TV

Debunking Doctor Who Urban Legends: Daleks, JFK, and River Song’s Dirty Joke


True or false? We sort through some of Doctor Who’s most persistent myths to separate the fact from the fiction.

Alex Kingston as River Song in Doctor Who episode Forest of the Dead
Photo: BBC

Much like the Doctor themselves, Doctor Who is a show with a long and eventful history. Various groups and individuals have attempted to track it, but no one person has the entire picture, and even in its official history there can be contradictions, rumours, and stories that grow in the retelling until they gain a truth all of their own.

It’s time to address some of the most persistent urban legends and determine just how much truth they have in them…

Daleks Are Contractually Obligated To Appear At Least Once Each Series

Much like the Daleks themselves, this one keeps coming back. It is common knowledge that the Daleks are not actually the intellectual property of the BBC, but of the estate of their creator, Terry Nation (Perhaps less well-known is the fact that Steven Moffat has a similar arrangement with the Weeping Angels).

The Daleks are of course the Doctor’s most iconic and terrifying enemy. “But!” fans pipe up “Aren’t they overused? Haven’t we seen too much of the Daleks?”

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