According to many accounts of the Doctor's early life, they had at least eight incarnations before being 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)
- 1 Biography
- 2 Appearance
- 3 Behind the scenes
- 4 External links
- 5 References
- 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 recognized 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)
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, as they had 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)
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)
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)
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)
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 board 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)
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)
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)
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||Photos from DWM 541|
|Robert Banks Stewart|
|Christopher Baker||Restored photos by Stuart Humphryes available in DWM 564|
|Douglas Camfield||Restored photo from DWM 553|
|Graeme Harper||The photograph of Graeme Harper as Martin Jurgens from Colony in Space was reused for The Brain of Morbius.|
|Robert Holmes||Restored photo by Stuart Humphryes|
- The faces were played by various crew members for the episode: in order from "earliest" to "latest" incarnation, Christopher Barry (director), Robert Banks Stewart (writer), Christopher Baker (production assistant), Philip Hinchcliffe (producer), Douglas Camfield (director), Graeme Harper (production assistant), Robert Holmes (script editor), and George Gallaccio (production unit manager). (DWM 329, 541)
- Although they are sometimes wrongly attributed.
- The montage of The Timeless Children uses a different order: six of the seven Timeless Child incarnations of the episode from earliest to latest, skipping the sixth one; then Philip Hinchcliffe, Christopher Baker, Robert Banks Stewart, George Gallaccio, Robert Holmes, Graeme Harper and Douglas Camfield's incarnations; the elderly Brendan, as played by an uncredited actor; and finally Jo Martin's incarnation.
- The picture of Graeme Harper is reused from the earlier story Colony in Space, in which it was the ID of Martin Jurgens, the real adjudicator impersonated by the Master.
- Many other stories suggest that William Hartnell's Doctor was, in fact, the earliest. (TV: The Three Doctors, Mawdryn Undead, The Five Doctors, The Time of the Doctor, et al.) The novel Lungbarrow proposed a solution for this contradiction: the Other, a Time Lord founder persecuted by Rassilon, threw himself into a Loom, and the First Doctor was eventually woven with his memories. The novel's epigraph quotes Morbius' dialogue from the mindbending contest, implying that the eight faces belonged to the Other rather than the Doctor himself. Similarly, The Timeless Children implies that the eight faces were incarnations of the Doctor following the Timeless Child's recruitment into the Division but before they were regressed into a child and had their memories erased.
- The original rehearsal script by David Whitaker for TV: The Power of the Daleks (then known as The Destiny of Doctor Who) stated that the Doctor renewed before, and that last time, he was wearing a metal bracelet stored in a drawer of the console, also containing a large earring he used to wear at some point. (DWMSE 4) The earring and bracelet were described in John Peel's novelisation of the serial.
- Philip Hinchcliffe, producer of TV: The Brain of Morbius and himself one of the faces, said on the faces: "We tried to get famous actors for the faces of the Doctor. But because no one would volunteer, we had to use backroom boys. And it is true to say that I attempted to imply that William Hartnell was not the first Doctor." They all wore stock costumes. (REF: In-Vision #12: The Brain of Morbius, A History of the Universe) In Classic Who: The Hinchcliffe Years as well as A Day with Philip Hinchcliffe, Hinchcliffe reconfirmed this original intention and, while noting that many fans tried to say that the faces were Morbius' rather than the Doctor's (a claim repeated in Doctor Who The Handbook: The Fourth Doctor), he was certain that he had played the Doctor.
- Script-editor and uncredited co-writer Robert Holmes, also one of the faces, confirmed Hincliffe's account: "We don't know which one Hartnell was, whether he was the first or not. In the phantasmagoric scene where they are mind-wrestling, we see the Doctor forced back through a number of regenerations." (REF: In-Vision #12: The Brain of Morbius) He would later introduce the idea of a twelve regeneration limit in TV: The Deadly Assassin, a story which also established that the Doctor's contemporary the Master had reached his last life as well, although, of course, it is possible for the Master to have burned through regenerations at an accelerated rate, the interpretation that mainstream continuity eventually settled on.
- Issue 12 of In-Vision also included seven photographs of the "Young Doctors", excluding Graeme Harper.
- Lance Parkin, author of the novel Cold Fusion, confirmed that Patience's newly-regenerated husband was intended to specifically be the Douglas Camfield Doctor (REF: AHistory); in an earlier draft of the novel The Infinity Doctors, Patience's husband would have been the Robert Banks Stewart Doctor who regenerated into a Geoffrey Bayldon incarnation at the end.
- Cold Fusion features the TARDIS from the film Dr. Who and the Daleks as "The Machine", with Patience repeatedly emphasizing that it is her husband's TARDIS. This could be interpreted as suggesting Dr. Who as a past identity of the Doctor within the same era as the Morbius Doctors, in line with Human Nature's allusion to Dr. Who.
- A screenshot of these Doctors' appearance in the mindbending contest appears in Strax Saves the Day when Strax notes that The Day of the Doctor featured "all the original Doctors, except for most of them".
- The charity anthology Forgotten Lives, published by Obverse Books in 2020, comprises stories of the Morbius Doctors by Simon Bucher-Jones, Philip Purser-Hallard, Andrew Hickey, Kara Dennison, Lance Parkin, Aditya Bidikar, Jay Eales and Paul Driscoll, with illustrations by Paul Hanley. Since it is not a licensed publication, it falls outside the scope of this wiki.