In the episode "World War Three", Jackie asks "What does he eat?"

There are quite a few food references in Doctor Who. (I will only reference new-Who as I am unfamiliar with older material.)

We can talk about the use of banana (9 uses it several times, 10 invents the banana daiquiri) or his hatred of pears.

We can also note that the TARDIS has been used by Clara as an oven to cook a turkey, with complicity of the Doctor.

Do we have any indications concerning the Doctor’s dietary regime?

  • 13
    Fish-fingers and custard, of course.
    – Derek
    Oct 9 '17 at 3:04
  • 2
    This seems like an overly broad question with little support from canon that solicits list answers. Oct 9 '17 at 3:12
  • 1
    Not pears, that's for sure...
    – tilley31
    Oct 17 '17 at 17:17
  • 3
    Jelly babies obviously.
    – elrond
    Oct 25 '17 at 10:34
  • 1
    @DannyMcG: that occurs in the Hartnell era novelization (the first full-length Doctor Who book, in fact) called Doctor Who In An Exciting Adventure With the Daleks (or "Doctor Who and the Daleks* for short).
    – Ria Byss
    Sep 12 '20 at 17:05

As early as 1963's The Daleks, the Doctor is seen eating pretty much what everyone else is eating. At that time, the TARDIS had a food machine that produced little blocks that could be made to taste like anything you dialed up on the control panel, with the one explicit example in that story being bacon and eggs.

In The Two Doctors, written by outspoken vegetarian Robert Holmes, the Doctor himself elects a vegetarian diet after the events of the story, which included a humanoid alien who was deeply interested in cooking and eating the Doctor's human companions. Earlier in that episode, however, he's fishing, and plans to eat what he catches (he fails to catch anything worth keeping).

By the first season of the revived series, the Doctor appears to have reverted to omnivorism, as he has a steak with Rose, Mickey, and Captain Jack in "Boom Town". Certainly, fish fingers would not be vegetarian ("The Eleventh Hour").

  • you certain that you can call Robert Holmes an outspoken vegetarian? I hadn't heard that about him.
    – Ria Byss
    Sep 12 '20 at 17:07
  • @RiaByss Holmes's vegetarianism is well documented, and his script for The Two Doctors is practically a paean to vegetarianism.
    – Buzz
    Sep 12 '20 at 18:32
  • @Buzz: I don't tend to take anything in a Robert Holmes script literally. although I did convert to vegetarianism as a result of "The Two Doctors", or rather, I think, a conversation about it. (back in the '80's, if you lived in the US,, you could most easily see bootlegs of new stories at conventions. my friend had seen it at a con and I hadn't.)
    – Ria Byss
    Sep 14 '20 at 13:44

tl;dr - The Doctor eats food - what food he eats varies by regeneration.

With each regeneration, The Doctor's taste in food and drink varies wildly. Three was an avowed wine connoisseur, while Eleven spits his wine back into the glass when they're all out at a picnic at Lake Silencio. Ten hates pears, and Eleven finds out suddenly that he hates apples.

There's a remote chance that The Doctor does not need to eat at all - being alien, not to mention one whose body can regenerate using a massive amount of energy, more than could be obtained by even the finest of dinners, he may do it simply because he likes to. That, more than anything else, is likely why Jackie asks what he eats.

  • good answer, but Jackie has no idea about regeneration when she asks this question.
    – Edelk
    Oct 17 '17 at 14:23
  • She knows The Doctor is an alien, and as such, may not eat anything, let alone human food. (rather enlightened of her to think of that, if you take a moment to consider it) Even Lois Lane asks Superman "Do you...eat?" and he replies "Yes I do...when I'm hungry". But there's every suggestion that Superman doesn't need to eat either, since he gets energy from the sun. Oct 17 '17 at 14:30

In episode 1 of matt smith in the eleventh hour the doctor eats fish fingers so he must eat human food.


In "Midnight", the 10th Doctor eats complementary food that he thinks is both chicken and beef. In the 10th Doctor episode with the 2012 Olympics at the end he eats a cupcake with edible ball bearings. In the 9th Doctor's story "The Empty Child" he does grab some roast beef but is disappointed it got taken away because he was greedy and took two slices of beef.

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