Mapping the key London scenes from Hartnell to today.
Funny the way Doctor Who's aliens always seem to invade England, isn't it? It's not as if we're particularly important. Daleks, Slitheen, Cybermen... the Loch Ness Monster. They've all had a go.
Perhaps they're all working off out-of-date history books, and think they're invading the nerve centre of an empire covering a quarter of the globe.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.
London seems particularly important to the Doctor (along with Cardiff and, latterly, Sheffield). The show's very first episode "An Unearthly Child", had the doctor pitching up at a Shoreditch school. More recently, Jodie Whittaker's regeneration episode was partly set in the Square Mile, with alien intelligence group UNIT setting up shop in a skyscraper beside the Gherkin.
We decided to update an old map we made back in 2013. And it's about time.
Click, zoom, drag to find out more about each episode. An alternative view, with a list of pins, can be found on Google Maps.
The map shows all the bits of London that have been pivotal in 60 years 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 included all canonical TV Doctors, from William Hartnell onwards. Eighth Doctor Paul McGann doesn't make an appearance as his only adventure (not counting cameos) was in the 90s movie, which was set in San Francisco.
- We've noted a handful of key places from spin-off series, like Sarah Jane Adventures, but haven't gone full-out on them. It's primarily a map of the main show.
- Peter Cushing's Doctor is not included. He only appeared in two films, which aren't considered official canon.
- In most cases, we've only included one main setting from any given story, rather than being meticulous.
- While we've included important scenes, we've sometimes left out episodes in which London's appearance is brief and inconsequential. Life's too short... unless you have an actual time machine.
- We'll continue to update the map into the Tennant#2 era, and on through Gatwa's tenure, and beyond.
Let us know if you think we've missed something.
Article originally authored by Jonn Elledge (2013) and updated by Matt Brown (2023).