The Science of Doctor Who

The Science of Doctor Who

Book - 2010
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Book News
Just as an author cited has done for Star Trek, a science writer who is a Dr. Who fan explains the science (actual and emerging) featured in this popular television show about the adventures of a 900-year-old, do-gooder time traveler. Parsons and other scientist fans treat topics including altruism, the search for extraterrestrial life, and time travel. Included are a list of the actors who played each of the Doctor's 11 regenerations, list of episodes each played, and basic scientific diagrams, but no stills from the show. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Johns Hopkins University Press

Almost fifty years after he first crossed the small screen, Doctor Who remains a science fiction touchstone. His exploits are thrilling, his world is mind-boggling, and that time travel machine—known as the Tardis—is almost certainly an old-fashioned blue police box, once commonly found in London.

Paul Parsons's plain-English account of the real science behind the fantastic universe portrayed in the Doctor Who television series provides answers to such burning questions as whether a sonic screwdriver is any use for putting up a shelf, how Cybermen make little Cybermen, where the toilets are in the Tardis, and much more.

Taking the show as a starting point—episode-by-episode in some cases—Parsons dissects its scientific concepts. In addition to explaining why time travel is possible and just how that blue police box works, Parsons

• discusses who the Time Lords are and how we may one day be able to regenerate just like them
• ponders the ways that the doctor's two hearts might work and introduces us to a terrestrial animal with five
• details the alien populations and cosmology of the Whovian Universe and relates them to what we currently know about our universe
• compares the robotics of the show with startlingly similar real-world applications

This slender, equation-free discussion is penned by a Ph.D. cosmologist and is ideal beach reading for anyone who loves science and watches the show—no matter which planet the beach is on.

Blackwell Publishing
"Parsons deftly weaves a fascinating mixture of known fact, possible future development, and scant possibilities from the Who universe into an investigation that will appeal to Who fans and general readers alike. There should be a copy in the glove compartment of every Tardis."---Colin Baker, the Sixth Doctor

"A voyage to the outer limits of Who universe science. Fans of the show will be amazed how much real-world science lies behind the storylines."---Stephen Baxter, author of Transcendent

Publisher: Baltimore, Md. : Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010
ISBN: 9780801895609
Branch Call Number: 500 PAR
Characteristics: 307 p. : ill. ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

JCLJoshN May 23, 2013

A fun and informative overview of physics, biology, astronomy, engineering and more, all filtered through my favorite TV show, Doctor Who. Not very in-depth, but the author admits that it's meant to be more entertaining than educational. Still, I did learn quite a bit about quantum physics, nanotechnology, cybernetics, and astrophysics.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at ELPL

To Top