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TARDIS Index File

Season 3

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Season 3
45 episodes comprising 10 stories
starting with Galaxy 4
Doctor Who logo 1
Doctor: First Doctor
Companion(s): Steven, Vicki, Dodo, Polly, Ben
Key crew
Producer(s): John Wiles
Innes Lloyd
Verity Lambert
Script editor(s): Dennis Spooner
Donald Tosh
Gerry Davis
Series details
Start date: 11 September 1965
End date: 16 July 1966
Premiere network: BBC1
Typical episode length: 25'
More info
DWMSE: 7, 12, 34
Key reference books about the season: The Discontinuity Guide, The First Doctor Handbook, The Sixties, Wiped!, About Time 1
Relevant Myth Makers interviews: Jackie Lane, Peter Purves, Verity Lambert, William Hartnell, Donald Tosh, John Wiles era, Innes Lloyd and Peter Bryant production teams
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You may wish to consult Series 3 for other, similarly-named pages.

The third season of Doctor Who ran between 11 September 1965 and 16 July 1966. The season was marked by extremes. At twelve episodes, The Daleks' Master Plan was the longest story in the show's history until superceded by the fourteen-episode The Trial of a Time Lord in 1986 (although some consider that tale to be four separate serials broadcast under a single title); the single-episode story Mission to the Unknown remains the shortest Doctor Who story ever televised (not counting the several mini-episodes produced since 2005) and the only one in which neither the Doctor nor any companions appear (this designation, though, is controversial, as its role as a prologue to The Daleks' Master Plan renders it more the thirteenth episode of that story rather than a standalone). The season also had the greatest number of different companions (seven) and producers (three). This was the longest season, at 45 episodes. It also featured the first appearance of actor Nicholas Courtney, although not in his most famous role as the Brigadier. This was also the season of The War Machines, to date the only televised story in which the taboo of never referring to the Doctor directly by the name "Doctor Who" is broken.

Behind the scenes, it was dominated by the departure of Verity Lambert, the immensely exhausting production of The Daleks' Master Plan, and preparations for William Hartnell's departure – including intense discussion over how to handle such an unprecedented changed in a lead actor on a show still at the height of popularity. It consisted of ten serials (listed below) and forty-five episodes, the majority of which are considered lost, though three serials, The Ark, The Gunfighters and The War Machines, exist in complete form.

Television stories Edit

# Title Writer Episodes Notes
1 Galaxy 4William Emms4First appearance of the Rills.
2 Mission to the UnknownTerry Nation1Only story not to feature the Doctor.
3 The Myth MakersDonald Cotton4First appearance of Katarina and final appearance of Vicki.
4 The Daleks' Master PlanTerry Nation
Dennis Spooner
12Final appearance of Katarina and first and final appearance of Sara Kingdom; first story to feature the death of a companion.
5 The Massacre of St Bartholomew's EveJohn Lucarotti
Donald Tosh
4William Hartnell appears as both the Doctor and the Abbot of Amboise (though the characters never appear together on-screen); first appearance of Dodo Chaplet.
6 The ArkPaul Erickson
Lesley Scott
4First serial to be recorded out of sequence.
7 The Celestial ToymakerBrian Hayles4Debut of the Celestial Toymaker; "The Hall of Dolls" contains a slur that was not yet considered politically incorrect when the episode originally premiered.
8 The GunfightersDonald Cotton4Final story to use individual episode titles. First story that entirely takes place in the USA.
9 The SavagesIan Stuart Black4Final appearance of Steven Taylor.
10 The War MachinesIan Stuart Black4First appearances of Ben Jackson and Polly Wright and final appearance of Dodo Chaplet. First occasion of a writer composing consecutive stories.

Notes Edit

  • All stories were exactly four episodes in length, except Mission to the Unknown (one episode) and The Daleks' Master Plan (twelve episodes). Up to The Gunfighters, each chapter had its own title, but beginning with The Savages, overall story titles were introduced.

Cast Edit

Recurring Edit

Guest Edit

Stories set during this season Edit

Adaptations and merchandising Edit

Home media Edit

VHS Edit

  • The Ark (1998)
  • The Gunfighters (2002)
  • The War Machines (1997)
  • The Hartnell Years (1991) (The Celestial Toymaker episode 4 - "The Final Test")
  • Daleks: The Early Years (1992) (The Daleks' Master Plan episodes 5 and 10 - "Counter Plot" and "Escape Switch")

Loose Cannon VHS releases Edit

  • Galaxy 4 (1999)
  • Mission to the Unknown (2000)
  • The Myth Makers (1998/2006)
  • The Daleks' Master Plan (2003) (Episodes 1-4,6-9,10-12/2 parts)
  • The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve (2001)
  • The Celestial Toymaker (1999)
  • The Savages (1999/2008)

DVD Edit

Serial name Number and duration
of episodes
R2 release date R4 release date R1 release date
Galaxy 4
(Episode 3 of 4)
1 x 25 min. 11 March 2013 TBA TBA
The Ark 4 × 25 min. 14 February 2011 3 March 2011 8 March 2011
The Gunfighters
Only available as part of the Earthstory box set in Regions 2 and 4.
Only available individually in Region 1.
4 × 25 min. 20 June 2011 4 August 2011 12 July 2011
The War Machines 4 × 25 min. 25 August 2008 7 November 2008 6 January 2009
{Lost in Time: William Hartnell}

The Daleks' Master Plan (episodes 2, 5 & 10 of 12)
The Celestial Toymaker (episode 4 of 4)

6 × 25 min.
+ 2 × 25 min. audio
1 November 2004 2 December 2004
(Original release)
1 July 2010
(Re-release)
2 November 2004

Novelisations Edit

Audiobooks Edit

  • Galaxy 4
  • Mission to the Unknown/Daleks Master Plan
  • The Myth Makers
  • The Massacre
  • The Celestial Toymaker

External links Edit

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