Doctor Who Fanfiction

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Doctor Who fanfic production has changed greatly over the years. Some notable fanworks are listed, by Doctor, on the page for The Doctor.

Classic Who

Doctor Who fanfiction has probably been around since the early 60s, especially given the popularity of Doctor Who from 1963 to roughly 1980. Before online fandom existed, fiction was primarily circulated through the Fanzine format, often made with a mimeograph machine. Zines first came into prominence in the late 1960s in Star Trek fandom, and quickly spread to other active fandoms, including Doctor Who [1].

Doctor Who and Zines

On May 24, 1993, alt.drwho.creative was spun off from the Usenet discussion group rec.arts.drwho [2] The creation of the group was suggested by Happy Halibut VI (Richard Salter) and set up by Dave Williams. The stated purpose of the group was "for stories and any other bits of creative stuff people may come up with in connection to the TV series 'Doctor Who.'"[3]

Possibly the first-ever Doctor Who fanfiction archive was created for alt.drwho.creative on January 19, 1998: Panatropic[4] It was created by Random Companion.

Mostly Gen Original Doctors, mirroring the same trend in fan-produced Doctor Who audio and video drama.

Eighth Doctor

The Paul McGann Estrogen Brigade (PMEB) formed shortly after the airing of the television movie in 1996, bringing together primarily female fans of the new Doctor. These fans wrote stories among other activities, but the links to their archives are down and the website hasn't been updated since 2005. This site is likely where DW fic began to tell more adult stories. The Eighth Doctor was the first to kiss his companion in canon, and may well have thereby launched a thousand ships.

The Eighth Doctor has been active in Big Finish audio stories since 2001, traveling with a number of companions. Fans continue to ship Eight/Charley, Eight/Lucie, and Eight/Rose among others.

A small LiveJournal fandom bloomed around the Eighth and Fifth Doctors. Doctor/Master, Eighth Doctor/companions (Fitz, Charley), were popular ships.

By 2003 Panatropic had closed down, no fandom archive, just a few scattered pages. Teaspoon was created about this time to provide a new central archive for DW fic.

Before the new series, the Eighth Doctor was not considered to be part of the Classic Who canon.

New Who (2005 Series)

With the new series came a massive increase in fic, including het and slash, particularly Jack slash. Conflict arose between old and new fans, as a huge new Doctor/Rose fandom clashed with Classic/Gen fans. Many classic fans were unhappy to see romance make an appearance in the series. However, it was a deliberate choice by showrunner Russell T. Davies to make the show 'sexier' as he felt it was an essential element of modern television. In any case Doctor/Rose shippers, like fans everywhere, cannot be stopped.

Pairing conflicts

The Rose Wars.

Rose vs Martha Jones, resentment on both sides, race/class, issues with canon.

A number of fans dislike Martha's romantic storyline for various reasons. Some are attached to Rose and can't let her go. Some see Martha's feelings for the Doctor as infatuation rather than love, as she falls for him immediately, while Rose's feelings grow over time. Some disapprove of Martha's pursuit of the Doctor, when he told her up front that he wasn't interested, and when she knew he was mourning the loss of someone he cared for, regardless of the nature of the relationship. Some are tired of romantic storylines altogether, or never approved of them in the first place.

Other fans feel that Martha, as an intelligent, educated woman, is a better match for the Doctor. Some call Rose a 'chav' and consider her beneath him. Some see no distinction between Rose and Martha in terms of the nature of their feelings or the validity of their romance. Some see Martha as the Doctor's 'rebound,' and consider his treatment of her as callous and insensitive. Doctor/Martha ships may be fix-it fic for this problem. In addition, the Doctor, Martha, and Jack make a popular third-series OT3.

When Torchwood started, Jack/Ianto became the primary Jack pairing. Because Jack left Series 3 at the end of a closed storyline, Ten/Jack stories are rarer among Doctor/Jack fics than Nine/Jack and tend to focus on their reunion.

The Master

In 2007, Derek Jacobi and John Simm appeared as the Master.

Omphalos and dwseason4, other notable fics

Doctor/Master archive

Revived interest in Classic Who Masters

D/s flavor to pairing (See Doctor/Master).

Classic Who Revival

As new fans settled into the fandom, there was increased interest in Classic Who, resulting in a marked increase in older eras. The multi-companion story; Whatever Happened To; Companion-centric stories as a result of increased focus on companions in New Who. Sarah Jane Smith's return to seires also aided in this revival, as well as confirming that she had romantic feeling towards the Doctor.


Donna Noble, Blue!Doctor, Rose/Doctor, backlash against finale of S4, fix-it fics.


In the era of Eleven...

- OT3 stories

- fix-it stories

- alternate timeline stories

- what else?


In the era of Twelve...

- Most commonly paired with Clara Oswald, River Song and Missy.


The Thirteenth Doctor brought a new wave of femslash to Doctor Who, which had previously been quite rare in the fandom. Postive comments from Alex Kingston (River Song) and Billie Piper (Rose Tyler) about their characters still loving the Doctor in her Thirteenth regeneration made Thirteen/River and Thirteen/Rose popular before season 11 began. Many of these fics centered around their initial reaction to meeting Thirteen.

Follwoing the trend of pairing the Doctor with one of their companions, Thirteen/Yaz was quick to become the preferred couple for Thirteen while season 11 aired. The fandom often lamented that the Doctor and Yaz have never been shown hugging, and so much of the fix-it fic at the time has the Doctor and Yaz hug at moments fans felt would have been appropriate.

Doctor Who RPF

There was little RPF written in the fandom's early years -- or at least, if it was written, it was kept underground, as was common with RPF at that moment in fannish time. Since the 2005 launch of New Who, which happened at a moment in time when RPF had come out of the proverbial closet, there's been a fair amount of RPF in this fandom.

David/Billie RPF. Tennant/Simm (fed by many appearances together at the second half of 2007) and Tennant/Barrowman.

During the era of Matt Smith's Eleven, there's been a fair amount of RPF featuring Arthur Darvill (Rory Williams), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), and Matt Smith (Eleven) in various permutations, including OT3.




  1. Fan Fiction - History - Accessed October 7, 2008.
  2. newgroup alt.drwho.creative - Accessed October 7, 2008.
  3. Draft Charter - Accessed October 7, 2008.
  4. alt.drwho.creative archive - Accessed October 7, 2008.