Doctor Who Fandom Glossary

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Terms and concepts from Doctor Who and its fandom.

Naming the Fans

Asexualist: a fan who believes the Doctor has no sexual interest in anyone. It was the stated policy of the original series to keep romance implicit, not explicit; this has not been the case for the new series.

Whovian: a Doctor Who fan

Old School Who or Classic Who fans are fans of the original run of the series from 1963 to 1989.

New Who fans are fans of the 2005 reboot of the series. Sometimes spelled NuWho. (See the New Who section at the main Doctor Who page.)

Dr Nyarlathotep Some fans believe that Gallifreyans are basically tentacled eldritch horrors who disguise themselves with Perception Filters. The Doctor specifically is speculated to be Nyarlathotep.

Portmanteaus have also been created for many of the (real or speculated) romantic pairings within the series, and fans who subscribe to them often identify themselves with the terms. For example, Whouffle describes the relationship between the Eleventh Doctor and Clara Oswald (the "-uffle" part referring to a running joke regarding Clara's inability to make a souffle), while Whouffaldi (spellings vary) describes the Twelfth Doctor and Clara relationship (with Whouffle adjusted to incorporate part of actor Peter Capaldi's name). A more difficult one to parse is "Yowzah" which is used for the Eleventh Doctor/River Song relationship and derives from an exclamation uttered by that Doctor.

Naming the Wank

The Rose Wars - fannish disputes over the excellence vs. terribleness of the first companion in the new series, Rose Tyler.

Naming The Doctor

A key aspect of the series it that The Doctor's real name is never revealed, although he often adopts aliases (with John Smith being the most often used). Although the Doctor is almost never referred to by a number within the series itself (though Clara Oswald broke this rule in "The Name of the Doctor"), fans, and the franchise-runners themselves, have assigned a number to each incarnation of the character to distinguish between the different actors who played him and the era of the show therein:

  • The First Doctor: Played by William Hartnell
  • The Second Doctor: Played by Patrick Troughton
  • The Third Doctor: Played by Jon Pertwee
  • The Fourth Doctor: Played by Tom Baker and possibly the most popular incarnation of the old series.
  • The Fifth Doctor: Played by Peter Davison
  • The Sixth Doctor: Played by Colin Baker
  • The Seventh Doctor: Played by Sylvester McCoy
  • The Eighth Doctor: Played by Paul McGann
  • Shalka Doctor: Voiced by Richard E. Grant for a BBC-produced animated serial that was initially released only online for the show's 45th anniversary and generally classified as a non-canon doctor after the TV series itself was revived. Briefly, however, this Doctor was officially considered the Ninth Doctor.
  • War Doctor Played by John Hurt, first appeared briefly in "The Name of the Doctor" (Season 7 of New Who) and mainly appears in the 50th anniversary special "The Day of the Doctor" where it was revealed that this incarnation of the Doctor was the one that battled in the Time War.
  • The Ninth Doctor: The first Doctor to appear in the rebooted 2005 series and played by Christopher Eccleston. The naming convention for the Doctor changed with the influx of New Who fans, although fans still use "Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh" as well.
  • The Tenth Doctor: Played by David Tennant
  • Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor (aka 10.2): Played by David Tennant, is a Timelord/Human hybrid that was created by Donna Noble touching Ten's chopped off hand: created a meta crisis of the Tenth Doctor, with the same looks and same memories as the Doctor but has a human life expectancy.
  • The Eleventh Doctor: Played by Matt Smith
  • The Twelfth Doctor: Played by Peter Capaldi
  • The Thirteenth Doctor: Played by Jodie Whittaker

There is also The Cushing Doctor or The Movie Doctor. In the mid-1960s, the series was adapted for two motion pictures, Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 AD. Peter Cushing portrayed the Doctor in those films, however for the movies his character was reimagined as a human scientist named Dr. Who.

Naming The Master

Like the Doctor, The Master's real name has never been revealed on screen but, being a Time Lord, he has also undergone different incarnations, including becoming the first to be shown undergoing a gender change. To specify which particular Master is being discussed, the fans tend to put the actor's name in front:

  • Delgado's Master or Delgado!Master (Roger Delgado)
  • Ainley's Master or Ainley!Master (Anthony Ainley)
  • Jacobi's Master or Jacobi!Master (Derek Jacobi). He is also referred to as Prof. Yana or the Yana!Master due to him using this alias in canon.
  • Simm's Master or Simm!Master (John Simm). He is also referred to as Harold Saxon or the Saxon!Master due to him using this alias in canon.
  • Gomez's Master or Gomez!Master (Michelle Gomez) who is also often known as "Missy" as she is referred to in canon. She is rarely referred to as the Master as a result.

A few other actors played the Master briefly, but didn't have a strong impact on the fandom. Jacobi also played a non-Canon version of the Master (an android) in the webcast Scream of the Shalka.

Note: Many fan works make note of the fact that the spin-off novels (which exist in a "grey area" with regards to whether they are considered canonical to the TV series, the BBC having never defined explicitly what is and isn't canon) actually identify the Master by his real name, Koeschi. Therefore it's common to see that name used when referring to the Master, especially if no specific (or perhaps an original-to-the-fan fiction) incarnation is identified.