Whovians everywhere are brimming with excitement as today marks Doctor Who’s diamond anniversary, with three special episodes seeing the return of David Tennant as the Doctor airing weekly from Saturday the 25th of November.
Since first airing back in 1963, Doctor Who has seen various actors play the character of the Doctor, with a brand new incarnation played by Sex Education star Ncuti Gatwa gracing our screens next year.
But with 60 years of history under its belt, the ‘Whoniverse’ is very large and can be very complicated for new viewers to comprehend.
In an attempt to clear up some confusion for new viewers, the team at OLBG have found the most frequently Googled Doctor Who-related questions and answered them.
1. How many Doctor Who episodes are there? – 13k monthly searches
If you want to watch all of Doctor Who, good luck. 871 episodes have aired so far, with three more being included after the 60th. If you want to watch it all though, it is impossible. This isn’t because of time constraints, however.
Despite how long it would take to watch the entire show’s history, there are various episodes from the 1960s that no longer exist. The BBC wiped the original tapes they didn’t think were valuable to free up physical storage, once upon a time. This included many episodes of Doctor Who, with only the audio still existing.
But fear not, many have been reconstructed using animation, but not all of them just yet. Lost episodes have been discovered around the world in the past though, so maybe one day we might have a full catalogue again, but sadly it’s very unlikely.
2. How many people have played the Doctor? – 4k monthly searches
In total, 15 actors in total have played the Doctor in the TV series, with the upcoming Ncuti Gatwa being the 16th. 13 actors have played the main part, having their own respective series and eras of the show. John Hurt and Jo Martin have played special guest Doctors in the series.
Funnily enough, David Tennant isn’t playing his original incarnation in the 60th-anniversary specials and is in fact playing an entirely new Doctor. This is the third incarnation played by Tennant if you count his meta-crisis human incarnation.
3. Where is the Doctor from? – 4k monthly searches
The character of the Doctor comes from a fictional planet called Gallifrey, an orange planet with red skies and huge cities covered in giant glass domes.
It is home to the Time Lords, a race that invented the concept of time travel using TARDIS’, a time machine. The Doctor’s planet was destroyed in a deadly time war, that saw the Time Lords at war with the deadly Daleks.
4. Who played the first-ever Doctor? – 3k monthly searches
When The Doctor’s adventures began in 1963, the first actor to play the character was William Hartnell. Mostly well-known as a theatre actor, he played the character for three years and stepped down from the role in 1966 due to ill health.
Hartnell’s leaving led to the concept of regeneration, where the character can change his appearance upon death. Therefore, Patrick Troughton became the second Doctor in 1966.
5. What are the Daleks based on? -1k monthly searches
The Daleks are the Doctor’s greatest enemy and are purely evil creatures inside a suit of armour that turns them into ruthless killing machines. In fiction, the Daleks were created by Davros, who wanted to invent the most evil killing machines to take over the universe.
In reality, the Daleks were created by Terry Nation, who wrote the second-ever Doctor Who story titled The Dead Planet.
6. What does TARDIS mean? – 500 monthly searches
The TARDIS refers to the Doctor’s time machine, a blue 1960s police telephone box which is bigger on the inside, and the Doctor’s ship to travel across time and space.
The word ‘TARDIS’ is an acronym for ‘Time And Relative Dimensions In Space’, which refers to the box travelling through time and space and the relative dimensions of the box being bigger on the inside.