A History of the Whoniverse

The Eighteenth Century (1701-1800)

'Eighteenth century. French. Nice mantle. Not a hologram. It's not even a reproduction. This actually is an eighteenth century French fireplace. '
- The tenth Doctor in The Girl in the Fireplace

1701 AD

Dr Thomas Borlase is born.

[The date is on his portrait in The Stones of Blood (ep. 1).]

h. 1st May 1707 AD

England and Scotland sign an Act of Union, becoming the United Kingdom.

[Ben and Polly mention this in The Roundheads (p. 9). No date is given.The date is when the act actually took effect.]

h. 11th September 1709 AD

The Doctor meets the Duke of Marlborough at the battle of Malplaquet.

[Or so he claims this The Android Invasion (ep. 1).]

1712 AD

Richard Cromwell dies as a hopeless failure.

[This is Richard Cromwell's interpretation of the contents of Every Boy's Book of the English Civil Wars in The Roundheads (p. 140).]

1713 AD

The Nemesis Statue came near to Earth. It may have influenced France's Sun King towards a warlike foreign policy.

[Silver Nemesis (dates established in ep. 2). The statue's effect is suggested in The Terrestrial Index.]

1721 AD

Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, known as Reinette, is born. She would grow up to become Madame de Pompadour.

[She is seven the first time we see her in The Girl in the Fireplace. The year is stated on the portrait at the end although it would make her first appearance at age six instead. The historical date is 29th December.]

h. 1726 AD

Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift, is published.

[Gulliver appears in The Mind Robber.]

1727 AD

The Girl in the Fireplace

Reinette sees a man in her fireplace. Several months later, she meets this man, who saves her from a monster hiding under her bed.

[Reinette gives the year during the earlier scene. However, as an adult she says that she first met the Doctor when she was seven, which would make it 1728. The second scene shows it snowing outside. We've gone with the year given in the scene.]

1730 AD

The Aliens Act is passed.

[The Doctor mentions this in The Highlanders (ep. 1). The real-world Aliens Act was passed in 1705.]

1730 AD

A nice chap called Mr Chicken lives in number 10 Downing Street at this time.

[The Doctor dates this to 1730 in World War Three.]

1733 AD

Alexander Pope writes An Essay on Man

[We see a quote in I Was a Monster!!! (Short Trips:Zodiac) (p.129).]

1738 AD

The Nemesis Statue again approached Earth. It may have heralded the Irish Potato Famine.

[Silver Nemesis (dates established in ep. 2). The effect is suggested in The Terrestrial Index.]

c. 1740 AD

The Girl in the Fireplace

Reinette meets the "fireplace man" again.

[Reinette has grown up, and it is clearly in sequence with her other appearances, but the actual date is arbitrary.]

8th September 1742 AD

The Witch Hunters

The Doctor, Ian, Barbara, and Susan take a brief rest from their travels.

[The date is given in a caption (p. 263).]

1745 AD

A Jacobite Rebellion battlefield was lifted by the War Lords.

[A Redcoat thinks it's 1745 in The War Games (eps. 2 & 3).]

h. 1745 AD

The Girl in the Fireplace

Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson aspires to become King Louis XV's new mistress following the death of Madame de Chateauroux. She soon meets him and succeeds in her ambition.

[We see her twice in this period, which the Doctor says happened when she was 23. Historically, this happened in 1745, which is consistent with this (as her birthday is in December).]

1745 AD

Laird Colin McLaren gives his daughter Kirsty the ring of Bonnie Prince Charles Edward Stuart just before the battle of Culloden. The Battle of Culloden destroys Bonnie Prince Charlie's chances of taking the English throne.

[The (historical) date is given by the Doctor in The Underwater Menace (ep.1).]

1745 AD

The Highlanders

A group of escaping Scottish soldiers from Culloden manages to escape being sold into slavery by crooked solicitor Grey. They take a captured slave ship to France, but Jamie McCrimmon joins the Doctor as he leaves.

[The Doctor gives the (historical) year in The Underwater Menace (ep. 1).]

1745 AD

The War Games

Jamie is returned to his native time by the Time Lords. He has no memory of his time with the Doctor or of his gradual rejection of violent methods.

[This is said to be Jamie's own time (ep.10). The Doctor gives the year Jamie is from in The Underwater Menace (ep.1).]

1747 AD

The last beheading on Tower Hill takes place. A block is made for this execution.

[Benny's diary mentions a plaque giving this date in The Dying Days (p. 265).]

18th Century

Mariners in the North Sea draw pictures of weed creatures.

[The Doctor, Jamie,and Victoria see the pictures in Fury from the Deep (ep. 3).]

18th Century

The farmhouse that would later become the Dalesview Residential Home is built.

[The narrative in Nightshade (p. 13) says it's 18th century.]

18th Century

The lake at Trentillys Castle was constructed at this time.

[According to the Doctor in Past Reckoning (Decalog 3) (p. 115).]

1750 AD

White Darkness (Prologue)

A ship is wrecked off Haiti. Nkome, a six year old African slave, is washed ashore, kept alive by Voodoo. He starts to plan his revenge.

[The prologue title is “Prologue: 1750” (p.3).]

18th Century

The Doctor ran Taunton for two weeks and claimed to have "never been so bored".

[He claims this in The Highest Science (p. 208).]

c. 1750 AD

The Doctor meets Benjamin Franklin. During this encounter, he gets rope burns and is electrocuted when lightning hits the kite he was flying.

[Or so the Doctor claims in Smith and Jones. No date is given, but Franklin's experiment with the kite happened in this year.]

18th Century

Auderley House was built in Georgian times.

[Alex MacIntosh says it's a Georgian house in Day of the Daleks, giving a range of 1714-1830.]

18th Century

The Third Lord of Aldbourne is revealed to practice black magic rituals. The scandal brings Devil's End into the public eye.

[Alistair Fergus says this was the 18th Century in The Dæmons (ep.1).]

r. 1753 AD

The Girl in the Fireplace

Reinette meets two of the Doctor's friends, and Rose explains the danger she is due to face in five years time. Reinette also visits a spacecraft from the future.

[She is five years away from being thirty seven, so 32.]

1754 AD

Dr. Thomas Borlase is crushed to death by a standing [well, falling] stone just after surveying the stone circle known as the Nine Travellers.

[Amelia Rumford gives the year, and De Vries gives more details in The Stones of Blood (ep. 1)]

1754 AD

The Doctor discovers Kadiatu Lethbridge-Stewart half dead on a slave ship (which had yet to load a cargo of slaves) off Sierra Leone. She has gone feral, killed the crew, and even the ship's cat. He takes her to the People in another galaxy.

[He recalls this, and gives the year in The Also People (p. 136 & 151).]

r. 1758 AD

The Girl in the Fireplace

Masked men menace courtiers at a masked ball at the Palace of Versailles. They surround Madame de Pompadour, until a man crashes into the palace through a mirror, reveals them to be clockwork men, and talks them into submission. The man then disappears.

[Reinette is thirty seven.]

1759 AD

Robert Burns is born.

[The Doctor mentions this in The Underwater Menace (ep. 1).]

c. 1760 AD

Cessair of Diplos posed as Lady Montcalm and was painted by Allan Ramsey.

[Ramsey is said to be the artist in The Stones of Blood (ep.1). Ramsey lived 1713-84, and could have painted this any time between 1739 and 1770. The precise date is arbitrary.]

c. 1760 AD

The Dæmons may have inspired the Industrial Revolution.

[The Doctor says that they did in The Dæmons (ep. 3). The industrial revolution is generally considered to have begun around 1760.]

c. 1760 AD

High Wycombe is founded.

[According to K9 in Return of the Spiders (More Short Trips) (p. 241).]

1763 AD

The Nemesis Statue again came near Earth, possibly helping cause a Russo-Turkish war.

[The dates are established in Silver Nemesis (ep. 2). The effect is suggested in The Terrestrial Index.]

Winter 1764 AD

Old Flames (Short Trips)

The Doctor, Sarah, Iris Wildthyme and “Captain Turner” attend a high society ball at Lady Huntingdon's. Later that night, Rector Adams is killed on his way home from the ball. Lady Huntingdon disappears soon afterwards, leaving the estate to her granddaughter Bella and Captain Turner.

[Turner tells Sarah the year (p. 21). It is winter (p. 37).]

1764 AD

The Girl in the Fireplace

Madame de Pompadour dies, leaving a note for the man in the fireplace.

[The Doctor arrives just as her coffin is leaving Versailles. The year is stated on her portrait.]

c. 1765 AD

One of Scaroth's segments acquired a Gainsborough.

[City of Death (ep. 1). Gainsborough lived 1727-88. The date is arbitrary.]

c. 1765 AD

Gainsborough painted a picture of Ace [presumably after she left the Doctor in Set Piece].

[The portrait is seen in the extended version of Silver Nemesis and is mentioned in Set Piece. Gainsborough did society portraits 1760-74.]

1765 AD

The first Doctor was with James Watt when he invented a better steam engine.

[He claims this in The Space Museum (ep. 2). Watt's engine was actually developed over several years. The key breakthrough was in 1765, but the design wasn't really perfected until 1775.]

h. 16th December 1770 AD

Gone Too Soon (Short Trips and Side Steps)

Ludwig van Beethoven is born. The sixth Doctor gives his mother money to persuade his father to keep him.

[The year is stated in narration (p. 177). The exact date is a matter of historical record.]

h. 16th December 1773 AD

In the American city of Boston, a group of colonists protest at the Tea Act by dumping tea from a ship in the harbour. One of the protesters might have been the Doctor.

[He claims to have pushed boxes into the sea at the Boston Tea Party in The Unquiet Dead, all the other details, including the date, are historical.]

1776 AD

Thomas Paine publishes The American Crisis.

[There's a quote from it in War of the Daleks (p. 21).]

r. Winter 1776 AD

The uniform Captain Turner wore at a ball twelve years earlier comes into use at his rank.

[Twelve years after Old Flames (Short Trips).]

r. 27th June 1776 AD

Old Josh (as he would become known) is born.

[He says this was a week before the US Declaration of independence in A Town Called Eternity (Short Trips and Side Steps) (p. 17).]

4th July 1776 AD

The Continental Congress publishes the US Declaration of Independence. The Doctor persuades them to change the unpublished first draft to include the phrase "the pursuit of happiness".

[The Doctor mentions this in a deleted scene from The Lazarus Experiment, where he has the first draft in his pocket (so he probably isn't name-dropping). The date is historical.]

c. 1778 AD

The Rani stole brain fluid during the American war of Independence.

[She admits this is Mark of the Rani (ep.1). The war ran from 1775-1783. The exact date is arbitrary.]

1788 AD

The Nemesis statue again came close to Earth, possibly influencing the French Revolution. At the same time, the Nemesis bow was stolen from Windsor Castle.

[The years are established in Silver Nemesis (ep. 2). The effect is suggested in The Terrestrial Index.]

h. 18th July 1789 AD

A Parisian mob storms the Bastille prison, one of the first events in the French Revolution.

[Leon mentions the Bastille as an event in The Reign of Terror (ep. 5)]

c. Late 1789 AD

Susan and the First Doctor visited the French Revolution in their first ever visit to Earth. It taught the Doctor that [some] people wanted freedom and a hope for the future as well as that the old order could be toppled. This is [one of] the Doctor's favourite period[s] in history.

[Susan spots an error in a French Revolution history book in An Unearthly Child (ep. 1). In The Reign of Terror (ep. 1) Susan says it's the Doctor's favourite period of Earth history. The fact that it was his first visit, and what it taught him, is mentioned in Just War.]

c. 1790 AD

The Doctor claims to have been a personal friend of Horatio Nelson.

[The Sea Devils (ep. 1). Nelson lived 1758-1805.]

c. 1791 AD

The Doctor obtained a lockpick from Marie Antoinette.

[He mentions meeting her in The Robots of Death (ep. 4) and the lockpick in Pyramids of Mars (ep. 1). The most likely time for her to have had a lockpick would have been during the flight to Varennes in 1791.]

1791 AD

The Crystal Bucephalus

The Doctor, Tegan and Turlough are dining at the Café de Saint Joseph in Aix-en-Provence when they are scooped up by the Crystal Bucephalus and whisked about 9,000 years into the future.

[The Maitre D gives the date (p. 20).]

1793 AD

Sir Percival Flint attempts to excavate Devil's Hump, but fails when his workers flee in terror.

[Alistair Fergus mentions this in The Dæmons (ep. 1).]

h. Late October 1793 AD

Maxmilien Robespierre orders the Girondins executed.

[He mentions this in The Reign of Terror (ep. 4). He is probably talking about the trials of 24th October 1793 and the executions of the 31st.]

h. 15th April 1794 AD

Robespierre has the revolutionary Georges Danton executed.

[He mentions this in The Reign of Terror (ep. 4).]

r. Late May 1794 AD

Leon Colbert's cell of revolutionaries finds out about British spy James Stirling.

[Two months before The Reign of Terror.]

Late July 1794 AD

The Reign of Terror

The First Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara are caught up in events around the Concierge prison and tell the English spy James Stirling of a potential coup by Napoleon Bonaparte.

[Captions give the date as 24th July 1794 (ep. 1) & 25th July 1794 (ep. 2). Robespierre says his plot will happen on 27th July 1794 (ep. 5).]

1796 AD

A room in 10 Downing Street is first used as the cabinet room. It will continue being used for this purpose until 2006.

[According to the Doctor in World War Three.]

1798 AD

Set Piece

Bernice Summerfield visited Egypt in the company of French archaeologist Vivant Denon.

[The year is given in a caption (p. 57).]

c. 1798 AD

Napoleon's troops use the Great Sphinx for target practice, destroying its face.

[Peri says that this happened 3,000 years after The Eye of the Scorpion (ep. 4). The figure is unlikely to be precise, so we've gone with a vaguely plausible year. In reality this didn't happen, so it's possible Peri's simply repeating an urban legend.]

1798 AD

The Sands of Time

Napoleon Bonaparte visits the Great Pyramid. He goes to the central chamber and stays a long time. He tells his friend Jean Tombier, the only other person who was there, to say that he spent merely a few moments in the chamber.

[The year is given in a caption (p. 203).]

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