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30 Years in the TARDIS was a television documentary which aired in 1993 as part of the thirtieth anniversary celebration of Doctor Who. Originally intended to be much longer, the broadcast version was noticeably truncated due to time restrictions.

Publisher's summary[]

Following the first episode of the first-ever adventure (An Unearthly Child) on 23 November 1963, Doctor Who became to many viewers the most consistently imaginative, inspiring and good-humoured series on British television. The seven Doctors and their various assistants are fondly remembered, and their relative merits hotly debated by generations of fans. This special documentary, made by a lifelong fan of the series, brings together Doctors Jon Pertwee, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy with assistants Nicola Bryant (Peri), Frazer Hines (Jamie), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane) and Debbie Watling (Victoria) to recall three decades of time travel, endearingly cheap special effects and monsters such as Cybermen, Sea Devils, Zygons, Yetis, Autons and the most evil aliens of all: Daleks. Classic clips, interviews, behind-the-scenes anecdotes and even Doctor Who "bloopers" feature in this special birthday tribute.[1]

Main subject[]

The history of the Doctor Who television series from its inception to Survival.

Additional topics covered[]

  • "The Doctor: Essential Information" - Short breakdown of the Doctor's Gallifreyan physiology, narrated by Nicholas Courtney
  • "The Daleks: Essential Information" - Short breakdown of , narrated by Nicholas Courtney
  • "The Companions: Essential Information" - List of companions
  • "The Monsters: Essential Information" - Includes an in-universe fact about the Cybermen and information on how sound effects for the Zygons and the Robot Yeti were produced

People interviewed[]


Interspersed throughout the documentary were four short minisodes (with the first split in two parts) with original footage and narrative, intended to display glimpses into the Doctor Who universe with all the detail that new special effects could avail it. Some broke the fourth wall while others did not. These shorts were also included in More than 30 Years in the TARDIS, which contained several more, and gave them their titles.

Order Title Featuring Notes
1 Invasion of Earth Monoids, Dalek Troopers, Vogans, Autons, Second Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon, Victoria Waterfield, Dalek Breaks the fourth wall. Uses stock footage from The Ark in Space, Resurrection of the Daleks, Revenge of the Cybermen, Spearhead from Space and The Web of Fear alongside new footage.
2 Susan and the Daleks Susan Foreman, Daleks Longer cut in More than 30 Years in the TARDIS
3 Invasion of the Cybermen Cybermen, Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant Longer cut in More than 30 years in the TARDIS; breaks the fourth wall
4 The Auton Invasion Nicholas Courtney, Autons Breaks the fourth wall


  • This documentary does not adhere to the standard practice when numbering a Time Lord's incarnations: for example, Colin Baker's caption as a speaker credits him with having played the Doctor's "6th regeneration". He actually played the Sixth Doctor, who, as the product of the fifth regeneration since William Hartnell's First Doctor, would actually be the Doctor's "5th regeneration", with the "6th regeneration" instead being Sylvester McCoy's Seventh Doctor.

DVD and VHS Release[]