IMDb > "Doctor Who" The Five Doctors (1983)
"Doctor Who: The Five Doctors (#20.23)"
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"Doctor Who" The Five Doctors (1983)

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View company contact information for The Five Doctors on IMDbPro.
TV Series:
Original Air Date:
23 November 1983 (Season 20, Episode 23)
The Doctor and his previous regenerative versions are abducted to an isolated area of his home planet as part of a renegade timelord's scheme. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Has little in the way of substance but the nostalgic value makes it watchable See more (17 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order)

Peter Davison ... The Doctor

Jon Pertwee ... The Doctor

Patrick Troughton ... The Doctor

Richard Hurndall ... The Doctor

Tom Baker ... The Doctor (archive footage)

William Hartnell ... The Doctor (archive footage)

Janet Fielding ... Tegan

Mark Strickson ... Turlough

Elisabeth Sladen ... Sarah Jane Smith

Carole Ann Ford ... Susan Foreman

Nicholas Courtney ... Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart

Anthony Ainley ... The Master
Philip Latham ... Borusa

Lalla Ward ... Romana (archive footage)

Dinah Sheridan ... Chancellor Flavia
Paul Jerricho ... The Castellan

David Banks ... Cyber Leader
Mark Hardy ... Cyber Lieutenant
Richard Mathews ... Rassilon

Frazer Hines ... Jamie McCrimmon

Wendy Padbury ... Zoe Heriot
David Savile ... Colonel Crichton

Caroline John ... Liz Shaw

Richard Franklin ... Captain Yates

John Leeson ... K9 (voice)

Roy Skelton ... Dalek (voice)

John Scott Martin ... Dalek Operator
Ray Float ... Sergeant
Keith Hodiak ... Raston Robot
Stuart Blake ... Commander
Stephen Meredith ... Technician
John Tallents ... Guard
William Kenton ... Cyber Scout
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Mark Bassenger ... Cyberman (uncredited)
Norman Bradley ... Cyberman (uncredited)
Graham Cole ... Cyberman (uncredited)
Gilbert Gillan ... Cyberman (uncredited)
Emyr Morris Jones ... Cyberman (uncredited)
Myrddin Jones ... Cyberman (uncredited)
Johnnie Mack ... Time Lord (uncredited)
Ian Marshall-Fisher ... Cyberman (uncredited)
Charles Milward ... Time Lord (uncredited)
Richard Naylor ... Cyberman (uncredited)
Alan Riches ... Cyberman (uncredited)
Mark Whincup ... Cyberman (uncredited)
Lloyd Williams ... Cyberman (uncredited)
Frederick Wolfe ... Time Lord (uncredited)
Lee Woods ... Yeti / Cyberman (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Peter Moffatt 
John Nathan-Turner (uncredited)
Pennant Roberts (uncredited)
Writing credits
Terrance Dicks (by)

Douglas Adams  uncredited
Sydney Newman  creator (uncredited)
Eric Saward  uncredited

Produced by
Sue Kerr .... producer (special edition)
John Nathan-Turner .... producer
Paul Vanezis .... producer (special edition)
Cinematography by
Fintan Sheehan (uncredited)
Film Editing by
M.A.C. Adams (film sequences)
Hugh Parson (videotape editor)
Production Design by
Malcolm Thornton 
Costume Design by
Colin Lavers 
Makeup Department
Jill Hagger .... make-up artist
Production Management
Jeremy Silberston .... production manager
Art Department
Robert Fleming .... properties buyer
Ian Hewett .... graphic designer
Sound Department
Andy Freeth .... dubbing mixer (special edition)
John Gatland .... film sound
Benedict Peissel .... dubbing mixer (special edition)
Martin Ridout .... studio sound
John Taylor .... boom operator
Brian Hodgson .... TARDIS sound (uncredited)
Special Effects by
John Humphreys .... creature design
Visual Effects by
John Brace .... visual effects designer
Graham Brown .... visual effects assistant
Dave Chapman .... video effects
Mike Kelt .... visual effects designer
Jo McGrogan .... video effects (special edition)
Alison Rickman .... video effects (special edition)
Steve Roberts .... video effects (special edition)
Camera and Electrical Department
Don Babbage .... studio lighting
John Baker .... film cameraman
Alec Wheal .... camera supervisor (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Tariq Anwar .... additional film editor
Shirley Coward .... vision mixer
Shirley O'Mara .... post-production liaison (special edition)
Paul Vanezis .... editor: video tape (special edition)
Music Department
Ron Grainer .... composer: title music
Peter Howell .... composer: incidental music
Delia Derbyshire .... music arrangement: theme (uncredited)
Peter Howell .... music arranger: title theme (uncredited)
Other crew
Steve Broster .... consultant: graphics (special edition)
June Collins .... production associate
Jean Davis .... production assistant
Ian Levine .... program consultant (special edition)
Richard Molesworth .... researcher (special edition)
Ralph Montagu .... consultant: graphics (special edition)
Jean Peyre .... design effects
Eric Saward .... script editor
Pauline Seager .... assistant floor manager
Derek Thompson .... technical manager
Gerhard Acktun .... voice dubbing: Frazer Hines (uncredited)
Reinhard Glemnitz .... voice dubbing: Anthony Ainley (uncredited)
Marion Hartmann .... dubbing voice: Carole Ann Ford (uncredited)
Klaus Kindler .... voice dubbing: Nicholas Courtney (uncredited)
Jan Koester .... voice dubbing: Mark Strickson (uncredited)
Alexandra Ludwig .... dubbing voice: Janet Fielding (uncredited)
Michael Schwarzmaier .... dubbing voice: William Hartnell, Richard Hurndall, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison (uncredited)
Herbert Weicker .... voice dubbing: Philip Latham (uncredited)
Ursula Wolff .... voice dubbing: Elisabeth Sladen (uncredited)

Series Crew
These people are regular crew members. Were they in this episode?
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Sydney Newman  creator (uncredited)

Production Design by
Victor Meredith 
Makeup Department
Dorka Nieradzik .... makeup designer (1982, 1984-1988)
Art Department
Peter Brachaki .... production designer: TARDIS interior
Special Effects by
Mat Irvine .... special effects (1970s-1980s)
Ian Scoones .... special effects (1960s-1980s)
Ron Thornton .... special effects (1980s)
Bernard Wilkie .... special effects (1960s-1970s)
Visual Effects by
Mitch Mitchell .... special video effects (1960's-1970's) (as A. J. Mitchell)
Bernard Lodge .... title sequence designer (1963-1979) (uncredited 1963-1969)
Alan Chuntz .... stunts (1960's-1970's)
Peter Diamond .... stunts (1960s)
Max Faulkner .... stunts (1960's-1970's)
Stuart Fell .... stunts (1970s-1980s)
Alf Joint .... stunts (1960s-1980s)
Derek Martin .... stunts (1960s-1970s)
Roy Scammell .... stunts (1960s-1980s)
Lee Sheward .... stunt coordinator
Derek Ware .... stunts (1960s-1970s)
Music Department
Paddy Kingsland .... composer: incidental music (1980-1985)
Keff McCulloch .... composer: incidental music (1987-1989)
Humphrey Searle .... composer: incidental music (1965)
Dudley Simpson .... composer: incidental music (1964-1980)
Other crew
Christopher Baker .... production assistant
Ali Bongo .... magic advisor
Kenneth J. Bussanmas .... creative consultant (1979-1985)
Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

90 min | 102 min (DVD version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:PG | UK:U | UK:PG (25th anniversary DVD rating)

Did You Know?

Charles Gray was offered the cameo of Rassilon.See more »
Revealing mistakes: 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 »
Third Doctor:Well I've reversed the polarity of the neutron flow, so the TARDIS should be free of the force field now.See more »
Movie Connections:
Destiny WaltzSee more »


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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Has little in the way of substance but the nostalgic value makes it watchable, 3 October 2009
Author: Robert McElwaine from Clydebank, Scotland

Within the high council on Gallifrey, an unknown renegade in the citadel is snatching the first five incarnations of the Doctor and his former friends and companions from their respective time zones and dumping them in the death zone, a barren wasteland on the Time Lord home planet. The fourth Doctor and his companion Romana however are caught in a time eddy which they can't escape from when the attempt to remove them from their time stream goes awry. The fifth Doctor, sensing that his former selves are being taken away, travels with his current companions, Teegan and Turlough to the Death Zone, hoping to go to the Dark Tower at the heart of the zone where they hope to find some answers as do the remaining three Doctors and their friends. As they make their way to the towers they encounter all sorts of obstacles including a platoon of cybermen, a lone Dalek, a Yeti, a Raston warrior Robot and their old Time lord adversary, the Master.

Originally aired on 23rd November 1983 as a one off, anniversary special to celebrate "Doctor Who's" twentieth anniversary, "The Five Doctor's" was eventually re-released on DVD in the late nineties with twelve minutes of extra footage, digitally enhanced sound and picture quality as well as digitally altered special effects. Tailor made to bring back the previous actors who had played the part of the Doctor in it's then twenty year history, this wasn't entirely possible due to sad death of William Hartnell in 1975 and Tom Baker's refusal to don his hat and scarf as the "iconic" fourth personae. Some what misleading then due to its title and in an attempt to paper over these gaps, actor Richard Hurndall was cast to play the first Doctor while footage from the un-televised, never completed story "Shada" was used to fill in a couple of scenes with Baker's incarnation.

It was left to former script editor Terrance Dick's who had also penned the Target range of the show's novelisations to rise to the challenge of constructing a story that would necessitate the return of the previous Doctors and the classic companions, not an easy task. And while "The Five Doctor's" marks a diverting time waster, it falls short of really being a satisfactory celebration of the world's longest running science fiction series. To start with the storyline is fairly shallow, a contrivance which consists of nothing more than a string of set pieces, woven together and doesn't make entire sense when the villain is finally unmasked and his plot revealed. Dicks ear for dialogue is for the most part, okay although he does deliver a couple of stinkers. "Not, not the mind probe" being the most cheesy and laughable.

Never the less, the nostalgia value is pretty high and it's wonderful to see both the wonderful Patrick Troughten and Jon Pertwee reprising their old roles, playing off one another brilliantly in their later scenes together. Richard Hurndall who bears little resemblance to the late William Hartnell can't quite capture all of the first Doctor's mannerisms but is never the less passable while its sad to see Tom Baker's Doctor reduced to nothing more than a mere cameo, although in fairness it couldn't be helped. Davison meanwhile, while a good actor displays his usual insipidity as the fifth Doctor with Janet Fielding being left to bolster any interest in their initial scenes while Mark Strickson's Turlough manages to be equally as mundane. The rest of the cast effortlessly step back in to their old roles, Elizabeth Sladen is as reliable as ever as fan favourite, Sarah Jane Smith as is Carole Ann Ford as Susan. Nicholas Courtney is excellent as the weary, sardonic Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart who's scenes with Troughten on Gallifrey by far being the most enjoyable, the chemistry between the two never waning for a second. Anthony Ainley who is never the less fine is lumbered with a camp looking Master once again looking more like a pantomime villain rather than a criminal mastermind, a testament to John Nathan Turner's middling period as executive producer. With brief cameos by Fraser Hines, Wendy Padbury, Caroline John and Richard Franklin and a host of classic monsters thrown in for good measure its all something of a guilty pleasure. A vacuous pat on the back which although far from achieving greatness is miles better than than the dire twenty-fifth anniversary special, "Silver Nemesis" which Sylvester McCoy was lumbered with in 1988.

A curiosity rather than a necessity to any Whovians DVD collection, I wouldn't grumble too much if I had never seen "The Five Doctor's" but for the nostalgic value alone and some good performances its worth a watch if you get the chance, just don't expect anything special in this anniversary special.

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