Challenge yourself to the 6th Doctor Who Varsity Quiz 2020!

Image Credit: James Ashworth

Image Description: The Varsity Quiz – in the Matrix!

By James Ashworth, Robin Bunce and Jamie Hailstone

After the extravagant, celebrity-hosted quiz of 2019, the following year was always going to be a bit of a comedown. However, no one could quite have anticipated just how much of a contrast it would have been!
At first, everything was going as normal, with rooms, questions and transport all being arranged. Then, on 16 March, Oxford University started warning of the possibility of Covid-19 calling off Trinity term, something which was later confirmed.
As a result, and inspired by the Quiz of Rassilon, the contestants were thrown into the Matrix – otherwise known as Zoom – for the sixth incarnation of the quiz.
With breakout rooms arranged, and 12 CUDWS players taking on ODWS’s seven, the stage was set for a virtual tussle between the WhoSoc titans…

Doctors 1-4

  1. According to the blackboard in Coal Hill School, what day of the week is it when Ian and Barbara discuss Susan’s peculiarities in An Unearthly Child
  2. Which story aired during the Hartnell years was the first to be shot at BBC Television Centre? 
  3. Which pioneer of electronic music wrote the incidental music to the first Dalek Story? 
  4. Which regiment is Colonel part of when he appears in The Web of Fear
  5. Which three stories from the classic era were initially titled ‘Return of the Cybermen’? 
  6. Which airport is the setting for The Faceless Ones
  7. Which classic story mentions The Great Space Plague? 
  8. Which theatre was used as the location for the Palace Theatre in The Talons of Weng-Chiang
  9. The “Venusian lullaby” sung to Aggedor in The Curse of Peladon is sung to the tune of which popular Christmas carol? 
  10. Who designed Tom Baker’s Season 18 burgundy costume? 

Coronavirus Content

  1. What is the first word of the newly-regenerated 9th Doctor in Doctor Who and the Time War
  2. How long does it take the newly-regenerated 13th Doctor to have 3007 thoughts, according to Things She Thought While Falling?
  3. What’s special about Bill Nighy’s tie in Vincent and the Doctor
  4. Who is the Doctor self-isolating from in her emergency transmission? 
  5. Name 2 of the 3 cities that were mentioned to have been fired into the skull of the Nightmare Child? 
  6. Which of these is not a human refreshment Strax suggests to watch The Day of the Doctor with: Bread Yeast, Raw onion, HP Sauce, or an insect in glass? 
  7. How many planets are there in the Plastic Conjunction?
  8. How many friends does Amy have, according to the Raggedy Doctor?
  9. Who does the Nestene Consciousness steal the likeness of in Westminster? 
  10. What’s special about the surface of the planet Fintleborxtug?

Doctors 5-War

  1. At which battle did the Doctor age to 5 million, then back to a baby? 
  2. What mineral was the Doctor searching for on Varos? 
  3. What are the War Doctor’s first words in The Night of the Doctor
  4. What is the War Doctor concerned about in his final words? 
  5. Sharing its name with the surname of the actor behind Lady Peinforte, which San Francisco hospital did the Seventh Doctor regenerate into the Eighth? 
  6. An antiquated form of address used in a Gallifreyan court of law, how does the Valeyard address the inquisitor from Mindwarp onwards? 
  7. Terminus was the last story to feature a 4 person regular TARDIS crew in the TARDIS until which story? 
  8. In German, Ghost Light translates as The House of how many Horrors? 
  9. In terms of its rank in weekly ratings, what was the best performing story of John Nathan-Turner’s era? 
  10. Name 2 of the 4 contemporary figures whose speeches are sampled at the beginning of Remembrance of the Daleks

The Wilderness Years

  1. In 1989, a stage play entitled Doctor Who – The Ultimate Adventure, toured theatres around the country, with Jon Pertwee and Colin Baker sharing the title role. During the tour, Pertwee fell ill and the part of the Doctor was played for two performances by his understudy, but who was he? 
  2. In 1991, Virgin launched the New Adventures series, but can you name the first novel in the range, and its author? 
  3. On 8th June 1991, an actor/local celebrity arrived at Holmesdale First School in Reigate, Surrey to open a summer fete. He arrived in a Proton car, which infamously claimed he was ‘the new Doctor Who’. To this day, he maintains he filmed a pilot for a new television series, but no pictures, film or a script exists. Can you name the gentleman in question? 
  4. In 1992, Tom Baker recorded a series of special links for a reconstructed version of Shada, which was later released on VHS. But can you name the location where the links were filmed? 
  5. In 1993, BBV released a feature length film called The Airzone Solution, which starred no less than four actors who have played the Doctor – Jon Pertwee, Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy. It also features one of the earliest screen appearances by an actor, who would later go on to make his own debut in Doctor Who during Series 11. Can you name the actor? 
  6. In June 1993, BBC Enterprises announced it was working on a 90-minute special to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Doctor WhoThe Dark Dimension. The plug was pulled a few weeks later, but who was the director briefly assigned to film The Dark Dimension
  7. Doctor Who fans did get a documentary on their favourite programme – 30 Years in the Tardis, in which the-then controller of BBC1, Alan Yentob gave a suitably enigmatic reply about whether it would ever return, quoting a line from a popular BBC1 political drama at the time. What was that drama? 
  8. In the early 1990s, there were several production companies all vying to produce a Doctor Who movie. One of them in particular was a consortium called Daltenreys, who had lined up Alan Rickman for the title role and Leonard Nimoy to possibly direct the film. The consortium included two rock star investors. Can you name either of them? 
  9. In 1997, Reeltime Pictures released a straight-to-video drama called War Time, which saw John Levene return to the role of UNIT’s Sergeant Benton. The drama also features several other Doctor Who alumni, including Nicholas Briggs and Nicholas Courtney. Can you name the actor who played Father, and his connection to Doctor Who
  10. In 1999, Big Finish Productions acquired the right to make official Doctor Who audio adventures. The first Big Finish Doctor Who story was The Sirens of Time, which was written by Nicholas Briggs and starred Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy. Can you name the second Big Finish Doctor Who story and who wrote it? 

Who on Earth

  1. Nikola Tesla was Sebian, and  Goran Višnjić is part-Croatian, but which other Balkan state played host to New York in Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror?
  2. In which country was a Toclaflane struck by lightning and brought down, inspiring Martha Jones, Thomas Milligan and Alison Docherty to recreate those conditions?
  3. Which location is common to Big Finish Unbound audio Sympathy for the Devil, the Short Story Exclave, and Praxeus?
  4. Mortimer, White City and Cranleigh Halt are all examples of what in Doctor Who?
  5. The former Wood Lane station, opposite BBC Television Centre, was one of the first pieces of extensive location filming undertaken by Doctor Who. But which story did it appear in? 
  6. Which story, set in Medieval England, was filmed at Peckforton Castle?
  7. City of Death, the first overseas filming location for Doctor Who, was the first of many episodes to feature the Eiffel Tower. Name 3 others it has since appeared in
  8. Name 4 stories that have been filmed in Spain
  9. Skenfrith and Llandaff are the real world locations used in the filming of which fictional village?
  10. Wookey Hole Caves is known for being used to create the mines of Voga in Revenge of the Cybermen, but which aliens did the Tenth Doctor meet there?

Doctors 9-12

  1. Which television story features the first mention of ‘Bad Wolf’? 
  2. In which episode does the Doctor first question the recurrence of ‘Bad Wolf’ in his recent travels? 
  3. What is the name of the viral species which the Tenth Doctor encounters on Mars? 
  4. Which disease which the Doctor and Rose encounter in New Earth turns victims’ bodies to stone? 
  5. At the end of The Age of Steel Mickey and Jake drive off into the sunset past a sign welcoming them to which city? 
  6. What is the medical  name for the One Day Plague, which the Doctor and his companions encounter on Apalapucia? 
  7. Apart from The Eleventh Hour, which Eleventh Doctor story is the first in which our hero does NOT wear a Paul Smith shirt? 
  8. Which episode of the Sarah Jane adventures features the Eleventh Doctor? 
  9. Excluding minisodes, how many NuWho stories feature the Paternoster Gang? 
  10. Who hosted the 4 August 2013 TV special which revealed the identity of the new Doctor? 

The Thirteenth Doctor

  1. In Pete McTighe’s short story, Press Play, name either of the titles from the Doctor’s adventures which aren’t an official BBC release (yet)? 
  2. How many different incarnations of the Doctor appear on screen in The Timeless Children
  3. Despite her character’s untimely death in The Woman Who Fell to Earth, how many times has Sharon D. Clarke returned to the series since?
  4. How many years apart are is the setting of The Haunting of Villa Diodati, where Ada Lovelace is mentioned, and the time where The Doctor first meets her? 
  5. Which fan-favourite guest star of Series 12 previously appeared as Gambrill in Blake’s 7
  6. Fugitive of the Judoon marks the return of a fan favourite actor to the series. Of course, it’s Michael Begley, playing All-Ears Alan! But in which Eleventh Doctor adventure had he previously appeared? 
  7. Name four of the TV stories containing characters referenced by Zellin in Can You Hear Me?
  8. What is the name of Gabriela and Jamila’s vlog in Praxeus
  9. King James knows he is quoting from Ezekiel 25:17, but which director does Graham say he is quoting at the end of The Witchfinders
  10. Though she claims it is Corton Fever, what condition is General Cicero actually suffering from in The Tsuranga Conundrum?


  1. Strictly speaking, the first Doctor Who spin off was K9 and Company, but which two people composed the programme’s infamous theme song? 
  2. The first series of Torchwood featured one episode written by the veteran television writer PJ Hammond. Which 1970s/80s science fiction series did Hammond create? 
  3. Which Conservative MP, and Cabinet member, described the debut of Torchwood in 2006 as the moment when Wales moved from “overlooked Celtic cousin to underwired erotic coquette”? 
  4. Future Doctor Peter Capaldi played civil servant John Frobisher in Torchwood: Children of the Earth. What was his job title and which Whitehall department did he work in? 
  5. Can you name the three characters Bradley Walsh played in the Sarah Jane story The Day of the Clown
  6. In the very first episode of Class, Tanya runs into a shop and meets a strange old woman, called Mrs Linderhof. Can you name the lady who played Mrs Linderhof, and her connection to Doctor Who? 
  7. Sarah Jane Smith lived at 13 Bannerman Road in The Sarah Jane Adventures. Can you name the actual street in Penarth where the real house, which was used for filming, is? 
  8. Showrunner Russell T. Davies did briefly consider another Doctor Who spin off, which would have featured Rose Tyler battling aliens in an alternate dimension. What was going to be the title of this show? 
  9. Big Finish recently released the Torchwood audio adventure Tropical Beach Sounds and Other Relaxing Seascapes #4. Which Monty Python star guest stars? 
  10. In April, Big Finish announced that its audio version of Class would return with volumes Three and Four, but Katherine Kelly would not be returning as Miss Quill. Which Who alumnus will be replacing her? 

Books and Comics

  1. One of the characters in the Human Nature novel is named after a notable Who writer. But who is it? 
  2. When the Eleventh Doctor is possessed by the Entity on behalf of ServeYouInc, what title does he adopt? 
  3. Set amongst the Eighth Doctor Adventures, and before Big Finish, what are the collection of BBC audio stories, read by Paul McGann, called collectively? 
  4. Sharing its name with a song by Noel Coward, what is the 100th Doctor Who novel by BBC Books called? 
  5. According to So Vile A Sin, The Doctor is qualified in everything except HTML markup and which branch of medical science? 
  6. In the comic Train-Flight, which London landmark are the Seventh Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith trying to meet at? 
  7. Lungbarrow is renowned for being the book to embed genetic looms, the VNA method of producing Time Lords, into Doctor Who lore. But which New Adventure were they first introduced in? 
  8. The fourth of the New Series Adventures, seeing The Doctor, Rose and Captain Jack in Siberia, shares its name with the font on 9th and 10th Doctor merchandise. But what is its name? 
  9. How many companions are there in the Missing Adventure novel Cold Fusion?
  10. For a time, the Eleventh Doctor takes on a robotic dinosaur called Kevin as a companion, alongside Amy and Rory. But what kind of dinosaur is Kevin modelled after? 

Big Finish

  1. Matthew Waterhouse played Adric on TV, but who played the character in the Big Finish story The Boy That Time Forgot
  2. One of Big Finish’s most prolific writers is John Dorney, who has also acted in several productions. Can you name his first acting credit for Big Finish? 
  3. Before he was cast as the Doctor, David Tennant made several appearances on Big Finish audio plays. What was his first credited appearance? 
  4. Six actors have played the Doctor in the Unbound Range, including David Warner and Sir Derek Jacobi. Can you name the other four? 
  5. In March 2020, Big Finish announced it has recorded a version of Return of the Cybermen, an unmade story originally submitted for Tom Baker’s first season. Who has been cast in the iconic role of Sarah Jane Smith? 
  6. The 2008 Eighth Doctor story Max Warp features a parody of the television programme Top Gear. Can you name the three actors who play the petrol head presenters? 
  7. Before becoming a household name, Benedict Cumberbatch appeared in a Seventh Doctor Big Finish audio release – 45. Can you name the character he played? 
  8. Professor Litefoot and theatre impresario Henry Gordon Jago, who first appeared in The Talons of Weng-Chiang, had their own spin off series for Big Finish. Can you name their first joint appearance, which was in the Companion Chronicles? 
  9. Tom Baker made his debut as the Fourth Doctor for Big Finish back in 2012. What was the name of the very first Fourth Doctor Adventure? 
  10. As well as hosting the regular Big Finish podcast, executive producer Nicholas Briggs and sound designer Benji Clifford also have a podcast dedicated to cult television programmes. What is the name of the game which starts every episode of The Benji and Nick Show

Word Grids

Grid 1

Grid 2

Doctors 1-4 Answers

  1. Tuesday 
  2. The Aztecs 
  3. Tristram Carey 
  4. The Scots Guards 
  5. The Moonbase, The Invasion, Revenge of the Cybermen 
  6. Gatwick 
  7. Carnival of Monsters 
  8. The Royal Theatre, Northampton 
  9. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen 
  10. Jane Hudson 

Coronavirus Content Answers

  1. Blimey!
  2. 3 seconds
  3. All the polka dots were hand sewn
  4. An army of Sontarans
  5. London, Mumbai, and/or Manhattan
  6. A Raw Onion
  7. 17
  8. 27 (and Rory)
  9. Boris Johnson
  10. It’s bouncy, like a trampoline

Doctors 5-War Answers

  1. The Battle of Rodan’s Wedding
  2. Zeiton-7
  3. Doctor no more
  4. His ears being less conspicuous
  5. Walker General Hospital
  6. Sagacity
  7. The Ghost Monument
  8. 1000 
  9. Time-Flight (Episode 1) – 26th
  10. Charles de Gaulle, JFK, Martin Luther King, Duke of Edinburgh

The Wilderness Years Answers

  1. David Banks
  2. Timewyrm Genesys by John Peel 
  3. David Burton 
  4. The Doctor Who: Behind the Sofa exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image in London. 
  5. Alan Cumming 
  6. Graeme Harper 
  7. House of Cards 
  8. Bryan Ferry and John Illsley, the bass player from Dire Straits. 
  9. Michael Wisher, who played Davros in Genesis of the Daleks.
  10. Phantasmagoria by Mark Gatiss 

Who on Earth Answers

  1. Bulgaria
  2. South Africa
  3. Hong Kong
  4. Train stations
  5. The Dalek Invasion of Earth
  6. The Time Warrior
  7. The TV Movie, The Christmas Invasion, Army of Ghosts, The Power of Three, The Bells of St John, Spyfall Part 2
  8. Planet of Fire, The Two Doctors, Asylum of the Daleks, A Town Called Mercy, Kill the Moon, The Zygon Invasion, Demons of the Punjab
  9. Leadworth
  10. The Ood Council

Doctors 9-12 Answers

  1. The End of the World 
  2. Boom Town 
  3. The Flood 
  4. Petrifold Regression 
  5. Newport 
  6. Chen-7
  7. A Christmas Carol 
  8. Death of the Doctor 
  9. 5
  10. Zoe Ball 

The Thirteenth Doctor Answers

  1. Crisis on Poosh and/or Attack of The Postmen (Is this just Kerblam! ?)
  2. 29 (13th Doctor, Foundling, Regenerated Founding, 3 of 4 Timeless Children, Division-joining incarnation, Ruth, 12-1 (13), Old Brendan, 7 of the Morbius Doctors)
  3. 3
  4. 18 years (1816-1834)
  5. Col Farrell/Benni
  6. The Curse of the Black Spot
  7. The Celestial Toymaker, Enlightenment, The Armageddon Factor, Mawdryn Undead, Terminus, The Ribos Operation, The Stones of Blood
  8. Two Girls Roaming
  9. Quentin Tarantino
  10. Pilot’s Heart

Spinoffs Answers

  1. Ian Levine and Fiachra Trench
  2. Sapphire and Steel 
  3. Michael Gove 
  4. Permanent Secretary in the Home Office.
  5. A sinister American-sounding clown called Odd Bob, a mysterious European-sounding ringmaster called Elijah Spellman, and the infamous Pied Piper of Hamlin.  
  6. Tom Baker-era costume designer June Hudson. 
  7. Clinton Road
  8. Rose Tyler: Earth Defence 
  9. Sir Michael Palin
  10. Dervla Kirwan (Miss Mercy Hartigan in The Next Doctor)

Books and Comics Answers

  1. Steven Moffat
  2. Chief Executive
  3. Earth and Beyond
  4. Mad Dogs and Englishmen
  5. Dentistry
  6. The Royal Albert Hall
  7. Cat’s Cradle: Time’s Crucible
  8. The Deviant Strain
  9. 5 (Chris, Roz, Adric, Nyssa, Tegan)
  10. T-Rex

Big Finish Answers

  1. Andrew Sachs (of Fawlty Towers fame)
  2. Bakoan in the Eighth Doctor story Faith Stealer 
  3. Feldwebel Kurtz in the Seventh Doctor story Colditz 
  4. Geoffrey Bayldon, Arabella Weir, Michael Jayston and David Collings. 
  5. Sadie Miller (Elisabeth Sladen’s Daughter)
  6. Graeme Garden (The Goodies), James Fleet and Duncan James (Blue)
  7. He played the archeologist Howard Carter, who discovered Tutankhamun. 
  8. The Mahogany Murders
  9. Destination Nerva 
  10. Loch Ness!

Wrapping up

It turned out, following six hours of quizzing, that perhaps adapting the quiz directly to the online world may not have been the best way of doing it. With connection difficulties, and Zoom occasionally ejecting a team at random, tempers were somewhat frayed by the time the last word wall was completed. Once the scores were tallied, Oxford emerged as victors for an unprecedented fourth year in a row, defeating Cambridge 49-43. With the 2021 quiz rapidly approaching, both sides still have plenty to play for!

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