Historical Events  TV
Doctor Who

A Time Lord's conundrum

MMDE: Dr Who

Current: Doctor Who

Ask most people today to write down the name of the famous Time Lord with a blue 60's phone box as his space ship and they'll probably write down "Dr Who", but that's not the way it's been written for at least 40 years - it's "Doctor Who".

The confusion over the name probably comes from the fact that the abbreviation and the full word are pronounced the same, plus the fact the BBC did occasionally refer to the written title as "Dr Who". However, this hasn't been the case since the third Doctor, where the "Dr Who" version was actually used in the credits.

All written references today still show the full word "Doctor" in the titles and logo. After all, this is now a valuable brand for the BBC and must be managed properly. In fact the show holds the world record for the number of episodes made in a sci-fi programme - over 800 and counting. 

Time Lord

The show is British and first appeared in 1963. It never reveals his name, always referring to him as "The Doctor". He travels in a device which was a popular sight in the cities and towns when the programme was made - a blue police box called the TARDIS. This craft is larger on the inside than the outside. He carries a sonic screwdriver which has the ability to open doors, analyse matter and perform various other advanced functions, despite it's unassuming name. He's from the planet Gallifrey and has the ability to regenerate into a different human form, which he does many times over the course of the shows 50+ years.

The show has had so many episodes it is surprising one featuring the Mandela Effect hasn't been written, since the themes and issues it deals with are in perfect keeping with the phenomenon. There have been story lines about the "true" name of the doctor, but they weren't confusing "Dr" with "Doctor".