TARDIS Index File

Second Doctor

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Second Doctor
Main aliases: List of Aliases
Species: Gallifreyan
Place of origin: Gallifrey
Appearances: Full List of Appearances
Main actor: Patrick Troughton
Main voice actor: David Troughton
You may be looking for the clone of the Second Doctor.
Incarnations of the Doctor
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The WatcherThe ValeyardMeta-CrisisDream LordThe Curator

The Second Doctor was the second incarnation of the Time Lord known as the Doctor. Though outwardly warm, bumbling, and somewhat clownish, this version of the Doctor had a darker, more cunning aspect to his personality — one which he usually kept hidden in order to better carry out his plans.

He travelled with a number of companions. He had several adventures with his previous self's last companions, Ben Jackson and Polly Wright, before adding Highland Scot Jamie McCrimmon to the mix. After a while, Ben and Polly left, to be replaced by Victoria Waterfield, a woman orphaned by the Daleks. In time, she too left, and the Doctor made a new friend in the mentally gifted Zoe Heriot. At some point he also travelled with his grandchildren, John and Gillian.

His adventures came to an end when he at last called on his people for help with the evil machinations of the War Lord. Though the Time Lords did indeed render assistance, they also condemned him to exile on Earth and a new body. The Celestial Intervention Agency was able to stay the execution of this sentence for a while. During these later years of his life, the Second Doctor variously carried out covert operations for the CIA and lived in luxury and fame in the heart of 1960s London. Eventually, though, Time Lord justice reasserted itself, and the Doctor was indeed forced to regenerate into his third body.


New life

Power of the Daleks

The Doctor immediately after his first regeneration. (TV: The Power of the Daleks)

This incarnation began when the Doctor's first incarnation fell victim to old age after defeating the Cybermen and regenerated for the first time. (TV: The Tenth Planet) Referring to it as a "rejuvenation", the Doctor found himself suspected as an impostor by his companion, Ben Jackson. His other companion, Polly, seemed more ready to believe that he was in fact still the Doctor. They were thrown into a battle with the Doctor's old enemy, the Daleks, at the Earth colony on the planet Vulcan. The fact that the Daleks recognised the Doctor as their enemy helped to convince Ben of his credentials (TV: The Power of the Daleks) Ben was also temporarily able to read the Doctor's mind. (PROSE: Pluto)

Soon after regenerating, the Doctor met Lilith on Kirith, when the Timewyrm had been recuperating in his mind since his regeneration. However, the Timewyrm passed from the Doctor to Lilith, leading to trouble for the Doctor in the future. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Apocalypse)

The new Doctor, Ben and Polly subsequently travelled for 3 weeks, when they encountered Cat-People and Euterpians in 1994 (PROSE: Invasion of the Cat-People) and Selachians in the Hotel Galaxian. (PROSE: The Murder Game)

Travels with Ben, Polly and Jamie


The Doctor, Ben, and Polly on the cusp of meeting Jamie. (TV: The Highlanders)

Soon, the trio met Jamie McCrimmon, in 1746 Scotland. They invited him to come along on their travels. (TV: The Highlanders) They travelled to Atlantis (TV: The Underwater Menace) and together on the Moon fought a new, more machine-like form of Cyberman. (TV: The Moonbase) They encountered the Macra on an Earth colony. (TV: The Macra Terror)

Next, the group met and defeated the Chameleons at Gatwick Airport. After realising that they had arrived home on the same day they had originally left, Ben and Polly decided to end their travels with the Doctor and remain on Earth in 1966. (TV: The Faceless Ones)

Adventures with Victoria and Jamie

The Doctor and Jamie were transported back to 1866 where they found two 19th century human scientists, Edward Waterfield and Theodore Maxtible, trying to isolate the Human Factor. Jamie and the Doctor befriended Waterfield's daughter, Victoria. After Edward Waterfield died, and the introduction of the Human Factor into some Daleks having instigated a civil war on Skaro, the Doctor and Jamie left with Victoria. At the time the Doctor believed that the Daleks had truly destroyed each other, forever. (TV: The Evil of the Daleks)

With Jamie and Victoria alongside him, the Doctor saw an archaeological team on Telos open a Cyber-tomb. Eric Klieg awakened the Cybermen and the Cyber-Controller from their five-hundred year slumber, but the Doctor and Jamie sealed them away again. The Doctor electrified the entrance, the hatch leading to the tombs and the Symbolic Logic controls to prevent anyone else from entering. (TV: The Tomb of the Cybermen) On Earth, they had their first known encounters with the Robot Yeti, the Great Intelligence, (TV: The Abominable Snowmen) and the Ice Warriors. (TV: The Ice Warriors)

The Doctor next met a double of himself in Ramón Salamander. (TV: The Enemy of the World) During a second battle with the Great Intelligence and the Yeti, the Doctor met Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart for the first time. (TV: The Web of Fear)

Meeting An Old Friend and Losing A New One

After the TARDIS landed once more on Vortis, (PROSE: Twilight of the Gods) the TARDIS crew travelled near the Darkheart. They encountered the war-like Veltrochni and Koschei, an old friend of the Doctor's from Gallifrey, travelling with Ailla. The Doctor was possibly sent by the Time Lords to retrieve Koschei. However, the temptation posed by the Darkheart device proved too much for Koschei, and the revelation that his companion Ailla was a spy killed the last traces of good in him, ad he became the Master. The Doctor trapped him in a black hole. After being tempted by the Master to turn to the dark side, Victoria decided that at the next opportunity, she would settle down and leave the TARDIS. (PROSE: The Dark Path)

Craving peace and quiet, Victoria left the TARDIS crew to live with Frank and Maggie Harris after an adventure on a Euro Sea Gas station with a Weed Creature. (TV: Fury from the Deep)

Encounters with Jamie and Zoe

Invasion ep7

The Doctor tries to influence Tobias Vaughn to stop a Cyber invasion. (TV: The Invasion)

The Doctor and Jamie discovered a Cyberman plot involving a space station and picked up one of the space station's crew, Zoe Heriot. To make sure that she really wanted to come with them, the Doctor showed her a mental projection of his last adventure with the Daleks in the year 1966 to show her just what she was letting herself in for. (TV: The Wheel in Space)

On the planet Dulkis, the Doctor, Zoe, and Jamie first fought the Quarks. The Doctor was nearly killed when he carried a live bomb into the Dominator ship. (TV: The Dominators). Shortly after an adventure in the Land of Fiction, (TV: The Mind Robber) the travellers landed on Earth, where they learned that Lethbridge-Stewart, now promoted to Brigadier, headed a new alien defence organisation called UNIT. Alongside UNIT, they defeated Tobias Vaughn and the Cybermen. (TV: The Invasion) Later they once more battled the Ice Warriors. (TV: The Seeds of Death)


The War Games 15

The Doctor begins his regeneration. (TV: The War Games)

The Doctor encountered another Time Lord, whom the War Lords referred to as the War Chief. He had given space-time vessel technology to the War Lords, a race planning to use human soldiers as an army to conquer the galaxy. Unable to return all the many soldiers kidnapped from various periods of Earth history to their correct places in time and space, the Doctor had no choice but to seek help from the Time Lords, thereby betraying to them his location. They captured the Doctor and placed him on trial for violating the cardinal rule of the Time Lords - that of non-interference. Jamie and Zoe were taken away from him and had their memories of the time they spent traveling with him removed. After showing that his interfering with time actually helped prevent evils such as the Daleks and Cybermen from gaining significant power, his sentence was handed down. He was to be exiled on Earth in the 20th century with a forced regeneration. He was given a choice of new appearance, but rejected all of the choices. At wits' end, the Time Lords chose his new face for him and sent him away to begin his exile. (TV: The War Games)

Working For the Time Lords


The Second Doctor on mission by the Time Lords. (TV: The Two Doctors)

Before the sentence could be carried out, the Celestial Intervention Agency interceded, turning the Second Doctor into their "hired gun". He was then engaged on occasional missions for the CIA, some of which involved travelling to Space Station Chimera and going to Helicon Prime. The Time Lords allowed the Doctor to continue travelling with Jamie again, but altered Jamie's memory to believe Victoria was away studying graphology. (TV: The Two Doctors, PROSE: World Game, AUDIO: Helicon Prime)

The CIA sent the Doctor to help his successor against Omega. Sheltering in the TARDIS (on the advice of his first incarnation) he switched off the TARDIS force field, sending the UNIT HQ into antimatter. There he convinced Omega not to destroy his future self. Destroying Omega resulted in the loss of his recorder. (TV: The Three Doctors)

While visiting Alister Gordon Lethbridge Stewart at a UNIT reunion party the Doctor and the Brigadier were kidnapped by Borusa and taken to the Death Zone. They had to escape from a squad of Cybermen, encounter a Yeti and face illusions of Jamie and Zoe. In the Dark Tower he met his first, third and fifth selves. After Borusa was turned to stone, the Second Doctor was returned to his timezone. (TV: The Five Doctors)

Trapped on Earth


The Doctor regenerates into his third incarnation. (COMIC: The Night Walkers)

At some point, the Doctor took up residence on Earth, living out of the posh Carlton Grange Hotel in London. During this period, he enjoyed considerable luxury and press attention. People from around the world brought their problems to him. (COMIC: Action in Exile - The Night Walkers)

The Doctor was eventually captured and shot by servants of the Time Lords who appeared to be scarecrows. They then dragged him to his waiting TARDIS, where they forced him to regenerate. During the process, the scarecrows programmed the TARDIS for a final flight, then left. The TARDIS travelled to an English field, where it was found, along with the newly-regenerated Doctor, by UNIT. (COMIC: The Night Walkers, TV: Spearhead from Space)

Unrecorded Adventures

For a list of Second Doctor stories in the order in which he experienced them, see Second Doctor - Timeline.

Psychological profile


This incarnation was a complete change of pace from his predecessor - whimsical, somewhat buffoonish, yet still witty. The Doctor was no longer a grandfather figure, but rather more of a favourite uncle. Indeed, the slow transition of the first incarnation from a reluctant travelling companion to a more kindly compatriot was completed here, as the second incarnation very much enjoyed embroiling himself in adventures with his assistants.


A more serious side of the second incarnation

Despite this incarnation's almost childlike recklessness, it was always clear to his allies that a keen, deliberate intellect lurked behind every action. Although the second incarnation frequently gave the impression that he never knew what he was doing, this was simply an affectation and an act put on to fool those who would underestimate him. He also had a warmer, gentler way about him than his earlier incarnation.

Paradoxically, he had a deep streak of ruthlessness when needed. When dealing with a known adversary such as the Cybermen, he wired the tomb doors to fatally electrocute anyone trying to open them. (TV: The Tomb of the Cybermen) He steered an Ice Warrior fleet into the sun, (TV: The Seeds of Death) and ensured that a relatively helpless party of Daleks would all die. This action alienated Victoria, who was disturbed to see this side of him. (COMIC: Bringer of Darkness)

The second incarnation was also painfully aware of the need to see the "bigger picture". He knew that it was entirely proper to sacrifice a few lives if it would save millions. (TV: The Power of the Daleks)

The Doctor also had a noticeably antagonistic relationship with his next incarnation on the occasions that they co-existed. Their relationship was so rocky and their personalities so different that they seemed incapable of working together without the authoritative presence of their first incarnation. (TV: The Three Doctors, TV: The Five Doctors)

Skills and Abilities

This incarnation of the Doctor had a knack for playing the recorder. (TV: The Power of the Daleks, The Underwater Menace, The Three Doctors)

More seriously, he had a gift for diplomacy and winning others over to his side. This may have been the reason why he was sent by the Time Lords to Space Station Chimera to persuade Dastari to discontinue his time travel experiments. (TV: The Two Doctors) This particular facet of his personality enabled him to trick others into doing what he wished. For example, he tricked Jamie into going through a series of tests designed to isolate the Human Factor. He was also able to trick the Daleks themselves into giving the Human Factor to test subject Daleks, and finally to administer the Dalek Factor to the Doctor himself, which he knew would only work on humans. (TV: The Evil of the Daleks) In a similar way, he convinced the War Chief to regard him as an ally (TV: The War Games) and pretended to go along with the Great Intelligence's brain transference operation in order to short-circuit the disembodied being. (TV: The Web of Fear)

Combined with his skill for improvisation, it is clear why the Doctor considered himself a "genius". (TV: The Seeds of Death)

He possessed telepathic ability, including being able to sum up knowledge into a physical cube and communicate it to the Time Lords. (TV: The War Games) He was also able to use this ability to show Zoe Heriot his previous adventure with the Daleks via mental projection, (TV: The Wheel in Space) but found the process tiring. (TV: The Dominators)

Habits and Quirks

The second incarnation possessed a recorder, which he played to concentrate or while under stress. (TV: The Power of the Daleks onwards)

In Scotland, he posed as a German physician, calling himself Doktor von Wer (TV: The Highlanders) and in Atlantis he dressed as a strange, gypsy-like musician. (TV: The Underwater Menace) In most of these instances, he seemed as much motivated by the fun of doing it as much as for any practical purpose.

The alias "Doktor von Wer" translates in English to "Doctor of Who".

Taking events more seriously, he impersonated the Examiner, who had been murdered. (TV: The Power of the Daleks) Against his will, he also impersonated Salamander, the Doctor's physical double. (TV: The Enemy of the World)

This Doctor introduced several qualities later picked up by future incarnations. The Doctor showed an interest in Tibetan Buddhism in this incarnation, although he referred to having made at least one prior visit to a Tibetan monastery centuries before (which of his first two incarnations made that visit was unstated). (TV: The Abominable Snowmen) He also first revealed to his companions his Five Hundred Year Diary (TV: The Power of the Daleks) and his sonic screwdriver. (TV: Fury from the Deep) He had the ability to pull almost anything out of his pockets, much like later incarnations. (TV: The Five Doctors)


The second incarnation dressed similarly to his earlier self, though in far less natty fashion. The trousers were clownishly large and the cravat was replaced with a bow tie. He quickly abandoned the blue signet ring as it no longer fitted him. In his first adventure on Vulcan he possessed a tall stove-pipe hat. (TV: The Power of the Daleks) He also early on expressed a liking for hats in general, stating about different head gear that he "would like a hat like that!" (TV: The Highlanders) He also occasionally wore an over-sized fur coat. (TV: The Abominable Snowmen, TV: The Five Doctors)

The second incarnation had longish, rumpled hair and blue eyes. Alternate accounts described his eyes as being 'soft chestnut brown' (PROSE: Pluto) and later they appeared to change colour several times alternating between blue, grey, and green. (PROSE: Invasion of the Cat-People) At some point, his dark hair began to grey. (TV: The Two Doctors)

Behind the scenes

  • Rupert Davies, Valentine Dyall (later to play the Black Guardian and Slarn), and Michael Hordern were all approached for the role of the Second Doctor. All declined, as they didn't want to commit to a long-running series.
  • Matt Smith, in preparation for his role as the Eleventh Doctor, watched the Troughton serial The Tomb of the Cybermen, and fell in love with it. He describes Troughton as "rather wonderful" and as being his favourite Doctor. Smith's costume and mannerisms are reminiscent of Troughton's.
  • Unfortunately, most of the episodes from the Second Doctor's era have been lost, leaving only six of Patrick Troughton's 21 TV stories still fully intact (excluding his appearances in multi-Doctor specials). Two further incomplete stories have been released commercially, with specially-created material to bridge the missing episodes. Surviving "orphan" episodes and footage have been released on the Lost in Time DVD collection.
  • The Second Doctor was the first incarnation to encounter four other incarnations (First and Third in TV: The Three Doctors; First, Third, and Fifth in TV: The Five Doctors; and Sixth in TV: The Two Doctors).
  • According to The Brilliant Book 2011 (a non-narrative based book), the Second Doctor met Winston Churchill in 1882, giving him lessons in Latin, including how to address a table in Latin.


  • The Near-Misses section

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