Scientific Inaccuracies in Doctor Who

Recently, people have been complaining about the scientific inaccuracies in Doctor Who. Which, to be fair, is full of them.

In the Forest of the Night and the Kill the Moon episode really seem to have inflamed those that enjoy a bit of scientific reality. How can a soup dragon give birth to an egg which is the same size as the egg it just hatched out of? How can a forest just pop up and then disappear leaving no damage except for a toppled monument?

Is this a show we really want to start picking at and unravelling? This is a show whose central premise is of a man who can travel forwards, backwards and sideways through time in a box which is dimensionally transcendent. Stephen Hawking has recently said that it may only be possible to move forward in time, so where does this leave the Doctor and, indeed, the scientific reality of the show? Not in a good place. Wouldn’t be much of a show if our hero could only travel one way, would it? If you want to watch a show which goes forwards in time AND to other planets, you might as well watch reruns of Stargate SG1.


As far back as the second story, The Daleks, we had a vibrant lush jungle which unaccountably avoided the radiation which petrified the forest a few miles away. Putting aside the inaccuracy of whether a forest and jungle could be near one another, would nuclear bombs really be THAT selective?

In City of Death, we see the Doctor and Romana get out of a time loop by modifying their actions. In reality, you’d be unaware of the temporal loopage. You wouldn’t be able to change a single thing. But who would want to sit down and watch that one scene play over and over again? So scientific reasoning is defenestrated.

In Rose, remember the shot of the earth? It shows both the United Kingdom and America as having daylight yet Rose wakes up in the morning. So shouldn’t America be enjoying their night?

In The Web Planet, we see human-sized insects. Which is just sheer fantasy. There is a reason why insects don’t get that big, they wouldn’t be able to breath.

The show has never made any claims to be scientific, or even “hard” science fiction. It is basically an adventure show. Yes, it started out to be educational but that isn’t the same thing as sticking to scientific facts; the show was and is a means in which science can be explored and explained.

Just enjoy the stories for what they are. They are entertainment not serious factual drama.


About greebohobbes

All-round irritant, expert swordsman (loves lopping off the heads of ghouls), professional charlatan and outrageous wearer of black cocktail dresses...
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