Fun Fact Friday: Doctor Who

Now in it’s tenth season, Doctor Who is a fan favourite across the world. As fans and critics alike praise the introduction of new sidekick Bill, played by Pearl Mackie, it looks like Doctor Who will be traveling through time and space for years to come.

We all have our favourite Doctor – from David Tennant to Tom Baker and his colourful trademark scarf. To celebrate the Time Lord and all the adventures he has had, we jumped into the TARDIS to explore the universal fun facts of Doctor Who.


The Daleks are based on Nazis

Creator Terry Nation based the Daleks (those pesky robot aliens who try to kill the Doctor almost every episode) on Nazis. With their trademark call of ‘Exterminate!’, salutes from their zapper and ability to conform and brainwash others it really is a good comparison. Even if it does leave children hiding behind the sofa.

First show to hire a female producer

Doctor Who was the first show to employ a female producer in the entire BBC. Sydney Newman, at the time working as the BBC’s head of drama, recruited Verity Lambert in 1963.

Regenerating is based on a bad LSD trip

The Doctor is well known for regenerating – the idea for his regeneration is actually based on a bad acid trip. In 2010, memos for the original series were found and the ‘metaphysical change’ the Doctor experiences are described as “if he had had the LSD drug and instead of experiencing the kicks, he has the hell and dank horror which can be its effect.” Who knew?

Torchwood is an anagram

When Russell T Davies was filming the revived series of Doctor Who in 2005 he wanted to ensure everything was completely secret. Instead of documenting tapes as Doctor Who he used an anagram… Torchwood. When Russell was offered to do a spin-off, he liked the name Torchwood so much he stuck with it.

The biggest fan

It is no secret that many actors who have played Doctor Who have been big fans. None more so than the 12th and current Doctor, Peter Capaldi who set his eyes on being the Doctor from the age of 14.

Doctor ‘Cook’

There is a Doctor Who cookbook. Yes, you read that right. Chris-Rachael Oseland wrote Dining with the Doctor: The Unauthorized Whovian Cookbook including 18 ‘adult beverages’, ‘Chicken and Ood Soup’ and ‘Cinnamon Pull Apart a Crack in the Wall’ for dessert. Not sure how Gordon Ramsay would feel about this.

Merchandising troubles

If you ever thought about making your own Doctor Who merchandise, don’t. In 2008 a fan, known as Mazzmatazz, posted intricate knitting patterns of Doctor Who characters on their webpage and felt the full force of the BBC. They were sent a cease-and-desist notice with the very stern reminder not to use “trademarks and copyright owned by the BBC.” Ouch.


Ever wondered how the TARDIS makes a noise? Wonder no more! In the early days of Doctor Who, before CGI and all the other cool stuff, Brian Hodgson dragged keys across the bass strings of an old piano and played the sound backwards.

Will there be a Time Lady?

Will there ever be a female Doctor? Probably not – Sydney Newman was the first to think about introducing a ‘Time Lady’ but it was shot down. The fifth Doctor, Peter Davison commented: “It’s not as if you would have a female James Bond.” The debate remains open.

Is Doctor Who even a doctor?

Doctor Who is actually a doctor. In 1967 serial The Moonbase, the Doctor spent some time on a sick bay. After being asked if he was a real medical doctor, he replied: “Yes, I think I was once, Polly. I think I took a degree once in Glasgow. 1888 I think.”


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