Season 3, 1965 - 1966

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Doctor Who, Season Three

Season three of Doctor Who saw the return of the Daleks, in their longest ever story “The Daleks’ Master Plan” this story saw the first death of a companion. “Mission to the Unknown” is the only episode in Doctor Who history to feature none of the regular Tardis crew and was used as a lead in for “The Daleks’ Master Plan”.

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Galaxy 4

4 episodes

Broadcast: 11 September – 2 October, 1965
Writer: William Emms
Director: Derek Martinus
Incidental Music: Stock

The Doctor, Vicki and Steven arrive on an arid planet where they meet the occupants of two crashed spaceships: the beautiful Drahvins and the hideous Rills. The latter prove to be friendly, compassionate explorers while the former are a group of mindless cloned soldiers terrorised by a warlike matriarch, Maaga.

Both ships were damaged when the Drahvins precipitated a confrontation in space, but whereas the Rills’ is almost ready to take off again (having been repaired by their robot drones, which Vicki nicknames ‘Chumblies’), the Drahvins’ is irreparable. When the planet is discovered to be on the point of disintegration, Maaga tries to force the time travellers to help her steal the Rills’ ship. Instead, the Doctor allows the Rills to draw power from the TARDIS in order to refuel and escape, leaving the Drahvins to their fate.

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Mission to the Unknown

1 episode

Broadcast: 9 October, 1965
Writer: Terry Nation
Director: Derek Martinus

On the planet Kembel, Space Security Service agent Marc Cory is investigating a recent sighting of a Dalek spaceship. His suspicion that the creatures may have established a base here proves well-founded.

His two companions, Jeff Garvey and Gordon Lowery, both fall victim to the poisonous thorns of Varga plants – ambulatory flora indigenous to the Daleks’ home world, Skaro – and he has no choice but to shoot them before they are themselves transformed into Vargas.

Having overheard the Daleks plotting with representatives of the six outer galaxies to overthrow the solar system, Cory records a warning message and prepares to send it into orbit with a rocket launcher. Before he can do so, however, he is discovered and exterminated.

The only Doctor Who episode to feature none of the regular cast

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The Myth Makers

4 episodes

Broadcast: 16 October – 6 November, 1965
Writer: Donald Cotton
Director: Michael Leeston-Smith
Incidental Music: Humphrey Searle

When the TARDIS arrives on the plains of Asia Minor, not far from the besieged city of Troy, the Doctor is hailed by Achilles as the mighty god Zeus and taken to the Greek camp, where he meets Agamemnon and Odysseus. Forced to admit that he is a mere mortal – albeit a traveller in space and time – he is given just two days to devise a scheme to capture Troy.

Steven and Vicki, meanwhile, have been taken prisoner by the Trojans, and Vicki – believed to possess supernatural powers – is given two days to banish the Greeks and thus prove that she is not a spy.

Having initially dismissed the famous wooden horse as a fiction of Homer’s, the Doctor is eventually driven to ‘invent’ it himself, thereby giving the Greeks the means to defeat the Trojans.

In the climactic battle Steven is wounded by a sword-thrust to his shoulder and Katarina, handmaiden to the Trojan prophetess Cassandra, helps the Doctor to get him back to the TARDIS.

Vicki meanwhile, having adopted the guise of Cressida, elects to remain behind on Earth with the Trojan prince Troilus, with whom she has fallen in love.

In this episode Vicki (Maureen O’Brien) left as Katarina (Adrienne Hill) joined the TARDIS crew

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The Daleks’ Master Plan

12 episodes

Broadcast: 13 November, 1965 – 29 January, 1966
Writers: Terry Nation [1-5,7] and Dennis Spooner [6,8-12]
Directors: Douglas Camfield
Incidental Music: Tristram Cary

The TARDIS materialises on Kembel. There the Doctor and his friends meet Space Security Service agent Bret Vyon, who has been sent in search of Marc Cory. Learning of the Daleks’ scheme, which hinges on the use of a weapon called the time destructor, they determine to warn the authorities on Earth. This proves problematic as the human leader Mavic Chen, Guardian of the Solar System, is a traitor in league with the Daleks.

Fortunately the Doctor has managed to make off with the taranium core of the time destructor, disrupting the Daleks’ plans. In one of a number of attempts to regain the taranium, Chen dispatches Space Security Service agent Sara Kingdom to track down the Doctor’s party.

Sara, unaware of Chen’s treachery, kills Bret – her own brother – before the time travellers can convince her of the truth. She then joins forces with them and, after an encounter with their old adversary the Monk, they all arrive back on Kembel. There, the Doctor contrives to steal the time destructor and turn it against the Daleks, annihilating them. Sara has ignored his instruction to return to the TARDIS, however, and she too is killed.

In this episode Katarina (Adrienne Hill) was killed off. Nicholas Courtney also starred in this story, he would later play Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart.

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The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve

4 episodes

Broadcast: 5 – 26 February, 1966
Writer: John Lucarotti
Director: Paddy Russell
Incidental Music: Stock

The TARDIS materialises in Paris in the year 1572 and the Doctor decides to visit the famous apothecary Charles Preslin. Steven, meanwhile, is befriended by a group of Huguenots from the household of the Protestant Admiral de Coligny.

Having rescued a young serving girl, Anne Chaplet, from some pursuing guards, the Huguenots gain their first inkling of a plan by the Catholic Queen Mother, Catherine de Medici, to have all French Protestants massacred.

A further shock is in store for Steven, as it appears that hated Catholic dignitary, the Abbot of Amboise, is actually the Doctor in disguise. Held responsible for the failure of a plot to assassinate de Coligny, the Abbot is executed by the Catholic authorities and his body left lying in the gutter.

To Steven’s relief, it transpires that the Abbot was not the Doctor after all, but merely his physical double. The two time travellers meet up again at Preslin’s shop, where Steven has gone in search of the TARDIS key, and regain the safety of the ship just as the massacre begins.

The TARDIS then lands on Wimbledon Common in 1966 and the Doctor and Steven gain a new companion, Dorothea ‘Dodo’ Chaplet.

In this episode Dodo (Jackie Lane) joined the TARDIS crew

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The Ark

4 episodes

Broadcast: 5 – 26 March, 1966
Writers: Paul Erickson and Lesley Scott
Director: Michael Imison
Incidental Music: Tristram Cary

The TARDIS arrives some ten million years in the future on a giant spaceship carrying all the Earth’s surviving plant, animal and human life (much of it miniaturised and in suspended animation) on a 700 year voyage to a new home on the planet Refusis II. Dodo is suffering from a cold – an unknown affliction in this era – and as the human Guardians of the ship and their servant race the Monoids have no resistance, a plague breaks out.

The Guardians place the travellers on trial and Steven is forced to defend them against allegations that they spread the disease deliberately. Fortunately, the Doctor finds a cure. The TARDIS leaves the spaceship, which Dodo has nicknamed the Ark, only to arrive back there as it is approaching the end of its voyage. Partly as a result of the earlier plague, the Monoids have now grown strong and enslaved the humans.

They plan to make Refusis II their own but, with the help of the invisible Refusians, the Doctor is able to persuade the two races to live together in peace.

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The Celestial Toymaker

4 episodes

Broadcast: 2 – 23 April, 1966
Writer: Brian Hayles
Director: Bill Sellars
Incidental Music: Dudley Simpson

The travellers arrive in a strange domain presided over by the Celestial Toymaker – an enigmatic, immortal entity who forces them to play a series of games, failure at which will render them his playthings. The Doctor has to solve the complex Trilogic game while Steven and Dodo are faced with defeating a succession of apparently child-like but potentially lethal animated toys in contests such as ‘blind man’s buff’, musical chairs and ‘hunt the key’.

The Doctor finally overcomes the Toymaker by imitating his voice in order to complete the Trilogic game from within the TARDIS, which then dematerialises as his foe’s universe is destroyed.

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The Gunfighters

4 episodes

Broadcast: 30 April – 21 May, 1966
Writer: Donald Cotton
Director: Rex Tucker
Incidental Music: Tristram Cary (‘The Ballad of the Last Chance Saloon’ sung by Lynda Baron, played by Tom McCall)

The TARDIS arrives in the town of Tombstone in the Wild West and the Doctor, having hurt a tooth on one of Cyril’s sweets, decides he must visit a dentist. The local dentist is Doc Holliday, currently engaged in a feud with the Clanton family. Lawmen Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson are meanwhile doing their best to keep the peace.

The Doctor, Steven and Dodo narrowly survive a lynch mob, the attentions of Holliday and Earp and various other dangers; they finally return to the TARDIS after witnessing the famous gunfight at the OK Corral, in which the young Clanton brothers and their gunman ally Johnny Ringo are all killed by Holliday, Earp and Earp’s brother Virgil.

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The Savages

4 episodes

Broadcast: 28 May – 18 June, 1966
Writer: Ian Stuart Black
Director: Christopher Barry
Incidental Music: Raymond Jones

The TARDIS has arrived on a far-distant and seemingly idyllic world, but the Doctor, Steven and Dodo discover that it hides a terrible secret: the apparently civilised Elders maintain their advanced society by draining off and transferring to themselves the life-force of a group of defenceless Savages.

Outraged at this exploitation, the Doctor is seemingly helpless to prevent it when some of his own life-force is tapped by the Elders’ leader, Jano. In the process, however, Jano also acquires some of the Doctor’s attitudes and conscience. Turning against his own people, he enlists the help of the Savages to destroy the Elders’ transference laboratory – a task with which the time travellers gladly assist.

Steven agrees to remain behind on the planet to become leader of the newly united Elders and Savages.

In this episode Steven (Peter Purves) left

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The War Machines

4 episodes

Broadcast: 25 June – 16 July, 1966
Writer: Ian Stuart Black, based on an idea by Kit Pedler
Director: Michael Ferguson
Incidental Music: Stock

The TARDIS arrives in London in 1966 and the Doctor and Dodo visit the Post Office Tower. There they meet Professor Brett, whose revolutionary new computer WOTAN (Will Operating Thought ANalogue) can actually think for itself and is shortly to be linked up to other major computers around the world – a project overseen by civil servant Sir Charles Summer.

It transpires however that WOTAN considers that humans are inferior to machines and should therefore be ruled by them. Exerting a hypnotic influence, it arranges the construction of War Machines – heavily-armed, self-contained mobile computers – with which to take over the world.

These prove more than a match for troops, but by establishing a magnetic force field the Doctor is able to capture one of them, which he then reprograms to destroy WOTAN. Dodo, now back in her own time, decides to remain on Earth. The Doctor enters the TARDIS alone, but Brett’s secretary Polly and her merchant seaman friend Ben Jackson follow him inside just before it dematerialises.

In this episode Dodo (Jackie Lane) left as Ben Jackson (Michael Craze) and Polly (Anneke Wills) joined the TARDIS crew

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  • The Doctor – William Hartnell
  • Vicki – Maureen O’Brien
  • Steven Taylor – Peter Purves
  • Dodo – Jackie Lane
  • Ben Jackson – Michael Craze
  • Polly – Anneke Wills
  • Katarina – Adrienne Hill