The Daleks were originally the Kaleds. Notably, Dalek is Kaled spelt backwards.

This is just a simple play on words. Were there any other monsters in the long running Dr.Who series that were a play on words, perhaps of the preceding kind, but not neccessarily so?

  • 3
    That's not what "play on words" means. It would be if "Dalek" or a homophone/graph had a different meaning that was related in some way. This is just a retconned anagram. – OrangeDog Nov 27 '20 at 10:09
  • @OrangeDog +1 on your comment for "retconned". – Basya Nov 27 '20 at 10:29
  • 1
    Please don't rollback my edit, the correct spelling is Doctor in this context and you have not tagged the question appropriately, this needs the work tag and that is it. – TheLethalCarrot Nov 27 '20 at 10:31
  • In what sense is that a retcon? – tardigrade Nov 27 '20 at 14:46
  • 1
    it's a retcon because it wasn't mentioned until Tom Baker, and directly contradicts the first Dalek story where it was stated that they were originally called the Dals before they mutated. – Pete Nov 28 '20 at 9:15

K9 is a play on canine. (Yes, I count him as a monster. "Monsters" in Doctor Who doesn't always mean evil or enemy, just non-human and fictional. A robot counts as a monster, even when he's a friend of the Doctor)

The only other one I can think of is the Drashigs from Carnival Of Monsters. Writer Robert Holmes named them thus as a deliberate pun in the expectation that the special effects department would make them out of dishrags.


Yes, there have been lots. Not just monsters though - the show is full of puns, anagrams and wordplay.

Examples of characters:

  • K9 - a robot dog, and a pun on canine.
  • Androgum - a race obsessed with eating, and an anagram of 'gourmand'.
  • Mister Saxon - an alias of The Master, and an anagram of 'Master No. Six' (Simm was the sixth incarnation of The Master)

Other anagrams:

  • Torchwood is an anagram of Doctor Who.
  • Osterhagen Key - featured in the episode 'The Stolen Earth'. 'Osterhagen' is an anagram of "earth's gone".

Episodes with 'pun' titles:

  • '42' - episode with 'real-time' action, a pun on the real-time show '24' and also a reference to classic Who script-editor Douglas Adams who used the number '42' in his Hitchhikers Guide series.
  • 'Dinosaurs on a Spaceship' - a pun on the movie 'Snakes On A Plane'.
  • 'Spyfall' - a pun on the Bond movie title 'Skyfall'.
  • 'The Woman Who Fell To Earth' - a pun on the 1963 sci-fi novel 'The Man Who Fell to Earth'.

The Face of Evil gives us two in-universe puns:

The Sevateem (Survey Team) and the Tesh (Technicians)


Not quite what you're asked, but the Big Finish drama Spare Parts - which deals with the origin of the Cybermen - had the Mondas society generally refer to people as "something-man" - "Doctorman", "Sisterman", etc.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.