Happy Fourth of July! Doctor Who’s American Adventures

By Cameron K McEwan

Happy Independence Day to all our friends in the U.S. of A! We hope you’re all having a great time, but did you know just how many times our favourite Gallifreyan has visited there?

And are you aware of the numerous times Doctor Who has actually filmed in the USA? We’ve got all the details of the Time Lord’s ravels in States and Time below.


In one of his final adventures, The Gunfighters (1966), the First Doctor tackled both toothache and cowboys in Tombstone, 1881.

The gun fighters

2011’s Day of the Moon saw poor Rory gunned down by Canton Everett Delaware III at Glen Canyon Dam. Don’t worry though, it was just another typical fake Rory death.


During Rose (2005), internet “enthusiast” Clive produced a picture of the Ninth Doctor at the assassination of John F Kennedy. This is not the first run-in with a US president…


... and here’s another! 2011’s The Impossible Astronaut President Nixon had been receiving strange phone calls from a young girl, who was tracked down, by the Eleventh Doctor, to Florida.

2017's Empress Of Mars opened with the Twelfth Doctor, Bill and Nardole gate-crashing Valkyrie's transmission from the titular red planet at NASA (in Florida's Kennedy Space Centre).


The Zygon Invasion (2015) featured an actual, factual place called, Truth or Consequences. Lovely UNIT scientist Osgood took a trip there with disastrous consequences (pictured below).

policewoman holding a gun


During an eclectic trip through space and time in The Chase (1965), the First Doctor took a pitstop on top of the Empire State Building. Immediately after he departed, those dastardly Daleks also appeared atop the iconic landmark. Speaking of which…

In the 2007 two-parter, Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks, the Tenth Doctor and Martha uncovered Daleks, the Cult of Skaro and Pig Slaves in the Big Apple. The Empire State Building and Hooverville (an area in Central Park) featured heavily with actual location filming taking place in New York City.

Still image from the stolen earth episode

UNIT’s headquarters in New York City, where Martha Jones was now working, made an appearance when it was attacked by Daleks in the Series 4 finale, The Stolen Earth (pictured above).

Day of the Moon again, and this time we found River Song diving off backwards from a NYC skyscraper. At the end of that epic episode, we also saw a young River (Melody Pond) regenerate in a Manhattan alleyway.

The Doctor Who team traveled to the city that never sleeps for location filming on the Ponds’ swan song, The Angels Take Manhattan (2012). The instalment featured many NYC landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Times Square and Central Park. Thousands of fans turned up in Central Park to see Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill film the haunting Weeping Angels story

still image from the angels take manhattan

Christmas 2016 saw The Twelfth Doctor and Nardole teamed up with a supehero known as "The Ghost" in The Return of Doctor Mysterio. Apart from a brief sojourn into space, the entire story was set in New York (though partly filmed at Nu Boyana Film Studios in Bulgaria).

And let’s not forget New New York, the star of New Earth (2006) and Gridlock (2007), though not actually set in our New York!


2012’s A Town Called Mercy saw the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory battle a homicidal cyborg in the 19th century. However, the story was actually filmed in Spain! (Check out the Doctor’s Euro excursions here.)

The mysterious and infamous Area 51, where aliens may or may not be imprisoned awaiting the return of their species, featured in the aforementioned Day of the Moon (where a bearded Eleventh Doctor was captured) and the Tenth Doctor animated adventure, Dreamland (2009).

Still from animated doctor in Dreamland


For one night only, in 1996, Who fans were treated to the return of Doctor Who to our televisions screens as the Seventh Doctor landed in San Francisco, got shot and then regenerated into the Eighth Doctor. Fact fans will note, this was the first Doctor Who story to be filmed completely outside the UK (Vancouver, Canada being utilised for the shoot).


The Daleks must have a thing for the USA. 2005’s Dalek featured a solitary intergalactic pepper held prisoner in Henry van Statten’s underground alien museum - just outside Salt Lake City.

A still of the ninth doctor in Utah

This state’s Valley of the Gods is named on screen in Day of the Moon as the area where Amy is shot by Canton Everett Delaware III. In the previous episode, The Impossible Astronaut, the Eleventh Doctor, Amy, Rory and River take a lakeside picnic, shortly before the Time Lord was “killed” by his future/past/present (delete as applicable) wife. The diner where the gang meet up later is actually in Cardiff Bay! (It was also used in the Series 9 finale, Hell Bent.)


During the Tenth Doctor’s final outing, The End of Time, Barack Obama was seen changing into The Master, then played by John Simm, whilst making a speech in the White House. (We think the renegade Time Lord must have a grudge against US presidents as he caused the murder of one in 2007’s The Sound of Drums.)

President holds his head in his hands

The same building also featured heavily in The Impossible Astronaut / Day of the Moon, the then-home to President Nixon. And, whilst not the same building as such, the Oval Office was recreated as a computer simulation in 2017's Extremis (pictured below).

The same story saw Bill and Nardole visit The Pentagon, also in Washington (and, again, a computer simulation).

The twelfth doctor sits in the oval office

So there you go! Doctor Who and the USA go together like mom and apple pie. And we didn’t even get around to mention that beloved American-accented companion, Captain Jack Harkness!

Oops, now we have.

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