Something I have been noticing since I started watching Doctor Who for the first time over the last few months.

Is there a torch in every episode? Is that significant? And by torch I mean either a literal torch with fire, or a flashlight/electric torch.

For those who don't know, in England both items are known as torches.

  • 1
    Would it have something to do with Torchwood? Sep 27, 2011 at 16:58
  • @OghmaOsiris, it could. But I've seen this going back all the way to the first episodes in '63.
    – DampeS8N
    Sep 27, 2011 at 16:59
  • I've never watched Dr Who. I just know that Torchwood is a spin off lol. Sep 27, 2011 at 17:00
  • 10
    As far as I know Torchwood is merely an anagram of Doctor Who.
    – Xantec
    Sep 27, 2011 at 21:51
  • 2
    Also, Torchwood is an anagrams of Doctor Who.
    – user3073
    Oct 15, 2011 at 14:34

2 Answers 2


Just a few episodes that I'm 90% certain are "torch free":

  • The Leisure Hive (Tom Baker)
  • Logopolis (Tom Baker)
  • Castrovalva (Peter Davidson)

and jumping ahead a bit

  • The End of the World (Christopher Eccleston)
  • The Lodger (Matt Smith)

Torches (both kind) are certainly popular, as lighting adds to the suspense, but no.

The Torchwood reference stems from Tooth and Claw (David Tenant) in which Rose and the 10th Doctor encounter werewolves while staying at the Torchwood Estate. The Torchwood Institute is later founded by Queen Victoria to defend the Empire against the Alien Menace (including The Doctor).

  • 3
    The Sontaran Experiment was pretty much all outside in daylight. Jul 4, 2016 at 18:46
  • Oh very good! Had forgotten that one. Jul 5, 2016 at 12:58

All the episodes of the female Doctor Who, Thirteenth Doctor, (so far) have been torch free.

  • 6
    Which might explain the declining audiences. All those torch fans turning off.
    – Valorum
    Jun 25, 2019 at 7:49

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