This question gets a yes and a no. It does have some basis in science. It points out many proven scientific actions and events, but it is sci-fi. The fiction parts make for a good story line and keeps the attention of those that are not as interested in science alone.
Doctor Who has many things that are scientifically true! However it is a sci-fi show so they do have room to make things up like weeping angels, Daleks and Cybermen. However some made up things in the show could happen or be made. Just because it's currently made up doesn't mean it's true or will never be true!
I had to think really hard about this one. By the same metric, I classify Star Wars as fantasy, but Star Trek as Sci-Fi. Doctor Who does deal with science in that it deals with the universe in naturalistic means, even if it stretches credulity. Doctor Who, like most sci-fi, explores humanity through a foreign lens with the backdrop of science.
The doctor speaks in technobabble all the time. And the third doctor had a whole science lab at UNIT! This show has thought me more about science and math then any teacher ever will! This show is amazingly technical so I really don't see how anyone could say it isn't!
If you are looking for a show that will make you think about hard scientific details and the latest in scientific theory, you should not be looking at television to provide it. Doctor Who and most sci fi shows explore how science can work in a social setting, not exploring the boundaries of science.
OH YEAH IT DOES! DOCTOR WHO IS THE MOST SCIENTIFIC THING SINCE ATOM, NEUTRONS, CLONES, RADIATION AND ALL THAT! Doctor Who goes into depth about the Universe, Composition and Structure, not to mention, it's a genre rated: Scientific Fiction. It may be fiction but it still has real science facts.
I mean, watch the shows! All of them are pretty far-fetched, yes. But the Doctor explains them with such good detail that it makes them seem real! And within it he uses the idea of time, and space, and all of those scientific theories that have to do with space. He does it so well, it's amazing!
Doctor Who is a fantastic show and while most of it is fantasy or fiction, a great deal of it is based in science as is most science fiction. The show uses a lot of areas of science, and is a great way for kids to get interested in technology. The show also talks about science a lot. Every episode has the Doctor explaining some thing or another, and saying why something is or is not possible based on science.
Yes, Doctor Who has a lot to do with science because if you look and listen closely, you will see that it is teaching you about how the earth was formed and other things like that, as well at being fun and exciting at the same time. It teaches you also about some bits of history, and how they think things happened (with a twist), and how they think things could be like in the future.
There is a book called "The Science of Doctor Who" which is both interesting and informative. It explains how time travel is possible and lots of other cool stuff. True, there are some scientific elements of the show which sound made up, but some of it is possible. DOCTOR WHO IS AWESOME!!!
Merely substituting fantasy elements doesn't make something SF. For instanse, taking a knight with a powerful sword (in Star Wars) and calling him a "jedi" makes no difference to the story. It doesn't do anything to explore the relationship between science/technology and humankind - which is the domain of SF.
While it relates to science in the same way everything relates to science, i.e. grass is related to biology, therefore any show with grass relates to science, the abstract plot devices have no scientific validity. This, I would hope, is no surprise. It's not even science fiction, It's fantasy, and at its best and most creative, fairy tales. Simply having some sci-fi elements like space and time travel does not a good sci-fi make. Science fiction separates itself from fantasy with a layer of justification which allows for suspension of disbelief. Good sci-fi holds itself accountable to its internal logic. Doctor Who has no consistent, self constraining logic. I prefer to consider the show a creative, adventurous fantasy rather than poor science fiction
Most of what I'd say has already been said - and the people saying 'no' have much better-thought-out arguments than the ones saying 'yes'.
If you're wanting a series where protagonists use science to resolve plot points, you'd probably want to see a forensic or medical drama rather than Doctor Who!
I might have said 'sometimes', thinking of episodes that dealt with people being controlled by bluetooth earpieces, or the one where he met Sarah Jane and had to deal with the effects time-travel has on relationships, but I kinda tuned out of DW. I was cajoled into watching the new series finale (The Name of the Doctor), and, well, what I saw makes me realise that just because people advertise something as Science Fiction doesn't mean that's what it is.
Victorian aliens (SF!) take magic drugs to telepathically communicate across time and space (*not* SF!)? Telepathy crops up a lot here, and it's one heck of a plot contrivance, but it's nothing to do with science. So are "scars in the fabric of space-time". That's nothing to do with science, that's what Hitchcock called a 'mcguffin'. A "Great Intelligence" is a quasi-religious idea, not a scientific one.
You don't have to pretend that Doctor Who is SF, or even faintly scientific, to enjoy it - and I have no idea why people think they have to call it SF. It's family-friendly fantasy, it's making the BBC a ton of cash, and my friends won't shut up about it - it doesn't need to be anything more.
Science fiction, as a genre, can be mashed up with fantasy (Star Wars), westerns (Firefly), war films (Starship Troopers), horror (Event Horizon), comedy (Red Dwarf) etc. Whenever this happens, science usually takes a back seat (if it features at all).
Doctor Who is a SF-Fantasy mashup. The dude's a wizard archetype, complete with magic -uh, sorry, "sonic" - screwdriver. You can't do even a fraction of the stuff with soundwaves that the screwdriver does. That's not science - that's fantasy.
Just because he sometimes uses sciencey-sounding words does not make this show scientific!
Maybe DW started out intending to be SF (Daleks, Cybermen?) but most of the creatures he encounters now are the stuff of fantasy and not make any sense if you think about them at all (like statues that move when you don't look at them). Even when something sciencey crops up (like a planet orbiting a black hole), something purely fantastical will be there to spoil it (gigantic demon from the old Doom games).
The sonic screwdriver is a multi-purpose magic wand. Calling it 'sonic' doesn't make it sciencey. The TARDIS is less a scientific or technological device, and more of a flying wardrobe (with at least one outfit per Doctor) whose doors lead to different Narnias. Reincarnation - sorry, "regeneration" is conducted in spectacularly inconsistent and different ways, and bears closer resemblance to religion than anything else.
If there was a bit more consistency in the series, it might nudge closer to Science Fiction. The Doc's sceptical, rational mindset is something that would need far more emphasis before he could be a scientist. Instead, we get a bit of spectacle and a few scares for the kids. That's not anything to with science!
When the protagonist of a TV show talks about "wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff", you can be certain that the writers haven't got the first clue about science, except perhaps for a glancing and accidental acquaintance with pop-science documentaries.
If science was used consistently, and not just brushed off, it might have something to do with science. But I really don't get the impression that the writers care about it - they just want to deliver some weekend family entertainment you don't have to think too much about.
In terms of science, it's perhaps on a par with Star Wars, or the more scientifically-inept and inconsistent episodes of Star Trek.
The Doctor is more like a wizard with a magic wand; a know-it-all who abducts girls and delivers exposition without doing any actual research. He could be a Doctor of *History*, perhaps, and he comes across as a fan of science, in the same way people subscribe to "I F--- Love Science" on Facebook: in an incredibly superficial way.
The monsters and angels and werewolves and demons he meets are creatures of fantasy and horror, aimed at kids. Just because some of the things he encounters (planets, cybermen, other aliens) have the trappings of SF, it doesn't make the series SF. Maybe it's a stepping-stone for kids to get into SF, but no more than that.
They are make-believe stories that contain little known facts. Science only plays a part in the show when laws of physics and its likes are discussed such as time space continuum, vortex, etc. The show merely revolves around fantasy based worlds that affect its characters in one way or another. The central character being the Doctor himself.