Mapped: Doctor Who In London

Funny the way Doctor Who’s aliens always seem to invade England, isn’t it? It’s not as if we’re particularly important. Maybe the dozens of terrifying invasion forces have been confused by the intergalactic success of the BBC World Service (Westway, we’re told, had a big fanbase in Alpha Centauri).

Or maybe they’re all working off out-of-date history books, and think they’re invading the nerve centre of an empire covering a quarter of the globe. In the event that the nation’s favourite Time Lord ever fails to repel them, the Daleks are going to be deeply embarrassed to discover that all they’ve won possession of is a slightly rainy archipelago full of financial services professionals and sarcasm.

So often has contemporary London been the target of invasion, in fact, that we decided to map the attempts. Below you can see all the bits of London that have been pivotal in half a century of Doctor Who stories. Some of these places were the target of some specific plot or another; others were the location of the secret government base that repelled them.

We’ve also, because we’re nice like that, colour coded them by which Doctor it was that defeated them:

  • Blue blobs represent the 1960s (plain for William Hartnell, dotted for Patrick Troughton)
  • Green ones represent the 1970s (plain for Jon Pertwee, dotted for Tom Baker)
  • Yellow ones represent the 1980s (plain for Peter Davison, dotted for Colin Baker, pins for Sylvester McCoy)
  • Red ones represent the contemporary series (plain for Christopher Eccleston, dotted for David Tennant and pins for Matt Smith)
  • In addition, the purple blobs relate to spin offs, while orange envelopes are other bits of Who-related information taken from the so-called real world.
  • Paul McGann doesn’t count. (Seriously, we only met him once, and that was in Vancouver San Francisco.)


View Doctor Who in a larger map

We’ve drawn two main conclusions from this exercise. One is that the series has become much more London-centric since it returned to our screens in 2005 – which is odd as, unlike the 20th century equivalent, it’s now made 150 miles up the M4 in Cardiff. The other is that we have too much time on our hands.

Anyway, if anyone needs us we’ll be working on our plan to use genetically modified semi-cybernetic otters to conquer Erith.

The new series of Doctor Who begins on BBC One this Saturday

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Jonn

Article by Jonn Elledge | 94 Articles | View Profile

  • http://twitter.com/rocklandstv RocklandsTV – music

    The Zone of Time is in London, UK is Time Lord centric!

  • mike

    What about Peter Cushing who played Dr Who in 2 1960s Dalek movies

  • http://dave.org.uk/ Dave Cross

    Very nice. But the description of Aliens of London makes the common error of confusing St Stephen’s Tower with the Clock Tower (which was renamed the Elizabeth Tower last year).

  • Lucia

    You should add Southwark Cathedral, where Dr Lazarus hides after his experiment goes wrong, in “The Lazarus Experiment”

  • http://twitter.com/ianvisits IanVisits

    “East London has been home to the Who Shop International since 1984, so the shop is now older than the show was when it started.”

    Hmmm, someone is having problems with their calculation of the timeline.

    • http://twitter.com/jonnelledge Jonn Elledge

      No… The Who Shop International has been around 29 years. Dr Who had been running 21 years when the shop opened.

  • http://twitter.com/judeeatsthepoor Jude I⚡caяiot

    You left out Paul McGann like he is unimportant, yet he was the Doctor longer than anybody else.

  • 11th doctor

    lol did that bit at the end just say to conquer Erith lol, cos I live there……….., that be great if doctor who filmed here

  • Jaded Jamie

    Perhaps it’s cos The Doctor has historically gotten on with people from Britain/England and has experienced time and friendships with them, he was also stranded here by the Time Lords as his 3rd incarnation so perhaps he has a bond with us on some level…..

    Plus we know he has a lot of adventures we never see, perhaps they’re in different parts of this world?

    … Or maybe it’s because it’s a BRITISH show, you know like in American alien invasions/asteroid impact/and so on movies/TV shows that are always set in America?

    I think you might be over thinking it, it’s a sci fi show about an alien in a 1950′s police box who travels in time saving worlds/people, I’m not sure we are supposed to be applying real world logic to such a thing.

  • jmanton

    Sorry to ask but what is a dalek? My friends keep talking about this machine and i don’t have a clue what they’re on about.! Is it the doctors companion

  • MB

    “It’s not as if we’re particularly important” Sigh…typical British defeatism.

  • http://twitter.com/Tetramesh Tetramesh

    The Doctor loves London.

    http://tinyurl.com/ccbtky2

  • danialgarcia

    Map and blogging section quit helping us to find some professional doctors so i will try this one …..thank you so much for sharing this post. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reJOyxqygK4

  • Danial Garcia

    Map and blogging section quit helping us to find some professional doctors so i will try this one …..thank you so much for sharing this post. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reJOyxqygK4

  • sara

    yup alexandra palace was show cased in doctor who, yet unfortunately that doesn’t mean it was filmed anywhere near there and i should know seeing as i live in that area.