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A Biography of the Doctor

The First Doctor

Season One

The Doctor and Susan arrive on 1963 Earth and stay for 5 months. The Doctor enrols Susan in Coal Hill School, using forged records. This idea is her suggestion. Susan also gets a weekend job looking after a six-year-old boy called Malcolm.

(Susan says that it feels like they've been in 1963 for five months on page 11 of Time and Relative. She also claims that everywhere they stay feels like they've been there for five months. On pages 17 and 30, it looks like she has been there since before Christmas 1962.)

(Placement rating: 5)

The cold that has been around since Christmas intensifies. The Doctor discovers that it is sentient, and that it ruled the Earth before humanity evolved. He intends to let it eliminate humanity. Meanwhile, Susan sees the Cold begin to attack others at Coal Hill. Whilst in detention after school, she sees the Cold kill several people, and holes up in the school with two friends - John and Gillian - and John's dad. They struggle to get back to Foreman's Yard. On the way, John's dad is killed. They stop for a bit in the local Wimpy, and join up with Malcolm and Zack, a biker with whom Gillian had made friends. They eventually make it back to Foreman's yard, where the Doctor is studying the Cold - which has centred itself there - and manage to persuade him to interfere to protect the humans. He captures the heart of the Cold, and takes it in the TARDIS to Pluto in the far future. However, he takes five trips to get there and a more than a dozen to get back, arriving a moment after he left. These trips cause something in the TARDIS to break down.

(This is a prequel to An Unearthly Child.)

During his time on Earth, the Doctor begins repairs on the TARDIS, possibly becoming involved in London's scientific community to get parts. He also arranges to hide the Hand of Omega in a coffin.

(An Unearthly Child / 100,000 BC and Remembrance of the Daleks. As he is instantly accepted by London scientists in The War Machines, maybe they already knew him.)


Two of Susan's teachers, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, become suspicious of Susan's behaviour. They discover that her address is a junkyard and decide to investigate. Following her home, they find the TARDIS and force their way in. The Doctor, anxious to protect Susan and the Hand, sends the ship on a journey though time.

100,000 BC

The TARDIS arrives on Stone Age Earth, but the chameleon circuit has broken and its shell is stuck in the form of a 1963 Police Box. Exploring the area, its occupants are captured by a Stone Age tribe that has forgotten how to make fire. They eventually manage to escape.

(placement rating: 4)

The Doctor is suspended in a time bubble, where he meets his eighth incarnation. His future self regains some of the memories he has been searching for and then scolds the first Doctor for his arrogance, persuading him not to kill the caveman Za.

(This happens during a scene from 100,000 BC)


The TARDIS lands on the radioactive planet Skaro. Seeking to repair an allegedly damaged fluid link, the Doctor visits a nearby city. The link is lost in the city, forcing the travellers to teach the Thals to fight back against the Dalek inhabitants of the city. When they leave, the Thals give them a number of gifts, including a scroll granting the Doctor the freedom of the city of Skaro.

(We see the scroll in Robot).


As the TARDIS leaves Skaro, there is an explosion, knocking the travellers out. The [faulty telepathic circuits] cause paranoia, memory loss and aggression. The Doctor immediately suspects that his human companions have sabotaged the TARDIS to get back home. Eventually, the crew realise that the problems with each other and the TARDIS are the TARDIS trying to communicate with them. [The telepathic circuits must be faulty, as their effects don't achieve the desired effect.] The fast return switch has become stuck and they have been travelling back to the creation of the universe. The Doctor finally realises that he had been wrong in his attitude to the teachers and becomes much more friendly towards them.

(It is never stated how the switch became jammed, but presumably, the Doctor tried to use it to get back to 1963. Its failure is probably connected to the repairs the Doctor carried out in 1963.)


Escaping from this crisis, the TARDIS arrives on the Pamir Plateau in 1289. Its life support systems then shut down [as a consequence of the Fast Return switch jamming]. The travellers are rescued by the arrival of Marco Polo. En route to the court of Kublai Khan, Polo keeps them from escaping in the TARDIS, though the Doctor manages to repair it. When they arrive, the Doctor loses the TARDIS in a game of Backgammon. He reclaims it, however, when he foils the plot of warlord Tegana to kill the Khan. The TARDIS crew then depart.

(placement rating 5)

Very soon after this [Ian retains his costume], the TARDIS arrives on the planet Avalon. The crew are locked out of the TARDIS by its electrical defence grid. Seeking to find out why, they arrive at Fluxford Castle. Soon afterwards, the sorcerer Morton Dhal kidnaps Susan. The Doctor and Ian accompany members of the court on a quest to recover the legendary Merlin's Helm. Barbara begins studying the records to find clues as to why magic works on the planet and why the TARDIS has locked them out. She helps Susan and Princess Melissa to escape. Meanwhile, the expedition encounters the occupants of a recently crashed shuttle from the Earth Empire. The Doctor eventually realises that the magic is caused by nanobots created by the planet's natives. Placing the Helm, actually the control system, on a native's head deactivates the system. This removes the threat the TARDIS had detected, allowing the travellers to depart.


Very soon after this [Ian is still wearing his Marco Polo costume], the TARDIS arrives besides an acid sea on the planet Marinus. They soon meet Arbitan, keeper of the Conscience of Marinus. Arbitan places a force field around the TARDIS and agrees to release the force field if the crew undertake a quest to locate the missing Keys of Marinus. In this quest, they visit several areas of the planet. The first is Morphotron, where disembodied telepathic brains hold sway. The next is a ruined fortress being overrun by plant life. The third is an ice wasteland with hunters and ice soldiers. Finally, they arrive in Millenius. This city has the legal rule guilty until proven innocent, and Ian falls foul of the law. When they return, the Voord have killed Arbitan and taken the conscience. They are defeated when the Doctor gives them three of the four keys and one fake. Using them in the Conscience causes it to be destroyed, ruining their plans. The TARDIS crew subsequently leave.


The TARDIS materialises in an Aztec tomb, and Barbara picks up a bracelet in the form of a snake. When the travellers emerge from the tomb, they find they cannot get back in. When they run into the Aztecs, Barbara is proclaimed as the divine reincarnation of the dead priest Yexata. She uses her new importance to try to abolish the custom of human sacrifice, hoping this will enable the Aztecs to survive the arrival of the Spanish in 1520. Meanwhile, Susan is placed in a seminary and then refuses the wish of the perfect victim to become his wife, causing an outcry as Aztec law demands that his every wish be granted. Ian is made a commander of the army, coming into direct competition with the established leader, Ixta. The Doctor resides in the garden of the elders. There, he shares cocoa with a woman named Cameca, unwittingly betrothing himself. The Doctor and Ian discover a secret passage into the tomb, and Ian manages to place a strong rope beneath the door. However, the high priest of sacrifice and Ixta arrange to frame Ian for an attack on the high priest of knowledge, and both he and Susan are to be punished before a sacrifice due to happen at a forthcoming solar eclipse. Barbara's attempt to end the sacrifices has convinced the high priest of knowledge to lose his faith. His last act before leaving for the wilderness is to give Cameca some help so that she can free Ian and Susan. Their escape generates enough confusion to enable the travellers to escape back into the tomb, using a pulley mechanism the Doctor has constructed. Barbara returns some of her Aztec finery to the tomb, but the Doctor decides to keep a brooch given to him by Cameca.

(placement rating 3)

Susan relates a bad dream she has been having recently to Barbara. The dream concerns a piece of red glass, which the Doctor picked up not long before arriving on 1963 Earth.

(Susan and Barbara are talking in the TARDIS. Susan has just been asleep, so it has to be in a gap of at least one day between adventures. This is the first potential gap of that length between adventures.)

(placement rating 3)

The TARDIS lands on the planet Dascaris, and the Doctor uses the local law concerning Verevan (intensity of desire for the land) to protect its native inhabitants.

(This trip is mentioned in Decalog 2: People of the Trees. The Doctor is said to have been a white haired old man with three companions, so I have set it here, when he was travelling with Susan, Ian and Barbara - though it could equally be Vicki, Ian and Barbara.)


The TARDIS materialises on a 28th century spaceship, whose crew have come under the influence of the telepathic Sensorites. The crew are periodically placed into catatonic trances. Investigating, the Doctor discovers that the Sensorites have been poisoned by a previous human expedition to Sensesphere. His intervention cures the disease and helps establish peace between the two races.


The TARDIS materialises in Paris, 1794. Ian and Barbara are held in the Concierge Prison. Ian joins the escape chain and the Doctor poses as a civic dignitary in the search for them. They eventually slip away as Robespierre is deposed.

(placement rating 3)

The TARDIS materialises near the city of Masada in first Century Judea. The crew are caught in a skirmish during the siege. The Doctor and Susan are camped with the Roman soldiers whilst Ian and an injured Barbara are trapped in the city. Over the course of a few weeks, Ian rallies the defender50s. Barbara recovers from her injuries just before the Jews decide to commit mass suicide. Ian and Barbara escape, and the Doctor saves them from crucifixion by claiming that they are his spies.

(This features the first Doctor, Ian, Barbara & Susan. Ian refers to The Aztecs. This means it has to be either between The Aztecs and The Sensorites or between The Reign of Terror and Planet of the Giants because those are the only possible gaps in their time together. At the end of The Witch Hunters, the Doctor has repaired the navigational controls, and is about to travel to 1963 - as in Planet of the Giants. Therefore, this story happens before then.)

(placement rating 5)

The TARDIS lands in the city of Arkhaven on the planet Sarath. The Doctor insists on exploring. The TARDIS crew discover that the outer city is mysteriously deserted as a meteor storm hits. Barbara and the TARDIS are buried under rubble and Susan is injured. The Doctor and Ian are taken to an internment camp, before persuading the authorities that they are aliens. They are asked to help perfect the Ship, a vast spacecraft designed to take the city's population to another world before the planet is destroyed. Susan is replaced by an identical android, who is then kidnapped by the official Church. The real Susan is dumped with the garbage, but meets up with Barbara. The two are then captured and forced to do manual labour. Their captors, the functionaries, know that the Ship won't work and are working on a scaled-down version, the Lander. The Doctor, Ian, and the fake Susan escape the destruction of the Ship, and meet up with Barbara and the real Susan. The Doctor is able to increase the capacity of the Lander, by removing a portion of folded space from the TARDIS and donating it. The fake Susan then pilots the Lander to Mirath.

(This is placed between The Reign of Terror and Planet of Giants, but there are no references to either Short Trips: The Last Days or The Witch Hunters to place it within the gap. For reasons described below, I have set this story immediately before The Witch Hunters. The portion of folded space sounds like it's a Marston Sphere, as seen in Time of Your Life.)

The removal of a portion of folded space causes the TARDIS to develop a dimensional instability. When it is fully developed, the TARDIS will materialise at a vastly reduced size.

(The Doctor speculates that this could change the TARDIS's dimensions at the end of City at World's End. We see this result in Planet of Giants, although this may not be the cause. As it seems quite likely that The Witch Hunters happens immediately before Planet of Giants, I suggest that the effect takes a while to manifest itself. On the other hand, the Doctor is aiming for a quiet country garden as the next stop after this.)

(placement rating 5)

The TARDIS materialises in the woods near Salem, Massachusetts. The Doctor intends to use the fast return switch to carry out a month's worth of repairs in the vortex while his companions wait a few minutes. However, he is persuaded to do the repairs in real time. The travellers thus spend several days in Salem, believing it to be January 1691, over a year before the witch trials. It is actually January 1692. They leave shortly before the witch trials begin and arrive in Bristol 1954, where Susan sees The Crucible and learns of the horror of the trials. Desperate to save her new friends from this horror, she uses the fast return switch to return them to 1692.

The TARDIS then arrives in late June 1692 - at the height of the trials. Susan refuses to return to the TARDIS without trying to save her friends. The travellers become involved in the appeal for Rebecca Nurse, and the Doctor takes the appeal to the governor, but ends up persuading the governor to reject it. Meanwhile, Ian, Barbara, and Susan are all accused of witchcraft. When the attempt to return to the TARDIS, only the Doctor and Barbara are able to make it. They are followed by a mob of witch hunters, who attempt to burn the TARDIS. In order to avoid changing history, the Doctor dematerialises as the flames rise. Using the fast return switch, he manages to return two weeks later. Whilst they have been away, Susan has been forced to join the 'possessed' accusers and live in Reverend Parris' house. Ian has been imprisoned, and attempted to help John Proctor and others escape the jail.

(At the end, the Doctor appears to have repaired the navigational controls. He has just successfully piloted a journey of almost exactly 50 years, and is about to travel to 1963, as seen in Planet of the Giants. I have, therefore, placed this story immediately before Planet of the Giants, and after City at World's End.)

You visited the Whoniverse at 1:47 am BST on Friday 14th July 2006