Apocryphal Doctors

With Doctor Who celebrating it's fortieth anniversary in 2003, and the character having appeared in stage plays, audio dramas, comics, books, and virtually anywhere else he could show his face, it's hardly surprising that there are a number of Doctors running around other than the "official" ones. On this page I try to cover as many of them as I can.

For those who are wondering how I can decide what is and isn't apocryphal: first, any story that isn't in some way sanctioned by the BBC or licensed by the owners of a given character or monster is automatically apocryphal. This immediately encompasses most but not all fan produced works. Since there are a plethora of them, I'm only going to mention those which have some other claim to a level of legitimacy (see each case for an explanation why it gets listed here). Licensed product can still be apocryphal - the most obvious examples are any stories which introduce major discrepancies in the Doctor's history, or those which are clearly intended as parody. Again, I'll try and mention why I think they should be considered apocrypha. However, at the end of the day, the decision as to what is canon and what is apocrypha can only be made by the individual fan.

Apocryphal Tales of the Official Doctors

Some stories of the existing Doctor's just don't fit into the regular canon, no matter how you try to squeeze them in. (Conversely, there are some that should be apocrypha which fit nicely anyway - the fourth Doctor's appearance on Disney Time for example). If it has been at all possible for me to place a story as being canon, I have done so, no matter how unlikely the source. As for the rest... The worst offenders on this front have to be the original annuals and comic strips. Luckily the New Adventure Conundrum provided a perfect get-out-clause. In it, the Master of the Land of Fiction (a concept introduced in The Mind Robber) admits to having carried out innumerable "test runs" against a simulated version of the Doctor (named Doctor Who) prior to his real confrontation with the Time Lord. Most of the early Doctor Who comic strips fall into this category of "Land of Fiction" adventures. I've seen some sites insist that since certain races seen in the early comics have been name-checked in the books, then those early stories must also be considered canon if the books are to be. I disagree. Since the Master of the Land of Fiction utilises duplicates of real beings (such as the Doctor and his companions) there is no reason he can't do the same with alien races - we know the Cyberman and Daleks, both of which turn up in the early strips, are "real" foes of the Doctor, so why not the Kleptons or the Trods? That doesn't mean the stories we saw in those comics "really happened". In Conundrum the seventh Doctor clearly states to John and Gillian, his "grand-children" from the sixties comic strips, that he has never met them before. This means that any story containing them as anything other than Land of Fiction characters is apocryphal.








Apocryphal Tales of the (nearly) official Doctors

The Audio Visual Range of Adventures in Time and Space

The nth Doctor

The (n-1)th Doctor



Other TV Doctors

Although the BBC only recognises nine actors as having been the "official" Doctors, there have been several instances of other versions turning up on the small screen, generally in comedy sketches and shows. I guess there's just a little Doctor in every actor crying to get out.

The Other Seventh Doctor

Victoria Wood's choice

Lily Savage Doctor

The Curse of Fatal Death

BBC2 Night Doctor

Scream of the Shalka Doctor

Unbound Doctors







Movie Doctors

Movie Doctor Who

Last Doctor

Novel Doctors

The Infinity Doctor

42nd Doctor

The Doctor on Stage

The Battered Suitcase Company's Doctors

Seven Keys Doctor

Ultimate Doctor

Othernow Doctor

Battered Suitcase Doctors

Bedlam Doctor

Inheritor Doctor

The Men Who Would Be Doctor - near misses and others

Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.

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