Doctor Who’s Turning 48!

Although the character claims to be approximately 900 years old, the British television show Doctor Who is turning 48 on November 23.  Doctor Who is in the Guinness World Records as the longest-running science fiction television show in the word, and the “most successful” science fiction series of all time.  In fact, more than 778 installments of the Doctor Who program have been televised since its first appearance in 1963. Writers such as Robert Holmes (Bergerac, and Blake’s 7) Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), Russell T. Davies (Torchwood, Queer as Folk, and The Sarah Jane Adventures) and Steven Moffat (Coupling, Jekyll, and Sherlock) have all worked as writers for Dr. Who. Moffat is actually the current head writer and executive producer of the show.

Doctor Who has become a hallmark of British pop culture and has begun to greatly affect those of us “across the pond” as well. Caitlin Moran, a television reviewer for The Times of London, wrote that Doctor Who is “quintessential to being British,” and director Steven Spielberg has commented that “the world would be a poorer place without Doctor Who.” A number of spin-offs have been produced, including K-9 and Company, Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures and the current K-9 television series, currently airing on Disney XD.  Plus the show has been referenced or spoofed on shows like Saturday Night Live, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Family Guy, South Park, The Simpsons and Community.
 
Now, some of you may ask “Who is Doctor Who?”  Well, for those of you who do not know, neither does anybody else.  Oh, sure, you could say that he is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, who journeys through time and space with his companions saving the earth, or whatever planet he happens to be on. However, the Doctor’s past is shrouded in mystery and his true name has never been revealed, though he has gone by many pseudonyms, including  “Dr. Foreman,” “Dr. Caligari,” “Doctor von Wer” (a German approximation of  Doctor Who), “Dr. Bowman,” “Dr. James McCrimmon,” “The Lonely God,” “Bringer of Darkness,” “Destroyer of Worlds,” and most frequently “John Smith.” Sometimes, it seems the Doctor himself has no idea who he actually is. In “The Lodger,” the Eleventh Doctor says, “I’m the Doctor. Well, they call me ‘the Doctor.’ I don’t know why. I call me ‘the Doctor’ too; still don’t know why.”
 
So, although, you may never know his true name, especially if the Silence has its way, let’s see what all you “Whovians” out there do know. (Note: Questions on top, followed by answers).
 
Questions:

1. Eleven men have principally portrayed the Doctor. Can you name them?

 

2. Which actor is the youngest actor to have played the Doctor?

3. Which actor played the longest lasting on-screen incarnation of the Doctor?

4. How many times can a Time Lord regenerate?

5. What does TARDIS mean?

6. Where should you never materialize the TARDIS?

7. What is the Eye of Harmony?

8. Who was the Doctor’s first companion?

9. What is UNIT?

10. In the episode “The Doctor’s Daughter” (2008), what actress played the Doctor’s daughter, and how is she connected to two different Doctors?

Answers:

1. Eleven men have principally portrayed the Doctor. Can you name them?

1.     William Hartnell (1963-1966)
2.     Patrick Troughton (1966-1969)
3.     Jon Pertwee (1970-1974)
4.     Tom Baker (1974-1981)
5.     Peter Davison (1981-1984)
6.     Colin Baker (1984-1986)
7.     Sylvester McCoy (1987-1980, 1996)
8.     Paul McGann (1996)
9.     Christopher Eccleston (2005)
10.   David Tennant (2005-2010)
11.   Matt Smith (2010-present)

2. Which actor is the youngest actor to have played the Doctor?

The 11th Doctor, Matt Smith, is the youngest actor to have ever played the Doctor.  He started playing the part when he was 27.  The second youngest was the 5th Doctor, Peter Davison, who started at age 29.

3. Which actor played the longest lasting on-screen incarnation of the Doctor?

Tom Baker, the 4th Doctor, played the part for 7 years.

4. How many times can a Time Lord regenerate?

According to the serials “The Deadly Assassin” and the “Mawdryn Undead,” as well as the 1996 TV film, a Time Lord can regenerate 12 times for a total of 13 incarnations.  However, at least one Time Lord, the Master, has managed to get around this according to “The Keeper of Traken.” Hopefully, The Doctor will discover this trick, or his time may soon run out.

5. What does TARDIS mean?

Time and Relative Dimensions In Space

6. Where should you never materialize the TARDIS?

You should never materialize the TARDIS inside itself.

7. What is the Eye of Harmony?

A black hole that powers the TARDIS’ time engines.

8. Who was the Doctor’s first companion?

Susan Foreman, the doctor’s granddaughter, is traveling with the Doctor when we first meet him.  They are on the run from their people.  While the Doctor learns to control the TARDIS, Susan attends Coal Hill School in London until two of her teachers (Barbara Wright and Ian Chesterton) become intrigued by her and follow her to a junkyard, where they find Susan, the Doctor and the TARDIS.  Susan and the Doctor then kidnap them in order to keep the TARDIS safe.

9. What is UNIT?

An intelligence task force dedicated to protect earth from alien threats.  The third Doctor worked as their scientific advisor while trying to repair his broken TARDIS.  Since then UNIT has popped up in various episodes.  In fact, one of the Doctor’s companions, Martha Jones, ended up working for UNIT after leaving the Doctor.

10. In the episode “The Doctor’s Daughter” (2008), what actress played the Doctor’s daughter, and how is she connected to two different Doctors?

Georgia Moffett was the actress who played the Doctor’s daughter, Jenny, in 2008. Ironically enough, Georgia is the real-life daughter of the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison and fiancée of the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant.  David and Georgia had a daughter named Olive in March 2011.

Got any other Doctor Who trivia?

Let me know! — Julie

4 thoughts on “Doctor Who’s Turning 48!

  1. However, at least one Time Lord, the Master, has managed to get around this according to The Keeper of Traken. Hopefully, The Doctor will discover this trick, or his time may soon run out.Said trick involved the Master taking over the bodies of other individuals. He didn't get a new set of regenerations until the Time Lords resurrected him to fight in the Time War. Somehow, I don't think either option is available or welcome to the Doctor. 😉

  2. 1) What happens when you knock the head off a Dalek? (It emits an automatic distress call)2) What element are the Cybermen deathly allergic too?? (Gold)3) What sound is used to make a Yetti's roar (special effectswise)?? (Flushing toilet)4) Which companion has had the most adventures with the most incarnations of the Doctor?? (Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart)5) What actor played the Doctor in the Doctor Who movies?? (Peter Cushing)

  3. D'Arque, No. I can't see the Dr. taking over other bodies. Maybe he will get a pass, being the last of his kind, to continue to regenerate.Nathanial, Love the Yetti fact. Thanks.

  4. Julie, Good news: I recently watched The Sarah Jane Adventures, and, in the episode "Death of the Doctor: Part 2", 11th doctor Matt Smith says that he can regenerate 507 times.

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