Doctor Who’s cleverest uses of codenames

From Panic Moon to Torchwood, Doctor Who has a long history of covering up its secrets with codenames and anagrams...


Even before it was revived in 2005, even before the internet or colour TV itself, Doctor Who was a show that had to protect its secrets  whether they be the identity of a new companion, details of a shock twist or the even the show itself.


Luckily, in a practice dating back to 1965, Doctor Who has a nifty way of making sure neither the press or its fans manage to spoil the show: codenames, most of which are actually clever anagrams. Here, of course, we present a history of those codenames.

Don’t you just love that Panic Moon episode starring Leon Ny Taiy? Confused? Y.A.N.A. 

Mean Town

We’ve only had a glimpse so far of Pearl Mackie’s new companion Bill but there’s definitely a hint of urban smarts about her, and she certainly sounds as if she might come from London. Could Mean Town be a reference to the mean streets of the capital, or some other major city? Not quite…

“It’s an anagram of Ten Woman,” casting director Andy Pryor told “Series ten, and also the tenth companion of the modern series.”

Men On Waves


When Jenna Coleman originally auditioned for the role of Clara Oswald, she had to tell friends, family and even her agent that she was auditioning for something called Men on Waves, which sounds like some sort of ‘80s band. She told Radio Times, “I worked out that Men on Waves is an anagram of Woman Seven, because this is the seventh series. Weirdly, seven is my lucky number and this is my seventh job.”