A History of the Whoniverse

Doctor Who first aired in November 1963. Since then there have been literally thousands of stores in a variety of media - particularly TV, books, audios, comics, short stories, and computer games. These stories describe a vast fictional universe from the big bang all the way through to the big crunch. This part of the site attempts to put these events into some sort of logical order. It is not a definitive history - a project like this requires far too many judgement calls for any version to be definitive. It also does not cover the history of the planet Gallifrey. Gallifrey exists in a special relationship with time, and its history cannot be given even an approximate date on the human calendar, although some events in their earliest history do happen within the main timestream. An extensive chronology of Gallifreyan history can be found on our sister site Rassilon, Omega, and that Other Guy.

The Rules

Which stories count?

We ultimately aim to include every officially licensed story that takes place within normal continuity. Currently we cover the TV Series, the novels, and some audios and short stories. For more on this, see The Whoniverse Guide to "canon"

What goes where? / Dealing with contradictions

If a story doesn't tell us when it happens, we make an educated guess - possibly using information from other stories. If two stories contradict each other, we try to find a solution that allows both to be equally true. If the two pieces of information contradict each other, we try to find an in-universe explanation. For example: If the Doctor claims to know an historical character, but later on meets him for the first time, we just assume that he was name-dropping. If we cannot find an in-universe explanation, we follow the following process:

  1. If there is a massive amount of evidence for one date or version of events over the other, we go with the consensus
  2. If a story's date does not affect any other stories, information within the story trumps information outside the story
  3. If a story is part of a block of stories (e.g. the UNIT stories from the 1970s), then we pick the most plausible dating scheme and everything has to fit into that
  4. If all else fails, we go with whatever fan theory we happen to prefer

If a story exists in two versions, we may take the approach that both versions happened separately (we do this with the two versions of Human Nature). Alternatively, we treat one version as the main version, and add in details from the other one when they don't contradict anything else (we do this with TV stories that have been novelised).


Every entry has a footnote explaining how we came up with the date. It will also explain how we've resolved any continuity problems.

Story Titles

If we actually saw (or read or heard) an event, then it will have a story title. If we only heard about it, then it won't. Because there is debate about what titles to use for certain stories, we've had to make choices. For William Hartnell stories, we've used the titles for the DVD releases. For The Massacre (of St Bartholomew's Eve which does not have a DVD release, we have used the shorter title The Massacre. For Season 23 we've used Trial of a Time Lord for the trial scenes, and the commonly used titles The Mysterious Planet, Mindwarp, and Terror of the Vervoids for the stories used as evidence. For the 1996 TV Movie, we've used The TV Movie, although earlier drafts used the semi-official Enemy Within. New series multi-part stories are either listed separately or referred to by both titles (e.g. Aliens of London / World War Three)


We have used the following conventions: Dates are in bold type. Story titles are in CAPITALS before the description of the events of those stories. Explanation of the dating and other speculation is in [square brackets]. Story names are colour coded to indicate the type of story it is. The colour coding is as follows: Note: Because browser set-ups vary, the colour-schemes below may look different on your computer. Each description of a colour is formatted in the colour used for that category in the history.

Blue The Doctor Who TV Series, Torchwood, and The Sarah Jane Adventures
Red Novels
Purple Audio plays and audio books
Orange Doctor Who Magazine, Doctor Who Adventures, Battles in Time, and IDW comic strips
Brown Non-BBC spin-offs (e.g. Bernice Summerfield, Faction Paradox Kaldor City, Time Hunter)
Green Reference material

Events taking place outside the main Whoniverse (such as events in parallel universes, or in e-space) are indicated by a light yellow background.

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Copyright Statement

Doctor Who is both copyrighted and trademarked by the BBC. The rights to various characters, alien races, and other fictional elements from the series are owned by the writers who created them. In particular, the Daleks are owned by the estate of Terry Nation. No infringement of any copyright is intended by any part of this site, which is an unlicensed reference and review site. All credited material on this site is copyright © the named author. All Wiki pages are copyright the site members who edited them. All other material is copyright © Stephen Gray 2004-2014. The whoniverse logo and design were created by Tom Hey (that link is to his band's site). The site was constructed using Drupal. All comments are owned by, and are the sole legal responsibility of, the individual posters. You may not reproduce any material from this site without the permission of the relevant author(s). If you want to use what we've written, ask us and we might just say yes.