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PRODUCTION INFO

Name

The War Games

Serial Code

ZZ

First Transmitted

19 April 1969

Final ratings

5.50m

DVD RELEASE

DVD

VHS RELEASE

VHS

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CAST

Regular Cast

Patrick Troughton (Dr Who), Frazer Hines (Jamie), Wendy Padbury (Zoe)

Guest Cast

Jane Sherwin (Lady Jennifer Buckingham / Lady Jennifer / Jennifer) [1-5]*, John Livesey [1], Bernard Davies [3] (German Soldiers), David Savile (Lieutenant Carstairs / Lieut. Carstairs / Carstairs) [1-9]†, Terence Bayler (Major Barrington) [1], Brian Forster (Sergeant Willis) [1], Noel Coleman (General Smythe) [1-3,7], Hubert Rees (Captain Ransom) [1-3], Esmond Webb (Sgt. Major Burns) [1,7], Tony McEwan (Redcoat) [2], Richard Steele (Commandant Gorton) [2], Peter Stanton (Military Chauffeur) [2], Pat Gorman (Military Policeman) [2], David Valla (Lieut. Crane) [3], Gregg Palmer (Lieut. Lucke) [3], David Garfield (Von Weich) [3-6], Edward Brayshaw (War Chief) [3-9], Bill Hutchinson (Sgt. Thompson) [4], Terry Adams (Corporal Riley) [4], Leslie Schofield (Leroy) [4], Vernon Dobtcheff (Scientist) [4-6], Rudolph Walker (Harper) [4-5], John Atterbury (Alien Guard) [4], Michael Lynch (Spencer) [5], Graham Weston (Russell) [5-9], James Bree (Security Chief) [5-9], Charles Pemberton (Alien Technician) [5], David Troughton (Moor) [6], Philip Madoc (War Lord) [7- 10], Peter Craze (Du Pont) [7], Michael Napier-Brown (Arturo Villar) [8-9], Stephen Hubay (Petrov) [8], Bernard Horsfall (First Time Lord) [10], Trevor Martin (Second Time Lord) [10], Clyde Politt (Third Time Lord) [10], Clare Jenkins (Tanya) [10].

CREW

Written by Malcolm Hulke/Terrance Dicks
Directed by David Maloney
Produced by Derrick Sherwin

sypnosis

Inheriting the mantle of the Doctor from William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton confronted some of the Doctor’s deadliest enemies, but for his last action-packed adventure he returns to Earth in the midst of time zones crossing wars in mankind’s history. Going out in a blaze of glory Troughton faces capture not by Yeti or Cybermen or Ice Warriors, but by his own people… the omnipotent Time Lords!

When the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe arrive on Earth they find themselves caught up in the terrifying events of World War One, but new and unexpected horrors await them as the cross landscapes full of enemies and time zones confounded by centuries of wars. At the centre of the mystery stand the aliens who have kidnapped soldiers from different periods of Earth’s history and brainwashed them into fighting each other.

When the Doctor learns the terrible purpose of the War Games he has one chance to defeat the aliens and end the Games… but to take it means risking recapture by his own people, the all-powerful Time Lords who are waiting to bring him to trial and who are capable of ending his very existence.

NOTES

  1. This story features the first mention of the Doctor’s own race, The Time Lords.
  2. As shall be revealed in Players and hinted at in The Five Doctors and The Two Doctors, the Second Doctor was roped into working for the Time Lord Celestial Intervention Agency before his exile in Spearhead From Space.
  3. The War Chief returns in Timewyrm: Exodus.
  4. Just after he’s defeated the War Chief, the Doctor is visited by his eighth incarnation, who advises him to call the Time Lords. (The Eight Doctors).
  5. The Second Doctor meets Lady Jennifer and Leiutenant Carstairs again in the flashback scene in Players, and the Sixth Doctor also meets them in that story, when visiting Winston Churchill in 1936.
  6. Details about the War Chief‘s past are revealed in the flashback scene in Divided Loyalties, which reveals that the War Chief was originally known as Magnus and was one of the Doctor’s closest friends, along with the Master (Terror of the Autons), the Rani (The Mark of the Rani), Drax (The Armageddon Factor), and the Meddling Monk (The Time Meddler).
  7. Although neither Jamie or Zoe will ever remember their time with the Doctor, the Third Doctor meets Zoe again in the short story The Tip of the Mind, although it doesn’t go the way he’d wish it to.
  8. Doctor Who was under serious threat of being cancelled at the end of this season. (Although this is Terrance Dicks’s recollection, it has been denied by both Peter Bryant and Derrick Sherwin and is not borne out by contemporary evidence, although the viewership numbers were considerably lower than they would be at the time of the original series’ cancellation in 1989. The series would, however, face the threat of cancellation at the end of the following season.)
  9. At his trial, the Doctor is charged with having stolen the TARDIS. (This occurs in this story’s novelisation, in the prologue to Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion and in an account in the 1972 book The Making of Doctor Who, but not in the televised version, although the Doctor and the War Chief do discuss the said theft in episode eight.)

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