The sci­ence and tech of Doc­tor Who

From the Daleks to Dyson spheres, discover the sci­ence and tech be­hind the Time Lord

How It Works - - CONTENTS - Words by Scott Dut­field

The Doc­tor has al­ways stretched the bound­aries of space and time, lit­er­ally. Since it first hit the TV screens in 1963, Doc­tor Who has con­tin­ued to stretch our imag­i­na­tions, jour­ney­ing to alien worlds in far-off gal­ax­ies and delv­ing into the com­plex­i­ties of time travel. Sci­ence and sci­ence fic­tion are care­fully in­ter­twined to cre­ate an en­ter­tain­ing com­bi­na­tion of fan­tasy and re­al­ity, sup­ported by some­what ac­cu­rate depictions of var­i­ous sci­en­tific prin­ci­ples. From ven­tur­ing through worm­holes to bat­tling the Cy­ber­men, Doc­tor Who is filled with hid­den sci­ence that seems com­pletely im­pos­si­ble. As a Time Lord, the Doc­tor is at­tuned to the fine stitches in the fab­ric of space-time and how best to nav­i­gate through them. The show tack­les both the lim­i­ta­tions and end­less pos­si­bil­i­ties of space and time travel ac­cord­ing to Ein­stein’s the­o­ries of special and gen­eral rel­a­tiv­ity. Even creat­ing vi­o­lent vil­lains based on quan­tum me­chan­ics (the Weep­ing An­gels) and ad­vanced bion­ics (the Cy­ber­men) or har­vest­ing en­ergy from the stars (like the Tardis) are just some of the ways Doc­tor Who is keep­ing sci­ence at the fore­front of sci­ence fic­tion.

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