inspired by William Hartnell's difficulty remembering the name "Ian Chesterton" in rehearsal. Since it fit the Doctor's detached and absent-minded personality perfectly, and because William Russell (who played Chesterton) was able to make the cast and crew crack up by adlibbing around them, it was agreed it would become one of his most memorable quirks. (Some fans believe that the manglings of "Chesterton" in the series itself are all genuine flubs, but a quick look at the script proves this is not the case.)
      • Patrick Troughton played the recorder himself, and always carried his recorder with him. This quirk was ported straight into the character of his Doctor. The Second Doctor's Social Expertise also stemmed from Troughton, an intuitive people-watcher who loved reading social dynamics — this impressed Gerry Davis enough that he insisted Troughton play the Doctor like that.
      • Jon Pertwee was a gadgets and cars aficionado, and asked if these could be incorporated into his character, along with a moment or two of "charm". Suffice to say his Doctor became the closest to James Bond.
      • The Fourth Doctor offering Sarah Jane jelly babies was come up with by Tom Baker and ran with. The fact that Tom Baker's favourite jelly babies were the orange ones was eventually written into the character in "The Invasion of Time". Also, the Attention Whore characteristics written into the character from Season 15 onward were added in when the crew realised they weren't able to stop Tom Baker hamming it up for attention any more.
      • Peter Davison suggested his cricket outfit, as he was a fan of the sport.
      • It was Colin Baker's idea for the Sixth Doctor to wear a cat badge.
      • The Seventh Doctor's hat actually belonged to Sylvester McCoy.
      • Sophie Aldred contributed to the design of Ace's badge-bedecked jacket, and some of the badges are from her own collection, the most famous being a Blue Peter badge she was awarded as a child for an experiment in home rocketry.
      • Christopher Eccleston suggested that his Doctor wear a leather jacket, as he wanted a less showy costume than before.
      • David Tennant came up with the Tenth Doctor's trenchcoat, having seen Jamie Oliver wear one on a talk show. He also insisted on wearing Converse trainers instead of the boots the production team had in mind for him. The Doctor's glasses were also his idea.
      • Steven Moffat conceptualised Matt Smith's Eleventh Doctor with a piratical theme and personality, so when Smith asked to wear a bowtie and to have a dotty and professorial personality, Moffat rejected it out of hand, calling it a "cartoon idea" of what the Doctor was like. However, Smith eventually persuaded Moffat to give this persona a spin, and Moffat realised it worked perfectly and wrote the scripts to suit.
      • According to a Reddit AMA with the writer of "Mummy on the Orient Express", a scene where the Twelfth Doctor offers a cigar case to someone he's interrogating only to reveal it's full of jelly babies was Peter Capaldi's idea.

        Capaldi's past as the guitarist of a punk band (with Craig Ferguson!) was also added to the series, with the Doctor playing guitar in many Season 9 episodes.

        He also helped design his costume so that it would be easier for cosplayers to replicate.
      • Jodie Whittaker collaborated with costume designer Ray Holman on designing her costume; during their first meeting about it, Whittaker got completely distracted by the colour of the wallpaper behind them, told Holman she absolutely loved that colour, and it ended up becoming the colour for the Thirteenth Doctor's trousers. It was largely inspired by an old photo of an androgynously dressed woman that Jodie felt an immediate attachment to.

        She suggested Thirteen's first words of "Oh, brilliant!", as it really is something she says a lot herself. She also stated prior to her first full series that she'd try to fit in another expression she often uses, "Ace!"note 

        Thirteen's TARDIS has a special dispenser for custard creams, Jodie's actual favorite biscuit. This one was actually put in by the set designers as a surprise for her.

        Jodie and the costume designer took a liking to a scarf the production designer had been given by his wife, and he let her wear it on the show.
    • This has also happened with a few of the actors to play The Master:
      • John Simm's Master wasn't intended to wear a Beard of Evil in the series 10 finale (Simm having intentionally been cast because he didn't resemble any of the classic series Masters), but when he turned up with one for rehearsals, Moffat let it stick.
      • Sacha Dhawan, when asked for any ideas he had regarding what his Master should dress like, sent in a bunch of pictures of Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner.
  • Ascended Fanon:
    • As a long-time fan himself, Steven Moffat incorporated his own fan theories into the show, such as the reason why the Doctor never reveals his name being because there is some Dark Secret behind it. This plot point literally became a cliffhanger at the end of Series 6, where it's revealed that the reason the Silence want the Doctor dead is to prevent the Question from being answered.
      The Doctor: What Question?
      Dorium: The Question. The oldest one in the universe, hidden in plain sight! Doctor Who?!
    • He also incorporated his theory that the word "doctor" has come to mean "healer" (or something similar) throughout the universe because of the Doctor going around introducing himself as "Doctor" wherever he goes.
    • In the Comic Relief special The Curse of Fatal Death, the Doctor regenerates into a woman. In "The End of Time", the Eleventh Doctor feels his face and hair and freaks out, thinking he's regenerated into a woman. In "The Doctor's Wife", the Doctor mentions that a Time Lord known as the Corsair has had both male and female incarnations. In "The Night of the Doctor", the Sisterhood of Karn gives the Doctor the chance to control his next regeneration, part of the choices being a woman. Established character the Master, and later the General from "The Day of the Doctor", were shown regenerated into women, though the latter sort of threw a spanner into some of the headcanon by stating on screen that changing genders is not considered the norm and that Time Lords do have baseline genders. The Doctor officially regenerates into a woman with the Thirteenth Doctor.
    • In a more direct example, Sarah Dollard, writer of "Face the Raven", (as evidenced by her Tumblr) a supporter of the headcanon that Clara is bisexual, pretty much confirmed it in her episode. (This is debatable as all that occurs on screen is a continuation of a Running Gag from the first episode of the season; however, Dollard had originally planned a scene for the episode in which Clara and Jane would have met each other again.)
  • Author Existence Failure:
    • Ian Marter wrote a novel about his character, Harry Sullivan's War. He'd planned to kill Harry off at the climax, but was prevented by the publisher, who was considering a sequel. Unfortunately, Ian died the same month the book was published. Marter was also a prolific writer of Doctor Who novelisations, and his death left a couple of the books unfinished, forcing the series editor to complete them.
    • Robert Holmes died before he could write the final episode of "The Trial of a Time Lord", and was replaced by Pip and Jane Baker. They were actually legally barred from knowing his intended ending during the writing process, which very much shows in how the Master's subplot completely fizzles out.

  • Banned in China: In a literal sense. The show was banned in Mainland China because the Chinese government discourages time travel plots. However, in 2017, BBC Worldwide signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Chinese media company Shanghai Media Group Pictures making the revival series, Torchwood and Class available on the mainland, with first refusal for four series after Series 11 in the event they were commissioned.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!:
    • There's a widespread belief that the catsuit Zoe wore in "The Mind Robber" was purple, and it's frequently drawn like this in fanart. This seems to have originated from fan colourizations of black and white screenshots; there are colour photos on the DVD showing it was actually silver.
    • Tegan's supposed fondness for using "Rabbits!" as a swear word. She actually only uses it twice.
    • Clara uttered "Oh my stars" only a couple of times early on, if that, but fans adopted it as a catchphrase for her. She never utters it at all in Series 8 or 9.
  • Cash Cow Franchise: The BBC has been prompt to capitalize on the show's new-found success since it returned. Two decades of Expanded Universe literature and audio have also helped.
  • Cast Incest: David Tennant, the Tenth Doctor, is married to Georgia Moffett, who played the title character in "The Doctor's Daughter", and is the daughter of 5th Doctor actor Peter Davison, who interestingly enough is Tennant's favorite Doctor and the man who inspired him to go into acting. The couple has three children, too.
  • The Cast Showoff:
    • Carol Ann Ford was a trained dancer, which is exploited in her Establishing Character Moment of her doing a very peculiar dance to some chart pop music.
    • A choreographer, Rosalyn de Winter, was consulted to develop the movements for the Zarbi, Menoptera and Optera in "The Web Planet", and the crew was so impressed with her that she was given the role of the lead Menoptera character in the story, Vrestin.
    • Patrick Troughton:
      • One of the Second Doctor's standard manoeuvres was Wig, Dress, Accent, which was deliberately written in to exploit how the Doctor was now played by an extremely versatile character actor who could convincingly alter his entire appearance just by affecting a different voice and mannerisms. Good examples are "Doktor von Wer" and the Harmless Lady Disguise from "The Highlanders", and the deliberately convoluted I Am He as You Are He situation in "The Enemy of the World" where he gets to play the Doctor, the Doctor's Criminal Doppelgänger, and both of them pretending to be each other, or pretending to be the other pretending to be them — some viewers even find that the Doctor and his lookalike come across so differently that they don't look remotely like each other, almost breaking the plot.
      • Troughton, in real life, loved playing the recorder and carried one about with him to play in idle moments, a quirk that got written into the character. The recorder the Second Doctor uses was his own.
      • The Second Doctor's ability to obsessively read people's social dynamics started when Gerry Davis was fascinated by Troughton's ability to do the same.
    • Jon Pertwee:
      • Had a fascination for gadgets and cars, which cropped up in the Third Doctor's stories. In fact, one car used by the Doctor during his run, known affectionately by fans as "The Whomobile", was Pertwee's own personal property, and not a BBC prop. This is why it is never seen or mentioned again after "Planet of the Spiders", unlike Bessie, the more often seen yellow roadster.
      • Another of his Doctor's quirks was that he was into martial arts, particularly "Venusian aikido". Pertwee was a highly-skilled martial artist and tried to do his own stunts whenever possible (although a lot of the time the fight scenes aren't much more elaborate than running up to someone, lightly touching their arm and yelling 'hai').
      • Pertwee was a well-loved and accomplished singer and voice actor, and one of his Doctor's quirks is a fondness for singing in idle moments, usually in a funny voice or a bang-on impersonation of the original artist.
      • Pertwee was also an accomplished gurner. Several scenes were written which gave Pertwee an excuse to do his amazing face-pulling.
    • Tom Baker:
      • Could pop his already large, wide eyes partway out of his sockets. After a few years, him doing this in an Eye Take was a standard cliffhanger lead-in.
      • Word of God says the reason Tom Baker was given an elaborate Patrick Stewart Speech in "The Ark in Space" was to show off the then-newly cast Baker's speaking ability — both in terms of his ability to pull off the kind of soliloquies that his predecessor would never have been able to, and in terms of showing off his gorgeous voice, with which the production team was universally infatuated. Some writers (especially Robert Holmes) would even sneak Inherently Funny Words into the Doctor's dialogue in scripts, just for the joy of hearing Baker say them.
    • The Fourth Doctor's regeneration into the Fifth had the conceit that the Doctor was deliriously thinking he was still in his own past regenerations, allowing Peter Davison the opportunity to show off his gift for impressions as he played the first four Doctors.
    • The whole of Season 23 features the Doctor defending himself in a trial. Before he was an actor, Colin Baker was a lawyer.
    • Early on in his run, Sylvester McCoy would show skills of his from his old vaudeville act, such as playing spoons. As the show got Darker and Edgier, and as the Doctor's character became more complex, such displays were discarded.
    • Averted on several occasions: for example, despite having Kylie Minogue appear in a Christmas episode with a song interlude ("Voyage of the Damned", with the song being "The Stowaway"), she is never called upon to sing; Billie Piper similarly was allowed to do straight acting and not have to sing; and with a few exceptions, Catherine Tate was allowed to tone down her comedic acting and play Donna Noble straight.
    • The football match in "The Lodger" highlights that Matt Smith was headed to be a professional footballer before he had a Career-Ending Injury.
    • Katherine Jenkins, whose character Abigail Pettigrew's voice was pretty much a Chekhov's Gun.
    • "Closing Time" establishes that since leaving the Doctor, Amy Pond has become a popular model. In real life, actress Karen Gillan was a model before she was an actress.
    • Peter Capaldi used to play guitar in a band, so having him play electric guitar into an axe battle (for real!) worked well in "The Magician's Apprentice". Not only does he play the guitar again in "Before the Flood", the episode features a special arrangement of the title theme featuring a guitar solo by him! He also plays the iconic "Clara's Theme" in "Hell Bent".
  • Cast the Runner-Up:
    • Jackie Lane and Anneke Wills both auditioned for Susan. They would both play Dodo and Polly respectively.
    • Deborah Watling was originally asked by Innes Lloyd to audition for Polly. She would later be cast as Victoria.
      We both agreed that I wasn’t really ready for it. I was too young and inexperienced. He then suggested I go away, learn more about theatre, and try again in about a year’s time.
    • When Nicholas Courtney appeared in "The Web of Fear", he was originally cast as Captain Knight, with another actor cast as Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart. When that actor failed to turn up, Courtney got a promotion.
    • Ian Marter was originally offered the role of Captain Yates. He later made a guest appearance in "Carnival of Monsters" before being cast as Harry.
    • Brian Blessed was considered for Merdeen and Glitz in "The Mysterious Planet". He would be in "The Trial of a Time Lord" as King Yrcanos in "Mindwarp". Furthermore, Honor Blackman was considered for Katyca before being cast as Sarah Lasky in "Terror of the Vervoids".
    • Sophie Aldred originally auditioned for Ray in "Delta and the Bannermen", who was originally supposed to be the new companion. Instead, she was asked to reapply for the alternate companion, Ace.
    • Simon Pegg was originally slated to play Rose's father, Pete Tyler. However, Pegg was unavailable during the filming of "Father's Day", so his role was transferred to that of the Editor, the human villain of "The Long Game".
    • Michelle Gomez could have played Ms. Delphox in "Time Heist", but she couldn't make the audition. As she explained it later, "I was moved to write to Steven [Moffat] saying I was such a huge fan and if in the future if he ever needed someone for a razor-cheek-boned villainess then it’s me."note  This led to her being cast as Missy, the Series 8 Big Bad who went on to be central to the Twelfth Doctor's Myth Arc.
    • Jodie Whittaker was nearly cast in a guest role in series 5. When Chris Chibnall became showrunner, she asked if she could play a villain under heavy prosthetics in series 11, but then he told her there was another role she might be interested in...
    • Similarly, Sacha Dhawan was asked to play a character in Series 11, but was away for filming, then got offered his Series 12 role.
  • The Character Died with Him:
    • Donna Noble's father appeared in "The Runaway Bride", but due to Howard Attfield's terminal illness and death during filming of "Partners in Crime", his parts were replaced by Wilfred Mott, who was retconned into Donna's grandfather, and Geoff Noble is stated to have died. As a dedication to the actor, the 10th Doctor in his final episode gives Donna's mother, as a wedding gift to Donna, a lottery ticket bought with a quid the Doctor obtained by going back in time offscreen to borrow from "a really lovely man. Geoffrey Noble, his name was."
    • Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, as stated in "The Wedding of River Song". In fact, by way of tribute to the only actor to in some form act alongside all seven original series Doctors, his death is a crucial plot point in the episode — it is the Brigadier's death that gets the Doctor to stop running and face his fate in Utah. The character has since been mentioned a few times, the Brigadier's legacy upheld by his daughter, Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, a leader in UNIT just like her father. The Brig is unusual about this, in that he technically outlived his actor by years, but was still established as dead years down the line; the Brigadier apparently lived to the ripe old age of 150, decades longer than Nicholas Courtney. This is justified thanks to the Time Travel aspect of having the Doctor learn directly of his death later on and reeling from it. The character, however, briefly came back as a Cyberman in the last minutes of "Death in Heaven".
    • Dr. Harry Sullivan, brief companion of the Fourth Doctor alongside Sarah Jane Smith, when Sarah Jane mentions some of the Doctor's old companions' present exploits in "Death of the Doctor". It isn't spelled out, but he is mentioned in the past tense while the rest of them are mentioned in the present.
      • Averted with Barbara Wright. In that same episode, Sarah Jane mentions that Barbara and Ian are married, still teaching, and haven't aged since The '60s. This episode aired in 2010. Barbara's actress, Jacqueline Hill, died in 1993.
      • Fridge Horror kicks in when you realize that them not aging is really surreal and will likely never be explained, and this show has already explored the angst of human immortals. At least they have each other.
    • Oddly enough, inverted by the Master. Before Roger Delgado's untimely death in a car accident, there were plans to have his character Killed Off for Real in a final showdown with the Doctor. He later reappeared as a withered husk (later acknowledged as the same incarnation) played by Peter Pratt and then Geoffrey Beevers, before taking over the body of Tremas of Traken, played by Anthony Ainley, who would portray him for the remainder of the original series' run. Ainley himself died less than a year before the series returned to TV, and in 2007 the character returned, initially played by Derek Jacobi, then John Simm, and most recently Michelle Gomez.
  • Content Leak:
    • The first episode of the 21st-century run, "Rose", was leaked online by a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation staffer months before its official release. Articles written at the time of the leak suggested that the BBC orchestrated the leak in order to build buzz for the series.
    • "The Name of the Doctor" was leaked early after a BBC America store accidentally sent out the season 7 box set two weeks before the episode aired. Despite Steven Moffat asking for people to not reveal anything, one newspaper revealed spoilers from the episode, including the reveal of John Hurt as a new Doctor.
    • Averted during the 50th anniversary. When someone threatened to leak details about the mini-episode "The Night of the Doctor", the BBC just went ahead and released the thing early.
    • The Season 8 premiere episode, along with several scripts for the season, leaked online due to a breach at the BBC's Latin-American affiliate station in Miami, FL. Interestingly, the leaked episode ("Deep Breath") was a workprint copy that was in black-and-white, still retained previous Doctor Matt Smith's credits sequence (instead of Peter Capaldi's) and had unfinished effects. The BBC later claimed that the breach (which also included uncontextualized scenes from workprint episodes for the first half of the season) was caused by someone mistakenly leaving the materials on a publicly-accessible part of the Miami server.
    • A clip featuring the Thirteenth Doctor from "The Woman Who Fell to Earth" leaked onto the Internet in July 2018, prior to the episode's broadcast in October 2018.
    • On November 21, 2018, Amazon Prime subscribers in the US who tried to watch "Kerblam!", the then-most-recent episode, were instead treated to the next episode, "The Witchfinders", which was set to air that coming weekend. With the subtitles for "Kerblam!", no less. The error was fixed after a few hours.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer:
    • It's become generally accepted, by fans and production alike, that the Doctor's name is not "Doctor Who", but the media doesn't seem to know this. Even the end titles sometimes list the character as "Doctor Who". (That last is less egregious of an error in early episodes, when the name distinction wasn't firmly established yet.)
      • One of the most notorious examples comes from the story known today as "The Silurians", but which was originally named "Doctor Who and the Silurians".
      • That being said, the character of the Doctor HAS been referred to as "Doctor Who" on rare occasion in the show ("The War Machines", for one), and even actors who've played the role (such as Colin Baker or Sylvester McCoy) regularly refer to the character not as "the Doctor" but as "Doctor Who".
    • Jeremy Clarkson wrote an immediately reviled article in The Sun claiming that fans were leaving the show in droves over Series 11 being "too PC". Though there is no denying that there has been a notable fan backlash to it, his evidence for this was based on declining numbers across the series, despite the fact that it started from one of the highest rated episodes the show has ever had, and is getting better viewing figures than the previous season had. Then the paper, along with the Daily Mail, started a rumour that Chibnall and Whittaker were both leaving the show after just one series, only to be stymied by the official announcement that filming on the next one had started with both of them still there. Ironically enough, Series 12 got ratings comparable with Series 10, the previous lowest, so if they’d just been a bit more patient they could have completely avoided making fools of themselves like this.
      • And apparently the anti-Thirteen crowd didn't learn their lesson from this ridicule at all; when a rumour started spreading in the months leading to Series 12 claiming that the Tenth Doctor would return, they tried to start an equally specious rumour that he would be reduced to a Straw Misogynist for Thirteen to lecture. Based on how hilariously Out of Character that sounded, pretty much no one ever bought it.
      • Then it reached whole new levels of pathetic when the same people started crowing again that low ratings had forced Whittaker out of the role after Series 13 long before it even started...as if three series hadn't long been established as the standard amount of time in the role.
  • Creative Differences:
    • Maureen O'Brien, who played Vicki, got on very well with William Hartnell both in-character and on-set. When a new production team led by John Wiles took over, he began moving the show in a Darker and Edgier, Failure Hero-led, Internal Deconstruction direction that Hartnell disliked. O'Brien formed a team with him and supported all of Hartnell's attempts to Wag the Director, and Wiles decided to fire her in the hope of breaking Hartnell. Vicki was first pencilled in to be killed off, but was eventually Put on a Bus to Hell to get rid of the actress sooner.
    • William Hartnell's departure was also at least in part due to creative differences with a new production team (although his failing health was also a factor). He saw the show as a children's programme, but the new producers had other ideas. "So did I, so I left", as he said in a letter to a fan.
    • During the Troubled Production of "Nightmare of Eden", the entire cast and crew had it in for director Alan Bromly, an ageing director already in semi-retirement, unused to modern production schedules and values and with a very authoritarian attitude. This especially inflamed Tom Baker, who had been Wagging the Director frequently and who felt he was best when he could Throw It In! and do unscripted business. Seeing Bromly as incompetent, Baker took rather sadistic pleasure using his acerbic wit to bully and humiliate him in front of the crew, eroding his authority further, and their animosity eventually culminated in a screaming match between them in the BBC corridors which producer Graham Williams had to intervene in. The chaos had sent recording well behind schedule and Bromly was decided to have been responsible. Bromly quit, leaving Williams to take over the director's seat to complete the serial, citing creative differences with Baker, and Williams, who had become sick of Baker's difficult personality already, announced his intention to quit at the end of the season also because of creative differences with Baker. Williams' replacement was John Nathan-Turner, who Baker hated, and who wanted a new Doctor to leave his stamp on the show — so Baker eventually left the role stating he felt he had no further to go with his character and citing creative differences with Nathan-Turner. (Baker and Nathan-Turner did, however, become drinking buddies once they no longer had to work with each other.)
    • On "State of Decay", writer Terrance Dicks and director Peter Moffatt clashed with script editor Christopher H. Bidmead. They were in favour of a Hammer Horror approach, which he didn't think was the style that he wanted for the series.
    • The most notorious and damaging Doctor Who example was the conflict between the producer John Nathan-Turner and script editor Eric Saward over the ending of the "Trial of a Time Lord" season. Saward, out of his general love for Darker and Edgier content and his hero worship of recently departed writer Robert Holmes, wanted it to end with a Cliffhanger in which the Doctor and his Enemy Without the Valeyard were seemingly either dead or trapped eternally in a Sealed Evil in a Duel situation. Nathan-Turner felt, with considerable justification, that since the BBC wanted to cancel the show altogether, writing an ending that could be seen as a Bolivian Army Ending for the whole show was a very bad idea, as it would give them the perfect excuse for cancellation. Saward, whose relationship with Nathan-Turner was already strained due to personality clashes and his belief that Nathan-Turner was paying insufficient attention to the artistic content of the series, accused Nathan-Turner of having no respect for Holmes' last work, immediately quit and withdrew permission to use his version of the final episode. Pip and Jane Baker had to be drafted in to write a replacement episode (having been chosen for no other reason than the script had to be ready in a matter of days and Nathan-Turner knew they could write quickly), but for legal reasons the new script could not have any similarity to Saward's, with a BBC lawyer sitting in on Nathan-Turner's meeting with the Bakers to ensure he did not tell them anything about the original conclusion. Saward then gave an interview to a fan publication viciously slagging off Nathan-Turner. The whole affair led to a somewhat disjointed on-screen end to a season that, in reality, had been seen as the show's make-or-break chance to avoid cancellation, and contributed to the show's actual cancellation a few years afterwards.
    • Christopher Eccleston left the revival due to his fights with the executives "over the way things were being run" and, according to him, his distaste for non-acting personnel getting bullied by directors.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • The increasing powerlessness and incompetence of the First Doctor towards the end of his tenure was partially a response to William Hartnell's failing physical and mental health. His inability to remember lines and hatred of everyone else in the crew after the original crew of the series left put him constantly in a bad mood and gives his character a genuine frailty, and the writers responded by going for a Darker and Edgier tone and giving the Doctor fewer lines to say.
    • Patrick Troughton quit the show in 1969 to avoid being typecast, and because he wished to return to other programs. He went as far as to urge Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury to depart at the same time. Troughton enjoyed making comebacks in "The Three Doctors" and "The Five Doctors", and finally alongside Colin Baker in "The Two Doctors", and looked like he was thoroughly enjoying himself in all of them. Of course Troughton didn't hate the character — he would make himself available at conventions, and any time he and Jon Pertwee were at the same convention, the two would appear at joint panels and jokingly mock-bicker as Two and Three did in "The Three Doctors" and "The Five Doctors". Troughton also counselled Davison to stay on only 3 years, and this aided in his decision to leave the show in 1984.
    • Tom Baker was by his own admission a "very depressed man" when he got the role of the Doctor, and used his role in part to work through his own mental issues, referring to the rehearsal rooms as "his own little asylum". (He later stated in interviews that he was struggling to manage undiagnosed bipolar disorder the entire time he played the character.) This led to him being quite allergic to criticism and often attempting to Wag the Director, but his unhinged and obviously personal performance is one of the main reasons his Doctor is praised. When making "Horror of Fang Rock" (a story about the Doctor and a gaggle of civilians being trapped in a lighthouse with an enigmatic monster), Baker was unhappy and angry with the direction the show was going in (partly due to Executive Meddling getting the established creative team sacked and partly because he didn't like sharing the main character spotlight with anyone else) and reportedly spent much of production bullying his co-stars and making himself unpopular.note  His performance is severe, broody and temperamental, giving the impression he is losing his mind between the claustrophobia and fear, and all the other actors regard him with visible wariness — lifting an already scary story to Nightmare Fuel. The unusual characterisation of the Fourth Doctor in Season 18 is because Baker was seriously burned out with the role after doing it both onscreen and offscreen for seven years and because the line between his own personality and the Doctor's had been getting increasingly blurry — and he was physically unwell, too. The character became moody and vulnerable with the comedy bits being strained, a harsh contrast with his usual manic exuberance. Once his departure was known by the writers it was turned into an arc where every story was linked by themes of mortality and decay, foreshadowing his upcoming regeneration. Afterwards, Baker was reportedly keen to distance himself from Doctor Who after leaving the show, refusing to appear in "The Five Doctors", and for a long time refusing to do conventions and public appearances related to the show. This was at least partly due to the length of time he spent on the show and being quite burnt out about it, partly because the role was intensely personal to him and the idea of other actors playing the character disturbed him, and partly because his iconic performance largely overshadowed everything else he did since then. It's worth noting that by 1980, sources show Baker as alcoholic, despondent, and nearly impossible to work with; Executive Meddling and heavy typecasting had taken a toll, his marriage was on the rocks, and he was not at all enamoured of newer writers like Christoper Bidmead or producer John Nathan-Turner. He was nearly 50, and had little career left. He seems a lot more comfortable being associated with the show in recent years, however. In 1993, Baker filmed a small part for the short "episode" "Dimensions in Time". It's said there was far more planned using a different script, but Executive Meddling and a primadonna host got in the way. From 2009, Baker returned as the Doctor for three five-part series of audio dramas for BBC Audio, and in 2011, he finally began to star in the audio dramas for Big Finish Productions. He has shown some regret about not doing "The Five Doctors" and distancing himself from the series at large, but at over 80 years old his health will not allow more involvement with the exception of a brief cameo towards the end of the 50th Anniversary special. Or would it? Baker returned to televised Doctor Who again in 2017, doing voice recordings for the animated completion of the long-delayed serial "Shada", and even filmed a new live-action ending for the serial in character as the Fourth Doctor.
    • "Shada", written by Douglas Adams, was originally rushed out by him in four days when his previous script got rejected thanks to Executive Meddling. Some of the script was shot, but then shooting was interrupted with a strike, causing it to be cancelled. Adams, for his part, was happy about this, because he thought "Shada" was not up to much — however, since people love Douglas Adams' writing, fan demand became huge. In 1992, he accidentally signed away rights for the BBC to make a direct-to-video version of it with linking narration by Tom Baker, and was so distressed by this that he declared he would give away every penny of the proceeds he made of it to charity as penance. People who have seen the script say that while it wasn't anywhere near as godawful as the notably perfectionistic Adams thought it was (notably, it contains one of the all-time-brilliant Douglas Adams characters, Professor Chronotis, and gives the Fourth Doctor some of the wittiest, most enjoyable dialogue he was ever given), it is not up to the standard of his usual work, having gaping plotholes, minor characters who never get to come into the limelight, a very boring villain and being mostly a lazy, watered-down, low-budget retread of his previous Who script "City of Death". Both the Big Finish version (which was forced to shoehorn the Eighth Doctor into the role as Tom Baker refused to do radio scripts at the time) and the 2012 novelization by Gareth Roberts (written after his death as Douglas Adams would not allow anyone else to novelize it) were both attempts to fix the problems that Adams himself had identified — not to mention Adams' own Ascended Fanfic of the story, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, which replaces the Doctor, Chris and Claire with Expies and rescues Professor Chronotis from oblivion.
    • It took a long time for Peter Davison to become comfortable with his tenure as the Doctor. With most of his career still ahead of him, he had been terrified of being typecast and did everything possible to prevent it. In recent years, Davison has also mentioned the show's low budget and poor treatment from the BBC were a major source of his resentment towards the franchise. He has since said that he wishes that he could have worked on the show when it had the budget, studio support, and prestige it enjoyed after its revival in 2005. From the late '90s onwards, he's happily been playing the Doctor in monthly Big Finish Doctor Who episodes, and in 2007, reprised his role on TV in the mini-episode "Time Crash" as part of a charity drive. David Tennant used the short as a massive fan-gasm shout-out to Davison's tenure on the show: "you were MY Doctor." Tennant has repeatedly cited Davison's interpretation of the Doctor as his primary inspiration, and reason for becoming an actor. Davison had always felt that he was too young for the role. In "Time Crash" he felt he was at a more fitting age to play the Doctor, and had a grasp on the character that he was happy with. Ironically, the role of the Doctor being played by a younger man (and the contrast between the character's physical age and his actual age) was one of the primary things that carried over into Tennant and Matt Smith's portrayals, thanks in part to Davison's example.
    • Janet Fielding has stated that she was pretty bitter towards the show when she left because she wasn't happy with how she and her fellow companions were treated. This reached its high point with a notorious on-stage outburst at Panopticon 1993 when she told a room full of fans that any show that treated its female characters as badly as Doctor Who did deserved to have been cancelled. She's since gotten over it and is much more comfortable with the show now, although her negative remarks about certain stories on DVD commentaries have still caused controversy.
    • Surprisingly subverted by Colin Baker, who you would think — given that he was the only actor playing the Doctor to be fired from the role, that his era was for a long time not incredibly popular with fans and that, well, he had to wear That Coat — would have plenty of reason to not want to have anything to do with the show again. Instead, barring some rather understandable regrets, he's always appeared quite enthusiastic about the show, being associated with the show and returning to it in some form on occasion. Baker, long before David Tennant took the trope and ran with it, was the Promoted Fanboy on Doctor Who, having been a childhood fan of the show. He too has been doing Big Finish dramas as the Doctor continuously since the late 90s, and he (and the writers) went the extra mile to completely rehabilitate Six's reputation, leading to him being a poster boy for Rescued from the Scrappy Heap. Both Baker and Davison later took part in The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot, a special made for the show's fiftieth anniversary. It's notable for the sheer amount of Adam Westing the actors took part in.
    • Christopher Eccleston left after Series One, due to having spats with the executives over "the way things were being run" and, according to him, people being bullied by directors on-set was common. He (politely, and after a few cordial meetings with Moffat) declined to return in person for the 50th anniversary — which could have had to do with his commitment to Thor: The Dark World.
    • Steven Moffat regards "The Beast Below" as his least favourite of the episodes he wrote, calling it a bit of a mess. A lot of the fandom agrees with him, this episode being widely considered the worst of Series 5.
    • Moffat doesn't have high thoughts on Series 7, often regarded as the revival series' weakest.
      Moffat: I didn't enjoy my third year as much. It was a bit miserable... The workload was just insane. I wasn't coping as well. No-one else's fault, all mine. The 50th was looming, and I didn't know if we could make it work. It was a tough, tough time. My darkest hour on Who was that.
    • Moffat also feels the opening episode to Series 9 wasn't original enough and that it alienated new viewers who weren't familiar with the lore and backstory around Davros and Skaro.
    • A regular occurrence with the showrunning producers. In the 1980s fan backlash got so intense against then-producer John Nathan-Turner that The BBC's lawyers warned some of the more vocal fanzine publications to cool it. More recently, both Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat have often been the targets. Chris Chibnall managed to get backlash even before he officially took over as showrunner!
    • Neil Gaiman has since taken this stance towards "Nightmare in Silver" due to the changes the BBC made to the story through the production process.
    • After his surprise return in Series 12, John Barrowman got a bit salty about how the show finally had someone in charge who appreciated Jack, apparently a dig at Steven Moffat never taking advantage of his long-standing offer to drop anything on his plate and return to the show whenever they wanted him.
  • Creator's Favorite:
  • Darkhorse Casting: Most of the Doctors have had varying degrees of experience and recognition. Probably the least well-known at the time of casting was Matt Smith, who didn't even have an IMDB page prior to the series, despite some television roles.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • Carole Ann Ford was 23 when Susan was passing for 15.
    • Maureen O'Brien was 22 when playing the teenaged Vicki.
    • Dodo was a teenager, but Jackie Lane was almost 25.
    • Zoe's age varies depending on what production member you ask, but she probably wasn't intended to be out of her teens, like Wendy Padbury was.
    • Turlough was supposed to be posing as a British schoolboy. Mark Strickson looked quite a bit older than his character, quite frankly.
    • Sophie Aldred was 24 when Ace was 16.
    • "The Curse of Fenric": Jean and Phyllis are supposed to be teenagers, although both actresses were in their early twenties at the time of filming.
    • "Paradise Towers": The Kangs are definitely meant to be younger than the actresses playing them. In an odd way, this adds to the general creepiness of the estate: none of these kids attend school, and the Doctor is the first parental figure they've had in perhaps a decade. Their immaturity is part of the point.
    • "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances": Nancy looks about fifteen or sixteen but is actually twenty or twenty-one (the Doctor's estimate, which she doesn't contradict). Actress Florence Heath actually was just shy of twenty-one when the episodes were broadcast.
    • Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill and Nina Toussaint-White played school-aged versions of Amy, Rory and a teenage-passing-for River in "Let's Kill Hitler" at ages 23, 29 and 25.
    • Ryan is 19, and Yasmin, his former schoolmate, is presumably about the same age. Their actors, Tosin Cole and Mandip Gill, were 26 and 30 respectively when series 11 first aired.
  • Defictionalization: In reference to the fake Mona Lisa plot from "City of Death", prints of the Mona Lisa were once made available at a Tom Baker signing, signed "This is a fake — TOM BAKER".
  • Disabled Character, Disabled Actor:
    • Sil, the alien villain of "Vengeance on Varos" and "Mindwarp", is a mostly aquatic amphibian who is very clumsy on land and has to be carried around by flunkies. Nabil Shaban, who played him, has severe osteogenesis imperfecta, causing him to be very short and use a wheelchair.
    • "Under the Lake"/"Before the Flood": Deaf military officer Cass is played by actual deaf actress Sophie Stone.
    • Blind actress Ellie Wallwork plays blind character Hanne in "It Takes You Away".
  • Doing It for the Art: Matt Lucas asked to return to the show after his first appearance in "The Husbands of River Song", becoming a full companion for a series — and per Moffat turned down several lucrative Hollywood deals to do so.
  • Drawing Board Hiatus:
    • During the Sixth Doctor's tenure, the show was placed on an enforced 18-month hiatus, with its format reduced to fourteen 25-minute episodes (from 13 45-minute episodes — roughly the equivalent of the 26 25-minute episodes previous Doctors had had). The production team threw out all the originally planned stories for that season, even though some of them had been fully written and had directors and guest stars booked, and made the season a 14-part story arc instead.
    • It could be argued that the show went back to the drawing board as well in the lapse between the 1989 cancellation and the 2005 revival, as it went from serialized stories to one-episode, cinematic ones more focused on character interactions.
  • Dyeing for Your Art:

    E-O 
  • Enforced Method Acting: Repeatedly.
    • According to Word of God, Alex Kingston (River Song), Karen Gillan (Amy), and Arthur Darvill (Rory) all knew certain things about their character that hadn't been revealed. These details had been intentionally withheld from Matt Smith. So when he doesn't know something, he really doesn't know.
    • According to interviews given by Jenna Coleman (Clara), when they filmed Clara's death scene for "Face the Raven", she had not yet been made aware of how her character arc was going to be resolved at the end of the season.
    • The production team asked Jodie Whittaker what her favourite biscuits werenote , but wouldn't tell her why they wanted to know. While filming "The Ghost Monument", Whittaker got her answer; as a present for her, the team had secretly installed a custard creams dispenser into the control panel of the TARDIS, which Whittaker discovered while filming the scene where Thirteen explores her new TARDIS. Thirteen's look of absolutely stunned, delighted surprise made it into the final episode.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • Why Susan was the Doctor's granddaughter: it looked too odd otherwise.
    • "Planet of Evil": Sorenson was going to die, but the producer felt the death of a sympathetic character was inappropriate.
    • Producer Philip Hinchcliffe was moved on from the show following complaints about the levels of violence and horror during his tenure.
    • K-9 was kept on after "The Invisible Enemy" because the production team saw his potential appeal with younger children. And they were right.
    • Anthony Ainley wanted to play the Master as serious and understated, but the producers wanted a retread of Roger Delgado's over-the-top villain. It wasn't until "Survival" that Ainley was allowed to give the performance he wanted.
    • Why Tegan had '80s Hair, amusingly enough. Producer John Nathan-Turner somehow thought that fans might somehow mistake Janet Fieldingnote  for Adricnote  in long shots. It's a miracle that Ms. Fielding didn't take the guy's head off.
    • Turlough had red hair to differentiate Mark Strickson (schoolboy outfit) with Peter Davison's Fifth Doctor (cricketing uniform).
    • Kamelion was originally going to be played by a series of humans, as he was a shape-changing robot. Instead he turned into a real mechanical prop, which was then shelved when the only person on the planet (and we mean the real planet Earth) who knew how to operate the blasted thing died without telling anyone else how to work it.
    • Executive producer John Nathan-Turner demanded the Sixth Doctor's becoming "totally tasteless" in terms of fashion sense, rather than the Ninth Doctor-esque dark clothes and jacket Colin Baker wanted. And thus, the multicoloured suit was born.
    • The ending to episode 11 of "The Trial of a Time Lord", "Terror of the Vervoids", was supposed to be a model shot of the Hyperion III flying towards the Black Hole of Tartarus. John Nathan-Turner thought that all episodes of the "Trial" season should end on a close-up on the Doctor's face, however (even though episode 9 memorably avoided that), and had the episode re-edited to end on a shot of the Doctor looking vaguely annoyed at Lasky.
    • "The Ultimate Foe", also known as episodes 13 and 14 of "The Trial of a Time Lord", was to be a four-part story written together by Robert Holmes and script editor Eric Saward. Then it was turned into a two-part story when Pip and Jane Baker wrote a pretty sweet story. But sadly, after many years of loyal contribution to Doctor Who Holmes' time abruptly came — he suddenly took deathly ill and never finished the script. Then, after Holmes passed away, Saward turned in a final script that kept the original plot; in this ending, the Doctor and the Valeyard are left tumbling through the Matrix, fighting to the death. note  Producer John Nathan-Turner rightly felt this could give the BBC the excuse they needed to axe the program... so Saward resigned and refused permission for his script to be used. As such, the televised version of the final episode was written by Pip and Jane Baker in a matter of days, without being allowed to know anything about the originally intended version. It's nothing less than a miracle that this serial was even finished.
    • The first edit of "The Trial of a Time Lord Part 14" ran to some 38 minutes; Nathan-Turner managed to get permission to extend the running time by five minutes, but still had to make it up by cutting out large amounts of material featuring the Master and Glitz.
    • The sacking of Sixth Doctor Colin Baker was at the behest of BBC management. The fairness of that decision is still hotly debated.
    • A reference that Ace lost her virginity to Sabalom Glitz never made it past the censor (though did find its way into the Expanded Universe).
    • The show's cancellation following the Sylvester McCoy era has been explicitly, if not exclusively, pinned on BBC executive Michael Grade's personal distaste for it (though he was no longer controller by the time of the actual cancellation).
    • Russell T. Davies originally proposed bringing the show back in 1998, but was blocked because the BBC's commercial arm insisted on approaching producers for a Hollywood movie.
  • Executive Veto: Midge's somewhat unexplained death in "Survival" is because the original script had the Master inciting the other youths to tear him limb from limb for showing weakness, which was vetoed as too horrific even for Doctor Who.
  • Fake American:
    • "American" companion Peri Brown is played by British Nicola Bryant. Bryant has confirmed in interviews that when she joined the series an attempt was made to hide the fact she was British, to the point where she was asked to stay "in character" as an American even for TV interviews. The charade lasted only a few months before she was allowed to be a Brit again off-camera.
    • Don't forget Jack Harkness, played by Glaswegian John Barrowman, who does have an American accent in real life (except when talking to his parents). Harkness is a Fake American In-Universe as well, being from another planet in the 51st century but posing as an American officer in World War II. He does frequently show his British assimilation by yelling "Oi!" at people.
      • Barrowman is more like half-British: While born in Glasgow, he moved to Illinois at the age of eight with his family, went to university in California, moved back to Britain at the age of 22, and currently maintains dual citizenship.
    • In "The Chase", the Daleks chase the First Doctor and his companions through a New York skyscraper, where a tour guide (Noo Yauwk) and a tourist (Allabayama) are entertainingly fake. William Hartnell's Old West adventure, "The Gunfighters", is full of the same.
    • In "The Tomb of the Cybermen", Vienna-born George Roubicek and Welshman Clive Merrison play Captain Hopper and Jim Callum. Their accents are quite awful.
    • In "The Space Pirates", Milo Clancey has an outrageous hillbilly accent courtesy of New Zealander Gordon Gostelow.
    • The classic example is Bill Filer in "The Claws of Axos". He even has his own fan-produced spinoff.
    • Yee Jee Tso, who played Chang Lee in the TV movie, is actually Canadian.
    • In "Dalek", the American characters are played by Kiwi Anna-Louise Plowman, Canadian Nigel Whitney, and British Steven Beckingham. Corey Johnson (who plays the Big Bad) was born in New Orleans, but much of his accent sounds strained and over-precise at times; it's obvious he's heavily trained and spends a lot of time in the UK.
    • "Daleks in Manhattan"/"Evolution of the Daleks" had British Miranda Raison and Ghanaian-born British-raised Hugh Quarshie as guests of that story. A pre-fame Andrew Garfield also appears in that episode, doing an Tennessee accent; Garfield was born in California but grew up in the UK, and his attempt at a Tennessee twang isn't anywhere close to his actual accent.
    • In "The Sontaran Stratagem"/"The Poison Sky", British actor Ryan Sampson plays Luke Rattigan.
    • Brits Mark Sheppard and William Morgan Sheppard play Canton Delaware in "The Impossible Astronaut"/"Day of the Moon". Other guests include Nigerian Chukwudi Iwuji, British Mark Griffin and Canadian Kerry Shale.
  • Fake Nationality:
    • Scottish companion Jamie McCrimmon was played by English-born actor Frazer Hines, albeit Hines' mother was Scottish, helping him get the accent right. Oddly enough, this was temporarily averted during "The Mind Robber", when Hines fell ill and was temporarily replaced by the Glasgow-born Hamish Wilson.
    • Latoni, the indigenous South American in "Black Orchid", is played by the rather more Asian-British Ahmed Khalil.
  • Fandom Nod: In "Blink", policeman Billy Shipton tells Sally Sparrow the TARDIS can't be a real police box because "the windows are too big" (amongst other things). It's been confirmed by episode writer Steven Moffat that this was a reference to complaints made by fans on the popular Outpost Gallifrey discussion forums in 2004. (Likewise, "Time Crash" and "Love & Monsters" both make oblique reference to the fandom.)
  • Hostility on the Set: The show is one of the most candidly-documented shows ever, but most actors still insist that they all got along famously. There are only a few cases of people admitting the opposite:
    • Michael Craze, who played Ben, one of William Hartnell's last two companions, has said that Hartnell was extremely nasty to both him and Anneke Wills, the third regular cast member at the time. This was probably partly due to Hartnell's dementia and partly to him being unhappy about his impending departure from the show. Hartnell also had a poor working relationship with producer John Wiles, whose attempts to make the show Darker and Edgier didn't go over well with Hartnell, who as the sole remaining member of the original team saw himself as the guardian of the series' original values. When Wiles' attempts to remove the star were unsuccessful, he removed his costars Maureen O'Brien and Peter Purves (the latter revealed that he has no fond memories of Wiles).
    • Tom Baker and Louise Jameson, who played Leela, have admitted that they got on very badly, because Jameson couldn't put up with Baker's ego, while Baker didn't think that the Doctor should be tolerating Leela's Psycho Sidekick tendencies. Thankfully, both have mended fences enough to where Louise Jameson was tag-teaming with Lis Sladen to cajole Tom to do the Big Finish audio dramas.
    • There were also periods of violent feuding between Baker and Lalla Ward, who played the second incarnation of Romana, but that was down to the up-and-down progress of their Romance on the Set. Both Baker and Ward reportedly did not get on with Matthew Waterhouse, because they thought he was incompetent and didn't like the concept of his character. Janet Fielding and Sarah Sutton both found Baker intimidating.
    • John Barrowman revealed that he didn't get on with Christopher Eccleston:
      "Chris was always grumpy. You don't always have to be intense. There comes a point when intensity makes you miserable — I think that was the case with Chris. I much prefer working with David — he likes to have a bit more fun, he's more charismatic as a person. Chris might have been a great Doc but he was darker and had a chip on his shoulder, he was not as much fun on set as David. I will give him the credit that he was the first Doctor to bring back the series and made a damn good job of it. But I just wouldn't go to the pub with him. On the other hand, David's been to my house, we went to the Madonna concert with our partners — we socialise together. He's a lot more fun."
    • Eccleston, for his part, claimed that he didn't enjoy the onset environment due to conflicts with certain people behind the scenes. In a series of 2018 interviews with the Radio Times, he claims that his working relationship with Russell T. Davies broke down during filming on the series; since Eccleston was known primarily for his serious dramatic roles, he wasn't entirely comfortable in a more light-hearted series. He also claims that he was blacklisted by the powers that be at the BBC for a few years for leaving the show, and he had to work in America until there was a "regime change". He also said he will never work with Davies again, because despite his promise to not say anything that might ruin the fledging revival's reputation, he was still blacklisted and Davies either supported it, or did nothing to help Chris out.
  • I Knew It!:
    • In his recap of the second-to-last episode of the first season of NuWho, Jacob of Television Without Pity incorporated a lengthy rant on Gnosticism and the parallels thereto in the revived series. He concluded from this analysis that, among other things, the season finale would have to involve the Doctor as the Devil battling a "fake bastard God" and being saved by a female character ("I hope it's the TARDIS, but it's probably Rose") as the incarnation of the goddess of wisdom. In his recap of the actual finale, he doesn't so much gloat as express relief that he doesn't look insane.
    • The return of the Master in the new series. Granted, this got more and more obvious as the show went on, but some fans had this figured out from the trailer. Others had this worked out even before that based on what DVD box sets of the classic series the BBC was releasing. (The box set in question being the "New Beginnings" trilogy, which returned the Master to recurring character status in the original series.) Others rejected this theory because they felt that The BBC wouldn't be "that obvious".
    • In possibly the most extreme example, the possible connection between Jack Harkness and the Face of Boe was predicted ahead of time.
    • Rassilon turning out to be evil in "The End of Time" was this for many fans. "The Five Doctors" and much Doctor Who Expanded Universe material had already depicted him as fairly shady.
    • There was a theory that in "Flesh and Stone", the reason that the Doctor was wearing the jacket that he had just lost wasn't because of continuity errors, but because he was actually the Doctor from the future who had come back in time to talk to Amy. Those who subscribed to this theory were entirely correct.
    • Arthur Darvill had several guesses as to River Song's true identity before it was revealed on the show, and would sometimes bug Alex Kingston with them on set (she being the only person other than Moffat who knew). Eventually he guessed right, and she just said "Hello, Dad." He wasn't the only one who predicted this, though, as quite a few fans speculated the same thing.
    • And on the subject of River, it was widely suggested that the "good man" that River killed would turn out to be the Doctor himself — it was. He survived.
    • How many jokes were there about the Statue of Liberty being a Weeping Angel before "The Angels Take Manhattan"? A lot. How horrified was everyone that the jokes were right? Very.
    • A few fans successfully guessed the revelation regarding Clara in "The Name of the Doctor": that the modern London Clara is the original and somehow ends up splintered across time to save the Doctor's life countless times.
    • After he first appeared in "The Name of the Doctor", fans speculated that the War Doctor was a previously unknown incarnation of the Doctor from between his eighth and ninth incarnations. The minisode "The Night of the Doctor" proved this to be true.
    • Missy's identity, which was revealed at the end of "Dark Water", was correctly guessed ahead of time by savvy fans.
    • Although the actual mechanics remained unspoiled, many fans predicted Clara's death at the end of Series 9 as early as the end of Series 8, though granted some expected her to die (as was actually originally planned) in the 2014 Christmas special.
    • The official synopsis of post-Series 9 Christmas Episode "The Husbands of River Song" triggered predictions/fears that it would reveal the circumstances of the Doctor and River Song's last night together, and it did. However, the episode ended on a twist no one saw coming: said night on Darillium lasts 24 years in Earth/human time!
    • "World Enough and Time":
      • Some fans figured Moffat would kill off Bill because he was about to leave the show and would likely sweep the chessboard clean for Chris Chibnall. That, and they know what to expect with Moffat by this point, and it made sense he would have one last crack at killing off a beloved character... though from there other fans correctly guessed that there would be more to Bill's fate than the Cliffhanger teased!
      • Because of the fake-out regeneration in "The Lie of the Land", when the Doctor appeared to be dying in the opening sequence, a lot of people expected another tease of a regeneration, only for real this time.
    • "The Doctor Falls":
    • "Twice Upon a Time": Long before the special aired, most fans figured that the Captain, who was not named in the pre-publicity, was somehow related to the Brigadier. The reveal of his name near the end confirmed him as a member of the Lethbridge-Stewart family.
    • "Resolution": Despite the advertising going to considerable lengths (until Christmas Day, anyway) in avoiding the revelation of who or what "the most dangerous creature in the universe" was, that description was enough for many to figure out just who the Doctor was talking about.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes:
    • The 1993 charity special "Dimensions in Time", a crossover with EastEnders, was created on the condition that it'd never be rerun or released on home video. You can find it on YouTube, however.
    • It was in part due to this trope that a number of lost episodes have been recovered over the years, and complete audio recordings of every lost episode exist.
    • Fan-made recreations of missing episodes have been circulating for decades.
  • Late Export for You:
    • Series 10 in Asia. The BBC's announcement for Series 10 implied that the season would only be available through the BBC Player service in Singapore and Malaysia and the show would not be made available over BBC Firstnote , possibly due to the fact that Bill Potts is a lesbian companion. It eventually turned out that while Australia's and New Zealand's BBC First would be getting the season with just several hours' delay, the show could be delayed as much as two weeks before it appeared on BBC First in Malaysia and Singapore, possibly to encourage use of the BBC Player service (which has severely limited access even in both countries), and due to censorship screening — Malaysia and Singapore have conservative blue-nosed censorship boards that impose strict restrictions over the portrayal of LGBT characters on TV and in the cinemas and demands to screen episodes in advance, but are more relaxed about shows being made available over Internet streaming services.
    • This is repeating with Series 12, and not just in Asia but also Australia and New Zealand. Series 12 arrives in these regions three weeks late again, and this time even the show was late on BBC Player. The BBC blamed the lack of staff during the holiday season which resulted in the production of the non-English translation subtitles falling behind as the reason they were late.
  • Lying Creator: The BBC website made it sound like the Cybermen would be major enemies in "A Good Man Goes to War". In reality, they're merely cold open cameos.
  • Meaningful Release Date:
  • Name's the Same:
    • Strax the Sontaran medic shares his name with a controversial Florida medical facility. This could be coincidence... or Moffat could have picked up the name while visiting the US. He does have an affinity for Space Florida, after all…
    • In World War Z, Peter Capaldi played a "W.H.O. Doctor". According to rumors, this was done deliberately as a joke on the part of casting.
    • The King Kong Show had a bald, villainous scientist named "Dr. Who". When the same character showed up in the film King Kong Escapes, they gave him grey hair and a cape, there were too many similarities.
    • Amy Pond, sometimes known as Amy Williams, shares her name with skeleton racer Amy Williams.
  • No Export for You:
    • Americans had to wait until 1972 before finally seeing an episode on their screens (and even then the syndicators chose to skip over Pertwee's first story, and it wasn't until the 1980s that Americans finally got to see episodes from the 1960s). Nearly happened again in 2005 when US broadcasters initially refused to buy the new series, reportedly because it was "too British".
    • France was notoriously one of the only major countries never to import the original series. Other countries were late adopters as well; India, for example, never aired the series until 2008. Though to be fair this might be more a case of "No Import for You".
    • From about 2006 to 2010 it was commonplace for online content produced related to the series to not be viewable outside the UK (behind the scenes videos, prequels, games etc). This has improved in the last couple of years, but there is still extensive content that cannot be viewed outside the UK (at least until someone posts it to YouTube...). Although some original content eventually makes its way onto DVDs that get released in North America, there have been some notable exceptions, such as the "TARDISodes", a series of prequels released online in the UK only and never included on DVD, and Captain Jack's Monster Files, a web series featuring John Barrowman that remains web-only in the UK, and the minisode "Good as Gold", which was included in the UK box set of Series 7 but not included in the North American release.
    • Initially applied to a series of computer games produced for online distribution beginning in 2010. Eventually were made available via a retailer with North American release rights, except for the Mac version, even though it was available for Mac in the UK.
    • In a minor reversal, only viewers in North America and Australia viewed a unique pre-credits sequence narrated by Karen Gillan that was added to non-UK broadcasts of Season 6 in order to introduce new viewers to the show. This opening never made it onto the DVD releases in the UK or anywhere else.
      • When "Let's Kill Hitler" first aired on BBC America in 2011, it included an exclusive animated scene sponsored by an advertiser that aired in lieu of a commercial break and filled a gap in the story (it expanded on Rory and Amy's motorcycle chase through Berlin). Although later announced as being planned for inclusion in the Series 6 DVD box sets in North America and the UK, this never happened.
    • Averted with "The Day of the Doctor". Normally, there's several hours between the airing in the UK and the airing in the US, allowing fans to find and download the episode. For DoTD, the episode was shown at the exact same time in 94 countries, earning a Guinness record for biggest global simulcast.
    • BBC Worldwide's Asia arm has never been good with the specials (Easter specials are outright skipped over, while other specials are chosen at its own discretion, irrelevant of the interest shown on social media). However, most egregiously, "The Time of the Doctor" was skipped over back in 2013, and this special is important as it showcases the regeneration of Matt Smith to Peter Capaldi, and regenerations are extremely important events to Whovians. Many wrote to the BBC, who claimed that they have noted the interest of Asian viewers in the episode, but had announced that it would not be aired in the near future. It finally aired in mid-Febuary 2015, during ''Chinese New Year'' and over a year after its premiere in other regions, but BBC Entertainment Asia will still hand pick which specials it will and will not show in the future. And oh, the pre-2005 episodes have never been aired on BBC Asia's feeds, either.
    • In 2009, Astro Malaysia dropped BBC Entertainment from its channel lineup. As it was the only Pay TV provider carrying the channel, Malaysians were denied the show until 2012, when competing provider Hypp TV picked it up. Unfortunately, Hypp TV decided to drop the channel on December 1st, 2015, halfway through Series 9. To say that Malaysian Whovians weren't pleased with that decision is an understatement. Thankfully, the show became available on Netflix Asia in mid-2016, and then Hypp TV quietly proceeded to pick up the BBC First Video-on-Demand service in October 2016, making the good Doctor, along with a whole slew of BBC programming that went away with BBC Entertainment, once again available in Malaysia. It was finally averted completely when BBC Worldwide extended the launch of BBC Player into Malaysia.
    • In another case of "No Import for You" the CBC in Canada never bothered airing the 2007 Christmas special, "Voyage of the Damned", leaving the Season 3 cliffhanger unresolved for those who hadn't bought the DVDs; ultimately, the special wouldn't air on English language TV in Canada until 2010, when Space obtained the rights to show it.
  • Official Fan-Submitted Content:
    • A few monster designs, among other things. For instance, the Abzorbaloff from "Love & Monsters" was designed for a Blue Peter contest.
    • The Twelfth Doctor's title sequence was based on an immensely popular fan-made sequence.
  • Old Shame:
    • To the shock of many fans, Douglas Adams viewed "Shada" as this, publicly stating that he'd only signed the release to allow the 1992 VHS issue of what was made to go ahead because he hadn't noticed that it had been included in a folder with a bunch of other routine paperwork.
    • Robert Holmes said that "The Power of Kroll" was the least favorite serial he'd written for the show. He never liked doing "scary monster" stories, so right from the start he was wary of the premise that script editor Anthony Read gave him. He found the finished product dull and shakily executed.
    • Martin Clunes (of Men Behaving Badly and Doc Martin fame) is very embarrassed about his guest role in the 1983 serial "Snakedance".
    • Peter Kay has called his guest spot as the Abzorbaloff in 2006's "Love & Monsters" the one thing in his career that he regrets. While he had fun making it, he was disappointed by the finished product ("I'm a big green lizard running around Cardiff? Is that it?") and is aware that the episode is considered by some fans to be one of the worst ever.
    • Steven Moffat has regrets about the second episode he wrote during his tenure as executive producer, "The Beast Below". He's called it "a bit of a mess", citing the fact that he had too many ideas that would have been fine on their own, but having them all packed into a short 45-minute runtime didn't give them all enough time to properly stew or be focused upon.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Generally averted in favor of The Nth Doctor. It's played straight, however, with the recasting of the late William Hartnell as the First Doctor with Richard Hurndall in "The Five Doctors", and later David Bradley for "Twice Upon a Time".
    • Done for a grand total of 3 seconds during the Sixth Doctor's regeneration, as Colin Baker didn't return to portray the Doctor for a fraction of an episode. The Sixth Doctor's Dick Sargent to Colin Baker's Dick York was Sylvester McCoy, who simply wore a curly blond wig while sparkly special effects covered his face. It didn't work. Leave it to the producers of the "Time and the Rani" DVDs to sneak an Easter Egg in that seeks to make the regeneration look better by carefully rotoscoping in Colin's face, which is, soothingly, much better.
      • Colin Baker jokingly insists that since he never actually regenerated, he's still the Doctor and all the later ones are mere pretenders to the part.
    • Paul McGann briefly plays the War Doctor after the regeneration but he doesn't speak and when the face is seen in a reflection it is a younger John Hurt.
    • The Master at some points. Doesn't reach The Nth Doctor level because Peter Pratt and Geoffrey Beevers played the same incarnation. Gordon Tipple played the Master briefly in the 1996 Movie, though sources vary on whether the Tipple Master and Ainley Master are supposed to be the same one.
    • Davros has been played by four different actors over the years: Michael Wisher, David Goodson, Terry Molloy, and Julian Bleach. The makeup helps to hide the fact, as does the fact they generally try to imitate Wisher's voice. However, Goodson was infamous for giving Davros a Scottish accent.
    • John Leeson wound up replaced by David Brierly as K9 in Season 17 for one reason or another, but came back for the other appearances. Also, Roy Skelton did his voice for a fleeting scene in "Destiny of the Daleks", where all that K-9 did was make a brief coughing and croaking noise, incapable of speaking because he had contracted robot laryngitis and had to be confined to the TARDIS to recuperate. Who better to provide that kind of noise than someone who voiced aliens who have croaky voices all the time?
  • Out of Holiday Episode:
  • Out of Order:
    • Twice during Sylvester McCoy's tenure:
      • "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" was supposed to air before "Silver Nemesis". However, the planned broadcast order had to be changed when transmission of the series was delayed, as "Silver Nemesis" was the 25th annniversary story and they wanted the first episode to air on the anniversary itself. This creates a continuity error, as Ace is seen wearing Flowerchild's earring before the story in which she obtains it.
      • "The Curse of Fenric" was supposed to be the first story of Season 26, as it debuted the Seventh Doctor's new brown jacket (he is wearing a large duffel coat for much of the first episode, with the intention being to surprise the viewer with the new look when he takes the coat off). Furthermore, Ace's line about haunted houses was meant to foreshadow "Ghost Light".
    • Series six of the revived series was split into two parts, and after it was decided that the first half was too repetitive with all its episodes about people going around a dark area with flashlights, "Night Terrors" was pushed to the second half, while "The Curse of the Black Spot" was moved into its place. The latter apparently required quite a bit of rewriting to make sense in its new spot, but specifics haven't been given. As for "Night Terrors", they got away with simply adding a little tag to the end (although it does now contain Foreshadowing for something that had already happened).
    • "The Eaters of Light" was supposed to be early in Series 10, which unfortunately makes Bill look a bit dim for only now realizing the TARDIS is translating the languages she hears.

    P-W 
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Then-known for his comedic talents and funny voices, Jon Pertwee subverted his own screen persona with the no-nonsense performance of the Third Doctor.
    • Sylvester McCoy had, prior to his role as the Doctor, been best known for vaudeville, kids' TV, juggling, human blockhead exploits and the such, including, for some reason, stuffing ferrets down his trousers. As the Doctor, while at first still playing a variation on his previous roles, he eventually grew into one of the most straight-up manipulative, amoral, calculating incarnations of the Doctor.
    • Mark Sheppard playing Canton Delaware, a genuinely heroic character.
    • Prior to Doctor Who, Jodie Whittaker's best known roles were mostly in serious and sometimes very dark dramas, particularly Broadchurch. However, her Thirteenth Doctor is irreverent, hyperactive, and lighthearted, closer to her real-life personality.
    • Comedian Sir Lenny Henry playing cold, serious villain Daniel Barton.
  • Pop Culture Urban Legends:
    • There's a long-standing legend that the original TARDIS police box prop was previously used in an episode or episodes of Dixon of Dock Green. In fact, it was built new for the show.
    • 1960s Doctor Who in colour. Various rumours have circulated about parts of or entire episodes of Hartnell and Troughton stories being made in colour as unbroadcast technical experiments. This never happened. The probable source of the rumour lies with unofficial colour films of location shooting for a couple of sixties stories, which were made by crew members or fans.
    • A persistent rumour is that the first season (or seasons) were broadcast live. It wasn't. It was recorded "as live" before broadcast. (Although many other early BBC productions were broadcast live, most notably the original version of The Quatermass Experiment, and in subsequent interviews some cast and crew members claimed Who was originally broadcast live, likely mixing it up with other shows they worked on.)
    • The "missing sixth episode" of "The Dæmons", set off by an April Fool's prank in a fanzine. The somewhat abrupt and ill-explained ending of the story, combined with its unusual length of five episodes, led to a fan rumour that it was made as a six-part story and then had the last two episodes crudely edited into one. This had happened a couple of times earlier in the show, with "Planet of Giants" and "The Dominators", but "The Dæmons" was written as broadcast.
    • There were several wild rumours involving the true authorship of the stories "Kinda" and "Snakedance", due to the unusually cerebral nature of the scripts and the fact that the writer, Christopher Bailey, didn't write very much else and quickly gave up scriptwriting for academia. It was commonly alleged in fandom that "Bailey" was a pseudonym for a very well-known person who didn't want to be known as a Who writer, with the most common targets being Kate Bush and Tom Stoppard.
    • There was a fan rumour that "Terminus" was supposed to feature the return of the Ice Warriors. These turned out to be false.
    • A fan myth concerning "The Doctor's Daughter" states that incoming showrunner Steven Moffat learnt that the titular character, Jenny, was to be killed off at the end of the episode, and specifically requested that current showrunner Russell T. Davies have her survive as he intended to use the character in the future. This is a result of Gossip Evolution: what actually happened was that Moffat made an offhand remark (after reading the script) that Davies had a habit of creating interesting characters then killing them off, and that prompted Davies to change his mind and have her come back to life at the end of the episode. When Moffat saw the episode go out, he was very surprised to find that Jenny now survived the episode, and was even more surprised to learn that he was the reason she did.
    • But the most notorious urban legends in Doctor Who fandom surround Missing Episodes, with wild tales of evil collectors or secret circles of Big Name Fans who own copies of missing episodes and refuse to release them to the wider public.
      • In November 2013, tabloids the Daily Mail and the Mirror reported as news that a copy of the seven episodes of "Marco Polo", the earliest missing serial (and one of only three to have no existing footage whatsoever) had been found, recorded off-air by a handheld camera pointed at the TV screen. This was presumably a Chinese whisper based on the fact that many brief clips of footage have survived via this method — filmed by an anonymous Australian fan using an 8mm cine camera — but certainly not any full episodes.
      • Ever since the rediscovery of "The Enemy of the World" and "The Web of Fear", the fandom has been plagued by the "omnirumour", which, promoted by some well-known American geek news sites, alleges that most or all of the 1960s Missing Episodes have actually been found, but that it's been kept secret because the people in possession of them want more money and/or because The BBC wants to keep a guaranteed home video income stream by "finding" them gradually over the next few decades.
      • The "evil collector" legend actually achieved ostension in 2015, when the missing episode hunters who recovered the Nigerian copies of "The Web of Fear" revealed that Episode 3 of the story (one of the most sought-after of all Missing Episodes, since it features the first on-screen appearance of iconic franchise character Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart) had been stolen between their discovery of the episodes and their official removal from their original location.
    • Difficult negotiations with the estate of Terry Nation so the new series would be able to use the Daleks, combined with the species' relatively frequent appearances in the revival that averaged out at around once a year, led to the belief that the series was contractually obligated to have to use the Daleks at least once a year in order to keep the rights. This was debunked by Steven Moffat shortly before he left the position of showrunner, and it has been claimed that the real reason for the Daleks' much more frequent appearances in the new series is due to a combination of Running the Asylum and the species' iconic status as one of the Doctor's archenemies.
    • Fandom Memetic Mutation would have it that the Dalek that shoots the Doctor in "The Stolen Earth", nicknamed "Dalek Fred", didn't shout "EXTERMINATE!" before doing so. Re-watching the episode reveals otherwise.
  • Production Posse: The three Twelfth Doctor finales and his regeneration story reunited the same top crew: showrunner and writer Steven Moffat, director Rachel Talalay, composer Murray Gold and lead actor Peter Capaldi.
  • Promoted Fanboy:
  • Queer Character, Queer Actor: Captain Jack Harkness, who is pansexual, is played by openly gay actor John Barrowman.
    • Bill Potts, who is a lesbian, is played by Pearl Mackie, who came out as bisexual in 2020.
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • Karen Gillan and Caitlin Blackwood are cousins who had never met before being cast to play Amy.
    • As Edward Travers, Jack Watling twice appeared alongside his real-life daughter Deborah, who played companion Victoria.
    • Canton Delaware's older self is played by Mark Sheppard's own father.
  • Reality Subtext: Adric, whose older brother is killed shortly before Adric joins the Doctor, was played by Matthew Waterhouse, who sadly knew from experience what it's like to lose an older brother. Twice.
  • Recast as a Regular:
  • Recursive Adaptation:
    • The Third Doctor was based partially on James Bond, who was allegedly partially inspired by Jon Pertwee.
    • Since 2005, several TV episodes have been based, to a greater or lesser extent, on stories from various parts of the expanded universe.
  • Recycled Set:
  • Role-Ending Misdemeanor:
    • Phillip Hinchcliffe produced the show from 1974-7, a period that saw the series enter Darker and Edgier territory that was often criticised for being too scary and violent for children (and often considered the Golden Age of the series). The final straw came the notorious cliffhanger to episode three of "The Deadly Assassin", which saw the Doctor's head being held underwater. This was seen as going too far by Moral Guardians (most notably Mary Whitehouse) and, while The BBC publicly defended the programme, after three seasons Hinchcliffe was moved onto the adult police thriller series Target in 1977, and his replacement Graham Williams, who had created Target, was specifically instructed to lighten the tone of the storylines and reduce violence.
    • Writer Gareth Roberts was fired from the series due to numerous social media posts in which he was openly transphobic. The last straw came when he was assigned to a book anthology of Who stories, and several of the other writers involved said they wanted nothing to do with him and would quit unless he was removed. Gareth's attempts to critique this, making a post in which he denied transgender people existed, was regarded as Digging Yourself Deeper. Prior to this, he got into a confrontation with Peter Capaldi while filming season eight's "The Caretaker", thus ensuing that he wasn't invited back for the rest of his tenure.
  • Romance on the Set:
    • Tom Baker and:
      • Sue Gerrard, who had been working as an editor on "Horror of Fang Rock". He had an on-and-off relationship with her, broke it off to marry Lalla Ward (see below), and then, after divorcing Lalla, rekindled his relationship with Sue and married her. They've been married ever since.
      • Lalla Ward. They eventually got divorced after 16 months. Eagle-eyed viewers can play along at home noting whether or not Tom and Lalla got along at the time of shooting their scenes. There are noticeable moments when the two of them absolutely refuse to look at each other.
    • David Tennant dated several of his Doctor Who guest stars. In fact, he's married to and has a daughter and a stepson / and now officially adopted son with Georgia Moffett, who's the real-life daughter of Fifth Doctor Peter Davison, and who played the daughter of Tennant's Doctor (well, "genetic clone") on the show. That's right, there is a kid out there that has the Doctor as her father and grandfather. (Yes, the Doctor's daughter played the Doctor's daughter and then had the Doctor's daughter. Try to get your mind around that!)
    • Frazer Hines (Jamie) and Deborah Watling (Victoria) briefly dated during their time together on the show.
    • Deborah Watling also developed something of a reputation for flings with the monster operators. Over her tenure she went out with a Yeti, a Cyberman and a couple of Ice Warriors (which was awkward because they were "too tall").
  • Running the Asylum: It's the longest running Science Fiction show in existence, heavily influencing just about everyone in the UK who ever did anything related to Science Fiction. It's a fair bet that there's a few long-time fans on the payroll, such as David Tennant.
  • Screwed by the Network:
    • Happened quite a few times in the 80s, which ultimately put the show on a year and a half hiatus and was the reason Colin Baker was fired.
    • Arguably happened with Series 8 and 9. The BBC moved the time of broadcast from spring to autumn, which meant it had to air after Strictly Come Dancing at a time too late for a family show. It also had to compete with ITV's The X Factor and at one point a few rugby games. The result was comparatively low ratings. Series 9 also suffered from trailers spoiling some episodes and a bad publicity campaign.
    • Subverted by Series 10. At first, no series in 2016 sounds like getting screwed, but this was to allow Series 10 to be broadcast and not suffer competition from the Olympics and other events. Plus, it allowed the series to be broadcast in the spring. This prevented the problems the last two series had and allowed Moffat to work on Sherlock without Doctor Who suffering the way Series 6 did (see Troubled Production below), though it didn't stop all problems.
    • Indirectly screwed by the satellite provider monopoly Astro in Malaysia back in 2009, when said provider screwed BBC Entertainment over by dropping it from their channel lineup. The show, along with other BBC programming, remained unavailable in Malaysia until 2012 when a IPTV provider, Hypp TV, finally picked up the channel. Hypp TV dropped the channel in December 2015, but it turned out that Hypp TV was advised by The BBC that they were going to discontinue BBC Entertainment in 2017 in favor of launching the BBC First VOD service and to not renew their contract. They picked up BBC First in October 2016, as soon as the BBC ended the trial in Singapore and opened up the VOD service to other providers in Asia.
    • The 50th anniversary release of the animated reconstruction of "The Power of the Daleks" got shafted out of its 8:25 PM timeslot, putting it at 11 PM to make room for yet more Star Trek: The Next Generation reruns.
  • Series Hiatus:
    • The 1985-86 hiatus.
    • The cancellation of the classic series in 1989 was originally described as a "hiatus" by the BBC. And it was, of a sort. It just lasted considerably longer than the earlier one: at least seven years (until the 1996 TV movie) and up to sixteen years (until the series resumed on a regular basis with "Rose" in 2005).
    • The BBC also announced that Doctor Who would be on hiatus between the 2015 and 2016 Christmas Specials, since Steven Moffat was busy with Sherlocknote  The BBC themselves felt it was a good time to allow a hiatus since they were broadcasting so many events such as the Olympics it would constantly interrupt their flagship series.
  • Spin-Off Cookbook:
    • The Doctor Who Cookbook by Gary Downie had recipes submitted by actors from the show and given 'verse-inspired names like Castrovalvan Kebabs.
    • A second cookbook was published in 2016, this one written by professional cookery writer Joanna Farrow.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: Quite unavoidable — the special effects and fashions give the production decades away within minutes. When the stories have been restored to DVD with new special effects, the Restoration Team have very deliberately shot many of the new effects in appropriate styles so they wouldn't clash with the source material. So the Special Edition of "The Five Doctors" has new and improved CGI effects that actually look like Eighties effects.
    • And once again used deliberately in "Time Crash", which alternates between the grand orchestral score of the Tenth Doctor's era and the the synthesized background music of the Fifth Doctor's era.
    • Watch's 50th Anniversary rundown of the Doctors pointed this out while discussing each Doctor — pointing out how each Doctor's personality, the personality of the threats they faced, and especially their personal appearance was informed by the era from which they came. For instance, the narrator suggested that the addition of Mel was inspired by the 1980s fitness craze, and most of the talking heads seemed to agree that, while Colin Baker's outfit was incredibly awful even in-universe, it's really only a mild exaggeration of hideous things people sincerely wore in the 80s.
    • Played with in the novelization of "Shada", which was a 1979 Development Hell episode originally written by Douglas Adams,note  and eventually novelized by Gareth Roberts in 2012. As a result, the 1970s setting, which was Like Reality Unless Noted for Adams, is deliberately played for kitschy absurdity — the male companion is specifically noted to have long, feathered hair and a taste for denim jackets (which would have been assumed default in the '70s), a very Douglas Adams joke about humanity's obsession with digital watches goes from being satirical (similar to a modern joke about fixation on smartphones) to being funny entirely because of the anachronism of it, and the band Status Quo show up at one point, for laughs. At the same time, the Time Lord tech is altered to be more like modern tech, with K-9 being given a battery charge indicator that works like one on a modern phone, and Chronotis' time telegraph having a touch screen and a "Sent Mail" folder, and it's likely this was intended to look equally silly in the future.
    • The first revival season ends up falling into this thanks to hefty amounts of We're Still Relevant, Dammit!, much of which relaxes once the series became a confirmed hit. The Tylers' (and a few other characters') Chavvy fashion style is significant, Rose has to visit her boyfriend's house to use the internet (which is a mixture of Timecube-esque personal sites and Livejournal) and uses a Nokia brick phone which is nevertheless talked up, homosexuality is discussed in slightly edgy pre-civil-partnership terms.

      The second story involves Britney Spears' "Toxic" as "a traditional Earth ballad", the fourth is a Whole Plot Reference to 9/11 conspiracy theories and the 'sexed up' Iraq September Dossier, and the finale is about the Doctor (and the Daleks) getting trapped in Deadly Game versions of 2005 light entertainment shows, like The Weakest Link, Big Brother and What Not to Wear, complete with celebrity parodies immediately recognisable to the contemporary audience but rather dated now. (There was a certain Reality Subtext to this last part, as the main feeling in the television industry was that the Doctor Who revival was doomed as "family television" didn't exist as a format any more except in the form of Soap Opera and reality or game shows.)
    • In "The Time Meddler", the Doctor discovers that the Meddling Monk is not from the Middle Ages (but from the distant future)... because he uses a record player to re-enact the sounds of monks praying.
    • Classic DVD releases all come with a little booklet which gives some details about the story in question. However, some of the "facts" within them are no longer true. The booklet for "The Romans" (released 2009) talks about the current incarnation of the Doctor, a man who is now several Doctors ago. The Lost in Time set (released 2004) claims there are 108 missing episodes, when actually there are now only 97. "Arc of Infinity" claims that Colin Baker is the only person to be in Doctor Who before being the Doctor, which Peter Capaldi may now disagree with.
    • The 1970s era, particularly the Jon Pertwee era. Everyone uses Trim-phones, and in some of the earlier episodes, people still ask for operators before calling somewhere. The 1970s, in which Britain let go of most of its colonies, saw officers returning from these places and put in British military middle-management, a social change that the character of the Brigadier satirises (as well as forming the allegory in stories like "The Mutants"). The Green Aesop is omnipresent, but in terms of "pollution" rather than global warming, and miner's strikes feature in several stories. The Clangers is referenced, Jo talks about her "O-levels", and both she and Sarah Jane talk about "women's lib". One winceworthy moment is when the Doctor in "The Mind of Evil" claims to be a good friend of Chairman Mao... The Tom Baker era is a bit more timeless, but still features a Doctor with pretty incredible '70s Hair who wears clothing parodying 1975 fashion in his first season (compare his outfit to what Mike Yates wears in "Planet of the Spiders"). The more satirical tone of his era also leads to references that come across as rather cryptic to modern viewers: the "Harry is only qualified to work on sailors" line in "The Ark in Space" is a joke about the often overly restrictive union regulations of the day, and the exchange in "The Seeds of Doom" about the seeds "travelling in pairs like policeman" — a normal safety precaution then, since discarded as inefficient. "The Deadly Assassin" is especially 70s, containing references to then-contemporary political scandals (such as the line about the Presidential honours list) that only serious politics anoraks will catch nowadays. This is partly responsible for the UNIT dating controversy; by the mid-eighties, it seemed pretty clear the UNIT Era couldn't possibly have been 20 Minutes into the Future.
  • Viral Marketing: There have been, at various times, an actual Cybus Industries website, a conspiracy site based on the one from the first revival episode, and another telling you to vote for Mr. Saxon.
  • The Wiki Rule: TARDIS Data Core.
  • Word of God: On the Planet of the Spiders DVD, the creators state that they intended the Doctor and the Master to come off as brothers in the Jon Pertwee era.
  • Writer Revolt:
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: Partly by necessity. While an individual head-writer/producer might have individual plans, the show's Long Runner status means that this is a little bit necessary. For example, a lot of the things that have made the show so iconic, such as The Nth Doctor trope or the Daleks, weren't planned but added as they went along.
    • Especially notable is "The Ultimate Foe", the end of the "Trial of a Time Lord" story arc. Original writer Robert Holmes died before he could write the final story, and the team brought on to replace him were actually legally forbidden from knowing his intended ending. The two-part finale has a quite noticeably rushed script, with a Master subplot that ends up going nowhere and the bizarre reveal that the prosecutor the Valeyard was actually a future incarnation of the Doctor the whole time, which the show has basically just ignored ever since.
    • Russell T. Davies, the first showrunner of the revival series, has openly stated that he tends to write overarching stories (particularly ones that span multiple seasons) as he goes, rather than having it meticulously planned out in advance. This often resulted in him running with things that people pointed out to him:
      • The fact that the Doctor happened to have an encounter with Donna, then coincidentally ran into her grandfather the following Christmas, then happened to run into Donna again after they, by total happenstance, decided to investigate the same suspicious company. Davies has said that someone brought up how coincidental it was, and wondered if there was some reason for it. At the time, which was before he had finished finalising "Partners in Crime" he had nothing planned. He realised that it looked like he did though, and began tying it into the series' overarching narrative. For this reason, they also took the hints that Donna's fate seems cosmically interwoven with the Doctor's thing Up to Eleven in that episode.
      • Similarly, when writing "Planet of the Ood", Davies put in the Ood calling the Doctor and Donna "the Doctor-Donna" just because he thought it sounded cool. Cue the finale, in which Donna becomes half-Donna half-Doctor due to a Time Lord-human metacrisis. Davies didn't realize that he had unintentionally created some major foreshadowing until someone pointed it out to him, thinking he had done it intentionally. He then rewrote "Journey's End" to include a moment of the Doctor remembering that the Ood had called them Doctor-Donna.
      • One notable subversion for Davies was the overarching story concerning the Doctor's severed hand, which went from the 2005 Christmas special to the Series 4 finale in 2008. Davies claims that since the moment he wrote it into the script for "The Christmas Invasion", he knew that he would end up making a "second Doctor" grow out of the severed hand, whom the original Doctor would send off to live happily with Rose. He even told David Tennant about these plans at the time.
      • Davies openly declared after Series 3 that the mysterious shot of a woman's hand picking up the Master's ring had no intended meaning; he had no further plans for the character, but with his time as showrunner coming to an end he figured he should put in some kind of Sequel Hook to make it easier for future writers who wanted to use him again. Then in his very last episode, he decided to follow up on it himself after all.

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