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Tibetan Yeti: Misc


Dr Who

Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

Appearance / Type: Semi-sapient furry humanoid
Also known as: Abominable Snowman
Affiliated with: Lama Gampo
Place of origin: Earth
Appearances: DW: The Abominable Snowmen
DWM: Yonder... The Yeti

Tibetan Yeti, also known as Abominable Snowmen, were anthropoid creatures native to Earth. Robotic semi-replicas of the species were constructed by the Great Intelligence. They dwelt in the Tibetan Himalayas.

Little was known about them, except that they were large, furry, probably semi-sapient humanoids and possibly naturally timid.

Most humans believed them mythological. Professor Travers went on an expedition to find them in 1935. After an adventure with the Robot Yeti, Travers finally spotted what he believed to be one and went in pursuit. (DW: The Abominable Snowmen) However, as of at least 1975, he appeared not be in possession of any evidence of the species' existence. (DW: The Web of Fear)

Decades later, a team of monster hunters attempted to photograph the elusive Yeti and were captured by the Great Intelligence. Lama Gampo, a monk who had sworn to protect the world from the Intelligence, blew a great horn and called the real Yeti who howled in response and descended the mountains to fight with their robotic counterparts. (DWM: Yonder... The Yeti)

Possible sightings

According to Bea Nelson-Stanley, the Sultan of Ishkanbar had seen a Yeti. (SJA: Eye of the Gorgon)

The Museum of Things That Don't Exist had nine different varieties of Yeti that all supposedly don't exist. However, the exhibits weren't known for their accuracy. (EDA: The Taking of Planet 5)

Behind the scenes

The BBC's official Doctor Who site purports this telesnap as an image of a "real" Yeti

The question of whether there are "real" Yetis in the Whoniverse is not possible to answer just from televised episodes alone.

One may have appeared at the end of The Abominable Snowmen, but the script is considerably unclear as to this point. According to production records of the now-wiped serial, the supposed "real" Yeti would only have been briefly glimpsed in a long shot, and it may have been depicted with a slightly "slimmed-down" version of the robot Yeti costumes. Whether that would have been enough for viewers to actually detect a difference between the "real" and robotic Yeti is unknown. Certainly, production records indicate that a close-up of a "real" Yeti has never been shot for televised Doctor Who.

Both the noveilisation of Abominable Snowmen and that of The Web of Fear definitively refer to "real" Yetis in ways that the televised episodes don't. The Snowmen novelisation gives a vivid depiction of the difference between living and robotic Yetis, but this description is at variance with what viewers would have been able to detect in a monochromatic long shot on television. And, despite the fact that Travers recalls the "real" Yeti in the novelisation, the Fear script never mentions "real" Yeti whatsoever. It even makes it possible for viewers to assume that the robot Yeti he returned to London was in fact the "real" Yeti he'd been chasing at the end of Abominable.

A possible image of the "real" Yeti of Abominable does exist. However, as it's a telesnap, and all location work for the serial was done in a mere six days, it's entirely possible this image didn't come from episode six at all. There's a sequence in episode four where a lone robotic Yeti climbs a mountain, and the surviving telesnap could in fact have documented that sequence, instead. Or it could be an outtake of a Yeti-portrayer falling down the mountain, since it is known that the Yeti-portrayers were constantly slipping on muddy patches during the shoot. Even if it is real, the shot in no way clearly distinguishes its subject from a robotic Yeti.

As of 2010, the single clearest documentation of "real" Yetis is the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip, Yonder... The Yeti.

Wikipedia has a more detailed and comprehensive article on

This article uses material from the "Tibetan Yeti" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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