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Devious was the name of a bonus feature on the DVD release of The War Games. It gave a glimpse of an unreleased fan serial of the same name filmed primarily in the 1990s, but with a lengthy post-production period throughout the first two decades of the 21st century. The aim of the work, if completed, will be to bridge the narrative gap between the end of The War Games and the beginning of Spearhead from Space.

Production began in 1991, five years before Jon Pertwee's death in 1996. However, Pertwee's scenes were videotaped in April 1995, meaning that it was one of his final performances, alongside the 21 April 1996 segment of Surprise Surprise!. Following Pertwee's death, Big Finish Productions utilised audio of him from Devious in the fortieth-anniversary audio drama, Zagreus.

During January 2017, the Devious website continued to claim that Episode One of the story would be released in 2016, but this did not occur. However, on 5 July 2018, Episode 1 was unexpectedly uploaded to the doctorwhodevious YouTube channel, with the implication that more would follow. Episode 2 was uploaded on 31 October 2020.


The Second Doctor has been partially regenerated by the Time Lords as punishment for breaking the non-interference policy, but the process is stopped halfway, leaving the Doctor an amalgam of his second and as-of-yet future incarnation. The Doctor is sent on a mission which involves battling Daleks, where he sees many people die. Afterwards, he is sent to a void by a pair of Time Lords, where he finds his TARDIS. Inside he tries to leave, but finds the ship not working. He is suddenly granted by an old man in a suit, who reveals himself to be the Third Doctor — the man who the Doctor was meant to turn into. The Doctor prepares himself for the rest of his regeneration, and collapses in a chair. There, he completes his transformation. Awakening, he is greeted by one of the Time Lords on the TARDIS' viewing screen, who wipes the Doctor's mind of his knowledge of time travel and sends the TARDIS to Earth. There, the Doctor exits the TARDIS and collapses outside.



During the 1990s, a large number of fan-produced audio, film and video productions were undertaken to keep the Doctor Who brand alive during the "wilderness years" between 1989 and 2005. These productions generally took three forms: They were either unlicensed fan films; featured characters who were effectively the Doctor in all but name (such as The Stranger and The Time Travellers), which were also unlicensed; or non-BBC-owned characters and monsters from the TV series that had been officially licensed direct from their creators (such as P.R.O.B.E., Downtime, and Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans).

With the exception of Tom Baker, all surviving Doctor actors, including Pertwee, had previously participated in at least one of these productions. Although Devious is one of the unlicensed type, the mini-edit of Devious described above was edited under the auspices of, and released by, the BBC.

Story notes[]

  • A major factor that began production of Devious was the comparison of Garner to both Troughton and Pertwee, looking like a cross of the two. This fueled the idea of the Second Doctor only regenerating halfway. The concept of an interrupted regeneration resulting in a Time Lord's face already being partly altered was later used in an official capacity in Twice Upon a Time to explain the physical differences between David Bradley and William Hartnell's portrayals of the First Doctor.
  • The full film featured appearances by Daleks, Cybermen and Polly Wright. Anneke Wills does not appear in the excerpt featured on the 2009 DVD release, as rights could not be secured to show the Cybermen (which appear in Wills' scenes). Similarly, the Daleks (which also feature in the production) were not seen.
  • The TARDIS control console and walls, along with the Dalek props, were borrowed in 1999 for use in The Curse of Fatal Death. In 2004, the console room was borrowed for use in a four-part news report on the history of Doctor Who. The TARDIS exterior (not seen in Curse), complete with Yale key-and-lock, has also appeared in a few retrospectives.
  • When Jon Pertwee agreed to reprise his role in 1995, the console room was overhauled – the walls were upgraded from simply having photocopied roundels on cardboard to using cut-out roundels on hardboard, while the console itself was upgraded from a foot-long model to a full-sized one. Most scenes that had been recorded up to that point with the original console room were reshot using the new console/walls; a few brief shots using the original walls can be seen in the 2009 excerpt.
  • The final scene of the story is a redo of the Doctor's first appearance in Spearhead from Space, with Pertwee coming out of the TARDIS and his stunt double doing the fall.
  • The opening and closing sequences on the mini-film are from the Second and Third Doctor eras, respectively.
  • The website claims that Devious was "something only intended for our friends to see and enjoy - the website being the documenting of the film-making experience - hence you may see images, not clips from the production", implying that the finished product would not see mass release. However, Episode 1, once completed, was in fact posted on YouTube by the creators in 2018 — although it will not be covered by this wikia as it is not a BBC-sanctioned release.
  • Devious and its production team were profiled on the BBC shows South Today in 2005 and South East Today in July 2009 (to coincide with the DVD release of The War Games). Clips from the production were also seen in the "making-of" feature on the video release of The Curse of Fatal Death.
  • This story is the "bridge" between the television stories The War Games and Spearhead from Space, making it an alternative take on Season 6B put forth primarily by the television story The Two Doctors and the comic story Action in Exile.
  • Jon Pertwee had aged considerably since his television portrayal of the Third Doctor. His reprisal in the film portrays the Third Doctor in a retroactive elderly state during his first moments. This was initially a problem for some crew in the film, although the possibility of filming with Pertwee quickly overshadowed this. On the commentary of the film, it is noted that the television story The Christmas Invasion seems to explain this, a comparison being drawn between the Doctor's hand healing and the Third Doctor growing "younger."

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