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Whose Doctor Who was a television documentary which aired on BBC Two on 3 April 1977 as an episode of the TV program The Lively Arts. Presented by Melvyn Bragg, it examined the first fourteen years of Doctor Who and its effects on society. It is also noted for the footage taken from the first episode of Galaxy 4, "Four Hundred Dawns", which was junked not long after and has yet to be retrieved.

Publisher's summary[]

Introduced by Melvyn Bragg. Actors, writers, designers, directors and producers have come and gone but Dr Who remains one of the most popular family shows ever devised for British television. Despite all the changes, the programme maintains a consistent core of themes, in the Doctor's philosophy, his relations with his companions, his foibles and failings as well as his multifarious talents, and in the nature of the evil foes he pits himself against. Using scenes from episodes involving all four Doctors (William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker), tonight's programme will explore the ideas and attitudes which have characterised the series from the beginning. Appearing in the programme (as themselves) are Tom Baker, viewers young and old, along with a galaxy of monsters from Autons to Zarbis.[1]


Note: Many of the clips from the Jon Pertwee era were from 16mm black & white film telerecordings, the only format in which the episodes were known to exist at the time.


Clips from The Web Planet, The Seeds of Death, Doctor Who and the Silurians (black & white) and Genesis of the Daleks.

The Doctor[]

Clips from An Unearthly Child, The Three Doctors, and Robot.

The Enemies[]

Clips from Terror of the Zygons, The Dalek Invasion of Earth, The Mind Robber, Planet of the Spiders, Genesis of the Daleks, The Claws of Axos (black & white), The Invasion and The Seeds of Death.

Behind the Scenes - The Talons of Weng-Chiang[]

Clips from Doctor Who and the Silurians, Terror of the Zygons, and The Talons of Weng-Chiang.

Safe Scares[]

Clips from Spearhead from Space, Terror of the Autons (black & white), The Hand of Fear, The Seeds of Doom, Pyramids of Mars and The Monster of Peladon.

The Talented Doctor[]

Clips from The Dalek Invasion of Earth, The Krotons, The Monster of Peladon, Robot, The Space Museum, The Brain of Morbius, The Web Planet, The Time Monster (black & white), The Seeds of Doom, The Seeds of Death, The Dæmons, Genesis of the Daleks, and Spearhead from Space.

Writing the Show[]

Clips from The Dalek Invasion of Earth, The Invasion, Planet of the Daleks, The Face of Evil, Pyramids of Mars, Galaxy 4, The Time Warrior, The Talons of Weng-Chiang, and The Space Museum.

People interviewed[]

In order of credited appearance.

  • Caron Scott
  • Rosemary Matthews
  • Keith Hewett - Educationalist
  • Caspar Hewett
  • Dr. Eric Sherwood Jones - Consultant Physician
  • Tom Baker
  • Kenneth Bailey - Educationalist (Retired)
  • Elizabeth Fibbery - Student
  • Mrs. Elizabeth Matthews
  • Philip Hinchcliffe - Producer
  • Donna Savage
  • Dean Boreham
  • Tina Sullivan
  • Nicholas Bishop
  • Ronald Matthews - Teacher
  • John Miller - Educational Psychologist
  • Ann Miller - Student
  • David Scott - Student
  • Sister Margaret Rogerson
  • Terrance Dicks - Script Writer
  • Robert Holmes - Script Editor
  • Helen Dickinson - Student

Note: Several other children are interviewed, but not identified in the narration or by caption.


Home video releases[]

The documentary was later included as an extra in the BBC DVD release of The Talons of Weng-Chiang in 2003, which had aired its final episode the day before the documentary was broadcast. The DVD was later remastered and included in the first Revisitations box set in 2010. It was released on the second disc for The Talons of Weng-Chiang in The Collection Season 14.