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1940s •1950s • 1960s • 1970s
part of the 20th century
1990s • 2000s • 2010s • 2020s
You may be looking for The Eighties, a reference book.

The 1980s was characterised by the Eleventh Doctor as "hair, shoulder pads, nukes". (TV: Cold War)

Temporal complications[]

Due to numerous visits by the Doctor's faulty TARDIS, the 1980s were a temporally complicated decade in history to the point that it merged with the preceding 1970s, resulting in the placing of events becoming distorted and disputed. In light of this, the Accord, foreseeing a "great war spreading through time", reinforced the vulnerable decades by altering the DNA of every single person who lived within them on a temporal level so that they subconsciously realised that there were inconsistencies with history. In response to the temporal discrepancies, a dating protocol was established by the United Nations on 1 January 1990, (PROSE: The Enfolded Time) which would be used as a reference by the Unified Intelligence Taskforce. (TV: The Day of the Doctor)


Charlie Flecknoe invented and built a quantum link from Earth to the Moon at some point in the 1980s. (PROSE: Apollo 23)

During the latter half of the decade, Mikhail Gorbachev, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, instigated reform within the Soviet Union through the policies of "glasnost" and "perestroika". (AUDIO: Thin Ice) This ultimately led to the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. (AUDIO: Protect and Survive)

In the late 1980s, three or four years prior to 1992, the Cybermen attacked the planet Veridia, where they killed or converted tens of thousands of the native Veridians. (AUDIO: Hour of the Cybermen)

In the late 1980s and the early 1990s, Brendan Richards studied at the University of Cambridge. (PROSE: Housewarming)

Behind the scenes[]

  • Tom Baker's televised run as the Fourth Doctor concluded in 1981, with Peter Davison assuming the role of the Fifth Doctor.
  • K9 and Company, the first televised Doctor Who spin-off, was launched with the broadcast of A Girl's Best Friend in December 1981. However, it was not picked up for a full series.
  • The 20th anniversary of Doctor Who was celebrated by the broadcast of The Five Doctors in 1983.
  • Colin Baker began his run as the Sixth Doctor in 1984. His era was interrupted by an eighteen-month hiatus, officially because the show was moved back from the spring to the autumn schedule. He was ultimately dismissed from the part at the insistence of BBC management, who wanted to refresh the show. As of 2019, he remains the only actor to play the Doctor who has been fired by the BBC.
  • Sylvester McCoy assumed the role of the Seventh Doctor in 1987.
  • Televised Doctor Who ceased production in 1989, following the broadcast of Season 26. While Doctor Who was never officially cancelled by the BBC, a new series would not debut until 2005, barring a TV movie in 1996.