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Who knew? Doctor Who facts that might surprise you

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Published on 05 October 2018

Did you know? - facts on BBC1 show
Did you know? - facts on BBC1 show

Doctor Who facts:

The original Daleks were controlled from the inside by short operators who had to manipulate their eyestalks, domes and arms, as well as flashing the lights on their heads in sync with the actor's voices.


There have been around 12 different title sequences. The theme music was originally composed by Ron Grainer and created by Delia Derbyshire at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Since then there have been a vast variety of remixes of the theme music.


The Doctor actually is a doctor. In a sickbay in the 1967 story The Moonbase, the Doctor was asked, "Listen, are you really a medical doctor?" He replied, "Yes, I think I was once, Polly.”


The Doctor has an array of gadgets, including the sonic screwdriver - which has many uses including the ability to unlock almost anything - and the psychic paper, which can bamboozle people into seeing whatever the user wants them to see printed on it.


The Doctor's real name remains a complete mystery to all but a very small number of individuals including The Master, River Song and Clara Oswald.

The character of the Doctor was partly inspired by Sherlock Holmes. Comparisons have been made between the Doctor and the fictional detective. In fact both the fourth and eleventh Doctors have dressed up as Sherlock Holmes in episodes of Doctor Who.


The fifth Doctor wore a piece of celery on his lapel because he was allergic to a certain gas in the Praxis Range. Once the celery turned purple he would eat it and it would save him.


The Weeping Angels are based on the children's game What's the time, Mr Wolf?


The original pilot episode, which was thought to be lost forever, was rediscovered in 1978 in a mislabelled film can.


The distinctive TARDIS sound effect was originally created by simply rubbing the bass strings of a piano with a key. This sound was then modified by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and then became the well-known sound effect that they still use variations of today.


When the original series was struggling with ratings in the 1980s, the show's co-creator, Sydney Newman, wrote a letter to BBC One Controller Michael Grade, suggesting some radical new ideas for the show, including the introduction of a Time-Lady (a female Doctor). – But it wouldn’t be until 2018 that his vision became a reality.