Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Five Doctors 

The Doctor and his previous incarnations are brought to the Death Zone on his homeworld Gallifrey as part of a renegade Time Lord's scheme.


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
The Doctor (archive footage)
The Doctor (archive footage)
Philip Latham ...
Romana (archive footage)


In this feature-length twentieth anniversary special in the classic science fiction-fantasy series, someone uses a time scoop to lift all five incarnations of the heroic Time Lord known as the Doctor out of their respective time streams. The elderly, first Doctor is taken out of Wimbledon Garden. The Beatle-haired, Chaplainesque, second Doctor is removed from the grounds of UNIT H.Q.. The dashing, dandy, white-haired, James Bond-like third Doctor is scooped off of Earth in his Edwardian speedster car, Bessie. The curly-haired, tall, long-scarfed fourth Doctor is lifted out of a punt on the river Cambridge and trapped in a time vortex. And the youthful, striped-panted fifth Doctor must find all of his former selves and return them to their proper time streams, or face disintegration into the time vortex in which his fourth incarnation is trapped. Having abducted each of the Doctors, the mysterious agent responsible for this transgression of the First Law of Time, positions four of the ... Written by Kevin McCorry <>

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Release Date:

23 November 1983 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


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Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In April 2013, Carole Ann Ford revealed the producers had initially insisted that Susan not refer to the Doctor as her grandfather: "You will not believe why. They said, 'We don't really want people to perceive him as having had sex with someone, to father a child.' I just screamed with hysterical laughter and said, 'In that case, I'm not doing it.'" The script was changed to include mentions of the characters' relationship. See more »


In the Special Edition, the departure of the legacy characters is changed from departing in dematerialized ghost images of the TARDIS to the updated "Casper" or "Mr. Whippy" depiction of the Time Scoop being used to return them. Not only was it depicted earlier that the Time Scoop could not reach the Doctor inside the TARDIS, but the Doctor's next line, "Temporal fission. Old Rassilon is very clever," referred to the removed effect of splitting the TARDIS and doesn't make sense with using the Time Scoop. This is compounded by that line not being used in the original version, so it was brought in into an altered context. See more »


Second Doctor: We can't allow it, you know.
Third Doctor: The tomb is sealed for the best of reasons.
First Doctor: And when we get back to our own time-streams, it must be sealed again.
Second Doctor: Doctor, we need you! Join us!
First Doctor: He can't. It's some kind of mind lock. Fight it, my boy, fight it! Concentrate!
Second Doctor: We must be one!
Fifth Doctor: [the first three Doctors break Borusa's control over the Fifth Doctor] You see, Borusa? Together, we're a match for you!
Borusa: Perhaps, but you will never overcome it.
Fifth Doctor: But Chancellor Flavia will be here with her guards... or will you ...
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Featured in Tomorrow's Times: The First Doctor (2011) See more »


Destiny Waltz
Composed by Sydney Barnes
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User Reviews

"No, not the mind probe!"
1 March 2001 | by (Chicago) – See all my reviews

The 20th Anniversary episode of "Doctor Who" is low on plot and features some ridiculous dialogue (see above). But who cares. The nostalgia factor is very high. And it's great to see all the Doctors, companions, and monsters packed into one story. The story only seems to flag during the Fifth Doctor's conspiracy investigation in the Capitol.

Troughton and Pertwee easily slide back into their characters despite not having played them in years, and Richard Hurndall does well as the First Doctor.

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