The War Games was a 1969 serial which significantly changed Doctor Who. It was the first story which named the Doctor's people as "Time Lords", and the first to ever depict his home planet. It was also the first to show that the Doctor was genuinely a renegade, liable to the criminal courts on his home world. But it was also full of "lasts". It was the final serial in black and white, and the swan song for the Second Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon and Zoe Heriot. In fact, it was the only story prior to David Tennant's finalé which involved the departure of the entire cast of regulars. It was the last serial for several years in which the TARDIS was fully functional and under the Doctor's control, as one of the consequences of the story was that the Doctor be exiled on Earth thereafter. However, because the serial did not end with a clear regeneration, or actually seeing the Doctor be forced to go to Earth, a narrative gap was created between it and the next televised story. There are therefore many Second Doctor stories which take place after the Doctor's sentencing in this story, but before its execution. One of the biggest contributions to Doctor Who lore caused by The War Games is thus the so-called "Season 6b".

The women who gave Doctor Who back to us
Click for video

Think Doctor Who is just for boys? Don't you believe it. Not only was the show's very first producer a woman, but it would never have come back without the fierce advocacy of Jane Tranter and Julie Gardner. Considering her importance to Doctor Who it's somewhat ironic that Tranter's only on-screen credits are for Torchwood: Miracle Day. But Gardner, her "partner in crime", is tied only with Russell T Davies as the most prolific producer in Doctor Who history.

Industrial action


Click for a video of a 21st century geek as he takes delivery of one of the two Paintboxes used by the BBC in the 1980s
The Quantel Paintbox was a graphics workstation that allowed Doctor Who to have a primitive form of colour grading in the 1980s. To find out more about the "business of show", go to category:production information, where you can read about colour separation overlay, low loaders, telerecordings, vidFIRE, rostrum cameras, 2" quad tape, Ealing Studios and tons more.
Surprising guest star
Click to watch Cleese respond to Twitter
John Cleese appeared in Doctor Who's highest-rated televised story, City of Death, around the time of series 2 of Fawlty Towers. He was joined by the then-famous Eleanor Bron — the woman Paul McCartney once said was partial inspiration for the song "Eleanor Rigby". Find out more about the thousands of actors who have been on Doctor Who by exploring Doctor Who guest actors.
Ex-Doctors never die, they just make audios

The careers of the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Doctors are significantly longer in audio than on television. Check out their latest works at category:2021 audio stories

The relevance of comics

Officially, only The Lodger has been explicitly adapted from a comic strip — also called The Lodger.


However, several stories have clearly taken material from comic strips — often those in Doctor Who Magazine. The Shakespeare Code contains a good amount of material from A Groatsworth of Wit, and the notion of the Doctor absorbing the time vortex in order to spare a companion was explored in both The Parting of the Ways and The Flood.

The first of the "money men"

Donald Baverstock was the BBC executive who set the the wheels in motion that eventually led to the creation of Doctor Who. Essentially the original commissioner of the programme, he hired Sydney Newman and later imposed a sense of financial responsibility upon producer Verity Lambert.

But Baverstock wasn't the only BBC executive to have a profound impact on the development of Doctor Who. Make sure you read about Lorraine Heggessey, Mark Thompson, Danny Cohen, George Entwistle, Tony Hall, Shaun Sutton, Sydney Newman and others.
Things released on 13 April

Did you know…

13 April births and deaths
Production history for 13 April

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