Some time ago fancourt_babs started the FAQ here and kept it up to date. However, of late he's been very quiet on this forum, so I've picked it up until he returns.
The sort of stuff that will get on here is the general information most new viewers will want to know, like - How many Doctors have their been? Not things like Who is your favourite Doctor? Which, though frequently asked, is not the sort of thing for here. For those interested my answer to Who is your favourite Doctor? is of course Yes he is!
If you have a question about Doctor Who 2005 that is not included in this FAQ then please start a new topic on the forum to ask your question. A new topic will make the answer easier to track (in the case of multiple questions) and it will keep the FAQ less cluttered. Hopefully the friendly folks on this forum will provide an answer and if it looks like the sort of question that every newcomer might want to know, I'll include it here automatically. Alternatively, you can ask within that topic for it to be included in the FAQ, or PM me. I may not include everything, but I will tell you why. I'll continually update the postings on the first page of this topic. I will try to only post questions to which there is an answer that can be supported by fact and reference to the series, not conjecture like - Rose probably didn't do that because...
Since there is a limit of 20000 characters per post, and this FAQ already runs well over that, I'm splitting it over several posts, and have reserved all the slots for the first page just in case.
I'm following the original format of Q=Question, SA=Short Answer, LA=Long Answer, as that seems a good way to do things.
Note about Spoilers: This is going to be difficult to manage as some of the long answers will touch on matters not yet aired in some parts of the world. I'm treating anything up to Doomsday (Season 2 Finale) to be common knowledge, and anything from The Runaway Bride onwards will be hidden as spoilers (please let me know if I slip up).
Click on any of the questions below to skip straight to the answer. From any of the answers you can click on the Q) to get back to this list.
01 - Is Doctor Who 2005 a new series, or continuation of the old series?
02 - Why is there a new Doctor in the second season? Do they change every year or something?
03 - I keep hearing Series 1, shouldn't that be Season 1 ?
04 - How did the doctor regenerate from 9th to 10th doctor when the council of time lords presumably was wiped out with the rest of their species by the Daleks?
05 - When does torchwood start airing and will there be conections to Doctor Who like cross overs and things like that?
06 - What is that little device the doctor carries around. The thing he seems to use for everything?
07 - What is the Movie folks keep referring to and how can I see it?
08 - Is the BBC/Fox tv movie in continuity?
09 - Do we ever find out what happened after the film, and when did the Doctor regenerate?
10 - How many episodes of Doctor Who have there been?
11 - When The Doctor regenerates, does his regeneration alter the appearence of his previous incarnations?
12 - How many Doctors have there been ?
13 - Why doesn't The Doctor just go back and fix things he got wrong?
14 - What is a Time Lord and where are they from?
15 - What does TARDIS stand for?
16 - Why is the TARDIS bigger on the inside?
17 - Why does everybody speak English ? (or whatever language you are watching in)
18 - What is the Time War?
19 - What are UNIT and Torchwood?
20 - Where else can I find Doctor Who information on the web?
21 - Why does the TARDIS look like a Police Box (phone booth)?
22 - Why are there only 13/14 episodes per season?
If you want to politely refer someone to an item in the FAQ when answering a posted question, you can refer directly to an individual answer by using the question number in the URL link. To easily obtain the URL to point directly to the relevant question, view the FAQ and select the question you want to refer to by clicking on the appropriate link above. Then the address bar of your web browser will contain the URL that points directly to the question you want to refer to. Cut that into your clipboard and you can then create a link in your reply, by selecting the text you want to turn into the link, clicking on the little Chain Icon in the tool bar and then right clicking and selecting Paste from over the URL: field.
Q) Is Doctor Who 2005 a new series, or continuation of the old series?
LA) It's both, or either. As far as The BBC (the corporation but not necessarily all the individuals within it) are concerned it is a new series and they are marketing it as such. DVD releases of Christopher Eccleston's episodes are packaged as series one (season 1) and from The Christmas Invasion onwards is packaged as series 2. Presumably not to put off new customers/viewers who haven't seen the original, or were put off by the original. It has a completely new production location, crew (with the odd old timer), budget (boy is that new), Doctors and TARDIS interior.
That being said it is also still a direct continuity of the orginal series of Doctor Who. The TARDIS has redecorated itself internally many times, so that's not a problem. David Tennant has also been established on screen as The Tenth Doctor (11th if you are feeling pedantic), which doesn't contradict what has come before.
By the end of the second series, 2 previous companions and 3 previous races of monsters will have appeared. There have also been references to UNIT which was an organisation in the original series. So far I don't believe anything has directly contradicted the old series.
The new series deliberately didn't start with the Ninth Doctor's regeneration, though there were hints to indicate it had recently happened, to allow a large gap from the TV Movie to fill in with back story as the new series progresses.
Basically make up your own mind on how you want to refer to the show.
Q) Why is there a new Doctor in the second season? Do they change every year or something?
SA) Chris Eccleston only wanted to do one season. They change when the lead wants out, or when he's wanted out.
LA) When the First Doctor (the veeeeery first, who was the Doctor from 1963-1966) decided that the show was becoming too much for him, as he was getting on a bit, and wasn't very well, the producers decided that instead of cancelling a very popular show, they would change the lead. It had already been established that he was an alien, so the producers introduced a special property to his people: When his body nears an inevitable death, a Time Lord (that's what the Doctor is) can regenerate his body, rejigging the cells, and his brain gets a quick jumble as well. Consequently, the Time Lord is a little unstable for a short while, and then settles down with a new body, a new personality, and a new dress sense. This happened for the first time in the original series, Episode 4 of The Tenth Planet.
It was later introduced that a Time Lord could regenerate 12 times, totalling 13 bodies, but the ability to regenerate first had to be granted by the high council of Time Lords upon graduation (see The Deadly Assassin in the original series). The Doctor has already regenerated 8 times by the start of this series, making Christopher Eccleston the 9th Doctor, and regenerates for the 9th time during the 13th episode to be played by David Tennant.
This explanation was given in the 40th Anniversary story Zagreus (Big Finish Audio Productions) in 2003:
Cardinal Rasilson has been investigating a method of regenerating decaying and diseased tissue via a series of permanently carried self replicating biogenic molecules, the cells of a Gallifreyan body can be repaired, restored and reorganised. This will result in a wholly new physical form. The brain cells will similarly be rearranged, though to a lesser degree, thus ensuring the new incarnation will replicate the memories and personality of the former incarnation. Cardinal Rasilon intends for this mechanism only to be used upon the Gallifreyan elite. He has also inputed a parameter of 12 regenerative cycles to avoid decaying biogenic molecules.
Q) I keep hearing Series 1, shouldn't that be Season 1 ?
SA) Yes or No depending on where you live
LA) Doctor Who is produced in the UK, and tend to use Series, when the US would use Season. What the US refers to as a Series the UK would call a Programme or Serial.
Q) How did the doctor regenerate from 9th to 10th doctor when the council of time lords presumably was wiped out with the rest of their species by the Daleks?
SA) Because he can.
LA) The ability to regenerate is first granted by the Time Lords, but does not need them there to actively take part in the process. It's a biological process that happens automatically when all the cell's in a Time Lord's body near death, which in one instance happened after he was declared dead (see The Movie), but not that long after that tissue was still viable, so it doesn't appear to need any conscious effort to do it. Possibly the anaesthetics from surgery delayed the process.
It also seems that regeneration can be consciously performed (see Romana in Destiny of the Daleks in the original series).
A regeneration is not fixed for up to 15 hours after it starts, so any damage occuring in the first 15 hours can be repaired. Such as growing a new hand in The Christmas Invasion.
Q) When does torchwood start airing and will there be conections to Doctor Who like cross overs and things like that?
SA) In the UK it's currently assumed to air Autumn 2006 and will have some elements from Doctor Who.
LA) It has been announced that it will begin airing in the autumn. It has been announced that there will be no cross over stories to Doctor Who. However, three of the five announced lead actors have been in Doctor Who in the last year, two of them with the same character, the other one bears a suspiciously similar character name. The new show will be set in Cardiff underneath Roald Dahl Plass (where the TARDIS landing in Boom Town) deliberately sited there to exploit the rift established in The Unquiet Dead and shown again in Boom Town.
It is the same Torchwood Institute founded by Queen Victoria in Tooth and Claw. Which now appears to have at least 3 offices - Torchwood House (Tooth and Claw), Torchwood Tower (Army of Ghosts) and the one in Cardiff for the new series.
So though there will not be direct story cross overs, there will be elements cross from one series to another, but not enough to mean you have to watch both.
One important thing to note is Torchwood will be broadcast in the UK post-watershed, which means it may be unsuitable for younger viewers.
Q) What is that little device the doctor carries around. The thing he seems to use for everything?
SA) The Sonic Screwdriver.
LA) It first appeared during the time of The Second Doctor in the original series. Got destroyed during the Fifth Doctor's time, and presumably he made a new one some time after the Seventh Doctor went off the air, as it appeared in the Eighth Doctor's only adventure and he built/acquired an entirely new one for the Ninth Doctor.
It has actually been used to actually unscrew screws at least once.
For more information on the sonic screwdriver go to Wikipedia
Edited on 03/13/2007 1:56am
Edited 32 total times.
Edited 32 total times.