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Jon Pertwee
The Three Doctors
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Synopsis


Omega and the Third Doctor
Omega and the Third Doctor
 UNIT HQ comes under attack by an alien force, and The Doctor has no other option but to call on his own people, the Time Lords, for help. Breaking the first Law of Time, the first two Doctors are lifted out of their time-streams and sent to help the third.

 But in a universe of anti-matter, an all powerful figure from Time Lord history is waiting, and even three Doctors may not be enough to stop him…

Source: BBC DVD


General Information

Season: Ten
Production Code: RRR
Story Number: 65
Episode Numbers:330 - 333
Number of Episodes: 4
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Working Titles:"Deathworld" and "The Black Hole"
Production Dates: November - December 1972
Broadcast Started: 30 December 1972
Broadcast Finished: 20 January 1973
Colour Status: Colour
Studio: BBC Television Centre Puppet Theatre and BBC Television Centre (TC1 and TC6)
Location: Summerfield Bungalow, Springwell Reservoir and Springwell Quarry(Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire) and Halings House (Denham Green, Buckinghamshire)
Writers:Bob Baker and Dave Martin
Director:Lennie Mayne
Producer:Barry Letts
Script Editor:Terrance Dicks
Editor:Jim Walker
Production Assistant:David Tilley
Assistant Floor Manager:Trina Cornwell
Designer:Roger Liminton
Costume Designer:James Acheson
Make-Up Designer:Ann Rayment
Cameraman:John Baker
Incidental Music:Dudley Simpson
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Dick Mills
Studio Sounds:Derek Miller-Timmins
Lighting:Clive Thomas
Visual Effects:Len Hutton and Michealjohn Harris
Title Sequence:Bernard Lodge and Ben Palmer
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Delia Derbyshire
Number of Doctors: 3
The Doctors: Jon Pertwee (The Third Doctor), William Hartnell (The First Doctor) (Returns) and Patrick Troughton (The Second Doctor) (Returns)
Number of Companions: 3The Companions: Nicholas Courtney (The Brigadier), John Levene (Sergeant Benton) and Katy Manning (Jo Grant) Additional Cast: Stephen Thorne (Omega), Rex Robinson (Dr. Tyler), Laurie Webb (Mr. Ollis), Clyde Pollitt (Chancellor), Roy Purcell (President of the Council), Graham Leaman (Time Lord), Denys Palmer (Corporal Palmer), Patricia Prior (Mrs. Ollis)Setting: Earth (1970s), Gallifrey and an anti-matter universe Villain: Omega

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
330Episode 130 December 197224'39"9.6PAL 2" colour videotape
331Episode 206 January 197324'18"10.8PAL 2" colour videotape
332Episode 313 January 197324'22"8.8PAL 2" colour videotape
333Episode 420 January 197325'07"11.9PAL 2" colour videotape

Total Duration 1 Hour 38 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 10.3
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (1998)76.08%  (Position = 33 out of 159)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2003)552 Points (Position = 26 out of 159)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2009)75.15% Lower (Position = 58 out of 200)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)79.22% Higher (Position = 51 out of 241)


Archives


 All four episodes exist as PAL 2" colour videotapes.



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Notes


This story was made as a celebration of the show's tenth anniversary and came about due to suggestions made by both members of the production as well as countless viewer letters. Two and a half weeks later after the final episode was recorded the first episode of "The Three Doctors" led off Doctor Who's iconic Season Ten. Although it actually began transmission only five weeks after the show's ninth anniversary on 23 November 1972.

It brought Jon Pertwee together with his predecessors William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton for the first and only time. Jon Pertwee, when approached to ensure he approved of the return of his predecessors, gave his consent with the condition that his incarnation of The Doctor remained the story's focus. However, due to illness, William Hartnell's health was too poor for him to take an active role in the entire story.

This prompted the script to be rewritten and to include the explanation that the First Doctor had become stuck in a time eddy due to the power drain caused by Omega. This change enabled his involvement to be restricted to brief scenes that were pre-filmed, at the BBC's Ealing studios, and then shown on a monitor. The story’s promotional photo shoot was the only time the three actors were actually shown together.

This story became the first of Patrick Troughton's three returns to the program (The others being the 1983 Twentieth Anniversary Special "The Five Doctors" and the 1985 Sixth Doctor story "The Two Doctors"), though sadly it was the last appearance in the show for William Hartnell, and indeed his final work as an actor, as he passed away in April 1975. For both actors this was also the first time they appeared in the show in colour.

The production team also planned for Frazer Hines to reprise his role of Jamie McCrimmon alongside the Second Doctor; however, Frazer Hines was appearing in Emmerdale Farm at the time and so was not available. Much of the role originally intended for Jamie was therefore reassigned to Sergeant Benton.

This story was a milestone in more ways than one. It was the first multi-Doctor story (establishing the concept of The Doctor being able to meet his past incarnations). However more importantly with the show's ratings now stable after the ups and down of the late Sixties, Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks had decided to use "The Three Doctors" as a vehicle for removing the Earthbound constraints which had been imposed on the programme for budgetary reasons at the end of the Patrick Troughton era. And so, at the conclusion of episode four, the Time Lords are seen to reverse their decision to banish him by sending back his dematerialization circuit in thanks for defeating Omega. This ended the story arc of The Doctor being exiled to Earth, which had began in Season Seven in 1970. The Doctor was once again free to travel in all of time and space...

This story has the first appearance of Omega, the Gallifreyan time engineer who would become a focal point in the planet's mythology. He would later return in the 1983 Fifth Doctor story "Arc of Infinity" as well as in the Big Finish Productions Doctor Who audio story "Omega" and The Past Doctors Stories novel "The Infinity Doctors".

The Gell Guards, that acted as guards for Omega and who also attacked UNIT Headquarters, were never named onscreen.

This story also marks the beginning of the gradual phasing out of UNIT, as The Doctor spends more and more time away from twentieth century Earth.

After the short-lived TARDIS set from "The Time Monster" was damaged, a new interior set was designed by Roger Liminton based on the original. It is considered to be more faithful to Peter Brachacki's original design rather than the much disliked set that Tim Gleeson had conceived for "The Time Monster".

This story demonstrates for the first time, for humorous effect, a mildly antagonistic relationship between the various incarnations of The Doctor. The Second and Third Doctors bicker, compete, and try to put each other down. Even the First Doctor dismisses the others by saying, ‘So you're my replacements - a dandy and a clown!’ This kind of relationship between The Doctor's selves was seen again in subsequent multi-Doctor stories. Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee in particular enjoyed the banter so much that they carried on the mock competition when they appeared together at science fiction conventions.

It is revealed that The First Law of Time expressly forbids any Time Lord to cross his own time stream and meet his former (or future) selves. As the President breaks this law it must be assumed that this a Time Lord rule rather than physical, law.

This was the first real ‘return’ of the Time Lords (not counting the odd Earth visitor or the brief appearance in "Colony in Space") since "The War Games".

This story marked the first time The Brigadier and Sergeant Benton entered the TARDIS in the show. Being the first time The Brigadier has been in the TARDIS he thinks at first, when meeting the Second Doctor, that one of The Doctor's experiments has changed him back to an early version of himself. He also seems more outraged than wonder struck at the interior of the TARDIS, given The Doctor's lavishing of valuable UNIT resources on it – so making him believe that The Doctor has built the TARDIS interior using UNIT resources. On exiting the TARDIS he either disbelieves or does not understand that part of UNIT HQ (specifically The Doctor's laboratory) has been transported into the anti-matter universe. Amusingly he states in confidence that he thinks they are in Cromer.

Jelly Babies make their debut in the show when the Second Doctor offers one to The Brigadier. Several years later, Jelly Babies became the confection of choice of the Fourth Doctor and continued to be referenced from time-to-time for many years thereafter.

For the first time it is revealed The Doctor's three incarnations have the power to have a ‘telepathic conference’ amongst themselves, exchanging information at a rapid speed.

The Chancellor is portrayed by Clyde Pollitt who had also played one of the Time Lords who tried and exiled the Second Doctor. Similarly, Graham Leaman reappears as a Time Lord having been seen in the role in "Colony in Space", discussing The Master's activities and their use of the exiled Doctor as an agent.

The Brigadier is heard to refer to the Yeti ("The Web of Fear"), the Cybermen ("The Invasion") and the Autons ("Spearhead From Space").

Jo references The Beatles song "I Am the Walrus" when the Third Doctor uses the line ‘I am he, and he is me’. Jo then replies with the line 'And we are all together, coo coo cachoo?'

The Second Doctor is heard to address Benton as a Corporal - (the rank he held in the last story they meet ("The Invasion") - rather than as a Sergeant.

The Second Doctor does not like the way his future self has ‘re-decorated his’ TARDIS much later the Second Doctor would make a similar comment to The Brigadier in the 1983 Twentieth Anniversary Special "The Five Doctors" and the Fifth Doctor would make a similar criticism, about the Tenth Doctor’s Console Room in the 2007 special Children in Need story "Time Crash".

The Target novelisation of this story, written by Terrance Dicks, marked the first appearance by the First Doctor in a novelisation commissioned by Target, although this is considered a Third Doctor-era story. Common practice by Target Books was to use the words 'Doctor Who and the…' at the beginning of the story titles; since this was impractical for this title, this became the first Target novelisation to use the title form 'Doctor Who…' - which would become the standard in the early 1980s (although the 1976 reprint used the 'Doctor Who and the...' in the title. The novelisation was also released on audio by the RNIB and was narrated by Gabriel Woolf.

The Target novelisation also provides a rationale for Omega's realm to be set in a quarry while the televised version does not. This being the amount of mental effort required to sustain his world inside the black hole has taken its toll, and once lush terrain has degenerated into mere rock and soil. The Second Doctor is referred to throughout as 'Doctor Two'.

This story was repeated on BBC2 in November 1981 as part of "The Five Faces of Doctor Who". It was also released on DVD in November 2003 as part of The Doctor Who Fortieth Anniversary Celebration releases, representing the Jon Pertwee years. The UK version came in a box set housing a limited edition Corgi model of "Bessie", the Third Doctor's vintage roadster.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first story of Season Ten.

 The first time The Doctor meets previous incarnations of himself.

 The first time William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton appeared in the show in colour.

 The first of Patrick Troughton's three returns to the show.

 The first appearance of Omega.

 The first trip in the TARDIS for semi-regular companion The Brigadier played by Nicholas Courtney.

 The first trip in the TARDIS for semi-regular companion Sergeant Benton played by John Levene.

 The first appearance of Jelly Babies in the show.

 The first appearance of a new TARDIS interior set designed by Roger Liminton.

 The first real return of the Time Lords since "The War Games".

 The first Doctor Who story to be written by Barry Letts (under his own name).


The Lasts (Subject to Future Stories):

 William Hartnell's last appearance in the show as the First Doctor.


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
The Three Doctors

In the UNIT Lab
In the UNIT Lab

A weather balloon carrying a device for cosmic ray research comes down at a wildlife sanctuary. It is found by the local gamekeeper, Mr Ollis but he suddenly vanishes when the weather balloon’s owner, Doctor Tyler, arrives to collect his device. Doctor Tyler takes the device to UNIT HQ as previous results of his tests have shown an unknown type of cosmic lightning, directed at the Earth. The Doctor is intrigued and goes to see the area where the balloon came down.

While The Doctor is gone, Doctor Tyler develops the latest negative from his device and is shocked to discover that it shows an image of Mr Ollis. Then without warning Doctor Tyler also suddenly vanishes and a crackling organism emerges from the box and goes down a nearby sink plug hole. Shortly afterwards The Doctor and Jo Grant arrive back at UNIT HQ they are confronted by the organism, when it emerges from a drain, and Bessie vanishes. The Doctor deduces that the creature is hunting him and that they need only wait before it tries again.

It is not long before, UNIT HQ is besieged by strange orange creatures, known as Gell Guards, that suddenly appear out of thin air. A full scale battle is soon in progress forcing The Brigadier to order the evacuation of the building. The Doctor, Jo and Sergeant Benton, however, become trapped inside, by the organism, forcing The Doctor to usher Jo and Sergeant Benton into the TARDIS so as to escape. The Doctor though is still unable to get his TARDIS to operate and so is forced into sending a message to the Time Lords to request their assistance. But the Time Lords have problems of their own as all their energy is being drained away through a black hole. The Chancellor informs the President of the Council that they are up against a force in a universe of anti-matter. The only way to assist The Doctor is to call on the help of his previous incarnations even though this will break The First Law of Time which expressly forbids any Time Lord to cross his own time stream and meet his former (or future) selves.

The Gell Guards
The Gell Guards

Meanwhile back on Earth, in the TARDIS, The Doctor discovers a recorder on the TARDIS console which is suddenly claimed by his previous self who appears from nowhere. After explaining who this stranger is the Second Doctor and the Third Doctor decide to link minds so that they learn from each other what has happened so far. However, both incarnations start to argue about the best course of action and so, to stop them arguing, the Time Lords send the earliest incarnation of The Doctor. He appears on the TARDIS' scanner screen and points out to his other selves that the entity outside is a bridge.

This revelation prompts the Third Doctor to make a decision. Without warning he switches off the force field and exits the TARDIS, closely followed by Jo. As soon as they leave the safety of the TARDIS they both vanish and the organism calms down. The Brigadier then returns and is astonished to see the Second Doctor, instead of the Third Doctor. Despite not understanding what has happened he orders the Second Doctor to find a way of subduing the organism.

Sergeant Benton
Sergeant Benton

On a bleak and rocky planet the Third Doctor and Jo start to explore their new surroundings. They discover parts of UNIT HQ and even Bessie have been transported to this alien world. They also discover Doctor Tyler. However, unknown to them they are being watched and so all three are soon captured by more of the Gell Guards and escorted to a large palace. The Doctor soon discovers its owner is Omega, a hero from Time Lord mythology who was a solar engineer who arranged the detonation of a star in order to find and create a power source to give the Time Lords mastery over time itself. Omega claims he was sacrificed to the resultant super nova and now wants revenge over the Time Lords and so he created this anti-matter world by the force of his will. But now he has become trapped in this universe, unable to leave. His dilemma is that in order to escape he must abandon control and if he abandons control then he cannot escape.

The Second Doctor meanwhile, under The Brigadiers orders, has rigged up a device to pacify the organism that is still inside UNIT HQ. But when Sergeant Benton uses it, it enrages it instead forcing the Second Doctor, Sergeant Benton and The Brigadier into the TARDIS to escape. The First Doctor then appears on the screen once more and advocates turning off the TARDIS’s force field. The Second Doctor complies and the whole of UNIT HQ is transported through the black hole.

On exiting the TARDIS, The Brigadier is convinced they have landed at Cromer and so goes off to summon help. Unable to stop him The Second Doctor, with Sergeant Benton, sets off to explore but they are soon captured by the Gell Guards and find themselves imprisoned in a cell, along with the others, in Omega’s Palace. The Second Doctor and the Third Doctor though are able to match their wills against Omega and create a door in the cell so enabling them all to escape. Both incarnations of The Doctor head for the singularity chamber while the others escape from the palace where they meet up with The Brigadier who has also found Mr Ollis.

The Second and Third Doctors
The Second and Third Doctors

In the singularity chamber Omega soon discovers The Doctors. It is then that they learn that Omega wants The Doctor to take his place so that he can then escape. But they also discover that all that remains of Omega is his will – and so he can never leave. Omega is infuriated by this revelation and in his rage The Doctors manage to escape from the palace and reach, along with the others, the safety of the TARDIS.

The First Doctor then appears on the screen again and between all three of them they realise that they can use the TARDIS's force field generator to destroy Omega. However, when they go to disconnect it, the find that the Second Doctor's recorder has somehow become lodged inside. This gives the Third Doctor an idea. They trick Omega into allowing them to move the TARDIS to his palace where they then persuade him to let all the others return to Earth. Once everyone has returned home the Second Doctor and the Third Doctor then offer Omega the TARDIS's force field generator with the Second Doctor’s recorder still inside. Omega though sweeps it from their hands in disgust and there is a massive outpouring of power, turning the black hole into a super nova, returning The Doctors and the TARDIS to UNIT HQ on Earth and restoring power to the Time Lords.

The Third Doctor then explains that the recorder, being stuck inside the TARDIS's force field generator, had not been converted to anti-matter, and so when Omega knocked it from the generator, the collision of matter and anti-matter destroyed his universe, snapping everything else back to its rightful place. As the Third Doctor, Jo, The Brigadier and Sergeant Benton say their goodbyes to the First and Second Doctors the Third is upset at having been forced into tricking Omega. However, his regret is soon forgotten when a new dematerialisation circuit appears on the top of the TARDIS's central column, and The Doctor's time travel knowledge and codes come back to him. The Time Lords have forgiven him and have restored his freedom to travel in time and space once more…

 
The Brigadier and Second Doctor
The Brigadier and Second Doctor
The Second Doctor, The Brigadier and Jo
The Second Doctor, The Brigadier and Jo
The First Doctor
The First Doctor
The Brigadier's Computer
The Brigadier's Computer
 
Omega
Omega
Trapped
Trapped
Omega with Two Doctors
Omega with Two Doctors
Omega and the Third Doctor
Omega and the Third Doctor




Quote of the Story


 'Jo, it's all quite simple - I am he and he is me!'

Third Doctor



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Video
VHS
The Three DoctorsJanuary 1992BBCV4650Alister Pearson
Video
VHS
The Three DoctorsSeptember 2002BBCV 7364Photo-montageRemastered version Part of the "The Time Lord Collection Boxed Set" released by WH Smith
Video
DVD
The Three DoctorsNovember 2003BBCDVD 1144Clayton HickmanReleased as part of a collectors gift set with a Corgi miniature model of Bessie
Video
DVD
The Three DoctorsNovember 2006BBCDVD 1144Photo-montagePart of "The Third Doctor" box set (BBCDVD 2262) Exclusive to Amazon
Video
DVD
The Three DoctorsFebruary 2012BBCDVD 3003Part of the 'Revisitations 3' box set Released along with "The Tomb of the Cybermen" and "The Robots of Death"
Video
Blu-Ray
Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 10 (Limited Edition)July 2019BBCBD 0468Photo-montageBlu-Ray Limited Edition boxed set containing 5 specially restored stories


In Print

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)PublisherAuthorCover ArtRemarks
Novel
Novel
The Three DoctorsNovember 1975Target No. 64Terrance DicksChris AchilleosISBN: 0-426-10938-4
(1st Edition Target Cover)
Novel
Novel
Doctor Who and the Three Doctors1976Target No. 64Terrance DicksJeff CumminsISBN: 0-426-11578-3
(Reprinted Target Book Cover)
Novel
Novel
The Three DoctorsAugust 1991Target No. 64Terrance DicksAlister PearsonVirgin new cover reprint.
ISBN: 0-426-11578-3
CD
CD
The Three DoctorsMarch 2010Target No. 64Terrance DicksAudio version of the Target Novel read by Katy Manning (Jo Grant).
Novel
Novel
The Three DoctorsMay 2012Target No. 64Terrance DicksChris AchilleosBBC reprint with introduction by Alastair Reynolds. ISBN: 978-1-849-90478-0
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (An Adventure in Space and Time)Issue 65
Doctor Who Monthly - Article/FeatureIssue 47 (Released: December 1980)
Doctor Who Monthly - Article/FeatureIssue 58 (Released: November 1981)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArchiveIssue 118 (Released: November 1986)
Doctor Who Magazine - NostalgiaIssue 174 (Released: June 1991)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArchiveIssue 260 (Released: January 1998)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 333 (Released: August 2003)
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of FictionIssue 409 (Released: June 2009)
Doctor Who DVD FilesVolume 30 (Released: February 2010)

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Photo Gallery


The Doctor and Companions

Jon Pertwee
The Third Doctor

William Hartnell
The First Doctor

Patrick Troughton
The Second Doctor

Nicholas Courtney
The Brigadier
John Levene
Sergeant Benton
Katy Manning
Jo Grant
   




On Release

Original VHS Video Cover
Original VHS Video Cover

BBC
VIDEO
W.H. Smith VHS Video Cover
W.H. Smith VHS Video Cover

BBC
VIDEO
DVD Cover
DVD Cover

BBC
VIDEO
   
Third Doctor DVD Box Set
Third Doctor DVD Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Revisitations 3 DVD Cover
Revisitations 3 DVD Cover

BBC
VIDEO
The Collection Season 10 Limited Edition Blu-Ray Cover
The Collection Season 10 Limited Edition Blu-Ray Cover

BBC
VIDEO
   


In Print

Original Target Book Cover
Original Target Book Cover

Target
NOVEL
Reprinted Target Book Cover
Reprinted Target Book Cover

Target
NOVEL
Reprinted Virgin Book Cover
Reprinted Virgin Book Cover

Virgin
NOVEL
Target Audio CD Cover
Target Audio CD Cover

BBC
CD
   
Reprinted BBC Book Cover
Reprinted BBC Book Cover

BBC
NOVEL



Magazines

Doctor Who CMS Magazine (An Adventure in Space and Time): Issue 65
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (An Adventure in Space and Time): Issue 65

CMS
Doctor Who Monthly - Article/Feature: Issue 47
Doctor Who Monthly - Article/Feature: Issue 47

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Monthly - Article/Feature: Issue 58
Doctor Who Monthly - Article/Feature: Issue 58

Marvel Comics
   
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 118
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 118

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Nostalgia: Issue 174
Doctor Who Magazine - Nostalgia: Issue 174

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 260
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 260

Marvel Comics
   
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 333
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 333

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 409
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 409

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 30
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 30

GE Fabbri
   

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