In Doctor Who S11E07 "Kerblam!", the Doctor receives a package via a Kerb!am Postman. In it is a fez, like Eleven used to wear. It turns out that the package was sent by the computer system that runs space-Amazon [ahem, sorry] Kerb!am.

How did the computer system know about the Doctor, that Eleven used to like wearing a fez, and where (and when!) to find her current incarnation?

  • 9
    Previous order history? Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 17:51
  • 3
    Well, they did take a long, long time to find the Doctor; they'd probably been looking all over the galaxy for quite a while.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 17:54
  • How do we know it took a long time? From their point of view, it could have been next-day delivery. Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 18:12
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    It's not clear to me that the Kerblam System actually generated the order. It's perfectly possible that the Doctor (a previous incarnation) actually ordered the fez, and the System simply added something to the package. Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 18:33
  • 1
    ...though I also like Wiggo's idea. Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 19:38

4 Answers 4


The Doctor ordered the Fez herself...himself (while at his/her 11th incarnation), according to this piece of dialogue (emphasis mine):

DOCTOR: Delivery bots. Kerblam's the biggest retailer in this galaxy. I don't remember ordering anything. Must've been a while back.

Considering that from the Doctor's point of view, he (at the time) probably placed the order 1000 years ago, it's understandable that she doesn't remember doing it. The Doctor lost his Fez early into his 11th incarnation (The Big Bang episode back in series 5), so it's safe to assume he ordered one after the mess was cleaned up. He then spent a couple hundred years traveling and almost 1000 years defending Trenzalore, as per 12's "I'm the Doctor" speech in his first episode.

  • How would The Doctor know where the TARDIS would be located in the future, though?
    – Machavity
    Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 19:49
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    Just as speculation, maybe Kerblam waited for the TARDIS to show up in their galaxy to make the delivery. Like Daniel Roseman's comment, it could've even been the next day for them. I mean, what address would the Doctor use other than "The TARDIS"?
    – tilley31
    Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 19:51
  • @tilley31 galactic coordinates seem to be a thing going by the scene where River is rescued from being in space...? Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 22:08
  • KerBlam had to track down where The Doctor was, and figure out something they'd like based on past performance. Both of those tasks are something ad companies do now - Imagine how much better ad placement must be a couple centuries in the future. Commented Nov 27, 2018 at 18:25
  • I don't think the "must've been a while back" comment is evidence that the Doctor did order it for sure.
    – Martha
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 15:17

The Doctor ordered the fez, and it was delivered to the Doctor. The Kerblam system took the opportunity to add the note. Evidence - this picture (found on Pinterest):

Matt Smith Doctor: I can buy a fez... A thousand years later... Fez arrives

  • I've edited in a link to where I think you may have found this but there were a few options so if I'm wrong feel free to correct it.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 12:06
  • Ha!! Awesome find. I didn't remember that scene. This answer is better than mine.
    – tilley31
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 15:18
  • @TheLethalCarrot Thank you!
    – NiceOrc
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 21:15
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    @tilley31 Mine is a bit lazy though, you actually took the time to write it out!
    – NiceOrc
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 21:18
  • In this age of short attention spans, a meme really is worth a thousand words.
    – tilley31
    Commented Nov 28, 2018 at 21:19

I don't think the system itself knew the Doctor liked Fezes. Indeed, the connection is a tenuous one, since it's an on-again/off-again fashion for The Doctor.

The purpose of the box is not to deliver the fez, but to deliver the "Help me" note. The system probably grabbed an item at random so it could have an order to fulfill. We see the system itself can do this at will when

it teleports/delivers Kira a box with nothing but explosive bubble wrap

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    For the system to select an object at random and it be a fez would be a remarkable coincidence, even by Whovian standards. Commented Nov 26, 2018 at 19:38

"How did the computer system know about the Doctor, that Eleven used to like wearing a fez?"

This is answered in show, you must have missed it. She says "I don't remember ordering anything. Must've been a while back". The inference is that it was the 11th Doctor who ordered a fez. Note that The Doctor is not surprised at the Kerblam! delivery droid entering the TARDIS - she is both aware who he is and doesn't seem phased that he entered the TARDIS. Like real-life Amazon, who are currently trialling a system whereby they can enter customer's houses in their absence, it makes sense that The Doctor has pre-approved Kerblam! to deliver to The Tardis, so she must be a customer and the order was likely a genuine one.

"[How did the computer system know] where (and when!) to find her current incarnation?

The delivery by Kerblam!, apparently thousands of years after the 11th Doctor ordered it (remember all the time he spent on Trenzalore) reminds me very much of the Red Dwarf episode "Better than Life" in which a mail pod had been tracking the ship since it left Earth three million years earlier, and since the ship has now turned around, the pod has finally caught up with them. The Doctor travels through time and space, so any delivery would have a great deal of difficulty finding the TARDIS. I doubt it would actually have taken 1000 years to fulfil the order, so it makes sense that it has taken all this time just to deliver it.

The delivery actually caught up with the TARDIS inside the time vortex, so it must use some "cheap and nasty" form of vortex manipulation, but inside the vortex is not a particular time or place in history, so really the delivery droid didn't know where in time to find the Doctor. It seems that the encounter inside the vortex was just a chance one after a very long time tracking the TARDIS across time and space. And of course, being a time machine, the TARDIS could visit Kerblam! at an appropriate time to respond to the cry for help.

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