Doctor Who: Season 6, Episode 39

The War Games: Episode Five (17 May 1969)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 113 users  
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The Doctor attempts to rescue Zoe and Carstairs while Jamie and Lady Jennifer try to convince the resistance of the true nature of Von Weich and the others.


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Title: The War Games: Episode Five (17 May 1969)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Wendy Padbury ...
David Savile ...
Jane Sherwin ...
David Garfield ...
Rudolph Walker ...
Michael Lynch ...
Graham Weston ...
James Bree ...
Charles Pemberton ...
Alien Technician
Edward Brayshaw ...


The Doctor attempts to rescue Zoe and Carstairs while Jamie and Lady Jennifer try to convince the resistance of the true nature of Von Weich and the others.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

scottish accent | kilt | hobo





Release Date:

17 May 1969 (UK)  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode was watched by 5.1 million viewers on its original transmission. See more »


Russell walks through a boom microphone shadow as he breaks up a fight between Harper and Spencer. See more »


Featured in War Zone: The End of an Era (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

I am starting to lose a bit of interest in it.

Doctor Who: The War Games: Episode Five starts as Zoe (Wendy Padbury) is captured by the Security Chief (James Bree) & interrogated, he learns that she was born in the 21st Century & that she along with the Doctor (Patrick Troughton) have the ability of both space & time travel. While the Security Chief reports back to the War Chief (Edward Brayshaw) the Doctor & a de-processed Lieutenatnt Carstairs (David Savile) rescue Zoe. Meanwhile back in the American Civil War zone Jamie (Frazer Hines) & Lady Jennifer (Jane Sherwin) manage to convince the resistance what's happening, but in an attempt to defeat their alien captors they walk straight into an ambush...

Episode 39 from season 6 this Doctor Who adventure originally aired here in the UK during May 1969, after a cracking opening three episodes the past two including this have felt a little dull & the whole story is starting to become repetitive as it loses momentum. An episode of The War Games just wouldn't be an episode of The War Games without at least one character getting captured in one way or another, in this episode Zoe, & her escaping soon after & then spending at least five minutes on the run trying not to get captured again. They say familiarity breeds contempt & while I can't say I condemn The War Games in any way it's starting to become a bit boring, the story is stuck in a bit of a rut & it's needs a fresh injection of new ideas to spark it back into life. I just feel at this point, the half way point in fact, the story has stagnated & just doesn't feel like it is going anywhere. At one point in this episode the Doctor, Zoe & Lieutenant Carstairs find themselves in the alien war games control centre & an alarm sounds to which they notice three guards running down a corridor & the Doctor tells Zoe they are headed for the landing pad. How does he know that exactly? He can't possibly know that for sure in fact, he just can't unless it's one hell of a good guess.

The battlefield scenes have largely been replaced with lots of running around in an alien control centres bland cardboard looking corridors which makes Episode Five the least visually interesting so far & the most plodding. However Zoe is taken to a room at the start which has white walls with thick black circles spiralling out from it's centre, together with the guard dressed in rubber it all looks very psychedelic & kitsch! Episode Five sees the departure of Lady Jennifer Buckingham from the story, in a low key departure she unceremoniously stays behind in the American Civil War zone to tend to the injured members of the resistance. Lady Jennifer was played by actress Jane Sherwin who was the wife of then Doctor Who producer Derrick Sherwin. When originally released on VHS by the BBC here in the UK The War Games was split over two separate releases which meant you had to buy the first tape with Episodes One to Five & if you wanted to see the rest of the story you had to go out & buy the second tape containing Episodes Six to Ten! The fact that all ten episodes could have been easily released in a double VHS tape set didn't stop the BBC trying to make as much money from the fans as possible.

The War Games: Episode Five is alright, I must admit at this the half way stage the story is starting to stall with the constant padding, lots of shots of people running around corridors & very little else going on. There's nothing wrong with this episode but it's not the best or overly memorable & I really hope the writer's inject some new ideas in the second half of the story or least pick the pace up a bit...

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