10 Major Doctor Who Events That Changed Everything

Just when you thought you understood all of the wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey!

Doctor Who John Hurt

Since Doctor Who first materialised onto our screens way back in 1963, the show has thrived on how it changes across its own timeline, helping each series to be whatever it's audiences need it to be.

Whether it's the 1960s' focus on educating its audiences on the wonders of history and modern science or the energetic and emotionally-staked Chris Chibnall era, it only takes a fleeting comparison between a Classic and Modern series episode to notice just how much the show has evolved.

But what about moments within the Whoniverse itself that have changed everything we thought we knew about familiar worlds, our favourite characters and their backstories? These are the ten most significant events which ever happened in the world of Doctor Who.

10. The First Regeneration

First Doctor Regeneration

As the declining health of lead actor William Hartnell became an unnerving concern for producers, the looming threat of Doctor Who’s cancellation after just four seasons in 1969 must have seemed very real. That is, until the geniuses of producer John Wilkes and script editor Donald Tosh helped to bring the early foundations of what would later be the concept of regeneration to life.

Within the series, The Doctor’s species had been given little to no attention and didn’t even yet have a name - all we knew was that he wasn’t human. Audiences of Season 4's 'The Tenth Planet' must therefore have been amazed as they watched the now-familiar regenerative glow sweep across the exhausted First Doctor as they collapsed to the floor and woke up with the face of Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton.

Although the ability to change their face after death didn't yet have the name Regeneration, The Doctor's 'renewal' proved not just to be a convenient way for actors to get on and off from the part with unusual freedom for a lead television role, it also gave producers a means of allowing The Doctor to be completely refreshed. Although they were still the same values of the character deep down beneath the 1960s mop top and chequered trousers, it was clear that the beloved alien antagonist had been changed forever.


Bristolian, Writer, Connoisseur of Doctor Who, Marvel and other nerd culture. My life philosophy is: “What would Steve Rogers do?”