5 best multi-Doctor Doctor Who episodes
As if you don’t already know, Doctor Who is a British television series that has been entertaining audiences for more than half a century, since its inception in 1963. The BBC science fiction show follows the adventures of the Doctor, a time-travelling alien from the planet Gallifrey. The Doctor is a Time Lord who travels through time and space in a sentient ship known as the TARDIS.
Over the years, the Doctor has regenerated several times, taking on new personalities and appearances. Each incarnation of the Doctor is played by a different actor from William Hartnell to Tom Baker and David Tennant to Ncuti Gatwa, which has allowed the show to keep evolving and captivating viewers.
One of the most thrilling aspects of Doctor Who is the opportunity for multiple incarnations of the Doctor to cross paths and team up in exciting adventures. These special “multi-Doctor” episodes are a rare treat for fans, as they showcase the unique dynamics and camaraderie between the different Doctors.
In this article, we will delve into five of the best multi-Doctor episodes that have graced our screens. We recognise that these affairs can be divisive amongst fans, but hey – debating the merits of the show is half the fun of being a Whovian!
Let us begin our adventure in time and space…
The Three Doctors
In this classic episode, the first three incarnations of the Doctor, played by William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, and Jon Pertwee, team up to save the universe from the malevolent force of Omega, a renegade Time Lord. Airing as a part of the 10th-anniversary celebrations across the festive period of 1972 and into 1973, “The Three Doctors” was the first time Doctor Who brought together multiple incarnations of the Doctor, setting the stage for future multi-Doctor stories. The interactions between the three Doctors provide a delightful showcase of their distinct personalities and chemistry. The show also featured Katy Manning as companion Jo Grant.
The Five Doctors
Originally broadcast as part of the 20th-anniversary celebration in 1983, “The Five Doctors” wasn’t exactly what you might expect as unlike “The Three Doctors” ten years before, it didn’t feature all of the original five Doctors together. It featured Richard Hurndall (in place of the late William Hartnell, who died in 1975), Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee and Peter Davison. However, Tom Baker, the Fourth Doctor actor, did not return to make the show and was featured in clips of the unaired serial Shada. In this adventure, the Doctors are taken out of time by an unknown force and brought to the Death Zone on Gallifrey, where they must join forces to uncover a deadly mystery.
The Day of the Doctor
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who, “The Day of the Doctor” is an epic adventure that features the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant), the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith), and the War Doctor (John Hurt), along with appearances by the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi) and the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker). This ambitious episode revolves around the Time War and the Doctors’ attempts to change its devastating outcome. With its rich storyline, outstanding performances, and spectacular special effects, “The Day of the Doctor” has cemented its place as a fan favourite for its storytelling and surprises.
Though not a full-length episode, “Time Crash” is a special mini-episode that aired as part of the 2007 Children in Need telethon. In this short but sweet adventure, the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) encounters his fifth incarnation, played by Peter Davison. Their brief interaction is filled with wit, charm, and a heartfelt tribute to the legacy of Doctor Who. The chemistry between Tennant and Davison is evident, making “Time Crash” a memorable and enjoyable experience for fans.
Twice Upon a Time
“Twice Upon a Time” is the final episode for the Twelfth Doctor, played by Peter Capaldi and aired as the 2017 Christmas special. In this emotional farewell, Capaldi’s Doctor crosses paths with the First Doctor, played by David Bradley (reprising the role originally portrayed by William Hartnell). The story revolves around the two Doctors, who are both reluctant to regenerate, and their encounter with a mysterious entity known as Testimony. The interaction between Capaldi and Bradley is poignant and reflective, as they explore the Doctor’s past, present, and future. The episode is a heartfelt homage to the show’s history and a fitting send-off for Capaldi’s Doctor, paving the way for Jodie Whittaker’s debut as the Thirteenth Doctor. “Twice Upon a Time” is a beautiful tribute to the enduring legacy of Doctor Who and the power of change.
- Love Doctor Who? Get all the latest Doctor Who news and views from Screen OD
- Looking for some entertainment? Have you tried our general knowledge quiz questions and answers yet? Or browse all the Screen OD quizzes.
- Want to supercharge your streaming? Take a look at our guide to Netflix secret codes for TV and movie fans
- Love TV and movies? Try Screen OD on YouTube...