Only the First 50 Story Notes are shown below - Click to Show All Story Notes|
"The Power of The Doctor" is the final story of the three specials broadcast in 2022 as part of Season Thirty Nine (New Series 13) and was broadcast on the 23rd October 2022. This special was commissioned for the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the launch of the BBC.
This feature-length special, as well as being part of the BBC Centenary celebrations, also marked Jodie Whittaker’s last adventure as the Thirteenth Doctor where she must fight for her very existence against three of her deadliest enemies: the Daleks, the Cybermen and her arch-nemesis, The Master.
This special was written by outgoing showrunner Chris Chibnall, who has overseen the show since 2017, and was directed by Jamie Magnus Stone - whose previous Doctor Who director credits include the first episode of the 2020 story "Spyfall" along with "Praxeus" and "Ascension of the Cybermen/The Timeless Children". He also directed the 2021 "Flux" episodes "The Halloween Apocalypse", "War of the Sontarans" and "Village of the Angels".
‘This is certainly the biggest episode we’ve done during our time on the show’, head writer and Executive Producer Chris Chibnall revealed when he spoke exclusively for the Doctor Who Magazine. ‘The story spans multiple locations and time periods, and there are multiple characters. A huge amount of love for Doctor Who has been poured into this. But at its heart, this is a very simple and emotional story about things we’ve been feeling since Jodie started. It ends with thematic resonances of where that story began’.
Mandip Gill also revealed to the Doctor Who Magazine, ‘The ending is really emotional, but a lot of the episode is really action-packed. There are a lot of returning characters, we go up against a lot of enemies... But I feel like, being 90 minutes, it has the space to give you a proper beginning, middle and end’.
On the 3rd May 2022 Mandip Gill was interviewed on The One Show, speaking about this Centenary Special and her involvement in it, saying that it will be her last story, but she won't be opposed to a return in the future.
Speaking on The One Show on the 5th July 2022, former showrunner (and future) Russell T Davies revealed that he had seen this Centenary Special and said that it was ‘gorgeous’ with ‘lots of surprises’.
In an interview on the 21st July 2022, for issue 580 of the Doctor Who Magazine, Producer Nikki Wilson described this Centenary Special as a ‘thrilling, high-stakes journey’ and, along with "Spyfall", as ‘the craziest, and the most fun’. Composer Segun Akinola announced during another interview that this special would be his last story, saying ‘To the fans, thank you for welcoming me so warmly, I’ve always been grateful for that’. Segun Akinola has composed the incidental music for every Thirteenth Doctor story since 2018 with her first story, "The Woman Who Fell to Earth".
The BBC announced Jodie Whittaker's and Chris Chibnall's departure from the show in July 2021.
As well as being the last adventure for Jodie Whittaker, as the Thirteenth Doctor, this is the last story for her travelling companions, Yasmin Khan and Dan Lewis (played by Mandip Gill and John Bishop respectively).
This story sees the return of Sacha Dhawan as The Master, Sophie Aldred as Ace, Janet Fielding as Tegan Jovanka, Bradley Walsh as Graham O'Brien, Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart, Jacob Anderson as Vinder, Patrick O’Kane as Ashad, and promises returning monsters including the Daleks and the Cybermen.
In cameo roles, the First Doctor, Fifth Doctor, Sixth Doctor, Seventh Doctor and Eighth Doctor appear. The First Doctor is portrayed by David Bradley, who previously portrayed the character in the 2017 stories "World Enough and Time/The Doctor Falls" and "Twice Upon a Time", as well as portraying the original First Doctor actor William Hartnell in the bio-drama An Adventure in Space and Time, while the others are played by their respective original actors, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy and Paul McGann. Also appearing is Jo Martin as the Fugitive Doctor.
With this story, all of the surviving actors who played The Doctor in the original era of the show have now made an appearance in the revived series.
This story features the largest number of actors to play incarnations of The Doctor in a single story, in this case eight. The number increases to nine if you also count Sacha Dhawan's portrayal of The Master in The Doctor's body.
While the absence of the late Second Doctor and Third Doctor actors Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee, respectively, was understandable, Fourth Doctor actor Tom Baker was invited to take part in this special, but was unavailable, with Chris Chibnall explaining ‘We asked Tom, but sadly he could not do it. He was not available. Such a shame’.
The ending of this story features the surprise return of David Tennant, who previously portrayed the Tenth Doctor, making a brief appearance as the newly regenerated Fourteenth Doctor.
The appearance of David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor in its closing moments, marks the first time on screen that The Doctor has regenerated into a different incarnation with the same appearance as a previous incarnation, and making David Tennant the sixth actor to have portrayed multiple different incarnations of the Doctor.
With this story David Tennant now holds the distinction of being the first actor to have portrayed two different incarnations of The Doctor in a television story. The exceptions to this are: when Sylvester McCoy filled in for the Sixth Doctor during his regeneration scene in the 1987 story "Time and The Rani" in addition to his main role as the Seventh Doctor, Paul McGann briefly acting as a body double for John Hurt's War Doctor in the closing moments of "The Night of The Doctor" after the regeneration of his incarnation of The Doctor, Tom Baker (in "The Day of The Doctor") and Colin Baker (in the Big Finish Productions audio stories "Crossed Lines" and "The Keys of Baker Street") both portraying The Curator and Richard E Grant playing both the Tenth Doctor in "The Curse of Fatal Death" and the Ninth Doctor in "Scream of the Shalka".
Several of The Doctor’s past travelling companions returned for this special, including Bradley Walsh as Graham O'Brien (who left the Thirteenth Doctor at the end of "Revolution of the Daleks"), Janet Fielding as Tegan Jovanka, and Sophie Aldred as Ace. Appearing in cameo roles are Bonnie Langford and Katy Manning as Melanie Bush and Jo Jones (formally known as Jo Grant), with Bonnie Langford returning since her exit in the 1987 Seventh Doctor story "Dragonfire", and Katy Manning returning to Doctor Who since her character's last appearance in The Sarah Jane Adventures story "Death of The Doctor". Notably, joining Bonnie Langford and Katy Manning in a cameo role was William Russell as Ian Chesterton.
This story is the first non-archive, televised appearance of William Russell as Ian Chesterton since the 1965 First Doctor story "The Chase". He had previously appeared in Ian Chesterton: An Introduction in 1999 (a narrative linking segment released with "The Crusade" on VHS and with the Lost in Time DVD box set).
With his appearance in this story, William Russell, aged 96 at the time his scenes were shot, became the oldest actor at the time of his appearance to work on the revived Doctor Who. The previous holder of this record was Ysanne Churchman who was 92 at the time she reprised the role of Alpha Centauri in the 2017 Twelfth Doctor story "Empress of Mars".
Polly Wright was supposed to be part of the companions' group, but Anneke Wills wasn't available.
Mel is listed in the ending credits as ‘Melanie Bush’, marking the first time on television that her surname, which was previously only established in audio, has been used.
Jo Grant is listed in the ending credits as ‘Jo Jones’ (her married name), which is the first time she is referred to as such in the credits of a televised Doctor Who story, with her first time being referred to and credited as such in any television media being The Sarah Jane Adventures story "Death of The Doctor".
This story features the return of Jacob Anderson as Vinder and Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart, both of whom last appeared in "Flux".
This story has the return of Sacha Dhawan, as The Master, and Patrick O'Kane, as Ashad, following their apparent demise at the end of the previous season’s finale, "Ascension of the Cybermen/The Timeless Children".
This story has for the first time The Master, the Cybermen and the Daleks all working together onscreen. This special also sees the apparent end of The Master, with his plans once again thwarted and his body fatally weakened.
After the first two specials were produced, as part of the eight episodes ordered for Season Thirty Nine (New Series 13), this third, feature-length, special was later commisioned to coincide with the centenary of the BBC and serve as Jodie Whittaker's regeneration story. The BBC described this final story for the Thirteenth Doctor as an ‘epic blockbuster special’.
This story was filmed throughout September 2021 concluding on the 13th October 2021 when final filming for this story took place at Roath Lock Studios.
The post-regeneration scene with David Tennant, as the Fourteenth Doctor, was filmed separately around May 2022.
This story shares filming locations with the 1978 Fourth Doctor story "The Pirate Planet" and the 1989 Seventh Doctor story "The Curse of Fenric". For the latter this was at Lulworth Cove in Dorset which was used for the regeneration sequence. After broadcast the landowners of the Lulworth Estate threatened to ban the BBC from filming there ever again due to not describing exactly what the scene would show, potentially encouraging members of the public to put themselves in a dangerous situation, despite how filming did not actually take place on top of the cliff itself.
Casting and details of this special, without revealing the title or airdate, were first released on the 17th April 2022, after the previous story "Legend of the Sea Devils" concluded.
This trailer confirmed the return of former companions Tegan Jovanka, Ace, and Graham O'Brien (played by Janet Fielding, Sophie Aldred, and Bradley Walsh respectively). Also seen in this trailer were Jacob Anderson as Vinder, Jemma Redgrave as Kate Stewart (both of whom last appeared in the 2021 story "Flux"), The Master, played by Sacha Dhawan, and Ashad, played by Patrick O'Kane (who both appeared in the 2020 story "Ascension of the Cybermen/The Timeless Children"), Daleks and Cybermen.
The name of this special, "The Power of the Doctor", was announced on the 14th September 2022.
"The Power of The Doctor" recalls the titles of previous stories: the 1966 "The Power of the Daleks" (the first to star Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor) and the acclaimed stories from Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary year ("The Name of The Doctor", The Night of The Doctor", "The Day of The Doctor" and "The Time of The Doctor").
According to Chris Chibnall, this story was filmed in the belief that it was to be the last story of the show, as he didn’t know about who would take over from him.
Discounting regenerations shown outside of chronological order in "The Night of The Doctor" and "The Day of The Doctor", this is the first Doctor-regeneration story, since 2005 in "Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways", to not take place in a Winter Special.
This story marks the first regeneration for The Doctor not to take place within the TARDIS since the Eighth Doctor's regeneration in "The Night of The Doctor".
This story is another instance of the golden glow of regeneration energy that is different from before.
The Thirteenth Doctor's final words included the terms ‘blossomiest blossom’, which came from a 1994 interview of Dennis Potter, and ‘daisiest daisy’, which the Third Doctor mentioned in his speech about a hermit in the 1972 story "The Time Monster".
This is the first case of The Doctor regenerating into an incarnation that looks like a previous one; in this case, the Fourteenth Doctor looks like the Tenth Doctor, but it remains unknown if this means the Tenth Doctor’s personality traits re-emerge with his face.
The newly regenerated Fourteenth Doctor remarks on his teeth (see "Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways") and repeats the word ‘what’ in rapid succession (see "Army of Ghosts/Doomsday", "The Sound of Drums/Last of the Time Lords" and "Time Crash") - mimicking the Tenth Doctor (who is also played by David Tenant).
The Fourteenth Doctor's attire includes a white button-up shirt, with a silver tie and a loose fitting waistcoat and trousers of black and turquoise tartan. He also wears a navy blue trench coat and Converse shoes.
In the 2013 50th anniversary special story "The Day of The Doctor" The Curator (played by Tom Baker who originally played the Fourth Doctor) had told the Eleventh Doctor that he would be revisiting some old faces, ‘but just the old favourites’. The second part of The Curator's foreshadowing now serves as a fourth wall message to the audience, since David Tennant's previous tenure is considered by many to be among the best portrayals of The Doctor.
Yasmin again is seen using post-it notes on how to fly the TARDIS (see "Revolution of the Daleks") and Graham is seen using psychic paper.
Yasmin recognises the Fugitive Doctor as the tour guide she met in Gloucester (see "Fugitive of the Judoon").
Yasmin mentions that she tried to take everyone home, but dropped them off in Croydon instead, calling it ‘close enough’. In the 1976 story "The Hand of Fear", while attempting to return Sarah Jane Smith home, the Fourth Doctor accidentally dropped her off in Aberdeen instead of Croydon. When told of his mistake, in "School Reunion", the Tenth Doctor said something similar.
Tegan's claim that she hasn't seen The Doctor since 1984 contradicts the Big Finish Productions audio story "The Gathering", where the Fifth Doctor catches up with her in 2006 just as she is about to celebrate her 46th birthday. It also contradicts the date given in the Big Finish Productions Short Trips: Past Tense short story "Fixing a Hole" for the events of "A Fix With Sontarans" (the mini-episode specially written for the BBC's children's programme Jim'll Fix It, featuring the Sixth Doctor), which was set on the 23rd February 1985.
Tegan confides to the Fifth Doctor that seeing the Cybermen makes her think of Adric - her fellow travelling companion who died in the 1982 story "Earthshock".
This story touches on the circumstances of Ace leaving the Seventh Doctor, an event which has not been seen on-screen but was most recently depicted in the novel "At Childhood's End", written by Sophie Aldred. "The Power of The Doctor" however, contradicts "At Childhood's End" by having Ace meet the Thirteenth Doctor, Yasmin Khan and Graham O'Brien for the first time, though this novel does establish that Ace's timeline has multiple possible futures.
David Tennant’s first appearance as the Fourteenth Doctor.
David Bradley’s first appearance as the First Doctor since "Twice Upon a Time".
Peter Davison’s first appearance as the Fifth Doctor since "The Caves of Androzani".
Colin Baker’s first appearance as the Sixth Doctor since "The Trial of a Time Lord".
Sylvester McCoy’s first appearance as the Seventh Doctor since the 1996 Eighth Doctor film "Doctor Who: The Movie".
Paul McGann’s first appearance as the Eighth Doctor since the 1996 Eighth Doctor film "Doctor Who: The Movie".
Janet Fielding’s first appearance as companion Tegan Jovanka since "Resurrection of the Daleks".
Sophie Aldred’s first appearance as companion Ace since "Survival".
William Russell’s first appearance as former companion Ian Chesterton since "The Chase".
Katy Manning’s first appearance as former companion Jo Grant since "The Green Death".
Bonnie Langford’s first appearance as former companion Mel Bush since "Dragonfire".
The first regeneration of The Doctor not to take place within the TARDIS since the Eighth Doctor's regeneration in "The Night of The Doctor".
The first story where The Doctor had to face the Cybermen, Daleks and The Master all working together.
The first Doctor Who story to be broadcast during the reign of King Charles III.
The first story to have two actors' names appear at the same time in the title sequence, in this case Sophie Aldred and Janet Fielding.