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.



According to many accounts of the Doctor's early life, they had at least eight incarnations before becoming the First Doctor, glimpsed during the Fourth Doctor's mindbending duel with Morbius. (TV: The Brain of Morbius, The Timeless Children; PROSE: Doctor Who and the Brain of Morbius, Cold Fusion; AUDIO: Cold Fusion)

Some accounts had these individuals already being known as "the Doctor", and being remembered to some extent by post-First Doctor incarnations, (PROSE: Cold Fusion, The Power of the Daleks, The Dying Days) while others suggested that the Doctor's memories from before the First Doctor, of which the duel with Morbius had been a glimpse, were from the Other. (PROSE: Lungbarrow)


Early life[]

Main article: The Doctor's early life

According to one account, the Doctor was raised on Gallifrey from a family of explorers, his father being part of the Supreme Council. (PROSE: Cold Fusion) In an alternate universe, after Patience was widowed by Omega, she became the Doctor's tutor, just as she had been his grandfather's tutor and his father's tutor. (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors) He and Patience ultimately fell in love. (PROSE: Cold Fusion, The Infinity Doctors)


He embarked on an expedition to the Time Vortex, being one of the first to explore it, with the Machine, a prototype timeship. On the day of his comeback, returning with "charts and trophies from every corner of the universe" and bringing back with him "travellers' tales of monsters and lost civilizations", he married Patience. They lived at Patience's ancestral home, the House of Blyledge, and had thirteen children. (PROSE: Cold Fusion)

Travels in the TARDIS[]

Despite many accounts showing the so-called "First Doctor" as the incarnation who'd first stolen the Doctor's definitive TARDIS from the workshops and run away from Gallifrey, (TV: The Name of the Doctor, PROSE: Birth of a Renegade, etc.) some accounts suggested that these incarnations of the Doctor had already used the same TARDIS as their successors. For example, the seventh incarnation seen in the mindbending duel's tricorn hat was found by the Eighth Doctor in the TARDIS's second control room, who pointed it out as evidence of how long it had been since he had regularly used that control room instead of the white one. (PROSE: The Dying Days)

On the Supreme Council[]

After regenerating, he became part of the Supreme Council as his father was before him. At this time, his firstborn son was a Cardinal and a Time Lord of the first rank, whose wife was expecting to give birth to his and Patience's first grandchild. (PROSE: Cold Fusion)

As only the Loom-born were allowed to inherit the Legacy of Rassilon, the then-Lord President sent Chancellery Guards to terminate the pregnancy and seize the family. They culled Patience's thirteen children and her husband was accused of consorting with aliens. (PROSE: Cold Fusion) The Doctor was too late to save his family that day. By one account, the Doctor remained on the Supreme Council afterwards, mourning his lost wife and dead children for a considerable length of time. (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors) He continued to wear his wedding ring. (PROSE: Cold Fusion, The Infinity Doctors)

Ultimately, the Doctor, now in a body with long white hair, rescued Patience and her granddaughter from the purge, placing Patience in the Machine for safety and assuring her that her granddaughter would be taken away from Gallifrey. (PROSE: Cold Fusion)

Repetition of history[]

The Doctor had a memory of his past self as an old man standing alone on a mountain, whom he identified as "the other". The Doctor did not know when this happened, but the other said, "It is both [how it will begin and how it will end]. Time is relative. History repeats itself, and repeats itself again. Father to son." (PROSE: Cold Fusion)

Indeed, while the Doctor's encounter with Omega while on the Supreme Council was indicated to occur to happen around this early period of the Doctor's life, (PROSE: Cold Fusion) it was also indicated to take place far later in the Doctor's life. (PROSE: The Gallifrey Chronicles, Father Time, et al.) As the last of his kind, the Doctor was known to have had thirteen children with Bernice Summerfield (PROSE: Paydirt) and had a granddaughter named Zezanne. (PROSE: Sometime Never...) One of the possible futures for himself that the Eighth Doctor glimpsed in the Tomorrow Window included the "series of men in pseudo-Edwardian clothes" and, in time, the First Doctor. (PROSE: The Tomorrow Windows)

In an abnormal state of history, the Doctor existed on the Supreme Council of Gallifrey at a point simultaneously posterior to the Eighth Doctor's early adventures and anterior to his leaving Gallifrey. (PROSE: The Infinity Doctors)


The Fifth Doctor recognised the name of Patience's husband as a pioneer amongst his people - which he noted "was odd, because his people [had] forgotten the name". (PROSE: Cold Fusion) The First Doctor had previously stated that he "had been a pioneer among [his] people" to the Thals of Skaro. (TV: The Daleks)

The First Doctor's signet ring belonged to Patience's husband. (PROSE: Cold Fusion)

When describing his "renewal" process to Ben and Polly, the newly-regenerated Second Doctor implied that he had previously renewed himself in the past, and he opened a trunk that contained relics from his previous incarnations: Saladin's ornamental dagger; a large earring he used to wear; a thick gold bracelet with odd pictures; and Cameca's jade brooch. (PROSE: The Power of the Daleks)

When Polly, Ben, and Jamie found a shaving mirror on the control console of the second control room in the Doctor's TARDIS, Polly and Ben speculated that the room may have been used by a bearded incarnation of the Doctor from a time before either of the Doctors they were familiar with. (PROSE: Something at the Door) Indeed, the Eighth Doctor recalled having used the second control room as his primary control room "ages ago", when he worn a tricorn. (PROSE: The Dying Days)

During the mindbending battle, after Morbius said, "Back! Back to your beginning!" and the eight faces began to flash on the screen, the Fourth Doctor thought to himself, "You can't... not that far... I won't let you... Not even I." (PROSE: Cold Fusion) The mechanism broke down after the eighth face appeared. (TV: The Brain of Morbius)

The Fifth Doctor only had hazy memories of his life from before what he remembered to be his second regeneration; further back, great chunks were missing. (PROSE: Cold Fusion) The Sixth Doctor also mentioned that his memory was vague prior to his regeneration into the Third Doctor. (COMIC: The World Shapers)

After being trapped in the Matrix by the Spy Master, the Thirteenth Doctor escaped by overloading the system with memories of her past incarnations and of all she had seen; some of these eight faces from her distant past, as they had once appeared to the Fourth Doctor during the mindbending contest, were among them. (TV: The Timeless Children)


The screen of the mindbending device counted down from the Fourth Doctor to the First Doctor before showing the Morbius faces in reverse chronological order. (TV: The Brain of Morbius) When the Thirteenth Doctor blasted the Matrix with her memories of the mindbending contest, she remembered the faces in a different order. (TV: The Timeless Children)

First incarnation[]

He was fair-skinned and had a short dark full beard which went lighter at his temples. In the screen of the mindbending device, he wore a dark narrow brimmed hat with a dark feather. (TV: The Brain of Morbius)

Second incarnation[]

He was fair-skinned and beardless but had lengthy dark straight hair. In the mindbending screen, he wore a dark wide-brimmed hat. (TV: The Brain of Morbius)

Third incarnation[]

He was fair-skinned, had a goatee and moustache and straight dark lengthy hair. In the mindbending screen, he wore a dark wide-brimmed hat and a top with light coloured collar. (TV: The Brain of Morbius)

Fourth incarnation[]

The incarnation that married Patience (PROSE: Cold Fusion) was fair-skinned and beardless but had long curly dark hair. In the mindbending screen, he wore a dark cavalier hat with a light-coloured feather. (TV: The Brain of Morbius)

Fifth incarnation[]

The incarnation that sat on the Supreme Council (PROSE: Cold Fusion) was fair-skinned with blond curly hair and a dark full beard. (TV: The Brain of Morbius) Shortly after he regenerated, Patience thought he was much taller and hairier than his previous, beardless body, and his beard was much coarser. (PROSE: Cold Fusion) In the mindbending screen, he wore a light coloured necktie with a top with dark high collar. (TV: The Brain of Morbius)

Sixth incarnation[]

He was fair-skinned with light coloured curly hair and a full beard. In the mindbending screen, he wore a dark top with no collar at the front but a very high stand behind the head. (TV: The Brain of Morbius) This face and outfit were identical to those of Martin Jurgens, an Adjudicator who was working for the Earth Empire circa 2472. (TV: Colony in Space)

Seventh incarnation[]

He was fair-skinned with no facial hair but curly light-coloured hair of mid length. In the mindbending screen, his hair was held at the back with a bow tie, and he wore a tricorn hat and a light-coloured necktie over his a dark collar. (TV: The Brain of Morbius)

Eighth incarnation[]

The incarnation which immediately preceded the First Doctor was fair-skinned with a dark moustache and dark straight hair of mid length. In the mindbending screen, he wore a top hat. (TV: The Brain of Morbius)

Behind the scenes[]


Photographer Bob Komar took colour close-up photos of the "actors" that were used in episode. Two black-and-white mid-shot photos were also taken. None of these photos were retained by the BBC Photo Library but copies were given to the participants and most have been recovered. (DWM 564)

Actor Colour Mid-shot 1 Mid-shot 2 Info
Christopher Barry Christopher Barry 1 DWM 541.jpg Christopher Barry 2 DWM 541.jpg Christopher Barry 3.jpg Photos from DWM 541
Robert Banks Stewart SecondDoctorMorbius-0.JPG Robert Banks Stewart 2.jpg
Christopher Baker ThirdDoctorMorbius-0.JPG Restored photos by Stuart Humphryes available in DWM 564
Philip Hinchcliffe Philip Hinchcliffe 1.jpg Philip Hinchcliffe 2.jpg
Douglas Camfield FifthDoctorMorbius.JPG Douglas Camfield 2.jpg Douglas Camfield 3 DMW 553.jpg Restored photo from DWM 553
Graeme Harper SixthDoctorMorbius.jpg Martin Jurgens credentials.jpg The photograph of Graeme Harper as Martin Jurgens from Colony in Space was reused for The Brain of Morbius.
Robert Holmes Robert Holmes 1.jpg Robert Holmes 2.jpg Restored photo by Stuart Humphryes
George Gallaccio EighthDoctorMorbius.jpg George Gallaccio 2.jpg

Behind the scenes images of the "Morbius Doctors", save Graeme Harper. (In-Vision #12)

The photograph of Graeme Harper used to represent Martin Jurgens in Colony in Space, later repurposed to represent a Doctor in The Brain of Morbius.

External links[]


  1. BBC's article on The Brain of Morbius
  2. research by Paul Hanley
  3. tweet of Lance Parkin
  4. Time, Unincorporated: Volume One