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Planet hopper: The Earthly destinations of Doctor Who

Data Visualisation: Locations of the Doctor's stories set on Earth

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Doctor Who @ 50 The Doctor has often stated that the Earth is quite his favourite planet, and it’s by far his most frequent destination. Yet judging by his televised adventures, he has seen surprisingly little of it.

He has barely visited a tenth of all the countries of the world, and the vast majority of his escapades have taken place in southern England – with a more recent increase in trips to Wales.

It’s not surprising that a high proportion of Doctor Who stories are set in London, as not only is it the country’s capital but it’s where the programme was produced for its first 26 years.

Two-thirds of stories set on Earth take place in the UK – although none of them in Northern Ireland – and 60 per cent of them happen in England. This is subject to revision, however: for example, we only discovered many years later that the closing scene of The Hand of Fear was in Aberdeen and not Croydon after all.

Days of the Doctors

Click to see the visualisation full size
Source: Wonderful Books

Only 22 countries other than the UK have featured in Doctor Who stories, and not all of them were actually visited by the Doctor himself. We see only the offices of global organisations in The Tenth Planet and The Enemy of the World, where events are not witnessed by the Doctor.

In all, 148 different stories have been set or have included scenes on Earth. Somewhat surprisingly, the Doctor who has spent most time on Earth was not the Third, despite being exiled here, but the Tenth, followed by the Eleventh. ®

The image comes from Time & Space Visualiser: The Story and History of Doctor Who as Data Visualisations by Paul Smith, published by Wonderful Books and available through Amazon UK and Amazon US.

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