Doctor Who and the Rather Odd Italian Titles

Since the start of the revival, here in Italy, all the titles of the episodes have been translated rather directly, sometimes sounding better than the English titles (My favourite is The Doctor Falls, which has been translated as “Fall of the Doctor”).
Series 14 is the first season broadcast in Italy after 4 years (Rai, the Italian public TV network, renounced the rights after Series 12), and the titles of the episodes are…A bit odd, in my opinion.

  • “Space Babies” becomes “The Babies’ Space Station”, which is kinda mouthy

  • “The Devil’s Chord” becomes simply “Maestro”, which definitely isn’t confusing, since here the Master is known as “il Maestro” (The definite article, you might say!)

  • I like what they did with “Boom”, here it becomes “The Algorithm of Death”, which it pretty Classic Who vibes

  • “73 Yards” becomes “The Circle of Fairies”, which it’s not that bad, but “73 Iarde” sounds cooler

  • “Dot and Bubble” becomes “Planet of Monsters”, which is one of the most generic titles I’ve ever read, right after “Planet of the Daleks”

  • “Rogue” becomes “Nobody is What They Seem”, which is simply awful.

  • “The Legend of Ruby Sunday” becomes “The God of Death”. It’s thanks to this title I found out that Sutekh was returning. Gee, thanks for the spoiler, Disney!

  • “The Empire of Death” becomes “Death and Rebirth”, which I guess it’s pretty cool.

And that’s it. What do you think of these titles? From a non-Italian speaker’s point of view, do you think they did a good job?

21 Likes

I love the Algorithm of Death :joy:

Also, Planet of Monsters has a rather excellent double meaning!

14 Likes

The way they translated the titles in german is a bit odd too, mostly because they don’t seem to be able to choose a way of translating. Some titles (of the new season) simply stay the same or have very minor translations such as boom, 73 yards, dot und bubble and rogue. Others have direct translations (space babies to weltraumbabys, legend of Ruby sunday to die Legende von Ruby sunday, Empire of death to imperium Des Todes) even if it sounds a bit odd in places. The devil’s chord however becomes die andere Saite des Teufels, literally the other string/chord of the devil but spoken like the other side of the devil which is a fun wordplay. Church on Ruby road has also been translated as vom Himmel hoch, the beginning of a well known Christmas song, literally from the high sky.

14 Likes

Thanks for sharing these, interesting stuff. My one takeaway is they’re wildly inconsistent in how they approach the renaming.

I will now go back to laughing at “Planet of Monsters”.

7 Likes

RTD actually said his original name for the story was “Monsters, monsters, everywhere”.

Which is a clever double meaning, once you see the end of that episode!

12 Likes

I have all my devices set to display English text (an old Software Developer habit), so I never noticed. Kinda cool!

8 Likes