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We're for the whole family
Not just kids

Doctor Who is a family programme. It's not kids' television. People of all ages watch it. That means some stories are for kids — but some aren't. (We're lookin' at you, Torchwood.)

Because we aim to cover the whole of the Doctor Who universe (DWU), we do not censor our content on this site.

DWU characters have had every kind of sex imaginable. And they regularly die violent deaths — sometimes while chewin' tobacco, drinkin' whiskey and/or droppin' some acid, man. As a parent, you should remember that Doctor Who is a time travel show. That means it regularly depicts things we now frown on, because they used to be commonplace. In the same way Mad Men features offices thick with cigarette fog, you should expect that the Doctor will sometimes relish brandy with a 17th century pirate — or even go window shopping for a bong at a head shop in 1967 San Francisco. Also, because it's over 50 years old, Doctor Who is a bit of a TARDIS itself: some of its attitudes and conventions are of the time a particular episode was made.

Furthermore, we host videos which showcase DWU actors in candid interviews or in other roles they've had in their careers. Such videos give valuable information about those actors — but they may include strong language. If an actor or crew member as worked on Doctor Who, their entire career is fair game here — not just the kid-friendly bits.

The only thing we can promise parents is that we will ruthlessly root out any pornography, violent imagery, or racial hatred that has absolutely nothing to do with DWU stories or the people involved in making them. Our motto is that if it ain't on the show, it ain't on this site. If you ever see any objectionable material on this site has no connection to Doctor Who or its related shows whatsoever, please contact one of our administrators immediately.

TardisDataCoreRoadway

Breakdown by medium

It's tempting to believe that the main part of Doctor Who is the television series, and anything in other media is just "that bit on the side". In fact, the Doctor Who franchise broadly consists of five main television programmes and then a variety of prose, comic, and audio formats that support these television shows. Stories in non-televised media far, far outnumber those on television — even though the franchise's parent programme started broadcast in 1963. If your kids get hooked on Doctor Who or one of the other shows in the franchise, they'll probably want to at least pick up a comic book or an audio. So it's important to be aware of concerns across all media.

The following guide serves to give a fairly complete overview of the DWU in all its forms. We don't claim it's exhaustive, or that it will be fit for your particular parenting style. Obviously, we can't mention every detail of a franchise with as much material as this one. But we believe this is a reasonable effort at pointing out areas of possible parental concern.

Television

Torchwood
TorchwoodLogo.jpg
Original network: BBC One, Two, Three and Starz
First broadcast in: 2006
Episode length: 45'
Description: Torchwood is about a team of people who investigate supernatural and alien phenomena.
Main characters: Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper, Ianto Jones, Toshiko Sato, Owen Harper, Rex Matheson, Esther Drummond, Rhys Williams
Similar series: The X-Files, Sleepy Hollow
Where to watch: Global via broadcast, physical home media and iTunes digital download.
Highest rating on any episode: BBFC-15
Typical rating: BBFC-15
Content Labels: Typical warnings include: "contains moderate violence and gore", "contains strong violence, some bloody", "contains strong language", "contains moderate sex references" and the like.
Violence: Frequent depictions of violence, some quite gruesome.
Language: Swearing commonplace but not typically gratuitous.
Sex: Frequent depictions of sex.
Nudity: Full nudity rare and brief, but there are definitely instances that would push a PG-13 rating, were it a film.
Drug use: None
Tobacco use: Very occasional use by a protagonist. Overall, though, tobacco use is limited to guest stars.
Alcohol consumption: Fairly frequent depictions of social drinking
Crude humour or comic mischief: Frequent sexual innuendo and outright frank discussion of sex
Things you're likely to see on Torchwood
Clip A
We are here - Torchwood Children of Earth - BBC04:04

We are here - Torchwood Children of Earth - BBC

Clip B
Girl talk - Torchwood - BBC01:40

Girl talk - Torchwood - BBC

Clip C
Captain Jack kisses Captain Jack - Torchwood - BBC04:10

Captain Jack kisses Captain Jack - Torchwood - BBC

Doctor Who
Doctor Who logo 1.jpg
Original network: BBC One
First broadcast in: 1963
Episode length: two main formats: 25' and 45'
Description: Doctor Who is a largely anthological show about time travel and general adventure that draws from straight drama, science fiction, historical fiction and comedy genres.
Main characters: The Doctor and his companions
Similar series: Quantum Leap
Where to watch: Global, through terrestrial broadcast and home video sales. Widely distributed through the world on iTunes.
Highest rating on any episode: BBFC-12
Typical rating: BBFC-PG and BBFC-U
Content Labels: Many episodes made before the advent of ratings system and so have no specific ratings comments. However, modern episodes typically have comments like "contains mild horror (and violence)".
Violence: Frequent depictions of violence, but gore and blood are extremely rare
Language: Very mild swearing on rare occasion. However, words used are typically associated with British, not American, English
Sex: Occasionally implied but never shown
Nudity: None. Ever.
Drug use: Real world drugs almost never seen. Fictional drugs have been depicted in order to make a metaphorical point.
Tobacco use: Only once used by protagonist in 50 years. More common in serials of the 1960s and 1970s to indicate villainy.
Alcohol consumption: Fairly frequent depictions of social drinking
Crude humour or comic mischief: Sexual innuendo on rare occasion
Things you're likely to see on Doctor Who
Clip A
Here come the Ghosts! - Doctor Who - Army of Ghosts - Series 2 - BBC04:13

Here come the Ghosts! - Doctor Who - Army of Ghosts - Series 2 - BBC

Clip B
River rescue - Doctor Who - BBC01:33

River rescue - Doctor Who - BBC

Clip C
The Power to End All Life - Genesis of the Daleks - Doctor Who - BBC03:01

The Power to End All Life - Genesis of the Daleks - Doctor Who - BBC


The Sarah Jane Adventures
Sarah Jane Adventures Logo.jpg
Also called: SJA
Original network: CBBC
First broadcast in: 2006
Episode length: 25'
Description: SJA followed the adventures of former Doctor Who companion Sarah Jane Smith as she investigated alien phenomena with friends of her high school-aged son.
Main characters: Sarah Jane Smith, Maria Jackson, Luke Smith, Clyde Langer, Rani Chandra, Alan Jackson, Mr Smith
Similar series: iCarly, Century Falls, Dark Season
Where to watch: Mainly broadcast only in the UK, but it's had at least limited run elsewhere. Available on DVD and iTunes in many localities.
Highest rating on any episode: BBFC-PG
Typical rating: BBFC-PG
Content Labels: Mild fantasy horror. Mild threat. Scary scenes
Violence: Low levels, even compared with Doctor Who. Protagonists actively prefer non-violent solutions.
Language: None
Sex: Almost no discussion of it, except by one character in the first season
Nudity: Never. Not even revealing clothes.
Drug use: None
Tobacco use: None
Alcohol consumption: None
Crude humour or comic mischief: Some fart jokes
K9
K9LogoTest.png
Original network: Either Net10 or Disney XD
Episode length: 25'
Main characters: K9 Mark 2, Alistair Gryffen, Starkey, Jorjie Turner, Darius Pike
Similar series: Scooby Doo, Small Wonder, Lost in Space
Where to watch: Globally-sporadic broadcast run; mainly available to most through DVD. No iTunes availability known.
Highest rating on any episode: BBFC-PG
Typical rating: BBFC-PG
Content Labels: Mild fantasy violence and threat
Violence: Mild
Language: None
Sex: None
Nudity: None
Drug use: None
Tobacco use: None
Alcohol consumption: None
Crude humour or comic mischief: None
Things you're likely to see on K9
Clip A
K9 - THE SERIES trailer (2009)02:06

K9 - THE SERIES trailer (2009)

Class
Class logo.jpg
Original network: BBC Three
First broadcast in: 2016
Episode length: 45'
Description: Class is about a group of students who defend Coal Hill Academy against aliens.
Main characters: Charlie Smith, April MacLean, Ram Singh, Tanya Adeola, Miss Quill
Similar series: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Once Upon a Time, The Vampire Diaries
Where to watch: Global via broadcast, physical home media and iTunes digital download.
Highest rating on any episode: BBFC-15
Typical rating: BBFC-15
Violence: Frequent depictions of violence, some quite gruesome.
Language: Swearing infrequent.
Sex: Occasional depictions of sex.
Nudity: Full nudity rare and brief.
Drug use: None
Tobacco use: Occasional use by Ram Singh.
Alcohol consumption: Infrequent depictions of social drinking
Crude humour or comic mischief: Occasional discussion of sex
Things you're likely to see on Class
Clip A
Things are gonna change around Class Trailer - BBC Three01:28

Things are gonna change around Class Trailer - BBC Three

Clip B
Official Trailer Class Series Premiere @ 10 10pm ET on BBC America01:01

Official Trailer Class Series Premiere @ 10 10pm ET on BBC America

Audio

There's lots of different audio out there, but none of it throws up any serious red flags to parents. Nothing made by Big Finish Productions or AudioGo contains swearing or overt sexuality or gory sound effects.

Loups-Garoux

This probably won't scare you — but might it scare your child?

Because it's audio, however, every listener has their own idea of what exactly is going on in a particular story. It's difficult therefore to absolutely guarantee that your kid won't have issues with certain audios.

If you're really worried, you could join some other concerned parents at The Parent's Guide to Big Finish Doctor Who, an active thread on the Big Finish forums. It's dedicated to helping parents calculate the probability their younger kids will freak out listening to a particular audio in the car ride home.

Comics

The World Shapers

This is about as graphic as violence gets in most Doctor Who comics...

In the long history of Doctor Who comic stories, almost none have been formally rated by any comics authority. Of course, few, if any, are at all troubling for parents. Doctor Who comics are typically mild, with almost no hint of sexuality and little in the way of gory depictions of violence. Language in Doctor Who comics is very mild.

Burning corpse

...But some are more explicit.

That said, modern Doctor Who comics are split into two basic reading levels, if not content levels. If you're looking for comics that are easier for your younger child to read, you probably want to give the Doctor Who Adventures comic stories a try. Doctor Who Magazine, IDW, and Titan Comics stories are written to more of a teenage/young adult standard.

Films

Two films were made in the mid-1960s, both based on earlier television serials. These films pre-date film ratings systems, but they would likely be classed as having "mild fantasy violence" today. They are completely peripheral to this wiki's focus, though.

Games

MInes of terror screenshot

Most Doctor Who games are pretty primitive

Video games haven't been a huge part of the DWU experience, but none have received anything greater than an ESRB "E for everyone" rating. Most games, however, weren't written in the 21st century and so weren't rated at all. But they were made in the 1980s and 1990s, so their graphics weren't sophisticated enough to offend anyone. (Except embarrassed game designers.)

Many 21st century video games, particularly those in The Adventure Games range, actually have a strong educational element to them. Almost every Doctor Who game ever made is either in the strategy or adventure genre. At a minimum they reward players for problem solving. Some, such as The Gunpowder Plot and Amy's History Hunt, go further and actually teach kids some genuine history. Others, like Cyber Assault, are just Doctor Who versions of classic strategy games like Risk.

Prose

Novels

Doctor Who novels range the gamut from books for young readers to books for adults. Like comics, Doctor Who books are written to various reading standards. Target novelisations and New Series Adventures are typically for younger readers. Quick Reads can also be enjoyed by kids who are under 12, but they're actually written for adults with literacy issues. These books do not contain any significant areas for parental concern.

The tricky books for parents are those written from about 1992 to 2004 — that is, the period of time when Doctor Who was off the air. In particular the Virgin New Adventures line was interested in "pushing the envelope". Although there is no formal book rating "system" out there, parents are advised to read these novels first before allowing children under the age of 15 read them. The same applies to Torchwood novels. These books contain everything from significant swearing to illegal drug use to frank sexuality.

Short stories

Short stories are also written for different audiences. Those in Doctor Who annuals are definitely written with kids in mind, and parents are unlikely to find objectionable content there, other than simplistic plots.

Those stories written for the Short Trips and Decalog series are intended for older readers. It would be laborious in the extreme, however, to point out which of the individual stories offer which specific parental concerns. If you're worried about the short stories your child is reading, we recommend that you at least skim them for yourself.

Interviews, clips from other shows

DP 30 In The Loop, director Armando Iannucci, actor Peter Capaldi43:22

DP 30 In The Loop, director Armando Iannucci, actor Peter Capaldi

This video with Peter Capaldi talking about his The Thick of It character contains stronger language than he uses as the Twelfth Doctor.

We host some videos that are interviews with actors about their larger careers. We also occasionally put up clips from other shows, if they help illustrate what an actor's body of work was like, or, rarely, if they amplify an in-universe article. These videos are meant to amplify our readers' understanding about the production personnel involved, but obviously some interviews can stray into areas that are more adult.

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