Season 4 (Doctor Who 1963)

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Season 4 of Doctor Who ran from 10 September 1966 to 1 July 1967. It starred William Hartnell as the First Doctor in the first two stories and then Patrick Troughton as the Second Doctor and Michael Craze as Ben Jackson, Anneke Wills as Polly Wright and Frazer Hines as Jamie McCrimmon. The season opened with The Smugglers and concluded with The Evil of the Daleks.


The season consisted of nine serials comprised of forty-three episodes. This season was a season of major changes for Doctor Who, including some that have influenced the series and franchise ever since.

Most notably, season 4 saw William Hartnell's First Doctor hand the baton to Patrick Troughton's Second Doctor in the very first regeneration. When Hartnell announced his plans to leave the series, the show's writers came up with the idea of having the Doctor change his appearance and personality. In 1966, while it was not uncommon for actors to change in ongoing TV and film roles, this was possibly the first time a change in appearance was written into the very nature of the character.

The renewal (a process which would not be referred to as regeneration until some years later) occurred in The Tenth Planet, the second story of the season, which carried double significance in that it also introduced the Cybermen, a recurring menace that would quickly establish itself in a strong second-place position behind the Daleks in the Doctor Who rogues gallery. As for the Daleks, an era ended with the series finale, The Evil of the Daleks, which at the time was expected to be the final Dalek story ever. Ultimately, a Dalek later made a cameo in 1969's The War Games and the Daleks returned full-time to Doctor Who in 1972's Day of the Daleks.

The season introduced companion Jamie McCrimmon, one of the longest-serving and most popular TV companions. The season also introduced Victoria Waterfield - originally and briefly with Denise Buckley cast in the role during production, before this was changed to Deborah Watling.[1]

The Highlanders, broadcast this season, marked the end of the writers including occasional "historical serials" which featured no fantastic elements other than the TARDIS and the crew themselves. The next pure historical story would not appear until Black Orchid in 1982.

For most of the season, the opening sequence, theme arrangement, and logo of the Hartnell era was retained. Beginning with The Macra Terror, however, a new opening sequence was introduced, and along with it a new series logo and a modified arrangement of the theme music (introducing the "electronic spangles" sound and the tape echo effect that would both be retained through to 1980). Most significantly, this new opening established the tradition of showing the current Doctor's face which persisted for the rest of the programme's original run.

Season 4 consisted of forty-three episodes which made up nine serials, the majority of which are considered lost; as of 2021 this season has the distinction of being the only Doctor Who season for which not a single story survives in complete form (although audio recordings exist for all the episodes which has allowed cassette and CD reconstructions of the stories to be commercially released. Episode 4 of The Tenth Planet, The Power of the Daleks, The Moonbase, The Macra Terror, The Faceless Ones and The Evil of the Daleks received animated reconstructions. The opening sequence of 2017 story, Twice Upon a Time, recreated parts of Tenth Planet that were lost).

It was during season 4 of Doctor Who that its long-standing rival, Star Trek, first aired on American television.

Along with season 21, it was one of only two seasons of the classic series to have a completely different cast in the final story of the season than in the first story.

Television stories[[edit]]

# Title Writer Episodes Notes
1 The Smugglers Brian Hayles 4 First serial placed on development hold as part of a later season for ease of production.
2 The Tenth Planet Kit Pedler
Gerry Davis
4 First on-screen regeneration, and the final regular appearance of the First Doctor, and introduction of the Second Doctor. First appearance of the Cybermen.
3 The Power of the Daleks David Whitaker 6 First post-regeneration story. First Dalek story completely written by someone other than Terry Nation.
4 The Highlanders Elwyn Jones
Gerry Davis
4 First appearance of Jamie McCrimmon. Final historical story until 1982.
5 The Underwater Menace Geoffrey Orme 4 First appearance of a place deemed Atlantis.
6 The Moonbase Kit Pedler
Gerry Davis
4 First story to take place on the Moon.
7 The Macra Terror Ian Stuart Black 4 First appearance of the Macra.
8 The Faceless Ones David Ellis
Malcolm Hulke
6 Final appearances of Ben Jackson and Polly Wright. First story to be written by Malcolm Hulke.
9 The Evil of the Daleks David Whitaker 7 First appearance of Victoria Waterfield. Introduction of the Dalek Emperor. Intended as the final appearance of the Daleks, until their return in 1972.




Stories set during this season[[edit]]


Short stories[[edit]]



Adaptations and merchandising[[edit]]

Home media[[edit]]

VHS releases[[edit]]

  • The Tenth Planet (2000) (with telesnap reconstruction of episode 4)
  • Cybermen: The Early Years (1992) (The Moonbase episodes 2 and 4)
  • Daleks: The Early Years (1992) (The Evil of the Daleks episode 2)
  • The Reign of Terror (2003) (The Faceless Ones episodes 1 and 3)
  • The Missing Years (Included in UK The Ice Warriors Collection (1998), US, The Edge of Destruction and Dr. Who: The Pilot Episode (2001) (The Underwater Menace episode 3)

Loose Cannon VHS releases[[edit]]

  • The Smugglers (1999/2008)
  • The Tenth Planet (1998) (Episode 4 only)
  • The Power of the Daleks (1999)
  • The Highlanders (1999/2007)
  • The Underwater Menace (2005)
  • The Moonbase (2002)
  • The Macra Terror (1998/2006)
  • The Faceless Ones (1998/2009)
  • The Evil of the Daleks (2009)

DVD & Blu-ray releases[[edit]]

Five serials of season 4 that were released individually on DVD have had their missing episodes reconstructed through animation; The Tenth Planet, The Power of the Daleks, The Moonbase, The Macra Terror and The Faceless Ones, from 2013 to 2020. The Underwater Menace episode 3 was previously released on the Lost in Time box set prior to the recovery of episode 2. Both episodes were later released on DVD in 2015 with telesnap reconstructions of episodes 1 and 4, after plans for animated reconstructions of the missing episodes fell through.

The Power of the Daleks was the first wholly missing serial to be completely reconstructed using animation. It was also the first to have its missing episodes animated in colour, and the first Patrick Troughton serial to be released on Blu-ray. Subsequent releases of animated missing serials have been released on Blu-ray, DVD and digital streaming with colour and black & white animation.

Serial name Number and duration
of episodes
R2 release date R4 release date R1 release date
The Tenth Planet (with animated reconstruction of episode 4) 4 x 25 min. 14 October 2013 30 October 2013 19 November 2013
The Power of the Daleks (animated reconstructions of all 6 episodes) 6 x 25 min. 21 November 2016 14 December 2016 24 January 2017
The Power of the Daleks - Collector's Edition (black and white & colour animated reconstructions of all 6 episodes) 6 x 25 min. 6 February 2017 22 February 2018 N/A
The Power of the Daleks - Special Edition (updated and reworked black and white animated reconstruction of all 6 episodes) 6 x 25 min. 27 July 2020 26 August 2020 N/A
The Underwater Menace (with telesnap reconstructions of episodes 1 & 4) 4 x 25 min. 26 October 2015 2 December 2015 24 May 2016
The Moonbase (with animated reconstructions of episodes 1 & 3) 4 x 25 min. 20 January 2014 22 January 2014 4 March 2014
The Macra Terror (animated reconstructions of all 4 episodes) 4 x 25 min. 25 March 2019 17 April 2019 12 November 2019
The Faceless Ones (animated reconstructions of all 6 episodes and surviving episodes 1 & 3) 6 x 25 min. 16 March 2020 8 April 2020 20 October 2020
The Evil of the Daleks (animated reconstructions of all 7 episodes and surviving episode 2) 7 x 25 min. 27 September 2021 10 November 2021 16 November 2021
Lost in Time: Patrick Troughton

The Underwater Menace (episode 3 of 4)
The Moonbase (episodes 2 & 4 of 4; soundtracks of 1 & 3)
The Faceless Ones (episodes 1 & 3 of 6)
The Evil of the Daleks (episode 2 of 7)

(also includes surviving clips from The Smugglers, The Tenth Planet, The Power of the Daleks, The Highlanders, The Underwater Menace and The Macra Terror)

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

Download/streaming availability[[edit]]

Serial name

Amazon Video BritBox Google Play iTunes
The Smugglers
The Tenth Planet
The Power of the Daleks
(6 episodes
with coloured animated reconstructions of all episodes)
Except Australia, France
The Highlanders
The Underwater Menace
(4 episodes
with telesnap reconstructions of episodes 1 & 4)
UK Except France, Germany
The Moonbase
The Macra Terror
The Faceless Ones
The Evil of the Daleks

BritBox is available only in the US. iTunes stores carry Doctor Who serials in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the UK and US, unless stated otherwise.



External links[[edit]]