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.


Peter Moffatt, John Nathan-Turner (uncredited) | 1 more credit »


Terrance Dicks (by)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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


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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Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

23 November 1983 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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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 2017 this special was featured in a live big screen presentation of Rifftrax by mst3k alumni Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett. This was presented to movie theaters across America as a Fathom Event. See more »


The Second Doctor notes that Jaime and Zoe had their memories erased when they left the Doctor. This was done by the Time Lords at the end of his last story, The War Games. But if the Doctor remembers this, why would the Time Lords have allowed the Doctor a brief vacation in the middle of his trial to visit the Brigadier's retirement party before forcing his regeneration? See more »


Second Doctor: [the Second Doctor's visit of his old friend Brigadier Allister Gordon Lethgridge Stewart is drawing to a close] Now Brigadier I must bid hail and farewell. I shouldn't even be here at all. I'm not exactly breaking the laws of time but I am bending them a little.
Brigadier: [Nodding slightly] Yes. You never did care much for rules as I remember.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Yet another Version was aired in Germany in 1995: This Version was split into 3 Parts, each having variable running times, cutting many scenes to trim the overall running time down to roughly 77 Minutes and exclude scenes with Liz Shaw or the Battle between the Cybermen and the Raston Warrior Robot upon others. See more »


References Worzel Gummidge (1979) See more »


Destiny Waltz
Composed by Sydney Baynes
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User Reviews

Should be called 'The Four Doctors' ...
24 March 2004 | by GunbarrelSee all my reviews

This particular Dr Who episode, which screened during Peter Davison's (the 5th Doctor) tenure, was intended to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Dr Who. The plot - a mysterious individual has summoned all incarnations of the Doctor to the Death Zone on Gallifrey for some unknown purpose. The Doctors, unsure of why they are here try to reach the Tower of Rasselon (sp?) to find answers, where along the way they confront various obstacles (a Daalek, Cybermen, a Yeti etc.) Apparently the mysterious individual wants something within the tower and is using the Doctors to get it - one Doctor would not have been enough, but FIVE doctors might be (well 4 really, read below).

It's pretty much well known that Tom Baker (the 4th Doctor) declined to appear in this special episode so the producers were forced to use some old footage from Baker's tenure as the Doctor and then use the plot device of having him 'stuck' in the vortex (or whatever they called it) to explain his absence, so contrary to the title the story from the outset only really involves 4 doctors. In addition William Hartnell (the 1st Doctor) had passed away in 1975 so a replacement in Richard Hurndall had to be found. Hurndall does a good job in keeping to the character as originally played by Hartnell but it's pretty obvious to all that it's another actor, but that couldn't be helped.

As far as the quality of the episode goes, it depends on what you want to get out of it. As an exercise in seeing all of the Doctors (well 4 of them - and 1 with a replacement actor) it's not too bad, especially seeing how each Doctor reacts to the others being present (the verbal sparring between Patrick Troughton (the 2nd Doctor) and Jon Pertwee (the 3rd Doctor) is hilarious). However as far as plot goes its pretty weak on the ground - 90% of the episode seems to be made up of shots of each of the respective Doctors running from something, with the 5th Doctor killing time outside the zone trying to figure it all out and token references being made concerning the 4t Doctor being 'stuck' and thus not present. And the Master has a few scenes too. Clearly for the amount of Doctors involved (not counting all the sidekicks they bring along) 90 mins is nowhere long enough to adequately tell a story involving all of them (or 4 of them)

Worth a look to see all 5 (sorry, 4 ::sigh::) Doctors together in action, just don't expect anything major in the plot department.

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