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Could ‘Dr. Who’ Meet The Doctor?

Guest contributor Francis Milan examines.

cushing-Dr-Who-And-The-Daleks-remastered-a

“Hang on, what are you talking about? Who’s that devilishly handsome old chap in the spectacles?”

That, my friends, is the eponymous Dr. Who, from the mid-1960s spin-off film franchise that brought us two wonderful canon-disasters: Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks – Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.. Those of you who are relatively new to the show may not recognise him, but back when Doctor Who was fairly fresh on our screens and Dalekmania was sweeping the nation, film-makers Amicus Productions adapted two major Dalek stories from the TV series into vividly colourful cinematic extravaganzas. However, there were a few major alterations. Our protagonist was human scientist [supposedly, but we'll assume he was human for the purpose of this article] Dr. Who, a man who resided in London with his two granddaughters Barbara and Susan. Other characters included Barbara’s hapless boyfriend Ian, Dr. Who’s Barbara-esque niece Louise, and action-man policeman Tom (played by none other that Series 4’s Bernard Cribbins).

Some may agree with me when I say these two films are probably among least canonical things ever to come out of the show – but many have attempted to refute that. Across my time in the Whovian fandom, I’ve encountered many possible in-universe explanations suggesting that the Doctor and Dr. Who can exist alongside each other, and could, in theory, meet. Here are three of the best.

Pete[r Cushing]‘s World

In a recent issue of DWM, I came across a tweet submitted to the letters page suggesting that Dr. Who was, in fact, an aged Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor post-Journey’s End. It would explain his human anatomy, yet very Doctor-ish traits. In order to adapt to modern-day Earth life, MetaDoc decides he must construct a human identity for himself, opting for the alias ‘Dr. Who’ as a fun play on words regarding a question he had often been asked in his previous adventures. In one of Journey’s End deleted scene, the Doctor supplies MetaDoc with the means to grow his own TARDIS – so, in a sense, Dr. Who did make the time machine himself. Furthermore, he has Torchwood at hand to supply him with any other necessary components for time travel, while Rose will probably be the grandmother of Barbara, Louise and Susan.

It’s not a long stretch to imagine that the inhabitants of Pete’s World have never encountered Daleks. Because with presumably no Doctor-equivalent existing there to defend any attacks, the Daleks would have torn the planet to pieces on numerous occasions – which they evidently haven’t. Therefore, when Dr. Who arrives on Skaro in the far future, none of his party recognise the metal menaces. “Ah-ah-ah,” you say. “Stop right there. Surely MetaDoc, Rose, Pete and Jackie raise their children on stories of Daleks, considering the events of Journey’s End.” Well, I’m stumped there. Maybe they just… didn’t? They just wanted to move on with their domestic Pete’s World lives? (If anyone has a better idea, do have a go in the comments.) As stated by Mickey in Rise of the Cybermen, Pete’s World is exactly the same as the Doctor’s but a little bit different, which would explain the slight tweaks in both Dalek plots – such as the Dalek designs (colourful and with blasters that shoot gas) and the dates (the Earth invasion took place in 2150 A.D. instead of sometime after 2164).

The Whovie

This is the common theory that very nearly made it into the show. Following Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright’s (the TV versions) return to 20th Century Earth in 1965’s The Chase, they slotted back into normal life, probably hatching a cunning excuse for their sudden disappearance two years previously. However, they’d been given the sack from their teaching jobs at Coal Hill for being so unreliable. In order to attain an income, they pitch their TARDIS experiences to filmmakers Amicus Productions, who theatricalise them with tweaks which make the Doctor and Co more accessible for cinema audiences. The duo later regretted selling the film rights, and withdrew them before a third film could be made. (In reality, there were plans to remake The Chase for the third movie, but Daleks – Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. was a bit of a box office flop, so it never got past planning stages.) Following this, UNIT did their best to withdraw every copy of the film, as they could prove dangerous.

Recently revealed in an issue of DWM, Steven Moffat intended to feature the posters of both Dr. Who movies in the Black Archive. In The Day of the Doctor, Kate Stewart would have briefly walked past them while saying the line:

“We can’t let information about the Doctor and the TARDIS fall into the wrong hands – the consequences could be disastrous…”

Sadly, even with the size of the 50th anniversary’s budget, the BBC couldn’t afford the rights to feature the posters. To think, we were only a single copyright infringement away from this theory being the truth…

Chameleon Arch

Picture this: A future incarnation of the Doctor, in an attempt to evade an alien race with a particularly powerful sense of smell, uses the Chameleon Arch to make himself human and decides to lay low for a while in 1960s London. (A scenario similar to that in Human Nature). Here, he suffers from severe amnesia and leads himself to believe that he was the one who invented the time machine he woke up inside. With a subliminal recollection of past lives he decides to name it Tardis, for no other reason than it sounding good in his head. He dreams of a life as an alien Time Lord, and after building up a family, he names his children after companions he dreamt of once having. His grandchildren, in turn, are named after two companions: Susan and Barbara.

Cushing’s incarnation is hundreds of regenerations away from Capaldi’s. and as he and the TARDIS have grown old together, the machine has taken on a few adaptations and enhancements. Now it has the ability to travel between universes, as explained by Dr. Who in Daleks – Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.:

It is capable of taking us to any age, on any planet, in any universe…”

Therefore, the Daleks he encounters are from a different universe, while his London home isn’t necessarily. It explains the fact that the Daleks and Dr. Who don’t recognise each other, and the Dalek plots have slight tweaks.

So, there you have it: three theories proving that it is entirely possible that the two heroes co-exist alongside each other, and could potentially meet. However, feel free to disprove them in the comments section; I’d love to hear everyone else’s theories and retcons. It’s one of the things we Whovians do best!

But before I go, there’s something else I want to say. Maybe – just, maybe – Peter Cushing is the Doctor Who. And the entire television series we know and love is the dream of a batty old scientist who dreams of a million lifetimes to venture the stars…

Step back in time...

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75 comments
Polyphase
Polyphase

Never seen that Cushing movie, Is it actually worth watching?

Brainlock
Brainlock

the frst theory, 10.2 becoming Cushing, has been around for at least a few years.  You really need to look at other forums beyond this one. (Seriously, DW fandom has become SO compartmentalized and clique-y the last few years!)  It's really gained ground with Moff declaring 10.2 a separate incarnation, however, and seems to make the most sense.


Then again, I'm partial to this theory as Cushing is MY First Doctor.

The second one also could be worked into canon, IMO.

Americanwhovian
Americanwhovian

I like to belive the that it was a movie inside the cannon

DW_girl
DW_girl

Is the Eighth Doctor half-human? He said he was in the TV Movie but is that canon or not?

DW_girl
DW_girl

I liked the Duplicate Doctor idea... hadn't thought about that before but it's quite interesting. Still, not very likely...

VictorWong1
VictorWong1

I also like the idea of "multiverse" Doctors. It allows the probability of universes existing when the Doctor either *didn't* do a particular regeneration (allowing for potential crossovers with past Doctors in their current aged appearances), as well as the possibility of Doctors with different regeneration forms (allowing for potential crossovers such as Capaldi meeting with a Joanna Lumley Doctor).

adric1234
adric1234

I like them all however if we go with amicus movies the in special a rogue zygon steels dr who info disguises himself as mark gatiss and hey presto david bradley ect canon just a thought

StephenCoppins
StephenCoppins

I seem to recall, in a DWM Brief Encounters short-story, the Third Doctor was watching one of the Peter Cushing movies, during his exile.  There's a caricature of the Doctor (Jon Pertwee) in the cinema, crying with laughter, while two old ladies scowl at  him for interrupting the movie.


But sometimes the simplest explanations are the best - I treat these movies like the Big Finish Unbound audio adventures - they happen in an alternate reality.


Just because they can't be explained away as "canon," doesn't make them any less enjoyable.Hunt them out and enjoy!

JFrance
JFrance


Interesting article. Its a shame that the BBC could't get the rights to use the posters, you would think they would let them use the posters as it was the 50th and it would of made the movies part of the Doctor who universe and probably made more people aware of the movies as well. Shame really. 

Richy Woo
Richy Woo

Follow the money.


Do the BBC make any profit from doing this. Does their work in promoting this meta-cross over make somebody else money?. Are they likely to do it?.













The Finn
The Finn

Initially I was like: No! No! Don't Mix the two!, but after reading the article I'm kind of miffed theory #2 didn't make it. Really? The BBC couldn't get permission to use something that's based on a BBC production???

AlessandroArsuffi
AlessandroArsuffi

Theory number 4, "The Five O'Clock Shadow" has an unknown Doctor state that Dr Who was his creation to distract an enemy called Shadow.

Theory number 5. Peter Cushing firmly believed that "his Doctor is a future incarnation kidnapped by the Toymaker, who wiped his memory and made him relive some of his earlier adventures."(source: tardis data core website).

Theory number 6. This is completely my personal take, merging your theory 3 (Chameleon Arch) and Cushing's theory. One day in the future, the second-to-last incarnation of the Doctor asks the Time Lords to become a human. He is granted this gift: he regenerates and uses a Chameleon Arch to disguise as a human on Earth, probably in a parallel universe, where he defends Earth from aliens and relives some of his original adventures. He dies a natural death years later after a really ordinary life with his new family.

ReadingBadger
ReadingBadger

I remember seeing this as a child. It was before I'd seen any of the classic era - in fact I'd only seen up to series two before I watched them (I think). I really like these theories because I can believe any of them.

I think I'd go with Meta-Crisis or The Whovie, personally.

RossNelson
RossNelson

The films should be left as just that and not thought of anything related to the series.

Creepy_Ghoul
Creepy_Ghoul

Who said those eyes in the 50th were the Twelfth Doctor's? What if those were the eyes of Dr. Who, with Capaldi also playing Peter Cushing?

Gustaff
Gustaff

I think I've watched one of these. Not sure which one and not sure if it was the whole thing, but the parallel universe theory makes sense, but unless they "actually" meet in some format, it's not canon for me.


Lastly Francis, I must say I love your writing style. It's so informal, omnidirectional if you know what I mean. Very enjoyable to read.

Pockydon
Pockydon

Brilliant article, I'd never even heard of the Whovie, but it's probably the most likely theory, and is a pretty cool idea as well. It links in to how the films were created themselves.

SamuelTurn
SamuelTurn

I like #2 the best. Seems the most credible and reasonable theory that is probably cannon. I would be too, if it wern't for thse meddleing lawyers and their dumb copyrights (I knwo copywrights are for the protection of the artists, I was just trying to make a fun joke).

RandalWorkman
RandalWorkman

I quite like the Pete's World theory as (as someone has pointed out) David would definitely be able to look like Cushing. And I also was blown away by the final paragraph. That simply had not dawned on me before. 

christopherbrooke1
christopherbrooke1

It's most likely an alternate dimension, like an alternate version with different aspects of the same Universe.

lukashcartoon
lukashcartoon

Peter Cushing thought he could be in canon.  Here is is speaking about in the interview which can be found here.. http://drwhointerviews.wordpress.com/category/peter-cushing/


Q: The character you played in those two films was very different from the character on the TV show. Were those films a complete remake?




A: Well I’ll tell you something I thought once. I just said I didn’t watch TV, but one of the few episodes of the ‘Dr. Who’ series that I saw was one that involved a kind of mystical clown (‘The Celestial Toymaker’? – ed.), and I realised that perhaps he kidnapped Dr Who and wiped his memory and made him relive some of his earlier adventures. When Bill Hartnell turned into Patrick Troughton, and changed his appearance, that idea seemed more likely. I think that’s what happened, so I think those films we did fit perfectly well into the TV series. That would not have been the case had I taken the role in the TV series.









YgorVale
YgorVale

I always thought that he was the actual Doctor in Pete's World, but not the Meta Crisis Doctor, just the human version of the Doctor, anyway the movies were set in the 1960s, he would have died before the Meta Crisis was born and taken to Pete's World.


Unless... Meta-crisis built a TARDIS and traveled back to the 1960s.

Wibbly-Wobbly is John Reese
Wibbly-Wobbly is John Reese

I like Theory #2. I just imagined a scene where The Brigadier barges into Ian and Barbara's home with a complete UNIT squad like Kate Stewart in The Power of Three.


The last paragraph though... Oh my God. No. Shhhhhh. D:

MrRazza, General Rogue Timelord Identifier
MrRazza, General Rogue Timelord Identifier

I think the possibility of Peter Cushing's Doctor being canonical is just fantastic! 

It would actually make him my first Doctor, and either way it was his films that sold Doctor Who to me and made it an amazing part of my childhood even before the series had returned in 2005!. 

Also, in theory number one, could Bernard Cribbins' character in fact be a parallel universe version of Wilf? It opens up so much!


Melkur
Melkur

Yeah, i very recently came to the conclusion that Cushing is an old Meta-Crisis. In fact I love the idea, and it would make him a true product of a regeneration. I think he built TARDIS, took his family on a trip through time(minus Rose, she was washing her hair) and got stranded in 60s Pete's World. So no worries about Dalek stories, no one has heard of them yet :-D And the kids just weren't told.

Plus the idea of Wilf's alternate universe counterpart going on a trip in time and space to fight the Daleks is pretty cool. Even if his name was different!

WhoFanNo565
WhoFanNo565

Fantastic article Francis, your one of my favourite writers on DWTV and I always enjoy reading your articles. As for the Peter Cushing doctor, i believe (and love) the Whovie theory but the other two are just as good! 

TeriCrossChetwood
TeriCrossChetwood

@Polyphase The two movies are based on the first two Dalek stories in the series, "The Daleks" and "The Dalek Invasion of Earth", both of which still exist in the BBC archives and on DVD.


I found the two movies to be fun to watch. In color and with a bigger budget, they show what could have been done on the series with enough dosh to make it happen.


Peter Cushing's Dr. Who is very different from Hartnell's Doctor. He's more whimsical and far less grouchy. But yeah, I enjoyed them and still have DVD copies in my library. Sometimes you just want to veg out, and they're both good for that.


The only odd thing is the TARDIS: Why is it in the shape of a police box? It's never explained. And while the exterior is the same, the interior is not. In the first movie, it looks like a mad scientist's laboratory, full of chemicals. In the second, it got a fancy-ancy sci-fi machine look, but neither is as cool as the original console.

loopeedeedo
loopeedeedo

With much salt and almost closed eyes... They are almost entertaining. Definitely had a nice budget, showed the scale the old show should have had.

AlessandroArsuffi
AlessandroArsuffi

@DW_girl The Eighth Doctor's TV movie is certainly canon, of course, but not necessarily all of it is pure truth. As far as we know, transcription errors may happen during regeneration so that the Doctor may happen to have a human iris in his eighth incarnation. In the Classic Series, Romana visibly changed her race more than once while trying on different bodies, before choosing Princess Astra's (again). Also, in my mind recently formed the hypothesis that Dr. Grace Holloway inadvertantly contaminated the Seventh Doctor's dead body with some of her DNA, so that the regeneration turned the Eighth Doctor alone into a half-human Time Lord (making his "half-human on his mother's side" affirmation more of a joke on Grace's role in Number Eight's birth). Just a possibility of course.

VictorWong1
VictorWong1

@DW_girl The writers, like most fans, will accept *some* of the TV movie as canon. Moffat has said that he believed the Doctor was kidding about being half-human. Davies, in the first draft of his script for The End of Time, put down a line for Ten saying that he had human genes during his eighth incarnation, but later took that out.

gmx0
gmx0

@VictorWong1  There is such a thing, it's called Doctor Who Unbound. One episode even features a female Doctor incarnation!

AlessandroArsuffi
AlessandroArsuffi

@VictorWong1 I agree. My favourite crossovers would be "our" Doctor meeting a late Sixth Doctor choosing to live as a hermit after his Trial to prevent the creation of the Valeyard, and the Ninth Doctor from Scream of the Shalka.

Gustaff
Gustaff

@Richy Woo every promotion makes someone money. Take this article for example, just by writing it, Francis has promoted not only classic who but the Dr. Who movies. Someone reading it who hasn't seen the aforementioned shows, might go out and buy the DVDs and in turn make someone money. Every time you and I namedrop something to someone, we are making someone else money. 

I'm not sure if that's what you meant when you commented

Moxx
Moxx

I know! It's madness really. Isn't there some law that after 70-or-so years those posters can be freely available as public domain? Maybe THEN we'll get our recton!

Kylephantom4
Kylephantom4

Theory 6 would conflict tom bakers supposedly future incarnation theory a bit though......but meh

Moxx
Moxx

Wow, number six is so sweet! These are great, Alessandro. :)

Kylephantom4
Kylephantom4

They barely look alike......i highly doubt that

Moxx
Moxx

Thank you, Gustaff! :D

DamianChristie
DamianChristie

@TheOncomingHurricane No I think it's OK for you to disagree. I don't personally believe there is any need to retcon the Cushing Doctor into Whoniverse continuity. Like Doctor Who Unbound, Scream of the Shalka and The Curse of the Fatal Death, and even the Virgin New and Missing Adventures and BBC novels pre-2005, the Cushing/Dalek films stand outside of the mainstream continuity. This is no different from some DC or Marvel comics stories also existing out of the mainstream continuity of those two universes.

Moxx
Moxx

Thank you 565! :)

AndySmulian
AndySmulian

@TeriCrossChetwood @Polyphase 

As a watcher since the very first episode, the reason for the TARDIS being in the shape of a Police Box, ut was indeed explained fairly early on:-

The TARDIS, Time and Relative Dimensions In Space, has no fixed shaped, either inside or outside.

As a means of camouflage it was fitted with a device which allowed it to assume any outward appearance - see the early series with the original Master who's TARDIS still had a functioning shape change device and first appeared (I seem to remember) as an Altar in a Monestry - whereas the Dr's Tardis had been disguised as a Police Box when the shape change Device finally broke - In the early series, the TARDIS was tired and worn and in need of constant repair - hence the complete mystery as to where and when it would actually materialise as compared to where the Dr aimed for.

I hope this helps

Americanwhovian
Americanwhovian

In the comic the forgotten he says that he used a half broken chamelon arch to try and hide from the master

The Finn
The Finn

@Moxx  I'm not sure which Copyright Act is applicable, the 1956 Act or the 1988 Act. The former states – if I've understood correctly –  50 years from the publishing of the film, but the 1988 Act states that "Copyright expires at the end of the period of 70 years from the end of the calendar year in which the death occurs of the last to die of the following persons—


(a)the principal director,

(b)the author of the screenplay,

(c)the author of the dialogue, or

(d)the composer of music specially created for and used in the film". That would mean the Dalek films are copyrighted until January 1, 2066, as Gordon Flemyng, the director, died in 1995.

AlessandroArsuffi
AlessandroArsuffi

@Kylephantom4 Not necessarily. The Curator said the Doctor was going to revisit SOME of his preceding faces. Since unregeneration seems unlikely, I wondered: what if the Time Lords in the future used the Matrix to resurrect individual incarnations of the Doctor as Curators of the Under-Gallery to protect Gallifrey Falls No More from the wrong hands? That might even take place long after the Doctor dies and may justify why the Curator looked like a very aged Fourth Doctor - he would age naturally, presumably having no regenerations at all.

TeriCrossChetwood
TeriCrossChetwood

@AndySmulian @TeriCrossChetwood @Polyphase Thank you, Andy. It would indeed help if we were talking about the TV series, but in the two Cushing movies, the Doctor is literally "Dr. Who". That's his name. He's from Earth and TARDIS (not "the" TARDIS) was built by Dr. Who in the shape of a police box for no logical reason.