50+ Brilliant Doctor Who Quotes To Live By
With more than 900 years of experience to draw from, it’s only natural everyone's favourite Time Lord would have a few words of wisdom to impart. Here are the most insightful Doctor Who quotes of all time.
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These Doctor Who quotes will inspire you to live your best life
For nearly six decades, Doctor Who has been thrilling audiences around the world. Despite more than a dozen changes in the lead role over the course of that time, the character of the Doctor has remained essentially the same: a hero driven to fight for the oppressed, and to right the wrongs he (and she!) encounters while travelling through space and time in the remarkable TARDIS. From the indomitable First Doctor played by William Hartnell to the whimsical current incarnation played by David Tennant (again!), the Doctor’s boundless optimism, courage and spirit of adventure shine through in these brilliant Doctor Who quotes.
It’s in the details
“The least important things, sometimes, my dear boy, lead to the greatest discoveries.” – The First Doctor, The Space Museum (1965)
Powers of deduction
“Logic, my dear Zoe, merely enables one to be wrong with authority.” – The Second Doctor, The Wheel in Space (1968)
It’s about the journey
“A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it is by no means the most interesting.” – The Third Doctor, The Time Warrior (1973)
An ever-present threat
“The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts, they alter the facts to fit their views.” – The Fourth Doctor, The Face of Evil (1977)
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“There’s always something to look at if you open your eyes.” – The Fifth Doctor, Kinda (1982)
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“Small though it is, the human brain can be quite effective when working at full efficiency.” – The Sixth Doctor, The Two Doctors (1985)
Cause and effect
“Every great decision creates ripples, like a huge boulder dropped in a lake. The ripples merge, rebound off the banks in unforeseeable ways. The heavier the decision, the larger the waves, the more uncertain the consequences.” – The Seventh Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks (1988)
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“I love humans. Always seeing patterns in things that aren’t there.” – The Eighth Doctor, Doctor Who (1996)
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“Never give up. Never give in.” – The War Doctor, The Day of the Doctor (2013)
“Time travel is like visiting Paris. You can’t just read the guidebook, you’ve got to throw yourself in. Eat the food, use the wrong verbs, get charged double and end up kissing complete strangers.” – The Ninth Doctor, The Long Game (2005)
Making it count
“Some people live more in 20 years than others do in 80. It’s not the time that matters. It’s the person.” – The Tenth Doctor, The Lazarus Experiment (2007)
You take the good, you take the bad…
“The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. Hey. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant.” – The Eleventh Doctor, Vincent and the Doctor (2010)
“We’re all capable of the most incredible change. We can evolve while still staying true to who we are. We can honour who we’ve been and choose who we want to be next. Now’s your chance! How about it?” – The Thirteenth Doctor, The Woman Who Fell To Earth (2018)
Travel broadens the mind
“As we learn about each other, so we learn about ourselves.” – The First Doctor, The Edge of Destruction (1964)
“There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. They must be fought.” – The Second Doctor, The Moonbase (1967)
Never say never
“People who talk about infallibility are usually on very shaky ground.” – The Third Doctor, The Mind of Evil (1971)
Know your strengths
“Of course we should interfere. Always do what you’re best at, that’s what I say.” – The Fourth Doctor, Nightmare of Eden (1979)
Search for the truth
“You wanted advice you said. I never give it, never. But I might just say this to you. Always search for truth. My truth is in the stars and yours is here.” – The First Doctor, The Daleks (1964)
Know thine enemy
“What is the one thing evil can not face—not ever? Itself.” – The Fifth Doctor, Kinda (1982)
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“You can always judge a man by the quality of his enemies.” – The Seventh Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks (1988)
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“My dear Steven, history sometimes gives us a terrible shock, and that is because we don’t quite fully understand. Why should we? After all, we’re too small to realize its final pattern. Therefore don’t try and judge it from where you stand.” – The First Doctor, The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve (1966)
“I’d like to see a butterfly fit into a chrysalis case after it spreads its wings. Life depends on change, and renewal.” – The Second Doctor, The Power of the Daleks (1966)
“You’re right, Jo. There is magic in the world after all.” – The Third Doctor, The Daemons (1971)
The right questions
“Answers are easy. It’s asking the right questions which is hard.” – The Fourth Doctor, The Face of Evil (1977)
The little things
“When did you last have the pleasure of smelling a flower, watching a sunset, eating a well-prepared meal? For some people, small, beautiful events are what life is all about.” – The Fifth Doctor, Earthshock (1982)
“Planets come and go. Stars perish. Matter disperses, coalesces, forms into other patterns, other worlds. Nothing can be eternal.” – The Sixth Doctor, The Trial of a Time Lord (1986)
“Ah, well… Every dogma has its day.” – The Seventh Doctor, Time and the Rani
“This is my life, Jackie. It’s not fun, it’s not smart, it’s just standing up and making a decision because nobody else will.” – The Ninth Doctor, World War Three (2005)
Immortality as a curse
“I’m old enough to know that a longer life isn’t always a better one. In the end, you just get tired; tired of the struggle, tired of losing everyone that matters to you, tired of watching everything you love turn to dust. If you live long enough, Lazarus, the only certainty left is that you’ll end up alone.” – The Tenth Doctor, The Lazarus Experiment (2007)
“Never ignore coincidence. Unless, of course, you’re busy. In which case, always ignore coincidence.” – The Eleventh Doctor, The Pandorica Opens (2010)
“I don’t believe that man was made to be controlled by machines. Machines can make laws, but they can not preserve justice. Only human beings can do that.” – The First Doctor, The Keys of Marinus (1964)
“Our lives are different to anybody else’s. That’s the exciting thing. There’s nobody in the universe can do what we’re doing.” – The Second Doctor, The Tomb of the Cybermen (1967)
“I had to face my fear… That was more important than just going on living.” – The Third Doctor, Planet of the Spiders (1974)
The nature of mystery
“To the rational mind, nothing is inexplicable; only unexplained.” – The Fourth Doctor, The Robots of Death (1977)
Proscratination, Time Lord Style
“You know how it is; you put things off for a day and next thing you know, it’s a hundred years later.” – The Fifth Doctor, Arc of Infinity (1983)
“Anybody remotely interesting is mad in some way or another.” – The Seventh Doctor, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (1988)
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“One day, I shall come back. Yes, I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.” – The First Doctor, The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964)
Let them underestimate you
“An unintelligent enemy is far less dangerous than an intelligent one, Jamie. Just act stupid. Do you think you can manage that?” – The Second Doctor, The Dominators (1968)
“When you get back to Skaro, you’ll all be national heroes. Everybody’ll want to hear about your adventures. So be careful how you tell that story, will you? Don’t glamourize it. Don’t make war sound like an exciting and thrilling game. Tell them about the members of your mission that will not be returning. Like Maro, Vaber and Marat. Tell them about the fear. Otherwise your people might relish the idea of war. We don’t want that.” – The Third Doctor, Planet of the Daleks (1973)
Establishing the narrative
“I suppose the best way to find out where you come from is to find out where you’re going, and then work backwards.” – The Fourth Doctor, City of Death (1979)
Two sides of the same coin
“Happiness is nothing unless it exists side by side with sadness.” – The Seventh Doctor, The Happiness Patrol (1988)
“We’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh?” – The Eleventh Doctor, The Big Bang (2010)
The art of persuasion
“I don’t make threats, but I do keep promises.” – The First Doctor, The Sensorites (1964)
“I hate computers and refuse to be bullied by them!” – The Second Doctor, The Invasion (1969)
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“There’s no point being grown-up if you can’t be childish sometimes.” – The Fourth Doctor, Robot (1974)
“Love has never been noted for its rationality.” – The Seventh Doctor, Delta and the Bannermen (1987)
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“Always try to be nice, but never fail to be kind.” – The Twelfth Doctor, Twice Upon a Time (2017)
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“Courage isn’t just a matter of not being frightened, you know. It’s being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway.” – The Third Doctor, Planet of the Daleks (1973)
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