The Five Doctors DVD
Number of DVDs 1
DVD Number BBCDVD1006
Duration 102 minutes
The world’s longest-running science-fiction series celebrated its 20th anniversary with this special feature-length story – a glorious reunion of all five Doctors and many of their infamous enemies and companions.
A place of ancient evil feared throughout the universe – the Death Zone on Gallifrey. Abandoned for centuries it is now re-activated by someone who dares to play the deadly game of Rassilon once again.
The first five incarnations of the Doctor have been snatched from their Time-Streams; the fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) is trapped in the Time/Space Vortex and the others, aided by old friends, must cross the Death Zone, reach the Tomb of Rassilon and discover the final secret of the first Time Lord President… before all the Doctors are pulled into the vortex forever.
But old adversaries are also active in the Death Zone – a Dalek, a Yeti, a deadly Raston Warrior Robot, a troop of Cybermen and the evil renegade Time Lord known as the Master. They all stand between the Doctors and their goal..
- The Five Doctors was a ninety-minute story which celebrated the twentieth anniversary of Doctor Who.
- Although it was broadcast only a month before Season 21, The Five Doctors is generally considered the seventh and final story of Season 20, which had otherwise concluded the previous March. As such, the story concluded a loose story arc from Season 20 that involved the Doctor and his friends attempting to reach the Eye of Orion.
- Robert Holmes was initially commissioned to write the special, which initially had the working title The Six Doctors because it originally included a robot impostor of one of the Doctors. Holmes, however, was unable to come up with a workable script, so Terrance Dicks was commissioned to write the piece. Ironically, the story immediately preceding The Five Doctors, The King’s Demons, did in fact introduce a robot character, Kamelion, with the ability to impersonate others. However despite being introduced in that story as a new companion, not only is Kamelion not referenced or seen once in The Five Doctors, the character disappeared from the series for a full year because of technical difficulties.
- The Five Doctors was to feature Omega. Though various past villains were considered for inclusion in this story, Omega was never one of them, other than the Second Doctor’s dialogue reference. In addition, the character had appeared at the start of the season in Arc of Infinity
- Richard Hurndall died immediately after the episode aired. He actually died some months later, in April 1984. There is an associated rumour questioning whether he lived long enough to be paid for his work, which was discussed in the 25th Anniversary Edition DVD commentary.
- The Master’s real name is Jehoshaphat. This originated from fan writers misunderstanding the Third Doctor uttering the word upon recognising the Master. In truth, it was a somewhat antiquated exclamation of surprise — a shortened version of “Jumping Jehoshaphat!”
- In early drafts, the First Doctor was to appear with Dodo and Steven, and K-9 was to accompany the Fourth Doctor and Romana II (or Sarah Jane) throughout the episode. Susan was the only companion ever considered to appear alongside the First Doctor. While K-9 was present throughout most of the draft scripts, none of them had him appearing in more than a small cameo.
Plas Brondanw, Llanfrothen, Penrhyndeudraeth, Gwynedd (Eye of Orion)
Tilehouse Lane, Denham Green, Buckinghamshire
West Common Road, Uxbridge, Middlesex
Carreg Y Foel Gron, Ffestiniog, Gwynedd
Cwm Bychan, Llanbedr, Gwynedd
Denham Manor, Halings Lane, Denham Green (UNIT HQ)
North Common Road, Uxbridge, Middlesex
Ealing Television Film Studios, Ealing Green, Ealing
BBC Television Centre