November 11, 2018
With all of time and space at the Doctor's disposal, it’s surprising how much time the Time Lord spends hanging around certain places on Earth. Right now, the Thirteenth Doctor has got a soft spot for Sheffield, but in the past, the Doctor has been known to spend a lot of time in Cardiff or London. That’s not the whole story, though – the Doctor has also been right around our world and back again, several times…
The Fires of Pompeii (2008)
The Doctor has a talent for popping up in places that are notorious for some great disaster, on the very day the famously awful thing actually happened. Happily, that wasn't the case when he and Donna Noble visited Pompeii – they went there several years before Mount Vesuvius erupted, had a nice wander round the market looking at sculptures, then headed back to the TARDIS. ONLY KIDDING. They were, of course, there on Great Big Erupting Volcano Day! And not only did they have a whole lot of flowing, molten rock to contend with, but also a race of alien lava monsters called Pyroviles, who planned to exploit the carnage and take over the Earth. Some people just can't catch a break.
Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks (2007)
A quick stop-off at the Statue of Liberty in 1930 turned into a full-scale investigation for the Doctor and his friend Martha Jones, after they spotted a troubling newspaper headline. People who'd lost everything in the Great Depression had ended up living in Hooverville, a makeshift camp in Central Park – and some of them were going missing. Much to the Doctor's horror, he discovered that the Daleks had set up a camp of their own at the site where the Empire State Building was being built, and were luring the destitute workers there to experiment on. Some became human-pig mash-ups called Pig Slaves, genetically altered to be strong enough to do the Daleks' dirty work, but others met an even more terrible fate – they were turned into human-Dalek hybrids!
The Tenth Planet (1966)/Twice Upon A Time (2017)
The crew of the Snowcap tracking station at the South Pole were shocked to see three unexplained visitors stumbling across the barren terrain – the Doctor, Ben and Polly. But the TARDIS wasn't the only alien ship to arrive that day – a capsule full of Cybermen was close behind! General Cutler, the base's crazed commander, wanted to use a Z-bomb to get rid of the Cybermen, even though that would mean blowing everyone else at the Pole up as well. With the Doctor close to death and out of action, it was up to Ben and Polly to save the day. They'd probably have been a bit miffed if they'd known the Doctor had actually nipped off to have a completely different adventure with one of his future selves when they thought he was having a lie down.
City of Death (1979)
The Doctor and Romana had a smashing day when they visited Paris. In the morning they did all the tourist-y stuff – quick jaunt up the Eiffel Tower, spot of lunch in a lovely cafe, followed by a shuffle round the Louvre and a peek at the Mona Lisa – then down to the serious business of battling Scaroth, last of the Jagaroth. He was in the middle of a rather complicated scheme to mess with time itself, involving at least six forgeries of the Mona Lisa and no fewer than 12 copies of himself. Sorting all that out occupied the Doctor for most of the afternoon.
The Impossible Astronaut (2011)
When Amy, Rory and River received personal invitations to join the Doctor for a picnic at the stunning Lake Silencio in Utah, they were probably expecting sandwiches, a glass of fizzy pop and perhaps a sausage roll. They probably weren’t banking on an astronaut striding out of the waters of Lake Silencio and shooting the Doctor dead! As usual, things weren't as they seemed – the astronaut was actually River from an earlier point in her life, and the Doctor was a robot Teselecta duplicate with a shrunken mini version of himself inside, driving it around. Phew!
Planet of Fire (1984)
After tracking a distress beacon all the way to the Canary Islands, the Doctor and his schoolboy chum Turlough decided to take advantage of the good weather to have a bit of rest on Lanzarote’s stunning beaches. But the beacon dragged them, the TARDIS and an American student called Peri all the way to the desert world of Sarn, which by an amazing coincidence looked exactly like Lanzarote. The whole situation had been engineered by the Master, who had accidentally shrunk himself to the size of a dolly and needed a special healing gas found on Sarn to get big again. His wicked plan was successful right until the moment the gas supply got turned off, leaving him seemingly burnt to a crisp.
The Vampires of Venice (2010)
After tracking a distress beacon all the way to the Canary Islands, the Doctor and his schoolboy chum Turlough decided to take advantage of the good weather to have a bit of R&R on Lanzarote’s stunning beaches. But the beacon dragged them, the TARDIS and an American student called Peri all the way to the desert world of Sarn, which by an amazing coincidence looked exactly like Lanzarote. The whole situation had been engineered by the Master, who had accidentally shrunk himself to the size of a dolly and needed a special healing gas found on Sarn to get big again. His wicked plan was successful right until the moment the gas supply got turned off, leaving him seemingly burnt to a crisp.
Arc of Infinity (1983)
If the Time Lords ever summoned the Doctor back to Gallifrey, it wasn’t just for a cup of time tea and a natter – they’d usually want to either put him on trial or make him Lord President. Once, they brought him back to execute him, just because an anti-matter being was trying to bond with him! At roughly the same time, the Doctor’s old friend Tegan went to Amsterdam to meet her cousin, but he’d gone missing. Incredibly, these two events at opposite ends of time and space were connected! Cousin Colin was being held captive by a large space chicken called the Ergon, who was in turn working for Omega, the Time Lord trapped in the anti-matter universe who was trying to bond with the Doctor. That’s a lot of anti-matter. Frankly, the Doctor needs to think about avoiding canals – and, indeed, all large bodies of water.
Demons of the Punjab (2018)
The Doctor should have known better when Yas asked to be taken back in time so she could meet her grandmother, Umbreen, when she was a young woman living in India. The slightest change to the timeline could mean Yas ended up never being born! Things went wrong almost immediately when the TARDIS materialised not in the busy city of Lahore, as expected, but in a stunningly beautiful rural area of the Punjab. Even more shockingly, Umbreen was about to marry Prem, who definitely wasn’t Yas’ grandad. Oh, one last complication – all this was happening on the eve of the partition, a tumultuous time when the countries of India and Pakistan were divided, and the wedding was set to take place right on the new border. Nothing’s ever simple with time travel, especially when someone’s ancestors are involved. Chuck in a pair of scary-looking Thijarians haunting the recently dead and the Doctor was facing a desperate situation.
TARDIS on Tour
The Doctor has also had adventures in many other places around the world:
- The Doctor and Amy Pond alighted in Auvers-sur-Oise when they met one of France's greatest artists, Vincent Van Gogh.
- And who can forget the time the Doctor and Bill Potts were spotted near the Sydney Opera House after a sentient blob of oil chased them all the way to Australia.
- The Doctor even had another go at visiting New York, although that wasn't much more successful than his previous trip – instead of defeating Daleks he had to fend off a pack of Weeping Angels.
- We won't even describe what happened when two different Doctors descended on Seville at the same time, as the local restaurant industry is yet to recover.
The list of the Doctor's dodgy destinations goes on almost as long as time itself, but where will she pitch up next? And will the locals be pleased to see her? Probably not, but it'll be exciting to watch!
Missed Demons of the Punjab or would like to watch it again? You can catch up with the current series On Demand at BBC iPlayer (UK) or BBC America (US). For other regions, visit the Watch page to find out where to catch up in your territory.