Doctor Who has become a staple of British television and one of the most-beloved series world-wide. After 50 years of Doctor Who, this BBC series has spawned millions of Whovians and heaps of facts about the Doctor along the way. Here we delve into 25 Doctor Who Facts Whovians Might Not Know.
A special TARDIS key
Jon Pertwee, the third Doctor Who, wasn’t thrilled with the basic key used to enter the TARDIS, so he designed his own.
Most designed villain
Out of all Doctor Who villains, the Cybermen have had the most redesigns.
Villain with the best attendance
They also are the only villains to appear in every decade of Who.
The rarest villain
Cyberman may appear throughout, but the rarest is the Great Intelligence. It holds the record for longest interval between appearances at 44 years apart.
Having Christmas with a Dalek
Daleks may be the most terrifying force in the universe, but that hasn’t stopped the Go-Gos from writing a Christmas song about them.
Torchwood is actually an anagram (a rearrangement of letters) of Doctor Who. When the show was relaunched in 2005, it was written on the tapes to prevent information getting out before the first episode.
The Doctor's old teacher
Borusa, the Doctor’s former teacher, has had the most incarnations besides the Doctor and the Master. He has been played by four different actors – a different one for each appearance.
Though only around for one season, Christopher Eccleston was the biggest name to become the Doctor upon taking the role.
The Doctor used to advertise computers
The BBC used to license out Doctor Who copyrights in the past, including actors Tom Baker and Lala Ward in full Doctor Who attire to star in commercials for Prime Computers in the 1980’s.
Biggest DW fanboy
Peter Capaldi was a major fan of Doctor Who way before stepping into the TARDIS. He wasn’t happy when another boy was chosen to lead the Who fan club while he was a teenager and proceeded to flood the BBC with letters letting them know.
A big twentieth reunion
Doctor Who turned 20 in 1983 and featured a brilliant episode entitled (and featuring) The Five Doctors. As Hartnell died in 1975, he was replaced by Richard Hurnball.
Yes, even Benedict Cumberbatch of Sherlock fame was asked to play the Doctor, but he turned down the role because he didn’t want to see himself “being on school lunch boxes”.
The King of Pop and Time Travel
Paramount Pictures fielded an idea in the 1980’s to make a Doctor Who movie with Michael Jackson. We wonder how MJ would have fared walking on the actual moon.
The two-face/one-face Doctor
Colin Baker, the sixth Doctor, didn’t want to act out his dying-to-regeneration scene so the next Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, played the part of a regenerating Doctor pre- and post-regeneration. Looking at the footage you can see the blonde wig he wore.
Low budget effects
The sound of a materialising TARDIS which has become all so familiar to us wasn’t the product of a great feat of sound engineering. Rather, it came from keys being dragged across a piano’s bass strings and the track then being played in reverse.
The Doctor's age
We’re not talking here about the Doctor’s Time Lord age, but rather his actors’. Matt Smith (27) became the youngest actor to take the role, beating out Peter Davison (29). Peter Capaldi now shares the title for oldest actor to step into the role; William Hartnell and he stepped into the TARDIS at 55 years old.
Why Eccleston left
The first Doctor of the show’s relaunch in 2005, Christopher Eccleston, has said he left after only one season “because of politics”. He didn’t agree with how the show’s directors were running things.
The BBC’s first female producer – Verity Lambert – was hired to work on, you guessed it, Doctor Who. She came on board in 1963.
A very successful actor
By the time Peter Davison became the Doctor in 1981, the show wasn’t doing too well in the ratings. That didn’t stop him from giving highly rated performances and finding more success post-Who than any of the other classic actors.
This 2012 Britain's Got Talent performance
Martyn Crofts took to the stage of Britain’s Got Talent in 2012 and shocked everyone with his Dalek performance. He even got to the semi-finals!
The best assistant
Sarah Jane Smith (portrayed by Liverpool-born Elisabeth Sladen) is widely regarded as the best Doctor Who assistant. She appeared alongside the third and fourth Doctors and even got her own spin off show, The Sarah Jane Adventures, in 2007.
The Doctor is a real doctor, sort of
The Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton, remarked in a 1967 episode that he’d taken courses in medicine in Glasgow. “1888 I think.”
The Doctor's trip to court
No, not to a trial on his home planet of Gallifrey. The BBC fought for six years in court for the rights to the police-box design. The opposing party? The Metropolitan Police, the force which originally created and worked the boxes. The BBC won by claiming the police-box image was more closely associated with Doctor Who since the Met hadn’t used it in over 30 years.
Zero to hero characters
Both Peter Capaldi (the current Doctor) and Karen Gillan (the companion during some of the Matt Smith years) were cast in a lesser role in previous filming – even the same episode: The Fires of Pompeii.
Producer Steven Moffat wasn’t digging the Eleventh Doctor’s bow tie but eventually agreed to allow it. We think Matt Smith probably responded, “Bow ties are cool.”