Spoilers are precisely defined here. Rules vary by the story's medium. Info from television stories can't be added here until after the top or bottom of the hour, British time, closest to the end credits roll on BBC One. Therefore, fans in the Americas who are sensitive to spoilers should avoid Tardis on Sundays until they've seen the episode.



A Visit to the Cinema was a Brief Encounter short story published in Doctor Who Magazine 190. It depicted Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. as fictional elements within the Doctor Who universe.


The Third Doctor has a bit of free time on his hands, which is rare for him, and so goes to the cinema to watch a double-bill of a particular couple of movies starring Peter Cushing.



  • The Doctor refers to Peter Cushing as "that splendid chap Van Helsing".


  • The text refers to several things in the 1960s Dalek films: a "young chap sitting on those chocolates", the titles of the second film being orange, actors wearing "bizarre eye make-up", and a "highly amusing scene with a food machine".
  • The narration suggests that the Doctor is in the early days of his third incarnation: it is said that "his afternoons off were few and far between" and that his other option was to enjoy a bag of chips with Sergeant Benton.

Parody or straight?[]

While the films are never specified by name, the story suggests that the events of the 1960s Dalek films are fictional parts of the DWU: the Doctor is entertained by a memorable moment for Roy Castle's character in Dr. Who and the Daleks. Later, two elderly ladies sitting next to the Doctor — who have disapproved of his outbursts of amusement — exclaim that they wish the Doctor would develop the manners of "that lovely Mr Cushing". Likewise, The Doctor compares the "bizarre eye make-up" worn in the film to that employed by Jo Grant, making light of the make-up used on the Thals in Dr. Who and the Daleks to make them appear more alien than their televised counterparts.

However, the reader is also given scope to imagine it's parody when the Doctor says, "How wonderful to have seen that particular planet in colour at last." The Doctor can't be referring to Skaro here, because obviously he would have seen it in colour, even if TV viewers did not. Yet, if it's not Skaro he's talking about, then he's not watching Dr. Who and the Daleks. Thus, this can be read as a meta-fictional comment, which takes the piece closer to parody. This is all only as far as the authorial intent at the time could be considered; however, long after the short story's release, Steven Moffat's novelisation The Day of the Doctor revealed that the Doctor's first and second incarnations were colour blind, giving a perfectly good in-universe reason for the Doctor not to have seen Skaro in colour by the early days of his third incarnation. The Day of the Doctor also suggests that the films exist as fiction within the Doctor Who universe, revealing that the Eleventh Doctor was such a fan of the films that he went back in time to make friends with Peter Cushing, even lending him the waistcoat he wore in Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.


External links[]