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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Did You Know?


David Savile (Col. Crichton) had previously played Lieutenant Carstairs in "The War Games", also opposite Patrick Troughton. 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 »


[about the Master]
Susan: Is this man a friend of the Doctor?
Tegan: Anything but.
Susan: But they talk as if they're friends.
Tegan: That's what worries me.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Among the changes made for the 1995 Special Edition included: A new opening scene showing the Tower, a number of scenes in different order (to reflect the original teleplay), several slightly extended scenes with additional dialogue, revised special effects (most notably the Time Scoop effect), and some revision to the footage used from Shada. The only major plot change resulting from these revisions is that, due to the use of different images from Shada to depict the Tom Baker Doctor being trapped in the vortex, Romana is no longer depicted as also being trapped (which reflects the actual teleplay which makes no reference to her). See more »


Spoofed in RiffTrax Live: Doctor Who - The Five Doctors (2017) See more »


Destiny Waltz
Composed by Sydney Baynes
See more »

User Reviews

One of my favorite Peter Davison Doctor Who stories
28 May 1999 | by CharlesD-2See all my reviews

This anniversary special is quite interesting as it features excellent performances from all involved. The natural chemistry of Patrick Troughton and Nicholas Courtney for instance is one of the truly shining elements of this production. Also Richard Hurdnall does a remarkably good and under rated version of the 1st Doctor. It is most interesting to see the 1st Doctor paired up with Tegan as they both have intense egos which work brilliantly in tandem. Meanwhile we have the familiar couplings of the 3rd Doctor and Sarah Jane along with just strange choices - Turlough and Susan. This adventures captures the spirit of Doctor Who at it's finest, and is quite well written, acted, and executed for an anniversary special!

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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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