'Doctor Who' Trivia And Factoids To Impress The Universe With

18/09/2015 9:03 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Peter Capaldi, left, and Jenna Coleman attend the "Doctor Who" panel on day 1 of Comic-Con International on Thursday, July 9, 2015, in San Diego, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

1. The TARDIS Isn’t Meant To Make That Wheezing Sound

The geniuses in the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop created most of the sound effects for Doctor Who’s time machine, but it took several seasons of hits and misses to find the best one.

You’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t recognise the iconic sound from the 50-year-old television show. But it turns out the Doctor has been flying it wrong, since spiriting it away from Gallifrey 900 years earlier.

River Song: It's not supposed to make that noise - *you* leave the brakes on!

The Doctor: Yeah, well, it's a brilliant noise. I love that noise.

"Doctor Who: The Time of Angels (#5.4)" (2010)

2. The Doctor Has A Phone Number

Winston Churchill had it on speed dial and the British Royal Family were known to call it, but it wasn’t until 2008 that we learned the Doctor’s phone number.

doctor who phone

It was shown in the penultimate episode of series four, as the Doctor's sidekicks Sarah-Jane Smith, Martha Jones and the Torchwood team tried to contact him. Thousands of fans hit the pause button, took note of the number and tried to call, but were met with a network error -- the number had been established only for the TV show. For the record, it is 07700900461.

3. The Sonic Screwdriver Doesn’t ‘Do’ Wood

It can pick locks, amplify sound and -- even -- destroy Weeping Angels, but the sonic screwdriver simply doesn’t work on wood. It was thought making a universal screwdriver would give the Doctor and his companions too easy an escape from perilous situations.

I hate using the sonic screwdriver as a solution, but that’s what comes of making this an action-adventure series with a hero who doesn’t carry a gun. -- Russell T Davies

4. Is Time Travel Possible?

TV physicist Brian Cox asked this question in a talk on the science of Doctor Who and came up with the hypothesis -- forward, yes, backwards, not likely, and watch out for the Weeping Angels in the attic.

5. Current Doctor Peter Capaldi Was A Fanboy

Capaldi has been in the title role for one season now, but his love of the franchise extends back to his teen years. 14-year-old Capaldi ran for the president of the show’s fan club, The Telegraph reported. When passed over, he inundated the BBC with letters, only for the producer’s secretary to quip, “I wish the Daleks or someone would exterminate him”.

doctor who clipping

Capaldi then appeared as sculptor Lucius Caecilius in the episode, The Fires Of Pompeii, to David Tennant’s Doctor.

He was due to audition for the role of the Eighth Doctor in 1995, but opted out. He is now the Twelfth Doctor.

6. The Doctor Introduces Actors To Audiences Abroad

Current host of The Late Late Show, James Corden, was introduced to US audiences as the Doctor’s landlord Craig Oliver in 2010 and 2011, before taking on the late night talk show last year.

Actress Carey Mulligan starred in the Weeping Angels-inspired episode ‘Blink’, years before her star turn in The Great Gatsby.

carey mulligan

Future Spiderman Andrew Garfield starred as a down-and-out New Yorker in the Great Depression-based episodes “Daleks in Manhattan" / "Evolution of the Daleks, in 2007.

7. Doctor Who?

As to the oldest question in the universe, hidden in plain sight, we shan't even attempt to answer that one. But here's a nifty recap.

*Nicolette Logue is a committed Whovian who has watched the rebooted seasons 1-8 four times through. The Doctor Who Season 9 premiere will be fast-tracked to iView on Sunday at 5.30am AEST and will be broadcast on the ABC at 7.40pm on Sunday.

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