Dr. Who (Dr. Who and the Daleks)

From Tardis Wiki, the free Doctor Who reference

You may wish to consult Dr. Who (disambiguation) for other, similarly-named pages.

Dr. Who was the name by which Ian Chesterton knew the Doctor in an account where he was depicted as an eccentric human scientist who lived in a cottage in 20th century England with his granddaughters Susan and Barbara until he invented the time-and-space machine TARDIS. (TV: Dr. Who and the Daleks, COMIC: Dr. Who and the Daleks, PROSE: Dr Who and the House on Oldark Moor) He, his granddaughter Susan and his niece Louise were depicted in another account as travelling in time and space together, leery of Earth's authorities, (TV: Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.) with their "home time" being distant from 20th century policeman Tom Campbell's. (COMIC: Daleks, invasión a la Tierra año 2150)

In other accounts, the time-travelling Doctor who visited Skaro (TV: The Daleks) and a Dalek-ravaged Earth (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth) with his granddaughter Susan (TV: An Unearthly Child) was instead the First Doctor, whose exact origins and species were themselves a matter of much contention (PROSE: Unnatural History, Celestial Intervention - A Gallifreyan Noir) but who was generally understood to have been the first incarnation of a Time Lord known as the Doctor, (TV: The Name of the Doctor, Twice Upon a Time) although were, by some accounts, from Earth. (PROSE: The Dream Masters, The Lair of Zarbi Supremo, etc.)

There were varying accounts of Dr. Who's relationship to this Doctor, with the Dalek Survival Guide suggesting that Dr. Who came from a version of reality "B" relative to the First Doctor's version of reality "A". (PROSE: Dalek Survival Guide) while other accounts depicted him as a fictional character within the Time Lord's universe, loosely based on the Doctor's real adventures, (PROSE: Peaceful Thals Ambushed!, The Day of the Doctor) or as an artificial projection of the Doctor's optimistic side, created via Block Transfer Computation by the "real" Doctor. (POEM: The Five O'Clock Shadow)


Origins and nature[[edit]]

As a fictional character[[edit]]

According to several sources, the character of Dr. Who existed as a piece of fiction within the universe of the Doctor, a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey.

When in the Black Archive, Kate Stewart noted two VHS cassettes, one of them being Daleks: Invasion Earth. She noted that the Doctor and Peter Cushing had been friends and that the Doctor had loaned him a waistcoat "for the second one". The Tenth and Eleventh Doctors particularly loved the movies, joking around calling each other Dr. Who, and phoned Cushing to persuade him to make a third movie. (PROSE: The Day of the Doctor) Indeed, another account noted the Third Doctor visiting the cinema to see a double-bill of Peter Cushing films, which closely resembled the adventures of Dr. Who. (PROSE: A Visit to the Cinema) While biking, Lawrence Burton thought to himself that the enemy of the Great Houses might be those "outer space robot people" that appeared in "at least two films with Peter Cushing". (PROSE: We Are the Enemy)

Another account stated that Cushing had the lead role in the 1980 science fiction film Prey for a Miracle as "the mysterious government adviser, Doctor Who". The character was loosely based on the First Doctor and was inspired by the UFO/gods scare caused by the Latter-Day Pantheon in New York City in March and April 1965. A film critic for the magazine Film in Focus claimed the "endearingly eccentric professor" was as fictional as the rest of the film. What little information there was about his real counterpart suggested he was a shadowy, manipulative figure. (PROSE: Salvation)

Yet a third set of accounts claimed that Cushing portrayed Dr. Who in the film Dr. Who and the Daleks, not in the 20th century but in 2065. According to these accounts, the film was inspired by the real Thal-Dalek battle which had broke out around eighteen months prior to the release of the film. (PROSE: Peaceful Thals Ambushed!)

As a real person[[edit]]

Some accounts stated that Dr. Who existed as a real person, instead of simply being televised fiction.

When confronted with the multiple choice nature of his timestream, the Eighth Doctor mused that constant shifts in history meant that he might have origins such as the Other during the day but then "after hours" become "a mad professor who thinks he's an alien," all while remaining the same person in the present. Griffin rejected this, but admitted it could be shown as true in the Doctor's biodata. (PROSE: Unnatural History)

One account claimed that Dr. Who and his eight-year-old granddaughter Suzy were both fictional creations made by the real Doctor to distract the Five O'Clock Shadow until he could escape. Compared to the real Doctor, Dr. Who was cheerful and angst-free, meaning that the Shadow had no hold over him and Suzy. The pair then departed for more childlike and wondrous adventures leaving the real Doctor to face the Shadow on his own in the future. (POEM: The Five O'Clock Shadow)

An imagined Doctor that resembled Dr. Who. (COMIC: Four Doctors)

The Dalek Survival Guide stated that Dr. Who came from "version of history B". (PROSE: Dalek Survival Guide) Gabby Gonzalez's "magic" notebook wrote about how Gabby thought the Doctor's other selves would be from parallel universes. In the book was an incarnation resembling Dr. Who, albeit without a moustache and drawn to more closely resemble "her" Doctor, the Tenth Doctor — suggesting Dr. Who may have originated in a universe peculiar to him. (COMIC: Four Doctors)

The Time Lords knew of differing accounts concerning many aspects of Dalek history, including alternate versions of the Doctor's first encounter with the mutants. (PROSE: Dalek Combat Training Manual) Indeed, the events surrounding Dr. Who's encounter with the Daleks (TV: Dr. Who and the Daleks) differed from other distinct accounts of the Thal-Dalek battle. (TV: The Daleks, PROSE: Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks, et. al) According to the Dalek Combat Training Manual produced during the Last Great Time War, some simply wrote the contradicting accounts off as incorrect, but others wondered if there might be some truth to them; some speculated that they were evidence of Dalek activities in parallel dimensions. (PROSE: Dalek Combat Training Manual)

Inventing TARDIS[[edit]]

By some accounts, Dr. Who, living in a house in 20th century England with his granddaughters Susan and Barbara, was known to Barbara's boyfriend Ian Chesterton as an inventor. Together with his equally-gifted granddaughter Susan, he worked for "many years" on a time-and-space machine in the shape of a police box, which he dubbed TARDIS, for "Time And Relative Dimension In Space". It was capable of traveling to "any time, any place, any universe".

Dr. Who explaining how his TARDIS works. (COMIC: Dr. Who and the Daleks)

As he was about to add the final component to the dimensionally-transcendental controls room of the Ship, Dr. Who was interrupted by Ian Chesterton, come to call on Barbara with a box of perfumes. Dr. Who invited Ian into TARDIS, which stood in the Doctor backyard, to witness the completion of the device. Within moments of the controls being set, however, Ian accidentally pushed a lever and TARDIS took off without the Doctor's having set the controls, thus transporting him, Ian, Susan and Barbara, aboard TARDIS, to a random location in time and space (TV: Dr. Who and the Daleks) as the TARDIS flew through the Time Vortex. (COMIC: Dr. Who and the Daleks)

First adventures[[edit]]

Dr. Who and his granddaughters face off agains the Daleks for the first time. (TV: Dr. Who and the Daleks)

The Doctor and friends' first destination turned out to be the planet Skaro, the homeworld of the peaceful Thals and of a belligerent and bloodthirsty civilisation of mutants surviving inside metal protective machines, the Daleks. With Susan's complicity, Dr. Who intentionally removed a fluid link from the time machine, determined to explore the planet to satisfy his scientific curiosity — whereas Ian wanted him to return everyone home immediately.

Wandering into the city, the newly-minted time-travellers were made prisoners by the Daleks and gradually realised the threat they presented. Dr. Who eventually gave strategic help to the Thals in their attack of the Dalek City. (TV: Dr. Who and the Daleks) According to other accounts, a very similar adventure was undergone by the First Doctor and his own companions Susan Foreman, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright. (TV: The Daleks, PROSE: Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks)

After they bade farewell to the Daleks, the Doctor's attempt to steer TARDIS home was once again undercut by Ian's clumsiness and, Dr. Who opened the doors to find a Roman legion marching towards the ship, (TV: Dr. Who and the Daleks) as they had landed in 64. While in Rome itself, Ian soon ended up becoming a gladiator. (PROSE: Dr Who and the House on Oldark Moor)

Further adventures[[edit]]

TARDIS subsequently materialised on Oldark Moor, where Dr. Who and his companions encountered Count Tarkin. (PROSE: Dr Who and the House on Oldark Moor)

Dr. Who and Louise survive on one of the Dalek hoverbouts. (COMIC: Daleks Versus the Martians)

Dr. Who became curious over one of the most ancient mysteries of the universe, a face-like settlement on Mars known as the Martian Sphinx. Dr. Who and Susan travelled to the red planet with his niece Louise. While Dr. Who was preparing to study the apparent formation, the group were surrounded by Daleks floating on Hoverbouts. The Daleks kidnapped Louise and attempted to do the same to Dr. Who and Susan, but they were saved at the last moment by a group of telepathic natives, who lead them to an underground base.

Dr. Who and Susan noticed a series of hieroglyphics on the wall of the base, but were unsure of what they meant. Upon asking one of the Martians about why the Daleks had invaded, it was explained to them that they planned to use Mars as a base to concur Earth. Shortly after this, Dr. Who announced that he had solved the mystery of the Sphinx, revealing that the hieroglyphics on the wall were actually a long-lost activation sequence for a massive Martian robot. Using this knowledge, the group were able to raise the robot out of the air to attack the Dalek forces as Dr. Who attempted to save Louise by breaking into a Dalek flying saucer. However, he discovered that this was a trap, as the Daleks wanted to take him to Skaro to drain the secrets of time travel from his mind. As the ship took off, it was attacked by the robot, although Louise and the Doctor were able to escape on one of the Dalek hoverboats.

The Daleks foothold on Mars lost, Dr. Who and his companions departed in Tardis, although Who wondered if the preceding event was the eve of a war. (COMIC: Daleks Versus the Martians)

Foiling the Daleks on Earth[[edit]]

Dr. Who helping with the anti-Dalek resistance in Bedfordshire alongside Louise. (TV: Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.)

They would encounter this war soon enough after materialising in a street in London at night. A concussed police constable named Tom Campbell managed to step into what he believed to be a normal police box after failing to stop a robbery; when they realised that the police was getting involved via the TARDIS scanner, Dr. Who, still traveling with Susan and Louise, decided they must leave at once, albeit while taking the unconscious Tom Campbell along.

The TARDIS rematerialised in London in 2150 and found that it had been devastated by a Dalek invasion. (TV: Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.) By one account Dr Who had deliberately set the controls for 14 April 2150 to investigate after finding records in the year 3000 that spoke of an "alien invasion" of Earth at that date, perpetrated by the Daleks. The documents claimed they were from the planet "M-1" near the star Deneb. (COMIC: Daleks, invasión a la Tierra año 2150) After the collapse of a building cut off their route back to the TARDIS, the four time travellers assisted in defeating the Daleks, with Dr. Who being the first man to figure out the Daleks' real plan to hollow out the Earth's core, and the flaw in that plan that was the Daleks' casings' vulnerability to the planet's magnetic forces.

Once they were at liberty to leave, the Doctor, his niece and his granddaughter took Tom Campbell back home; at his request, they put him back in time a few minutes before his original departure, allowing him to rewrite history and successfully foil the robbery. The three wanderers in the fourth dimension bade farewell to Tom from the doors of the TARDIS as Tom Campbell returned to his normal life with the promise of a promotion to inspector. (TV: Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.)

Upon attempting to work out which came first, the chicken or the egg, a deliveryman named Vince Booth accidentally sent himself, Dr. Who, and Susan to a human colony planet where the preparatory Mechonoids had turned hostile. Eventually, Dr. Who was able to crack the Mechonoids' recognition codes, allowing Susan to turn them friendly while he was captured and making the planet safe for the arriving colonists. (COMIC: Dr. Who & the Mechonoids)

Other realities[[edit]]


Dr. Who had a counterpart in Earth-33⅓. (COMIC: Doctor Who? 95, etc.)

Behind the scenes[[edit]]

Creation and status[[edit]]

This Doctor came to be when, in the process of adapting The Daleks into the theatrical film Dr. Who and the Daleks, it was decided that the part of the Doctor should be recast with Peter Cushing replacing William Hartnell. Cushing's performance was markedly different from Hartnell's First Doctor, complete with a different costume; likewise, his granddaughter Susan, a precocious child prodigy sharing an impish sense of complicity with her Grandfather, was a marked departure from TV's Susan Foreman, a girl of (in human terms) about sixteen who was never depicted as the Doctor's scientific equal.

These departures, except for the Doctor's explicitly different physical appearance, were not too far removed from the similar changes performed to the Doctor, his companion, and the circumstances of their first encounter with the Daleks in Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks, the novelisation of the TV story released some time earlier by David Whitaker, also one of the scriptwriters of Dr. Who and the Daleks.

This Doctor is commonly perceived as "non-canonical" in the Doctor Who fandom, with The Fan Show treating the sheer mention of Peter Cushing as evidence that one isn't a "true" fan in their parody of common fan tendencies, Fanwatch, in the mid-2010s. However, it is worth noting that most of the "Cushing Doctor"'s idiosyncrasies were also attributed to the First Doctor in licenced Doctor Who productions in the 1960s, which material in the Doctor Who annuals depicting the First Doctor as TARDIS's inventor and introducing himself as "Dr. Who", and the TV Comic run adding to these points the idea of an inventor Doctor who travelled with a preteen granddaughter, Gillian (as well as her brother John). Even the Doctor's ownership of a normal house in 20th century England would eventually become a recurring feature of the Seventh Doctor's era in the Doctor Who Magazine comics, with the introduction of the House on Allen Road.

The Five Doctors: "At center is PETER CUSHING, who played the Doctor in two feature films."[1][2]

Interestingly, Stanmark Productions Limited once obtained a license to make a series of fifty-two half-hour radio dramas based upon Doctor Who. After Boris Karloff proved unavailable, Peter Cushing was hired to play the role. Advertisements were published, but only a pilot episode (now lost) was ever completed.[3][4] This "lost" version of the Doctor's status with regards to Cushing's TV portrayal is unclear at best, as the pilot's script shows that he would have been explicitly characterised as a future human rather than a 20th century-based gadgeteer.

Marvel Premiere #57 (1980), the first American reprint of a Doctor Who comic story, features an original piece of artwork by Dave Cockrum and Frank Giacoia titled "The Five Doctors". This happens to be a rare instance of Peter Cushing being credited as "the Doctor" alongside William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, and Tom Baker. The image was later reprinted on the back cover of Doctor Who (1984) #2. Dr. Who was similarly counted in The Nine Lives of Doctor Who alongside the eight mainstream, televised incarnations of the Doctor.

Further appearances and treatment[[edit]]

This was not to be the only context in which Peter Cushing might have played a version of the Doctor: following the films, Cushing was offered the role of the Second Doctor in the TV series, but turned it down. He later regretted this.[5] Stanmark Productions Limited obtained a license to make a series of fifty-two half-hour radio dramas based upon Doctor Who. After Boris Karloff proved unavailable, Peter Cushing was hired to play the role. Advertisements were published, but only a pilot episode (now lost) was ever completed.[6][7] The audio drama, from what is known, was not directly in continuity with the movies, again presenting a soft-reboot of the Doctor Who premise where the Doctor and his companion were humans from Earth's distant future who had become stranded in the 1960's after their time machine was damaged.

Meanwhile, Dr. Who's place in the unfolding Doctor Who "canon" became a more and more contentious point as more details were revealed about the Doctor on television which contradicted the expanded-universe notions earlier presented by prose, comics and theatrical films, chiefly that the Doctor was a Time Lord from Gallifrey who had not invented his timeship, but rather stolen it — with the common way to refer to said ship crystallising as "the TARDIS", not "TARDIS". The introduction of the plot device of regeneration also proved a double-edged sword: while it set a precedent for different versions of the Doctor, played by different actors, still being the same individual, it also put into sharp relief the fact that Cushing's "incarnation" of the Doctor didn't seem to have a place in this new chronology of the Doctor's lives.

This led to various stories and reference materials positing various ways in which Dr. Who, reckoned as "other" to the TV Doctor, could be connected back to the mainstream Doctor Who universe. The inclusion of the character in the short story Dr Who and the House on Oldark Moor from the anthology Short Trips and Side Steps implied that the world of Dr. Who was a parallel universe to the regular DWU, an idea also suggested by the Titan comic story Four Doctors, where a face resembling Dr. Who (albeit without a moustache, and clearly designed to resemble David Tennant) appears when Gabby Gonzalez's "magic" notebook is writing about how Gabby thought the Doctor's "other selves" would be from parallel universes.

In DWM 469, Steven Moffat stated that he wrote a scene for TV: The Day of the Doctor in which Kate Stewart would walk past posters for the Peter Cushing films while noting the "need to screen the Doctor's known associates". Moffat explained that he believed the films existed in the DWU as "distorted accounts" of the Doctor's adventures. However, the production team could not afford the rights to the posters. This scene does appear in the novelisation of the book, and perhaps-coincidentally echoed other accounts which depicted a fictional in-universe Doctor played by Cushing. In a similar yet distinct register, The Five O'Clock Shadow depicted Dr. Who and his granddaughter Susan as fictional creations of the Doctor (designed to be versions of himself and his granddaughter free of all angst and strife) who came to life and ended up departing on their own adventures.

The novel Human Nature also showed John Smith remembering the Seventh Doctor's repressed memories from "before his birth", wherein he was a human scientist who built the very first TARDIS before setting out to explore the universe. The novel further stated that the scientist subsequently found a wild jungle planet and educated its people into a mighty civilisation, strongly hinting at the scientist becoming the Other. As the Other is reckoned to have later "reincarnated" himself into the Doctor, this provided yet another potential bridge between Cushing's Doctor (and any other early, "aberrant" accounts of a human Doctor who'd built the TARDIS) and the mainstream Doctor played by William Hartnell and his many successors.

Parallel to all these attempts to construe Dr. Who as an individual distinct from the Doctor, Dalek co-creator Terry Nation chose to have the Fourth Doctor reference the events of Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (rather than the version of events present in The Dalek Invasion of Earth) in the TV story Genesis of the Daleks) when the Doctor tells Davros about the Daleks' future defeats which he, being a time-traveller, has already witnessed. Similarly, the Dalek Chronicles comic series depicted Dalek casings identical to the movie versions and to the television versions in different stories, despite all the Chronicles ostensibly occurring in a single continuity — though they never featured or referenced either version of the Doctor. The contemporary TV Century 21 cover stories outright used screenshots from the first film on several occasions, repurposed to illustrate other events involving the Daleks, but one, in the issue advertising the release of the film, became the first to propose that the films were in-universe fiction.


  1. MP 57
  2. DW84 2
  3. Howe, David J., "The Lost Radio Plays". The Frame #10. May, 1989. p. 17.
  4. "Peter Cushing Obituary". Time Space Visualiser #41.
  5. https://drwhointerviews.wordpress.com/category/peter-cushing/
  6. Howe, David J., "The Lost Radio Plays". The Frame #10. May, 1989. p. 17.
  7. http://nzdwfc.tetrap.com/archive/tsv41/petercushing.html "Peter Cushing Obituary". Time Space Visualiser #41.