Serial 6W:
The Two Doctors


The Time Lords send the Second Doctor and Jamie to Space Station Camera, to put an end to temporal experiments being conducted by Dastari, an old friend of the Doctor's. Dastari has genetically augmented a savage Androgum named Chessene, who has forged an alliance with the Sontarans. They kidnap the Doctor and take him to Seville, where they plan to isolate the Rassilon Imprimature: the genetic code which allows Time Lords to travel through the vortex. The Sixth Doctor and Peri rescue Jamie and follow the others to Seville, in a race against time with the Doctor's past and future at stake.


After being virtually ignored in North America for many years, Doctor Who had earned a growing cult appeal during the mid- to late-Seventies. John Nathan-Turner was keenly aware of the programme's transatlantic following, and after becoming Doctor Who's producer, he made it a priority to investigate the possibility of filming a serial in the United States. Despite the enormous costs involved, he was optimistic that the BBC's North American distributor, Lionheart, might be willing to invest in such a project. In particular, a trip to Mardi Gras in March 1981 inspired Nathan-Turner to set a story in New Orleans, Louisiana, and a script entitled “Way Down Yonder” was commissioned from American writer Lesley Elizabeth Thomas. However, “Way Down Yonder” was abandoned around the end of 1981.

Instead, Doctor Who's first trip abroad under Nathan-Turner's watch was to Amsterdam, for Season Twenty's Arc Of Infinity. The next year, Lanzarote played host to Planet Of Fire. However, Nathan-Turner had not abandoned his plans of taking Doctor Who Stateside, and around the end of 1983, Lionheart gave Nathan-Turner a verbal guarantee of the requisite funding.

Patrick Troughton had enjoyed making The Five Doctors, and readily agreed to another multi-Doctor story

Meanwhile, after making the twentieth-anniversary special The Five Doctors in 1983, Nathan-Turner was keen to record another multiple-Doctor story. Most notably, he hoped to once again entice the Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton, back to Doctor Who, and offered Troughton the opportunity at the Spirit of Light Doctor Who convention in Chicago that November. Troughton had very much enjoyed the experience of making The Five Doctors, and readily agreed to Nathan-Turner's invitation.

Both Troughton and Nathan-Turner also hoped that Frazer Hines might return to play the Second Doctor's companion, Jamie McCrimmon. Hines had remained on Doctor Who for virtually all of Troughton's tenure, and the two actors shared a tremendous camaraderie. Unfortunately, commitments to the soap opera Emmerdale Farm had forced Hines to limit his involvement in The Five Doctors to just a brief cameo. Hines was planning to take an extended hiatus from the show in 1984, however, opening a window for him to participate fully in a Doctor Who serial alongside Troughton.

Given the pivotal nature of a story filmed in America, it was decided that this would be the best showcase for the Sixth Doctor's first encounter with one of his past selves. To write such a landmark adventure, script editor Eric Saward encouraged Nathan-Turner to approach Robert Holmes, who had just completed the Fifth Doctor's swansong, The Caves Of Androzani. In addition to the New Orleans setting and the presence of the Second Doctor and Jamie, Nathan-Turner also asked Holmes to bring back the Sontarans, the warlike clone race Holmes had created a decade earlier in 1974's The Time Warrior. Another serial reviving the monsters, “The First Sontarans” by Andrew Smith, was already in development, but this was shelved so that the creatures could be available to Holmes.

Holmes agreed to try his hand at the proposed story, although he was wary of the shopping list of ingredients he was being asked to include. He disliked reusing old monsters, but felt that the Sontarans had been poorly served in their appearances since The Time Warrior (in 1975's The Sontaran Experiment and 1978's The Invasion Of Time, neither of which he had written himself) and saw this as an opportunity to restore them to his original vision.

Holmes also felt that the New Orleans locale was a handicap, offering little benefit to the adventure. However, he was determined to make every possible use of the setting, and decided to pair the Sontarans with a new race of aliens influenced by some essential facet of New Orleans. He quickly rejected the notion of making these new creations jazz connoisseurs, and instead decided to draw upon New Orleans' reputation as a centre of culinary art to create the Kraalons, a race of alien gourmands.

Robert Holmes drew upon New Orleans' reputation as a centre of culinary art to create a race of alien gourmands

Encouraged by this notion, Holmes composed a storyline entitled “The Kraalon Inheritance”. This ran to three forty-five minute episodes, the longest story attempted since Nathan-Turner became producer; the length was dictated by the need to make maximum use of the overseas locale. The script for part one was commissioned on February 13th, 1984, with the remaining installments following on March 9th. The plotline about isolating the Doctor's genetic ability to travel in time was recycled from “The Six Doctors”, Holmes' abandoned version of The Five Doctors.

As work on “The Kraalon Inheritance” progressed, trouble began brewing. It became clear that Lionheart would not be able to cover the cost of the expedition after all, and on February 15th, Nathan-Turner wrote to BBC Enterprises, the commercial wing of the BBC, in the hope that they would be interested in making up the shortfall. Preparations continued unimpeded, however, and on February 29th, Troughton and Hines were both contracted for Serial 6W. This would be the third adventure made as part of Season Twenty-Two, although it would ultimately change places in the broadcast schedule with The Mark Of The Rani and become the fourth transmitted adventure. Holmes worked on his scripts for “The Kraalon Inheritance” quickly, submitting drafts to the production office by the end of March.

In April, however, disaster struck. The production office was informed by the office of the Head of Drama that no money would be made available for filming in New Orleans, forcing a wholesale change of plans. Working quickly, Nathan-Turner suggested Venice as an alternative location, but it was soon determined that the crush of tourists, plus the higher costs to be incurred in Italy, would be prohibitive. Production associate Sue Anstruther then proposed filming in Seville, Spain. It was found that this was a feasible option, as long as the cast and crew voluntarily accepted a cut in the normal rates for meals and lodgings.

In early May, Holmes reluctantly agreed to rewrite his scripts to account for the new setting, although he was bitterly disappointed that much of the humour he had devised -- often drawing upon the differences between English and American language -- had to be discarded. Fortunately, in many instances, the process of revision was made easier because Seville offered an obvious alternative to Holmes' planned locations: New Orleans' French Quarter became Seville's Arab Quarter, a plantation house became the hacienda, the banks of the Mississippi became an olive grove, and so forth.

Robert Holmes reluctantly agreed to rewrite his scripts to account for the new Seville setting

Around this time, the Kraalons became known as the Androgums -- an anagram of “gourmands” -- and the story was duly renamed “The Androgum Inheritance”. (The title “The Kraglon Inheritance” also appears on some paperwork, although it is likely that this was merely a typographical error.) This did not remain the case for long: it appears that several other titles, including “Creation”, “Parallax” and “The Seventh Augmentment”, were briefly considered. Finally, in mid-May, the production team opted for the obvious candidate: The Two Doctors.

The director assigned to Serial 6W was Peter Moffatt, who had last handled the Sixth Doctor's introductory story, The Twin Dilemma, at the end of the previous season. Moffatt originally hoped to spend twelve days in Seville, followed by eight studio days back in London (one two-day studio block and two three-day sessions). These plans were eventually trimmed to eight days on location, followed by six days (three two-day blocks) in the studio.

Cast and crew departed England for Spain on August 8th, with filming to begin the following day. Problems plagued the trip right from the start, when the case containing all the wigs and Androgum eyebrows went missing en route. Make-up artist Catherine Davies was forced to hurriedly replace the hairpieces with materials purchased in Seville. Extreme heat (often approaching 40 degrees Celsius) and stomach ailments also hampered the shoot. The principle location was a dilapidated hacienda called Dehera Boyar, near Gerena. The scenes in and around the home of Doña Arana, including the olive grove, were recorded there from August 9th to 12th.

August 13th and 14th were spent at various locations in the Santa Cruz district of Seville itself. Several members of the crew wound up on camera in these sequences, including Moffatt and costume designer Jan Wright, who appeared in the episode three footage of the Bar Hosteria del Laurel. The woman who throws a flower to Dastari was Spanish aristocrat Mercedes Carnegie, the wife of Donald Carnegie, Assistant at the British Consul. Both Carnegies had been of great help to production manager Gary Downie while scouting for locations.

Because of a scratch on a film negative, James Saxon and Carmen Gomez had to be despatched back to Spain at great cost

By now, however, Nathan-Turner had been informed that there was a scratch on one of the film negatives returned to the UK for processing. Material recorded at Dehera Boyar, involving James Saxon (Oscar) and Carmen Gomez (Anita) in the olive grove, would have to be remounted. Unfortunately, Saxon and Gomez had already returned to England, and this meant that they would have to be despatched back to Spain at great cost to the production office. These sequences were rerecorded at Dehera Boyar on August 16th. The same day, the scene of the Doctor fishing for gumblejacks was recorded at nearby Rio Guadiamar, while the Doctor and Shockeye hijacked a lorry on the road from Gerena to El Garrobo. Upon his return to London the next day, Nathan-Turner was outraged to discover that the reported scratch was virtually imperceptible, and the remount had not been necessary after all.

The first studio session for The Two Doctors took place on August 30th and 31st in BBC Television Centre Studio 1. This block was chiefly dedicated to scenes on Space Station Camera, with the set for Dastari's study in use on both days. Corridor sequences were shot on the 30th, followed by those in the kitchen, the computer room, and the torture area on the 31st. In addition, material aboard the Sixth Doctor's TARDIS was taped on the 30th, followed by the Second Doctor's TARDIS the next day. For the latter, the TARDIS console was replaced by the older version in use prior to The Five Doctors. In post-production, the start of this scene was converted to monochrome (before gradually transitioning to colour) in order to more faithfully harken back to the Troughton era.

The remaining studio days, saw The Two Doctors move to TC6. The focus for the next block, on September 13th and 14th, was the hacienda cellar set, while material in the outbuilding and the passage was also completed on the 14th. A third Doctor was present that evening, as Fifth Doctor Peter Davison dropped by for a visit while filming L Driver.

Production concluded on September 27th and 28th. The first day largely dealt with scenes in the space station infrastructure, although material in Oscar's restaurant was also taped. Finally, sequences on the main floor of the hacienda were completed on the 28th. Unusually, recording on this day finished well ahead of schedule, thanks in part to the fact that Moffatt had filmed some of the scenes on location while waiting for the replacement Androgum hairpieces to be readied.

Patrick Troughton expressed the desire to secretly return to Doctor Who inside a monster costume, but passed away in 1987

The Two Doctors was the final televised Doctor Who serial for both Troughton and Hines. Although Troughton gleefully expressed the desire to make a further “secret” appearance on the programme inside a monster costume, this never transpired. He suffered a fatal heart attack on March 28th, 1987, while attending a Doctor Who convention in Columbus, Georgia. Hines, on the other hand, would continue to narrate Doctor Who audios and contribute to DVD releases, before reprising the role of Jamie for Big Finish Productions.

The Two Doctors also marked Peter Moffatt's final contribution to Doctor Who. He continued working in television thereafter, directing episodes of programmes such as All Creatures Great And Small and EastEnders. Moffatt died on October 21st, 2007.

  • Doctor Who: The Handbook: The Sixth Doctor by David J Howe, Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker (1993), Virgin Publishing, ISBN 0 426 20400 8.
  • Doctor Who: The Eighties by David J Howe, Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker (1996), Virgin Publishing, ISBN 1 85227 680 0.
  • Doctor Who Magazine #195, 20th January 1993, “Archive: The Two Doctors” by Andrew Pixley, Marvel Comics UK Ltd.
  • Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition #3, 22nd January 2003, “Everything Must Change” by Andrew Pixley, Panini Publishing Ltd.
  • In-Vision #82, February 1999, “Production” edited by Anthony Brown, Cybermark Services.

Original Transmission
Episode 1
Date 16th Feb 1985
Time 5.22pm
Duration 44'22"
Viewers (more) 6.6m (92nd)
· BBC1 6.6m
Appreciation 65%
Episode 2
Date 23rd Feb 1985
Time 5.21pm
Duration 44'49"
Viewers (more) 6.0m (90th)
· BBC1 6.0m
Appreciation 62%
Episode 3
Date 2nd Mar 1985
Time 5.23pm
Duration 44'45"
Viewers (more) 6.9m (66th)
· BBC1 6.9m
Appreciation 65%

The Doctor
Colin Baker
Patrick Troughton
Nicola Bryant
Frazer Hines
John Stratton
Jacqueline Pearce
Laurence Payne
Doña Arana
Aimee Delamain
James Saxon
Carmen Gomez
Tim Raynham
Nicholas Fawcett
Clinton Greyn

Written by
Robert Holmes
Directed by
Peter Moffatt
Produced by
John Nathan-Turner

Title Music Composed by
Ron Grainer
Incidental Music
Peter Howell
Special Sound
Dick Mills
BBC Radiophonic Workshop
Production Manager
Gary Downie
Production Associate
Sue Anstruther
Production Assistant
Patricia O'Leary
Assistant Floor Manager
Ilsa Rowe
Film Cameraman
John Walker
Film Sound
Colin March
Film Editor
Mike Robotham
Visual Effects Designer
Steven Drewett
Video Effects
Dave Chapman
Vision Mixer
Jayne Beckett
Technical Co-ordinator
Alan Arbuthnott
Camera Supervisor
Alec Wheal
Videotape Editor
Hugh Parson
Lighting Director
Don Babbage
Studio Sound
Keith Bowden
Costume Designer
Jan Wright
Make-up Designer
Catherine Davies
Script Editor
Eric Saward
Title Sequence
Sid Sutton
Tony Burrough

Working Titles
The Kraalon Inheritance
The Kraglon Inheritance
The Androgum Inheritance
The Seventh Augmentment

Updated 26th June 2010