When the first series was being made, television pirates were desperate to acquire the preview tapes. One of the people in the office had the idea of labeling the tapes with the anagram "Torchwood" rather than "Doctor Who", as a security measure to disguise the tapes when they were delivered from Cardiff to London. Writer Russell T. Davies liked this idea so much that it later inspired him to use it as a title when creating the spin-off series, Torchwood (2006).
Producer Russell T. Davies had Christopher Eccleston's name on a shortlist for the role of the Doctor but didn't really think that he would accept the role. Davies soon received an email from Eccleston asking if he could audition for the part.
At first the estate of Terry Nation refused permission for them to use Daleks in the show (Nation held copyright over the Daleks). One of the reasons they refused permission was because of the BBC granting permission for the Daleks to be used in Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003). Huge fan of Doctor Who Steve Martin, who was the one who insisted Daleks be used in the movie, heard about the news and wrote a letter of apology to the Nation estate and upon receiving it, the Nation estate granted permission.
On Thursday 31 March 2005, the day after the show was picked up for a second series, the BBC Press Office announced that Christopher Eccleston was quitting the show, citing a fear of being typecast and long working hours as reasons for his departure. The BBC later apologized for issuing this statement, as they had done so without consultation with Eccleston. In fact it was agreed by mutual consent some months earlier that Eccleston would only do one series, with the BBC holding off announcing the news until after the series was finished. This would have allowed the regeneration of Eccleston's Ninth Doctor in episode 13 to be a surprise for the audience. Unfortunately, the BBC Press Office jumped the gun under pressure from the British Press who were concerned that a second series had been announced, but it had not been confirmed that Eccleston was returning. Fan reaction to Eccelston's departure was violent and the debate reached such a fever pitch that Outpost Gallifrey, the biggest Doctor Who fan site on the Internet, was forced to close down its forum for days.
A potential spin-off, "Rose Tyler: Earth Defence", was proposed in 2006, but did not progress beyond the idea stage, partly because Billie Piper did not want to return to the role, partly because Russell T. Davies realized that it would render the goodbye between The Doctor and Rose at the end of season 2 meaningless.
For the first series, producers were fearful of alienating new audiences with references to the original show, such as names and events, so such things were kept to a very bare minimum until audiences adjusted to the mythology. Even the first journey to another planet beyond Earth didn't take place until series two, which is unusual considering the universe-trotting nature of the original series.
Except for obvious scenes, most of the location shots are done in Cardiff, Wales in place for London. The one episode set in Cardiff, Doctor Who: The Unquiet Dead (2005), was filmed in Swansea, mainly due to the fact that no buildings currently in Cardiff were built during that episode's time, 1869. Aside from this, Cardiff is the home of "Torchwood 3", which is featured in the episode "Last of the Time Lords".
Russell T. Davies did not audition any actors for the role of the Tenth Doctor, as he had recently finished working with David Tennant and believed him to be perfect for the role. Tennant was first approached about the possibility of playing the Tenth Doctor at a screening of Doctor Who: Rose (2005) at Davies' house on 23 March 2005. Contrary to fan-invented rumors, Tennant was never considered for the role of the Ninth Doctor.
Peter Davison has said he considers this series an improvement on the original, not only because of its budget and digital effects but also because the series is produced by a writer, unlike the original series, which was always produced by a BBC staff producer. Davison has said that Rose, played by Billie Piper, was the first properly developed companion in the history of the series, and he expressed admiration for the sexual frisson and tension which was previously disallowed between the Doctor and his companions. He said he was "rather envious" of the French kissing the new Doctors got to do because his producer, John Nathan-Turner, had considered it inappropriate for the Fifth Doctor to even put his arms around his female companions in case viewers thought there was something sexual going on. Davison has also said he prefers the musical compositions by Murray Gold over the incidental music produced by the Radiophonic Workshop during his time on the series.
Hugh Grant was once approached to play the Doctor. He turned down the role, thinking the show would not take off. He expressed deep regret in 2007 after seeing how successful the show had become. He did go on to play the Doctor in a sketch for Comic Relief.
On Saturday 5 March 2005 (some three weeks before its TV debut), a rough-cut version of Doctor Who: Rose (2005) was leaked onto the Internet by an unnamed employee of a third-party contractor to CBC in Canada. The person responsible had their employment immediately terminated. The version is mostly similar to the broadcast version - the most notable difference is that instead of using Murray Gold's new version of the theme song, a remixed version of the original was used instead
This series is a direct continuation of the 1963-1989 series, rather than a reboot, reimagining or "next generation" style follow-up. The BBC decided to reset the series numbering at 1 for 2005, rather than call it Series 27, however fans informally refer to the seasons by the higher number.
Georgia Moffett asked her son Tyler who his favourite Doctor was. Tyler named David Tennant, because he runs so fast. When Moffett married Tennant, he adopted her son and his name was changed from Tyler Moffett to Ty Tennant.
Stephen Fry was set to write an episode for season 2 but due to budget constraints the episode was pushed back to season 3. The script was eventually canceled as Fry didn't have the time to rewrite the script to accommodate changes such as Rose's replacement Martha.
The series is recorded on single camera video and then in post production it is 'filmised', a digital process designed to make it look like it was made on film. The process is so successful that even people who worked on the original series, such as director Christopher Barry and producer Philip Hinchcliffe, have mistakenly commented that the revived series is made on film.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary special, and to combat his disappointment at not being given a role in it, Peter Davison made his own amateur webisode anniversary special The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot (2013). The short webisode (which Davison wrote and directed and his daughter produced) starred his friends and relatives, with many former Doctor Who (1963) actors making cameo appearances. The plot revolves around Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy trying to sneak into the set of the 50th anniversary special, when Steven Moffat declines to cast them.
Despite quite a lot of new scenes being added to episodes in post production during the first series, all 13 episodes ran under the standard length of 45 minutes, so teaser trailers for the next week's episode were tacked on to bring the length up to standard. This has now become a staple of the show from 2005 onwards.
Michael Grade, an outspoken critic of the original series for many years and the former BBC One controller who incurred the wrath of many fans when he took it off the air in 1985 for 18 months, admitted that he was completely won over by this revival of the series, which he described as "a classy, popular triumph for people of all ages and all backgrounds - real value for money for our licence fee payers".
Russell T. Davies was sounded out to produce a revival of the series by the BBC One Controller of the time, Peter Salmon, in 1999. Although nothing came of this due to BBC Worldwide's desire to make a film version of the show, by late 2003 the new Controller of BBC One, Lorraine Heggessey, had persuaded Worldwide to surrender their film ambitions so that she could commission a new television version.
When Steven Moffat took over from Russell T. Davies as the showrunner, he wanted the series to be told from Amy Pond's point of view and wanted the series to be like a fairy tale. Amy Pond goes with her imaginary childhood friend The Doctor whom she nicknames The Raggedy Doctor and goes with him in his magic police box The TARDIS on a magical adventure across time and space.
In real life, David Tennant dated Sophia Myles and later married Georgia Moffett. Madame de Pompadour died at the end of "The Girl in the Fireplace" and at the end of "The Doctor's Daughter", Jenny dies from a fatal gunshot wound, but is revived.
Russell T. Davies had a policy of not employing writers from the original series. Bob Baker, who was a writer during the Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker years, contacted Davies and offered to write for the series but was told he was not wanted.
The Doctor and River Song meet out of chronological order. River Song's timeline in chronological order, as follows: A three-week-old baby (Doctor Who: A Good Man Goes to War (2011)). As a little girl, she leaves a distressed voice message for President Nixon in 1969 (Doctor Who: The Impossible Astronaut (2011)/Doctor Who: Day of the Moon (2011)). In a new incarnation and now going by the nickname "Mels", she's shown attending Leadworth Primary School with her parents. Mels is shown ageing alongside her parents, appearing as a teenage and later a young adult. She reveals her true identity after being shot by Adolf Hitler and regenerates into her next incarnation who eventually embraces the alias River Song. After reviving the Doctor at the expense of her own regenerations, River is left at the Sisters of the Infinite Schism hospital. In the year 5123, River enrolls at Luna University (Doctor Who: Let's Kill Hitler (2011)). River finishes her doctorate and is taken prisoner by Madame Kovarian and the Silence (Doctor Who: Closing Time (2011)). Older River witnesses the events at Lake Silencio in 2011 and helps him battle the Silence. Afterwards the Doctor returns her to her prison cell at Stormcage (Doctor Who: The Wedding of River Song (2011)). River speaks to Rory at Stormcage and we later see River show up at the end of the Battle of Demon's Run. The River who speaks to Rory at Stormcage is likely an older River at Demon's Run, as she is enable to reference Demon's Run in her diary. The appearance on the list is of the River who showed up after the battle. The Doctor takes River to the last Winter Frost fair of her birthday. She encounters Rory afterwards and refuses to go with him to help save her infant self (Doctor Who: A Good Man Goes to War (2011)). River is not yet a professor. She refers to the events of Doctor Who: The Pandorica Opens (2010) to the Eleventh Doctor, who hasn't yet witnessed them and says that she is hoping to receive her pardon (Doctor Who: The Time of Angels (2010)/Doctor Who: Flesh and Stone (2010)). Immediately following the events of "Flesh and Stone". River has received her pardon and goes to visit her mother. River has been pardoned from Stormcage and is now a professor (The Wedding of River Song). River dies in the Library, but her data ghost uploaded to the computer (Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead). The River in this episode is the River stored in the Library's computer (The Name of The Doctor).
In 2009, regular writer Mark Gatiss took over role of Executive Producer on Steven Moffat's other series Sherlock (2010) which Gatiss is co-creator, so Moffat could concentrate on producing "Doctor Who".
River Tam from Firefly (2002) and Serenity (2005) is believed by some fans to have been an influence behind River Song. River Song (As Melody Pond) is conditioned and trained as an assassin to kill The Doctor. When she was place in Father Octavian's custody, after being imprisoned for The Doctor's murder, River escaped from the Banzantium spaceship and escapes aboard the TARDIS.
In the original series. Leela, companion of The Fourth Doctor had left at the end of "The Invasion of Time", and decided to discontinue travelling with The Doctor to stay on Gallifrey, when she fell in love with Commander Andred. It had been believed by fans that Leela had fought and died in the Time War. It was revealed in the audio productions of "Doctor Who", Leela had survived the destruction of Gallifrey and had been captured by the N'Zai. The N'Zai tortured Leela for information on Leela and Leela later died in the N'Zai prison. However, Louise Jameson had been rumoured to appear opposite Tom Baker in the 50th anniversary special, but the rumour was false.
Because of the varying technical and logistical demands of the 13 episodes of the first series, filming was broken into five production blocks. Episodes 1, 4 and 5 formed block one, and was filmed between July and September 2004. Block 2 comprised episodes 2 and 3, and was filmed between September and October 2004. Block 3 contained episodes 6 and 8 filmed between October and December. Block 4 was split into two sub blocks, 4A and 4B due to the large visual effects demands of episode 7 which on its own became block 4A, filmed between December 2004 and January 2005. Episodes 9 and 10 made up Block 4B, filmed from December through February 2005. Episodes 11-13 formed Block 5 filmed from February until March 2005.
In 2008, Russell T. Davies became the first Doctor Who writer since its beginning on television in 1963 to be honored by the Queen, receiving an O.B.E. He also became only the second producer of the series to receive such an honor (original producer Verity Lambert was made an O.B.E. in 2002).
After leaving the series, David Tennant would work with Sophie Aldred on the BBC animated series Tree Fu Tom (2012), providing the voice of Twigs. Aldred played Ace, companion of the Seventh Doctor in the original series.
Future Companion and Doctor Karen Gillan and Peter Capaldi both appeared in Series 4's The Fires of Pompeii (#4.2), both in different roles. Karen Gillan as a Soothsayer and Peter Capaldi as Caecilius. The Soothsayer had not been considered by Steven Moffat to be an ancestor of Amy Pond and in Deep Breath (#8.1) when the 12th Doctor sees himself in the mirror, he remembers Caecilius and remarks that he had seen that face before. Karen Gillan went onto play Amy Pond and Peter Capaldi went onto play the 12th Doctor. However, both Scottish actors would appear together again in the 2013 Christmas Special "Time of the Doctor", which Karen Gillan made a cameo as Amy Pond and Peter Capaldi appeared in the final seconds as the newly regenerated 12th Doctor.
In Doctor Who: The Invasion of Time: Part Six (1978) in the original series. Borusa is seen reading a newspaper about the 1912 Titanic disaster, which the 4th Doctor claimed he had nothing to do with it. In Doctor Who: Rose (2005), Rose Tyler is shown an old photo of The Ninth Doctor with a family in 1912 and is told that The Ninth Doctor told the family not to go aboard the Titanic and that the family survived. In the 2007 Christmas Special Doctor Who: Voyage of the Damned (2007) The Tenth Doctor goes aboard the Sto passenger spaceship, which is named after the Titanic passenger liner that sunk in 1912.
The choice of Russell T. Davies to write and produce the series surprised some commentators, as he was most famous for writing the explicit and uncompromising adult drama about homosexual men in Manchester, Queer as Folk (1999).
In the books and audio productions, The Doctor in his 4th, 7th and 10th incarnations, met Boudica, warrior queen of the Iceni tribe. In "The Romans", The First Doctor and Vicki met Emperor Nero, whom Boudica led her tribe in rebellion against. Alex Kingston has played Boudica in the Warrior Queen (2003), which Frances Barber (Madame Kovarian) also starred in as Agrippina.
The Time War was not the only time The Daleks were on Gallifrey. In Doctor Who: The Five Doctors (1983) the 20th anniversary special, a Dalek was seen pursuing the 1st Doctor and Susan in the Death Zone on Gallifrey.
In _"Supernatural" The Girl Next Door (#7.3)_, Jewel Staite played a character named Amy Pond, whom is a nod to the character played by Karen Gillan and is seen as both a child and an adult. Staite attended the Armageddon Pulp Culture Expo in Wellington, New Zealand in 2006 and Gillan attended the Armageddon Pulp Culture Expo in Wellington, New Zealand in 2015.
It was rumoured that Sophia Myles, who played Madame de Pompadour in Series 2's _"The Girl in the Fireplace"_ would replace Karen Gillan as the new companion in Series 7. Steven Moffat denied the rumour, stating that her return in the series as The Doctor's new companion would be inappropriate and Jenna Coleman was officially announced as the new companion Clara Oswald.
In July 2015, Karen Gillan attended the Armageddon Expo in Wellington, New Zealand, which became the biggest event at Armageddon Expo ever and loads of fans of the show and of Gillan had turned up to meet the Scottish actress.
In Series 8's Dark Water (#8.11) two notes are seen in Clara's kitchen with the names Maisie and Jenny. This foreshadowed Maisie Williams making a guest role in Series 9's The Girl Who Died (#9.5) and The Woman Who Lived (#9.6).
The 11th Doctor (Matt Smith) wears a fez. But The 11th Doctor was not the only Doctor that wore a fez. In Silver Nemesis: Part One from the original series, The 7th Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) was briefly seen wearing a fez.
For the 5th season, at the hight of the show's promotion campaigns to other countries, the decision was made to have a narrated prologue sequence added to the start of every episode, where Amy provides a basic outline of the show. This prologue sequence only exists in syndicated versions and isn't present in the initial UK airings.
In 2015, Matt Smith co-starred opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger in "Terminator: Genisys", a film about robots and time travel. The 1975 Tom Baker story Genesis of the Daleks was about The 4th Doctor, Sarah and Harry traveling back through to Skaro before the Neutron War and prevent the creation of the Daleks.
In 2012, on the Facebook social network. A group called "Should Summer Glau be in an episode of Doctor Who?" was set up by a man named Daniel Williamson, as an online petition to get American actress Summer Glau, known for her roles in the science fiction TV series "Firefly" and "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles", a guest role in an episode of the series. Matt Smith (The Eleventh Doctor) starred in "Terminator: Genisys" as SkyNet/Genisys."Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles" is based on the "Terminator" films and like "Doctor Who", it is about time travel and robots.
The trivia items below may give away important plot points.
In each series, there is an underlying story arc that pans all episodes until finally fully addressed in the season finale. For Series 1, it is the concept and identity of the Bad Wolf. Series 2, the Torchwood Institute. Series 3, the identity of Mr. Saxon. In series 4, there are several little references and jokes that eventually lead to the plot of the finale, including the missing planets and the bees disappearing from Earth, and repeated appearances of Rose Tyler on screens and monitors. In addition, there are repeated references to there being something on Donna's back. While this does not carry on to the series finale itself, it does play an important part in the episode which sets up the finale's story. In series 5, there are "cracks" in the universe, which must ultimately be fixed in the series finale. In series 6, a future version of the Doctor is seen to be killed, causing complications for the "present" version of the Doctor and his companions, also there is the repeated appearance of Madame Kovarian who only Amy can see. Series 7 revolves around the "impossible" Clara Oswin Oswald, whom the Doctor keeps running into in various places and times, though she does not remember him. In Series 8 it is the identity of the mysterious Missy and where the people are going after they die.
Peter Capaldi had appeared on the show in a completely different role before being cast as the 13th onscreen Doctor, but Colin Baker did too in the original, so this is not the first an actor playing the Doctor had previously appeared as a different character on the show. Coincidentally, Capaldi appeared in the episode in which Karen Gillan had a different role before being cast as a full-fledged companion, Doctor Who: The Fires of Pompeii (2008).