TARDIS Index File

Aliases of the Doctor

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Throughout his travels in time and space, the Doctor took and was called by a number of different aliases, titles and names. Some were fleeting. Others, for example John Smith, were used by almost all of his incarnations. The Doctor told few individuals his real name. Instead, he asked others to call him the Doctor.

The Doctor's real name Edit

As his true name was not generally known, "the Doctor" became an alias. It was implied that his given name was ceremoniously withdrawn and stricken by his Cousins as punishment for a disgrace he brought upon his House. (PROSE: Lungbarrow)

Even when he was put on trial by the Time Lords, he was only referred to as "the Doctor", (TV: The War Games) although the Valeyard, a culmination of the Doctor's darker side who prosecuted the second trial, acknowledged that it was an alias. (TV: The Mysterious Planet) Even those who had known him in childhood addressed him as "Doctor," such as the Master, (TV: Death in Heaven) and the Rani. (COMIC: Weapons of Past Destruction)

According to one account, during his first incarnation, the Doctor adopted this name in dealing with human colonists on the planet Iwa at the same time that his granddaughter adopted the name "Susan". (PROSE: Frayed) Another account implied that the Doctor's title had been chosen as a Gallifreyan custom, (TV: The Sound of Drums) and that he had been using it before he left Gallifrey. (TV: The Name of the Doctor)

The Doctor's real name has been said to be difficult to pronounce, for humans at least. The First Doctor once told an interrogator he "wouldn't be able to pronounce the first syllable of [his name]." (PROSE: Salvation) His seventh incarnation likewise told one of his captors that he "doubt[ed] [they]'d be able to pronounce the name [he] was originally given." (PROSE: Illegal Alien) When asked about the Doctor's name, Peri Brown once said that the Doctor had told her she would find it unpronounceable. (AUDIO: Slipback)

The Doctor kept his true name hidden despite numerous "mind-probe" attempts. (TV: The Girl in the Fireplace, The Lodger) The Carrionite Lilith, unable to discover the Tenth Doctor's true name even with the "witchcraft" used by her kind, remarked, "There is no name," and that the Doctor was hiding his true name in despair. (TV: The Shakespeare Code) The psychically-gifted Evelina, who attempted to foretell the Doctor's future, remarked that his "true name" was "hidden" from her. (TV: The Fires of Pompeii)

Significance Edit

The Eleventh Doctor told Clara Oswald that his real name was not important, since he specifically chose the title of "Doctor" to take its place, saying it was "like a promise you make." (TV: The Name of the Doctor) This promise was, as recited by the Tenth and War Doctors; "Never cruel or cowardly. Never give up, never give in." (TV: The Day of the Doctor)

The Master knew of this and implied that the Doctor's title had been chosen because it meant "the man who makes people better", although he found the choice "sanctimonious" for someone who ended millions of lives and ruined many others. (TV: The Sound of Drums) River Song was aware of this contradiction in the Doctor's behaviour: she said that the Doctor was the first to have this title and that the rest of the universe later adopted it, usually to mean "healer" or "wise man". However, she added, in some parts of the universe, such as in the Gamma Forests, it eventually came to mean "mighty warrior". (TV: A Good Man Goes to War)

According to Dorium Maldovar, the Silence had a particular interest in the Doctor's name. He explained that if the Doctor lived long enough, on the fields of Trenzalore, at the fall of the Eleventh, when no creature could speak falsely or fail to answer, a question that must never be answered would be asked: the first question, hidden in plain sight: "Doctor Who?". The Silence wanted to stop the Doctor from revealing his true name. (TV: The Wedding of River Song)

The Doctor was at a later time forced to go to Trenzalore to rescue his friends from the Great Intelligence, which sought to gain access to the Doctor's tomb. The tomb, which was a future version of his own dying TARDIS, would open only to the Doctor's real name. The Intelligence threatened to kill the Doctor's friends if he did not speak his name and open the tomb; the situation was resolved when the data ghost of River Song was able to silently transmit his name to the TARDIS, thus opening the door for the Great Intelligence. (TV: The Name of the Doctor)

The Doctor's real name became important during the Siege of Trenzalore, as it was the signal chosen by the Time Lords to come back to the universe. Despite this, Clara told them instead that the only name of his that mattered was "the Doctor", prompting them to give the Doctor a new regeneration cycle, and close the Crack they were using to reach out to the universe. (TV: The Time of the Doctor)

Ubiquity of the title Edit

The Doctor did possess at least one doctorate. (TV: The Moonbase, The Armageddon Factor, The Mysterious Planet) He sometimes described himself as a "doctor of many things" (TV: Four to Doomsday) or of "everything". (TV: Spearhead from Space, Utopia) His eleventh incarnation claimed that one of his doctorates was in cheese making. (TV: The God Complex)

On several occasions, the Doctor stated he was not a medical doctor, (TV: "The Forest of Fear", "Mighty Kublai Khan") though did note that, by his second incarnation, he had studied medicine in the 19th century. (TV: The Moonbase)

Individuals with knowledge of his name Edit

The Sixth Doctor told his dance instructor, Becky his name. (PROSE: Teach Yourself Ballroom Dancing)

The Eighth Doctor's companion, Samantha Jones, overheard his real name being said. She found it quite alien and virtually unpronounceable. (PROSE: Vanderdeken's Children)

When the Tenth Doctor first encountered her, River Song claimed to have known him at some point in his future, (TV: Silence in the Library) and, to prove her "credentials", she whispered his name in his ear, and apologised for having to do so. The Doctor was shocked at this, as "there [was] only one reason [he] would ever tell anyone [his] name, [and] only one time [he] could." (TV: Forest of the Dead)

Near the end of his tenth incarnation, despite believing there was no one left in the universe who knew it, the Doctor encountered members of an unidentified pan-dimensional race that knew his real name. (AUDIO: The Last Voyage)

While separated from the Eleventh Doctor, Clara Oswald read his name in The History of the Time War. That timeline was later averted, however, leaving her with no memory of it, (TV: Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS) though she later began to recall certain moments of the timeline, (TV: The Name of the Doctor ) and claimed to know the Doctor's name when bluffing to the Cybermen about being the Doctor. (TV: Death in Heaven)

Commonly used aliases Edit

John Smith Edit

John Smith was an alias the Doctor frequently used on Earth and around humans when a "standard" name was needed. It was often preceded by the title "Doctor", though not always — for example, when he was undercover as a teacher at a school or a patient in a hospital. (TV: School Reunion, Smith and Jones) As "John Smith" was considered a generic name in some Earth cultures, the Doctor's use of the alias was occasionally treated with skepticism. (TV: Midnight)

During his first incarnation, he used a library card with the name Dr J. Smith while living at 76 Totter's Lane, (TV: The Vampires of Venice) as well as for identification when renting the junkyard. (PROSE: The Rag and Bone Man's Story) The inspiration for the alias was John Smith of John Smith and the Common Men, with which he was familiar through Susan. (PROSE: The Witch Hunters)

In his second incarnation, the name was independently used by his companion Jamie McCrimmon while the Doctor was being treated for concussion, as he saw it being used as a brand name on a metal container. (TV: The Wheel in Space) Likewise, Chang Lee chose to register the name for the Seventh Doctor while he was en route to get his bullet wounds healed. (TV: Doctor Who)

The Doctor adopted it on a semi-regular basis during his third incarnation while exiled on Earth, when he served as unpaid scientific advisor to UNIT. (TV: Spearhead from Space, Inferno, The Time Warrior)

The Doctor twice changed himself into a human who used the name John Smith. This occurred in his seventh incarnation, (PROSE: Human Nature) and in his tenth incarnation. (TV: Human Nature)

Known uses of John Smith Edit

First Doctor Edit
Second Doctor Edit
Third Doctor Edit
Fourth Doctor Edit
Fifth Doctor Edit
Sixth Doctor Edit
Seventh Doctor Edit
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Eighth Doctor Edit
War Doctor Edit
Ninth Doctor Edit
Tenth Doctor Edit
Eleventh Doctor Edit
Twelfth Doctor Edit

Johann Schmidt Edit

A German variation of "John Smith", "Johann Schmidt" was used by the Sixth Doctor when he infiltrated the Third Reich to investigate the origins of the Fourth Reich that was currently active in 2001, creating fake credentials establishing him as Major-General Johann Schmidt of the Berlin Fifth Medical Corps. (PROSE: The Shadow in the Glass) The Seventh Doctor also used this name while impersonating the Reichsinspektor General, (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus) while the Eighth Doctor used it while posing as a German spy. (AUDIO: Storm Warning)

An alternative version of the Eighth Doctor who existed in a timeline where the Nazis won World War II, also used the name. (AUDIO: Colditz, Klein's Story)

The Eleventh Doctor took the place of a real Dr. Schmidt when his psychic paper displayed the credentials of a visitor expected at the Lexington Bank. (PROSE: Borrowed Time)

The Twelfth Doctor used the name to gain Field Marshall Rommel's trust when he landed in the Sahara Desert during World War II. (COMIC: The Instruments of War)

Theta Sigma Edit

Theta Sigma, informally Thete and occasionally spelt "ΘΣ", was a nickname of the Doctor at the Time Lord Academy on Gallifrey. (TV: The Armageddon Factor, The Happiness Patrol; COMIC: Flashback)

When the Doctor's final incarnation died for good during the first battle of the War, his coffin — which came to be known as the Relic — had the symbols for "Theta" and "Sigma" on it (PROSE: Alien Bodies).

In an alternative timeline in which Rassilon failed to finish the Eye of Harmony before his death, the Doctor never left Gallifrey and became a commentator rather than a renegade Time Lord. He was known as Commentator Theta Sigma. (AUDIO: Forever)

Theta Sigma was part of River Song's message to the Doctor on the universe's oldest cliff-face. (TV: The Pandorica Opens)

Doctor Who Edit

The name Doctor Who was applied to the Doctor, intentionally or unintentionally, on several occasions.

Other aliases Edit

The following is a list of aliases used by the Doctor in each of his incarnations.

First Doctor Edit

Second Doctor Edit

Third Doctor Edit

  • The Great Wizard, Qui Quae Quod: Miss Hawthorne referred to the Doctor as "the great wizard Quiquaequod" while attempting to bluff the villagers of Devil's End into releasing him. In Latin, qui, quae and quod are the masculine, feminine and neuter nominative forms of the relative pronoun "who" - literally, Miss Hawthorne was calling him "Who Who Who".(TV: The Dæmons)
  • Prisoner 177781: The Doctor was recorded by this designation when he was briefly arrested by the British Army alongside Sarah Jane Smith, who was recorded as Prisoner 177782. (TV: Invasion of the Dinosaurs)
  • The Master: Forced to masquerade as the Master when the latter switched bodies with him. (PROSE: The Switching)
  • Doctor Noble: An alias used when he took part in a jury at the trial of the First Doctor for killing a werewolf. (PROSE: The Juror's Story)

Fourth Doctor Edit

Fifth Doctor Edit

  • The Supremo: The Doctor called himself "the Supremo" while leading the alliance against the army of the renegade Time Lord Morbius. Originally, his title was "Supreme Controller", but the Ogrons of his personal guard could not pronounce it and shortened it to the simpler "Supremo". (PROSE: Warmonger)
  • Dr Jonas Smythe: The Doctor used this name when working with Liz Shaw in Italy. (PROSE: Flashpoint)
  • Doctor Walters: The Doctor used this name while stuck in Victorian London without his TARDIS for a year from November 1866 - 1867. (AUDIO: The Haunting of Thomas Brewster)

Sixth Doctor Edit

Seventh Doctor Edit

Eighth Doctor Edit

War Doctor Edit

Ninth Doctor Edit

Tenth Doctor Edit

Eleventh Doctor Edit

Twelfth Doctor Edit

Nicknames Edit

A list of names other individuals have called the Doctor throughout his travels.

First Doctor Edit

Second Doctor Edit

Third Doctor Edit

Fourth Doctor Edit

Fifth Doctor Edit

Sixth Doctor Edit

Seventh Doctor Edit

Eighth Doctor Edit

  • Evergreen Man: The name given to him by the Sidhe. (PROSE: Autumn Mist)
  • Skipper: The Doctor's companion Samson Griffin always referred to him as such. (AUDIO: Terror Firma)
  • Tigger, Eeyore: When the Doctor is split into three, each bearing different parts of his personality, Charley Pollard gives these nicknames to the bouncy and excitable, and the surly and ruthless Doctors. (AUDIO: Caerdroia)

War Doctor Edit

Ninth Doctor Edit

  • The Great Exterminator: The name given to the Doctor by the Dalek Emperor whilst preparing a Delta Wave. (TV: The Parting of the Ways)
  • The Navvie: Honoré Lechasseur's nickname for the Doctor, due to his leather jacket. (PROSE: The Albino's Dancer)
  • Big Nose: The Tenth Doctor refers to this incarnation as such when questioning the Alternate Twelfth Doctor about his whereabouts. (COMIC: Four Doctors)

Tenth Doctor Edit

Eleventh Doctor Edit

  • The Raggedy Doctor: (also, Raggedy Man) A nickname given to the Eleventh Doctor by Amy Pond, due to wearing the tattered remains of his predecessor's outfit. Amy told other people in Leadworth and they referred to him in this way when they met him. (TV: The Eleventh Hour) Amy would call him that just before she was permanently sent to the past by a Weeping Angel. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan) As he was about to regenerate, the Doctor hallucinated Amy telling him affectionately "Raggedy Man - good night". (TV: The Time of the Doctor)
  • A Madman with a Box: A title Amy Pond bestows on him on their first encounter after 14 years, which he later adopts. (TV: The Eleventh Hour)
    • The Eleventh Doctor is quite often referred to as "a Madman" in general by many characters.
  • Gandalf/Space Gandalf: When questioned by Amy as to what he's like, the Doctor answers that he's this. His further explanation showed he had confused Gandalf with Yoda. (TV: Meanwhile in the TARDIS 2)
  • The Rotmeister: When he is talking to Craig Owens about the suspiciously growing rot on his ceiling, he refers to himself as the "Rotmeister" since he was an expert in rot. "Call me the Rotmeister," he says, No, actually, don't call me that, call me the Doctor." (TV: The Lodger)
  • The Oncoming Storm: The Doctor called himself this when he misinterpreted one of Craig's football mates asking for help in "annihilating" another team. (TV: The Lodger) He later referred to himself as this when the Daleks forgot him. (TV: Asylum of the Daleks)
  • Caesar: A Roman Auton, under the influence of River Song's hallucinogenic lipstick, in 102 A.D., mistook the Doctor for Caesar. (TV: The Pandorica Opens)
  • The King of Okay: A title he gave to himself when Amy was shocked to see him alive and well, having seen his older self be shot and killed at Lake Silencio. He immediately tossed the idea aside, saying it was a "rubbish title", giving Rory his own title instead. (TV: The Impossible Astronaut)
  • Sweetie: Frequently used by River Song as a dual greeting and affectionate nickname.
  • My Thief, My Beautiful Idiot: Names given to the Doctor by the spirit of his TARDIS during their brief time together when House took over the empty shell. (TV: The Doctor's Wife)
  • Time Boy: Used by Mels, the second incarnation of River Song, as she anticipated meeting the Doctor while growing up with her parents in Leadworth. (TV: Let's Kill Hitler)
  • Belot'ssar: Though it is not said to be specific to the Eleventh Doctor, it was used by the Ice Warriors to refer to him. The name means 'cold blue star' in reference to either the light on top of the TARDIS or the cold blue star he showed them to settle near after Mars became uninhabitable. The name was given to him by Lord Azylax. (PROSE: The Silent Stars Go By)
  • Predator of the Daleks: Whilst not specific to the Eleventh Doctor, (PROSE: Engines of War) it was used as a designation by the Daleks. (TV: Asylum of the Daleks)
  • Chin-Boy: Oswin Oswald calls the Eleventh Doctor this when encountering him on the Dalek asylum. (TV: Asylum of the Daleks)
  • The Mad Monk: Called this by the public in 1207 Cumbria, although it was noted that he was "definitely not a Monk." (TV: The Bells of Saint John)
  • Also Not Mum: Called this by Alfie Owens in 2011. (TV: Closing Time)
  • Monster: Ada Gillyflower called the Doctor her "monster", after he had been rejected by Mr Sweet's poison. She kept him alive because it was strange that he survived despite "rejection", and to have her own secret. (TV: The Crimson Horror)
  • Proconsul: Title assumed during his adventure at Hedgewick's World of Wonders to keep a Punishment Platoon from being hostile to him and his guests. (TV: Nightmare in Silver)
  • Clara's Boyfriend: Called this by Angie Maitland when she discovered Clara and the Doctor were time travelers (TV: The Crimson Horror) and upon leaving the TARDIS. (TV: Nightmare in Silver) He would later pose as Clara's Swedish boyfriend to her family. (TV: The Time of the Doctor) Shortly after regenerating, the Twelfth Doctor clarified that he was not really Clara's boyfriend, though he added that "it wasn't [her] mistake." (TV: Deep Breath)
  • Chinny: The Tenth Doctor's nickname for the Eleventh Doctor, who had a very prominent chin. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)

Twelfth DoctorEdit

  • Boney Rascal: A nickname given to him by Robin Hood, due to the Doctor's slim and aged appearance. (TV: Robot of Sherwood)
  • The Stranger: Dubbed as such in one of Alan-a-Dale's ballads. (TV: Robot of Sherwood)
  • The Caretaker: Called as such by both staff and students of Coal Hill School during his brief reign as the school's caretaker. (TV: The Caretaker)
  • Outer Space Dad: Called so by Danny after he learned about the Doctor's identity; at the time, he had mistaken the Doctor for Clara's father. (TV: The Caretaker)
  • Mr. President: Called this during by Kate Stewart and Missy due to the Doctor being made president of Earth during the Cyberman invasion Missy orchestrated. (TV: Death in Heaven)
  • Skeleton Man: A name given to him by Shona McCullough, who had mistaken him for a ghost when they first met. (TV: Last Christmas)
  • The Cat in the Hat: Referred to as such by Johnny Dragotta. (COMIC: Gangland)
  • Ancient One: Referred to as such by the Skinks. (COMIC: Hyperballad)
  • The Eyebrows: A nicknamed given to him by Missy to differentiate the twelfth incarnation from the other Doctors. (TV: The Witch's Familiar)
  • Doctor Disco/Doctor Funkenstein: At some point the Doctor began referring to himself as Doctor Disco on answering machines and Doctor Funkenstein in public. (TV: The Zygon Invasion)
  • The Scary Doctor: While not actually being used, the Twelfth Doctor did fear his two predecessors would come to know him as the 'scary Doctor' because of his darkening personality. (COMIC: Four Doctors)
  • Basil: The Doctor claims his first name is Basil when questioning Osgood on if she was the Zygon or the human Osgood. (TV: The Zygon Inversion)
  • John Disco: Deciding to alter the John Smith alias the Doctor introduced himself as John Disco. (TV: The Zygon Inversion)

Other Edit

Behind the scenes Edit

  • The first edition of the behind-the-scenes book The Making of Doctor Who, published in 1972, stated that the Doctor's name was "δ³Σx²". This has never been confirmed in any Doctor Who narrative, but these letters do appear on the plinth in the Tomb of Rassilon in The Five Doctors. They are also seen on K9's regeneration unit in Regeneration.
  • During Comic-Con 2012, Steven Moffat, the head writer, has confirmed that he knows what the Doctor's real name is, although the said name has not, as of yet, appeared in-narrative.
  • In The Night of the Doctor, the incarnation of the Doctor that follows the Eighth Doctor is referred to in the closing credits by the name "War Doctor." This name has yet to actually be used on screen in a narrative; it was, however, used by Strax in a fourth wall-breaking lead-in for Deep Breath detailing all the Doctor's previous incarnations. In an interview with the Daily Mail published on 16 November 2013, actor John Hurt used the name to refer to his version of the Doctor.[1]
  • Executive producer Steven Moffat jokingly said that no one can know the Doctor's name, except each successive showrunner. "We're commanded never to reveal what we have learned, because then the show would have to be renamed Mildred. Oh, bugger."[2]


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