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The Two Doctors was the fourth serial of season 22 of Doctor Who.

It was the first appearance of the Sontarans since Season 15's The Invasion of Time. The Second Doctor returned, played by Patrick Troughton, as did Jamie McCrimmon, played by Frazer Hines, both having last appeared in the twentieth anniversary special The Five Doctors. It was the first Sontaran story set on contemporary Earth, Peter Moffatt's last contribution to the show and Robert Holmes' first Sixth Doctor script.

After the success of The Five Doctors, Nathan-Turner was keen to do another multi-Doctor story. He quickly secured Troughton as the returning incarnation. It was suggested the story be set in New Orleans, but Holmes found it to have little merit as a setting and the idea was quashed when funding was pulled. Venice was chosen by Nathan-Turner, but this was too expensive, leaving them with Seville, a Spanish town. Holmes reluctantly agreed to a rewrite, disappointed he would have to cut his jokes about the differences between British and American English. As a vegetarian, Holmes wrote The Two Doctors as an allegory of meat-eating, hunting and butchering.

The location filming was plagued by numerous small problems, including high heat that caused make-up to melt, a three-day delay to replace Laurence Payne and Jacqueline Pearce's wigs, as well as Patrick Troughton and John Stratton's red Androgum eyebrows (which had somehow got lost in shipping), Carmen Gómez' refusal to wear a costume designed for her, and a local stunt man (the truck driver) who refused to perform his stunt as it had been choreographed. Pearce also says that she was a last-minute replacement for another, unspecified actress who had to drop out of the production. Nathan-Turner was informed that a filmed scene with Oscar and Anita in the olive grove was ruined by a scratch on the negative, so James Saxon and Gómez, who had already returned to England, had to be quickly brought back to Spain at considerable expense, only for it to then turn out that the reported scratch was virtually invisible and the original footage was perfectly fine. There was also a major spat between Moffatt and Nathan-Turner, which resulted in the latter deciding not to hire Moffatt for the show again. The upshot of the multiple problems with the location filming was that Nathan-Turner either decided to not film outside the UK again or was ordered by BBC executives not to do so (reports vary), although it ended up being academic due to the latter seasons not having big enough budgets to permit international shoots.


The Doctor has teamed up with himself before to save lives. This time, he must save his past self in order to ensure his own existence in his present. What could Chessene and dim-witted lackey Shockeye have planned with the Sontarans? Only one thing is known for sure: time will tell.


Part one[]

The Second Doctor pilots the TARDIS as Jamie McCrimmon laments over the absence of their friend Victoria Waterfield and the possibility of them ever getting back to her. The Doctor reminds him that she's off studying graphology at the time. Wondering where they're going, Jamie is informed by the Doctor that the Time Lords are sending them on a mission to Space Station Camera in the Third Zone; they've also installed a teleport control on the TARDIS that grants them dual control. Showing the image of their destination to Jamie, the Doctor hears him compare its size to twenty castles. The Doctor explains to Jamie that the station is a research facility and they are here to have a discreet word with Dastari, the Head of Projects. The TARDIS materialises in the station kitchen, where they meet Shockeye, the station cook.

How dare you

Shockeye berates the Second Doctor for landing in his kitchen.

Shockeye is an Androgum, a member of a primitive, emotionally and ethically bestial humanoid race who make up the station's workforce. He is confrontational, angry that a ship has been landed in his kitchen until the Doctor reveals he is a Time Lord. Suddenly deferential, Shockeye eyes Jamie hungrily and offers to buy him from the Doctor as the main ingredient for a meal. The Doctor, shocked, refuses. He takes Jamie away to see Dastari. As they leave, however, they hear the sound of the TARDIS dematerialising. This is observed by Chessene, an Androgum technologically augmented to mega-genius levels; her appearance has changed because of such - she looks like an attractive human woman. Chessene has plans of her own. They involve someone named Stike, who will be arriving soon, once Shockeye's poisoned meal for the scientists takes effect. She has also taken possession of the Kartz-Reimer module.

The Doctor speaks to Dastari in his office. He explains the Time Lords want Kartz and Reimer's time experiments ended, as, if the wrong people had access to time travel, it would spell disaster for the entire universe. The Time Lords have an official policy of neutrality, which prevents them from getting directly involved. Because of such, they've sent the Doctor, who has been exiled from their world, to maintain deniability of ever being involved. Dastari introduces Chessene. The Doctor is sceptical that augmentation can change her Androgum nature. He considers such tampering dangerous.

Meanwhile, three Sontaran battlecruisers appear near the station on an intercept course. Before the station's defences are activated, Chessene incapacitates the technician on post and opens the docking bays. Back in the office, the Doctor warns that the distortions from the Kartz-Reimer experiments threaten the fabric of time. Dastari refuses to order them ended. He accuses the Time Lords of not wanting another race to discover the secrets of time travel. The argument grows more heated. Dastari grows faint and falls into a drugged stupor. Energy weapons begin to sound in the corridors and the Doctor orders Jamie to run, as a Sontaran levels a gun at the Doctor.

Somewhere and somewhen else, the Sixth Doctor is fishing while Peri finishes dressing after trying to get a tan. He tries explaining that the river should be full of gumblejacks, a fish that tastes heavenly when cooked just right: Cleaned, skinned, and pan fried in its own juices. The Doctor packs up his fishing pole, chair and umbrella. He tells her it's time to leave. After returning to the TARDIS, Peri is startled as the Sixth Doctor sways and collapses — just as, back on the station, Jamie spies the Second Doctor in a glass chamber, writhing in agony while a Sontaran manipulates controls.

In his TARDIS, the Sixth Doctor awakens in a confused state. He starts talking about jelly babies and a recorder. He has had a vision of himself in his second incarnation being put to death. He realises this is impossible since he is still alive, but he is also concerned he may have died in the past and only exists now as a temporal anomaly. He decides to consult his old friend Dastari.

The TARDIS materialises on the station. Everything is dark. The smell of decay and death is everywhere. The station computer demands the Doctor leave. When he refuses, it tries to kill Peri and him by depressurising the passageway. The Doctor opens a hatch and drags his unconscious companion to another section.

In Dastari's office, the Doctor discovers the scientist's day journal and the Time Lords' objections to the Kartz-Reimer experiments. He refuses to believe his people are responsible for the massacre. Peri suggests someone is trying to frame the Time Lords to drive a wedge between them and Third Zone governments. They leave the office to enter the service ducts, work their way to the control centre and try to deactivate the computer before it kills them.

On Earth, Chessene, Shockeye and a Sontaran, Major Varl, seize a Spanish hacienda, killing its aged owner, Doña Arana. Varl sets up a beacon for the Sontaran ship. Chessene absorbs the knowledge of the old woman's mind, learning they are in Andalucia just outside Seville. Varl announces Group Marshal Stike of the Ninth Sontaran Battle Group is in orbit.

Meanwhile, Oscar Botcherby and Anita approach the grounds. Oscar, an English ex-stage actor who is running a restaurant in the city, is here to catch moths, armed with a net and a cyanide killing jar. Anita and he see the Sontaran ship zoom overhead and through binoculars observe Dastari and another Sontaran carrying an unconscious Second Doctor towards the hacienda. Anita pulls Oscar along, thinking them victims of an aeroplane crash who need help.

In the bowels of the station, the Sixth Doctor tries to disconnect the main circuit to prevent the computer from attacking them again. Suddenly, Peri is attacked by a humanoid in rags. Her cries distract the Doctor. He is hit by a gas trap and falls unconscious, ensnared in the wires.

Part two[]

Peri knocks out her attacker and frees the Sixth Doctor, who saved himself by shutting off his respiratory passages. He disconnects the computer's circuits. They find that Peri's attacker is a half-delirious Jamie, who has been hiding all the while. Jamie moans that "they" killed the Doctor. Under hypnosis, he tells the Sixth Doctor what has transpired, giving a description that the Doctor recognises as the Sontarans. Returning to the office to examine the station records, the Doctor suddenly sees Peri in the glass tube, writhing in pain.

As he frantically works the controls, the person in the tube changes from Peri to Dastari to the Second Doctor and even to himself. When Jamie and Peri return to the office, the Sixth Doctor explains that what Jamie saw was an illusion designed to make people believe the Doctor was dead and not investigate further; the animator had been left on and captured Peri's image.

This means the Second Doctor is a prisoner. The Sixth Doctor deduces the Sontarans kidnapped Dastari as well. Dastari is the only biogeneticist in the galaxy who can isolate the symbiotic nuclei of a Time Lord, which gives them the molecular stability to travel through time. Given time travel, the Sontarans will be unstoppable. The Sixth Doctor puts himself into a telepathic trance to find his past incarnation. He wakes, having heard the sound of the Santa Maria, the largest of the twenty-five bells at the Great Cathedral of Seville.


Dastari begins his work on the Doctor.

In the cellar of the hacienda, Dastari and Chessene set up equipment. The Second Doctor is drugged and passive. Dastari asks why they are on Earth. Chessene says it is convenient for an attack Stike plans for the Madillon Cluster against the Rutan Host and Shockeye wants to taste the flesh of humans. Dastari heaps scorn on Shockeye's primitive urges. He urges Chessene to remember she is beyond those, now.

The TARDIS materialises near the hacienda. Oscar approaches it as the TARDIS crew emerge. He thinks it a real police box and the Doctor and his companions are plain-clothes police officers. Taking advantage of the mistake, the Doctor asks that Oscar lead him to the hacienda.

Dastari plans to dissect the Second Doctor's cell structure to isolate his symbiotic nuclei and give them to Chessene. The Second Doctor calls him mad. He protests that her barbaric Androgum nature and the ability to time travel will mean there will be no limit to her evil. The Sixth Doctor asks Peri to create a distraction at the hacienda's front door while he and Jamie enter the cellar via a passage from the nearby ice house. Peri interrupts Dastari's operation. She poses as a lost American student. Chessene is suspicious, having read thoughts of the Doctor in her mind. Chessene gets Shockeye to bring the Second Doctor through the hall, strapped to a wheelchair, to see if Peri reacts. She does not for she has never seen the Second Doctor. Peri makes her excuses and leaves, but Shockeye chases her anyway, eager for a meal.

Meanwhile, the Sixth Doctor and Jamie are in the cellar. The Doctor examines the Kartz-Reimer module, a prototype time machine modelled on Time Lord technology. He tells Jamie that once the module's briode nebuliser is primed with his symbiotic nuclei — the Rassilon Imprimatur — it will be safe for anyone to use. Unfortunately, the Sontarans have heard him. Outside, Shockeye catches up to Peri. She trips and falls. Shockeye looms over her, muttering with delight...

Part three[]

Shockeye knocks out Peri and brings her to the kitchen. In the cellar, Stike threatens to kill Jamie unless the Sixth Doctor gets into the module and primes it with his symbiotic print; the Doctor does so. Stike is about to kill Jamie anyway, but Jamie stabs Stike's leg. Jamie and the Doctor run upstairs, where they find the Second Doctor. Before they can release the prisoner and escape, Shockeye shows up with the unconscious Peri. The Second Doctor feigns unconsciousness while the others hide.

While the Sixth Doctor and Jamie watch from their hiding place, Chessene voices her concerns. If a second Time Lord is involved, other Time Lords may come. She has a contingency plan. She asks Dastari to implant the Second Doctor with Shockeye's genetic material, turning the Doctor into an Androgum in her thrall. Then they will eliminate the Sontarans. However, Dastari and Chessene do not know the module is primed and that, outside, Stike is preparing to leave in it once Sontaran High Command has been notified. He will leave no survivors. He orders Varl to set the Sontaran battlecraft's self-destruct mechanism.

Interrupting Shockeye before he slaughters Peri, Chessene has him bring the Second Doctor to the cellar. There, she stuns Shockeye so Dastari can remove his genetic material. The Sixth Doctor revives Peri in the kitchen and ushers Jamie and her away. The Sixth Doctor tells them what he revealed about the Imprimatur in the cellar was not strictly true — he had heard Stike approaching and the speech was for the Sontaran's benefit. The machine worked for the Doctor, but will not for them because the Doctor has taken the briode nebuliser.

Dastari has implanted the Second Doctor with a 50% Androgum inheritance. When Shockeye wakes in a rage, he finds a kindred spirit in the transformed Doctor. They decide to go into the town to try the local cuisine.

In the meantime, Dastari lures the Sontarans into the cellar. Chessene attacks them with two canisters of coronic acid. Varl is killed, but Stike, though wounded, escapes. He tries to use the module, but without the nebuliser, it severely burns him. Stike staggers towards his battlecraft, forgetting about the self-destruct. The ship explodes, taking him with it.


Anita mourns Oscar's death.

The Sixth Doctor, Peri and Jamie follow the Second Doctor and Shockeye into Seville, hoping to cure him before the change becomes complete and affects the Sixth Doctor as well. Dastari and Chessene are seeking the two of them, knowing that unless the Second Doctor undergoes a second, stabilising operation, he will eventually reject the Androgum transfusion.

The Second Doctor and Shockeye go to Oscar's restaurant. They order gargantuan amounts of food. When Oscar demands they pay, Shockeye stabs and kills him, just as the Sixth Doctor and the others arrive. Shockeye leaves behind the Second Doctor, who slowly reverts to normal. All of them leave the restaurant to the distraught Anita. Chessene and Dastari arrive to take them back to the hacienda at gunpoint.

Chessene and Dastari find the nebuliser missing. The Sixth Doctor tells them how he primed the machine for Stike. To test the Doctor's claim, they replace the nebuliser and send Peri on a trip with the module and she survives.

Chessene gives Shockeye permission to eat Jamie. The Androgum takes him to the kitchen. Alone for the moment, the Sixth Doctor smugly confirms the Second's suspicions — the nebuliser is sabotaged, with an interface layer so thin it would only work once for Peri. The Doctors retrieve the key to their chains. The Sixth Doctor frees himself first and runs to save Jamie. He encounters Shockeye in the kitchen. The Androgum wounds him with a knife, then pursues him through the grounds, but the Sixth Doctor finds Oscar's cyanide killing jar. He ambushes Shockeye, covers his head with Oscar's butterfly net and presses the cyanide-soaked cotton wool to his face, killing him. The Doctor does not feel too bad about Shockeye’s death, uttering “Your just desserts”.

The sight of the Time Lord's blood on the ground is too much for Chessene. She falls to her knees and starts licking it, to Dastari's disgust. He realises that no matter how augmented she may be, Chessene will always be an Androgum. He decides to free the Second Doctor and his companions. When Chessene sees this, she shoots and kills Dastari. She tries to shoot the Second Doctor and Peri as well, but Jamie throws a knife at her, making her drop the gun. Chessene goes into the module, hoping to escape, but the module explodes, causing the molecular disintegration of Chessene and turning her back into a common Androgum in death.

The Second Doctor uses a Stattenheim remote control — which the Sixth Doctor covets — to summon his TARDIS. He and Jamie say their goodbyes and leave.

The Sixth Doctor and Peri make their way back to their own TARDIS. The Doctor tells her that from now on, it will be a healthy vegetarian diet for both of them.


Uncredited Cast[]



Cultural references from real world[]

Time travel[]

  • Ripples in time can be measured on the Bocca Scale (Kartz and Reimer's experimentation measured 0.4).
  • The Doctor talks of the holistic fabric of time, which might have been punctured by the Kartz Reimer experiments.
  • While speaking for the benefit of the approaching Sontarans, the Doctor makes several statements about time travel which he later claims are not entirely accurate:
  • Time travel is impossible without some form of molecular stabilisation system: Kartz and Reimer used a briode nebuliser into which the Doctor copies the "Rassilon Imprimatur", turning the module into a fully functioning time machine.
  • The biological makeup of Time Lords features symbiotic nuclei, affording protection from molecular break up and symbiotic control of the TARDIS.

Story notes[]

  • This story had working titles of The Kraalon Inheritance and The Androgum Inheritance. The Kraglon Inheritance also appears on some BBC paperwork, but this may possibly be a misspelling of 'Kraalon'. Other rumoured working titles are Parallax, The Seventh Augmentment and Creation, but these do not appear on any contemporary BBC paperwork.
  • The story opens in black-and-white, with a scene featuring the Second Doctor and Jamie, which then gradually transitions to colour. This is a homage to Patrick Troughton's era on Doctor Who, which was shot in monochromatic format.
  • This story marked the final appearance of Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor before his death in 1987 and the final on-screen appearance of Frazer Hines as Jamie.
    • The Second Doctor appearing much older in this feature, with noticeable grey hair, has been stated in novelizations and audio books as there having been a significant amount of time passing between ''The War Games'' (1969) and the Second Doctor's regeneration in ''Spearhead from Space'' (1970).
      • However, some later and recent releases of The Two Doctors have digitally darken the Second Doctor's hair to black, resembling his appearance from ''The Five Doctors''.
  • Troughton's final words as the Second Doctor were "Do try and keep out of my way in future and in past, there's a good fellow. The time continuum should be big enough for the both of us. Just."
  • The prop used for the Second Doctor's TARDIS console unit is the same one used by the Fifth Doctor throughout the first two seasons of his tenure. It was brought out for this particular serial due to the need of a "retro" console unit for the Second Doctor's TARDIS, and the budget could not accommodate for a rebuilding of the original 1963 console prop (which had already deteriorated to the point of uselessness by the 1970s). Consequently, this story marks the final televised appearance of the prop. However, the "old" TARDIS control room features the regular built-in white-shuttered scanner screen, which first appeared in Season Fifteen's The Invisible Enemy, as opposed to the bracket-mounted television monitor used during the 1960s.
  • This story, like many of Season 22, was produced in forty-five-minute episodes. When sold to other countries such as Australia and America, the episodes were edited into six twenty-five-minute episodes with new cliff-hangers added, Peri's collapse on the space station for part one (another version had the voice of Space Station Camera's computer stating "It threatened the Time Lords"), Anita offering to lead the Doctor to Chessene's hideout for part three and the Doctor struggling against the Androgum genes infecting his timeline, confirming he is all right "for the moment" for part five. Due to these international edits, in some countries, this story is arguably the final six-part story instead of The Armageddon Factor or the unproduced Shada. Interestingly, this edit results in Patrick Troughton having no dialogue for the twenty-five-minute version of part two.
  • The location shoot in Seville kicked off production. When the wigs constructed for the guest characters such as Chessene and Dastari were lost in transit, the actors had to be fitted for new wigs in Seville. These Spanish wigs were subsequently used for the studio shoot in England in order to keep continuity. The original wigs are, as far as is known, still missing to this day.
  • Radio Times credits John Stratton (Shockeye) as "Shockeye o' the Quancin' Grig" for Part One.
  • James Saxon (Oscar) is credited as "Oscar Botcherby" in Radio Times.
  • The Radio Times programme listing for part two was accompanied by a black-and-white publicity shot of Colin Baker and Patrick Troughton as the Sixth and Second Doctors sitting back to back in the hacienda's olive grove, the latter wearing Androgum make-up, the accompanying caption of which read "Double trouble with the two Doctors / BBC1, 5.20 p.m. Doctor Who".
  • This is the last serial of the 1963-89 series to be filmed on the European continent, ending an occasional tradition that had begun with TV: City of Death and continued in TV: Arc of Infinity and TV: Planet of Fire. The next such occasion was TV: The Fires of Pompeii, filmed in Italy in 2007.
  • This is one of the most violent stories in the series' history, featuring multiple stabbings and knife wounds, blood spillage (human, Time Lord and Sontaran), the attempted cooking and eating of humans and the killing of Shockeye by the Doctor by cyanide poisoning. This is reflected in the serial's mortality rate: Anita is the sole non-Doctor/non-companion character to survive its conclusion.
    • Among the controversial moments include the morbid imagery and dialogue on the space station in Part One, Shockeye breaking a live rat's neck and eating it in Part Two, and Oscar's death by kitchen knife in Part Three.
  • The idea of the Second Doctor being operated on with the intent of removing a unique Time Lord genetic trait was part of Robert Holmes' aborted script for The Five Doctors, The Six Doctors. In the script, the Cybermen planned to extract a unique organic mechanism from the Doctor and place it in themselves, becoming "Cyberlords".
  • Originally, this story was set in New Orleans and the Androgums, with their obsession with cooking and eating, were created with the city's culinary reputation in mind. The move to Seville led to several changes - the French Quarter became the Arab Quarter, a plantation house became the hacienda, the banks of the Mississippi became an olive grove, and so forth.
  • John Nathan-Turner suggested Venice as an alternative location, but it was soon determined that the crush of tourists, plus the higher associated costs, would be prohibitive.
  • Laurence Payne (Dastari) also supplies the voice of the Space Station Camera computer but was uncredited on-screen. (DWM 195)
  • This is the first three-part serial since TV: Planet of Giants.
  • This is the sixth and last story that Peter Moffatt directed.
  • Actress Jacqueline Pearce was a last minute replacement for Elizabeth Spriggs, for whom Chessene's costume had already been made. She was fired for not attending rehearsals.
  • "Warts" in the Androgum makeup were made from Rice Krispies.
  • Director Peter Moffatt and costume designer Jan Wright can be spotted sitting outside the restaurant in Seville.
  • Location liaison and translator Mercedes Carnegie was rewarded for her work with a cameo as the lady who drops a rose from her balcony in part three. The frivolous dress she wears was actually intended for the character of Anita to wear during her moth hunting trip in the previous two parts, but actress Carmen Gómez refused to wear it, preferring a light summer dress instead.
  • This is the first multi-Doctor story to not commemorate a major anniversary for the show. It would be followed in the revived series by Time Crash, featuring the Tenth and Fifth Doctors, and Twice Upon a Time, featuring the Twelfth and First Doctors.
  • This is the first appearance of the Sontarans since the Fourth Doctor story The Invasion of Time, and their last appearance in the original series. They would next appear in Doctor Who to battle the Tenth Doctor in The Sontaran Stratagem.
  • This is the longest televised multi-Doctor story, at approximately 135 minutes total.
  • This story marks the shortest gap between two multi-Doctor stories, having aired approximately fifteen months after The Five Doctors.
  • This was Patrick Troughton's final performance as the Doctor.
  • Depending on opinion of the authorship of Attack of the Cybermen, this is the first Sixth Doctor story where the credited writer has written for the show before.
  • Colin Baker stated that this was his favourite episode to make, mainly because he got the chance to work with Patrick Troughton.
  • Peter Moffatt wasn't happy with the amount of violence in the script, while Robert Holmes was unhappy with the direction, saying that it could have been more horrific and Oscar's death should have been tragic rather than comedic. Eric Saward thought the story was poorly directed.
  • According to Nicola Bryant, part of the Top of the Pops set was used to construct of the bowels of Space Station Chimera.
  • According to Colin Baker, Jacqueline Pearce came up with the scene where Chessene tastes the Doctor's blood on location.
  • Frazer Hines met and fell in love with a married Spanish girl while on location.
  • Jacqueline Pearce was best known for her role as Servalan in Blake's 7. Colin Baker guest-starred in the episode City at the Edge of the World, which didn't feature Servalan.
  • Joss Ackland, George Baker, Ian Bannen, Brian Blessed, Denholm Elliott, James Ellis, Frank Finlay, Ronald Fraser, Michael Gothard, Don Henderson, Donald Houston, Freddie Jones, Jeremy Kemp, Roy Kinnear, Ronald Lacey, T. P. McKenna, Aubrey Morris, Donald Pleasence, Peter Sallis, George Sewell and Peter Vaughan were considered for the role of Shockeye.
  • Joss Ackland, Bernard Archard, George Baker, James Bree, Michael Craig, Peter Cushing, Anton Diffring, Neil Hallett, Bernard Hepton, Peter Jeffrey, Freddie Jones, Jeremy Kemp, Clifford Rose, Nigel Stock and John Woodnutt were considered for the role of Dastari.
  • Jacqueline Pearce admitted that she was unfamiliar with Doctor Who and was trying to keep up with the script.
  • The actors playing the Sontarans suffered in the Seville heat.
  • Colin Baker and Frazer Hines pranked Patrick Troughton by pushing him around in his wheelchair when he was tied up.
  • Eric Saward felt that the foreign setting was unnecessary and detracted from the story.
  • Gary Downie said that the shoot was partially a holiday, but also John Nathan-Turner's way "of keeping the show alive".
  • Robert Holmes was particularly disappointed that much of the humour involving the differences between Britain and America was lost in the rewrite. The only hint we get of this humour is in episode one, when the Sixth Doctor looks at Peri and says that Columbus "has a lot to answer for".
  • At one point in the story, Peri appears to mouth 'you asshole' when the Doctor insults her intelligence. This would be the first ever instance of an actual curse word being used on the show, even if it was silent. This would be followed by Rose Tyler's use of the word 'bitchy' in The End of the World when addressing Cassandra.
  • It was John Nathan-Turner's idea to include the Sontarans. Although he disliked reusing old monsters, Robert Holmes felt that they had been poorly served by other writers in their appearances since The Time Warrior and he saw this as an opportunity to reassert his original vision for the monsters.
  • Production associate Sue Anstruther proposed filming in Seville, where she had holidayed a few years earlier.
  • Dastari is an anagram of "a TARDIS".
  • Peter Moffatt chose to deviate from earlier Sontaran stories by casting tall actors as Stike and Varl. The Sontarans had formerly been an explicitly short-statured race.
  • For the destruction of the Sontaran ship, the Visual Effects team was forbidden to import pyrotechnics. They originally tried to source materials from Madrid, but it soon became clear that the shipment would not arrive in time. Instead, designer Steven Drewett decided to create the necessary effect using gunpowder obtained from a firearms store in Seville. The resulting explosion was so effective that it spooked an elderly woman living on the grounds of the hacienda, who had to be persuaded that it was not the work of Basque separatists. Happily, Peter Moffatt made such good progress at Dehera Boyar that there was enough time to record two scenes originally intended for the studio.
  • The woman who threw a flower to Dastari was Spanish aristocrat Mercedes Carnegie, the wife of Donald Carnegie, Assistant at the British Consul. Both Carnegies had been of great help to production manager Gary Downie while scouting for locations.
  • Nicola Bryant badly bruised her shin while filiming in Oscar's restaurant, bringing an early end to the shoot.
  • The cast and crew voluntarily accepted a cut in the normal rates for meals and lodgings in Seville.
  • Filming in Seville was hampered by severe forty degree heat and stomach ailments.
  • When the film reels were returned to the UK for processing, it was discovered that there was a scratch on of the reels. This meant that some of the material recorded at Dehera Boyar, involving Osca and Anita in the olive grove, would have to be remounted. Unfortunately, James Saxon and Carmen Gómez had already returned to England, and this meant that they would have to be despatched back to Spain at great cost to the production office. The scene of the Sixth Doctor fishing for Gumblejacks was also remounted. Peter Moffatt's team was disappointed to discover that the extreme heat and lack of rain had considerably reduced the water level in the days since the location had been reconnoitred. To add insult to injury, it was discovered that the reported scratch was virtually imperceptible, making the reshoots unnecessary, much to John Nathan-Turner's outrage.
  • Peter Davison visited the set at BBC Television Centre Studio 6, where he filming the educational series L-Driver: English for Driving, thus making three Doctors onset.
  • John Nathan-Turner got the BBC wardrobe department to make him a bespoke shirt for the afterparty from the same material used for Peri's costume.


  • Part one - 6.6 million viewers
  • Part two - 6.0 million viewers
  • Part three - 6.9 million viewers


  • Richard Hurndall was supposed to return as the First Doctor, originally taking the place of the Second Doctor. (This has not been directly confirmed by anyone who worked on the story. Also, Hurndall had a serious heart condition at the time during the writing of this story.)

Filming locations[]

  • Dehesa Boyal (hacienda), Gerena/El Garrobo, Spain
  • Country Road, Gerena/El Garrobo, Spain
  • Seville, Spain
  • Rio Guadiamar (river), Gerena/Aznalcollar, Spain
  • BBC Television Centre (TC6 & TC1), Shepherd's Bush, London

Production errors[]

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • In some scenes you can see Clinton Greyn's lips moving independently of his Sontaran mask's lips.
  • In some scenes when Varl speaks, his mask's mouth remains closed.
  • When Peri enters the TARDIS after the Doctor's fishing trip, she is wearing different shoes than she was outside.


Home video and audio releases[]

DVD release[]

This story was released as Doctor Who: The Two Doctors in a two-disc set.

Release Dates[]

NTSC - Warner Video E1994

Special Features[]


VHS release[]

This story was released as Doctor Who: The Two Doctors.

Release Dates[]

PAL - BBC Video BBCV5148

Boxset release[]

  • This story was released in the Bred for War DVD boxset on the 5 May 2008 alongside all the classic series Sontaran stories. The DVD is the same as the one sold separately. Released 8 July in Australia.


The story was released on Blu-ray as part of The Collection: Season 22 on 20 June 2022

External links[]