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Lá 'le Pádraig shona daoibh!

I've been making occasional notes about the relationship between Doctor Who and Ireland, but this seems a good enough day to pull it all together.

TV Who

No part of televised Who is set in Ireland. There are however a number of Irish characters in TV canon:
  • The Underwater Menace (1967): Sean, a shipwrecked Irish sailor, played in excruciating stereotype by P.G. Stephens.
  • The Wheel in Space (1967): Sean Hannity, an Irish space engineer, played by James Mellor, who also appears in The Mutants (1972) but with an English accent.
  • Terror of the Autons (1971): McDermott, the former plastics factory manager killed by a plastic chair, played with an Ulster accent by Harry Towb, who also appears in The Seeds of Death (1969) but with an English accent.
  • The Sea Devils (1972): Clark, the survivor of the Sea Devils' attack on the sea fort, played with an Ulster accent by Declan Mulholland, who also appears in The Androids of Tara (1978) with a very peculiar accent
  • The Talons of Weng-Chiang (1977): Casey, the doorman at the Palace Theatre, played in excruciating stereotype by Chris Gannon.

Possibly also Irish (or at least possibly played with Irish accents): Rohm-Dutt in The Power of Kroll (1978-79), Chip in New Earth (2006), Thomas Kincade Brannigan in Gridlock (2007) and Luke Rattigan in The Sontaran Stratagem / The Poison Sky (2008)

NB that in the Torchwood episode Out of Time (2006) the Sky Gypsy flew to Cardiff from Dublin, but none of those on board seem to have been Irish.

In "The Feast of Steven" (the famous Christmas 1965 episode of The Daleks' Master Plan), a policeman asks the Doctor if he is English, Scottish, Irish,or Welsh. He responds that he is "a citizen of the universe, and a gentleman to boot".

There is occasional confusion about whether Gallifrey might be located in Ireland.


No Doctor Who novel is set in Ireland as far as I know. I find reference to however one short story in a published collection:

"Screamager", by Jacqueline Rayner, in Short Trips: Monsters edited by Ian Farrington (2004). Features The Second Doctor, Jamie and Victoria visiting Ireland in the 14th century.

I note also the following:
  • Dalek World (1965) includes one story, "The Five-Leaved Clover", in which the Daleks are conned by an intergalactic Irish stereotype called Pat Kelly (I am not making this up).
  • Doctor Who and the Cave Monsters by Malcolm Hulke (1974) gives Major Barker a back-story involving his army service in Northern Ireland. (In the original 1970 TV story, Doctor Who and the Silurians, there is no such reference and his name is Baker.)
  • Doctor Who and the Ambassadors of Death by Terrance Dicks (1987) gives Reagan a back-story involving IRA gun-running. (Likewise absent from the 1970 original TVstory.)
  • Cat's Cradle: Witch Mark by Andrew Hunt (1992), one of the early New Adventures featuring the Seventh Doctor and Ace, is a confused pot-pourri of Irish and Welsh mythology, including a parallel world called Tír na n-Óg.
  • The Scales of Injustice (1996), a Missing Adveture featuring the Third Doctor, Liz Shaw and UNIT, Business Unusual by Gary Russell (1997), a BBC Past Doctor Adventure with the Sixth Doctor and Mel, and Instruments of Darkness (2001), another BBC Past Doctor Adventure with the Sixth Doctor, mel and Evelyn, all include the sinister Irish Twins who have been infected with Auton technology.
  • Interference by Lawrence Miles (two parts, 1999), a big huge Eighth Doctor Adventure, tries to explain why the Doctor can interfere on Varos but not Northern Ireland.
  • Camera Obscura by Lloyd Rose (2003), an Eighth Doctor Adventure with companions Fitz and Angie, features a time-sensitive Irish woman, Elizabeth Kelly.
  • The comic story "Death to the Doctor!" by Jonathan Morris, published in DWM #390 (2008) and The Widow's Curse (2009), features an Irish enemy of the First Doctor called Questor.
  • "The Science of Magic" by Michael Rees in Short Trips: Indefinable Magic edited by Neil Corry (2009) has the Third Doctor and Liz Shaw fleeing to Ireland from a devastated Britan.


There are two Big Finish audios set entirely in Ireland.

The Settling by Simon Guerrier (2006) is a pure historical story, bringing the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Hex to a well-imagined 1649 where Oliver Cromwell is besieging first Drogheda and then Waterford.

The Book of Kells by Barnaby Edwards (2010) brings the Eighth Doctor and new-ish companion Tamsin to the monastery of Kells in 1006. So, which character from Old Who do you think might show up in an eleventh-century monastery? Though I admit I did not see it coming.

I note also the following:
  • The Rapture by Joe Lidster (2002, Seven/Ace): Catriona, an Irish clubber on Ibiza, played by Anne Bird.
  • The Sandman by Joe Lidster (2002, Six/Evelyn) and Bone of Contention (2004, Bernice Summerfield): Mordecan, a possibly Irish intergalactic wanderer player by Robin Bowerman.
  • Omega by Nev Fountain (2003) features an apparently Irish Time Lord, Professor Ertikus, played by Patrick Duggan.
  • Creatures of Beauty by Nicholas Briggs (2003, Five/Nyssa): Seedleson, a guard played by Michael Smiley.
  • Pest Control by Peter Anghelides (2008, Ten/Donna) features Miriam, an Irish centaur (!).

Further additions to this list will be gratefully noted.


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 17th, 2011 08:11 am (UTC)
I always suspect that the Gallifrey in Ireland confusion shown in episodes like Human Nature may stem from the Irish form of the name Galway, Gaillimh. Between the English and Irish forms of the word you could see a connection to Gallifrey.
Mar. 17th, 2011 08:50 am (UTC)
The Wheel in Space (1967): Sean Hannity, an Irish space engineer

That's up there with Boris Johnson of the "Democratic Movement", in Norman Spinrad's Agent of Chaos from the same year.
Mar. 24th, 2017 08:45 am (UTC)
It's Sean Flannigan, isn't it.
James Mellor was English.
Harry Towb was a Belfast boy.
Chris Gannon, Casey in Talons was from MUllingar and PG Stephens, Sean in the Underwater Menace was from Ballina.
Mar. 17th, 2011 01:26 pm (UTC)
Very interesting, thanks!

Rohm-Dutt in The Power of Kroll (1978-79), Chip in New Earth (2006), Thomas Kincade Brannigan in Gridlock (2007) and Luke Rattigan in The Sontaran Stratagem / The Poison Sky (2008)

I don't think Rohm-Dutt's accent is meant to be Irish, is it? At least, I hope not! And Luke Rattigan is (IIRC) explicitly stated to be American.
Mar. 18th, 2011 07:09 am (UTC)
On Rohm-Dutt, I'm not alone in detecting at least a partial attempt at Irishness.

On Rattigan, I'm going by the evidence of my own ears rather than the scripts. The actor is actually from Yorkshire so it's a fake accent either way.
Mar. 24th, 2017 09:50 am (UTC)
Rohm Dutt is supposed to be not explicitly Irish, but the character is IIRC a satire on Irish republicans. The Sons of Earth = Sons of Erin, so the accent is probably a reference, although it is also a sort of "what a human colony accent would sound like?" a sort of Newfie thing, the idea of a distant colony far from Earth (don't they specify the humans we see have never been to Earth, Earth is a mythical concept, basically "the Old Country").
Mar. 17th, 2011 04:59 pm (UTC)
Typo in the word "Drogheda".
Mar. 18th, 2011 07:10 am (UTC)
Mar. 18th, 2011 12:46 am (UTC)
I didn't even know of the existence of those Eight Doctor Adventure books until this evening when I spent HOURS reading the Tropes website. I want them, now! There's an intimation that they might be available in PDFs somewhere on the Internets.
Mar. 18th, 2011 08:14 am (UTC)
Wasn't Cyril Cusack in consideration to play the Doctor at one point?
Mar. 18th, 2011 08:39 am (UTC)
Sylvester McCoy was brought up in Dublin; Tom Baker is basically Liverpool Irish. (One wonders what his accent would have been like before he went on stage!)
Mar. 18th, 2011 03:17 pm (UTC)
Here on YouTube, from about 7 minutes in, on Tom Baker's This is Your Life you can hear his cousin and two childhood friends speaking in what would, presumably, have been pretty much Tom's original accent. Unfortunately, the quality isn't great.

Mar. 18th, 2011 03:17 pm (UTC)
Nov. 23rd, 2013 07:54 am (UTC)
Does Big Finish count? Molly O'Sullivan, World War I VAD, brings a wonderful brogue and personality to the latest Eighth Doctor story, "Dark Eyes."
Nov. 23rd, 2013 08:00 am (UTC)
Re: 1
She certainly would count if I was rewriting the post now!
Nov. 5th, 2014 06:51 pm (UTC)
When or where is Doctor Who shown in Ireland?
When or where is Doctor Who shown in Ireland? I'm in Dublin and BBC isn't on the Freeview set here.
Nov. 5th, 2014 07:42 pm (UTC)
Re: When or where is Doctor Who shown in Ireland?
Can't help, I'm afraid; I think most people can get BBC so there's no specifically Irish showing.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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