The Doctor (title)

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Three incarnations of a renegade Time Lord and the human Clara Oswald, (TV: The Day of the Doctor) all of whom would use the title of "the Doctor". (TV: The Day of the Doctor, Flatline)

Though the wider universe usually considered the title of "the Doctor" to simply be the name of the renegade Time Lord usually known as such, the renegade actually viewed the identity of "the Doctor" as a persona they put on for the sake of the universe, embodying a promise they had made. (TV: The Name of the Doctor; PROSE: The Day of the Doctor) Hence, other individuals "became" the Doctor, being acknowledged by the original as equally valid claimants to the title as themselves. (TV: The Next Doctor, Flatline) As one Doctor put it, one did not even "have to be real to be the Doctor". (TV: Extremis)


The promise[[edit]]

Within his own time stream, the Eleventh Doctor told Clara Oswald that, "the name you choose, it's like a promise you make". (TV: The Name of the Doctor) When she asked what the promise of "the Doctor" was, the Tenth Doctor and War Doctor answered: "Never cruel or cowardly. Never give up, never give in". (TV: The Day of the Doctor) As he succumbed to a neural block, the Twelfth Doctor added that, should "the Doctor" ever act cruel or cowardly, then they must "always make amends". (TV: Hell Bent) The Saxon Master recalled that the Doctor had chosen his name on the basis that it meant a man "who makes people better". He deemed this to be "sanctimonious". (TV: The Sound of Drums)

The "Shadow World" Doctor cited as essential features of being the Doctor that one "never give up" and "always trick the bad guys into their own traps". (TV: Extremis) Clara echoed this sentiment, stating that "Use your enemy's power against them" was "Rule 1 of being the Doctor". (TV: Flatline)

Before regenerating, the Twelfth Doctor addressed a final speech to the Thirteenth Doctor, during which he expounded at greater length, but in similar terms, on the proper code of conduct of a worthy Doctor. He stated as "basic stuff" that she should "never be cruel, never be cowardly, and never, ever eat pears". He added that she should "always try to be nice, but never fail to be kind", and also that the Doctor "shouldn't tell anyone [her] name". His final admonishment was for her to "laugh hard, run fast, [and] be kind". (TV: Twice Upon a Time)

Yasmin Khan, a companion of the Thirteenth Doctor who thwarted the Spy Master's plot to steal and "tarnish" the name of the Doctor, told the Master that he could not be the Doctor as her greatest strength was that she could not help but to gather friends whom loved her across her life, having been inspired by her to "never give up, even if someone steals your very existence". (TV: The Power of the Doctor)

When the Fourteenth Doctor concluded telling the bedtime story The Way Back Home on Planet Bedtime Stories, he began to tell a story about "someone who went to space and started to help people", but cut himself off when he realised he didn't have enough time to tell it, but promised to save it for another bedtime story. (TV: Doctor Who: The Bedtime Story [+]Loading...{"timestamp":"00:04:08","1":"Doctor Who: The Bedtime Story (TV story)"})

"Doctor of War"[[edit]]

Though initially horrified by the term, the First Doctor came to know being the "Doctor of War" also represented compassion and kindness. (TV: Twice Upon a Time)

Although, on Gallifrey, the name of "Doctor of War" was bestowed on the Time Lord known as the Doctor owing to his actions in the Last Great Time War as the War Doctor, (TV: Hell Bent) the term as understood by the Testimony was broader and applied to all of the Doctor's regenerations following the First Doctor. According to them, "the Doctor of War" had "walked in blood through all of time and space". The First Doctor initially misunderstood and rejected this characterisation as running contrary to everything he understood about his identity as "the Doctor". However, after he witnessed the Twelfth Doctor adjusting the timeline so that Archibald Hamish Lethbridge-Stewart did not die at Ypres during World War I, he stated that he now understood "what it [meant] to be a Doctor of War", to which the Twelfth Doctor joked, "The universe generally fails to be a fairy tale... but that's where we come in." (TV: Twice Upon a Time)

Relationship to other "doctors"[[edit]]

Relative to a medical "doctor", the Fourth Doctor claimed that he was "the definitive article". (TV: Robot) The Twelfth Doctor and the First Doctor, as part of a similar phrase, both went one step further and claimed that they were "the original", or "the original article". (TV: The Doctor Falls) Indeed, according to River Song, the term of "doctor" for "wise man" or "healer" had been involuntarily introduced to Earth's languages by the Doctor through their ever-increasing prominence in Earth's culture caused by their frequent interference in its history. The term "doctor" had similarly been introduced to many other cultures across the universe, always with similar meanings. (TV: A Good Man Goes to War)

When the Seventh Doctor learned that Leela was expecting a child with Andred, he looked into her eyes for a long moment, as if recognising something there. Noting that the son of a Time Lord father and human mother would have an "unusual pedigree", he asked her to name the child after him. Leela looked startled, then nodded. (PROSE: Lungbarrow)

Jackie Tyler claimed to the Tenth Doctor that she had named her son "Doctor", only to mock him when he believed she was being sincere. (TV: Journey's End)

Missy gave the name Doctor to a Slyther which lived on the reconstructed planet Skaro following the Last Great Time War. The Slyther had been adopted as a pet by Missy after she escaped the revolt in the Dalek City. She allowed it to eat the Thals they came across. (PROSE: Postcards from the Universe)

Linguistic drift[[edit]]

Because the pattern of the Doctor's actions did not always match their intended code of conduct, some peoples in the universe were mistaken about the intended meaning of the name of "the Doctor". Because of the Doctor's reputation, the natives of the Gamma Forests believed that the word "Doctor" meant "great warrior". The Eleventh Doctor was shocked to learn this during the Battle of Demons Run, (TV: A Good Man Goes to War) and it ultimately inspired him to try and quell his growing reputation, (TV: The Wedding of River Song) either by deleting himself from every database in the universe, (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan) or by finding other means to keep information about him confidential. (HOMEVID: The Inforarium)


People who were not aware of either the Doctor's lifespan, ability to regenerate or travel through time could adopt the mistaken belief that their various incarnations, or even instances of the same incarnation, were different individuals. Clive Finch, who collected multiple sightings of the Ninth Doctor going back over a century, was aware of a theory that the title of "the Doctor" was passed down from father to son, (TV: Rose) but realised that they were all the same man who was himself one of many faces of the Doctor. (PROSE: Rose) Harriet Jones, who had met the Ninth Doctor, asked the Tenth Doctor if "the Doctor" was a title that was passed on before he revealed that he was infact the same man. (TV: The Christmas Invasion) LINDA also believed in "different Doctors". (TV: Love & Monsters)

In the Doctor's name[[edit]]

WWTDD written on Yaz's hand. (TV: War of the Sontarans)

Though not necessarily taking the title themselves, a great many people chose to act in the Doctor's name. Davros took note of this with the Children of Time, accusing the Tenth Doctor of turning ordinary people into weapons whilst abhorring violence. Acknowledging the sacrifice of Harriet Jones, Davros rhetorically asked the Doctor how many more had died in his name. (TV: Journey's End)

It was for the Ninth Doctor that Rose Tyler chose to return to face the Daleks in the year 200,100, even after he had returned her home to 2006, refusing to allow the Doctor to fight alone. (TV: The Parting of the Ways) It was for this reason that she intended to continue travelling with the Tenth Doctor "forever"; she insisted on assisting the Doctor in resolving the Battle of Canary Wharf rather than go to Pete's World, only for circumstances to force her to that parallel universe, separating her from the Doctor. (TV: Army of Ghosts/Doomsday)

Sarah Jane Smith told Maria Jackson that, following her reunion with the Doctor, she realised that she could carry on doing what she had done whilst travelling with him, despite being home on Earth. This led her to oppose alien invaders such as the Bane, and provide assistance to aliens such as the Star Poet. (TV: Invasion of the Bane)

Donna Noble told Jenny, the Doctor's daughter, that the Doctor saved planets, rescued civilisations, defeated "terrible creatures", with "an outrageous amount of running involved". Choosing to leave Messaline, Jenny openly announced that she would act as her father did. (TV: The Doctor's Daughter)

Jack Harkness compared his relationship with Angelo Colasanto to that of the Doctor and his companions. (TV: Immortal Sins) Jack admitted to Gwen that "the right kind of Doctor" would have convinced him to open the Cardiff Space-Time Rift. (TV: End of Days) Jack explained to the Doctor that he strove to change the remains of the Torchwood Institute following the fall of the old regime, doing so in the Doctor's honour. (TV: The Sound of Drums)

WWTDD was an acronym for "What Would The Doctor Do?", a message that Yasmin Khan secretly wrote on the palm of her hand as a reminder to emulate the Thirteenth Doctor. When Yaz met Swarm in the Temple of Atropos, he taunted her by quoting the message, which he knew about without having seeing it. (TV: War of the Sontarans)


The Doctor's ancestors[[edit]]

The Doctor. (TV: The Brain of Morbius)

By some accounts, every generation on Gallifrey since the Intuitive Revelation followed a similar pattern, in large part due to the stasis perpetuated by looms. As seen with Hedin, even names and titles were passed down by lineage, such that descendants played identical roles as their forebears. (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors) The Doctor came from a long patrilineal line of Time Lords who had lived similar lives, (PROSE: Cold Fusion, The Infinity Doctors) possessing a degree of ambigous overlap such that the Doctor had traces of their memories. (PROSE: Cold Fusion) In one version of history, the Time Lords banned all mention of the Doctor's father's name as punishment for a crime (PROSE: Unnatural History) which other sources attributed to one of the Doctors seen in the battle with Morbius (PROSE: Cold Fusion) or the Infinity Doctor. (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors) These sources also gave indications that those individuals who went by the title "Doctor" may have been also known as Ulysses. (PROSE: Cold Fusion, The Infinity Doctors)

"Dr Who"[[edit]]

The being most associated with the name of "the Doctor" travelled in a TARDIS resembling a police box. (TV: An Unearthly Child) Although they also used the moniker "Dr Who" in their early life, (COMIC: The Klepton Parasites) having allegedly "chosen it to sound mysterious", (TV: World Enough and Time) they already called themselves "the Doctor" when they left "home", but "it was just a name" to them. It was only after going to Skaro and facing the Daleks, whom they saw as an incarnation of the irreducible evil in the universe, that they "understood who [the Doctor] was", and that was "not the Daleks". (TV: Into the Dalek)

"The Doctor" was an ideal they held themselves to, rather than a name they truly applied to their self. When writing their memories, the Doctor would alternate between using the first person for thoughts and feelings of a personal or "un-Doctorish" nature, and the third person to talk about the actions of "the Doctor". (PROSE: The Day of the Doctor) The Twelfth Doctor once stated that he "couldn't be the Doctor all the time". (TV: Hell Bent)

The "War Doctor", an incarnation that believed that he was unworthy of the name. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)

Indeed, upon regenerating with the intent that his new incarnation would break the Eighth Doctor's vow not to get involved in the Last Great Time War, (TV: The Night of the Doctor) and "[break] the promise," (TV: The Name of the Doctor) the War Doctor declared that he was a "Doctor no more". (TV: The Night of the Doctor) He angrily refused to answer to the name of "the Doctor" throughout his life, (AUDIO: Light the Flame) believing that he had "lost the right" to call himself that (TV: The Day of the Doctor) after all the terrible things he had done "in the name of peace and sanity". (TV: The Name of the Doctor)

However, the Moment observed that, out of habit, he still thought of himself as "the Doctor" in his own head. Ultimately, the Tenth Doctor judged that the War Doctor, having tried to make the right choice when it "wasn't possible to get it right," had been "the Doctor more than any of [them]". Additionally, after his future selves helped him find a way to save Gallifrey rather than destroy it, he himself declared that "for now, for this moment, [he was] the Doctor again", a feeling which delighted him despite the knowledge that his memory of it would fade, and he would live out his next few regenerations under the impression that he had in fact destroyed Gallifrey. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)

Jack Harkness[[edit]]

Jack Harkness in the Sixth Doctor's costume. (AUDIO: Piece of Mind)

During the time he spent waiting for the Doctor's return, having been abandoned by the Ninth Doctor, Captain Jack Harkness came across the Sixth Doctor, who was on the brink of a regenerative collapse after being gravely wounded by Zor. Jack saved the Doctor's life and, having heard him say "save them" in his delirium, took the Doctor's costume and left him to recover in the TARDIS as it returned to its last destination, where Jack acted as the Doctor, claiming to have regenerated. This landed him in trouble, but he was assisted by the Doctor, who acted as "Captain Jack Harkness" while wearing his coat. Before they parted ways, the Doctor revealed that he would edit out his own memory of meeting Jack so as not to affect the future, but nevertheless voiced his respect for him, playfully bidding goodbye to the "Doctor". (AUDIO: Piece of Mind)

Banto Zame[[edit]]

Banto Zame. (AUDIO: The One Doctor)

In what he called the "Vulgar End of Time", the Sixth Doctor complained that "any Tom, Dick or cephalopod" was claiming to be him, "treading" on his reputation.

One such impersonator was the con artist Banto Zame. In a recurring scam, he used "special effects" to create a seemingly threatening alien invasion, with his accomplice Sally-Anne Stubbins playing the role of the Doctor's companion. Zame would then save the target planet and accept a reward for his services, despite the flaws in their research about the Doctor. Banto and Sally-Ann played out their scam in the Generios system, where they faked an invasion by the Skelloids After 'foiling' the invasion, 'the Doctor' claimed that the Stardis needed pluvon crystals, worth 100 million credits. Before their departure, however, they were confronted by the Sixth Doctor and Melanie Bush, who had gathered the truth behind the scam. Initially believing them to be a pair of fellow con artists, Banto had them thrown into the cells. When the Cylinder arrived, demanding the three greatest treasures of the Generios system, Banto believed that this was the Doctor's con. After the Doctor and Mel forced Banto and Sally-Anne to take the ‘Stardis’ to the TARDIS, Banto realised that he was the real Doctor, being briefly overcome with shock.

Banto and the Doctor were forced to work together to recover the three treasures, with Banto and the Doctor continually bickering. Banto attempted to abandon the Doctor and return with the treasures to Generios One, which failed thanks to the Doctor's ingenuity. They displayed the treasures to the cylinder, which asked the Doctor to present himself so that it could give him a reward. As Banto introduced himself as the Doctor, Mel and Sally-Anne attempted to protest, only for the Doctor to claim that he was Banto, going so far as to kiss Sally-Anne to reinforce the bluff. Although puzzled by the Doctor’s actions, Banto nevertheless continued to reaffirm that he was the Doctor, only to be shocked when the cylinder captured him in a tractor beam, revealing that it served the Sussyurats of Chalzon, who wished to capture the Doctor for crimes against them. The Doctor said he would come back to rescue him, one day. (AUDIO: The One Doctor)


The "new Doctor" questions the Seventh Doctor's lack of faith in her abilities. (COMIC: Who's That Girl!)

Kasgi was an assassin with a conscience, who only accepted contracts on people who she thought deserved to die. After she was hired by Ux to assassinate Prince Luj, she discovered that Luj was friends with the Seventh Doctor under false pretences. She commandeered the Doctor's TARDIS, which she displayed the ability to fly, and, shackling the Seventh Doctor inside the control room, crafted a Doctor persona for herself. She walked out into Luj's palace claiming to be the Doctor's newest regeneration, and kept the charade up until the Seventh Doctor managed to free himself and peacefully halt the treaty-signing which Kasgi was meant to prevent by killing Luj.

Despite the layer of subterfuge, Kasgi grew genuinely invested in being the Doctor, with only Ux calling her Kasgi while she insisted that even the Seventh Doctor call her "Doctor". She asked her dejected "predecessor" to appreciate how efficient she was being at solving a problem he had been blind to, deceived by Luj's charming persona and not seeing the bloothirsty conquerer lurking underneath. As soon as the original Doctor escaped and revealed himself, however, she abandoned her Doctor persona, and indeed her outfit, becoming Kasgi the black-clad assassin once more. However, she did gain newfound respect for the "real" Doctor for his ability to defuse the situation without bloodshed. (COMIC: Who's That Girl!)

"The DoctorDonna"[[edit]]

The only trip that "the DoctorDonna" ever took in the TARDIS was to Bad Wolf Bay. (TV: Journey's End)

After a freak Human-Time Lord Meta-Crisis transferred a part of the Tenth Doctor's mind and memory into her own, Donna Noble briefly became a hybrid being, with the Doctor's brilliance magnified by her human "gut instinct" and some of Donna's own skills. Though taking on some mannerisms of the Tenth Doctor, this "DoctorDonna" remained Donna Noble in mind and body. However, Rose Tyler ruled that she counted as "the Doctor", noting that she, with the original Tenth Doctor and the Tenth Doctor's Meta-Crisis clone, made "three Doctors". Before long, however, the Tenth Doctor had to reverse the transformation by locking all of Donna's memories of "the Doctor" away, returning to her to who she was before she even met him. (TV: Journey's End)

Jackson Lake[[edit]]

In the guise of "the Doctor," Jackson Lake unwittingly convinced the Tenth Doctor, albeit temporarily, that he was his own future regeneration. (TV: The Next Doctor)

Jackson Lake was a human from the Victorian era whose brain was pumped full of information about the Doctor when he was attacked by the Cybus Industries Cybermen, shortly after he had witnessed them kill his wife and abduct his son. With his mind entering a "fugue state", the delusional Jackson rejected his name and presented himself as "the Doctor" and a Time Lord. Though he had little of the "real" Doctor's scientific knowledge, he managed to build himself a "TARDIS" in the form of a primitive hot air balloon, and also called a common screwdriver as his sonic screwdriver.

When confronted by the Tenth Doctor, who helped him realise his true identity, Jackson collapsed in despair, seeing himself as "nothing but a lie", but the Tenth Doctor disagreed, pointing out that the bravery and inventivity he had displayed were his own, thus meaning that Jackson had truly "become the Doctor". (TV: The Next Doctor)

Alice Obiefune[[edit]]

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When the Eleventh Doctor was corrupted to become the chief executive officer of SERVEYOUinc by the Talent Scout, his companion, Alice Obiefune, took up the mantle of "the Doctor" to help the citizens of SERVEYOUinc City. Along with John Jones, who took on the name "Xavi Moonblast," they were enemies of the Cancelers and the rest of the company. When the Doctor was restored to himself, he thanked Alice for her actions, calling her by the title of "Doctor" when he did so. (COMIC: The Other Doctor)

Clara Oswald[[edit]]

"Doctor Oswald" wields the Doctor's sonic screwdriver. (TV: Flatline)

After creatures from a two-dimensional parallel world interfered with the TARDIS's exterior dimensions, trapping the Twelfth Doctor inside, he passed his sonic screwdriver onto Clara Oswald and told her to investigate in his place. To his initial annoyance, she treated this as a genuine passing of the torch and took on the name of "the Doctor" for the duration of the investigation, acting in all things as she thought "the Doctor" would. She was not impersonating the real Doctor, however; when pressed, she acknowledged her name to be "Doctor Oswald", and she did not claim to be anything other than human. After the Twelfth Doctor managed to return to the outside world, she pressed him to give her his thoughts on her performance. He eventually granted that she had made "an exceptional Doctor", but stressed that this did not necessarily mean she had been "good", an idea which unsettled her. (TV: Flatline) Clara once again introduced herself as "the Doctor" when trying to trick Missy's Cybermen at the 3W Institute, although in that case, she was impersonating the Time Lord outright, even claiming that "Clara Oswald [had] never existed" outside of a disguise for the Doctor. (TV: Death in Heaven)

"Shadow World" Doctor[[edit]]

Although physically identical to the Twelfth Doctor, the Shadow World's Doctor acknowledged that he "[was] not real", but believed that he still could be "the Doctor". (TV: Extremis)

While preparing their invasion of the real Earth in the 2010s, a species of powerful beings nicknamed the Monks created a number of virtual realities simulating possible scenarios. They included replicas of everyone on Earth, all with artificial sentient intelligences. In one of them, the replica of the Twelfth Doctor discovered the truth about the world he inhabited. Facing the Monks in the Oval Office, he offered the rebuttal that "you [didn't] have to be real to be the Doctor" when they told him that "he was not the Doctor" because he "was not real". Telling them that he was worthy of the name Doctor as long as he "never [gave] up" and "tricked the bad guys into their own trap", he helped save the real Earth by emailing everything he had witnessed to the real Twelfth Doctor's sonic sunglasses, helping him prepare for the Monk's invasion. (TV: Extremis)


Missy's over-the-top "Dr Who" persona. (TV: World Enough and Time)

After he saved her from execution, (TV: Extremis) Missy convinced the Twelfth Doctor that she had "gone cold-turkey from being bad" and "wanted to change," although she warned him that she did not intend to stick to his own "vain, arrogant and sentimental" version of "good". (TV: The Lie of the Land) The Twelfth Doctor viewed Missy's ambition of becoming a force of good in the universe as her "thinking she could be [him]", and decided to give her a chance, picking a distress call and seeing how Missy faired in the part of the Doctor, complete with his own companions, Bill Potts and Nardole, acting as her assistants. Missy refused to take the "ridiculous exercise" seriously, however, overplaying the part of the "mysterious adventurer in all of time and space" like a cabaret number, and introducing herself as "Dr. Who" rather than "the Doctor". It was ultimately demonstrated that the experiment was a "bad idea" when Missy and the Twelfth Doctor's consecutive mishandling of Jorj led to him shooting Bill with his blaster. (TV: World Enough and Time)

A human companion[[edit]]

During a Multi-Doctor Event, when the CyberReaper used the Reality Virus to create new realities to make the universe so chaotic people would ask to be upgraded, the Thirteenth Doctor realised she could not bring herself to destroy those new realities, even if it meant stopping the Cybermen, by destroying the virus. Instead, she delegated the task to a human companion and declared they were now the Doctor. After the human's success, the Tenth Doctor understood they had made a hard choice. (GAME: The Edge of Reality)

The Spy Master[[edit]]

The Master as "the Doctor". (TV: The Power of the Doctor)
Main article: Thirteenth Doctor's forced regeneration

Following the death of Missy, (TV: The Doctor Falls) the Spy Master returned to his dark ways (PROSE: The Doctor vs the Master) and ultimately enacted a plot to steal the Doctor's identity. This he did by subjecting the Thirteenth Doctor to a forced regeneration, taking possession of the Doctor's body as it changed to reflect his appearance. Beginning a campaign of terror as "the Doctor", the Master openly admitted his intention was to "tarnish the name of the Doctor", making it "a byword for fear, pain and destruction". His time as "the Doctor" was short-lived, however, as Yasmin Khan and the Doctor's AI hologram used the regenerative energy of the CyberMasters to force a degeneration, restoring the Thirteenth Doctor whilst returning the Master to his own body, which began to fail as a result of his actions. (TV: The Power of the Doctor)