Season 3

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Season 3 of Doctor Who ran from 11 September 1965 to 16 July 1966. It starred William Hartnell as the First Doctor, Maureen O'Brien as Vicki Pallister, Peter Purves as Steven Taylor, Adrienne Hill as Katarina and Jackie Lane as Dodo Chaplet. The season opened with Galaxy 4 and concluded with The War Machines.


The season consisted of ten serials comprised of forty-five episodes. At twelve episodes, The Daleks' Master Plan was the longest story in the show's history until superseded by the fourteen-episode The Trial of a Time Lord in 1986 (although some consider that tale to be four separate serials broadcast under a single title, and said stories were produced as though they were separate serials).

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 TV story in which neither the Doctor nor any companions appear.

The season also had the greatest number of different companions (seven) and producers (three). This was the longest season in the history of the franchise to date, at 45 episodes.

It also featured the first appearance of actor Nicholas Courtney, who would go on to play Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart. The Daleks' Master Plan also saw the return of Peter Butterworth as the Monk, who became the second Doctor Who enemy to make a return to the show after the Daleks.

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, with the exception of Missy's teasing in World Enough and Time.

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 change 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. It is therefore the most incomplete season of the William Hartnell-era.

Television stories[[edit]]

# Title Writer Episodes Notes
1 Galaxy 4 William Emms 4 Directorial debut of Derek Martinus on the show.
2 Mission to the Unknown Terry Nation 1 Only story not to feature the Doctor at all.
3 The Myth Makers Donald Cotton 4 First appearance of Katarina, and final appearance of Vicki.
4 The Daleks' Master Plan Terry Nation
Dennis Spooner
12 Death of Katarina; first story to feature the death of a companion. Introduction and death of Sara Kingdom. First fourth-wall break in the show's history.
5 The Massacre John Lucarotti
Donald Tosh
4 First appearance of Dodo Chaplet, and the first story to be directed by Paddy Russell.
6 The Ark Paul Erickson
Lesley Scott
4 First serial to be recorded out of sequence.
7 The Celestial Toymaker Brian Hayles 4 First televised appearance of the Celestial Toymaker.
8 The Gunfighters Donald Cotton 4 Final story to use individual episode titles. First story that entirely takes place in America.
9 The Savages Ian Stuart Black 4 Final appearance of Steven Taylor and first story to be written by Ian Stuart Black.
10 The War Machines 4 First appearances of Ben Jackson and Polly Wright and final appearance of Dodo Chaplet. First occasion of a writer composing consecutive stories.


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




Stories set before this season[[edit]]

The following stories are the known adventures set between Season 2 finale The Time Meddler and Season 3 opener Galaxy 4


to be added

Short stories[[edit]]



to be added

Stories set during this season[[edit]]


Short stories[[edit]]

Audio stories[[edit]]

Adaptations and merchandising[[edit]]

Home media[[edit]]

VHS releases[[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 & Blu-ray releases[[edit]]

Serial name Number and duration
of episodes
R2 release date R4 release date R1 release date
Galaxy 4 (episode 3 of 4, condensed reconstructions of episodes 1, 2 & 4)
Only available on The Aztecs - Special Edition.
1 x 25 min. 11 March 2013 20 March 2013 12 March 2013
Galaxy 4 (animated reconstructions of all 4 episodes and surviving episode 3) 4 x 25 min. 15 November 2021 TBA TBA
The Ark 4 × 25 min. 14 February 2011 3 March 2011 8 March 2011
The Gunfighters
Only available as part of the Earth Story 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)

(also includes surviving clips from The Daleks' Master Plan)

4 × 25 min. 1 November 2004 2 December 2004
(Original release)
1 July 2010
2 November 2004

Download/streaming availability[[edit]]

Serial name BritBox
Galaxy 4
Mission to the Unknown
The Myth Makers
The Daleks' Master Plan
The Massacre
The Ark
(4 episodes)
The Celestial Toymaker
The Gunfighters
(4 episodes)
The Savages
The War Machines
(4 episodes)

BritBox is available only in the US and Canada.



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

External links[[edit]]