Doctor Who (1963–1989)
17 user 9 critic

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.


, (uncredited) | 1 more credit »



On Disc

at Amazon




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
The Doctor (archive footage)
The Doctor (archive footage)
Romana (archive footage)
Chancellor Flavia


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

23 November 1983 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Peter Davison would later parody the Fifth Doctor's "I am being diminished" speech in the second episode of the second series of his black comedy, Rigor Mortis. Davison's character, a workaholic pathologist, doesn't respond well to a sudden drought of deaths. Undergoing a form of withdrawal, he says: "I am being diminished, whittled away, piece by piece. A doctor is the sum of his contributions to humanity, you know; a pathologist even more so." See more »


When Sarah Jane Smith says to the Fifth Doctor, "It was really nice meeting you," it is the Third Doctor who responds, "Thank you, Sarah Jane. Nice meeting you, too," suggesting he was picked up from his time line before meeting her in The Time Warrior, while still recognizing her on sight earlier. His "I'll explain later," comment is a "hanging a lantern" on the Doctors' continuity errors of memory without having to actually explain them. While that can explain the Doctors' recall of what should be future events, it wouldn't explain the Brigadier's. Or he was just having a little fun confusing her by answering on behalf of his future self. See more »


Third Doctor: Well, I've reversed the polarity of the neutron flow so the TARDIS should be free of the forcefield now.
See more »


Featured in Highlander: The Jamie McCrimmon Story (2005) See more »


Destiny Waltz
Composed by Sydney Barnes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A tall order
27 October 2000 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

The Five Doctors has a lot to live up to in its 90-odd minutes of air-time, and it succeeds in part. After all, no-one should really expect such a short program to truly represent a series that was - at the time of filming - 20 years old. There were probably many ways the show could have been made, but in the end, its writer chose a very straightforward tale which tries to cram as many Doctors, companions, concepts, monsters and enemies into the same story and, like I said earlier, it succeeds in part. It's great to see all the old Doctors, for example (even if the first Doctor was dead and is played here by a lookalike and the fourth Doctor rather childishly didn't want to be in the show, so is featured via old, unused TV footage), but it's still a bit cheesy to have simply SO MUCH Doctor Who crammed into one show. Sure, it's better than the 10th anniversary story "The Three Doctors," but it's definitely not as good as the latter story, "The Two Doctors," made a few years after this, and which I recommend wholeheartedly.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

"The IMDb Show": Alan Tudyk, His Top 5 Star Wars Droids, and Denzel's Dream Role

"The IMDb Show" Thanksgiving special: Alan Tudyk ranks his top five droids, we talk with the cast of Roman J. Israel, Esq., and we share our favorite Thanksgiving TV episodes.

Watch the show