Over the decades, numerous logos have been used for the Doctor Who televised series.
The first logo was simply the words "DOCTOR WHO" written in block capital sans serif white text against a black background. The relative weight and size of the two words were arranged to keep both the same width, with emphasis placed on the word "WHO" by use of a heavier, more elongated typeface than that used for "DOCTOR". It is associated with William Hartnell's tenure as the First Doctor, but remained in use for Patrick Troughton's first few stories up through to The Moonbase. A modified version with the BBC logo added was used for The Day of the Doctor.
This logo saw some use on merchandising such as Doctor Who annual and the Frederick Muller novelisations, the latter utilising a variant of the logo in which the WHO is shown fuzzy and distorted. Much later, in the 1980s, Marvel Comics combined the 1963 logo with elements of the 1973 logo for its Doctor Who comic book.
1967-1969 EditThe Macra Terror - The War Games (Seasons 4 to 6)
This logo made its first appearance with The Macra Terror. Simple block capital lettering was used again, but presented in Times New Roman; using the same font for both words severely diminished the differential emphasis from the 1963 logo. A completely new "howlaround" pattern was created and Patrick Troughton's face was added for the first time. Initially it used the same music as the previous logo, but starting from Episode 2 of The Faceless Ones, a new arrangement of the theme replaced the old one.
This logo does not appear to have been widely used on merchandising, though it did appear on the record release Doctor Who: Variations on a Theme years later.
1970-1973 EditSpearhead from Space - The Green Death (Seasons 7 to 10)
This logo marks the beginning of a modern visual identity for the programme, being much more of a distinct logotype than previous versions. Instead of following classical serif or sans serif forms, the lettering in this version has been uniquely styled for the programme. As with the 1963 logo the relative sizing and placement of the words "DOCTOR" and "WHO" foregrounds "WHO" in a trait which would remain through all future logos until the series' revival in 2005.
Primarily associated with Jon Pertwee's time as the Third Doctor, this logo was also used as the basis for the logo used in 1996 television movie. While the title sequence was shown in colour, in order to achieve an effect similar to the previous sequence it was created in black and white and colourised.
1973-1980 EditThe Time Warrior - The Horns of Nimon (Seasons 11 to 17)
Known informally as the "diamond logo" and commonly associated with Tom Baker's time as the Fourth Doctor, this logo was actually introduced during Jon Pertwee's time as the Third Doctor for his final season. Although known as the diamond logo, in fact the diamond-shaped background was often omitted when the logo was used on books and other merchandise. In addition, while generally displayed on screen with a bluish tint (as displayed at right), on merchandise different colours were used for the lettering and background.
The logo returned to service in the 1980s and 1990s when it was used for video releases of the series (in lieu of the neon tube logos), as well as for the Virgin Missing Adventures book line. It also ultimately replaced the 1987 logo on most tie-in publications and merchandising, though not the Virgin New Adventures book series, in the two-three years immediately preceding the introduction of the 1996 logo.
The non-diamond Target Books variant of this logo has the distinction of being the first and only series logo to be acknowledged in an in-universe context. The audio drama AUDIO: The Kingmaker includes references to a series of books, Doctor Who Discovers (an in-joke reference to a real-world series of books of the same title). The cover art for the audio incorporates the cover of one of these books, including the 1973 logo.
1980-1986 EditThe Leisure Hive - The Ultimate Foe (Seasons 18 to 23)
Introduced in the final season of Tom Baker's era, this revamp of the logo complemented the new title sequence of a "star field", as well as the first non-Delia Derbyshire arrangement of the theme, replacing the arrangement in place since 1967. It was used throughout Peter Davison's time as the Fifth Doctor. When the title sequence was modified to include Peter Davison's face, the logo was re-animated in the same pattern, but it was noticeably cleaner than the original with the fringing round the edges having been removed.
This logo was updated with the introduction of Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor, it was tinted purple along with the rest of the title sequence giving it a more colourful hue. It also takes on a slightly curved appearance. This variation of the logo was almost exclusively used on TV, with merchandising and books from the Colin Baker era using the previous variation of logo.
1987-1989 EditTime and the Rani - Survival (Seasons 24 to 26)
For Sylvester McCoy's Seventh Doctor, a new title sequence was produced using computer-generated imagery, with the new logo being a three-dimensionally animated part of the title sequence. Following the TV series' end in 1989 this logo would continue to be used for the Virgin New Adventures novels and other merchandise including Doctor Who Magazine until the early 1990s when it was replaced on most products (except the New Adventures books) by the more famous 1973 logo. It was also used for BBC Video's "Years" series of retrospective VHS releases in the early 1990s, and for the 1993 special Dimensions in Time, which remains its final TV use. It underwent minor modifications when featured on the rebranded New Adventures books, beginning with Happy Endings, with "Doctor" becoming less angled and more central, and the entire logo becoming more stencilled, with no texturing applied.
1996 EditUsed in Doctor Who
This logo was used for Doctor Who, with Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor and is essentially a modified version of the 1970 logo. Colouring is changed and a metallic texture has been applied. Some letters are slightly reshaped from those in the early-70s version (most noticeably C, T, R, and W) and - unlike the 1970 logo - it is presented as a solid three-dimensional object in space (echoing the 1987 logo). During the TV Movie's credits, the logo is briefly viewed from the rear.
Following the TV Movie it was used as part of BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures: from The Eight Doctors to Autumn Mist it was silver, then from Interference - Book One onwards was blue. It was also used for the BBC Past Doctor Adventures novels (again starting off silver and then changing to blue).
During the 40th anniversary year of 2003, a variation of this logo appeared on some merchandise: The "H" in "WHO" was modified to form a "4", creating "W40". This was used, for example, on classic series DVDs released in Australia during 2003. Another variation of this logo was used for merchandising for the 50th anniversary, and a short period beyond, with the interior of the logo styled to feature the howlaround effect used in the 1963 title sequence, and the BBC logo incorporated in the upper left hand corner to remove the previous need of trademarking some merchandise with a TM logo to the right of the Doctor Who logo. This was ultimately replaced with a newly retextured logo, informally known as the "steel" logo, which featured the grey-white-grey gradient texturing used on the main logo for the current series used in merchandising for the fiftieth anniversary year and a short time beyond. This logo also featured the BBC logo in an identical position. However, much merchandise has used this logo in a similar manner to the 2014 television series logo, featuring it on merchandise in block colours, such as white, blue, black, gold and silver.
Although it was replaced when the series was revived in 2005, this logo remains the franchise's official logo on merchandise such as books, DVDs, and audio releases (including the Big Finish Productions line, but not AudioGO's Fourth Doctor line) which relate to the first eight Doctors. The logo has now been in continuous use in one form or another since 1996, making it the longest-running logo.
2005-2010 EditRose - The End of Time (Series 1 to 2008-2010 Specials)
For the first time the two words of the title are presented horizontally rather than vertically. This logo was used for Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant's tenures as the Ninth and Tenth Doctors.
In The Runaway Bride, an updated version of the logo was introduced in the title sequence. The lettering is considerably more squat than that used in Series 1 and 2. Variations of this logo have also been used for various merchandising and promotions (including Doctor Who Magazine, BBC trailers, the BBC Tenth Doctor Adventures book line, comic books, and in a modified form in the supplementary series Doctor Who Confidential. Variations include changing the shield to off-white or grey, with black lettering, a more flat gold or olive colouring for the shield, and occasional dark colouring of the shield with white lettering.
A variant of this logo, without any texture applied to the background, was used by Doctor Who Magazine from 2005 to 2008, and also for its ongoing series of Special issues up to 2010.
This logo was used for the last time on television for TV: The End of Time Part 2, broadcast on 1 January 2010. Soon after, the BBC began releasing promotional material for the Eleventh Doctor featuring a new logo (see below). Doctor Who Magazine used its version of the logo for the last time with Issue #416, published on 12 December 2009. The Doctor Who Adventures also changed in March 2010, in order to accompany the new Doctor and Logo change.
The logo was not completely phased out right away, however, as several pieces of merchandise, including Tenth Doctor audios from BBC Audio, a Quick Reads novel and the American Doctor Who Ongoing comic book series continued to use the logo into April 2010.
The Doctor Who DVD Files magazine series was the only Doctor Who merchandise to continue using this logo, all the way up to its final edition in 2014. It is also still used on the BBC Doctor Who The Classic Series website.
The BBC unveiled a new version of the logo on 6 October 2009 to coincide with the start of Matt Smith's tenure as the Doctor in 2010. Unlike any previous visual identity, this logo comprises two distinct elements which can be presented in different arrangements for different purposes: the words "DOCTOR" and "WHO" comprise one element with a "DW" icon motif representing the shape of the TARDIS making up the second element.
The first released arrangement of the logo had the words "DOCTOR" and "WHO" on two levels, forming a square-shaped logo, with the DW icon sitting alongside. The BBC Television logo was also included under this initial release.
A horizontal arrangement of the logo was shown later. The DW/TARDIS icon was positioned between the two words. This layout of the logo has been used on most Eleventh Doctor merchandise, including books, audios and magazines, as well as for Doctor Who Confidential.
A slightly different horizontal arrangement was used in the TV series itself. The words "DOCTOR" and "WHO" are again divided by the DW/TARDIS icon, but to incorporate the logo into the title sequence the icon is significantly larger in relation to the words (see illustration).
The "DW" TARDIS icon rotates into place as the full logo appears, then as the logo leaves the screen the icon continues to rotate revealing the sides of the TARDIS in flight in its place.
The BBC began using this logo for promotional trailers and its website within days of the broadcast of The End of Time, and the horizontal version of the logo was adopted by Doctor Who Magazine beginning with issue #417, published on 7 January 2010 - making it the first piece of commercial merchandise released with the new logo, however its sister publication Doctor Who Adventures continued to use the 2005 logo up to the end of March 2010. The two-level arrangement has yet to be used on any merchandise.
The DW icon element has also been used by the BBC in promotions for the series, often without any other wording. For example episode trailers released online by the BBC, which end simply with the DW icon. This has continued into Series 8 promotions, in which the DW features only as a separate logo.
Beginning with The Impossible Astronaut, the logo featured lens flare, a brighter light on the lamp, and the BBC logo is added under 'Who'. Doing so removed the need for the BBC logo to appear by itself at other points in the episode, which had garnered criticism. It also has a purple tinge on the top left hand area of the text and the text has the texture of stone as opposed to the metallic feel of the previous version.
Although geometrically similar, Series 7 featured many variations of the previous logo, initially differing episode to episode. During Series 7 Part 1, the way the logo was presented changed drastically. The DW icon was no longer placed between "Doctor" and "Who", and the BBC logo was now directly underneath the logo. After the logo appears on screen, it fades away and the DW icon appears, transforming into an image of the TARDIS as it had in previous series. Each episode during this half, including The Snowmen, featured a unique logo texture. The DW icon was dropped with The Snowmen and the unique textures with The Bells of Saint John. Starting with Deep Breath, the logo no longer fades away, it instead zooms into the screen.
There have been many different variations of the logo:
- For Asylum of the Daleks, it was bronze with numerous golden spheres, representing Dalekanium.
- For Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, it had a texture of green scales, representing the dinosaurs that appeared in the story.
- For A Town Called Mercy, it had a texture with a wooden look with gunshots, representing the story's Western setting.
- For The Power of Three, it had a texture that resembled the ubiquitous, black Shakri cubes featured throughout the story.
- For The Angels Take Manhattan it had marks resembling the Statue of Liberty's crown, representing the story's New York City setting.
- For The Snowmen it had an icy texture, representing the story's Christmas setting.
- From The Bells of Saint John to The Time of the Doctor, the logo had a weathered metallic texture.
- Starting with Deep Breath, the logo has a shiny bluish metal texture and a slightly thicker typeface.
When released online, the DW icon was now moved to the right-hand side, leaving the DOCTOR WHO title uninterrupted, with the BBC logo is also added under "WHO" as with the previous logo. This rearranged logo was used by Doctor Who Magazine from #450 to #476. During 2012 and 2013, merchandising featured two variants of the logo: the familiar blue texture (used during Series 7 Part 1), and a gradient grey-white-grey (used during Series 7 Part 2). From 2014, merchandising featured the thicker version of the logo, presented as a block colour, often white, with the BBC logo on the upper left of "DOCTOR". The "DW" logo was now only used separately. This version has been used by Doctor Who Magazine since #477.
- The Doctor Who Logo Collection (up to 2010 logo)
- ↑ Although the 1973 logo has been used frequently since its introduction and continued to be used on some merchandising such as AudioGO audio dramas as recently as 2011, it has not been used without interruption.