Season 8 (Doctor Who 1963)

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Season 8 of Doctor Who ran from 2 January 1971 to 19 June 1971. It starred Jon Pertwee as the Third Doctor, Katy Manning as Jo Grant, Nicholas Courtney as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Richard Franklin as Mike Yates, John Levene as John Benton and Roger Delgado as the Master. The season opened with Terror of the Autons and concluded with The Dæmons.


It consisted of five serials comprised of twenty-five episodes. As of 2017, season 8 remains notable for being the season with the most number of regular characters. Not only did it see a new companion in the form of Jo Grant, but it featured a regular enemy — the Master — who was the first Time Lord enemy of the Doctor to appear more than twice, and an expanded regular UNIT cast that now included Sergeant Benton and Mike Yates in most episodes. Adding in returning regulars Jon Pertwee and Nicholas Courtney, the regular cast swelled to six.

Television stories[[edit]]

# Title Writer Episodes Notes
1 Terror of the Autons Robert Holmes 4 First appearances of Jo Grant, Mike Yates and the Master. Beginning of the season-long "Master arc".
2 The Mind of Evil Don Houghton 6
3 The Claws of Axos Bob Baker
Dave Martin
4 First story to be written by Bob Baker and Dave Martin. First appearance of the second TARDIS interior.
4 Colony in Space Malcolm Hulke 6 Directorial debut of Michael E. Briant. First time the Third Doctor is able to visit an alien planet following his exile. First appearance of the "emitter head" sonic screwdriver model.
5 The Dæmons Guy Leopold, aka
Robert Sloman
Barry Letts
5 Conclusion of the season-long "Master arc".


The cast of Season 8.



Stories set before this season[[edit]]

The following stories are the known stories set between Season 7 finale Inferno and Season 8 opener Terror of the Autons.

Stories set during this season[[edit]]

Based on Theory:Timeline - Third Doctor

Between Terror of the Autons & The Mind of Evil

Between The Mind of Evil and The Claws of Axos

In-between all stories of this season and in-between Seasons 8 and 9:

Adaptations and merchandising[[edit]]

Home media[[edit]]

VHS releases[[edit]]

  • Terror of the Autons (1993) (colour restoration)
  • The Mind of Evil (1998) (in B/W)
  • The Claws of Axos (1992)
  • Colony in Space (2001)
  • The Dæmons (1993) (colour restoration)
  • The Pertwee Years (1992) (The Dæmons episode 5 - in B/W)

DVD & Blu-ray releases[[edit]]

All serials of season 8 were released individually on DVD between 2005 and 2013. The complete season was upscaled in 1080i50 high definition and released on Blu-ray as Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 8 in the UK on 8 March 2021.

Picture restoration was undertaken by Peter Crocker, with sound restoration by Mark Ayres. Design and illustration was provided by Lee Binding. The Executive Producer was Russell Minton.

The Dæmons required significant additional colour restoration. This was undertaken by Gavin Rymill, Anthony Lamb and 'Dr Hue' colourisers Rich Tipple and Kieran Highman.

Serial name Number and duration
of episodes
R2 release date R4 release date R1 release date
Terror of the Autons
Only available as part of the Mannequin Mania box set in Regions 2 and 4.
Only available individually in Region 1.
4 × 25 min. 9 May 2011 2 June 2011 10 May 2011
The Mind of Evil 6 × 25 min. 3 June 2013 5 June 2014 11 June 2013
The Claws of Axos 4 × 25 min. 25 April 2005 2 June 2005 8 November 2005
The Claws of Axos - Special Edition 4 × 25 min. 22 October 2012 7 November 2012 13 November 2012
Colony in Space 6 × 25 min. 3 October 2011 1 December 2011 8 November 2011
The Dæmons 5 × 25 min. 19 March 2012 19 April 2012 10 April 2012
The Collection - Season 8 25 x 25 min. 8 March 2021 TBA 1 June 2021

Download/streaming availability[[edit]]

Serial name Amazon Video BritBox iTunes
Terror of the Autons
(4 episodes)
The Mind of Evil
(6 episodes)
The Claws of Axos
(4 episodes)
UK Except France, Germany
Colony in Space
(6 episodes)
The Dæmons
(5 episodes)

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]]

BBC website guide to Season 8