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3 times Doctor Who predicted the future

Peter Capaldi as Doctor Who

Doctor Who loves to have a stab at predicting the future and a new book reveals three times the hit BBC1 show has been spot on

Like all sci-fi shows, Doctor Who loves having a stab at predicting the future. And, in their new book, The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who, authors Simon Guerrier and Dr. Marek Kukula reveal that the BBC favourite has sometimes been spot on!

"To be fair we should say that Doctor Who gets things wrong quite a lot, but there are some really good examples of where it gets it right," Simon told TV Times.

Here are three times Doctor Who correctly predicted the future…

Prediction: Smartwatches

Smart watch

Episode: The Ice Warriors (1967)

"In the story, featuring the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton), security chief Packer has a watch telephone, sort of like an Apple Watch, where he sees the people he’s talking to," said Simon.

"One of the quite common things in sci-fi shows throughout the 1970s and 1980s is video phone calls, predicting things like Skype."

Prediction: Ice volcanoes (Neptune, pictured)


Episode: Planet of the Daleks (1973)

"The Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) defeats an army of Daleks by exploding a volcano over them," explains Simon. "But to make it more exciting the writer made it a volcano of molten ice, not lava. That was pure fantasy at the time, but then in 1989 the Voyager satellite photographed an ice volcano on the moons of Neptune!"

Prediction: Dinosaurs were wiped out by an object hitting Earth


Episode: Earthshock (1982)

"The Cybermen plot to crash a spaceship into Earth in this story," said Simon. "But the Doctor adjusts their spaceship so it travels back in time, crashes into Earth and wipes out the dinosaurs. In 1982 the idea that the dinosaurs had been wiped out by something colliding with Earth was cutting edge, whereas now it’s the scientific consensus."

The Scientific Secrets of Doctor Who is out now.

Secrets of Doctor Who book


David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years on TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer on TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!