20 Awesome Doctor Who Facts You Didn’t Know

1. TARDIS stands for “Time and Relative Dimensions in Space.”

The name was not created by the Doctor, he actually stole (Ahem, “Borrowed”) a Type-40 time capsule from the Time Lords on his home planet to escape.

2. Doctor Who began as a children’s educational show.

When the series was first created it was developed to engage the entire family on Saturday nights after football. The show’s aim was to inform and educate children about science and history, using time travel and historical figures.

3. Many of the Doctor’s companions appeared in episodes before they became companions.

Freema Agyeman, Karen Gillian, and even our newest Doctor Peter Capaldi appeared in episodes before taking on major roles.

4. Tom Baker’s long scarf was created by accident.

The series’ costume designer is supposed to have provided several balls of yarn for a knitter to choose from while making a normal-sized scarf for the Doctor. Instead of choosing just one, she knitted the lot into one single, gigantic item.

5. Torchwood is an anagram of Doctor Who used to trick pirates.

When the first series of Doctor Who was being filmed, BBC execs were concerned about piracy and so they code-named the tapes ‘Torchwood’ to protect them from being stolen in transit. (Obviously it became the name of the spin-off show as well.)

6. All the Silurians seen since 2010′s “The Hungry Earth” are played by the same three actors.

7. 103 episodes of the series are lost.

The BBC destroyed many episodes of Doctor Who in the 1960s and 70s for various reasons, leaving a huge gap in the series’ archives.

8. The reason the TARDIS looks the way it does is because it’s “Chameleon Circuit” is broken.

It was temporarily fixed by the Sixth Doctor in 1985’s episode “Attack of the Cyberman” but the results weren’t what was expected and before anyone knew it, the famous Police Box design was back.

9. The TARDIS has a six-sided control console because it was designed to have six operatives.

10. Benedict Cumberbatch turned down the role of The Doctor.

11. The ancient race of aliens The Weeping Angels were inspired by a carved figure in a graveyard…

…that Steven Moffat used to see when he went on family holidays. The graveyard was marked “dangerous,” which is what attracted Moffat’s interest.

12.The Doctor’s regeneration was introduced to overcome the First Doctor’s ailing health.

When it became apparent that Hartnell’s health was failing, the story editor came up with the idea of regeneration to enable them to replace Hartnell with a new actor and continue the series.

13. The Master was almost scripted as The Doctor’s brother.

Sadly, that development was ended when the actor, Roger Delgado, passed away in 1973. To this day, the storyline has remained untouched.

14. The word TARDIS has made the Oxford English Dictionary.

Noun. 1. Time machine. 2. A building or container that is larger inside than it appears to be from outside.

15. The 50th anniversary special the Day of the Doctor has been described as the biggest event in BBC Drama’s history.

It was simulcast across the world to almost 80 countries.

16. Daleks are based off of the Nazis.

17. Matt Smith is the Youngest Actor to play The Doctor.

(He first took on the role at age 27.)

18. Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat was initially opposed to Matt Smith’s wish to wear his now-iconic bow tie.

19. The TARDIS’ noise of landing and leaving is created by scraping house keys along piano wire.

20. It’s the longest running science fiction show in the world!

The 50th anniversary special was the show’s 799th episode since it began in 1963.