The Doctor's mother

From Tardis Wiki, the free Doctor Who reference

According to several accounts, the Doctor remembered having a mother, although her identity varied between accounts.

The Eighth Doctor remembered that his mother was a human (TV: Doctor Who, et al.) named Penelope Gate. (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors, The Gallifrey Chronicles) At other times, the Doctor remembered that she was a Time Lord (COMIC: The Comfort of the Good) or that rather than having parents on Gallifrey at all, the Doctor had either been born from the loom of the House of Lungbarrow (PROSE: Cold Fusion, Lungbarrow) or arrived as the Timeless Child (TV: The Timeless Children) and considered Tecteun their mother. (TV: Survivors of the Flux)

If the Doctor's mother did exist, the Thirteenth Doctor believed her and the rest of her family to be dead, (TV: The Woman Who Fell to Earth) even after learning Gallifrey had not been lost in the Last Great Time War. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)


Penelope Gate

Main article: Penelope Gate

Penelope Gate was an inventor from Victorian era England. She invented a time machine and travelled to 1996, where she was joined by Joel Mintz; later, the Seventh Doctor and Chris Cwej met her in 16th century Japan. (PROSE: The Room With No Doors)

Later, she met the Time Lord Ulysses, and they were married. They had a child, the Doctor, although they kept his hybrid nature secret from the High Council. (PROSE: The Gallifrey Chronicles)

When the Doctor was young, his parents went on a trek in the mountains with him. They owned a summer house on the other side of Kasterborous. (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors)

The Doctor said that his mother used to sing the Zagreus nursery rhyme to him. (AUDIO: Seasons of Fear) When the Doctor was just a "small child", the Doctor's mother sat by the side of his bed and told him the story of Grandfather Paradox. (PROSE: The Gallifrey Chronicles)

The Eighth Doctor relived a memory from his first incarnation where his mother watched his father hold him up as a child to see the stars. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors)

The Doctor often remembered her long, red hair across his incarnations, (PROSE: A Big Hand for the Doctor, The Infinity Doctors, The Gallifrey Chronicles) and the Eighth Doctor often alluded to being half-human "on his mother's side". (TV: Doctor Who, PROSE: Alien Bodies, Grimm Reality, Unnatural History, The Shadows of Avalon)

Time Lord

The woman reveals her face to the Tenth Doctor. (TV: The End of Time)

By another account, the Doctor's mother was a Time Lord who wore Time Lord robes. (COMIC: The Comfort of the Good) Indeed, Peinforte believed that the idea of the Doctor's mother being human had been "disregarded" after reading through TARDIS Wiki. (PROSE: Lady Peinforte)

The Tenth Doctor saw a similar-looking woman kneeling next to Rassilon; she made eye contact with the Doctor before he sent Gallifrey back into the Time War. (TV: The End of Time) Later on post-War Gallifrey, an elderly woman entered a barn connected to the Doctor and saw the Twelfth Doctor, whom she quickly recognized as the Doctor and showed concern for. (TV: Hell Bent)


By one account, Tecteun was the Doctor's adoptive mother, taking up this role after discovering them as a lost child, waiting alone by a wormhole to a second universe. (TV: The Timeless Children, Survivors of the Flux) The Doctor called her Mother, though Tecteun regarded them as an experiment, (TV: Survivors of the Flux) having used the Doctor as a template for regeneration. (TV: The Timeless Children) She held little regard for the Doctor once they escaped her grasp, and felt the Doctor's travels came in the way of the Division's designs. (TV: Survivors of the Flux)

On discovering all this, the Thirteenth Doctor was angry with Tecteun for having "stolen" her, since neither could be certain what the Doctor had been doing where they were found. The Doctor felt she had been ripped from her history, deprived of the life she might have lived. (TV: Survivors of the Flux)

Other options

According to many sources, the Doctor was born without natural parents from the Loom of the House of Lungbarrow (PROSE: Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible, Lungbarrow, et al.) as a reincarnation of the Other, an ancient founder of Gallifrey. (PROSE: Remembrance of the Daleks, Lungbarrow) The Other may have been a Victorian inventor remembered by John Smith in "The Old Man and the Police Box"; (PROSE: Human Nature) alternately, Leela named her half-human child after the Doctor, who demonstrated the ability to travel into Gallifrey's past to rescue the Other's granddaughter, Susan. (PROSE: Lungbarrow)

In the Obverse, the Doctor's mother was a mermaid (PROSE: The Blue Angel) named Magda. (PROSE: The Dreadful Flap)

In Barusa's universe, while Ulysses was The Doctor's father, his human mother was a "simple peasant girl" called Annalisse. (PROSE: The Chronicles of Doctor Who?)


Maris' potential engine gave several different origins for the Doctor. In one of them he had a Time Lord father and a human mother. (PROSE: Celestial Intervention - A Gallifreyan Noir)

The First Doctor once had a hallucination of his mother stroking his hair and asking him to tell her about his adventures. He thought to himself that she was as beautiful as ever. (PROSE: A Big Hand for the Doctor)

The Sixth Doctor told Peri that his mother told him that babies were delivered by storks. (PROSE: The Twin Dilemma)

The Eighth Doctor said that he couldn't remember if he had a mother "or" if he was loomed, (PROSE: The Shadows of Avalon) among other possibilities. (PROSE: Bafflement and Devotion) After an incident on this planet Iptheus in which his companion Bliss was fed the dangerous false food substitute ichor, the Doctor gave her real food and claimed it was made from his mother's recipe and would put hair on your chest. (AUDIO: The Famished Lands)

The sentient quantum field of the planet Albert told the Eighth Doctor that there was a reality where he knew his mother's voice. (PROSE: Grimm Reality) In an abnormal state of history, the Infinity Doctor could remember that his mother's name was Penelope. (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors)

Ultimately, the Doctor chose to think of the universe as his foster family, after his parents "decided to opt out of their responsibilities." (PROSE: Beltempest)

The Talent Scout took on the appearance of the Doctor's mother from the TARDIS' databanks. The Eleventh Doctor referred to her form as a "petty cruelty". (COMIC: The Comfort of the Good)

River Song was unsure if the Doctor had a mother. (AUDIO: My Dinner with Andrew)

When the Eighth Doctor told the "Jane Fonda" Iris that he was unsure if he had a mother, Doctor Who: The Novelisation of the Hit TV Movie was cited. (PROSE: Bafflement and Devotion)

The Thirteenth Doctor stated that her entire family had died a long time prior to her regeneration. (TV: The Woman Who Fell to Earth)


The First Doctor remembered his mother having red hair. (PROSE: A Big Hand for the Doctor) The Eighth Doctor also remembered that his mother had long red hair, and a cut-glass voice; (PROSE: The Gallifrey Chronicles) according to him, she resembled the third incarnation of Romana. (PROSE: The Ancestor Cell) At some point in life the Doctor's mother had grey hair. (COMIC: The Comfort of the Good)

Behind the scenes

The woman greets the Twelfth Doctor on Gallifrey. (TV: Hell Bent)


  1. March 2009 email printed in The Writer's Tale - The Final Chapter, pages 622-623
  2. "The Fall of the House of Gold Usher", DWM 305