TV Series

Cats in Space: The Feline Frontiers in Doctor Who

Time Lords aren’t the only species with multiple lives.

To mark International Cat Day, we’re looking at times at which cats - both traditional household pets and cat-like aliens - have crossed paths with the Doctor!

Cats…in space! IN WIMPLES!

New Earth (2006)

Where? The New New York Hospital on New Earth! Well, technically it’s New New New New New New New New New New New New New New York, making it the New New New New New New New New New New New New New New York Hospital. But that would make the signs needlessly long.

What did the cats do? The Sisters of Plentitude were an order of Catkind nuns who ran the New New York Hospital. On the positive side, they were able to cure any disease in the known universe. On the downside, they were illegally growing artificial humans in a farm to develop said cures. The Doctor didn’t think the positives outweighed the abominable negatives and shut them down.

Also, they didn’t have a little shop. Always have a little shop.

Colossal Cat

Planet of Giants (1964)

Where? The Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara landed in a quiet garden in 1969. Nothing too threatening about it, until they realised they had shrunk to a tiny size. Which is why a friendly cat suddenly became a terrifying menace. Uh-oh!

What did the cat do? Nearly killed them! If they moved, the cat would have crushed them. Playing a life-or-death game of statues, the travellers froze until the menacing moggy got bored and left. Lucky none of them had to sneeze or else they could have ended up as cat-food!

Cat at the Wheel

Gridlock (2007)

Where? The New New York Motorway on New Earth. Well, technically it’s the New New New…oh, you get the idea!

What did the cat do? Another cat-kind, Thomas Kincade Brannigan spent most of his life doing one thing - driving! Well, he sat at the wheel and incrementally moved forward when he could. He covered five miles in 12 years and thought it was good progress. The Doctor showed Thomas that while life is a highway, it wasn’t mean to be taken literally!

The Thrill of the Hunt

Survival (1989)

Where? The Doctor took Ace back to her home of Perivale, West London, in 1989. Things took a turn for the bizarre when Ace was chased by a human-like cheetah riding a horse and was then transported to a different planet. That world was the home of the Cheetah people…

What did the cats do? Kidnapping! Hunting! Surviving! Sent to Earth by the Master, the Cheetah People were kidnapping people and then using them as prey on their home-world. The reason? So the Master could escape, having trapped himself on the Cheetah People’s home-world.

Talking Cat

The Lodger (2010)

Where? When the TARDIS was stuck in a materialisation loop with Amy still inside, the Doctor was stranded on Earth. Needing to find the source of the interference, the Doctor moved into 79B Aickman Road. A smart move, considering the upstairs flat was the origin point for what was interfering with the TARDIS.

What did the cat do? A brave cat went to the upstairs flat and unlike, the human visitors, made it back down again. Being able to speak cat, the Doctor was able to communicate with his four-legged informant and learn the terrible truth about what was happening upstairs…

Feline Fashion

The Sixth Doctor (1984-1986)

Where? The Sixth Doctor’s lapel and the hearts of fashion-lovers everywhere.

What did the cat do? A series of cat brooches added to the Sixth Doctor’s unique dress sense. A different cat was on the Doctor’s coat for each of the different stories throughout the Sixth Doctor’s era. This tradition carried on even when Colin Baker took to the stage in the 1989 Doctor Who play The Ultimate Adventure when he wore a different cat brooch every night.

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