‘The Two Doctors’ (TV)


Please feel free to comment on my review.

Sontarans, Androgums and Seville in Spain with the Sixth Doctor, the Second Doctor, Peri and Jamie

For Jacqueline Pearce

By far, ‘The Two Doctors’ is my favourite ‘Doctor Who’ story with Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor. 🙂 I probably shouldn’t say that, since this story has violent undertones featured throughout it, but I can’t help like this story, especially since there’s a light-heartedness about it, which I enjoyed a lot. 🙂

‘The Two Doctors’ was also my introduction to Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor as well as to Nicola Bryant as Peri, following my encounters with the First to the Fifth Doctors in the classic series so far. This story was also my introduction to the Sontarans and to Robert Holmes as a ‘Doctor Who’ writer.

This is an enchanting and sometimes quite gruesome three-part adventure, but it’s delicious all the same. 😀 Not only was this the first time I saw Colin Baker’s Doctor, but it paired him and Peri with a 1960s Doctor and companion – Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor and Frazer Hines as Jamie. 🙂

In the story, the Second Doctor and Jamie visit a gigantic space station in the far future. Yes, it was nice to see the story start off in black-and-white with the Second Doctor and Jamie in their TARDIS. Although the TARDIS console is nothing like the one that was featured in the 1960s era of the TV show.

It looks like the TARDIS console that belonged to the Fourth Doctor in Season 18 and to the Fifth Doctor in Season 19. We’ll get back to more continuity issues of this kind later on. There’s also the quick innuendo between Jamie and the Doctor, improvised by Frazer Hines and Patrick Troughton. 🙂

Jamie: “Look at the size of that thing, Doctor!”
Second Doctor: “Yes, Jamie. It is a big one.”

Aboard the space station, the Second Doctor and Jamie meet a middle-aged scientist named Dastari, who’s involved with some dangerous time-travel experiments that have been monitored by the Time Lords. The Second Doctor has been ‘sent’ by the Time Lords to stop these dangerous experiments. 😐

Again, we’ll return to the continuity issues of the Second Doctor and the Time Lords later on. Soon, the space station gets attacked and overrun by Sontarans. The Second Doctor is kidnapped and taken to Seville in Spain on Earth, whilst is Jamie left alone and abandoned aboard the space station.

Meanwhile, the Sixth Doctor and Peri have a spot of fishing somewhere before they return to the TARDIS. The Doctor undergoes a physic attack, which involves him seeing his second incarnation being put to death. Curious on how that can be, dear old Sixy and Peri soon visit the space station. 🙂

Once there, the Sixth Doctor and Peri discover a battle has taken place. They soon find Jamie aboard. After finding out what happened, Sixy and Peri are joined by Jamie to rescue the Second Doctor, as well as thwart the Sontarans and their allies, the Androgums, in their dodgy time-travel experiments.

I purchased ‘The Two Doctors’ 2-disc DVD edition in March 2007 after an Open Day visit to Cardiff University for my IT degree. It was a pleasant purchase, especially after getting into the classic ‘Doctor Who’ TV series through the first five Doctors, which I greatly enjoyed right up to this point. 🙂

I also wanted to get to know another Doctor in Colin Baker’s incarnation of the series. I was still an inexperienced ‘Doctor Who’ fan at that time and was getting into both the classic and new series eras with great enthusiasm. It’s always nice to look back on some of those really pleasant memories.

I’ve had the 2-disc DVD cover of ‘The Two Doctors’ signed by Colin Baker and Frazer Hines at the ‘Stars of Time’ event in Weston-super-Mare back in July 2012. I’ve also had the DVD cover signed by the lovely Nicola Bryant at the ‘London Film & Comic Con’ at the Olympia, London back in July 2017.

I’ve also had ‘The Two Doctors’ DVD cover signed by the equally lovely Jacqueline Pearce at ‘Regenerations 2016’ in Swansea back in September 2016. I had a lovely chat with Jacqueline Pearce at that convention and I’m pleased my ‘Two Doctors’ DVD cover has been signed by four ‘Doctor Who’ stars.

It was very nice to revisit ‘The Two Doctors’ in its Season 22 Blu-ray box set. I especially enjoyed watching the extended version of ‘Part One’ of the story on Blu-ray. I’m disappointed ‘Parts Two and Three’ aren’t extended, but then, there probably wasn’t enough material to extend the entire story.

It’s that ‘Black Orchid’ situation again with the first episode being extended but the rest not being extended. In the case of ‘The Two Doctors’ though, you have to watch the extended version of ‘Part One’ on Disc 6 of the Season 22 Blu-ray box set and you then watch the final two episodes on Disc 5.

And yes, ‘The Two Doctors’ is a three-part 45-minute episode story as opposed to a two-part 45-minute episode story in the rest of Season 22. ‘The Two Doctors’ is the longest story in Season 22 and is equivalent of a six-part 25-minute episode story if presented in previous seasons beforehand.

As established, Robert Holmes is the writer of this three-part multi-Doctor story. He’s regarded as one of the most popular ‘Doctor Who’ writers of the classic TV series. I didn’t know anything about him beforehand and it was intriguing to check out what his writing was like in this ‘Doctor Who’ story.

For most of his time in ‘Doctor Who’, Robert Holmes was the script-editor of Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor era in the mid-1970s. He wrote notable classic stories in that era, like ‘The Talons of Weng-Chiang’. In the 1980s, he was invited to write for ‘Doctor Who’ again by its script-editor Eric Saward. 🙂

In Season 21, Robert Holmes wrote Peter Davison’s Fifth Doctor’s swansong ‘The Caves of Androzani’. With the success of that story, Robert Holmes was invited to write for ‘Doctor Who’ again, except to write for Colin Baker’s Doctor as well as include Patrick Troughton’s into the mix. 😀

And he also had to include Peri, Jamie, the Sontarans and Seville in Spain. The story was originally going to be made in New Orleans in the USA, but the initial plans changed significantly as the ‘Doctor Who’ production team couldn’t afford the location shoot in the USA, which is a real shame indeed. 😦

When the plans for filming aboard in the USA were scrapped, it was suggested to film the story in Venice instead, but that ultimately went out of the window too. In the end, the story was filmed in Seville in Spain instead. We’ll get back to talking more about the filming shoot in Seville later on. 🙂

It must have been a challenge for Robert Holmes to write a ‘Doctor Who’ story based on a shopping list of ingredients made by producer John Nathan-Turner. The same thing happened to Peter Grimwade when he wrote ‘Planet of Fire’, as he had to include a lot of ingredients such as Lanzarote.

As I’ve been able to gather, John Nathan-Turner was resistant to veteran ‘Doctor Who’ writers returning to write for the show again, as he wanted new talent in the mix. Sometimes that new talent isn’t always guaranteed, which is something we’ll come to discuss once we get to ‘Timelash’. 🙂

Despite JNT’s resistance to Robert Holmes’ return to write for ‘Doctor Who’, Eric Saward managed to win him over. I found the writing in ‘The Two Doctors’ compelling and delicious to watch throughout, although I don’t envy the challenges Robert Holmes had in coming up with the scripts. 🙂

As established, this ‘Doctor Who’ story has Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor and Nicola Bryant as Peri meeting up with Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor and Frazer Hines as Jamie. It was nice to see these two TARDIS duos meeting up with each other in this story and thwarting a terrible menace.

Mind you, it would’ve been nice if there were more scenes featured between Colin Baker and Patrick Troughton’s Doctors throughout this story, rather than being distanced from each other before they meet up properly in ‘Part Three’. No, really. We have to wait for ‘Part Three’ for the two to meet up.

Second Doctor/Sixth Doctor: “Snap!”

If I wrote a multi-Doctor story like that, I would have had Colin Baker’s Doctor meet up with Patrick Troughton’s Doctor much sooner rather than later in ‘Part Three’. I mean, isn’t that what we all want? A meeting of two Doctors and their friends fighting the potato-headed Sontarans in Seville? 😐

I know that’s sort-of what we got, but it would’ve been fun to have more scenes of Colin and Patrick interacting with each other. Maybe I should write a multi-Doctor story where the Fifth Doctor, Nyssa and Billy meet the Sixth Doctor, Peri and Frobisher to demonstrate what I mean by this argument. 🙂

Or…wait! Is someone else writing that multi-Doctor story for me? What’s become of it lately?

Meanwhile, Wolfie is working on an upcoming ‘Doctor Who’ story called ‘The League of Rovers’. At their workstation, there is an air of a sorcerer who concocts potions over a bunsen burner in a wizardly science sense.

Wolfie: “Easy… Easy…”

A puff of smoke goes up in Wolfie’s face.

Wolfie: (coughs; clears throat) “Right on target! It’s coming along well.” (to audience) “I can’t go into too much detail, but suffice to say, ‘The League of Rovers’ will be following in the footsteps of its predecessors with a difference. As a springboard for our basic premise, we began by looking at what solo ‘Doctor Who’ stories could have been converted into multi-Doctor specials and worked from there. Working backwards, ‘The Two Doctors’, for instance, bears more than a passing resemblance to the globetrotting peril of ‘The Seeds of Doom’ with Space Station Camera/Antarctica and England/Spain respectively. Our own choices, to set ‘Rovers’ apart, have been pleasantly unorthodox.” (taps nose) “And hopefully, therefore, hugely entertaining.”

And of course, there’s the argument made by Peter Davison in the ‘Behind the Sofa’ item for ‘The Two Doctors’ that the Blinovitch Limitation Effect seems to have been forgotten about this point in the series. I don’t think that applies to Time Lords and the Doctor, since they are both time-sensitive.

The inclusion of the Second Doctor and Jamie into this story happened when JNT witnessed Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines’ return to ‘Doctor Who’ in ‘The Five Doctors’. Patrick and Frazer enjoyed being in each other’s company again, so it was decided to have them back for another ‘Doctor Who’.

I’m pleased Patrick and Frazer were able to come back for another ‘Doctor Who’ story like this, especially after having not worked on the show for quite some time. The issue of the Second Doctor and Jamie’s place in ‘The Two Doctors’ within ‘Doctor Who’s continuity is still pretty evident though.

I criticise the continuity errors featured throughout regarding where ‘The Two Doctors’ takes place in the Second Doctor and Jamie’s timelines. As well as the TARDIS console and the Second Doctor openly stating the Time Lords, the Second Doctor’s hair seems to be greyer than usual in this story. 😐

The implication seems to be that ‘The Two Doctors’ takes place between the Second Doctor and Jamie’s adventures with Victoria in Season 5 and their adventures with Zoe in Season 6. That’s rather debatable, as Jamie shouldn’t know anything about the Time Lords at this point until ‘The War Games’.

I also don’t recall Victoria wanting to study graphology at the end of ‘Fury From The Deep’. There was a theory made by Terrance Dicks at one time called the Season 6B theory, where the Celestial Intervention Agency (CIA) of Time Lords is assigning the Second Doctor to do various tasks for them.

This is during the Second Doctor’s regeneration into the Third Doctor and he has Jamie accompanying him on certain adventures. The Season 6B theory is more in the BBC Book adventures by Terrance Dicks, including ‘World Game’ (which I haven’t read yet) and ‘Players’ (which I have read).

Honestly, I’d be happy to go with the Season 6B theory as that makes more sense considering Patrick Troughton’s hair is greyer than usual. At least his hair colour was more the less the same when returning in ‘The Three Doctors’ and ‘The Five Doctors’. But Big Finish seem to have discarded this. 😦

Yeah, in a Big Finish audio called ‘The Black Hole’, it’s suggested that ‘The Two Doctors’ takes place during Season 5 where the Second Doctor, Jamie and Victoria had adventures as a threesome. This is very frustrating for me when the books and the audios don’t connect to form a coherent chronology.

I know ‘Doctor Who’ has been an offender in this regard many times. I refer you to the U.N.I.T. dating controversy, the Mary Shelley stories, the post-Ace stories and the post-Nyssa stories where the TV stories, the Big Finish audios, the books and the comics don’t correlate in terms of continuity.

I should take Sarah Sutton’s example from her ‘Newcastle Comic Con 2022’ panel talk where she said, “People can read whatever they want into it.” But it’s very sad when you find the TV series, the audios, the books and the comics don’t exist in harmony with each other. It’s bound to divide fans. 😦

I should check out the ‘World Game’ BBC book and ‘The Black Hole’ Big Finish audio to try and figure out how the continuity issues can be resolved, but I doubt it’ll be satisfying. The Sixth Doctor has had more ends to his era in the BBC Books as well as the Big Finish audio anthology ‘The Sixth Doctor: The Last Adventure’.

Anyway, back to ‘The Two Doctors’. The story was directed by Peter Moffatt, who previously directed ‘Doctor Who’ stories like ‘State of Decay’, ‘The Visitation’, ‘Mawdryn Undead’, ‘The Five Doctors’ and ‘The Twin Dilemma’. He’s also directed some original ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ episodes.

I enjoyed Peter Moffatt’s direction for this story, especially when he filmed the sunny exotic locales of Seville in Spain, which is superb. If you watch closely, there’s a nice cameo of Peter Moffatt in the adventure. 😀 Peter Davison, Sarah Sutton and Janet Fielding spotted it in the ‘Behind the Sofa’ item. 😀

It must have been a real challenge for Peter Moffatt and his filmmaking team to make ‘The Two Doctors’ in Seville in Spain, with it being so hot. I can only imagine how hot the weather is like in Spain. I’m currently writing this updated ‘Two Doctors’ review during a heatwave in August 2022. 😀

Despite that, I love how the story’s Spanish setting is portrayed. The production team made the effort in terms of filming this story abroad. The previous times ‘Doctor Who’ had been filmed aboard was in Paris for ‘City of Death’, in Amsterdam for ‘Arc of Infinity’ and in Lanzarote for ‘Planet of Fire’.

There’s also the story’s incidental music provided by composer Peter Howell, which amplifies the sunny exotic look of the story’s location filming as well as its direction. The incidental music for ‘The Two Doctors’ must be one of the most recognisable incidental music scores in all of ‘Doctor Who’. 🙂

I enjoyed Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor in this adventure. As this was the first time I saw Colin Baker’s Doctor, I found his interpretation of the character very interesting. This is especially when he was brash and temperamental as well as being rude and dismissive of everyone around him at times.

At the time, I wasn’t aware Colin Baker’s Doctor turned out to be unlikeable for TV audiences in the mid-1980s. Gradually, he mellowed as the series went on and he’s had a big resurgence in the Big Finish audios. Even in the TV series, I was able to notice moments of compassion in the Sixth Doctor.

I’ve met Colin at a number of conventions over the years. I’ve enjoyed meeting and chatting to him and sharing how much I like his Doctor in the TV series and the Big Finish audios. He appreciates my support and is quite a character when I see him at conventions. I especially enjoy his wry humour. 😀

Incidentally, one of the Sixth Doctor’s lines of dialogue in ‘The Two Doctors’ is “Well, what’s the use of a good quotation if you can’t change it?” Ironically, that’s a quote that would get reused in ‘The Five(ish) Doctor Reboot’. It’s so incredible to find that quote featured in a 50th anniversary special. 😀

I also enjoyed the lovely Nicola Bryant as Peri in this ‘Doctor Who’ adventure. Peri gets to show her worth as a companion when she gets to solve a mystery with the Sixth Doctor, concerning whether ‘somebody’s setting the Time Lords up’. Old Sixy is quite impressed that Peri made that deduction. 🙂

Peri also gets to be friends with Jamie and bravely causes a distraction for the Sixth Doctor and Jamie to get into the Seville hacienda where the enemy is. Unfortunately, Peri gets chased by the hungry Shockeye at the end of ‘Part Two’. Thankfully, she avoids being cut up by the knife from Shockeye. 🙂

I find Peri to be one of the sexiest ‘Doctor Who’ companions ever to be featured in the series, especially when she wears revealing outfits. Mind you, I feel sorry for Nicola Bryant as she was almost roasting in the costume she wore. It can’t have been comfortable to wear in that sunny heat.

I found Peri and the Sixth Doctor’s fractious relationship interesting. I wondered whether the two got on well with each other, both as characters and behind-the-scenes. They did get on well with each other in the end. It seems to be an intriguing relationship between the Sixth Doctor and Peri. 🙂

As ever, Patrick Troughton is excellent as the Second Doctor, since he’s funny and energetic throughout. Sadly, Patrick’s Doctor is strapped in a chair for most of the time when he’s about to be experimented on, but I do like how defiant he is towards Dastari, the Androgums and the Sontarans.

I found the scenes where Patrick’s Doctor got turned into an Androgum very funny. Clearly, he relished being a hungry Doctor, as he and Shockeye went out on the town to have a meal at one of Seville’s restaurants. I was worried that Patrick’s Doctor might end up being an Androgum forever. 😐

Going back to the argument about the Second Doctor and the Sixth Doctor not having many scenes together, most of the dialogue between is brief. Mind you, I like how they banter and bicker with each other sometimes, and it echoes the relationship the Second and the Third Doctors had at times.

It’s sad this was Patrick Troughton’s last ‘Doctor Who’ story, as he died not long after. 😦 Thankfully, Patrick delivers all his energies into playing his well-beloved character. Also, Patrick Troughton’s Doctor has a good solution to sorting out an Androgum like Shockeye when he’s using a cucumber as a weapon.

Second Doctor: “You get on with your butchery!”

Frazer Hines is equally very good as Jamie in this adventure. Clearly, Frazer missed being away from ‘Doctor Who’, so he jumped at the chance of being reunited with Patrick Troughton again and to work with Colin Baker’s Doctor as well as with Nicola Bryant’s Peri. It clearly shows in this adventure.

I greatly enjoyed the scenes the Second Doctor and Jamie had in the TARDIS before they arrived at the space station. They have their familiar bantering relationship from the 1960s era, and it feels very nostalgic to see the Second Doctor and Jamie, despite those continuity errors I’ve mentioned. 🙂

I also enjoyed the scenes where Jamie teamed up with the Sixth Doctor and Peri to rescue the Second Doctor. According to the Blu-ray making-of documentary ‘La Fiesta del Mal’, Frazer Hines loved the following exchange he had as Jamie with Colin Baker’s Doctor, thanks to Robert Holmes’ writing.

The Doctor goes down the ladder.
Sixth Doctor: “Mind how you go, Jamie. This ladder seems a…Oww!”
The Doctor goes down the ladder too quickly.
Jamie: (amused) “A wee bit rickety. Is that what you were going to say, Doctor?”

Jamie also gets to stab Stike the Sontaran in the leg with his dirk (Scottish dagger). He also rescues the Second Doctor and Peri from Chessene with his dirk. I’ve also met Frazer Hines at a number of conventions over the years. I’ve enjoyed meeting and chatting to him about his ‘Doctor Who’ stories.

This ‘Doctor Who’ story also features Jacqueline Pearce (of ‘Blake’s 7’ fame) as the evil Chessene along with the monstrous Sontarans. I hadn’t seen ‘Blake’s 7’ then, so I didn’t know Jacqueline Pearce had played an equally evil woman in Servalan when it came to watching this ‘Doctor Who’ story.

Chessene is an Androgum, who are a race of flesh-eating carnivores. Apparently, Chessene is a member of the Franzine Grig. She’s been augmented by Dastari, as her cannibalistic instincts seem removed. But this doesn’t stop her wanting to achieve time-travel capability for the Androgum race.

In the story, Chessene allies herself with the Sontarans, along with Shockeye and Dastari. She’s a cold-calculating villain, since she seems very intelligent. The Second Doctor keeps warning Dastari about Chessene, as she’s still an Androgum. This is proven in her desire for blood during ‘Part Three’.

As stated, I met Jacqueline Pearce at ‘Regenerations 2016’. I’m very pleased I met Jacqueline at a convention, since she was very nice to me in Swansea and it’s sad that she passed away in September 2018. It would’ve been nice to have chatted to her about ‘Blake’s 7’ and ‘Doctor Who’. 🙂

I was also introduced to the Sontarans for the first time in ‘Doctor Who’ here. ‘The Two Doctors’ ended up being a source of inspiration for me. I watched this as well as watched and heard other Sontaran stories to help me with writing the Sontarans in my Fifth Doctor story ‘The Stockbridge Terror’.

From this story, I really got into these war-like potato-headed ‘Doctor Who’ monsters. I enjoyed the militaristic and bombastic manner, nature and philosophy they had. It was a matter of time before I saw more Sontarans stories such as ‘The Time Warrior’ and ‘The Sontaran Stratagem’/’The Poison Sky’.

Two Sontarans make their appearance in this ‘Doctor Who’ story. There’s Clinton Greyn as Group Marshall Stike and Tim Raynham as Major Varl. Clinton Greyn previously played Ivo in ‘State of Decay’. Apparently, this was Tim Raynham’s first TV role after he wrote to producer JNT for a job. 😀

Interestingly, Stike is taller than Varl, as Sontarans are usually supposed to be smaller in stature. Is there diversity in Sontarans nowadays? 😀 It’s a shame that we don’t get to see the Sontarans in action a lot in this story. The actors playing Sontarans must’ve found it a challenge to work in Seville.

I can imagine how hot and sweaty they must have been after taking the Sontarans’ headgear and suits off. Looking back, I don’t suppose ‘The Two Doctors’ is the best story to showcase the Sontarans, as there are only two of them. We only a see a Sontaran invasion fleet from a distance. 😐

The closest we ever got to having lots of Sontarans in the series so far is in ‘The Invasion of Time’ and they were only in the story’s last two of six episodes. Despite that, I found this story a decent introduction to the Sontarans for me, as I found them pretty enjoyable and scary to watch here. 🙂

The story also features John Stratton as Shockeye, another Androgum like Chessene, except he’s fully-blooded and not augmented like she is. Apparently, Shockeye is a member of the Quawncing Grig. 😀 I love Shockeye as a character; since he’s outrageously funny and John Stratton plays him superbly. 😀

Shockeye always wants to eat. He has a desire for eating human flesh when he meets Jamie who arrives with the Second Doctor aboard Space Station Camera. I wouldn’t like to choose Shockeye as my chef, as his ideas for cooking and eating are unpleasant. I’ll stick with Sarah Sutton’s lasagne. 🙂

Thankfully, Shockeye doesn’t get his chance to eat people like Jamie and Peri, since Cheesene always seems to be interrupting him. 😀 He does eat a rat though, which put off a lot of people that saw this story back in 1985. I don’t think the rat is Basil from the ‘Fawlty Towers’ episode. 😀 Nor is it Rattrap from ‘Beast Wars’. 😀

It’s certainly not Remy from ‘Ratatouille’. Sarah’s looking after Remy of course. 😀 My best mate Stephen and I saw ‘The Two Doctors’ on DVD once and he loved the scenes with Shockeye. It was so hillarious when Shockeye desperately tried getting at Peri when she was leaving the Seville hacienda. 😀

Chessene stops Shockeye chasing Peri.
Chessene: “If she has friends, they will come enquiring after her.”
Shockeye: (desperately) “I think that was a lie. Animals always sense danger. They have to be dragged to the abattoir!”
Shockeye chases after Peri.

You know, I could easily rewrite Shockeye’s dialogue with something like this.

Chessene stops Shockeye chasing Peri.
Chessene: “If she has friends, they will come enquiring after her.”
Shockeye chases after Peri.

The Androgums are depicted as Robert Holmes’ interpretation of what cannibals are like and to convey his vegetarian views. I found this fascinating when revisiting this story a couple of times, especially via the DVD special features. I know Nicola Bryant became a vegetarian from this TV story.

Laurence Payne guest stars as Dastari. This isn’t Laurence Payne’s first appearance in ‘Doctor Who’, as he’s been in the series twice before. First, he played Johnny Ringo in ‘The Gunfighters’ and he played Morix in ‘The Leisure Hive’. I greatly enjoyed his performance as Dastari in this TV adventure.

Of course, Dastari is responsible for Chessene as an augmented Androgum. Initially proud of his achievement with Chessene, Dastari soon finds himself working for her in her evil plans. As the story progresses, he realises he may have made a terrible mistake and soon allies with the Second Doctor.

It was interesting to learn that Laurence Payne had an accident with his eyes during a sword fight, according to Peter Moffatt in an interview on ‘The Visitation’ DVD/Blu-ray. This is why Laurence Payne mostly wears glasses in the story to cover the fact that he had a rather dangerous accident. 😐

I’m amazed Dastari lasted long in this story, especially when he seemed to be drugged in ‘Part One’ (how that happened, I don’t know) but turned out to be alright in the rest of the story. It’s unfortunate he got killed too quickly by Chessene once he decided to side with the Second Doctor. 😦

Incidentally, Laurence Payne also voiced the computer aboard Space Station Camera, albeit uncredited. It was funny to see Colin Baker’s Doctor argue with the computer, especially when the computer stated the space station ‘threatened the Time Lords’. He also told it to put some lights on.

The story also features James Saxon as Oscar and Carmen Gómez as Anita. Initially, I thought Oscar was played by the actor who played René in ‘Allo, ‘Allo’, as there is an almost ‘Allo, ‘Allo’ air to his character as well as to certain elements of this story. But of course, René was played by Gorden Kaye.

Not James Saxon. 😀 I’ve also seen Carmen Gómez in a ‘Star Cops’ episode, sometime after watching ‘The Two Doctors’. Since doing ‘Doctor Who’ and other acting roles, Carmen Gómez has become the Deputy Mayor of Gibraltar. It was nice to see her interviewed in the Blu-ray making-of documentary.

Oscar and Anita help out, as the Sixth Doctor, Peri and Jamie get into the Seville hacienda so they can rescue the Second Doctor from Dastari, the Androgums and the Sontarans. Oscar is an aspiring actor and he waits table at the Las Cadenas restaurant. I believe both Oscar and Anita are a couple. 🙂

Sadly, Oscar suffers a fatal blow when Shockeye stabs him at the restaurant and he tragically dies. Not meaning to be insensitive, but surely a lot of blood should be coming out of Oscar after a fatal stab like that. Not a lot of blood came out of him and I’m sure he could’ve survived a while longer. 😐

Unfortunately, this ‘Doctor Who’ story became the subject of controversy at the time it was transmitted on BBC TV. It was halfway during this story’s transmission on TV that it was decided by the BBC to suspend the show for 18 months. Mind you, I can see why this TV story sparked off a stir.

After all, you have an unpleasant topic for the story to delve into, which is cannibalism. People can either eat or taste it (pardon the puns) or leave it. I wasn’t too worried by what this story was trying to get at and I found this more enjoyable than ‘Attack of the Cybermen’ and ‘Vengeance on Varos’. 🙂

The story also features Nicholas Fawcett as the technician aboard Space Station Camera, who gets knocked out too quickly by Chessene. And there’s Aimée Delamain as Doña Arana, an old white-haired lady who easily gets knocked out by Shockeye. Both these characters are only in ‘Part One’. 😀

The original DVD special features were as follows. There was the mini-episode ‘A Fix with Sontarans’ featuring Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor, Janet Fielding as Tegan and Gareth Jenkins as himself (check out the link for my review on the mini-episode). There was also an info-text commentary option to enjoy. There were audio options, including a mono sound audio mix option for the story; an audio commentary with Colin Baker, Nicola Bryant, Frazer Hines, Jacqueline Pearce and director Peter Moffatt; and an isolated music option by Peter Howell to enjoy. There was an Easter Egg to look out for on the DVD via the main menu, which happened to be the clean opening and closing ‘Doctor Who’ 1984/85 titles sequences.

There was a very enjoyable documentary about Robert Holmes and his involvement with ‘Doctor Who’ called ‘Behind the Sofa: Robert Holmes and ‘Doctor Who’, featuring behind-the-scenes interviews with script-editor Terrance Dicks, script-editor Eric Saward, producer Barry Letts, producer Philip Hinchcliffe and writer Chris Boucher. There was also ‘Beneath the Lights’, which features recording sessions of ‘The Two Doctors’ in the studio; and there was ‘Beneath the Sun’, which features the location shoot of ‘The Two Doctors’ in Seville, Spain. There was the 40th Anniversary Celebration music video of ‘Doctor Who’ and the ‘Adventures in Time and Spain’ documentary with production manager Gary Downie, who provided his insight into the making of ‘The Two Doctors’. There was the BBC Radio 4 making-of documentary about ‘The Two Doctors’ called ‘Wavelength’, featuring behind-the-scenes cast and crew interviews with Colin Baker, Patrick Troughton, Nicola Bryant, Tim Raynham, John Stratton, producer John Nathan-Turner, director Peter Moffatt, etc. There was also a photo gallery of the story.

On Disc 5 of the ‘Doctor Who – The Collection – Season 22’ Blu-ray, the mono sound audio mix option, the DVD audio commentary, the isolated music option and the ‘Adventures In Time and Spain’ documentary can be found on there. The ‘A Fix with Sontarans’ mini-episode has been updated with a brand-new edit and it includes a brand-new Blu-ray audio commentary with Colin Baker, Janet Fielding and Gareth Jenkins, moderated by Toby Hadoke. The info-text commentary option and the photo gallery have been updated for 2022 on the Blu-ray.

The new special features on Blu-ray include the brand-new making-of documentary on ‘The Two Doctors’ called ‘La Fiesta del Mal’ (translated as ‘The Feast of Evil’) featuring behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew. There’s the ‘Behind the Sofa’ feature on ‘The Two Doctors’ with Colin Baker (The Sixth Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri) and Terry Molloy (Davros) as well as Peter Davison (The Fifth Doctor), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa) and Janet Fielding (Tegan) as well as Sylvester McCoy (The Seventh Doctor) and Wendy Padbury (Zoe). There’s also a ‘convention message’ to the ‘Doctor Who Appreciation Society’ from Nicola Bryant and Frazer Hines on the set of ‘The Two Doctors’. There are the 1985 hiatus news reports, some taken from ‘The Ultimate Foe’ DVD disc of ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’ and some new exclusive ones on ‘The Two Doctors’ Blu-ray disc. There’s a ‘Points of View’ item and there’s the BBC trailer and continuity announcements of the story.

On the PDF front, there are production documents and scripts for the story, including four rehearsal scripts, three camera scripts and three post-production scripts. There are studio floorplans and the ‘Radio Times Listings’ of ‘The Two Doctors’. Sadly, the clean opening and closing ‘Doctor Who’ 1984/1985 titles sequences isn’t included on ‘The Two Doctors’ Blu-ray discs.

On Disc 6 of the ‘Doctor Who – The Collection – Season 22’ Blu-ray, the ‘Behind the Sofa: Robert Holmes and ‘Doctor Who’ documentary, ‘Beneath the Sun’ and the ‘Wavelength’ BBC Radio 4 making-of documentary can be found on there. ‘Beneath the Light’ has been updated for 2022 on the Blu-ray with some brand-new studio footage to enjoy.

The new special features on Blu-ray include the extended version of ‘Part One’ of ‘The Two Doctors’ and ‘Nicola Bryant: In the Footsteps of ‘The Two Doctors’, which has Nicola Bryant returning to the locations of the story back in 2006. There’s ‘The Pantopicon Archive’ panel interview with Colin Baker, Jacqueline Pearce and John Nathan-Turner from 1997, and there’s an audio archive interview with Robert Holmes.

So, to wrap up, I find ‘The Two Doctors’ a very good and very entertaining ‘Doctor Who’ story from the Colin Baker era. It was my first experience of Colin Baker’s Doctor and it’s a very memorable adventure. It can be violent in places, but it has lots of humour and it’s deliciously juicy! Yum, yum! 🙂

I’m pleased to have revisited ‘The Two Doctors’ on Blu-ray, as I’ve had plenty to say in re-examining it. Colin Baker, Patrick Troughton, Nicola Bryant and Frazer Hines are also a highlight to watch in this story as well as the Sontarans, Jacqueline Pearce and John Stratton who’s hilarious as Shockeye.

‘The Two Doctors’ rating – 9/10

The previous story

For the Second Doctor was

  • ‘Across Silent Seas’ (ST)

For Jamie was

  • ‘Across Silent Seas’ (ST)

For the Sixth Doctor was

  • ‘£436’ (ST)

For Peri was

  • ‘£436’ (ST)
The next story

For the Second Doctor is

For Jamie is

For the Sixth Doctor is

For Peri is

  • ‘The Forgotten’ (Comic)
Return to The Second Doctor’s Timeline
Return to Jamie’s Timeline
Return to The Sixth Doctor’s Timeline
Return to Peri’s Timeline
Return to The Doctors’ Timelines Index
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Return to Sci-Fi

6 thoughts on “‘The Two Doctors’ (TV)

  1. Timelord 007

    Fantastic review Tim, i always enjoy watching this story & have great memories watching it upon original transmission on a Saturday at my nans who’d make me chip butties & it’s great to have Patrick Troughton & Frazer Hines back in Doctor Who, it’s great when the two doctors eventually meet & it’s a shame they didnt share more scenes together.

    Oh i remember the sh.tstorm & complaints this received on points of view, “Doctor Who becomes a murderer” blah blah it was a strange time Tim you felt no matter what tone or direction the show was going in you felt the powers at the BBC Michael Grade wanted this show gone.

    Always makes me laugh how tall the sontarans are in this, i think they took steriods made themselves taller lol, i think Gareth Jenkins been involved with Big Finish although i could be wrong.

    Always enjoy reading your thoughts & opinions Tim you always take me on a nostalgia trip down memory lane reminding me happier times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Thanks for sharing your fond memories watching ‘The Two Doctors’ on TV. I’m sure it must’ve been exciting time for you, especially when having chip butties with your nan. Sounds delicious. I’m glad this story was made featuring the return of Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines as well as the Sontarans. This was my introduction to Colin Baker’s Doctor and Nicola Bryant’s Peri and I’m glad I got into them with a good story by Robert Holmes. Yeah, it’s a shame the two Doctor didn’t share more scenes together as I would’ve liked to have seen that.

      Well, I can understand people’s concerns as the show did seem to be getting pretty violent by that point. I like there to be a balance of strong storytelling and character development in ‘Doctor Who’. I think this was the case for this story, but of course the BBC and most of the general public didn’t see that, hence why the show must have been put on hiatus for 18 months. I can only imagine how outraged the fans were by the news of the show’s postponement and I can sympathise with them.

      Yeah I don’t get how the theory came in by JNT that Sontarans should be taller when in fact they should shorter. The Sontarans in this story probably are of a different clone batch, even though Stike is taller than Varl. 😀

      No I’m afraid you’re wrong about Gareth Jenkins, Simon. There is another Gareth Jenkins that worked for Big Finish on its early audio releases of ‘Doctor Who’ in the 2000s. Gareth Jenkins in ‘A Fix With Sontarans’ must have been lucky to be in that ‘Doctor Who skit with Colin Baker. It’s such a shame it had to be the ‘Jim’ll Fix It’ show for that sketch. He currently works as a head of campaigns for the Save the Children charity. I saw both Gareth and Colin Baker together at ‘Dimensions 2013’ in Newcastle in October of that year.

      Very pleased I give you nostalgia trips with my ‘Doctor Who’ reviews, Simon. I hope I continue to keep you entertained with more output on my reviews.

      Thanks for your comments.

      Tim. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wolfie

    Thanks for the cameo opportunity, Tim! (I had a chuckle with the small… adjustment? Adjustment, to Shockeye’s view of Peri. XD)

    It’s funny having grown up with zero idea of the controversy surrounding many of these stories. There was certainly never an issue of quality with a story like “The Two Doctors”. The violence seemed no more untoward than the Fourth Doctor’s cyanide gas in “The Brain of Morbius” or the gruesome impalement of Eldrad in “The Hand of Fear”. It was simply another serial of “Doctor Who”. No more, no less. And in the case of Robert Holmes — definitely more.

    We go from the action-thriller of Androzani to a mystery-adventure in Spain. Holmes was nothing if not versatile and this unexpected approach fits the Sixth Doctor like a glove. I originally saw this story in six episodes and there’s enough here to sustain its length without getting bogged down or padded out. It never feels like we’re circling the drain, so to speak, waiting for something to happen. Where the plot isn’t noticeably moving forward, the characterisation certainly is and those interactions directly feed into the story.

    We see the alliance between the Space Station Camera personnel and Sontaran troopers disintegrate in real-time. Chessene’s small indulgences in bloodlust are prickled by Shockeye and spurned by Dastari until they grow into something eventually quite feral (“Kill him, I tell you. KILL HIM!”). Everything builds to a point and every character from our heroes to our villains to our poor bystanders gets their moment to shine.

    This was definitely the story where I felt the Sixth Doctor — with all his regenerative lumps and bumps — had arrived. He demonstrates a shrewd cunning that saves quite a number of lives, he’s quick on his feet (literally and metaphorically), quite witty, and demonstrates a philosophical, almost existential side to him that’s quite uniquely this incarnation. No other.

    There’s a bizarre sense of coincidence to the hiatus announcement occurring in the middle of this story because it really does feel like a gear shift. If there’s one word I could bring to the story — it’s confidence. It knows what it wants to do and how to set about doing it. The present shakes hands with the past and walks off, proud and strident, towards what feels like a bright future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Wolfie,

      I’m glad you enjoyed your cameo in my ‘Two Doctors’ review and thanks for sharing your thoughts on the story, especially with how the Sixth Doctor is depicted and how the Sontarans/Androgums alliance turns out. This was my first encounter of Robert Holmes’ writing in ‘Doctor Who’ and I’m glad this story got me interested in more of his ‘Doctor Who’ stories from the 1970s as well as the ones he did in the 1980s.

      Many thanks,

      Tim 🙂


  3. Williams Fan 92

    Great review Tim.

    I must admit that I enjoyed ‘The Two Doctors’ more than I thought I would. The plot, and sets were really great, as well as the location filming in Seville. I will say this though. Not being a vegetarian, I was a bit put off at times by some of the lines related to meat eating, such as when Shockeye (allegedly) read up that animals are kept into small places before being killed to be eaten. For me it did come across as Robert Holmes forcing his vegetarian views onto, and demonising, people that eat meat, although I can’t be sure. Next time I watch this, with the extended part one, I might bring a hamburger along. 😀

    Despite that, I still like this story, not as much as ‘The Mark of the Rani’ though. I liked the Second Doctor and Jamie in their first adventure together in production order since ‘The War Games’. It was both funny and a bit tense seeing the Second Doctor as an Androgum walking around with Shockeye. I assume you meant to say ‘rescue the Second Doctor from Dastari, the Androgums and the Sontarans’, not ‘the Androgums and the Androgums’.

    Hopefully I will make a start a start on my ‘Two Doctors’ review soon. I am making good progress on my review of ‘The Mark of the Rani’, as well as ‘The Keeper of Traken’ and ‘Logopolis’. I hope to watch ‘A Fix with Sontarans’ next, followed by ‘Timelash’. It will be interesting to see Paul Darrow in that story.

    Take care, WF92.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi WF92,

      Glad you enjoyed my review and glad you enjoyed ‘The Two Doctors’. I don’t think Robert Holmes was deliberately forcing his vegetarian views onto those who eat meat, but this story does make you think when you have the Androgums presented as cannibals for humans. At least the comedic elements are mostly well-handled in the story, in my opinion. I don’t think this story has converted me into a vegetarian or vegan though, since I still myself enjoying a McDonalds from time to time. 😆

      Thanks for the correction on the Androgums and Sontarans part with Oscar and Anita. Easy mistake to make. 😆 I enjoyed the Second Doctor and Jamie in this story and it was funny to see Patrick Troughton as an Androgum for a bit in ‘Part Three’. 😆

      Looking forward to your reviews on ‘The Mark of the Rani’ and ‘The Two Doctors’ as well as ‘The Keeper of Traken’ and ‘Logopolis’. Hope you enjoy ‘A Fix with Sontarans’ and ‘Timelash’.

      Many thanks for your comments.

      Tim 🙂

      Liked by 1 person


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