Dr. Who

I had someone suggest to me that writing “Dr. Who” is inappropriate, as it should always be “Doctor Who.”

That can only be said by someone who has only been watching for a relatively short number of years…or at least, not since the beginning.

Here is the way the credits looked back when the show first began:

And here’s a shot from the Patrick Troughton era:

And even in later times when the phrase tended not to be abbreviated in the credits, that did not mean that it was always spelled out:

And so if you think you are being a true fan by objecting to the use of “Dr. Who,” the irony is that you are in fact showing that you are a latecomer to the show and poorly informed about its history.

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  • Tony

    Clearly this nitpicker hasn’t watched the War Machines. They’d be having a WOTAN-inspired hissy fit. (Besides, isn’t getting people’s names wrong a running theme in Doctor Who, especially the Hartnell years? “Chesterfield!”) Oh, and thanks for your wonderful blog!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/ James F. McGrath

      I have often wondered whether WOTAN knew what no one else did, and “Doctor Who” is what the Doctor’s name sounds like. Presumably it means something in Gallifreyan.

  • jeffodist

    Someone suggested Dr. Whom when referring to him and he is not the subject of the verb

  • Elliot

    The title of the show has always been spelled on screen as “Doctor Who”. Annuals and suchlike sometimes differ, but the show is consistent.

    The character is not addressed or described by other characters as “Dr Who” – or only when they’re asking who he is. The rest of the time he’s “the Doctor”, which is also what the credits call him nowadays (for part of the old series as well as the new one).

    If you want to treat “Who” as his surname, then “Dr Who” would be a standard way to refer to him. But it is not the title of the series.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/ James F. McGrath

      Except for WOTAN.