In the Doctor Who episodes The Zygon Invasion and The Zygon Inversion (series 9 episodes 7-8), the US town of Truth or Consequences features heavily, its name being used as the slogan for a Zygon rebellion. According to Clara (from The Zygon Invasion transcript):

JAC: Truth or consequences. What exactly does that mean?
KATE: It's just the usual kind of nonsense these idiots call themselves.
CLARA: It's in New Mexico.
KATE: What?
CLARA: It's a town in New Mexico. Truth or Consequences. Er, they renamed it after a TV show, for a bet or something. It's a Trivial Pursuit question. I used to memorise Trivial Pursuit questions so I could win.

Is this true? It sounds like just the sort of crazy thing that would be invented for Doctor Who, but is there really a town in New Mexico called Truth or Consequences?


2 Answers 2


Yep. Even Clara's story is correct, according to the town website's FAQ:

The town's name was changed from "Hot Springs" to "Truth or Consequences" on March 31, 1950, after Ralph Edwards, the host of the popular game show "Truth or Consequences," called for any town in America to do so - in celebration of the show's ten year anniversary.

A soundclip of the announcement (made on the show, of course), is on YouTube:

However, "The Zygon Invasion" wasn't actually filmed in Truth or Consequences; the BBC website implies that the New Mexico scenes were filmed in Fuerteventura, one of the Canary Islands:

The read through for The Zygon Invasion took place on Wednesday, 29 April, 2015. Filming started on Tuesday, 5 May and included studio shoots plus location work in Wales and Fuerteventura.



The town of Truth or Consequences is a real place in New Mexico, locally known as "T or C". It was formerly known as "Hot Springs", but changed its name to be named after a radio quiz show. Quoting from Wikipedia:

Originally named Hot Springs, the city changed its name to Truth or Consequences, the title of a popular NBC Radio program. In 1950, Ralph Edwards, the host of the radio quiz show Truth or Consequences, announced that he would air the program from the first town that renamed itself after the show; Hot Springs won the honor. Edwards visited the town during the first weekend of May for the next 50 years. This event was called "Fiesta" and included a beauty contest, a parade, and a stage show. The city still celebrates Fiesta each year during the first weekend of May.

  • How did I scoop you on your own question? Nov 14, 2015 at 1:37
  • 1
    @JasonBaker Because I played fair and didn't start to write up my answer until after posting the question.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Nov 14, 2015 at 1:38
  • Either that, or you're superhuman :-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Nov 14, 2015 at 1:38
  • Well I already knew that. [sigh] at least I changed my source; now I don't feel quite so foolish Nov 14, 2015 at 1:48

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