The Three Doctors

Doctor WhoUNIT is called in by a radio astronomer whose studies have turned up distinctly unearthly results of late, but even the Doctor can’t imagine the magnitude of the threat. Somewhere within a black hole, a gateway to an antimatter universe, a malevolent being seeks one of his own race to assume his place as the master of a doomed world – and locates a fellow Time Lord on Earth. When the Doctor realizes the nature of the threat, he sends a distress call to the Time Lords, but their power source is also being drained by the black hole, and they can spare no help – aside from sending the Doctor’s earlier incarnations into his own present. The first Doctor is trapped in a time eddy, barely able to contact his future selves, who travel into the black hole – along with Jo, the Brigadier, and Sergeant Benton – to defy the wrath of Omega…the first Time Lord himself.

Season 10 Regular Cast: Jon Pertwee (The Doctor), Katy Manning (Jo Grant)

Download this episodewritten by Bob Baker & Dave Martin
directed by Lennie Mayne
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: Patrick Troughton (The Doctor), William Hartnell (The Doctor), Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Stephen Thorne (Omega), Graham Leaman, Tony Lang, Lincoln Wright, Richard Orme, Peter Evans (Time Lords), Clyde Pollitt (Chancellor), Roy Purcell (President), Laurie Webb (Ollis), Patricia Pryor (Mrs. Ollis), Rex Robinson (Dr. Tyler), Denys Palmer (Palmer), Alan Chuntz (Omega’s champion), Cy Town, Ricky Newby, John Scott Martin, Murphy Grumbar (Gell-guards)

Broadcast from December 30, 1972 through January 20, 1973

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

The Five Doctors

Doctor WhoThe Doctor, Tegan and Turlough find themselves in no immediate danger for once, until the Doctor suffers from repeated, severe pain, claiming that his past is being altered in a way that could endanger him in the present. Somewhere on Gallifrey, long-abandoned machinery from the earliest days of the Time Lords is reactivated and its powers are brought to bear on each of the Doctor’s first four incarnations, snatching each of them from their own timeline and depositing them in Gallifrey’s infamous Death Zone, where the tomb of Time Lord founding father Rassilon stands. The fourth Doctor is trapped in the time vortex and never makes it to Gallifrey. As the various personae of the Doctor join forces, along with many companions, they find themselves fighting a variety of old adversaries – and one new antagonist – for the future of Gallifrey itself.

Order the DVDwritten by Terrance Dicks
directed by Peter Moffatt
music by Peter Howell

Guest Cast: Richard Hurndall (The First Doctor), Patrick Troughton (The Second Doctor), Jon Pertwee (The Third Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), John Leeson (voice of K9), Carole Ann Ford (Susan), Richard Franklin (Mike Yates), Caroline John (Liz Shaw), Frazer Hines (Jamie), Wendy Padbury (Zoe), Anthony Ainley (The Master), Philip Latham (Lord President Borusa), Dinah Sheridan (Chancellor Flavia), Paul Jerricho (Castellan), Richard Mathews (Rassilon), David Savile (Colonel Crichton), Ray Float (Sergeant), Roy Skelton (Dalek voice), John Scott Martin (Dalek), Stephen Meredith (Technician), David Banks (CyberLeader), Mark Hardy (Cyber Lieutenant), William Kenton (Cyber Scout), Stuart Blake (Commander)

Appearing in footage from The Dalek Invasion Of Earth: William Hartnell (The First Doctor)

Appearing in footage from Shada: Tom Baker (The Fourth Doctor), Lalla Ward (Romana)

Broadcast November 23, 1983 (US) / November 25, 1983 (UK)

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The Two Doctors

Doctor WhoThe second Doctor and Jamie are sent on a mission by the Time Lords to ask a team of scientists, as diplomatically as possible, to bring their time travel experiments to an end. The Doctor is unable to convince the head scientist, Dastari, to heed the Time Lords’ warnings; Dastari is far too busy admiring his own work, including his genetic “improvement” of Chessene, a savage Androgum. But Chessene’s augmentations have simply given her the ability to apply her violent primitive impulses on a grander scale – such as a collusion with the Sontarans to use the new time travel device as a weapon of conquest. The Doctor is captured by the Sontarans and taken to their secret base of operations on Earth – and his sixth incarnation will have to find him to avoid the corruption of his entire timeline.

Order the DVDwritten by Robert Holmes
directed by Peter Moffatt
music by Peter Howell

Guest Cast: Patrick Troughton (The Second Doctor), Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon), John Stratton (Shockeye), Jacqueline Pearce (Chessene), Laurence Payne (Dastari), James Saxon (Oscar), Carmen Gomez (Anita), Clinton Greyn (Stike), Tim Raynham (Varl), Aimee Delamain (Dona Arana), Nicholas Farcett (Technician), Laurence Payne (Computer voice), Fernando Monast (Scientist)

Broadcast from February 16 through March 2, 1985

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Dimensions In Time

Doctor WhoThe Doctor and Ace find themselves in London’s East End (instead of their intended destination, the Great Wall of China). Soon they find themselves switching identities, as the Doctor flits from one incarnation to another and his companions constantly change. Behind it all is The Rani, who hopes to trap the Doctor so he can never interfere in her plans again…

written by John Nathan-Turner & David Roden
directed by Stuart McDonald
music by Keff McCulloch

Cast: Jon Pertwee (The Doctor), Tom Baker (The Doctor), Peter Davison (The Doctor), Colin Baker (The Doctor), Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Kate O’Mara (The Rani), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Nicola Bryant (Peri), Nicholas Courtney (The Brigadier), Carole Ann Ford (Susan), Richard Franklin (Captain Yates), Louise Jameson (Leela), Caroline John (Liz Shaw), Ross Kemp (Grant Mitchell), Bonnie Langford (Mel), John Leeson (K-9), Steve McFadden (Phil Mitchell), Philip Newman (Kiv), Mike Reid (Frank), Wendy Richard (Pauline Fowler), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Pam St. Clement (Pat Butcher), Nicola Stapleton (Mandy), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Gillian Taylforth (Kathy Beale), Deepak Verma (Sanjay), Lalla Ward (Romana II), Deborah Watling (Victoria Waterfield), Adam Woodyatt (Ian Beale)

Broadcast November 26 & 27, 1993

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The Curse of Fatal Death

Doctor WhoThe Doctor lures the Master to the planet Terserus, the home of an extinct race infamous for its method of communicating via flatulence. Perhaps feeling his half-human oats, the Doctor announces his intention to wed his pretty assistant Emma, something which disgusts the Master to no end – so it’s fortunate that the evil Time Lord has prepared a series of nasty traps, to which he immediately and repeatedly falls victim himself. But the Master’s allies, the Daleks, are rather less clumsy and have plans to take over the universe. The Doctor makes a final bid, for the love of Emma and the entire cosmos, to halt the Daleks’ evil plans at the cost of not just one, but three of his precious lives…

written by Steven Moffat
directed by John Henderson

Cast: Rowan Atkinson (The Ninth Doctor), Jonathan Pryce (The Master), Julia Sawalha (Emma), Richard E. Grant (The Tenth Doctor), Jim Broadbent (The Eleventh Doctor), Hugh Grant (The Twelfth Doctor), Joanna Lumley (The Thirteenth Doctor), Roy Skelton (Dalek voice), Dave Chapman (Dalek voice)

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Sirens Of Time

Doctor Who: The Sirens Of TimeThe seventh Doctor is drawn to a jungle world, where he rescues a hapless bystander and discovers an elderly couple nearby. The couple have a unique relationship based on a mutual loathing that seems like it could become murderous at any moment – and they both have very dark secrets to hide. The fifth Doctor, meanwhile, finds himself locked out of the TARDIS, which has materialized aboard a doomed British ship in the North Atlantic. The ship is torpedoed by a German U-boat, and the TARDIS is lost at sea. The Doctor, along with an Irish woman from the British vessel, drifts along with the debris until taken aboard the German sub as a spy. Elsewhere, on the starliner Edifice, the sixth Doctor’s TARDIS arrives, coinciding with an experiment being performed on a time-sensitive creature known as the Temperon. But shortly after the experiment fails, the entire crew – with the exception of its android helmsman and a waitress who appears to have survived through pure luck – is killed, and the Doctor must find out why. Each incarnation of the Doctor is unaware that he is facing the same threat, but in different places and times. And each Doctor has a piece of the puzzle that could save their besieged home planet of Gallifrey.

Order this CDwritten by Nicholas Briggs
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Nicholas Briggs

Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Colin Baker (The Doctor), Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Andrew Fettes (Commander Raldeth / Schmidt), Anthony Keetch (Coordinator Vansell), Michael Wade (The President), Sarah Mowat (Elenya / Helen / Ellie / Knight Commander Lyena), Maggie Stables (Ruthley), Colin McIntyre (Sancroff), John Wadmore (Commandant / Lt. Zentner / Pilot Azimendah / Subcommander Solanec), Mark Gatiss (Captain Schwieger / Edifice Captain / Knight 2), Nicholas Briggs (The Temperon), Nicholas Pegg (Delegate)

Timeline: part one takes place in an unspecified time frame while the seventh Doctor is traveling alone; part two takes place while Tegan and Turlough are traveling with the Doctor, but since he makes no reference to being Lord President of Gallifrey, this may place it between Terminus and The Five Doctors. Part three takes place between Trial Of A Time Lord and Time And The Rani, since the sixth Doctor is traveling alone.

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Zagreus

Doctor Who: ZagreusImbued with the energy of anti-time and possessed by the power-mad Zagreus, the Doctor wrestles for self-control and terrifies Charley into hiding within the TARDIS. A familiar face appears to Charley as she hides – the Brigadier, or, more precisely, a TARDIS-projected simulation of Lethbridge-Stewart intended to help her. Its method of doing so, however, is unorthodox to put it mildly: Charley must divine the true nature of the increasingly disastrous situation from a series of metaphors, ranging from her own childhood to a visit to Gallifrey’s past to an insane amusement park where animatronic cartoon characters are slaughtering one another. The Doctor, too, hears from some familiar voices in his own past, coaxing him to regain control of his own mind. But all too late, the Doctor realizes that his body and soul are not Zagreus’ only battleground, and the real battle for the fate of the entire universe is only now being joined.

Order this CDwritten by Alan Barnes & Gary Russell
directed by Gary Russell
music by Andy Hardwick

Cast: Peter Davison (Reverend Matthew Townsend), Colin Baker (Lord Tepesh), Sylvester McCoy (Walton Winkle), Paul McGann (Zagreus), India Fisher (Charley Pollard), Lalla Ward (Romana), Louise Jameson (Leela), Don Warrington (Rassilon), Nicholas Courtney (The TARDIS / Brigadier), Anneke Wills (Lady Louisa Pollard), Stephen Perring (Receptionist), Elisabeth Sladen (Miss Lime), Conrad Westmaas (The Cat), Mark Strickson (Captain McDonnell), Sarah Sutton (Miss Foster), Nicola Bryant (Stone / Ouida), Caroline Morris (Mary Elson), Maggie Stables (Great Mother), Bonnie Langford (Cassandra / Goldilocks), Robert Jezek (Recorder), Stephen Fewell (Corporal Heron), Sophie Aldred (Captain Duck), Lisa Bowerman (Sergeant Gazelle), Miles Richardson (Cardinal Braxiatel), John Leeson (K9), Jon Pertwee (The Doctor)

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Time Crash

Doctor WhoThe Doctor solemnly gets the TARDIS underway after he bids farewell to Martha Jones and leaves her with her family on Earth, but the quiet is shattered as his timeship lurches uncontrollably – and suddenly has another occupant, a man in full Edwardian cricket regalia. A very familiar man, as it turns out: the Doctor is at a loss to explain why his fifth incarnation is suddenly sharing his TARDIS with him, but both know instantly that it’s not good news. Much like the Doctor, the TARDIS has collided with its earlier self, and it’ll take more than an exchange of insurance information to prevent space and time from collapsing as a result…

Order the DVDwritten by Steven Moffatt
directed by Graeme Harper
music by Murray Gold

Cast: David Tennant (The Doctor), Peter Davison (The Doctor)

Appearing in footage from Last Of The Time Lords: Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones)

Notes: Time Crash was a 7-minute scene written for the BBC’s 2007 Children In Need telethon, with the actors, directors, and crew donating their time and talent; technically, it takes place during the final moments of Last Of The Time Lords, between Martha’s departure and the TARDIS’ collision with the Titanic. Director Graeme Harper also directed Peter Davison’s final adventure as the incumbent Doctor, Caves Of Androzani, in 1984 – so he remains Davison’s last director as the Doctor on TV. Davison is now tied with Tennant for appearing in the most in-character Doctor Who Children In Need specials, having also appeared in 1993’s Dimensions In Time; technically, The Five Doctors was originally shown as part of the Children In Need telethon in 1983, but unlike Time Crash and the 2005 Children In Need special, it was not specially made just for the event. Davison has, of course, been reprising the role of the Doctor’s fifth incarnation for Big Finish’s audio dramas since 1999. There were numerous in-jokes on past Doctor Who adventures, including a mention of zeiton ore (something the sixth Doctor ran out of in Vengeance On Varos). If you’re interested in making a donation to Children In Need, please click here to find out more about the charity, where the money goes, what’s up with the little yellow bear, and how you can help.

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Devious (Trailer)

Doctor Who

This is afan-made production whose storyline may be invalidated by later official studio productions.

Somewhere between his second and third incarnations, an “intermediate” Doctor is dispatched by the Time Lords to do battle with the Daleks yet again, attempting to foil their most ambitious scheme yet, but the cost in the lives of innocent bystanders is high. Before his mission is even complete, the Time Lords then catch up with the Doctor yet again and complete his sentence, forcing him to regenerate fully into his third persona and sending him into exile on Earth.

written by Ashley Nealfuller & David Clarke
directed by David Clarke
music by Martin Johnson

Cast: Tony Garner (The Doctor), Jon Pertwee (The Doctor), Peter Tuddenham (Voix), Hugh Lloyd (Scribe), David Clarke (Auriga), Anthony Townsend (Callisto), Lynette East (Adreinna), Stephen Cranford (The Covellitor), Ashley Nealfuller (Chancellor Chaldor), Arthur Harrod (Aturo), Heather Cohen (Observer Aquilia), Chris T. Kirk (Observer Vardrah), Ian Edmond (Ralib), Richard Kingshott (Nilan)

Appearing in footage from The War Games: Patrick Troughton (The Doctor)

Notes: Technically, since his scenes were taped after he recorded the BBC radio play The Ghosts Of N-Space, Devious represents Jon Pertwee‘s final performance as the third Doctor before his death in 1996 (Pertwee’s scenes were filmed in April 1995). Other “name” guest stars include the late Peter Tuddenham, famous for voicing most of the sentient computers in the 1970s BBC space opera Blake’s 7. Filming on Devious began before filming began on the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie starring Paul McGann, and work on Devious continues even into the Matt Smith era. A “highlights trailer” was included, with the participation of the filmmakers, on the official BBC DVD of the second Doctor’s final regular story, The War Games (the UK release date for which is used as the premiere date for this trailer). The film’s official web site, including photos of many scenes not included in the War Games DVD trailer, can be found here.

Review: It’s hard to judge Devious on its own merits when all that’s available is a trailer. Devious is a sort of unfinished symphony: an epic work that doesn’t look like it’ll be finished anytime soon. And yet, it’s almost a part of mainstream Doctor Who folklore. It’s been in production for over 15 years, it marks Jon Pertwee’s last appearance as the Doctor, it fills in an intriguing gap in Who mythology, and Pertwee’s filmed scenes provided his surprising posthumous appearance in the 40th anniversary Big Finish audio story Zagreus. Devious is something that everyone’s heard about and, until the extended trailer appeared on The War Games DVD set, no one had seen. Read More

The Four Doctors

Doctor Who: The Four DoctorsThe fifth Doctor visits a Jariden space station where that race is conducting surprisingly advanced experiments in time travel. But the Doctor isn’t the only one with a keen interest in these experiments: a fleet of Dalek ships moves in, and an invasion force boards the station, demanding access to the contents of a sealed vault. And one of the Jaridens, Colonel Ulrik, intends to help the Daleks retrieve what’s in the vault, despite the wishes of his sister, who happens to be the station’s lead scientist. Someone identifying himself only as another Time Lord contacts the Doctor and offers hints of how to resolve the situation, but not any actual help. The sixth Doctor encounters the battle-scarred Colonel Ulrik – at an earlier point in his history – during the bloody battle of Pejorica, in which the Daleks decimated the Jariden species. It seems that the Doctor is pushing Ulric and his race toward a major evolutionary turning point that could help in their struggle against Dalek oppression. The seventh Doctor pays a visit to Michael Faraday, only to find that Ulrik is here as well, followed by a small squadron of Daleks. The small battle that plays out before Faraday’s eyes is almost too much for one of human science’s greatest visionaries. And the eighth Doctor visits the Jariden space station, gently manipulating Ulrik and the fifth Doctor’s actions – and therefore those of his other previous selves – to ensure that the tide of history doesn’t turn to favor the Daleks.

written by Peter Anghelides
directed by Nicholas Briggs & Ken Bentley
music by Steve Foxon

Cast: Peter Davison (The Doctor), Colin Baker (The Doctor), Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Paul McGann (The Doctor), Nicholas Briggs (The Daleks), Ellie Burrow (Professor Kalinda / Lady Cowen), David Bamber (Colonel Ulrik / Whitmore), Nigel Lambert (Professor Michael Faraday / Magran), Alex Mallinson (Roboman / Jariden Device)

Notes: This single-disc story, presented in a slightly unusual format consisting of shorter-than-usual episodes, was the annual free gift to Big Finish subscribers. It was released with the December 2010 story from the main monthly Doctor Who range, The Demons Of Red Lodge. The Four Doctors marks the first time that Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann have “appeared” together since the 2003 audio story marking Doctor Who’s 40th anniversary, Zagreus. Unlike past Big Finish subscriber specials, which were generally available for sale a year after their original “giveaway” release, Big Finish has vowed that The Four Doctors will only ever be available to its subscribers.

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Read More

Serpent Crest Part 4: The Hexford Invasion

Doctor WhoMrs. Wibbsey has returned to her relatively humdrum life caring for Nest Cottage and its grounds, and it has been months since the Doctor left in the TARDIS to return Alexander and Boolin to their home planet to fulfill their destinites. So it comes as something of a shock when Mike Yates – back in uniform – and UNIT come knocking on the door, insisting upon setting up shop at Nest Cottage. Mike says that the Doctor will explain everything, but the short, whimsical, recorder-playing man who shows up is as far from the Doctor as anyone Mrs. Wibbsey could imagine. Furthermore, she’s convinced that this new Doctor is up to no good, and is unable to convince anyone of this. But things change when an enormous alien spacecraft appears in the sky, and then the TARDIS materializes and “her” Doctor steps out of it. Unable to remember some of his second incarnation’s exploits, for once, the Doctor isn’t sure if his earlier self is on the side of right or not. But when the entire village of Hexford is ripped out of the ground and taken away from Earth, the Doctor realizes that he may have to fight his younger self to get it back.

Order this CDwritten by Paul Magrs
directed by Kate Thomas
music by Simon Power

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Susan Jameson (Mrs. Wibbsey), David Troughton (The Visitor), Richard Franklin (Mike Yates), Cornelius Garrett (Reverend Tonge), Nerys Hughes (Deirdre), Joanna Tope (Tish)

Notes: David Troughton is one of the late Patrick Troughton’s sons, and has appeared in television Doctor Who before (The Curse Of Peladon, Midnight). The second Doctor makes references to the Yeti and the Great Intelligence (The Web Of Fear) and the Cybermen in the London sewer system (The Invasion).

Timeline: several months after Aladdin Time and before Survivors In Space; prior to The Ribos Operation

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Serpent Crest Part 5: Survivors In Space

Doctor WhoThe entire village of Hexford, buildings and all including Nest Cottage, has been ripped out of the Earth and transported to the rebel moon by a huge Skishtari spacecraft. For three months, Mike Yates has been struggling to keep the peace among the residents of Hexford as their food supply dwindles and they have to make do without electricity or any other artificial energy source. The second Doctor continues to make attempts to signal the outside universe for help – or so he says. The fourth Doctor and Mrs. Wibbsey arrive in the TARDIS, but the Doctor insists that it isn’t as simple as just taking the residents of Hexford back to Earth in his time machine. He wants to know what his younger self’s part is in these events, and he already has a hunch that it hasn’t been trying to send distress signals for months. But when robots converge on the dome protecting Hexford from an uninhabitable moon begin to take over the village, help will still have to come from outside, perhaps from a source whose life the Doctor has saved in the past.

Order this CDwritten by Paul Magrs
directed by Kate Thomas
music by Simon Power

Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Susan Jameson (Mrs. Wibbsey), David Troughton (The Visitor), Richard Franklin (Mike Yates), Cornelius Garrett (Reverend Tonge), Nerys Hughes (Deirdre), Joanna Tope (Tish), Sam Hoare (Lucius), Paddy Wallace (The Tsar)

Notes: Mrs. Wibbsey says that months of adventures in the TARDIS occurred between the taking of Hexford and the Doctor’s arrival there (possibly leaving the door open to further fourth Doctor/Wibbsey adventures from either the BBC or perhaps Big Finish). The cover art gracing both this release and The Hexford Invasion is based on the visual style of British comic illustrator Frank Bellamy, whose dynamic illustrations graced Doctor Who listings in the Radio Times in the early 1970s and were later collected in the art book “Timeview: The Complete Doctor Who Illustrations Of Frank Bellamy”. This was the final AudioGo fourth Doctor adventure before Tom Baker’s first “season” of Big Finish adventures began early in 2012.

Timeline: after The Hexford Invasion and prior to The Ribos Operation

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UNIT: Dominion

Doctor WhoOn Earth, a seashell-like organic mass appears in London, burrows its roots into the city’s power grid, and slowly begins growing in size as it feeds. UNIT has been called in to deal with it, though UNIT’s scientific advisor, Dr. Elizabeth Klein, is unable to discover much about it.

The Doctor’s TARDIS follows a telepathic trail into an alternate dimension, landing on the world of the Tolians. They, too, are dealing with a seashell-like organic mass draining their power, though this one has taken things to a more advanced stage: having brought Tolian civilization to its knees, it now drains the life force from the Tolians themselves for lack of a more potent power source. The Doctor recongizes it as an interdimensional node, but when another TARDIS materializes and a younger, more brash incarnation of the Doctor strides out, the “new” Doctor warns the seventh Doctor not to help the Tolians. The Doctor ignores the future Doctor’s warning and tries to help, only to find himself ensnared in a trap: the Tolians force the Doctor to use the interdimensional node to drain energy from other dimensions.

The Doctor and Raine escape with their lives, emerging through a dimensional gateway to Earth, where they discover that the future Doctor has been helping Klein and UNIT battle a series of alien incursions in rapid succession. Klein is less than thrilled when the “Umbrella Man” returns to her life, and UNIT’s Major Wyland is concerned that the two Doctors don’t appear to be getting along very well – the “new” Doctor seems concerned only with getting back to his TARDIS as soon as possible, and seems to have an unusual rapport with nearly every interdimensional invader to appear. The Doctor discovers, far too late, that the man claiming to be his future self is acting only in his own interests, and has already taken steps to turn Klein against him… and every living thing on Earth may pay the price.

Order this CDwritten by Nicholas Briggs and Jason Arnopp
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Martin Johnson

Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Tracey Childs (Dr. Elizabeth Klein), Beth Chalmers (Raine Creevy) Alex Macqueen (The Other Doctor), Julian Dutton (Colonel Lafayette), Bradley Gardner (Sergeant Pete Wilson), Miranda Keeling (Sylvie/Liz Morrison), Ben Porter (Private Phillips/John Starr), Sam Clemens (Major Wyland-Jones), Alex Mallinson (Private Maynard/Arunzell), Sophie Aldred (Ace)

Notes: Alex McQueen played Julius in the British political comedy The Thick Of It; fellow cast member Peter Capaldi was cast as the Doctor just a few months after the release of UNIT Dominion.

Timeline: after Animal and before the 1996 TV Movie

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The Day Of The Doctor

Doctor WhoIn the waning days of the Time War, the Doctor tires of the constant fighting and bloodshed. He breaks into the Time Lords’ Omega Archives, containing forbidden Gallifreyan superweapons (most of which have already been unsuccessfully deployed against the Daleks). He takes the Moment, a galaxy-devouring weapon of mass destruction which has never been used because its sentient operating system has developed its own conscience, and will stand in judgement over whoever might try to use it. The Doctor abandons his TARDIS and sets off on foot to a bombed-out structure in the wastelands of outer Gallifrey, fully intending to activate the Moment and end the war. He’s puzzled when a young woman appears suddenly and refuses to leave: this is the Moment’s conscience, ready to try to dissuade its operator. It has chosen the appearance and voice of one of the Doctor’s companions, but has gotten past and future mixed up. The Moment offers to show the Doctor what will happen to him after he destroys Gallifrey…

Clara, having taken a job at Coal Hill School, gets a message from the Doctor and sets out to find the TARDIS. Moments after the time travelers are reunited, the TARDIS lurches unexpectedly, thanks to the UNIT helicopter that has grappled it and is hauling it toward the center of London. With the TARDIS now relocated to the National Gallery, Kate Lethbridge-Stewart shows the Doctor why UNIT need his expertise: a number of paintings, exhibiting an unusual three-dimensional effect, have had their glass frames broken from within; all of the paintings also once had humanoid figures in them, but those figures are now missing. Before the Doctor can investigate, a time fissure appears in mid-air in the Gallery, and he leaps through it, finding himself face-to-face with his tenth incarnation, who is dealing with a shapeshifting Zygon attempting to impersonate Queen Elizabeth I. And moments later, both Doctors are stunned – and alarmed – when another of their incarnations emerges from the fissure: an older man who does not regard himself as the Doctor. This is the incarnation of the Doctor who fought in the Time War, ending it in a pyrrhic stalemate that wiped out both the Time Lords and the Daleks, the incarnation that the later Doctors refuse to acknowledge; the Doctor’s true ninth life. The Queen orders all three of them taken away to the Tower of London.

In the modern day, the Tower is now UNIT’s headquarters, and the home of the Black Archive, a top secret repository of captured alien technology that would rival Torchwood’s collection. Kate and Clara return to the Tower, but it’s not until she is trapped in the Archive that Clara realizes that Kate has already been kidnapped and replaced by a Zygon. Grabbing a portable time manipulator that UNIT once took off of the briefly-dead body of a man named Captain Jack Harkness, Clara makes her escape, travels back to the past and rescues the three Doctors as well. The Doctors manage to thwart the Zygon invasion, but then the Doctor from the Time War vanishes. The tenth and eleventh Doctors follow him back to Gallifrey’s past – a place and time that the TARDIS shouldn’t be able to visit – and offer to help him activate the Moment so he doesn’t have to bear the consequences alone.

But the Doctor’s later incarnations, having struggled with the remorse of this act for hundreds of years, take the unprecedented decision to change history: save Gallifrey while allowing the Daleks to be destroyed, without interrupting their own timeline. But to save the Time Lords, more Doctors will be required – perhaps even Doctors who have yet to exist – and Gallifrey will have to be forcibly relocated, possibly into a parallel universe, leading to the impression that it has been destroyed. And even the Doctors’ attempt to save their home planet may still lead to its destruction.

Order the DVDwritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Nick Hurran
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), David Tennant (The Doctor), Christopher Eccleston (The Doctor), John Hurt (The Doctor), Paul McGann (The Doctor), Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Colin Baker (The Doctor), Peter Davison (The Doctor), Tom Baker (The Doctor), Jon Pertwee (The Doctor), Patrick Troughton (The Doctor), William Hartnell (The Doctor), Jenna Coleman (Clara), Billie Piper (Rose), Tristan Beint (Tom), Jemma Redgrave (Kate Stewart), Ingrid Oliver (Osgood), Chris Finch (Time Lord Soldier), Peter de Jersey (Androgar), Ken Bones (The General), Philip Buck (Arcadia Father), Sophie Morgan-Price (Time Lord), Joanna Page (Elizabeth I), Orlando James (Lord Bentham), Jonjo O’Neill (McGillop), Tom Keller (Atkins), Aidan Cook (Zygon), Paul Kasey (Zygon), Nicholas Briggs (voices of the Daleks and Zygons), Barnaby Edwards (Dalek 1), Nicholas Pegg (Dalek 2), John Guilor (Voice Over Artist)

Doctor WhoNotes: The War Council shouldn’t be surprised at all that the Doctor can access the Omega Archives; his seventh incarnation was shown to be in possession of Time Lord superweapons that had presumably been with him for quite some time (Remembrance Of The Daleks‘ Hand of Omega and the living metal validium from Silver Nemesis, both aired in 1988). The Moment, first mentioned in The End Of Time Part 2 (2010), most closely resembles validium, but the Nemesis statue carved from validium had no obvious sign of a conscience, but did show signs of sentience.

The Zygons, though a popular monster in Doctor Who fandom, have only been seen in one prior television adventure, the Tom Baker era four-parter Terror Of The Zygons Doctor Who(1975), though they have reappeared in novels and numerous times in the eighth Doctor’s audio adventures, and even have their own action figure – not bad for a one-off villain.

This story seems to necessitate a reshuffling of the Doctor’s playlist: the incarnation commonly believed to be the ninth Doctor is actually the tenth, the tenth Doctor is actually the eleventh, and the current incarnation played by Matt Smith is actually the twelfth. This means that the incarnation to be portrayed by Peter Capaldi – glimpsed very briefly in the scene in which all of the Doctors rush to Gallifrey’s rescue – is the Doctor’s thirteenth and final life… unless, of course, the Doctor has somehow used up another regeneration somehow.

Asthmatic UNIT scientist Osgood may or may not be related to Sergeant Osgood, who served under Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart in The Daemons (1971). UNIT’s Black Archive was Doctor Whoestablished in the Brigadier’s final televised appearance, in the Sarah Jane Adventures two-parter Enemy Of The Bane, though it was not in the Tower of London at that time, meaning that the Black Archive has either been moved, or has a decentralized series of locations. Voice artist John Guilor, who had already provided the voice of the first Doctor in bonus features for the DVD release of 1964’s Planet Of Giants, reprised that voice for the every-incarnation-of-the-Doctor climax.

Whether you consider his final appearance to have occurred in 1981’s Logopolis or the 1993 charity special Dimensions In Time, this episode marks Tom Baker’s first appearance in new footage in Doctor Whotelevised Doctor Who in a very long time; the exact nature of his character is left extremely vague.

One day after its premiere unfolded simultaneously in 94 countries, The Day Of The Doctor and its production team were awarded the Guinness World Record for the most widely watched non-news, non-sports drama presentation in the history of the medium of television.

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More