man Smith? The Oncoming Storm? Basil? Paul Kirkley do the efforts to uncover the real name that the Doctor…


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What’s in a name? fairly a lot, if she the Doctor, or Basil, or Theta Sigma, or δ³Σx², or every little thing Doctor Who’s lead character is really called.

You are watching: Doctor who name of the doctor


It’s most likely not Basil, if we’re honest. However that’s the name he provides in 2017’s The Zygon Inversion, and also the Doctor never ever lies, right? apart from when the doctor does lie, i m sorry is every the time.

But if not Basil, or ‘Doctor Who,’ then what?


What is the Doctor’s real name?

What is really clear is the the medical professional doesn’t want us to know, actually. As soon as he very first met flow Song, David Tennant’s Tenth physician was shocked and horrified the she knew his name, stating there was “only one reason” he would ever divulge the information. (We doubt that factor was marriage, because it was throughout their wedding ceremony, now in his Eleventh incarnation, that he supposedly whispered the in her ear – on the other hand, he might equally have actually been speak “Don’t worry, I’m in reality a robot version of me through the tiny real me hiding inside.” Time mr weddings are complicated).


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Around the exact same time, the witch (sorry, Carrionite) Lilith declared the medical professional was hiding his true surname from she “in despair”, if psychic roman inn teenager Evelina said his “true name” to be “hidden” also from her. Intriguing.

During his next incarnation, keeping his name the end of the headlines was virtually a full-time job: follow to Dorium Maldovar, the riddle ‘Doctor Who?’ was “The inquiry that should never it is in answered”. The an excellent Intelligence was desperate to acquire its hand on the info (in so much as a formless entity can gain its hands on anything), while, on opposing side, The quiet was an entire religion/spooky monster club founded on stopping the doctor from ever before blabbing it.

In Eleven’s dying moments, us learned the the Doctor’s genuine name to be the signal preferred by the time Lords to return to our world – kicking off a enormous galactic bunfight in the process – till Clara convinced them the the only name that really mattered to be ‘the Doctor’.

Quite right, too.

Clara herself had briefly learned the Doctor’s genuine name in a book, The background of the time War (not available in any great high street bookshops, sadly) but some timey-wimey company left her through no memory of it. D’oh!

Now, following the events of The Timeless youngsters for Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor, us can’t be certain that even the physician is mindful of his/her real birthname…could this be any an ext confusing?

Anyway, with full disrespect to our hero’s wishes – and also the feasible safety that the universe – let’s have a look at at part theories of what the medical professional might it is in called…

The Doctor’s name is… The Doctor


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Firstly, we need to ask if the Doctor might actually be the Doctor’s real name. Who knows, it could be as usual as Steve or Kevin on Gallifrey?

But the proof would suggest not. In The surname of the Doctor, Matt Smith’s Time mr told Clara he had actually chosen the surname ‘the Doctor’ as a promise – a promise never to it is in cruel or cowardly; come never give up, and never provide in. Famously, he refuse to use the title throughout the Time War, emotion his actions no live as much as the promise.

The Valeyard – a sort of Hyde to the Doctor’s Jekyll, distilled indigenous the dark next of his/her personality – also stated the surname is an alias, while john Simm’s grasp mocked him for styling himself as “the guy who makes civilization better”.

As usual, though, the Master obtained it a little wrong as, according to flow Song, the contrary is actually true: we get the word doctor from him: “the word for healer and also wise guy throughout the universe”, based on tales of the Doctor’s legend exploits. (An idea, as gendergeek.org reported, the Steven Moffat very first idly propose in an web chatroom 20 years ago.)

Incidentally, the physician does appear to possess numerous actual doctorates, including, according to 2011’s The God Complex, one because that cheese-making. Yet that could have to be a joke.

The Doctor’s surname is… man Smith



The Doctor’s most typical alias (apart from the Doctor, obviously), this is his conventional pseudonym on Earth. Jon Pertwee’s Doctor offered it all the moment while stranded here in the 70s (or was it the 80s?) and also he’s still rocking the today, consisting of when the Twelfth doctor did ‘deep cover’ as Coal Hill School’s caretaker. He even became John Smith, because that real, as soon as he turned human being to hide from The family members of Blood. Oh, and also it’s written on his library card, which is probably, like, completely illegal, right?

The Doctor’s surname is… Theta Sigma

Theta Sigma – or ΘΣ, if you’re feeling flash – to be the nickname provided to the physician at the time Lord Academy on Gallifrey, follow to Drax, a student modern-day from “the course of ’92” that the 4th Doctor bumped right into again during The Armageddon Factor.

It appears this may have actually been a actual attempt by writer Anthony Read, who developed Drax, to answer the series enigmatic title concern through the tool of some knockabout throwaway banter. Fortunately, everyone decided to overlook this and also assume it must have been a jokey nickname, i m sorry the saturday Doctor confirmed it remained in The happiness Patrol.

Could it offer some clue come his actual name, though? after ~ all, most nicknames bear part relation to the real thing (unless you Sting).

For a clue, let’s turn to The making of medical professional Who, the series’ very very first reference guide, published in 1972. Written by then-script editor Terrance Dicks and regular scripter Malcolm Hulke (thus providing it a particular legitimacy), it breezily claimed, casual together you like, the the Doctor’s real name to be δ³Σx². For this reason Theta Sigma may well be a hilarious variation of this. (I couldn’t maybe tell you, as it’s every Greek to me.)

The Doctor’s name is… The Oncoming Storm, The Beast, Predator that the Daleks, The great Exterminator, The Destroyer the Worlds, etc



Names provided to the physician by his miscellaneous enemies. They’re quite cool names, actually. If they really wanted to annoy him, lock should contact him Custard Face, or something.

The Doctor’s name is… Something unpronounceable

The 6th Doctor when told Peri she wouldn’t be able to pronounce his genuine name. Though this to be on Radio 4, so may not be canon. Also, the 6th Doctor had actually a really low opinion of people, and also Americans in particular, so to be possibly simply being rude.

Though later on, Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor said in his final moments the his surname was mainly incomprehensible, unless you to be a boy with your “heart in the ideal place” so that knows – probably it wasn’t just a healthy and balanced dose of xenophobia from the Sixth physician after all…

The Doctor’s surname is… physician Who

OK, here’s the biggie. If the Doctor’s genuine name ever has been spoken on screen, then many of the evidence points in the direction of his/her name being the exact same as the one top top the believe (or the DVD box, anyway): physician Who.

Firstly, as far back as 1966, in the william Hartnell story The battle Machines, supercomputer Wotan claimed “Doctor who is required, lug him here”.

Yes, we know the genuine reason for this is since the writer hadn’t read his brief properly, or hadn’t actually ever watched the show, yet now it’s the end there, we can’t unhear it.

Wotan can be wrong, of course – a instance of “computer states Who” – yet it was much from an diverted incident. The complying with year, Patrick Troughton’s Doctor, masquerading as a German, used the name ‘Doctor von Wer’ (Doctor that Who), and also a couple of weeks later signed a post with “Dr W.” What might all that possibly mean?

That’s come say nothing of every the “Doctor? doctor who?” gags end the years. And also let’s no forget the full text that Dorium Maldovar’s warning: “The very first question. The inquiry that must never it is in answered, covert in plain sight. The question you’ve been running from all your life. Medical professional who? medical professional who? medical professional who?”

Hidden in level sight. What could be much more hidden in level sight than the surname of the show, the one that comes whizzing in the direction of you through room at the begin of every episode? it’s pretty obvious, when you think around it.


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Michelle Gomez’s Missy certainly wanted us to think that’s the answer, phone call herself doctor Who once she stepped into the Doctor’s shoes because that a training exercise in 2017’s world Enough and also Time, and also insisting after that that it yes, really is his name.

“He determined it himself, trying come sound mysterious,” she said. “And then he reduce the ‘Who’ when he establish it to be a tiny little on the nose.”

Even the medical professional doesn’t disagree. “You see this mad mrs sitting in this chair? Her surname is not medical professional Who, my surname is physician Who.”

“It’s no is it?” asks a confused Nardole.

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“I choose it,” replies the Doctor.


Come come think the it, so do we. And also especially provided the revelations the 2020’s The Timeless Children, which suggested even the doctor doesn’t understand the truth of she past, possibly we should simply stick with it. Steven Moffat seems to choose the idea anyway…