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Doctor Who: The TV Movie
Series: Doctor Who -
TV Stories
Season Number: N/A
Story Number: 156
Companions: Dr Grace Holloway
Enemy: The Master
Setting: 1999
Writer: Matthew Jacobs
Director: Geoffrey Sax
Broadcast: 14th May 1996
Format: 1 85-minute episode
Previous Story: DW: Survival
Following Story: DW: Rose
For other uses of Doctor Who, see Doctor Who (disambiguation).
The Doctor musing on his memory of clocks.

Doctor Who was a made-for-TV movie produced for the American FOX network, and for the BBC, in 1996. Co-produced by British and American interests, and filmed in Canada, the telefilm introduced Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor and was an attempt at relaunching the Doctor Who television franchise both in the UK and abroad.



New Year's Eve 1999. Earth is about to run out of time... Returning home to Gallifrey with the remains of his arch-enemy, the Master, the TARDIS is forced off course, returning the Doctor into the middle of a street gang's gun battle in San Francisco's Chinatown district. Critically wounded in the shootout, the Doctor has to regenerate to save his own life. And he's not the only one - the Master too has a new body with which to wreak havoc, and his ultimate goal is to take the Doctor's own existence. As the clock counts down to the start of a new millennium, the Doctor has to stop the Master destroying all life on Earth. But at what cost...?


The Master has apparently been executed on Skaro, and the Seventh Doctor is bringing his remains back to Gallifrey. However, the Master is not really dead, but has transformed himself into a transparent serpent-like creature which easily slides through the keyhole of the casket containing his ashes. The Master causes a timing malfunction in the TARDIS, and the Doctor is forced to make an emergency landing on Earth: specifically, in San Francisco on 30th December 1999. As soon as the Doctor leaves the TARDIS, he is caught in the cross-fire between two Chinese-American gangs. One of the gang members, Chang Lee, accompanies the wounded Doctor in an ambulance to Walker General Hospital. Unseen, the Master stows away in the ambulance.

At the hospital, a surgeon removes the bullets, but the Doctor's two hearts confuse the medical team. They assume he is fibrillating and that the X-rays showing two hearts must be a double exposure. A cardiologist, Dr. Grace Holloway, is summoned from a date at the opera and attempts to stabilize the Doctor's hearts. He attempts to stop the operation, but is anesthetised. The Doctor's anatomy confuses Grace, and he appears to die under anaesthesia.

The Doctor's body is placed in the morgue, where he regenerates. Around the same time, the morphant Master takes over the sleeping body of the ambulance driver Bruce. As Pete, a morgue attendant, watches the 1931 film version of Frankenstein, the newly-regenerated Doctor bursts out of the morgue, clad in only a shroud. This was mirrored by Frankenstein's awakening on the film at the same time. Pete takes affright, The Doctor stumbles into a deserted wing of the hospital where he sees himself in a broken mirror and cries out, "Who am I?"

The next morning, the Doctor steals the Wild Bill Hickok costume that Pete's co-worker, Ted, intended to wear to the hospital's New Year's Eve costume party. Meanwhile, Chang Lee goes through the Doctor's possessions (which he had pilfered from Grace at the hospital). Meanwhile, the Master realizes that his occupation of Bruce's body will not last; he needs the Doctor's body. He kills Bruce's wife. At the hospital, the Doctor recognises Grace (who has quit her hospital job after an argument with the hospital administrator over the surgery), and follows her to the parking lot. In her car, he removes the surgical probe which Grace had left in him the previous night, a sight which convinces her that this strange man is in fact her supposedly dead patient.

"Bruce" goes to the hospital, where he learns that the Doctor died during surgery and that his body is missing. Grace takes the Doctor to her house, where she discovers that her boyfriend has left her and taken some of her furniture to boot. She listens to the Doctor's hearts and takes a sample of his blood, while the Doctor's spotty memory begins to return with anecdotes about Puccini and Leonardo da Vinci. Chang Lee uses the TARDIS key to enter the TARDIS. There he encounters the Master, who lies to him and convinces him that he has been wronged by the Doctor. The Master and Chang Lee go to the TARDIS's Cloister Room, where the Master uses Chang Lee's human eyes to open the Eye of Harmony, the TARDIS' power source. As the eye opens, the Doctor's memories come flooding back. In a fit of enthusiasm, the Doctor announces, "I am the Doctor!" and kisses Grace. In the Cloister Room, the Master sees a series of images: the old Doctor, the new Doctor, and a human retina. The last causes him to assert, "The Doctor is half-human." Just as the Master sees an image of Grace, the Doctor becomes aware of the Master's actions, and shuts his own eyes, blocking the images in the Eye of Harmony.

The Doctor explains the Master's plan: he hopes to force the Doctor to look into the Eye of Harmony, which will allow him to take over the Doctor's body. However, if the Eye is not closed by midnight the entire planet will be sucked into it. The Doctor will need a beryllium atomic clock to fix the TARDIS before then. Grace finds all this quite improbable, and calls an ambulance for the Doctor (who she now suspects to be insane). A television news report informs the Doctor of strange weather phenomena, and of a beryllium atomic clock about to be inaugurated at the Institute for Technological Advancement and Research (ITAR).

When the ambulance arrives, the EMT is the Master, and the unseen driver is Chang Lee. The Doctor asks to be taken to ITAR. Grace is still skeptical, but indicates for the driver to play along. However, a sudden stop at a traffic jam reveals the Master's inhuman eyes, and the Doctor recognizes him. His identity revealed, the Master spits a burning viscous substance on Grace's arm, but the Doctor temporarily blinds him with a fire extinguisher. He and Grace escape into the stopped traffic, and the Doctor bluffs a policeman into giving him his motorcycle. On the motorcycle, Grace realises that the Doctor's improbable story is true. Chang Lee and the Master pursue the Doctor and Grace, but Chang Lee takes a shortcut and arrives at ITAR before the Doctor does.

Grace, a board member of ITAR, introduces the Doctor to Professor Wagg, creator of the clock. As the Doctor tells Professor Wagg "a secret" ("I'm half-human on my mother's side"), he surreptitiously removes Wagg's security pass. Grace and the Doctor steal a small component from the clock. They spot the Master and Chang Lee in the crowd, but escape by lowering themselves from a fire hose. They flee on the motorcycle, and arrive at the TARDIS, where the Doctor remembers that he keeps a spare key in the cubbyhole above the letter "P" in "Police box." They enter the TARDIS, where the cloister bell is ringing. The Doctor is able to close the Eye of Harmony; however, a quick temporal scan confirms that the Eye has been open too long, and the Earth is still in danger. The only solution is to take the TARDIS back to a time before the Eye was opened — but since the Eye was open so long, the TARDIS now has no power. The Doctor attempts to jump-start the TARDIS by drawing energy directly from the eye. Suddenly Grace's eyes turn black, and she knocks the Doctor out with the neutron ram.

Grace has been taken over by the Master's will, infected when he spat on her in the ambulance. The Doctor awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney in the Cloister Room. The possessed Grace and Chang Lee chain the Doctor to a balcony, under the supervision of the Master. Taunting the Doctor, the Master inadvertently contradicts his earlier lies to Chang Lee, who attempts to help the Doctor. The Master breaks Chang Lee's neck. He then removes his control over Grace so that her human eyes will be able to open the Eye; this he does quickly, while Grace is disoriented. As the Master begins to absorb the Doctor's life-energy, the Doctor asks Grace to return to the console room and jump-start the TARDIS.

As the Earth celebrates the approaching new year, Grace manages to start the TARDIS one second before midnight. The TARDIS enters a temporal orbit. She returns to the cloister room and frees the Doctor, but the Master attacks them both. He throws her off the balcony, and she appears to die. The Doctor and the Master struggle over the open Eye, and the Master falls in; the Doctor attempts to save him, but the Master rejects his hand and is sucked into the Eye.

The TARDIS slips back in time from midnight. Energy travels from the Eye to the bodies of Grace and Chang Lee, reviving them, and the Eye closes. The Doctor takes Grace and Chang Lee back to San Francisco on New Year's Eve. The Doctor gives Chang Lee a bag of gold dust, and tells him not to be in San Francisco next Christmas. The Doctor asks Grace to come with him, and she asks him to stay with her. They kiss and say their farewells. The Doctor leaves in the TARDIS, off to a new adventure.




For Production see Doctor Who (1996)/Production



Foods and Beverages


  • "Rassilon Era" appears on the TARDIS' console and screen.
  • The Seal of Rassilon is featured extensively throughout the TARDIS.
  • The Master uses the Eye of Harmony to spy on the Doctor and to transfer his lives.
  • Both the Doctor (in his narration) and the Master reaffirm that Time Lords can regenerate 12 times.


  • The Master, the Doctor and Grace name-drop throughout this story by referring to Marie Curie ("does she kiss as good as me?"), Sigmund Freud, and Genghis Khan. (The Master also corrects Grace's grammar to "as well as you").
  • The Daleks put the Master on trial "for crimes he committed", possibly for deserting them at the end of "Frontier in Space." The "Old Master" who appears at the start of the film, played by Gordon Tipple, resembles the Tremas incarnation played by Anthony Ainley up until 1989 (and again in Destiny of the Doctors), but it is not indicated definitively on screen whether this is the same incarnation or a different one. The Master does, however, in both the pre-credits sequence and again after taking over Bruce, sport "cat's eyes", a possible reference to his condition on Cheetah World in Survival.
  • Grace obviously likes Madame Butterfly, and the Doctor has met its composer.


The Doctor's TARDIS

  • The telefilm features a redesigned console room with a library and gothic architecture. Although this attracted criticism from fandom, in DW: Time Crash, it would be established that the console room design can be changed like a desktop theme, although the Tom Baker era also established that the TARDIS has more than one console room.
  • The console itself is shown to be a hodge-podge of different technologies and objects, including a handbrake similar to that used on automobiles in the early 1900s, and a Magpie Electricals-style TV set/monitor. The series revival in 2005 would continue the theme of the console featuring bits and pieces from different objects, as if it had been cobbled together.
  • The Cloister Room appears again; however, it is the placement of the Eye of Harmony within the room, which the Master says is where the TARDIS gets its power. He also describes the Eye as the "heart of the structure", although this being the Master, it's unknown how much if any of this is the truth. That said, only limited views of the Cloister Room had been offered before (in DW: The Keeper of Traken, etc.).
  • The odd-shaped TARDIS key, glimpsed on previous occasions, appears, and it is revealed that the Yale lock opening seen on the door is in fact a false front for the real keyhole underneath. (This differs from other views in the 1963-89 and 2005-present series in which the lock is shown functioning normally, but can be explained as being an example of the TARDIS exterior changing over the years).

Story Notes

  • Doctor Who: The TV Movie was a 1996 co-production between the BBC and Universal Pictures. Its executive producer, Philip Segal, had hoped that it might be a "back-door pilot" for a new series of Doctor Who, but poor ratings in the United States prevented this.
  • The TV Movie was broadcast on Fox Television in America on 14 May, 1996, and on BBC1 on 27 May, 1996.
  • During production and during its airing, it was referred to only as "Doctor Who." Philip Segal later told a convention audience that if fans wanted a distinct title for the TV Movie, they could call it "Enemy Within", but this name was never used in any official capacity. A wholly unofficial subtitle, Out of the Ashes, was given to the film by some fan groups; it subsequently was used in this capacity by the A Brief History of Time (Travel) website[1] and by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in an online documentary promoting the 2005 series revival. The only on-screen title that appears is Doctor Who, making this technically the first story of the franchise to not carry an on-screen title; the 2005 Children in Need Special and 2009 Sarah Jane Adventures Comic Relief special, From Raxacoricofallapatorius With Love, are the only other examples to date of this.
  • British-born television producer Philip Segal had a longtime ambition to create Doctor Who. While working at various American production companies, including Steven Spielberg's Amblin, he attempted to develop a Doctor Who series or film. Eventually he was able to arrange a co-production between Universal Pictures and the BBC. The script went through several different forms, including some which would have started Doctor Who continuity over again.
Caption added to 'international release'.
  • The eventual script by Matthew Jacobs continued from the BBC series, including a substantial role for Sylvester McCoy, the last occupant of the role of the Doctor.
  • Doctor Who: Regeneration details the development of this story (and many of the previous attempts).
  • For the 'international release' (ie everywhere outside of the UK) the opening sequence within the TARDIS has the caption "Based on the series originally broadcast on the BBC". It is standard practice for American productions to give screen credit to a series/character creator, so this title card is used in lieu of crediting Sydney Newman or any of the others involved in the creation of the original series. In addition, Terry Nation does not receive screen credit for the Daleks, contrary to later practice.
  • Ron Grainer, the late composer of the Doctor Who Theme, is not given screen credit for his work. Only John Debney, commissioned to arrange the theme and compose new incidental music, is given main credit; this led to the mistaken impression that Debney also composed the Doctor Who Theme. (It was reported that Debney wanted to create a new theme, but was overridden by Segal). There is also screen credit given for "additional music" by John Sponsler and Louis Serbe. Similarly, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and Delia Derbyshire are uncredited for their creation of the TARDIS sound effect.
  • At the time of broadcast/release there was significant reaction to the Doctor kissing Grace as this was the first overtly romantic scene involving the Doctor. (The later revival series, however, would incorporate more of these elements).
  • Promotional advertisements for the telefilm shown on the Fox network incorporated footage from the opening sequence of the first episode of The Trial of a Time Lord - specifically the TARDIS being drawn into the giant space station - even though this footage does not appear anywhere in the telefilm. The arrangement of the Doctor Who theme heard during these ads doesn't correspond with the Debney arrangement heard in the film, either.
  • Neither Paul McGann nor Sylvester McCoy are actually credited on screen next to any character name. However the press kit for the film gives the official credits as being as "The Doctor" and "The Old Doctor", respectively. Although not used on screen, this is the last time the lead character is credited as "The Doctor" until the 2006 season, as the 2005 revival reverts to the old "Doctor Who" credit line.
  • The version of 1931's Frankenstein excerpted here is not the current restored version, but the earlier censored print that was commonly circulated on TV prior to the 1980s; this is evident from the fact Dr. Frankenstein's dialogue "Now I know what it feels like to be God" is blanked out in the scene shown during the regeneration sequence.
  • Sylvester McCoy has in recent years been critical of aspects of this film, telling the premiere episode of Doctor Who Confidential that the film should not have featured him, but should have started with Paul McGann's Doctor and saved the story of how the regeneration occurred for an episode of the resulting series, if one had been commissioned.
  • This is the second televised Doctor Who to feature omniscient narration (one of the characters addressing the audience in voiceover) since DW: The Deadly Assassin; in this case, the Eighth Doctor setting the scene during the pre-credits sequence and immediately thereafter. This device would be used again in the BBC Wales series in episodes including DW Army of Ghosts, DW: The Family of Blood, and DW: The End of Time.
  • According to press coverage at the time, the redesigned TARDIS console room set -- clearly intended to have been an ongoing "standing set" in a series -- cost $1 million to build.
  • Of the regenerations actually depicted on screen, this was the first to show the Doctor undergoing the change while completely alone. This would next occur with the Tenth Doctor's regeneration in DW: The End of Time. (Two other regenerations, that of the Second Doctor after DW: The War Games and the regeneration of the Eighth Doctor into the Ninth Doctor, were never shown on screen so it is not known if they occurred in the presence of others).


  • 9.08 million viewers Template:Cn


  • Many fan rumours surrounded the production, including one which suggested that a futuristically-redesigned version of the Daleks may appear. Ultimately, the Daleks are only heard, not seen in the pre-credits opening sequence and are name-dropped by the Doctor later in the film.
  • This movie had the working title The Enemy Within. (Executive producer Philip Segal suggested to fans that if they wanted a title for the movie other than just Doctor Who, they could refer to it as Enemy Within. However neither Enemy Within nor The Enemy Within was ever used as a working title during production; later, Fox televised an Alien Nation telefilm with this same title, which is also the title of an early episode of the original Star Trek).
  • It is often erroneously stated that the gunshot wounds are the cause of the Doctor's regeneration. This is incorrect as dialogue clearly indicates that the first bullet did no damage and the second was removed during a rather minor procedure. The Doctor's "death" was caused inadvertently during the exploratory heart surgery that followed.
  • It is often stated that the Doctor opens the eye of Harmony in the movie. (There is no such scene - only Grace and Chang lee open the eye).

Filming Locations

  • The story was filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada from 15 January to 21 February 1996. This was the first Doctor Who production mounted completely outside of the UK, and the last to be mounted in a major way outside Europe until the production of Planet of the Dead in the Middle East in 2009.
  • Ogden Avenue (No 1998), Vancouver, Canada
  • Plaza of Nations, Vancouver, Canada
  • East Georgia Street (No 218, rear), Vancouver, Canada
  • Keefer Street (No 222), Vancouver, Canada
  • Carrall Street/Keefer Street, Vancouver, Canada
  • Waterfront Road, Vancouver, Canada
  • Hadden Park, Vancouver, Canada
  • British Columbia Children's Hospital, 4480 Oak Street, Vancouver, Canada
  • East Georgia Street (alley), Vancouver, Canada (Alley where the TARDIS materialises)
  • Golden Crown Centre (car park), 211 East Georgia Street, Vancouver
  • Andy Livingstone Park, Vancouver, Canada
  • Eastlake Drive (no 8651), Burnaby, Canada (Location of studio)

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • How is Grace supposed to know what a Neutron Ram is? The Doctor often speaks in technical ways that his companions don't understand. Rose Tyler and Sarah Jane Smith pointed this out in DW: School Reunion and Donna Noble throughout the fourth series.
  • How could the Doctor possibly have got any Jelly Babies? They were in the pocket of the coat he took.
  • Why does the police motorcycle drive at full speed into the TARDIS? Surely it would slow down as it was coming up to the wall. Evidently, the motorcycle is experiencing malfunctioning brakes. The policeman can be heard alluding to his brakes.
  • The Master is executed on Skaro but, Skaro had been destroyed by the Hand of Omega in Remembrance of the Daleks. We do not know the Time placement in relation to the Daleks so the execution may have happened before the planet was destroyed. It has also been suggested in EDA: War of the Daleks that another planet, not Skaro, had been destroyed.
  • The idea of the Doctor being half-human on his mother's side is not supported by any other televised episodes. However, it does not explicitly contradict any previous episodes. Alternatively, IDW: The Forgotten suggests that it may have been a ruse.
  • As the Doctor regenerates, an orderly watches Frankenstein on TV. The film jumps ahead about 20 minutes -- from the unwrapping of The Monster to his later menacing of Elizabeth -- in the space of only a few moments. Bit of a stretch here, but: possibly the orderly was not watching the film itself but a documentary or "making of" that was airing on television.
  • The Doctor displays superhuman strength after his regeneration as he's able to pound down a thick steel door. He's never been shown displaying such physical strength before or since. In DW: The Green Death the Third Doctor showed immense physical strength. Also, immediately after regenerating, the Fourth Doctor was able to chop a brick in half (DW: Robot).
  • Why would The Master speak with an American accent? Aside from the fact he initially impersonates Bruce and needs to keep his voice constant, his previous takeover of a person's body, DW: The Keeper of Traken resulted in him speaking with the man's voice, so it may be a side-effect of the take over.
  • The Doctor died in his seventh incarnation in the BBC webcast Death Comes to Time. How can he be around to transport the Master's remains? Death Comes to Time is generally considered non-canonical for this reason, although the events of the story are referenced in a couple of novels nonetheless.
  • A popular mistake often pointed out is that the Seventh Doctor holds the sonic screwdriver the wrong way round. However this could be a reason for the Master managing to escape the casket. The series has never been consistent in how the screwdriver has been used. Also, this is the first time a screwdriver had been seen since the Doctor's original one was destroyed in DW: The Visitation so perhaps it worked that way.
  • When the Master was executed, the Daleks sounded completely different to Daleks we have seen in the series? Daleks sound different to other Daleks, if you listen closely to past Dalek stories you can hear the variation of the voice pattern
  • At the start of the film, why would the Daleks be trying the Master in a court of law for anything, crime or not? Why would the Daleks hold a trial of any kind, much less allow the Doctor, their greatest enemy, to come pick up and then transport the remains of the Master? Russell T Davies writes, in the Doctor Who Annual 2006, that Romana, in her capacity as President of Gallifrey, was in peace negotiations with the Daleks, and that these included The Act of Master Restitution. Though details of this Act are not offered it can be inferred that this involved delivering the Master to the Daleks, on the proviso that he be legally tried, rather than executed outright. The Master's demand that the Doctor return his remains to Gallifrey may have been a legal right that the Daleks, however uncharacteristically, chose to honour. Of course, the Time Lords later resurrected the Master, so who knows?
  • At the beginning, the Doctor sets course for the 'Rassilon Era.' But the Master at that time had not been born yet, let alone died.The Rassilon Era likely denotes the era that the Doctor and the Master are from in much the same way Anno Domini denotes time after the birth of Christ.
  • How did the Master gain the ability to paralyse people with his spit? and why did it not affect Grace so badly? As a part of becoming the snake form, the paralyse spit was an effect.
  • Why were there meteorites in the Vortex? The time vortex, when seen, can be seen as existing in space. Somehow, the time vortex is a physical existance somewhere in the universe, meteors travelling through space can fly into the vortex, only to be deposited at some period in the past or future.
  • Evidence seems to state that the "Old Master" was the same Master from the TV series, but how did he escape from the Cheetah World? It is stated in NA: First Frontier, that he was able to recover enough to teleport from the planet.


  • Grace and Lee's ressurection is similar to that of Jenny's. Coincidentally, the energy seen during this scene is very similar to that of normal regeneration/vortex energy.
  • NA: Lungbarrow sets up events for this story (including why the TARDIS interior looks the way it does, why the Doctor now has a sonic screwdriver and why the Doctor was rescuing the Master).
  • Several aspects of this story appear to be at variance with established Doctor Who continuity, most notably the assertion that the Doctor is half-human. Several BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures deal with this issue, notably EDA: Unnatural History, which also deals with the consequences of this adventure. DW: Journey's End later strongly indicates that the Doctor has never been half-human (or if he has, he is either denying it or has forgotten about it) actually, just that there has never been a human/Time Lord meta-crisis, likely a very different thing than being born with human ancestry; though this could be interpreted as the Doctor claiming a Time Lord has never had a human body (which also seems at variance with DW: The Keeper of Traken, though again Trakenites may have different physiognomy to humans). The 2008-09 comic book series IDW: The Forgotten suggests that the Doctor made use of a Chameleon Arch to create a fiction about being half-human in order to distract the Master.
  • The Master has previously attempted to use the Eye of Harmony in DW: The Deadly Assassin.
  • BFA: The Apocalypse Element attempts to explain why the Eye of Harmony, Gallifreyan technology, could be opened only by a human eye.
  • The Master's statement that the Doctor made him waste all his lives has some grounding in MA: The Dark Path.
  • This is the last time the Master appears on-screen until DW: Utopia.
  • The cloister room, last seen DW: Logopolis, makes a return appearance.
  • Chang Lee gets the honour of doing the "TARDIS runaround" (character goes inside, sees how big it is, comes back out and walks around the TARDIS, disbelievingly, before going back inside). This occurs again by Rose Tyler in DW: Rose, Donna Noble in DW: The Runaway Bride and Turn Left, and Martha Jones DW: Smith and Jones.
  • In 2008, the Eighth Doctor made another cameo in DW: The Next Doctor, in a sequence of clips, counting up all the ten Doctors to date, via means of a Cybermen infostamp. After a couple of ambiguous references, this on-screen appearance was the first to definitively confirm that the Eighth Doctor as depicted in this film did indeed share continuity with those that came before and after.
  • It is later established that on the same day as the main events of the film (31st December 1999) the Torchwood Three team were murdered in Cardiff, save for Jack Harkness. (TW: Fragments) Based on time zone differences, these events happened at roughly the time the Doctor met Grace after regenerating. The main action of the film - the race towards midnight and the confrontation with the Master - would have taken place when it was early morning on January 1 in Cardiff.
  • The Doctor says, whilst fleeing the Master that he is afraid of heights. The Doctor has shown a fear of heights in DW: Logopolis, DW: The Idiot's Lantern and DW: Evolution of the Daleks.
  • This is the only time the Doctor is declared dead during a regeneration story. However, it is also stated that his body processes (specifically the regeneration process, but perhaps his other vitals as well) were slowed by the anesthesia so as to be undetectable. The Doctor's statement that he was 'dead too long' may simply have been a generalization. This would reconcile the movie with DW: The End of Time, where the Doctor states that regeneration cannot take place if he is killed outright before the process begins.


(Timeline refers to all Doctor Who media and attempts to place this story within the timeline)

For the Master

DVD, Video, and Other Releases

Releases - UK, Australia


Released to DVD in the UK as Doctor Who: The Movie, this release was the fourth release of 2001.




  • Philip Segal - Talks about the making of the telemovie.
  • Electronic Press Kit - Cast & crew interviews/behind the scenes footage/tour of the TARDIS set.
  • Alternate/Extended Scenes
  • Music Feature - Songs from the story.
  • Music-only Option
  • Trailers
  • Photo Gallery
  • Production Subtitles
  • Easter Egg (The dedication to Jon Pertwee that proceeded the UK broadcast).
  • Commentary: Geoffrey Sax

Rear Credits:


  • The 'Based on the BBC Television series' caption used for the US broadcast has been removed from the DVD.
  • Editing for DVD release completed by Doctor Who Restoration Team.

2010 New Edition

A new edition of the DVD has been announced for release in 2010 (exact date TBA). To date the only announced new extra feature is the documentary The Seven Year Hitch.[2]

VHS releases

Released as Doctor Who.


PAL - BBC Video BBCV5882

Notes: Released in an edited form with the operating scene and gang gun battle trimmed.

North American release

Due to complicated licensing and ownership of the telefilm, no North American (a.k.a. Region 1) home video release has occurred in either VHS or DVD formats as of 2009, and no such release is expected in the foreseeable future. Ironically, several of the featurettes on the UK DVD were produced specifically for US audiences.

Some snippets of footage from the movie have, however, made their way onto Region 1 DVDs. In 2003 a special 40th anniversary music video, included on a number of classic-series DVDs, included footage from the film. And in July 2009 the Region 1 DVD release of Planet of the Dead included an unedited edition of Doctor Who Confidential that includes part of a dialogue scene from the film. The Next Doctor, also released to DVD in Region 1 in 2009, includes s short piece of footage from the film. A new edition of the DVD has been announced for release in the UK in 2010; it is not known if a North American release is forthcoming.


see: Doctor Who - Original Soundtrack Recording


Main article: Doctor Who - The Novel of the Film

BBC Books published a novelisation of the telefilm, written by Gary Russell. According to the introduction, it was written from the script without seeing the final production. The cover title is Doctor Who, but the spine title is Doctor Who - The Novel of the Film. Its publication marked the start of BBC Books' involvement with publishing Doctor Who fiction and the beginning of the end for Virgin Publishing's association with the franchise (though Virgin continued to publish Doctor Who fiction for another year). It is also the first non-Virgin/Target publication of a story novelisation and the last such adaptation until the publication of Scream of the Shalka in 2004.

A script book was also published.

Neither book was distributed in North America.

Press kit

To promote the film among North American media, Fox issued a small, coil-bound press booklet detailing the film and also explaining a bit of the history of Doctor Who.


  • Introduction, a brief explanation of the film and the concept.
  • Main credits: This is the only place where Paul McGann and Sylvester McCoy are actually credited as The Doctor and The Old Doctor, respectively, or Eric Roberts as The Master, Daphne Ashbrook as Grace Holloway, and Yee Jee Tso as Chang Lee, as they are not credited with their character names in the televised film. As in the film, John Debney receives sole music credit, with no reference made to Ron Grainer. Also, although it is common practice for US productions to credit a creator(s) for the characters, no individuals are credited in this way for Doctor Who.
  • Production Notes: A primer on the concept of Doctor Who, including explanations of what regeneration is all about, what Time Lords are, The Master, etc., and includes actor comments on their characters.
  • About the Production: More on the making of the film, plus a discussion of the new TARDIS design, including a reference to the interior being covered by "round bells" (!).
  • History: Brief primer on the history of the series back to 1963.
  • Facts: Fast facts about the Doctor and the series. Interestingly, it makes reference to the Guinness Book of Records naming it the world's longest running SF series, even though official recognition of this would not occur until 2007. According to this section, the TV movie is the 695th installment of the television series.
  • Biographies: cast and crew biographies for the main actors.

See also

External Links

  • BBC - Doctor Who - The Classic Series - Episode Guide: The TV Movie
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide - Detailed Synopsis - Doctor Who (1996)
  • Doctor Who: A Brief History of Time (Travel) - A Brief History of Time (Travel): Doctor Who (1996)
  • The Locations Guide to Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures: Story Locations - Doctor Who (TV movie)
  • The Discontinuity Guide Doctor Who: The TV Movie page
The Master - TV Stories
Terror of the Autons  • The Mind of Evil  • The Claws of Axos  • Colony in Space  • The Dæmons  • The Sea Devils  • The Time Monster  • Frontier in Space  • The Deadly Assassin  • The Keeper of Traken  • Logopolis  • Castrovalva  • Time-Flight  • The King's Demons  • The Five Doctors  • Planet of Fire  • The Mark of the Rani  • The Ultimate Foe  • Survival  • Doctor Who: The TV Movie  •
Utopia/ The Sound of Drums/ Last of the Time LordsThe End of Time
Doctor Who by season/series
Classic Series: 1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526
1996 movie
New Series: 12342009 Specials5

This article uses material from the "Doctor Who (1996)" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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