First airing November 23th, 1983 in America, "The Five Doctors" was the (then) twentieth anniversary special episode, of Doctor Who. Running about 90 minutes, this atypical installment (it wasn't serialized like other episodes) gathered up the surviving cast members of previous years to appear alongside the then current Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison, who replaced Tom Baker as the Doctor in 1981), in a kind of patched together, but entertaining, story.
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A mysterious "Time Scoop" sweeps along and kidnaps various friends, former companions and the Doctor's previous past incarnations and whisks them off to "the Death Zone" on the Doctor's home world of Gallifrey. The current Doctor, already feeling diminished by his past selves being taken away, manages to track them down. Meanwhile, the Time Lords on Gallifrey decide to send the Doctor's arch foe, the Master (Anthony Ainley) to investigate in exchange for his freedom. But just who is behind the kidnappings and why does the Doctor have to be involved...?
welcome appearances by Patrick Troughton (the Second Doctor), Jon
Pertwee (the Third Doctor), Richard Hurndall (replacing the late William
Hartnell as the First Doctor), and unused footage of Tom Baker's Fourth
Doctor (Baker declined to take actual part in the episode), plus former
regulars Carole Ann Ford (the Doctor's grand daughter Susan), Nicholas
Courtney (UNIT Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart) and Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah
Jane Smith, who's accompanied briefly by robot dog K-9), among others.
"The Five Doctors" is a fun and exciting (if full of plot holes)
episode. Yep, the Daleks and the Cybermen also appear, as well as one
or two other old friends. Writer Terrance Dicks and director Peter
Moffatt deliver a solid tale.
(Okay there is one little nit to pick: When the Second Doctor is briefly reunited with his former companion Jamie (Frazer Hines), the Doctor seems awfully matter-of-fact about Jamie's final fate in the 1969 "War Games" episode. Without going too much into detail, there's no way the Second Doctor could've left that episode's series of events just to visit present day Earth and get kidnapped by the Time Scoop, especially after Jamie's final fate. You'd have to see the conclusion of "War Games" -which was also the last adventure to star the Second Doctor- to know what I'm talking about.)
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