The Tenth Planet

Doctor WhoThe TARDIS arrives at a military base on the South Pole in 1986. The base is routinely tracking a spacecraft in orbit when odd things begin to occur. A trio of oddly-dressed people suddenly appear outside, emerging from a police box, and observatories (and the orbiting capsule) spot the approach of a planet which is identical in mass and geography to Earth. A spaceship from that planet lands at the polar base, and cybernetically augmented humans – Cybermen – emerge to take control. Their world, Mondas, was thrown out of its orbit around the sun long ago, forcing its inhabitants to turn to cybernetics to preserve their species. Now, having succumbed entirely to the machinery that was only intended to extend their lives, the Cybermen face another kind of extinction. Mondas is a dying planet, and the Cybermen hope to colonize Earth for its resources…and its population. The Doctor seems to know about Mondas and its people already…but he also seems to have a premonition of something else, a momentous change that could render him helpless in the ensuing battle with the emotionless Cybermen.

Order this story on audio CDwritten by Kit Pedler, Pat Dunlap and Gerry Davis
directed by Derek Martinus
music not credited

Guest Cast: Robert Beatty (General Cutler), Dudley Jones (Dyson), David Dodinhead (Barclay), Alan White (Schultz), Earl Cameron (Williams), Shane Shelton (Tito), John Brandon (Sergeant), Steve Plytas (Wigner), Christopher Matthews (Radar technician), Reg Whitehead (Krail), Harry Brooks (Talon), Ellen Cullen (Technician), Glenn Beck (Announcer), Callen Angelo (Terry Cutler), Christopher Dunham (R/T technician), Nicholas Edwards (R/T technician), Harry Brooks (Krang), Reg Whitehead (Jarl), Gregg Palmer (Gern/Shav), Peter Hawkins (Cyberman voices), Roy Skelton (Cyberman voices), Bruce Wells (Cyberman), John Haines (Cyberman), John Knott (Cyberman), Sheila Knight (Secretary)

Broadcast from October 8 through 29, 1966

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The War Games

Doctor WhoThe TARDIS brings the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe to a World War I battlefield, but upon closer examination they find that the battlegrounds have been recreated on an alien planet. For the next several episodes, the Doctor and company wander through various different simulated wars in Earth history, finally discovering the alien War Lords at the heart of a plot to create an all-powerful army from the most powerful ranks of Earth history’s greatest military forces. Left with the task of stopping the War Lords, as well as returning all of the abducted Earth soldiers to their native times and places, the Doctor reluctantly summons the help of his own people, the Time Lords – and in so doing draws their attention to him as well. After dealing with the War Lords, the Time Lords put the Doctor on trial, the verdict of which will cost him another of his precious lives.

written by Malcolm Hulke & Terrance Dicks
directed by David Maloney
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: Jane Sherwin (Lady Buckingham), David Savile (Carstairs), John Livesly, Bernard Davies (German Soldiers), Terence Bayler (Barrington), Brian Forster (Willis), Noel Coleman (General Smythe), Hubert Rees (Captain Ransom), Esmond Webb (Burns), Richard Steele (Gorton), Peter Stanton (Chauffeur), Pat Gorman (Policeman), Tony McEwan (Redcoat), David Valla (Crane), Gregg Palmer (Lucke), David Garfield (Von Weich), Edward Brayshaw (War Chief), Philip Madoc (War Lord), James Bree (Security Chief), Bill Hutchinson (Thompson), Terry Adams (Riley), Leslie Schofield (Leroy), Vernon Dobtcheff (Scientist), Rudolph Walker (Harper), John Atterbury, Charles Pemberton (Aliens), Michael Lynch (Spencer), Graham Weston (Russell), David Troughton (Moor), Peter Craze (Du Pont), Michael Napier-Brown (Villar), Stephen Hubay (Petrov), Bernard Horsfall, Trevor Martin, Clyde Pollitt (Time Lords), Clare Jenkins (Tanya), Freddie Wilson (Quark), John Levene (Yeti), Tony Harwood (Ice Warrior), Roy Pearce (Cyberman), Robert Jewell (Dalek)

Broadcast from April 19 through June 21, 1969

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Planet of the Spiders

Doctor WhoPast events catch up with the Doctor in an unexpected way. A race of evil giant spiders on Metebelis 3 is looking for one of their planet’s perfect blue crystals to complete a crystal “web” that will broadcast the will of their leader, the Great One (not Jackie Gleason), across the entire universe. But the Doctor stole that crystal during a previous visit without realizing its significance, and his actions have drawn unwanted attention to Earth. The spiders use a monastery in the English countryside as their gateway to Earth, taking over the minds of a criminally-minded man named Lupton whose meditations have failed to turn him into a better person. In the end, the Doctor is obliged to return the crystal to prevent Earth from being overrun by the spiders – but the personal cost will be very high.

written by Robert Sloman
directed by Barry Letts
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), Richard Franklin (Mike Yates), John Levene (Sergeant Benton), John Dearth (Lupton), Terence Lodge (Moss), Andrew Staines (Keaver), Christopher Burgess (Barnes), Carl Forgione (Land), Cyril Shaps (Professor Clegg), Kevin Lindsay (Cho-Je), John Kane (Tommy), Pat Gorman (Soldier), Chubby Oates (Policeman), Terry Walsh (Man with boat), Michael Pinder (Hopkins), Ysanne Churchman, Kismet Delgado, Maureen Morris (Spider voices), Ralph Arliss (Tuar), Geoffrey Morris (Sabor), Joanna Monro (Rega), Gareth Hunt (Arak), Jenny Laird (Neska), Walter Randall (Captain), Max Faulkner (Second Captain), Maureen Morris (Great One), George Cormack (K’anpo)

Broadcast from May 4 through June 8, 1974

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Logopolis

Doctor WhoAfter he takes complete measurements of a British Police Box, the inspiration for the exterior appearance of the TARDIS, the Doctor plans to visit Logopolis to seek the help of the mathematical geniuses there, whose near-mystic incantations of intricate mathematical formulas actually keep the universe from dying a premature death. Thanks to the interference of the Master, the Doctor becomes trapped, and an Australian stewardess named Tegan wanders into the TARDIS, assuming it to be a real Police Box. The Doctor also receives a distress call from Nyssa, whose father has gone missing on Traken. A mysterious ghostly figure appears and disappears, but the Doctor remains silent as to its identity, and the Master finally emerges from the shadows on Logopolis, poised to destroy the universe by eliminating its guardians. All the while, the TARDIS cloister bell counts down last remaining hours of the Doctor’s fourth life.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Christopher H. Bidmead
directed by Peter Grimwade
music by Paddy Kingsland

Guest Cast: Anthony Ainley (The Master), John Fraser (Monitor), Dolores Whiteman (Aunt Vanessa), Tom Georgeson (Detective Inspector), Christopher Hurst (Security Guard), Ray Knight, Peter Roy, Derek Suthern (Policemen), Robin Squire (Pharos technician)

Broadcast from February 28 through March 21, 1981

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The Caves of Androzani

Doctor WhoThe Doctor and Peri find themselves on Androzani Major, a world embroiled in a bloody war over the drug spectrox, which prolongs the human life span. While exploring some seemingly uninhabited caves, the Doctor and Peri fall into a foreign substance which has the immediate effect of causing an unpleasant rash, and are then captured by a platoon of soldiers who accuse them of smuggling weapons. While awaiting summary execution for this crime, the Doctor and Peri are then rescued – or perhaps kidnapped – by Sharaz Jek, a disfigured madman who hoards the planet’s supply of spectrox and oversees the real weapons smugglers. The soldiers, Jek, the gun-runners and a treacherous corporate mogul with an eye on the presidency are all battling for control of the spectrox supply, and none of them will let anything stand in their way – especially not two innocent bystanders who are dying anyway.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Robert Holmes
directed by Graeme Harper
music by Roger Limb

Guest Cast: Christopher Gable (Sharaz Jek), John Normington (Morgus), Robert Glenister (Salateen), Maurice Roeves (Stotz), Roy Holder (Krelper), Martin Cochrane (Chellak), Barbara Kinghorn (Timmin), David Neal (President), Ian Staples (Soldier), Colin Taylor (Magma creature), Keith Harvey, Andrew Smith, Stephen Smith (Androids), Anthony Ainley (The Master), Matthew Waterhouse (Adric), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Janet Fielding (Tegan), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Gerald Flood (voice of Kamelion)

Broadcast from March 8 through 16, 1984

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Time And The Rani

Doctor WhoThe TARDIS crash-lands on Lakertya with such force that the Doctor is forced to regenerate. He is promptly removed from the TARDIS by the evil female Time Lord biochemist known as the Rani, who is behind his rough landing. Melanie, also knocked out by the landing, is kidnapped by Ikona, a birdlike Lakertyan whose people are behind forced to cooperate with the Rani’s scheme. In the meantime, the Rani gives the newly-regenerated Doctor a drug-induced bout of amnesia, trying to use him to help her complete her latest experiment – but she doesn’t count on the rebellious nature that the Doctor carries through all of his incarnations.

Season 24 Regular Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Bonnie Langford (Melanie)

Order the DVDwritten by Pip Baker & Jane Baker
directed by Andrew Morgan
music by Keff McCulloch

Guest Cast: Kate O’ Mara (The Rani), Mark Greenstreet (Ikona), Donald Pickering (Beyus), Richard Gauntlett (Urak), Wanda Ventham (Faroon), John Segal (Lanisha), Karen Clegg (Sarn), Peter Tuddenham, Jacki Webb (Voices)

Broadcast from September 7 through 28, 1987

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Doctor Who (1996 TV Movie)

Doctor WhoBefore he is executed by the Daleks for crimes against them, the Master asks that his remains be given to the Doctor for transport to Gallifrey. En route in the Doctor’s TARDIS, the Master’s remains break free of their container, still pulsating with malevolent life. The Master sabotages the TARDIS, forcing an emergency landing in San Francisco on December 30, 1999. The moment he steps out of the TARDIS, the Doctor is caught in the middle of a gang shooting. One young survivor of the shootout, Chang Lee, calls an ambulance for the Doctor, unwittingly providing an escape for the Master as well. Cardiologist Grace Holloway ignores the X-rays which show the Doctor’s two hearts and tries to operate on him. The operation and the anasthetics end the Doctor’s seventh life. The Doctor regenerates in the morgue as the Master takes over the body of a paramedic. Grace resigns after losing her patient, but the newly reborn Doctor, suffering from amnesia, escapes the hospital and follows her home. After convincing Grace of his alien nature and regaining his memory, the Doctor discovers that his future regenerations are the Master’s targets. Aided by Chang Lee and a hypnotized Grace, the Master captures the Doctor and tries to use the TARDIS’ Eye of Harmony to transfer the Doctor’s life energy into the paramedic’s decaying body, but opening the Eye on Earth will destroy the planet at midnight on December 31. When Chang Lee rebels against the Master’s dominance, the Master kills him and releases Grace to help him. Grace escapes and sets the TARDIS into motion, freeing Earth from danger. The Master’s scheme fails, but he kills Grace after she releases the Doctor. The Master falls into the Eye of Harmony and vanishes from existence, while the TARDIS restores Grace and Chang Lee to full health. The Doctor brings his passengers back to Earth just after the dawn of the year 2000. Grace turns down the Doctor’s offer to accompany him on his travels, and the Doctor departs in the TARDIS.

written by Matthew Jacobs
directed by Geoffrey Sax
music by John Debney, John Sponsler and Louis Febre

Click here for a video previewClick here for a video previewClick here for a video previewClick here for a video previewCast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Eric Roberts (The Master), Daphne Ashbrook (Dr. Grace Halloway), Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Yee Jee Tso (Chang Lee), John Novak (Salinger), Michael David Simms (Dr. Swift), Eliza Roberts (Miranda), Gordon Tipple (The Old Master), Dave Hurtubise (Professor Wagg), Jeremy Badick (Gareth), Dolores Drake (Curtis), Catherine Lough (Wheeler), William Sasso (Pete), Joel Wirkkunen (Ted), Mi-Jung Lee (TV Anchor), Joanna Piros (TV Anchor), Bill Croft (Cop), Ron James (Motorbike Cop/Driver), Dee Jay Jackson (Security Guy), Darryl Avon (Gangster), Byron Lawson (Gangster), Paul Wu (Gangster), Johnny Mam (Gangster), Michael Ching (Chang Lee’s Friend), Dean Choe (Chang Lee’s Friend), Danny Groesclose (Driver)

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

Full Fathom Five

Doctor Who Unbound: Full Fathom Five2039 A.D.: After encountering rumors of illegal genetic experiments being conducted by the U.S. military under the cover of the Deep-sea Energy Exploration Project, the Doctor drops in with the TARDIS and confirms his worst fears. The ruthless General Flint has been using Professor Vollmer’s ecologically friendly energy experiments, harnessing power from undersea geothermal vents, as a cover for experiments that even the Army has now disavowed. Faced with the impending end of his secret project, Flint has Vollmer injected with a cocktail of accelerated DNA cultivated from sea creatures, his last chance to prove the value of his project. To prevent Vollmer’s mutation into an amphibious life form, the Doctor kills him, but not before Vollmer makes the Doctor promise to look after his daughter. General Flint confiscates the Doctor’s TARDIS key, forcing the Time Lord to abandon the seabase in an escape submarine before Flint’s plan comes to a deadly end: radioactive dirty bombs detonate around the DEEP base, ensuring that even the most curious and determined explorer can’t get near it.

2066 A.D.: The Doctor insists on leaving his companion Ruth on dry land as he plunges into the ocean to examine the wreckage of DEEP. Ruth’s father, Professor Vollmer, worked there 27 years ago when disaster struck and he was lost and presumed dead. She has never learned what exactly happened to him or who was responsible. And despite the Doctor’s efforts to leave her behind, she stows away aboard a sub he has hired to go to DEEP. The Doctor, having been stranded on 21st century Earth for a quarter century, is desperate to retrieve his TARDIS and continue his travels – and he’ll stop at nothing to get it back. But is he willing to sacrifice Ruth’s life to achieve this goal… or is he willing to take it in cold blood?

Order this CDwritten by David Bishop
directed by Jason Haigh-Ellery
music by Andy Hardwick & Gareth Jenkins

Cast: David Collings (The Doctor), Ed Bishop (General Flint), Siri O’Neal (Ruth), Matthew Benson (Vollmer), Jeremy James (Hoskins), Jack Galagher (Lee)

Timeline: uncertain. According to Ruth, “The Doctor says he has thirteen lives, but he’s used most of those already.”

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Exile

Doctor Who Unbound: ExileTrapped by the Time Lords and tried for the crime of interfering in history, the Doctor is scheduled to be exiled to Earth – but he escapes into his TARDIS and leaves Gallifrey. Not that this really does him much good, as he winds up trapped on Earth anyway. A few incarnations later, the Doctor’s situation has become even more unsettling – he has not only changed bodies, but changed gender as well. Without her TARDIS, the Doctor becomes bored, listless, and – with the help of two friends she makes on a job she takes to eke out a meager existence – perhaps just a little bit alcoholic. Or perhaps a lot – the Doctor begins to see and hear her previous (male) incarnation, warning her of alien invasions and labyrinthine plots against modern-day Earth. When the Time Lords send two agents to track the Doctor down and bring her back to justice (though they don’t know that the Doctor is now a woman), the only thing standing between the Doctor and her doom is an increasing reliance on the bottle. When it comes right down to it, which oblivion will the Doctor choose?

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

Cast: Arabella Weir (The Doctor), Hannah Smith (Cherrie), Jeremy James (Cheese), Toby Longworth (Time Lord #1), David Tennant (Time Lord #2), Graham Duff (Mr. Baggit), Nicholas Briggs (The previous Doctor)

Timeline: after Logopolis – the Doctor’s sacrifice in that episode is said to be a suicide, and a non-fatal suicide attempt triggers not only a regeneration, but a gender change, in Time Lords!

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The Parting Of The Ways

Doctor WhoWith the help of the terrified (and mostly unarmed) broadcasters and civilians of Satellite 5, the Doctor and Jack mount what appears to be a frontal attack on the Dalek command saucer via the TARDIS, but then the Doctor feigns the TARDIS’ destruction from a Dalek missile attack and materializes in the heart of the Daleks’ command center, saving Rose. With the TARDIS projecting a shield around him, the Doctor emerges and finds that the Daleks have recovered their Emperor – an enormous mastermind Dalek the Doctor thought he had destroyed in the final battle of the Time War. The damaged Emperor escaped the carnage, however, and rebuilt the Dalek race – using dead humans as a replacement for now-extinct Kaled mutants. The Emperor has also risen to prophetic heights of megalomania, declaring itself the god of the Daleks and vowing to attack Earth and turn its population into billions more Daleks. The Doctor vows to stop the Emperor at any cost, though he discovers that the cost is horrific: his own defense could destroy humanity as thoroughly as the Daleks will.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Joe Ahearne
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: John Barrowman (Captain Jack), Jo Joyner (Lynda), Paterson Joseph (Rodrick), Nisha Nayar (Female Programmer), Noel Clarke (Mickey), Camille Coduri (Jackie), Anne Robinson (voice of Anne Droid), Nicholas Briggs (Dalek voices), Barnaby Edwards (Dalek operator), Nicholas Pegg (Dalek operator), David Hankinson (Dalek operator), Alan Ruscoe (Android), David Tennant (The Doctor)

Reviews by Philip R. Frey & Earl Green
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Utopia

Doctor WhoThe Doctor once again brings the TARDIS to Cardiff to recharge the timeship’s engines with energy from the interdimensional rift that runs through the city. When he spots Captain Jack running toward the TARDIS at full speed, the Doctor tries to dematerialize the TARDIS – but Jack, eager to seek the Doctor’s help with his newfound immortality, leaps onto the time machine and clings to it as it tries to escape him. The TARDIS makes a rough landing on the eve of what could be the last night of humanity: the universe is collapsing, the stars and galaxies are dying, and the last remnants of humankind huddle in a rickety launch silo, awaiting their orders to board a rocket that will take them to a planet called Utopia. Trying to help ready the rocket, but making little headway, is the enigmatic Professor Yana, who seems to have a strange reaction to the Doctor and the TARDIS. A race called the Futurekind closes in on the last human settlement to feed, and Yana reveals that the rocket really won’t work at all. As the Doctor and Jack try to help, Martha notices that Professor Yana has a pocketwatch similar to one which once hid the Doctor’s personality and genetic information – a device of Time Lord design. But when the Doctor realizes that he isn’t the last Time Lord in the universe, he faces the horrifying revelation that only one other member of his race could’ve had the drive to survive the Time War…

Download this episodewritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Graeme Harper
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Sir Derek Jacobi (Professor Yana), Chipo Chung (Chantho), Rene Zagger (Padra), Neil Reidman (Lieutenant Atillo), Paul Marc Davies (Chieftan), Robert Forknall (Guard), John Bell (Creet), Deborah MacLaren (Kistane), Abigail Canton (Wiry Woman) and John Simm (The Master)

Notes: Both this colony and the isolated human colony seen in Frontios (1984) are said to be the last human colonies in existence in the universe, though the implication is that Utopia is set much, much further in the future, during the twilight of the universe itself. During Professor Yana’s moments of mental distress, sound clips of Roger Delgado and Anthony Ainley as past incarnations of the Master can be heard; ironically, Sir Derek Jacobi played the part of the Master in a one-off animated Doctor Who story, Scream Of The Shalka, as well as starring in a well-received UtopiaDoctor Who: Unbound audio story, Deadline. Presumably, Jack’s chase after the TARDIS takes place immediately on the heels of his disappearance in the Torchwood episode End Of Days (and the Doctor remarks that the Cardiff rift has seen recent activity, possibly from the opening of the rift in that episode), although End Of Days strongly implies that the TARDIS materialized inside the Torchwood hub. (Maybe the scattered papers found by the rest of Jack’s team were an indication of how fast he ran outside…)

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

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 End Of Time – Part 2

Doctor WhoThe Master has twisted the Immortality Gate into his own weapon, projecting himself as a template onto every human on Earth: every human on Earth is now the Master. The two aliens working undercover in Naismith’s operation are unaffected, and Wilfred is unaffected as well, stuck in the Master’s isolation booth. But the only other human not possessed by the Master is Donna Noble, whose adventures with the Doctor are flooding back into her mind. Wilfred urges her to run, but soon the amount of information crowding her human brain causes her to collapse. The Master interrogates the Doctor, demanding to know the whereabouts of the TARDIS, but this grueling interrogation is soon interrupted by the two aliens, who teleport themselves, the Doctor and Wilfred to their ship in orbit.

An alien artifact arrives on Earth, a piece of the extinct world of Gallifrey, and only then does the Master realize what the drumbeat in his head is: the rhythm of a Time Lord’s hearts. The Master uses this piece of Gallifrey to establish a link, and the entire planet of Gallifrey materializes close enough to Earth that tidal forces begin tearing the smaller planet apart. The Time Lords, desperate to escape their imminent doom in the Time War, have broken free by sending their distress signal – the drumbeat – back in time. They created the Master and made him a madman, all to compel him to provide an escape route for Gallifrey. The Lord President and members of the High Council of the Time Lords arrive on Earth, where the Master demands their obedience and just as quickly discovers that the Lord President is ready to eliminate him: the Master has served his purpose where the Time Lords are concerned. The Doctor cuts Gallifrey’s link to Earth as the Master and the Time Lord President do battle; the planet of the Time Lords disappears again, taking the Master with it.

But it is only after the crisis is averted that the Doctor realizes that the prophecy of his own death has nothing to do with the Time Lords or the Master.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Euros Lyn
music by Murray Gold

Cast: David Tennant (The Doctor), John Simm (The Master), Bernard Cribbins (Wilfred Mott), Timothy Dalton (Lord President), Catherine Tate (Donna Noble), Jacqueline King (Sylvia Noble), Billie Piper (Rose Tyler), Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler), John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Freema Agyeman (Martha Smith-Jones), Noel Clarke (Mickey Smith), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Jessica Hynes (Verity Newman), June Whitfield (Minnie Hooper), Claire Bloom (The Woman), Thomas Knight (Luke Smith), Russell Tovey (Midshipman Frame), David Harewood (Joshua Naismith), Tracy Ifeachor (Abigail Naismith), Lawry Lewin (Rossiter), Sinead Keenan (Addams), Joe Dixon (The Chancellor), Julie LeGrand (The Partisan), Brid Brennan (The Visionary), Karl Collins (Shaun Temple), Krystal Archer (Nerys), Lachele Carl (Trinity Wells), Paul Kasey (Ood Sigma), Ruari Mears (Elder Ood), Silas Carson (voice of Ood Sigma), Nicholas Briggs (voice of Judoon), Dan Starkey (Sontaran), Matt Smith (The Doctor)

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Let’s Kill Hitler

Doctor WhoAmy and Rory use decidedly unconventional means to summon the Doctor for a progress report on his search for their daughter Melody, only to be interrupted by Melody herself – or at least one of her future incarnations, who has grown up alongside her own parents as a troubled child. She forces the Doctor and his friends to take her into the TARDIS with no more of a destination in mind than “let’s kill Hitler.” But when the TARDIS arrives in Berlin, 1938, there is already an alien presence among the Third Reich attempting to do away with the Fuhrer – an assassination attempt that the Doctor’s arrival foils. Wounded in the ensuing firefight, Mels regenerates into River Song before her parents’ eyes, but her new incarnation is mentally unstable. The self-proclaimed psychopath poisons the Doctor and continues to wreak havoc across Berlin, oblivious to any ripples she might be leaving in the timeline. Amy and Rory are taken into the custody of the alien police force which has now shifted its attention to River, and they now have two seemingly conflicting objectives: save the Doctor and somehow keep River alive when the authorities catch up with her.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Richard Senior
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Alex Kingston (River Song), Nina Toussaint-White (Mels), Caitlin Blackwood (Amelia Pond), Maya Glace-Green (young Mels), Ezekiel Wigglesworth (young Rory), Philip Rham (Zimmerman), Richard Dillane (Carter), Amy Cudden (Anita), Davood Ghadami (Jim), Elia Kenion (Harriet), Albert Welling (Adolf Hitler), Mark Killeen (German Officer), Paul Bentley (Professor Candy), Eva Alexander (Nurse), Tor Clark (Female Teacher)

Notes: The “state of temporal grace” – a long-standing piece of obscure Doctor Who continuity from the Tom Baker years that supposedly prevents weapons from being fired inside the TARDIS – is said to be fictitious here, although it did work at one point; the first time it failed to work was in the Peter Davison story Earthshock (after a Cyberman blasted the TARDIS console), and it’s been consistently failing to work Let's Kill Hitlersince then. Hitler doesn’t recognize the Doctor, who has regenerated four times since the two were uneasy allies during the events of the second New Adventures novel, “Timewyrm: Exodus“; even without the changes in appearance, that book’s alien interference in Hitler’s mental state would account for his inability to remember the TARDIS, so the two adventures don’t necessarily conflict. The River Song we’ve seen so far is at least the third incarnation of Melody Pond. For the first time in Steven Moffat’s tenure as showrunner, we see Rose, Martha and Donna, though they’re familiar publicity photos presented as “holograms” by the TARDIS, which finally settles on the avatar of little Amelia Pond (still played by Karen Gillan’s younger cousin) to interact with the Doctor.

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The Night Of The Doctor

Doctor WhoA young woman called Cass flees alone in a spaceship, trying to keep it from plummeting into a nearby planet. A man calling himself the Doctor inexplicably appears, offering her a chance to escape her certain doom, and to Cass this seems like a perfectly acceptable offer but for one thing: the Doctor is revealed to be a Time Lord, a race of time travelers who are laying waste to reality in their Time War with the Daleks. The Doctor is clearly not to be trusted; Cass allows the ship to crash (and allows herself to be killed). Found in the wreckage of the ship, the dying Doctor awakens in the company of the Sisterhood of Karn, whose life-extending elixir could revive him by triggering his regeneration before he dies. But the Sisters put a price tag on this salvation: the Doctor can ignore the Time War no more.

Order the DVDwritten by Steven Moffat
directed by John Hayes
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Paul McGann (The Doctor), Emma Campbell-Jones (Cass), Clare Higgins (Ohila), John Hurt (The War Doctor)

Notes: This is Paul McGann’s first and only appearance as the Doctor since the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie, and would appear to mark the end of the eighth Doctor’s era. The eighth Doctor, like Doctor Whothe fourth Doctor before him, has a checkered history with the Sisterhood of Karn, previously seen on TV in the Tom Baker story The Brain Of Morbius (1976) but encountered again by McGann’s Doctor in the 2008 audio stories Sisters Of The Flame and The Vengeance Of Morbius. Furthermore, the Doctor namechecks many of his companions before his regeneration, and all of the names he mentions hail from the Big Finish eighth Doctor audio adventures: Charley is Charlotte Pollard, who traveled with the eighth Doctor from Storm Warning (2001) through The Girl Who Never Was (2007) (with a reappearance in the 2013 50th anniversary audio The Light At The End); the Doctor and Charley were joined by the Eutermesan C’rizz from Creed Of The Kromon (2004) through Absolution (2007). Lucie Miller traveled with the Doctor from 2006’s Blood Of The Daleks through To The Death in 2011, and Molly O’Sullivan became the eighth Doctor’s companion in the Dark Eyes box set released in 2012, and will presumably continue in that role in some capacity in the three further Dark Eyes sets announced late in 2013, and all of this constitutes the first unquestionable on-screen confirmation of the Big Finish audio stories as official Doctor Who.

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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.

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The Time Of The Doctor

Doctor WhoThe Doctor is confronted with a mystery: a powerful signal is emanating from a backwater planet, defying any attempt to translate or decipher it, and luring ships from nearly every spacefaring race to that world. Having salvaged the severed head of a Cyberman to harness its processing power, the Doctor attaches a piece of Gallifreyan communications technology to the head, presumably capable of translating any language, much like the TARDIS herself, and “Handles” promptly identifies the planet from which the signal is transmitting as Gallifrey, though it bears no resemblance to the Doctor’s home planet. The Doctor and Clara are invited to board the first ship to have arrived here, the Papal Mainframe of the Church. The head of the Church, Tasha Lem, reveals the true name of the mystery planet: Trenzalore. The Papal Mainframe is protecting Trenzalore with a force field, but all hell will break loose the moment that the other ships realize that not only has someone been granted access to the planet, but that someone happens to be the Doctor. Upon first setting foot on Trenzalore, the Doctor and Clara find that others lie in wait, including Weeping Angels. They narrowly escape, and this time the Doctor insists on visiting Trenzalore on his terms, using the TARDIS instead of Tasha Lem’s teleport. The signal emanates from a large crack in the wall of a church tower on Trenzalore, shaped like the crack that the Doctor witnessed numerous times during his early travels with Amy and Rory. The signal is in the Gallifreyan language, repeating one question over and over: “Doctor who?” – the question that the Doctor has been warned must never be answered. Soon, the occupants of the many ships orbiting Trenzalore lose their patience, and try to invade the planet, only to find that the Doctor has given up his travels in space and time to defend it. Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans, Weeping Angels and others attempt to land on Trenzalore, and are either driven back into space or destroyed.

Involuntarily returned to Earth by the TARDIS, Clara tries to resume her day-to-day life, only to be visited by Tasha Lem, piloting the Doctor’s timeship. She wants Clara to return to Trenzalore. Hundreds of years after he last saw her, the Doctor is dying of old age, able to regenerate no more. Tasha Lem wants Clara to visit him because the Doctor shouldn’t have to die alone.

But yet another force in the universe seems to believe that the Doctor shouldn’t have to die at all.

Order the DVDwritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Jamie Payne
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Jenna-Louise Coleman (Clara), Orla Brady (Tasha Lem), James Buller (Dad), Elizabeth Rider (Linda), Sheila Reid (Gran), Doctor WhoMark Anthony Brighton (Colonel Albero), Rob Jarvis (Abramal), Tessa Peake-Jones (Marta), Jack Hollington (Barnable), Sonita Henry (Colonel Meme), Kayvan Novak (voice of Handles), Tom Gibbons (Young Man), Ken Bones (Voice), Aidan Cook (Cyberman), Nicholas Briggs (Dalek/Cyberman voices), Barnaby Edwards (Dalek 1), Nicholas Pegg (Dalek 2), Ross Mullan (Silent), Dan Starkey (Sontaran), Karen Madison (Weeping Angel), Karen Gillan (Amy Pond), Peter Capaldi (The Doctor)

Notes: Daleks, Cybermen (including a unique Cyberman made of wood, echoing the King and Queen from The Doctor, The Widow, And The Wardrobe), Sontarans and Angels are seen to attempt landing on Trenzalore; others, such as the Terileptils (seen in only one story, 1982’s The Visitation), are mentioned by name only. Silurian Ark ships (Dinosaurs On A Spaceship) are also seen besieging Trenzalore. The device the Doctor attaches to “Handles” is indeed a communications device given to the Master by the High Council of Gallifrey before venturing into the Death Zone with orders to rescue the Doctor (The Five Doctors, 1983); the significance Doctor Whoof this reference lies in what happened before the Master was given that device in The Five Doctors: he was offered “a complete new life cycle” of regenerations, something which one may infer has been granted to the Doctor by the end of this story. The Punch & Judy-style puppet show performed on Trenzalore recounts the Doctor’s misadventures with the one-eyed Monoids in The Ark (1965).

The Silence, seen throughout the eleventh Doctor’s era, are part of the Church, and stand with the Doctor to defend Trenzalore; the Silents that pestered the Doctor in seasons past (The Impossible Astronaut, Day Of The Moon, The Wedding Of River Song) were part of a rogue task group led by Madame Kovarian to prevent the Doctor from ever reaching this point; obviously that group was not successful, even when they took great pains to kidnap infant Melody Pond to program her to assassinate the Doctor. The cracks, first glimpsed in The Eleventh Hour (and, in that story, attributed to Prisoner Zero), are apparently the Time Lords attempting to signal their location to the Doctor so he can retrieve Gallifrey and return it to its proper place in reality.

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Deep Breath

Doctor WhoA live dinosaur in the Thames proves to be quite a spectacle, one that calls for the expertise of Madame Vastra, Jenny, and Strax. No stranger to prehistoric reptiles, Madame Vastra has just the trick for pacifying the dinosaur, but when the dinosaur coughs up a blue and apparently wooden box, Vastra and her entourage instantly know that more trouble will follow. Clara stumbles out of the TARDIS in the company of an older man wearing the Doctor’s clothes: the Doctor’s new face.

As the Doctor recovers from his recent regeneration, Clara questions whether she can continue her travels with him. Madame Vastra scolds Clara for basing her initial impressions of the Doctor’s new incarnation on physical appearance, but before the conversation can continue, the dinosaur in the Thames stirs before spontaneously combusting. The Doctor, having already awoken and gone to the scene, is angered at the creature’s death, and wonders if there have been other recent deaths by spontaneous combustion. Surprised by the question, Vastra admits that there have been. The Doctor, still behaving in an erratic manner, leaves on his own to start investigating.

A newspaper advertisement draws both Clara and the Doctor to a restaurant, each thinking that the other placed the ad, but once they arrive, they are trapped by the restaurant’s mechanical waiters. They are taken to meet the being behind the string of deaths by spontaneous combustion, a mechanical creature harvesting organs and other body parts to keep itself functional in hopes of continuing a mission that was interrupted when it was stranded on Earth. The Doctor has regained enough of his senses the challenge the robot to avoid killing… but in trying to prevent the robot from taking another life, must he take one himself?

Order the DVDwritten by Steven Moffat
directed by Ben Wheatley
music by Murray Gold

Cast: Peter Capaldi (The Doctor), Jenna-Louise Coleman (Clara), Neve McIntosh (Madame Vastra), Catrin Stewart (Jenny Flint), Dan Starkey (Strax), Nigel Betts (Mr. Anderson), Paul Hickey (Inspector Gregson), Tony Way (Alfie), Maggie Service (Elsie), Sean Ashburn (Restaurant Droid), Peter Ferdinando (Half-Face), Michelle Gomez (Keeper of the Nethersphere), Matt Smith (The Doctor)

Doctor WhoNotes: The Doctor, in his tenth incarnation, encountered similar self-repairing robots aboard the S.S. Madame du Pompadour in The Girl In The Fireplace (2006), also written by Steven Moffat. This is the first post-regeneration story in the history of Doctor Who that features a new scene shot with the previous Doctor.

Maggie Service provided the voice of the ship’s computer in the BBC SF comedy Hyperdrive. Peter Fernandino was the Black Knight in Snow White And The Huntsman, and has also been seen in 300: The Rise Of An Empire and Hyena.

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The Last Adventure: The Brink Of Death

Doctor WhoIn the blink of an eye, the familiar, curly-haired, colorfully-clothed form of the Doctor’s sixth incarnation vanishes, replaced by the gaunt face of the Valeyard. The TARDIS travels onward, and Mel notices nothing.

The Doctor finds himself trapped in the Matrix, the repository of all Time Lord knowledge, as a fading echo of his own consciousness – the fate of all Time Lords when they meet their final death. A young Time Lady, Genesta, has found him in the Matrix and is able to reinstate his corporeal form, but he has very little time until even that is erased. The Valeyard has found a way to do what he hoped to do at the Doctor’s trial: to eliminate the Doctor and his future incarnations, and take the Doctor’s place. The Doctor can prevent this from happening with the time he has left, but only at the cost of bringing about events that will cause his next regeneration.

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

Cast: Colin Baker (The Doctor), Bonnie Langford (Melanie Bush), Michael Jayston (The Valeyard), Liz White (Genesta), Robbie Stevens (Coordinator Storin / Nathemus 1), Susan Earnshaw (Lorelas / Nathemus 2), Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor)

Notes: Past Big Finish adventures have shown the Valeyard to have a near-obsession with rewriting the Doctor’s past, including (also in The Last Adventure box set) Stage Fright and the Doctor Who Unbound story He Jests At Scars… Though billed as the sixth Doctor’s regeneration story for Big Finish’s purposes, there had already been two regeneration stories for the sixth Doctor in print, the BBC Books novel Spiral Scratch, and the posthumously-finished charity novel Time’s Champion, co-written by the late Craig Hinton. All three tell, naturally, completely different stories, and in any case, while this plants an endpoint for the sixth Doctor in the audio world, it’s certainly not an end to Colin Baker playing the Doctor for Big Finish.

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