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The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot was a tongue-in-cheek Red Button release showing the attempts by Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy to get into the 50th anniversary special. It features a multitude of cameo appearances from many other actors who have been involved in the history of Doctor Who.


With the 50th anniversary special of Doctor Who about to film, the "Classic" Doctors are keen to be involved. But with the anniversary drawing ever closer, will they manage to succeed?


Sean Pertwee and Olivia Colman sit and discuss their upcoming projects. Both seem frustrated that they are not involved in the "five Doctors reboot thing", with Colman adding "I'm usually in everything."

Christmas 2012 – Peter Davison is at home watching The Snowmen with his two sons Louis and Joel (who is watching from behind the sofa, and who both made their acting debut). When asked if there will be a 50th anniversary special, and if he will be in it, he answers that he is not sure, and while his sons seem delighted at the prospect of it featuring just Matt Smith and David Tennant, Davison is quite concerned that he is going to be left out.

Davison now walks through the BBC Television Centre to the admiration of Matt Smith, Jenna Coleman, and Steven Moffat, as well as several other Doctor Who crew members. But suddenly Janet Fielding appears and tells him that he is dreaming and that they are not really going to call him, and he awakes in bed. While walking his dog he rings his agent to see if he has been asked to appear in the special.

February 2013 - Sylvester McCoy checks his mobile phone but has no messages. Colin Baker sits by his phone waiting, as do Davison and McCoy.

March 2013 - In his car, Davison listens to the radio and the upcoming 50th anniversary being discussed, and phones his pregnant daughter, Georgia Moffett, who hangs up before using a celery stick to dig into (quite literally) a carton of ice cream. He checks into a hotel and asks if he has any messages. He hasn't. When signing photographs at a convention he appears somewhat vexed, something which isn't helped by a fan wearing a Tom Baker T-shirt, who asks if he will be in the 50th anniversary special.

He phones the Doctor Who production office to make sure they have his mobile phone number so that they can get hold of him. The receptionist is unimpressed, and reminds him that he already phoned the day before, and the day before that. He asks to speak to Steven Moffat, who instructs the receptionist to tell Davison that he is in a meeting, and carries on playing with his Tenth and Eleventh Doctor action figures.

Later, Moffat is receiving voice mail while in a car. He has a message from Davison, which he deletes. Colin Baker is at home reading, whilst waiting by the phone. His wife informs he that has been doing so for the last four weeks, and asks for his help in the garden. Sylvester McCoy is on the phone telling someone that although he is in the middle of filming The Hobbit he is still available for the 50th Anniversary, but is asked to leave a voicemail. Colin Baker attempts to do the same, only to be told "oh no, not another one", when standing on a lawn-mower in an attempt to get better signal at the bottom of his garden. Steven Moffat listens to more messages from the actors, this time from McCoy and Baker, in which they suggest cross-overs with their other projects, but Moffat casually deletes the messages without listening them through.

Davison's sons are playing when he has some bad news for them, "there is a very real possibility that I won't be in the 50th anniversary special." They are indifferent, and resume playing, much to Davison's annoyance. Meanwhile, Steven Moffat is dreaming, and haunted by several classic companions, including Matthew Waterhouse, who says, "Now I'll never know if I was right" before exploding and waking Moffat up suddenly.

'The Four Doctors' Convention 2013 - In the hospitality suite, Paul McGann is reading a script while Baker and McCoy look on, noting that he is always filming. Davison joins them stating that his contact has given him the filming dates, and that he has a plan. On the phone McGann asks his agent if they have heard anything about the Doctor Who special, disappointed for the answer to be "nothing at all." McCoy asks if they should call Tom, thinking he might like to join the team. But both Baker, Davison, and even McCoy himself is reluctant to make the call, so they bicker a bit over who gets to do it, before Baker finally gives in and takes out his phone. Tom Baker (as the Fourth Doctor) is seen punting down a river as his phone rings, before being swept into a time vortex, so they instead reach his voicemail, which informs them that he is "stuck in the sodding time vortex, again!" and can therefore not assist them right now. Despite this, McGann informs them that regardless of what they are planning, he's in ... "work permitting, obviously."

McCoy states that he would like to be involved, but can't as he is due to return to New Zealand and The Hobbit, and Baker returns home expecting a special delivery. Baker's wife and daughters hope that he hasn't noticed that it has arrived, but much to their chagrin he has. It is a Special Edition DVD of Vengeance on Varos, to replace another that went missing. Baker happily points out that this version has extra features, "Even more of me!", and sits down to watch it with his reluctant family, who can't escape as he locked all the doors in the house.

McCoy is waiting in his trailer speaking on his phone, saying how Peter Jackson often leaves him waiting in case he has a moment of inspiration, which rarely happens. Fed up with waiting, he decides to "live dangerously", leaves a note, and flies back to Great Britain. Davison speaks to Baker to let him know it's on, "Thursday morning, you know where."

Holding a sign declaring "No Classics No 50th!!", Davison stands outside BBC Television Centre. McCoy and Baker sit and watch quoting (and misquoting) their respective Doctors. McCoy notes that he has a sinking feeling, while someone knocks on his trailer back in New Zealand. When asking where Paul is, Baker answers that he has "filming commitments".

On the set of The Hobbit, Peter Jackson is told of McCoy's disappearance and asks Ian McKellen, who at first has no idea who McCoy is, if he can shoot the scene without him, something which McKellen believes might actually be an improvement.

Back in London, John Barrowman walks by the protest and, amused by the sight, he informs Davison that Doctor Who is in fact filmed in Cardiff. The trio chase after him and ask for a ride, but he seems reticent. Looking into his car, they are surprised to find a wife and two children. Embarrassed, Barrowman asks them not to tell anybody that he isn't actually gay. When his family starts shouting at him, he throws them out of his car and agrees to drive the trio to Wales, and spends the journey singing showtunes. While initially arriving at Roath Lock Studios, Davison leads the others to The Doctor Who Experience, paying their entrance fee with the John Barrowman merchandise given to them by Barrowman himself. In the museum McCoy looks forlornly at his old costume, and Davison directs them into a prop TARDIS. Realising it is not the real TARDIS, he initiates plan B... while Baker and McCoy are left to question his sanity.

Georgia Moffett is on the phone to David Tennant, saying that if he just does this one thing, then Davison will leave them alone. He reluctantly agrees and hangs up before wondering if there was something he should have remembered. While Georgia is in labour, Tennant wedges open a door to the studios with a fire extinguisher. Before taking advantage of this however, McCoy stops to ask Davison and Baker just why they are doing this. Struggling to find an answer, Davison soon responds "for the fans", much to the enthusiasm of the others.

The three actors soon enter the studios, noting the musical difference between standing just inside and outside of the door, but soon shrug it off and continue. Entering the TARDIS studio itself, they agree "let's do it!" A child points his sonic screwdriver at the various costumes in the Experience, but soon stops when he notices the fifth, sixth, and seventh Doctor's jackets are missing.

Now wearing their old costumes, Davison and co enter the TARDIS set but almost immediately criticise it. McCoy doesn't like the stairs, Baker thinks it to be too dark, and Davison remarks how nothing wobbles. They soon leave to find the Doctor Who crew filming the 50th anniversary special, but are not sure how to actually be in it, as Davison never actually thought they'd get this far. When moving on to scene 19, a voice is heard asking for three Daleks, and an idea strikes them.

Three Dalek operators, reading "Dalek Operator Gazette", make their way to the set, but find themselves locked in their room. Making their way to the set, the three Doctors are now inside three Daleks, but are told off by a BBC employee for being late. The actual operators themselves return to their magazines, considering the crew to be the ones losing out. When they have finished filming, Davison, Baker and McCoy congratulate themselves on having made it into the episode, but are unable to get out of the Dalek costumes.

Meanwhile, a security guard notices the fire extinguisher, alerts other guards, and begins to search the building. Having been let out, a crew member states that the Dalek operators are also due to play Zygons, but the three soon make their excuses and leave. Believing they have gotten away with it, they make their way to leave, only to find themselves walking behind the guards who are looking for them. They are able to escape without being spotted, but know they are being chased.

They try to leave through a closed gate, but are found by one of the guards. The guard happens to be a fan, and asks the three to sign autographs, and allow them on their way without realising that they are the intruders he is looking for. They make their way to another studio, in which the Under Gallery scene is being filmed, but the guards are asked to leave as they do not have the right clearance.

At a bus stop outside the studios, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, and Sylvester McCoy celebrate with a bottle of champagne. Davison looks to the camera saying that they have everything, but is soon told he should instead say "cut", and the camera is turned off. McCoy soon points out another camera across the road however, and is told it is for the making-of documentary. Davison soon receives a phone call he was expecting, and chooses to ignore it. Russell T Davies leaves a message telling Davison that he had heard he was making a video for the 50th anniversary, and asks to be in it.

The three actors wave to camera and board a coach, still celebrating their success, and Davies is still leaving his message, suggesting ideas for his role. When McCoy and Baker are asleep, Davison deletes the 27 minute message from Davies, and settles in for the journey.

Two weeks later - In an editing suite Moffat tells an editor that he is happy, and they are ready to move on to scene 19. When discussing this scene Moffat wonders if it is actually needed, and the editor points out that they are over-running by 10 minutes, and it is agreed they should cut it. The scene is deleted, and the end credits roll.

Moffat and the editor then move on to the Under Gallery scene, but Moffat has to leave in order to answer a phone call. The editor continues to watch the filmed footage however, and sees that Davison, Baker and McCoy are given shrouds, and told to stand in as the Zygons. He then proceeds to trim the footage, presumably to prevent Moffat from discovering their involvement. When Moffat returns he is told things couldn't be better, and they begin to view the rest of the footage.


All of the roles are individuals playing themselves, unless noted otherwise.

In addition, the voices of John Hurt and Jemma Redgrave are heard from production audio from The Day of the Doctor.



  • Olivia Colman mentions the TV series Broadchurch in which she starred with David Tennant, Arthur Darvill and Jodie Whittaker.
  • When Colin is talking about the Extra Features on the Vengeance on Varos DVD, the 1997 BBC Video ident can be heard.
  • Davison's children are shown watching The Snowmen and later playing Blood of the Cybermen. Joel watches Doctor Who from behind the sofa, something many children are said to do when scared by the show.
  • Frequent references are made to Sylvester McCoy's casting in the feature film adaptation of The Hobbit.
  • A radio presenter admits that his favourite Doctor is Peter Cushing, saying that it is a "controversial" choice.
  • Georgia Moffett eats her ice cream with a stick of celery, something often associated with the Fifth Doctor.
  • When phoning the Doctor Who production office, Davison stands in front of an Ood. The office is also decorated with memorabilia and several BAFTA and Hugo Award statues can be seen on Moffat's windowsill.
  • Moffat is shown playing with the action figures of the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors produced by Character Options.
  • Colin Baker references him filming "I'm a Celeb-" in the forest and eating possum anus on TV, both references to Colin's 2012 participation in the reality show I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!. There is a possible third reference to this by the fact that Baker isn't exhausted after running after John Barrowman.
  • When deleting messages from his mobile phone, Steven Moffat is told "Doctors deleted" in a Cyberman's voice.
  • Throughout the special, Davison, Baker and McCoy can be seen wearing shirts that emulate their costumes. Later on, all wear their own Doctors' coats over the shirts, stealing them back from the Doctor Who Experience display.
  • Several production office staffers are shown reading copies of Doctor Who Magazine.
  • Dan Starkey is shown in his Strax make-up. Although the actor did not appear as Strax in The Day of the Doctor, he did record several Strax Field Report videos related to its production, as well as a special sequence presented before the cinema showings.
  • Russell T Davies calls Peter Davison and suggests that he could show up as a Time Lord and have a French catchphrase ("Quel dommage"), similar to the Tenth Doctor's French catchphrase ("Allons-y").
  • When the boy, who is playing with his screwdriver in the Experience, sees that the coats of Doctors 5-7 are missing he says, "That's not right". Susan Foreman said the exact same line, in TV: An Unearthly Child while reading a book about the French Revolution.
  • Davison, Baker and McCoy are protesting in front of BBC Television Centre and Davison is later reminded by John Barrowman that the new series is filmed in Cardiff. This scene is probably a reference to the fact that many classic episodes were shot at the television centre itself, which is also why Davison — in the opening of the episode — dreams that Matt Smith, Jenna Coleman and Steven Moffat are welcoming him in the Television Centre. This, along with An Adventure in Space and Time, was among the last scripted productions to use the facility before its decommissioning.

Story notes[]

  • Classic Doctor Tom Baker does not appear in the film, although Jon Culshaw provides a Tom Baker impression for his voice over "cameo". Baker actually appeared in The Day of the Doctor as the Curator. Davison said in an interview that he contacted Baker three times to see if he wanted to do it, but he got no reply back.[1] This parallels a similar situation in the original The Five Doctors when Baker declined to participate. In both cases, his presence was provided by way of footage from TV: Shada.
  • Despite being named in the opening credits, Paul McGann only appears in one scene. It is mentioned that, although McGann is willing to join his fellow classic Doctors, he is unable to do so as he has other acting commitments. This may be a reference as to why he did not have a bigger part in the film, due to his appearance in TV: The Night of the Doctor.
  • As both Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee had died before production, they do not appear, but are represented by their sons, Sean Pertwee, and David Troughton. As such, the only actor to portray the Doctor in the classic era not to be represented is William Hartnell, who likewise did not appear in the original The Five Doctors story. However, as in the previous story, he is represented by Carole Ann Ford, who played his granddaughter.
  • Although it is noted that the Television Centre no longer is used for Doctor Who production, it had recently been used as a filming location for the docu-drama An Adventure in Space and Time.
  • During the scene where the trio infiltrate the studio where a scene is being shot, audio from the sequence in The Day of the Doctor in which the Doctors discuss the TARDIS' roundels is heard.
  • The final scene of the production features an alternate take of the first Under Gallery scene with dialogue not heard in the broadcast version of the special; in the version featured here, the Eleventh Doctor, after examining the statue dust, proceeds to taste it. Clara asks if he can tell anything from tasting it, and the Doctor replies he's "just feeling peckish".
  • At the end of the film, Davison, Baker, and McCoy do in fact play small parts in The Day of the Doctor, albeit as the hidden Zygons underneath the National Gallery. This leaves the possible implication that they may have actually appeared in the episode. As of February 2014, however, it has not been confirmed if this is actually the case. In the wake of the special's broadcast, Colin Baker was quoted in the media about the lack of involvement by the classic Doctors in the production, and made no reference to appearing "under cover," as it were.
  • Given that this production was made with BBC sanction (and even includes the same opening credits and theme music as the anniversary minisodes), the sequence with McKellen and Jackson, which was shot on the set of The Hobbit in New Zealand, marks the first time any "official" production related to Doctor Who has taken place in that part of the world. Coincidentally, in 2013, Jackson mentioned in numerous media interviews his hope of someday directing a Doctor Who episode in his country. McCoy stated in later interviews that Jackson's agreeing to take part in the spoof (alongside Ian McKellen) was a surprise. Around the time Day of the Doctor aired, Jackson and McKellen also recorded several interview videos in which they paid tribute to Doctor Who; these were distributed by BBC America.
  • During production of this special, several elements were leaked to the public which fans took to mean that, contrary to reports, the trio of Davison, Baker and McCoy actually were involved with The Day of the Doctor in some capacity. In particular, Davison let slip that he had a copy of the 50th anniversary special script with his name embossed across it [1]. This turned out to be the dummy script that Steven Moffat is seen holding up at the start of the special. Similarly, the trio protesting outside BBC Television Centre was reported by the media, with some sites correctly guessing at a special of this nature given Davison's history of producing skits of this nature [2].
  • The scene with John Barrowman was originally written for Mark Gatiss. However, when Georgia told Peter Davison that John Barrowman was upset of not appearing in the main special, Davison decided to shoot the scene with Barrowman instead of Gatiss.
  • Peter Jackson shot the scenes on The Hobbit set himself, based on the script he received from Peter Davison. He later sent Davison the footage through e-mail.
  • This is the only acting appearance of producers Steven Moffat and Russell T Davies in a Doctor Who-related production.
  • On 17 July 2014, Baker revealed in an interview with Flicks and the City that due to the success of the sketch, a sequel was being planned.[3][4] On 4 July 2023, Davison revealed that the project had been scrapped.[5][6]


to be added

Filming locations[]

Production errors[]

  • When the three Dalek operators are each reading the same issue of "Dalek Operator's Gazette" the front covers of the magazines are identical, but the back covers are all from different magazines.

Home video releases[]

DVD and Blu-ray releases[]

While appearing at a convention in June 2014, Colin Baker announced that The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot would be released as part of a then unannounced anniversary box set.[2] This would turn out to be the 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition box set, released in both DVD and Blu-ray formats in September of the same year.

In Germany the special was released on the Series 8 box set.

Streaming release[]

The special is available for free viewing on the Doctor Who website, as one of the videos on the official Day of the Doctor page.[7]

External links[]