After coming off worse in an encounter with a sonic mine, the Doctor – along with her friends – found herself trapped on board an emergency medical craft with one of the universe’s deadliest creatures. But what did we learn about her during her latest adventure?

Doctor Who – Series 11 – Ep 5 – The Tsuranga Conundrum - The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER), Graham (BRADLEY WALSH), Ryan (TOSIN COLE), Yaz (MANDIP GILL), Mabil (LOIS CHIMIMBA) - (c) BBC Studios
Doctor Who – Series 11 – Ep 5 – The Tsuranga Conundrum – The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER), Graham (BRADLEY WALSH), Ryan (TOSIN COLE), Yaz (MANDIP GILL), Mabil (LOIS CHIMIMBA) – (c) BBC Studios
She’s a scavenger

We first see the Doctor and her friends on Seffilun 27, where they’ve all just spent the past four hours using her specially-programmed metal detectors to root through heaps of junk. Visits like this sound like a regular occurrence for the Doctor, who also reveals that her last scavenging mission there took her a month – although that might have been Seffilun 59…

She doesn’t like being told what to do…

…but will still back down when reasoned with. Desperate to reclaim her TARDIS before it falls victims to junk scavengers, it takes a particularly stern word from medic Astos before she calms down. To her credit, though, she does so quickly and with an apology, admitting that her run-in with the sonic mine may have affected her behaviour.

Look her up

In an exchange with Eve Cicero we find out that the Doctor is featured in the intriguingly-titled Book Of Celebrants – although as she’s keen to point out, the section on her is ‘more of a volume than a chapter’.

The Tenth Doctor once confronted the Vashta Narada in the biggest library in the universe, telling them to ‘look [him] up’. The Book of Celebrants certainly seems like a good place to start – although with how much the Doctor’s got up to in their time, there’s unlikely to be a shortage of reading material!

Doctor Who – Series 11 – Ep 5 – The Tsuranga Conundrum - Eve Cicero (SUZANNE PACKER), The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER)-(c) BBC Studios
Doctor Who – Series 11 – Ep 5 – The Tsuranga Conundrum – Eve Cicero (SUZANNE PACKER), The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER)-(c) BBC Studios
Time Lord biology

The Tsuranga Conundrum sees the Doctor complain of a painful ecto-spleen, saying that she can ‘feel it resettling’. Astos and Mabli can perhaps be forgiven for not being able to patch her up fully – it’s probably not very often they run into a Time Lord!

Although Time Lord physiology is a bit of a mystery, we can now add ecto-spleen to the small list of things we do know, including two hearts, a respiratory bypass system and, of course, the ability to regenerate every cell in their body – one that the Doctor has certainly had cause to call upon on in their time!

Travels in time and space

Not only does the name Tsuranga ring a bell – even if she can’t remember exactly what it is at first – but she’s also been to the 67th century before too. She describes it as a ‘nice century, bit tricky in the middle’, but as she confesses to the Cicero siblings later on, she’s not visited it for very long.

It also seems like she’s run into Yoss’ species, the Gifftans, before, or at least has heard enough of them to know that their male pregnancies last a week – ‘very intense’.

Doctor Who – Series 11 – Ep 5 – The Tsuranga Conundrum
Doctor Who – Series 11 – Ep 5 – The Tsuranga Conundrum – The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER)
She’s a fan of…
  • General Eve Cicero  – on hearing her name she knows who she is instantly, describing her as ‘a bit of a legend’ for her role in helping to defeat the Army of the Aeons at the Battle of the Underkind
  • Antimatter – she marvels at the workings of the ships antimatter drive, declaring that she loves it ‘conceptually and actually’
  • The number 51 – she approves of the number she asks Yaz to pick at random when luring the Pting, pointing out that its the atomic number of antimony and the number of federalist papers written by Alexander Hamilton. Talking of whom, she’s also a fan of…
  • The musical Hamilton – she’s seen all 900 casts, presumably including the version that creator Lin-Manuel Miranda has revealed an exclusive snippet of:

She’s the Doctor… of candyfloss?

In case you didn’t catch the long list of things the Doctor claims to be, well, a doctor of in The Tsuranga Conundrum, it was ‘medicine, science, engineering, candyfloss, Lego, philosophy, music, problems, people, hope’.

Thirteen certainly seems to be more specific about her qualifications than her predecessors; her fourth incarnation claims in Revenge of the Cybermen that he is a doctor of ‘many things’, with the Fifth Doctor upgrading this in Four to Doomsday to ‘everything’.

Doctor Who – Series 11 – Ep 5 – The Tsuranga Conundrum - Yaz (MANDIP GILL), The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER) - (c) BBC Studios
Doctor Who – Series 11 – Ep 5 – The Tsuranga Conundrum – Yaz (MANDIP GILL), The Doctor (JODIE WHITTAKER) – (c) BBC Studios
Doctor Who continues this Sunday 11th November on BBC One and BBC America with Demons of the Punjab.

“What’s the point of having a mate with a time machine, if you can’t nip back and see your gran when she was younger?” India, 1947. The Doctor and her friends arrive in the Punjab, as the country is being torn apart. While Yaz attempts to discover her grandmother’s hidden history, the Doctor discovers demons haunting the land. Who are they and what do they want?

Guest starring Shane Zaza, Amita Suman and Hamza Jeetooa. Written by Vinay Patel. Directed by Jamie Childs.

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