This question is in two parts.

  1. Ricky Smith was the "Mickey Smith" of the parallel world in Rise of the Cybermen but why isn't he called Mickey, (as for example Rose's parents who had the same name)?

  2. Why did The Doctor called Mickey Smith "Ricky" even before we saw the parallel universe?

  • 8
    Alternate universes don't have to be exactly the same. There's probably a universe where Rose is black but everything else is the same and one where Mickey/Ricky is a woman. As for the Doctor using "Ricky" before, I imagine it was the other way around: When the alternate version appears, he has the name the Doctor mistakenly used, as a joke by fate/coincindence (in-universe) or the writers (out-of-universe).
    – George T
    Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 9:36
  • 9
    The answer to this question is "to wind him up" and "by coincidence"
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 9:49
  • 2
    Because the doctor has always been a bit of a loveable condescending ass since forever.
    – user16696
    Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 12:38

2 Answers 2


As with most Doctor who "running gags", this one works on a couple of different levels;

  • The Doctor enjoys mocking Mickey. In Aliens of London he refers to him as Ricky and then parlays some witty banter to mock him further:

MICKEY: I bet you don't even remember my name.

DOCTOR: Ricky.

MICKEY: It's Mickey.

DOCTOR: No, it's Ricky.

MICKEY: I think I know my own name.

DOCTOR: You think you know your own name? How stupid are you?

And in Boom Town Rose even calls him on it. He's just doing it to amuse himself:

DOCTOR: Here comes trouble! How're you doing, Ricky boy?

MICKEY: It's Mickey!

ROSE: Don't listen to him, he's winding you up.

As to why the parallel Micky was called Ricky, there are a few options. Most obviously is that it was simple coincidence. Failing that, the Doctor may have sensed the fixed point created by Ricky Smith's death. We simply don't know.

Out-of-Universe, this is an obvious callback to a running joke from the First Doctor Who series with William Hartnell. He would regularly get the name of his companion (Ian Chesterton) wrong, calling him Chesterfield and Chatterton, etc which then allowed for small humourous exchanges with Ian and Barbara, for example:

DOCTOR: Oh? Well, I don't know that I was under any obligation to report my movements to you, Chesterfield.

BARBARA: Chesterton.

DOCTOR: Oh, Barbara's calling you.

  • 3
    I believe at some point in one of the later episodes featuring (R|M)ickey, there's a scene where the Doctor corrects someone else that his name, in fact, Mickey (implying the Doctor's begrudging and oft-hidden respect for him). Can't source it right now but I seem to remember that happening (unless it was a dream or something...) Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 13:59
  • He does the same thing to Danny Pink, thinking he's a janitor and not a proper maths teacher. Seems to be a running thing with the new series. Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 14:59
  • @DaveJohnson - Yes, albeit in that case he's being deliberately insulting, rather than acting out of a sense of self-amusement.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 15:00
  • @Richard sure, but it springs out of a love for Clara, as he tries to decide if he thinks he is good enough for her or not. Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 15:01
  • 2
    @DaveJohnson -Yes. He doesn't think that an ex-soldier is appropriate for her. Note his own feelings about his martial past life.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 12, 2015 at 15:04
  1. There are lots of things which are different in the parallel universe. Examples are Rose's father being alive and non-existence of Rose. So, names of same character can be different.

  2. As for calling Micky Ricky, it can be purely coincidence or some kind of Timey Wimey stuff. Remember, when The Doctor argued Donna and her grandfather that timeline is conversing on them or something. They were important in some way. Similarly, such Timey Wimey thing can happen between Micky/Ricky and The Doctor's tongue. Somehow, The Doctor's instinct notified him of something important in advance.

  • "timeline is conversing" - hard to visualize what that might be like.
    – tjd
    Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 13:11

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