- For the title, see Lord London. For the refreshed London after the 22nd century Dalek invasion, see New London.
London, sometimes known as London Town and formerly known as Londinium (TV: The Romans, The Wedding of River Song), was the capital city of the United Kingdom and of England. It was a prominent city on Earth and was invaded by aliens many times. With the help of the Doctor, the invasions were repelled. Organisations such as UNIT, Torchwood One, MI5, MI6 and the Department also assisted in the defence of the city.
As the capital, London was the home to the monarch, who resided at Buckingham Palace. (TV: Voyage of the Damned) The British government was based in London and met in the Houses of Parliament. (TV: Aliens of London) The city would eventually be absorbed into Central City, of which the whole of southern England was a part. In the 40th century, this was the capital of Earth. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan)
The name London came from the Latin name Londinium. The city was founded by the Roman Empire during their rule over the island, which they conquered in 43. During Boudica's revolt against the occupying Roman forces in 60, she burnt the Roman capital Camolundunum before her army marched to Londinium and slaughtered almost everyone in the city including the old, the weak and the infirm. (AUDIO: The Wrath of the Iceni)
Barbara Wright's casual mention of coming from Londinium during a visit to Rome in the year 64 led to her and Ian Chesterton being abducted and sold into slavery, as the recently conquered Britons were not then Roman citizens. (TV: The Romans)
In September 1666, the Great Fire of London started on Pudding Lane after the Fifth Doctor had an encounter with a group of escaped Terileptil criminals. The fire destroyed much of London but there were few deaths and it cleansed the city of the Bubonic plague. (TV: The Visitation)
In 1840, Spring-heeled Jack attacked a number of women in London while searching for Morjanus. The Eighth Doctor assisted Jack in defeating Morjanus and the Pyrodines. Jack opted to stay in the city and take on the role of its "guardian demon". (COMIC: The Curious Tale of Spring-Heeled Jack)
The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations was held in London in 1851. It was based in a purpose-built venue called the Crystal Palace. The Fifth Doctor wanted to take Nyssa and Tegan Jovanka to the Exhibition as "a treat" in the wake of Adric's death, but instead ended up on the tarmac of Heathrow Airport in 1982. (TV: Time-Flight) The Eighth Doctor took his companions Charley Pollard and C'rizz to the Great Exhibition, shortly after their departure from the Divergent Universe. While there, Charley met and befriended the elderly Duke of Wellington. (AUDIO: Other Lives)
On 24 December of the same year, the Cybermen of a parallel universe used children to build a towering CyberKing, which attacked the city. The Tenth Doctor, using Jackson Lake's Tethered Aerial Release Developed In Style, defeated the CyberKing. (TV: The Next Doctor)
During the late 1880s, the serial murderer known as Jack the Ripper operated in the city. Officially, authorities never found or apprehended him.
In 1889, the Tong of the Black Scorpion and Li H'sen Chang carried out a series of abductions at the behest of the vile Magnus Greel that centred around London. Greel owned the House of the Dragon, a building in London from which he operated. (TV: The Talons of Weng-Chiang)
The Tenth Doctor arrived at this time, met again with his friend H. G. Wells and ran afoul of the Torchwood Institute. (COMIC: The Time Machination) Only minutes later, his fourth incarnation and his companion Leela arrived in the city in the TARDIS. (COMIC: The Time Machination, TV: The Talons of Weng-Chiang)
Also in 1889, some time after her Silurian sisters were killed by workers on the London Underground, Madame Vastra had killed and eaten the perpetrator of the Ripper murders. (TV: A Good Man Goes to War)
In 1953, Londoners with televisions supplied by Mr Magpie had their faces stolen by the Wire, which used television transmissions to spread. It attempted to transmit itself to the whole country of Britain using the BBC's Alexandra Palace transmitter. (TV: The Idiot's Lantern)
In November 1963, the Shoreditch Incident saw Daleks fighting with one another in London. The Imperial Dalek faction eventually defeated the Renegade Daleks. The Seventh Doctor used the Hand of Omega to overload the Imperial Dalek mothership after it recoiled from Skaro's destruction. (TV: Remembrance of the Daleks)
In 1964, an aeroplane which left New York City with a crew of eleven and hundreds of passengers landed in London with no one aboard, not even the pilot. The matter was investigated by Professor Rachel Jensen of the Intrusion Countermeasures Group. (AUDIO: State of Emergency)
On 20 July 1966, WOTAN, located at the top of the Post Office Tower, attempted a takeover of Earth with mind control and its robots, the War Machines. The War Machines were based in a London warehouse where hypnotised workers assembled them. The First Doctor was able to defeat WOTAN and hence, the War Machines. (TV: The War Machines)
Late 20th century
Under the control of the Great Intelligence, Robot Yeti invaded London. The city was evacuated and the London Underground saw pitched battles between UNIT and the Yeti. With the Second Doctor's help, the attack was repelled. (TV: The Web of Fear)
Following this, London was invaded by Cybermen with the assistance of Tobias Vaughn. (TV: The Invasion) After their defeat, some Cybermen still survived in the London sewers and carried out occasional cyber-conversions until 1985. (TV: Attack of the Cybermen, Dalek)
A Silurian virus began to spread throughout the city after a group unrelated to Vastra were awoken in a cave system. UNIT managed to contain and cure the outbreak with help from the Third Doctor. (TV: Doctor Who and the Silurians)
- The exact timeframe of the events between the Yeti attack and Operation Golden Age is up for interpretation, though they're estimated to have begun some time after the mid-1960s. See the UNIT dating controversy page for more details.
21st century2005, the Nestene Consciousness began its final phase in conquering Earth for its pollutants. It activated Autons made to look like shop window mannequins which killed many bystanders. Rose Tyler eventually destroyed the Nestene, deactivating the Autons. (TV: Rose)
In 2006, a Slitheen craft crashed into Big Ben, smashing the clock face in half. It then landed in the River Thames. (TV: Aliens of London) The next day, 10 Downing Street was destroyed by a human guided missile. (TV: World War Three)
During Christmas 2006, a Sycorax ship entered London airspace. The sonic boom shattered glass for miles around. People were taken over by blood control and stood on the top of tall structures. The ship left, but was destroyed by a Torchwood Institute energy weapon. That evening, the remains of the ship, in the form of ash, drifted down upon the city like snow. (TV: The Christmas Invasion)Empress of the Racnoss attempted to release the last generation of her children from her base in the Thames Flood Barrier. She was eventually shot down in her Webstar by British Army tanks following orders from Harold Saxon. The Thames was drained when the Tenth Doctor drowned the Racnoss children. (TV: The Runaway Bride)
- For more information on Saxon's rule, see The Year That Never Was.
In 2009, Adipose pills were distributed all over London. Later, thousands of young Adipose were born and marched along the streets of London. A nursery ship took the Adipose away. (TV: Partners in Crime)
The Sontarans attempted to choke all life on Earth with the newly introduced ATMOS in order to create a hatchery that would increase their troop production for the Rutan-Sontaran War. They were thwarted by the combined efforts of the Tenth Doctor, Donna Noble, and Martha Jones. Luke Rattigan destroyed their ship. The epicentre of the Sontaran invasion was the ATMOS factory in London. (TV: The Sontaran Stratagem / The Poison Sky)
London was one of the many places attacked during the New Dalek Empire's invasion after relocating Earth to the Medusa Cascade. The Children of Time gathered in London, and helped return the Earth. (TV: The Stolen Earth/Journey's End)
During Easter 2009, a wormhole measuring nearly 10 kilometres high appeared in a tunnel in London. It led to the planet San Helios. At this time several members of an unidentified race tried to cross over to the Earth through the wormhole. (TV: Planet of the Dead)
In September, the 456 returned to Earth, and possessed every child on the planet to relay messages announcing their arrival in Thames House. (TV: Children of Earth: Day One, Children of Earth: Day Two, Children of Earth: Day Three) Torchwood Three journeyed to London to help deal with the 456 and expose the corrupt responses of the government. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Three, Children of Earth: Day Four, Children of Earth: Day Five)
A fast-growing strain of Rakweed spread its spores across London, releasing spores that put everyone in the city into a coma so the Slitheen-Blathereen family could harvest the plant for profit. Mr Smith used a high-pitched frequency across London to kill the plants before they spread beyond London. Tree and Leef Slitheen-Blathereen, their stomachs filled to the brim with Rakweed, were also destroyed by this noise after they threatened Sarah Jane Smith. (TV: The Gift)
During Christmas 2009, Saxon, actually the Master, was resurrected on Earth, and used the Immortality Gate to convert every human being into a version of himself. The Time Lords, led by Rassilon, used the drumbeat within the Master's head and a Whitepoint Star to break through the time-lock and escape the Time War. They planned to erase all of creation in order to ascend to a higher form of existence. They crossed through the gate, arriving in the mansion of Joshua Naismith in London. They were defeated by the Tenth Doctor and the Master. (TV: The End of Time)
An Ice Warrior damaged the controls of the Weather Control Unit in London's Weather Control Station, creating a dry environment to propagate the Ice Warriors' Seed Pods on Earth. Due to its cold climate and northern latitude, the Ice Warriors sent their Seed Pods here to create an atmosphere lethal to humans, but which the Ice Warriors could thrive in. The Second Doctor repaired the control unit and destroyed the pods with rain. (TV: The Seeds of Death)
22nd centuryCirca 2157, London was struck by a great plague. The Daleks who sent this pestilence exploited the resultant devastation as a part of the 22nd century Dalek invasion. (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth, PROSE: Alien Bodies)
DistrictsAs a large city, London was divided into several districts. The Doctor, his friends or associates were acquainted with the districts of:
Behind the scenes
- Throughout seasons one to twenty-six, filming for Doctor Who took place primarily in London at the BBC Television Centre. This was largely a result of the BBC being based there. Due to the order of filming it was Ghost Light, not Survival, that was the last story filmed in BBC Television Centre. Any future work done there was irregular. With the reinvention of the series in 2005, production was handed over to BBC Wales and moved to Cardiff, the Welsh capital.
Real world location
Though it's possible that a real world location doesn't exist in the same geographic space in the Doctor Who universe, such cases are few and far between. Thus, the map at right is probably a good indicator of the DWU location of London.