Top Six Possible Names for Doctor Who

December 25, 2008 by  
Filed under Features

OntheBox’s Alejandro Ahmadi Gestoso asks, who is Doctor Who?

Archaeology and a night in with the BBC have one thing in common: both require painstaking years of searching through cobwebbed, mud-spattered, sh*t-laden ruins of a once grand era to find something worth examining.

Fortunately, for now at least, that search has come to an end. But what show could I be talking about?

Let’s see: it features a time-travelling ship cloaked as a 1950s police box; a central character with more incarnations than a Greek pantheon and a power tool that puts Black & Decker to shame; enough temporal anomalies to give Stephen Hawking a headache, and, to top it all off, is the only doctor you’re likely to see on a Saturday night.

You’ve guessed it.

After various failed attempts to revive the Doctor Who franchise, it was finally resuscitated and relaunched in 2005, produced in-house by BBC Wales in Cardiff. Despite having gone through more doctors than a hypochondriac, the series has gone from strength to strength and the latest incarnation is no different, implementing a fine balance between innovative storylines that manage to surprise whilst staying faithful to the over-arcing mythology established over its 40-odd year run.

Shakespeare once asked: “What’s in a name?? and, certainly, of all the mysteries yet to be resolved in the series, the Doctor’s name has to be one. So, in light of the inevitable Doctor Who Christmas special, we suggest the top 6 possible names our resident Time Lord could don.


Of the Argonauts variety, and not the axe-wielding water-fearing psychotic kind, of course. The name has a certain epic quality to it: the hero who stands up to colossal evil with the likes of Hercules while the Johns, James, Marks, and Bobs of the man-world cower, huddling borderline homo-erotically in some recycle bin. The name conjures images of sailing along the Aegean sea, navigating treacherous straits; fending off malevolent gods, gorgons, and hydras, and reclaiming lost kingdoms and loves.

In short: the name ejaculates manliness; so, if you don’t want your face covered in it, stand back.


Like Sigourney Weaver and Ripley, Sarah Michelle Geller and Buffy, Keanu and Neo have become synonymous. Now, we all know Keanu wouldn’t win any awards for best personality (on or off screen) – even his lines in The Matrix, where he basically plays a post-apocalyptic Jesus, are delivered in the usual Keanu deadpan style and consist of nothing more than “Hm. Upgrades.?; “whoa, déjà vu,? and, everyone’s favourite, “Trinity.? Yet, both these names have become emblematic of a new type of 21st century hero: blending the archaic traditions of sword-swinging, war-mongering, kung-fu-hustling, swoop-in-and-save-the-day-at-the-last-second hero with a modern, technological element. This lends itself perfectly to a zany doctor who consistently saves the universe whilst wearing a hideous trench coat the colour of brown paper bags and sneakers.

Yes, that tisk-tisk you are hearing is from Gok Wan.


The Australian actor was recently bestowed the title of Sexiest Man Alive by People Magazine and played the awesome Wolverine to perfection in the X-Men movies. Initially, I was going to suggest Wolverine as a possible name; however, Doctor Who is nowhere near the level of Wolverine in the grand order of ultimate badasses, so I went with Hugh Jackman who, at the very least, would give him something to aspire to.

3. RUSSELL CROWE (aka Maximus Decimus Meridius – probably Latin for I am the ultimate warrior and you do not want to f*ck with me.)

Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, basically Braveheart in ancient Rome, presented a sort of anti-hero: a man whose excellence in battle was surpassed only by a desire to join his murdered wife and child in the Elysian Fields (Roman afterlife). The Doctor follows a similar dynamic, though not as overtly: he is a loner; a drifter. The last of the Time Lords – the universe’s equivalent of an only child. With his home planet destroyed, he wanders around trying to defend humanity from the Cybermen, Daleks, and every other megalomaniacal alien race in existence; yet, he never really belongs anywhere.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that the name exudes the tragedy of a hero who belongs nowhere and wishes to just fade away, which is ironic, since Russell Crowe won’t.


Hey. It worked for Gwyneth and Chris’s first child, why not the Doctor?

And the best part? There are more than enough fruits to cover the remaining regenerations of the Doctor, and, if the rumours are true that the BBC are planning to increase the number of times the Doctor can regenerate – 13 was the original figure – for the continuation of the franchise, they could always move on to vegetables.


Yes, it seems Prince, the man who sparked a whole new kind of conversation amongst men after removing the lower part of his ribcage, has topped yet another chart. Rather than give the Doctor an actual name, perhaps what is required is some sort of symbol, say a clock with a thunderbolt on it.

Or Billie Piper naked.

Then maybe the Doctor Formerly Known As could turn the TARDIS into a strip club/bordello, travel to 1999 (where the party’s at, if Prince is to be believed) and the series could be rebranded as “Doctor Who Let the Dogs Out?.

Just a thought.

By Alejandro Ahmadi Gestoso