Who Mysteries: Season 6b

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John Hussey takes a trip back to 1969 to ponder this long-standing Doctor Who mystery.

One of the biggest mysteries surrounding the Doctor, along with the longest running mystery of what does his name stands for and who he really is, is of course: what really happened to him after the events of 1969 story ‘The War Games’.

If you’re like me, you like to pretend that the events are exactly as they were deemed. The Second Doctor was forced to regenerate within the dark voids of the Time Vortex before being sent to Earth for his exile, which began at the beginning of the following story ‘Spearhead from Space’ where the newly regenerated Third Doctor fell out of the TARDIS upon landing.

This is easier said than done because the events of future adventures contradict these events, or at least how and when they happened.

It was shown in ‘The Three Doctors’ that the Second Doctor was lifted out of his time-stream to aid his future-self during the battle with Omega. This can easily be slipped to one side as it doesn’t really contradict anything. The Second Doctor could’ve easily been taken out of an earlier point in his life and he kept it to himself, thereby not altering the fact that Jamie McCrimmon and Zoe Heriot had no knowledge of the Doctor’s people as they weren’t involved within the adventure.

This is where it gets difficult. In ‘The Five Doctors’ we see the Second Doctor confronted with Jamie and Zoe, who appear as illusions due to the Games of Rassilon within the Dark Tower. This seems fine at first, right up until he states that they shouldn’t remember him due to the fact the Time Lords erased their memory of the time they spent with him. How can this be possible? As soon as the Second Doctor said goodbye to his companions at the end of ‘The War Games’ he was taken back to complete his trial and then exiled. There is no point onscreen where he could’ve got away and had his little adventure within ‘The Five Doctors’.

The final piece to the mystery is of course the events of ‘The Two Doctors’. Some could easily place these events within an early point in the Second Doctor’s time-stream, as done with ‘The Three Doctors’ but the problem lies with companion Jamie McCrimmon’s involvement. He knows about the Time Lords, a fact which he shouldn’t, at least not until ‘The War Games’. Also the Second Doctor is working for the Time Lords on an errand. On top of this, the Second Doctor’s appearance, like within ‘The Five Doctors’, is older than it should be.

All these little problems within the story contradict the events of ‘The War Games’ and has created the theory known as ‘Season 6b’. This implies that the Second Doctor didn’t in fact regenerate during those events and was in fact hired/or used by the Time Lords to complete errands for them in secret (like within ‘The Two Doctors’). At the request of the Doctor, he was given back Jamie and Zoe so that they could help him during his missions for the Time Lords. But obviously in the end, the Second Doctor is still sentenced to his exile and forced to regenerate while his companions receive the punishment of mind-wipe.

This theory would be the simplest way to get around these little contradictions but it also makes the end of ‘The War Games’ have less of an impact due to the fact we know this isn’t in fact the Second Doctor’s end and he will have further adventures under the command of the Time Lords.

Make of this what you will. Feel free to use the comment section below to discuss your own theories behind this little Timey-Wimey mess.