Art by Matthew Purchase [ http://cyberdevil.webs.com/ ]
Multi-Doctor stories are fun. I love em.
We had The Three Doctors in 1972, close enough to the 10th Anniversary; The Five Doctors for the 20th; Dimensions in Time (For what it is I like it) for the 30th; Big Finish gave us Zagreus for the 40th Anniversary, The Light at the End for the 50th and shortly after on TV there was The Day of the Doctor.
In between we’ve had The Two Doctors, The Sirens of Time, The Lost Dimension and many more gems. The Eight Doctors novel was released close enough to the 35th Anniversary
After the Day of the Doctor, for a series of art pieces, fan Colin Brockhurst reimagined that story as if it were made for the 5th Anniversary in 1968 (which was around the time The Invasion aired, the first UNIT story featuring the return of Lethbridge-Stewart against the Cybermen). The Day of Dr Who was a fake Radio Times poster and listing, as well as ‘telesnaps’ from the supposed lost story! Hartnell’s Doctor meets Queen Elizabeth, and then gets drawn into an adventure with the shape-shifting Chameleons, alongside Troughton and the forgotten War Doctor (Peter Cushing from the 1960s Dalek movies).
I started thinking about what a 15th Anniversary version would have been, with Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee teaming with the lost Doctor, Trevor Martin (from the 1974 West End play Seven Keys To Doomsday).
But a few weeks ago on twitter, pictures from the Doctor Who 15th Anniversary Party surfaced. A well-known writer pondered what The Four Doctors may have been like as the conclusion to the Key To Time season, with the White Guardian summoning the first three Doctors to help Tom find the last segment of the Key To Time. Will Brooks and Si Hodges, two prolific fan photoshoppers imagined what scenes from that story may have looked like, including Geoffrey Bayldon as a recast First Doctor and the Third Doctor teaming with the Fourth Doctor, Romana and K9. I never knew how much I wanted it until I saw it!
With both in mind, and me being me, I’d naturally go and ask what the 25th Anniversary would have been like as a multi Doc? Silver Nemesis was the BBC’s official anniversary story however Remembrance of the Daleks has all the hallmarks for an anniversary story – Davros and the Daleks, Coal Hill, Totter’s Lane, a Time Lord device, time travel, direct follow up to the very first episode and even a prototypical Brigadier and UNIT setup.
Obviously as a multi Doctor story the structure would be very different but the basic story would be the same – two factions of Daleks descend on Shoreditch 1963 in search of the Hand of Omega, there’s a Dalek mothership above Earth and they have basic Time Travel technology. Let’s use the title The Six Doctors since The Four Doctors has been used various times now. William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton (and Richard Hurndall) had unfortunately died since 1988 and presumably Tom Baker would have still refused to take part.
Let’s say Geoffrey Bayldon was rehired to play the First Doctor after The Four Doctors, and was unavailable for The Five Doctors, hence why Richard Hurndall appeared. Robert Holmes’ unmade Six Doctors involved an android First Doctor created by the Cybermen. Here, we would follow up Resurrection of the Daleks in two ways – (1) Doctors 3 and 6-7 would be brought into the story by their TARDISes being dragged through the Dalek Time Corridor and (2) the Daleks would have successfully created a Clone First Doctor to infiltrate the High Council on Gallifrey. We’d have the Third, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors facing the Daleks, the First [Hartnell] Doctor in flashbacks from An Unearthly Child and the Renegade Daleks using the Clone [Bayldon] Doctor.
So we have:
- Sylvester McCoy
- Jon Pertwee
- Peter Davison
- Colin Baker
- William Hartnell (archive footage)
- Geoffrey Bayldon
SYLVESTER McCOY, COLIN BAKER, PETER DAVISON and JON PERTWEE
with GEOFFREY BAYLDON and WILLIAM HARTNELL in
THE SIX DOCTORS
By Ben Aaronovitch
The Doctor takes his new friend Ace back to Totters Lane 1963, where he has unfinished business. His first incarnation left behind the Hand of Omega, a powerful piece of Time Lord technology. Unfortunately it has caught the attention of two warring factions of Daleks!
The Daleks have opened a time corridor, and three TARDISes are caught up in it – all of which belong to the Doctor. Two of the Doctors help their seventh incarnation against the Daleks while the other is stuck ever so slightly further in the past.
Is the first Doctor who he seems? Can the local military help protect the Hand of Omega? And what secrets lie beneath the Coal Hill School?
The supporting cast of Remembrance of the Daleks was so strong it got a Big Finish audio spin-off, Counter-Measures. However for the Doctors they may have to take a back seat.
You could spread the Doctors out to give them roles (and companions):
- The Seventh Doctor and Ace with the Counter-Measures team, maybe they find the Sixth Doctor acting as scientific advisor? The two Doctors are forced to work together
- The Fifth Doctor and Peri dragged back to a dark Shoreditch night where they meet who they think is the First Doctor, but in fact he’s a clone!
- The Third Doctor and Jo trapped on the Dalek mothership (then Pertwee could enjoy a scene or two with Davros!)
Naturally in the fourth and final episode the Third, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors would all team up against the Daleks before going their separate ways.
Lastly, I’d imagine the structure of Season 25 being slightly different. You’d want The Six Doctors to air on the anniversary itself. So you’d have:
Silver Nemesis [beginning still with a classic element, just like Season 24 had the Rani and Season 26 brought back the Brigadier and UNIT] – 15-19 October 1988
The Happiness Patrol – 26 0ctober-9 November 1988
The Six Doctors – 16 November-7 December 1988
The Greatest Show in the Galaxy – 14 December 1988-4 January 1988