Student fans of the BBC’s long running science fiction drama Doctor Who will be delighted to know – by official confirmation – that the show’s Time Lord protagonist is numbered among Glasgow University’s distinguished alumni.
In the show’s Series 8 finale, Death in Heaven, the Doctor’s companion Clara Oswald confirmed that the Doctor does indeed possess a Doctorate from the university, despite accidentally graduating in the wrong century.
This revelation helps confirm a puzzling inconsistency regarding the Doctor’s qualifications. In his Second incarnation, he claimed to have studied medicine at Glasgow in 1888 under Joseph Lister – over fifteen years after Lister had been Professor of Surgery at the university.
These speculations sparked a studious interest in those specialising in the history of the university. Glasgow University archivists revealed that the Doctor’s matriculation information had been unearthed, showing that student ‘D. Octor’, home address ‘Gallifrey, Kasterbourous’ had attended in sessions 1888, 1880 and 1866, studying those sciences essential for a medical degree.
However given his short attention span, frequently expressed dislike for institutions, and extracurricular responsibilities as saviour of the universe and defender of Earth, it seems unlikely that the Time Lord could stick to a conventional degree program for long. These qualities do however suggest that the Doctor would indeed be QM.
The Doctor has also claimed to be a doctor of cheese-making and, more vaguely, ‘everything’. Given his natural aptitude for history and philosophy, among other varied subjects, it is more than possible that the time traveller has cherry-picked the best of what Glasgow has to offer over multiple centuries – perhaps even stretching into the university’s future. Students set to graduate may be advised to be on your guard, as events attended by the Doctor have a tendency not to go to plan.
The current planetary status and location of the Time Lord’s home world is under investigation. Pending the restoration of Gallifrey, it is hoped that this academic connection with Glasgow will be acknowledged in future Interplanetary Exchange Programmes with the various chapters of the Time Lord Academy.
[Helen Murray – @HelenVMurray]