This page lists appearances of the Third Doctor in the order in which he experienced them. This timeline is based upon observations of the Doctor Who universe and the events that occur during each of these stories. From these observations we have attempted to build a concise timeline. It is assumed, much like its TV story counterparts that for each novel or audio series their published/numbered order is the order they occur in. This does not apply to short stories which are often ambiguous about their placement. There are also many gaps between stories.
The layout of this timeline is in part based on the observations on Doctor Who Reference Guide and Doctor Who - The Complete Adventures, as well as Lance Parkin's AHistory and other sources that allow us to make observations, such as DocOhoReviews, Doc Oho's Book Reviews, The History of Doctor Who, The Discontinuity Guide, Clive Banks Databank, Whopix, Big Finish forums, The Whoniverse and The Divergent Universe forums. None of these sources should be used solely as a source or considered a "true" timeline for stories.
Additionally there are statements on the back of Virgin Missing Adventures and many BBC Past Doctor Adventures novels that state between which TV stories the novel takes place between. These can be used to narrow the field, and should be viewed as the only placing for these novels.
Limiting factors Edit
Any stories involving the Doctor travelling around several destinations in his TARDIS should take place following TV: The Three Doctors, prior to this he is limited to travels "on assignment" for the Time Lords. Any limited trip with Jo Grant must take place after TV: Colony in Space.
Any story where he is not on assignment but travelling freely with Jo must take place after TV: The Three Doctors and before TV: The Green Death. Any story with Sarah Jane Smith must take place after TV: The Time Warrior and before TV: Planet of the Spiders.
UNIT career begins Edit
- The Doctor has regenerated from his previous incarnation. Upon recovering, he assists UNIT in combating the Nestene Consciousness's Auton invasion and is asked by Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart to become UNIT's scientific advisor with Dr. Liz Shaw, and he accepts in return for a car.
- Liz is examining the leftovers of the Auton invasion, setting this shortly after Spearhead from Space.
- The Doctor has not yet had an adventure on Earth without the Brigadier since his exile began.
- RAF Lieutenant Mike Yates is asked to join UNIT, with a promotion from lieutenant to captain. The Doctor uses Venusian aikido for the first time in his third incarnation, setting this before Landbound.
- The Doctor encounters the Silurians for the first time, but, to his dismay, they are killed and their city destroyed on the Brigadier's orders.
After the Wenley Moor massacre Edit
- The outcome of Doctor Who and the Silurians is still fresh on the Doctor's mind.
- The Doctor is still unhappy about the outcome of Doctor Who and the Silurians. Liz mentions Captain Yates, setting this after Vengeance of the Stones.
- Set a few weeks after Doctor Who and the Silurians.
- The Doctor has yet to forgive the Brigadier for the outcome of Doctor Who and the Silurians. Corporal Benton has only recently been promoted to Sergeant.
- Liz has been working with UNIT for "a few months", and her complaints about her job here are similar to those that the Brigadier cites as her reason for leaving. The TARDIS console has also been removed from within the ship, as it was in The Ambassadors of Death.
- This is the second time the Doctor has visited a zoo, setting this after The Arkwood Experiments.
- The Brigadier finds it doubtful that the Doctor can get the TARDIS to work, setting this before Inferno.
- Concludes shortly before Inferno.
- In an attempt to get his TARDIS working, the Doctor is transported to a different dimension, where the Earth is destroyed as a result of the Inferno Project. Returning to his own dimension before the destruction, the Doctor is able to prevent the Inferno Project from destroying it.
- Set immediately after Inferno.
- It has been "months" since Spearhead from Space, and the Monk also mentions the events of Doctor Who and the Silurians. Liz has heard the Doctor's TARDIS materialise before, setting this after Inferno.
- It is summer.
- Sergeant Mike Yates sees inside the TARDIS for the first time, and the Doctor mentions visiting the parallel universe from Inferno.
- One of the Doctor's attempts to repair the TARDIS sends Liz back in time to 1539.
Liz resigns Edit
- Liz decides to leave UNIT.
- Liz announces her intentions to leave UNIT.
- Liz officially leaves UNIT, Yates is promoted to from sergeant to captain, and the Doctor is in a new laboratory.
- Liz has just recently left UNIT.
- Set after Doctor Who and the Silurians.[source needed]
- With no travelling companion, the Doctor meets Horatio Nelson, whom he refers to as a personal friend in The Sea Devils.
- Liz is called back to UNIT, and has been absent long enough for the Doctor to admit missing her company.
- The Master is at large, setting this after Prisoners of the Sun.
- Liz has decided to tell the Doctor about her decision to officially leave UNIT, setting this after the Doctor found out from the Brigadier during Prisoner of the Sun.
- Set shortly before Terror of the Autons. The Doctor reprimands Sergeant Benton outside Jack Canning's office when he sees him dressed up like him.
Battles with the Master Edit
- Jo Grant joins UNIT as the Doctor's new assistant, just in time for UNIT's first open battle with the Master. The Doctor steals a dematerialisation circuit from the Master's TARDIS, stranding his old enemy on Earth with him.
- Months have passed for Liz since she left UNIT, and the Doctor now has a new assistant, setting this shortly after Terror of the Autons.
- Though the audio's blurb places this between The Dæmons and Day of the Daleks, Jo is still quite new to UNIT, and is unaware of the true nature of the TARDIS, setting this before The Claws of Axos.
- In an alternate timeline created by Rassilon and the Cybermen, the Doctor senses a time distortion during a brawl with the Master.
- The Master is still trapped on Earth, setting this before The Mind of Evil.
- The Master reclaims his dematerialisation circuit, and promptly leaves in his TARDIS.
- The Master has a working TARDIS, setting this after The Mind of Evil.
- The Doctor is visibly chafing at his confinement to 20th century Earth.
- The Doctor hasn't seen the Master since Deadly Reunion.
- Set during Jo's first year at UNIT. The Doctor doesn't have the TARDIS working yet, and UNIT considers the Master a threat to Earth safety, setting this between The Mind of Evil and Colony in Space.
- From a deal with the Master, the Doctor is able to restore his TARDIS back to working order, only to discover the Time Lords had pre-programmed it to always return him to 20th century Earth in case he manged to escape his exile.
- The Doctor has just discovered that even if he can now depart with the TARDIS, he will be drawn back to Earth, setting this shortly after The Claws of Axos.
- The Doctor incorrectly believes that the Time Lords have lifted his exile, setting this between The Claws of Axos and Colony in Space
- The Mega received advice from the Master, setting this after he got his TARDIS working in The Mind of Evil. The Nuton Power Complex is referenced, setting this after The Claws of Axos.
- Jo visits her first alien planet when the Doctor is assigned a mission to Uxarieus by the Time Lords.
- After his failed escape attempt upon his defeat in Devil's End, the Master is arrested by UNIT.
After the Master's arrest Edit
- Set after the Master's arrest in The Dæmons.
- The TARDIS is not in working order, setting this before The Three Doctos. Jo is absent from UNIT for several weeks due to the effects of the Time Keeper.
- The events of Freedom are mentioned.
- Set between The Dæmons and Day of the Daleks.[source needed]
Missions in time Edit
- Set between The Dæmons and The Sea Devils, as the Master is still imprisoned.
- The Doctor refers to the events of Day of the Daleks.
- Set between The Dæmons and The Sea Devils, as the Master is still in prison. The Brigadier mentions the Daleks, setting this after Day of the Daleks.
- Set sometime after The Dæmons, and not long before The Face of the Enemy, as the Master is being held in Aylesbury Grange Detention Centre.
- The Doctor and Jo leave for Peladon, setting this during The Curse of Peladon: Episode 1.
- The Doctor visits Peladon for the first time, while taking the TARDIS on its first test run since he "got it working again". Jo encounters the Ice Warriors for the first time.
- The Doctor and Jo have the same outfits they wore in The Curse of Peladon.
- The Doctor and Jo return to UNIT almost immediately after The Curse of Peladon.
- Set shortly after The Curse of Peladon.
- The Master changes the internal configuration of the Doctor's TARDIS, setting this after The Curse of Peladon, and before The Sea Devils, as the Master is sent to Fortress Island.
- The Master is said to be locked up on a secure island, setting this shortly before The Sea Devils.
- Aided by the Sea Devils, the Master is able to escape his prison sentence on Fortress Island. The Doctor meets the Sea Devils for the first time.
- Set immediately after The Sea Devils.
- Set after The Sea Devils, as the Doctor is making a device to track the Master and Jo has encountered the Daleks.
- Jo fails to recognise the Fourth Doctor, setting this before The Touch of the Nurazh.
- Set after The Mutants, as Jo hasn't been in the TARDIS very often, the Master is free and the Doctor is anticipating being freed from his exile soon.
- Authorial intent places this between Day of the Daleks and The Time Monster.[source needed]
- The Doctor is still in exile, and refers to the events of Colony in Space and The Mutants.
- The events of The Mutants are mentioned. The Doctor briefly regenerates into his fourth incarnation, but the regeneration is aborted due to the Nurazh's interference.
- Set three years after Spearhead from Space. The Doctor lists his work for the Time Lords, with The Mutants being the last one he mentions. This is also where UNIT acquires the manor house seen in The Three Doctors.
- Jo recalls the events of The Sea Devils. Jo and Liz meet for the first time, and the Doctor and Liz last saw each other in The Sentinels of the New Dawn.
- The Doctor and Liz spend some time together and reference her departure from UNIT, setting this after Primord.
- Jo recalls her recent encounter with Liz, setting this shortly after Primord.
- The Doctor mentions Peladon, setting this after The Curse of Peladon.
- Jo has faced the Ogrons before, setting this after Day of the Daleks. The Doctor's TARDIS is still limited in its capabilities, and the Doctor is sent on a mission by the Time Lords, setting this before The Three Doctors.
- The Doctor doesn't have use of his TARDIS, setting this before The Three Doctors. He recognises his next incarnation on sight due to his "teeth and curls", setting this after The Touch of the Nurazh.
- Jo recalls the Daleks and Ogrons, setting this after Day of the Daleks. The Doctor confesses that sheep have "never filled [him] with dread before", setting this before Verdigris.
- Jo comments on the TARDIS's new interior design, which the Doctor dismisses as a "redecoration".
- A footnote states that this story takes place after The Time Monster.[source needed]
- The Doctor is using the control room from The Time Monster.
- Set shortly before Verdigris.
- Ending leads directly into The Three Doctors.
Working on the TARDIS Edit
- The Doctor's knowledge of time travel is restored to him as a reward for defeating Omega. However, he doesn't leave immediately, as he needs to fix up the TARDIS further.
- The Doctor's exile has just been rescinded.
- The Scorchies song mentions the Gell guards, setting this after The Three Doctors. The Doctor is still working on the TARDIS.
- The Doctor is switched with his seventh incarnation by the Monk. Jo refers to the Omega crisis, but acts as if she hasn't travelled in the TARDIS yet, setting this shortly after The Three Doctors.
Newfound freedoms Edit
- The Doctor goes on his first test flight into the past since his time travel knowledge was returned in The Three Doctors, taking Liz and Jo with him.
- The Doctor's exile has been recently lifted, but he still feels uneasy when it is mentioned, setting this shortly after The Three Doctors.
- In the first artificial scenario, the Brigadier refers to the Doctor recently being released from his exile on Earth by the Time Lords, setting this shortly after The Three Doctors.
- The Doctor has had his ability to pilot the TARDIS returned to him recently, and his exile is still a sore subject of conversation for him, setting this shortly after The Three Doctors.
- The Doctor admits to Jo that he has come to find comfort in Earth since his exile was lifted, and that he reason he keeps returning is to see his friends there. Some of his abilities that were previously blocked by the Time Lords are still returning, setting this shortly after The Three Doctors.
- Jo is still new to time travel, but the Doctor has complete control of the TARDIS, setting this after The Three Doctors.
- The Doctor's exile has been rescinded recently by the Time Lords, setting this shortly after The Three Doctors. Jo and Mike plan to take trips into history for their dates, and Mike has accompanied the Doctor and Jo to other planets before, but is treating time travel as a new experience.
- The Doctor's exile has been recently lifted, setting this shortly after The Three Doctors.
- The Doctor is currently travelling with Jo. (DWM 475) He helps in the saving of Gallifrey on the last day of the Last Great Time War, and, in the novelisation, has a tea party with his other incarnations in the Under Gallery as a celebration.
Continued voyages with Jo Edit
- Jo recalls the events of The Three Doctors.
- The Doctor tries to recalibrate the TARDIS' navigational system, and Jo mentions the events of Carnival of Monsters.
- The Doctor and Jo have been traveling in the TARDIS for some time, but Jo is not familiar with the Doctor's trances, setting this before Frontier in Space.
- Due to her memory trouble, Jo erroneously thinks this story happens immediately after The Doll of Death, but she later recalls the events of Day of the Daleks. As the TARDIS is free from Earth exile, this story must be set at least after The Three Doctors.
- Set between Carnival of Monsters and Frontier in Space.[source needed]
- Set before Frontier in Space.[source needed]
- Set before Frontier in Space.[source needed]
- Set immediately after Frontier in Space. After leaving Spiridon, Jo asks the Doctor to take them back to Earth.
After Spiridon Edit
- The Doctor and Jo have just left Spiridon, setting this immediately after Planet of the Daleks.
- Continues immediately on from Planet of the Daleks.
- The Doctor is still adjusting to his newfound freedom, but speaks fondly of his time in exile. He has promised to get Jo back to Earth and gives her his TARDIS key, setting this shortly after Planet of the Daleks.
- The Doctor and Jo eventually return to Earth from Spiridon.
- The Doctor has recently been to Spiridon, setting this after Planet of the Daleks.
- Jo is still musing on her romance with Latep from Planet of the Daleks, and begins to think about how her days with the Doctor might be coming to an end.
- The Doctor refers to the recent events of Frontier in Space.
- Latep from Planet of the Daleks is mentioned, and Jo has been back on Earth for "a bit."
- Set a week after Planet of the Daleks. The Doctor and Jo have spent the past few weeks trying and failing to get to Metebelis III.
- Jo is aware of the Doctor regenerative abilities, setting this after The Three Doctors, but the TARDIS is not currently operational, implying that the damage done in Dancing the Code is to blame.
- Jo knows the Ice Warriors, setting this after The Curse of Peledon. Liz is in the same area as the UNIT HQ, and is acquainted with Jo, setting this after Primord.
- The Doctor mentions Lava Worms, setting this after The Transcendence of Ephros.
- Jo has pale skin from spending lots of time inside the Doctor's lab.
- Jo is familiar with the Doctor entering comas, setting this after Planet of the Daleks.
- The Doctor seems able to control the TARDIS, and, although he speaks of Jo in the present tense, she is not traveling with him at the moment. Possibly set before Last of the Gaderene or Speed of Flight, where the Doctor is shown returning to UNIT after taking some solo trips.
- Set before The Green Death. Possibly set before Last of the Gaderene or Speed of Flight, where the Doctor is shown returning to UNIT after taking some solo trips.
- The Doctor is attempting to take Jo and Mike to Karfel, leading into of Timelash.
- Set immediately after Timelash.
- Jo refers to the events of Planet of the Daleks.
Final adventures with Jo Edit
- The Doctor and Jo visit Pakha. The Doctor notices for the first time that Jo has grown up a lot since their first meeting.
- The Doctor can control his TARDIS' flight, and Jo has apparently taken numerous lengthy trips in the TARDIS, setting this after The Three Doctors. This story also demonstrates her awakening social conscience, which leads into The Green Death.
- Jo demonstrates her growing environmental awareness, setting this after Come Friendly Bombs....
- The Doctor notes that Jo is beginning to grow up.
- Mike is displeased to find himself traveling in the TARDIS, suggesting he has already travelled within it. The Doctor tells Jo that she will leave him when she feels the time is right.
- Jo is familiar with the Doctor's trances that make his skin ice-cold, setting this after Planet of the Daleks.
- The Doctor and Jo go back in time to kill a dictator as a baby. However, the Doctor sees his sixth incarnation doing the same, and leaves him to do it.
- Set between Planet of the Daleks and The Green Death.[source needed]
- Jo leaves UNIT, and the Doctor's company, to marry ecologist Professor Clifford Jones.
Travelling alone Edit
- Set immediately after The Green Death.[source needed]
- Jo has just recently left the Doctor, setting this shortly after The Green Death.
- The Doctor still misses Jo after she left in The Green Death.
- The Doctor refers to Jo leaving him, setting this shortly after The Green Death.
- Benton refers to the events of The Green Death.
Solo actions Edit
- Set directly after *Sub Zero.
- Set between Zeron Invasion and Deadly Choice.[source needed]
Temporary companions Edit
- On a mission for the Time Lords, the Doctor is taken prisoner on 32nd century Earth, and assisted in his escape by a young boy named Arnold. After overthrowing the young tyrant, Oswald, the Doctor invites Arnold to travel with him as he takes Oswald away from the vengeful Earth citizens.
- Follows directly on from Children of the Evil Eye, with the Doctor and Arnold leaving Oswald on another planet as his punishment. The Doctor begins the return journey to Earth to return Arnold to his home.
- The Doctor returns Arnold to his home so as not to alienate him from his time.
- The Doctor and Joshua Douglas part ways after ten years of companionship.
Alone again Edit
- Set before The Time Warrior.
- Set between The Green Death and The Time Warrior.[source needed]
- The Doctor was in the middle of making adjustments to Bessie when he was picked up by Bernice Summerfield. He has knowledge of TARDIS travel and recalls his attempts to get to Metebelis III, setting this after The Green Death.
Meeting Sarah Jane Smith Edit
- The Doctor meets Sarah Jane Smith, who becomes a reluctant stowaway aboard the TARDIS.
- Set immediately after The Time Warrior, with the Doctor returning Sarah home. She decides to officially join the Doctor's company.
Voyages with Sarah Edit
- Sarah Jane doesn't know much about the Doctor's origins.
- The Doctor tells Sarah Jane about Gallifrey and the Time Lords.
- The Doctor is taking Sarah home to London, having initially "set off from the research centre".
- The Doctor has been trying to get Sarah Jane to Florana since they left London in Invasion of the Dinosaurs, but has failed to get her there several times already.
- The Doctor and Sarah are traveling to Florana for a holiday, setting this almost immediately after Invasion of the Dinosaurs. Sarah Jane has her first encounter with the Daleks.
- The TARDIS is still recovering from the energy drainage sustained in Death to the Daleks.
- The Doctor and Sarah finally make it to Florana, setting this after Death to the Daleks.
- Set after Death to the Daleks.[source needed]
- The Doctor is driving the "Whomobile", setting this after Invasion of the Dinosaurs. The Doctor and Sarah have been absent from UNIT long enough for it to have been infiltrated by the Remoraxians. Liz, Sarah Jane and the Brigadier are kidnapped by Adam Mitchell, leading directly into Endgame.
- The Doctor joins with his other incarnations to rescue his friends from Adam and the Master, and assists the other Doctors in saving their companions as well.
- Set seven weeks after Invasion of the Dinosaurs.
- Sarah has already been to a number of alien worlds.
- Sarah mentions her vacation in Sicily, setting this after The Ghosts of N-Space.
Time alone Edit
- Set immediately before The Five Doctors.
- The Doctor recognises Sarah Jane when he encounters her future self in the Death Zone, setting this between The Time Warrior and Planet of the Spiders.
- Though she is absent, the Doctor is currently traveling with Sarah Jane Smith.
Final voyages Edit
- Sarah is wearing her leather jacket from The Monster of Peladon.
Death on Dust Edit
- Sarah Jane and the Doctor have just left Peladon, setting this immediately after The Monster of Peladon.
- Set immediately after Alien Bodies, with the Doctor and Sarah intending to return to Earth. The Doctor discovers a door within the TARDIS that leads to his eighth incarnation, who attempts to warn him of Faction Paradox. The TARDIS lands on the planet Dust during the War in Heaven, on the same day when I.M. Foreman's Travelling Show arrived and the Faction Paradox warships approached the planet, leading directly into Interference: The Hour of the Geek.
- The Doctor defeats the Remote invasion, and resolves the apparent paradox of Foreman's original encounter with his future selves. However, due to the interference of Faction Paradox, the Doctor is shot by Magdelana Bishop, and begins to regenerate into his next incarnation.
- Aware of the perversion of history, the Third Doctor's "ghost" remains in the TARDIS until the Eighth Doctor confronts Grandfather Paradox during the Faction Paradox invasion of Gallifrey. The Third Doctor assists the Eighth Doctor in destroying Gallifrey and Kasterborous, forcing the universe to choose whether the original or new timeline is the real timeline.
- The Eighth Doctor was uncertain which timeline would become real. Compassion initially told Fitz Kreiner that the Doctor's visit to Dust and the War in Heaven had been unwritten from history. (PROSE: The Ancestor Cell) However, when the Eighth Doctor eventually regained contact with the greater universe, history had been rewritten so that Gallifrey had never even existed, (PROSE: The Adventuress of Henrietta Street) suggesting that the War had not been erased, but actually continued and ended in some other way. (PROSE: The Book of the War, The Story So Far...)
Avoiding Dust Edit
- Set between The Monster of Peladon and Planet of the Spiders, with the Doctor feeling morbid after his brush with death on Peladon.
- Set after The Monster of Peladon.[source needed]
- Sequel to Neptune. The Doctor is traveling alone with Jeremy Fitzoliver, setting this immediately after The Dead Man's Story.
- Sarah recalls meeting Aggedor on Peladon, setting this after The Monster of Peladon.
- Set after The Monster of Peladon.[source needed]
- Set after The Monster of Peladon.[source needed]
- Set shortly before Planet of the Spiders.
A slow demise Edit
- Confronting the Great One of the Eight Legs, the Doctor receives a lethal dose of radiation, but is able to escape in the TARDIS.
- Slowly dying from radiation sickness, the Doctor is trying to find his way back to UNIT HQ from Metebelis III.
- The Doctor is dying after being exposed to radiation.
- After the TARDIS finally lands back at UNIT HQ, the Doctor is able to regenerate into his next incarnation with assistance from K'anpo Rimpoche.
Currently unplaced Edit
- These entries are placed here due to being part of ongoing storylines that have yet to offer sufficient enough evidence to be placed in a specific part of this Doctor's timeline, unless further evidence arises in the stories to come.
Awaiting placement Edit
- These entries are placed here until a suitable position in the timeline can be determined based on the available evidence.