The Doctor’s Name – One Excellent Possibility

The Doctor’s Name – One Excellent Possibility April 24, 2013

It isn't just the Silence who want the secret kept. There are also many fans that simply don't want to know the Doctor's name. For instance these folks here:

I don't blame them. Let's face it, if there is a big reveal on Doctor Who after 50 years of secrecy, and it turns out the Doctor's name is “Billy Bob,” no one is going to be happy.

But there are some cool possible names that would not be a disappointment. My own best guess is that the Doctor's name actually sounds like “Doctor Who,” as I have indicated on this blog before.

But if the Doctor's name turned out to be 42, I would not be at all disappointed. Sure, it would be more comical than serious, and entirely a tribute to Douglas Adams. But it would still be delightful.

They could always say that, since the Doctor's name is unpronounceable in words (either because of the sounds, or it is too long, or because if it is uttered in its pure form the universe will end) this is a numeric condensation of the name.

Of course, there would then be some kooks who would point out that 4+2=6 and then suggest that the number of this man is the number of the Beast in Revelation. OK, so there probably won't be many of them, but someone would go down that route.

What do you think? If the Doctor's name turns out to be “42” would that be a disappointment or one of the coolest sci-fi inside jokes ever?


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  • Nick

    First off, protesting in the streets? Really!?! I mean, I’m not a fan of the name business either, but this is kind of a “this is why the rest of the world hates us” moment lol!

    42 would be pretty funny, yeah. I’ve never actually read Hitchhiker to my eternal embarrassment, but I shall rectify the situation following finals!

    A possibilty I thought of the other day, what will be revealed as his “name” will just be some adjective. It will correspond to the episode with “Sexy,” the personification of the Tardis (that sentence felt really weird to write lol).

    • You mean something like “Sweetie”? 🙂

      • Marcus

        James, Sweetie would be absolutely brilliant!!

      • Nick


  • susanburns

    It could be Ha Shem (The Name).

  • Jeff Carter

    or maybe he has 9 Billion names and if you were to write them all out (or harness a devoted computer to do it for you) then the universe would come to an end…

  • consp

    4+2=6 multiply six by half you get 3 halflife3confirmed

  • goodacre

    Nice one. Anyway, we know his name — it’s John Smith.

    • Maybe with the Bells of St. John theme, he could adopt St. John Smith as a new alias surname (as James Bond also did in A View To A Kill)?

  • goodacre

    And I bet you a tenner we will not get to find out his name. Not a chance. Classic Moffat.

    • I can well imagine that his name will indeed be spoken – perhaps whispered into River’s ear?

      Moffatt has said that there will be a big revelation in the season finale, and so, even if it isn’t the Doctor’s name, perhaps we will at least be given an explanation of why his name is so important, and why it has been so important that it be kept secret.

  • goodacre

    Did you create that nice pic, James?

  • WillBell

    Any name at this point would be a big let down, it will probably be whispered into River’s ear.

    • WillBell

      Oh my god I just had an idea! What if they go to the library just when everybody is about to be saved to the computers and they get saved as well? Then some how right before River Song dies for good she some how gets put into the program where the doctor tells her his name, and when they get out the two doctors meet? I know that given where they are filming (London, including UNIT in the story) and other things that we know it is next to impossible but still it would be pretty cool.

  • Kate

    i kind of just want his name to be steve…or banana i just feel like if his name was ‘Banana’ you really couldnt get upset over it it would almost be a sort of inside joke.

  • Tony

    No. Not really. Actually, that would be utterly moronic.

  • cameronhorsburgh

    My daughter’s convinced his name is Donald.

    You saw it here first.

  • Mark Preece

    I started watching Doctor Who in the Tom Baker years, and I’ve always thought the title was a private joke between the producers and viewers. It should be metadata, no more available to the characters than the names of the actors that play them, and I always thought the places where it leaked in later — like the question mark umbrellas and collar buttons of later Doctors — were a sign of the lack of seriousness that made me lose interest in the show for almost 30 years. So I’m uneasy with the current story arc that makes “Doctor Who?” the most important question in the universe.

    (That said, by the way, thank you James for bringing Doctor Who back into my life! I came to your blog for your writing on the Bible, and your Who posts washed over me for a long time. Then last Christmas, looking for some seasonal entertainment, I watched an old Christmas special you referred to, and since then I’ve been spending way too much time re-entering the Who universe through New Who.)

  • James England

    Considering Mr Moffat’s recent characters, it’s bound to be a water-based name (like RIVER Song and Amy POND). So with that in mind the Doctor’s real name is

    Eric PUDDLE.


  • StevenAg

    Well while watching the first Doctor, his granddaughter had a name “Susan”, so it has to be something regarding the Doctor in particular about him and not the timelords. While I would like to know his name, it would take out the witty banner they always have upon meeting someone new. No longer will it because no one can know, but it will become something more like “Well I could tell you, but i’m not going to :P”. It would really change the series that’s for sure

  • Capuscene

    I don’t want to know his name because when we know it, then the show will end…

  • I think his name is pi Get it sweetie like desert, a pie

  • cjc

    The most common name , “dad”

  • fezzesarecool

    I actually think his name should be 42. Because 42 is the answer to the universe but no one knows the question. The question could easily be doctor who? It is after all the oldest question in the universe. If his name was 42 it’d kill two birds with one stone.

  • Donning my tin foil hat

    Let’s Crack this:
    In the Hitchhiker’s Guide, the Ultimate Answer is 42.
    In Dr. Who, the Ultimate Question is Dr. Who?
    Ultimate Question –> Ultimate Answer
    But Dr. 42 doesn’t make sense.
    Let’s go further.
    The xkcd web comic’s meaning is unknown.
    However, if you substitute each number with a letter and add them, something interesting happens. (A=1, B=2, etc.)
    But Dr. XKCD also makes no sense.
    Randall Munroe is the author of xkcd. So his Randall Munroe the Doctor?

    I know, my logic is terrible.