Doctor Who is a long-running television program produced by the BBC about a mysterious time-travelling adventurer known only as "The Doctor", a Time Lord from the planet of Gallifrey, who explores time and space with various companions in their TARDIS. It is currently the longest-running science-fiction series broadcast on television, spanning twenty-six years on its original run, and 14 actors have headlined the series as the Doctor. As a complete list of quotations from all eras of the show is too large to be contained on one page, this article has been split into subarticles, with quotations organised by which actor was portraying the Doctor at the time the episode was originally broadcast.
Quotations about the programme
- Alphabetized by author
- Doctor Who can help us contemplate a range of different moral and religious scenarios, allowing us to explore in a fictional setting the way we think about beliefs and ethical viewpoints which differ from our own.
The breadth and depth of its mythology help us do this, whatever our view on religion.
This is a show that attacks false gods and superstition, while at the same time admitting that immortal beings beyond our perception exist.
While it has never pronounced directly upon the existence of God, Doctor Who's narrative is open enough to be read positively by both believers and atheists as supporting their world view.
- Andrew Crome, “Doctor Who: Time travel through faith”, BBC, (22 November 2013).
- Because it's the best idea ever invented in the history of the world!
- Russell T. Davies, responding to the question, "Why do you think people love Doctor Who so much?" on BBC Wales Today (20 July 2004)
- I would have loved to have done a Star Trek crossover. The very first year, we talked about it. Then Star Trek finally went off air. Landing the Tardis on board the Enterprise would have been magnificent. Can you imagine what their script department would have wanted, and what I would have wanted? It would have been the biggest battle.
- Star Wars is adolescent nonsense; Close Encounters is obscurantist drivel; Star Trek can turn your brains to puree of bat guano; and the greatest science fiction series of all time is Doctor Who! And I'll take you all on, one-by-one or all in a bunch to back it up!
- In 1963 the BBC premiered a show about an alien
Who traveled through space and time to combat the powers of evil. …
The show has been running in Britain almost fifty years,
with many different actors in the role of The Doctor. …
One thing is consistent though and this is why the show is so beloved by geeks and nerds —
It's all about the triumph of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism!
Intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism!
And if there is any hope for any of us in this giant explosion in which we inhabit then surely that’s it:
Intellect and romance triumph over brute force and cynicism!
- Craig Ferguson, in a comedic musical tribute to Doctor Who made in November 2010, which was not aired for legal reasons, but "leaked" to the internet, and finally aired with legal clearance on The Late Late Show (6 January 2011) · Transcript of lyrics (with some minor errors), online at Forbes (1 December 2010)
- I don't know what it's like to be God — obviously …until that very first moment when you get to sit down and type the words in your script: INTERIOR. TARDIS. … Suddenly I got a very good idea of what it must feel like. I went: "I'm writing it now this scene in the Tardis. I'm writing it!" And that was amazing, it was wonderful.
- Neil Gaiman, on writing the script for the episode The Doctor's Wife (originally titled House of Nothing), as quoted in "Neil Gaiman reveals power of writing Doctor Who" by Tim Masters at BBC News (24 May 2010)
- Doctor Who has never pretended to be hard science fiction … At best Doctor Who is a fairytale, with fairytale logic about this wonderful man in this big blue box who at the beginning of every story lands somewhere where there is a problem.
- Neil Gaiman, as quoted in "Neil Gaiman reveals power of writing Doctor Who" by Tim Masters at BBC News (24 May 2010)
- No, look, there's a blue box. It's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. It can go anywhere in time and space and sometimes even where it's meant to go. And when it turns up, there's a bloke in it called The Doctor and there will be stuff wrong and he will do his best to sort it out and he will probably succeed cos he’s awesome. Now sit down, shut up, and watch Blink.
- Because of the British sensibility, there's an emphasis [in Doctor Who] on nonviolence, there's an emphasis on philosophical issues. There wasn't anything like that on TV at the time – there wasn't a Star Trek on at the time.
- Maura Grady in “How Doctor Who Survived 50 Years”, by Nicholas Slayton, The Atlantic, (November 21, 2013)
- The appeal of Doctor Who is that you can do anything, any when, you can have him meet anyone. That's irresistible as a writer. You're given a completely blank slate, but you're given one of the best characters ever devised in fiction to have an adventure there. You present someone with those two factors, and they're going to leap at it.
- Scott Handcock in “How Doctor Who Survived 50 Years”, by Nicholas Slayton, The Atlantic, (November 21, 2013)
- When Russell T Davies relaunched the show in 2005, I watched it from the start. I thought it was fantastic. If there's any secret to its resurgence, it's due to the show's complete lack of cynicism. Both Davies and Steven Moffat are lifelong Doctor Who fans and the love shines through every episode.
- Peter Jackson, in "Lord of the Whovians" in Entertainment Weekly (29 March 2013), p. 37
- Last year Matt Smith was asked by a Kiwi journalist if they would ever film an episode in New Zealand, and he said, "Yes, and we can get Peter Jackson to direct it." The newspaper contacted me for comment and I said "Great, just name a time and place and I'll be there." I suspect Steven Moffat thinks I'm joking, but I saw him at Christmas and I assured him I'm not. They don't even have to pay me — but I have got my eye on one of those nice new gold-colored Daleks. They must have a spare one (hint, hint).
- Peter Jackson, in "Lord of the Whovians" in Entertainment Weekly (29 March 2013), p. 37
- In their book-length analysis of Doctor Who, John Tulloch and Manuel Alvarado characterize the political outlook of the program as consistent with the BBC's particular brand of political neutrality: skeptical, aggressive, quizzical, and amused towards all forms of political power. In Doctor Who the attitude gets further flavored by the Doctors "Romantic" hero mystique. This characteristic allows him to adopt a "liberal-populist role in criticizing 'sectionalist' forces of 'Left' and 'Right,' and in rebuking the 'official' and the powerful, whether in big business, the military, government or 'militant' unions." … The political form that most resembles these critiques is liberal democracy, which places sovereignty in the hands of the people.
- What would be the point of having this job if I didn't get to make up some of the maddest possible scenes I've ever had in my head since I was a kid? For him to stand there and take the mickey out of all those monsters — is just hugely exciting.
- At a later stage, Dr Who would be metamorphosed into a woman. Don’t you agree that this is considerably more worthy of the BBC than Doctor Who’s presently largely socially valueless, escapist schlock? This requires some considerable thought – mainly because I want to avoid a flashy Hollywood ‘Wonder Woman’ because this kind of hero(ine) has no flaws – and a character with no flaws is a bore.
- Sydney Newman "Doctor Who Creator Sydney Newman Wanted a Female Doctor", Barry Rice, DoctorWhoWatch.com, (2015).
- Doctor Who is uplifting. As dark as the show can get, and as high as the body count can rise (which is very high), there's always a sense of joy and discovery there. The Doctor can be manipulative and brooding, but he's always been an explorer first. The show is about saving people and helping others, not getting revenge or hurting someone, and its unabashed love of seeing new things and the best in people makes it fun.
- Nicholas Slayton, “How Doctor Who Survived 50 Years”, The Atlantic, (November 21, 2013)
- The world would be a poorer place without Doctor Who.
- Steven Spielberg, as quoted in "Edinburgh TV Festival 2008: don't rule out Doctor Who feature film, says Steven Moffat" by Ben Dowell in The Guardian (23 August 2008).
- Because it’s got that cross-generational appeal, which few other things have. It’s not a working-class thing, it’s not a middle-class thing. The competition winner from Doctor Who magazine was on set today, a 15-year-old girl. When I was a kid, 15-year-old girls didn’t watch Doctor Who.
- The series is neither fantasy nor space travel nor science fiction. The only unusual science fiction “angle” is that four characters of today are projected into real environments based on the best factual information of situations in time, in space and in any material state we can realize in practical terms.
Using unusual exciting backgrounds, or ordinary backgrounds seen unusually, each story will have a strong informational core based on fact. Our central characters because of their “ship” may find themselves on the shores of Britain when Caesar and his legionaires landed in 44 B.C.; may find themselves in their own school laboratories but reduced to the size of a pinhead; or on Mars; or Venus. etc. etc.
The series, by the use of the characters in action stories, is designed to bridge the gap between our massive audience who watch sport on Saturday afternoon and those teenagers who watch Juke Box Jury.
- Donald Wilson, C. E. Webber, Sydney Newman; “Dr. Who” General Notes on Background and Approach For an Exciting Adventure – Science Fiction Drama Series for Childrens Saturday Viewing, BBC, (16th May, 1963), p.1
- Here in two flat sentences are the best things I can say about our field [science fiction] on American television: Dr. Who is sometimes aired. Sometimes Battlestar Galactica is not.
The Doctor is the main character of the television show Doctor Who. Although bearing remarkably human-like features, they are a Gallifreyan Time Lord — one of a mysterious alien race that has mastered time travel. The Doctor occasionally regenerates into a new form, allowing a new actor to step into the role. For clarity's sake, quotes from the show are listed by Doctor on the following subpages.
- First Doctor (November 1963 - October 1966)
- Second Doctor (October, November 1966 - June 1969)
- Third Doctor (January 1970 - June 1974)
- Fourth Doctor (June, December 1974 - March 1981)
- Fifth Doctor (March 1981, January 1982 - March 1984)
- Sixth Doctor (March 1984 - December 1986, September 1987)
- Seventh Doctor (September 1987 - December 1989 + May 1996)
- Eighth Doctor (May 1996 + November 2013)
- War Doctor (May, November 2013 retro-role)
- Ninth Doctor (March 2005 - June 2005)
- Tenth Doctor (June, November 2005 - January 2010)
- Eleventh Doctor (January, April 2010 - December 2013)
- Twelfth Doctor (November + December 2013, August 2014 - December 2017)
- Thirteenth Doctor (December 2017-present)
- Susan Foreman (1963-64, 1983)
- Barbara Wright (1963-65)
- Ian Chesterton (1963-65)
- Vicki Pallister (1965)
- Steven Taylor (1965-66)
- Katarina (1965)
- Sara Kingdom (1965)
- Dodo Chaplet (1966)
- Polly Wright (1966-67)
- Ben Jackson (1966-67)
- Jamie McCrimmon (1966-69, 1985)
- Victoria Waterfield (1967-68)
- Zoe Heriot (1968-69)
- The Brigadier (1968, 1970-75, 1983, 1989)
- The Atraxi
- The Beast of Doom
- The Black Guardian
- The Cybermen
- The Daleks
- Great Intelligence
- Helen A
- The Master
- Prisoner Zero
- The Reapers
- The Silence
- See also the Wikipedia List of Doctor Who writers for authors who have written episodes of Doctor Who
- See also the Wikipedia List of Doctor Who cast members for actors for whom pages could be created here.
- Peter Capaldi
- John Barrowman
- Karen Gillan
- Matt Smith
- David Tennant
- Christopher Eccleston
- Arthur Darvill
- Tom Baker
- Alex Kingston
- Billie Piper
- Freema Agyeman
- Catherine Tate
- Jenna Coleman
- He's back...and it's about time. (Doctor Who: The Movie)
- The Trip Of A Lifetime! (new series, Series 1)
- "Something's Coming..." (The Christmas Invasion)
- Think you've seen it all? Think again... (Series 2)
- "When Two Worlds Collide, Anything Can Happen..." (Series 3)
- The End Is Just The Beginning (Series 5)
- Time Can Be Rewritten (A Christmas Carol)
- Trust Your Doctor (Series 6, BBC America)
- Silence Will Fall (Series 6: Part 1)
- Time Runs Out (Let's Kill Hitler)
- His Secrets Revealed (The Name of the Doctor)
- Save the Day (The Day of the Doctor)
- A change is going to come...(The Time of the Doctor)
- Don't Blink ("Blink")
- It's Time You Knew Him (Series 8)