The Equations of Dr Who (short story)

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The Equations of Dr Who was a two-page prose story published by World Distributors in September 1965 in The Dr Who Annual 1966.

The story notably focused on the First Doctor, though referring to him exclusively as "Doctor Who", as being a human mathematician above all else, a genius whose titular equations about spacetime were what allowed him to construct his TARDIS. These positions on the Doctor's species and the Doctor's early life, as well as on the origins of the Ship, would later come to be contradicted by mainstream continuity after the TV story The War Games introduced the idea of the Doctor as a renegade Time Lord who had actually stolen the TARDIS with which he had run away from his original time and place.


Alone in all of humanity, Doctor Who understands the correct equations of space and time which lock the two together into one; the Idea of the Living Matter. He sets out to build the TARDIS in the knowledge that his travels must be in time as well as space, and constructs all of the intricate electronic elements of his vessel on that basis: his "materialisations" draw distances and ages together in one simplifying pattern.

Aboard the TARDIS, the Doctor is able to see for himself all of the dimensions and multi-dimensions which his colleagues on Earth can only speculate about; dimensions all existing together in one place with all the infinite others. He is thus able to make the concept of size irrelevant to the interior of his ship.

Doctor Who faces the awe-inspiring reality of space and time, and with "wonderful human courage", sets out to explore the "Space-Time Universe" in every shape and place and time he encounters.



  • Doctor Who has difficulties remembering where he actually came from and quite why he started his journeys through time and space.
  • When it dematerialises, the Doctor's TARDIS becomes resolved into "a looser pattern" of atoms and electrons than is "familiar" in matter on Earth.
  • Even the fastest possible Earth-built conventional space-ship, still bound by the laws of matter, which could travel at the velocity of light (186,000 miles per second), would take four and a half year to cross the distance between Earth and the nearest star to its Sun.
  • It is said that a legion of angels can dance on the head of a pin.