Doctor Who World

Welcome to Doctor Who World!


If you've reached this page, you probably don't need to be told that it is devoted to the BBC's long-running science fiction television programme, Doctor Who


Here you will find articles, news, viewpoints and links to all that proves that everything about Doctor Who is bigger inside than out.

The Doctor as Warrior

We have been tracing the development of the character of the Doctor as part of charting the three successful pillars upon which the programme is built.

The Creation of the Doctor

Whereas once it had commanded the airwaves and helped to win the war, by the late 1950s the BBC was under siege from independent television, which, unrestricted by the corporation’s remit to ‘inform, educate and entertain’ had wooed audiences by focusing on simply entertainment.

Sheffield's Police Box

Many visitors to Sheffield, particularly Doctor Whofans, can hardly fail to notice the green police box near the city’s Town Hall. 

The Doctor and James Bond

Twenty years ago, John Devon Roland Pertwee (pictured above with William Hartnell in the 1953 comedy film Will Any Gentleman...?) born in July 1919 in London, the son of actor and playwright Roland, died in the USA at the age of 76.

Four Possible Doctors

In the long history of Doctor Who, there have been many casting choices - and some that didn't quite happen.

The Shifting Archetypes in Early 'Doctor Who'

We have seen in earlier articles that the Doctor began his life on the television screen in a role approximating that of a villain: he was an aggressive, mysterious old man who suddenly and impulsively kidnaps the two teachers who stumble into the Tardis, innocently seeking an explanation for the odd behaviour of one of their students.

The Doctor and the Sensorites

As we have seen, in Doctor Who’s third broadcast story, ’The Edge of Destruction’ Hartnell’s Doctor, proud and arrogant, who began as a quasi-antagonist in ‘An Unearthly Child’, becomes an ally of and friend to Ian and Barbara, the teachers he had kidnapped.

'Doctor Who: The Edge of Destruction'

‘The Edge of Destruction’, first broadcast in February 1964, is a curiosity.

'Rocky Jones, Space Ranger'

Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, an American science fiction television serial originally broadcast in 1954, lasted for two seasons then dropped into obscurity. Neither ground-breaking nor particularly enthralling as far as story-telling goes, it may have one slight but completely unexpected claim upon today’s viewer.

'Doctor Who' and the Perfect Antagonist 2

As we saw in an earlier article,‘The Daleks’, originally aired in 1963/4, came at a pivotal point in the development of Doctor Who.

'Doctor Who' and the Perfect Antagonist 1

The first episode of the fifty-year-old series Doctor Who had established a unique set of parameters.

'Doctor Who: An Unearthly Child' 2

The rest of the first adventure of Doctor Who, commonly known by its opening episode ‘An Unearthly Child’, is comparatively uninteresting, but worth examining simply because it is the rest of the first story of what would become an all-time television classic.

'Doctor Who: An Unearthly Child' 1

Originally aired on November 23rd, 1963, the very first episode of Doctor Whocould hardly have chosen a more dramatic moment in which to appear.

The Context of 'Doctor Who' Part 9

Nine years passed between the failed television movie in 1996 and the beginning of a new series of Doctor Who. When it was announced that the series would return in 2005, produced by BBC Wales, and driven by well-known TV writer Russell T. Davies, there was much trepidation.

The Context of 'Doctor Who' Part 8

So the three pillars which had supported Doctor Who for so long had been undermined to the point where the show had finally been cancelled.

The Context of 'Doctor Who' Part 7

When Sylvester McCoy took over as the Doctor in 1987, it is difficult to fathom the producer’s thinking.

The Context of 'Doctor Who' Part 6

Peter Davison, famous for playing veterinarian Tristan Farnon in All Creatures Great And Small, wore an Edwardian cricketers’ uniform and adopted a more down-to-earth, physical approach when he took over the role of the Doctor. Producer John Nathan-Turner added a celery stick on Davison’s lapel to add whimsy - a sign that the understanding of what was happening with the programme was merely cosmetic.

The Context of 'Doctor Who' Part 5

As we have seen, there had been many changes of direction, mood and purpose in Doctor Whoin its first twenty years, usually coinciding with the ‘regeneration’ of its lead actor.

The Context of 'Doctor Who' Part 4

Having overtly replaced its lead actor (Hartnell to Troughton) in 1966 using an invented plot mechanism which opened the door to a peculiar longevity for the show, then in 1969 reinventing itself as an Earth-based series of adventures, inverting everything that had made it successful, we have seen how Doctor Whounderwent two of the most radical experiments in television in the 1960s.

The Context of 'Doctor Who' Part 3

The era of the Second Doctor had generated much warmth: Troughton and Hines had worked so well together on screen that the goodbye scene between the Doctor and Jamie was even more intense for being heart-felt.

The Context of 'Doctor Who' Part 2

When Patrick Troughton took over as the Doctor in Doctor Who in 1966, the producers probably thought that they would be wrapping up the series soon. 

The Context of 'Doctor Who' Part 1

For a show that has lasted over fifty years, involving hundreds, if not thousands of people including several dozen different writers and producers, it’s hardly surprising that there have been many changes of direction, mood and purpose in Doctor Who. 

Challenging the Female Temlate in Fiction: Sarah Jane in 'Doctor Who'

Examining female characters in fiction, one can hardly escape noticing a particular pattern in many of them.

The Sigificance of 'The Ark in Space'

ABC TV in Australia must have had some kind of commercial relationship with the BBC, because periodically BBC programmes appeared and disappeared apparently at random from TV screens in Australia, and were played in entirely different sequences than they would have been in Britain.

The Doctor as Sea Captain?

In 1966, as William Hartnell’s ill health grew worse, but as the show continued to be popular, Doctor Who producer Innes Lloyd looked for a replacement for the series' lead role.

Why 'Doctor Who' Has Plot Holes

We’ve established earlier in this blog that the current version of Doctor Who is the creative child of Steven Moffat, and that, as a result of certain underlying presumptions on his part, some conscious and others not quite-so-conscious, the show has gone off on a particular tangent of which I am not particularly fond.

The Two Hearts of the Doctor

Let me confess immediately that I don’t like River Song as a character (though Alex Kingston does an excellent job with her as an actress). So now you know, and River Song fans need not read on -unless they want to know my reasons why.

Why Protagonists Get Thinner

As you can read much more about in How Stories Really Work, and as has been written about earlier on this blog, protagonists are meant to be interesting. In fact, being interesting is both their strength and their weakness.

32 'Doctor Who' Quotes to Make You Smile

The Doctor: Logic, my dear Zoe, merely enables one to be wrong with authority.


The Doctor: Fear makes companions of all of us.


The Doctor: One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs, and prove to me I am not mistaken in mine.

'Hell Bent' on Storytelling

Steven Moffat’s finale to Series 9 of Doctor Who was possibly both a masterpiece and unintentionally revealing.

Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography

I've just finished reading 'Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography', and for any Doctor Who fan -or indeed any fan of the world of television and theatre- it was a real treat. It felt very much like having Elisabeth sit next to you and chat about her life.

Bigger Inside Than Out: The Attraction -and the Peril- of 'Doctor Who'

I was discussing the Doctor Who finale 'The Wedding of River Song’ (first broadcast in October 2011) with a friend and we agreed that the series was growing a little tiring after a while, constantly focusing on the Doctor and the ‘mystery’ of him. We wished we could just get in the Tardis, save the world and get back in the Tardis, like back in the ‘good old days’ (we were thinking of the very good, but very old, days of Patrick Troughton’s Doctor. We are very old fans).

The Implausible Girl, or Why 'Face the Raven' Didn't Work

If, like me, you’ve been a Doctor Who fan since 1963, you will have developed your own ’ret-conn’ mechanisms for either wiping your memory of certain stories, episodes or bits of episodes as you have gone along. It seems essential: in a history spanning more than fifty years and dozens of writers, actors and ‘show-runners’, it would be a miracle if the show maintained high quality and consistency all the time. So serious fans do this themselves in their heads. It’s quite a skill.

'The Doctor's Wife': A Review

I note that viewer response was overwhelmingly positive to the Doctor Whoepisode written by Neil Gaiman ‘The Doctor's Wife’ (Season 6, Episode 4, first broadcast in May 2011). But as a fan of the show since 1963, that worries me a little.

The Doctor as Rebel

Back in 2009, David Tennant was chosen as a 'dream headteacher’ in a survey of primary school children commissioned by the National College for the Leadership of Schools and Children's Services. The poll was designed to assess the impact headteachers have on pupils.

Lewis, the Wardrobe and the Police Box

If, like me, you tend to read a great deal of significance into things, it won’t have escaped your notice that C. S. Lewis died about an hour before John F. Kennedy, the U.S President. I wonder, though, if you will have noticed that he also died the day before ‘Doctor Who was first broadcast.

The Perfect Companion Arc of Sarah Jane Smith

For me, the Golden Age of Doctor Who stretches from the beginnings of the show in 1963 right through to the moment that Sarah Jane Smith left the Doctor’s side in 1976. Within that period were many highs and lows, one of the highs being the time that Sarah Jane was aboard the Tardis from ‘The Time Warrior’ to her final appearance in the classic series, ‘The Hand of Fear’. 

Key Symbols in 'Doctor Who'

There’s a radical fan theory that Doctor Who isn’t actually a television programme at all.

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Coming soon from Clarendon House Publications:

Unearthly Child: Charting the Three Pillars of the BBC’s Long-running Programme ‘Doctor Who’

The Doctor has been having adventures on our television screens for over 50 years, and seems to win against all manner of adversaries - but hasn’t always succeeded with viewers. This book charts the three key factors that, when in place, virtually guarantee ratings’ triumphs - and, when missing, mean greater problems for the Doctor than anything his arch-foe the Daleks could dream up!

Stay tuned for the release date!