The Five (Ish) Doctors


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The Five Ish Doctors


First Transmitted

23 November 2013

Final Ratings




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Regular Cast
Sean Pertwee, Olivia Colman, Peter Davison, Louis Davison, Joel Davison, Jenna Coleman, Matt Smith, Steven Moffat, Heddi-Joy Taylor-Welch, Louisa Cavel, Lauren Kilcar, James DeHaviland, Janet Fielding, Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker, Rhys Thomas (voice), Georgia Moffett, Olivia Darnley, Niky Wardley, Marion Baker, Katy Manning, Louise Jameson, Carole Ann Ford, Deborah Watling. AceSophie Aldred, Sarah Sutton, Lalla Ward, John Leeson, Anneke Wills, Lisa Bowerman, Mat thew Waterhouse, Paul McGann, Jon Culshaw – Tom Baker (voice), Jemma Churchill, Lucy Baker, Bindy Baker, Lally Baker, Rosie Baker, Bruno du Bois, Peter Jackson, Ian McKellen, John Barrowman, Alice Knight, Sarah Churm, Nick Jordan, Brad Kelly, , Elizabeth Morton, Marcus Elliott, Ty Tennant, Barnaby Edwards, Nicholas Pegg, David Troughton (Dalek operator), Nicholas Briggs (Dalek operator), Frank Skinner (Dalek operator), Adam Paul Harvey, Derek Ritchie, Michael Houghton, Dan Starkey, Russell T Davies, Des Hughes, Gabriella Ricci, Sandra Cosfeld, Christian Brassington.


Written by Peter Davison
Directed by Peter Davison
Produced by Georgia Tennant


With the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who about to film, the ‘Classic’ Doctors are keen to be involved.

But do they manage it?


  • The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot was a tongue-in-cheek Red Button release showing the attempts by Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy to get into the 50th anniversary special. It features a multitude of cameo appearances from many other actors who have been involved in the history of Doctor Who.
  • The title is an obvious reference to The Five Doctors, the 20th anniversary special, which also starred Peter Davison in the lead role.
    Olivia Colman mentions the series Broadchurch, in which she starred with and Arthur Darvill. She previously guest-starred in The Eleventh Hour.
  • Davison’s children are shown watching The Snowmen and later playing one of the Adventure Games featuring Amy Pond. Joel watches Doctor Who from behind the sofa, something many children are said to do when scared by the show.
  • When checking in at the hotel for the Convention, the receptionist calls Peter Davison“Davidson”, a common misspelling of the actor’s name.
  • Frequent references are made to Sylvester McCoy’s casting in the feature film adaption of the Hobbit, much to the irritation of
  • Colin Baker who is nevertheless seen reading the original novel with a tie-in cover. A deleted scene shows McCoy sending these copies of the novel to Baker and Davison though with pages cut out, referencing the ongoing film adaption of this relatively short novel being stretched into three feature-length films. Baker is also seen reading a copy of a late-1980s fanzine titled Files Magazine, specifically an issue dedicated to his Doctor. Files Magazine was widely available in comic book shops in the late 1980s-early 1990s.
  • A radio presenter admits that his favourite Doctor is Peter Cushing.
  • Georgia Moffett eats her ice cream with a stick of celery, something often associated with the Fifth Doctor.
  • When phoning the Doctor Who production office, Davison stands in front of an Ood. The office is also decorated with memorabilia, and several BAFTA and Hugo Award statues can be seen on Moffat’s windowsill.
  • Moffat is shown playing with the action figures of the Tenth and Eleventh Doctors produced by Character Options.
  • Colin Baker references him filming”I’m a Celeb-” in the forest and eating possum anus on, both references to Colin’s 2012 participation in the reality show I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!. There is a possible third reference to this by the fact that Colin isn’t exhausted after running after John Barrowman.
  • When deleting messages from his mobile phone, Steven Moffat is told”Doctors deleted” in a Cyberman’s voice.
  • Tom Baker is once again stuck in a time eddy using footage from Shada, a reference to The Five Doctors and Baker’s declining to participate in the earlier special.
  • Throughout the special, Davison, Baker and McCoy can be seen wearing shirts that emulate their costumes. Later on, all wear their own Doctors coats over the shirts, stealing them back from The Doctor Who Experience display.
  • The fact that is married to Georgia Moffett, Peter Davison’s daughter, is the subject of a running gag, as is Georgia’s pregnancy (which was under way in real life during filming). Other real-life family members of Davison, and Baker are also featured.
  • Moffett is credits as producer under her married name, Georgia Tennant.
  • Colin Baker receives a copy of the Special Edition DVD release of Vengeance on Varos and forces his family to watch it. Baker references the fact the DVD has more special features.
  • Several production office staffers are shown reading copies of Doctor Who Magazine.
  • Steven Moffat’s dream is based upon the regeneration sequence from The Caves of Androzani. Mat thew Waterhouse ends the dream by quoting his final line as Adric from Earthshock. All the actors shown in this sequence were at the time working with Big Finish Productions and includes Lisa Bowerman who plays Bernice Summerfield.
  • Sylvester McCoy (mis)quotes his tea-rumination dialogue from Remembrance of the Daleks. Colin Baker, meanwhile, quotes the Sixth Doctor from The Two Doctors.
  • Dan Starkey is shown in his Strax make-up. Although the actor did not appear as Strax in The Day of the Doctor, he did record several Strax Field Reports videos related to its production, as well as a special sequence presented before the cinema showings, so he is not out of place.
  • While being on the new TARDIS set, Peter Davison is disappointed that it is not “wobbly, ” while McCoy wonders if the new time rotor is actually a helicopter.
  • Russell T Davies calls Peter Davison and suggests that he could show up as a Time Lord and have a French catchphrase (Quel dommage), similar to the Tenth Doctor’s French catchphrase (Allons-y!).
  • When the boy, who is playing with his screwdriver in the Experience, sees that the coats of Doctors 5-7 are missing he says, “That’s not right”. Susan Foreman said the exact same line, in An Unearthly Child, while reading a book about the French Revolution.
  • Peter, Colin and Sylvester are protesting in front of BBC Television Centre and Peter is later reminded by John Barrowman that the new series is filmed in Cardiff. This scene is probably a reference to the fact that all classic episodes were shot at the television centre itself, which is also why Peter -in the opening of the episode-dreams that Matt, Jenna and Steven are welcoming him in the Television Centre. This, along with An Adventure in Space and Time, were among the last scripted productions to use the facility before its decommissioning.
  • The sequence in which Davison, at The Doctor Who Experience, believes the TARDIS is real is actually a follow-up to a gag featured in an earlier comedy video he directed for the Gallifrey 22 convention in February 2011 in which he visits the exhibition (then located in London), enters the same TARDIS prop and finds himself in a working TARDIS. Five(ish) Doctors also revisits a joke from the earlier production in which Janet Fielding also pokes fun at Davison in a dream.
  • Classic Doctor Tom Baker does not appear in the film (although Jon Culshaw provides a Tom Baker impression for his voice over”cameo”). Baker actually appeared in The Day of the Doctor as the Curator. Davison said in an interview that he contacted Tom three times to see if he wanted to do it, but he got no reply back. This parallels a similar situation in the original The Five Doctorswhen Baker declined to participate. In both cases, his presence was provided by way of footage from Shada.
  • Despite being named in the opening credits, Paul McGann only appears in one scene. It is mentioned that although McGann is willing to join his fellow classic Doctors, he is unable to do so as he has other acting commitments. This may be a possible reference as to why he did not have a bigger part in the film, as well as his appearance in The Night of the Doctor.
  • As both Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee had died before production they obviously do not appear, but are represented by their sons, Sean Pertwee, and David Troughton. As such the only actor to portray The Doctor in the classic era not to be represented is William Hartnell, who likewise did not appear in the original The Five Doctors story.
  • Although it is noted that the Television Centre no longer is used for Doctor Who production, it had recently been used as a filming location for the docu-drama An Adventure in Space and Time.
  • During the scene where the trio infiltrate the studio where a scene is being shot, audio from the sequence in The Day of the Doctor in which The Doctors discuss the TARDIS‘ roundels is heard.
  • The final scene of the production features an alternate take of the first Under-Gallery scene with dialogue not heard in the broadcast version of the special, in the version featured here, the The Doctor, after examining the statue dust, proceeds to taste it. Clara asks if he can tell anything from tasting it, and the Doctor replies he’s just feeling peckish.
  • At the end of the film, Davison, Baker, and McCoy do in fact play small parts in The Day of the Doctor, albeit as the hidden Zygonsunderneath the National Gallery. This leaves the possible implication that they may have actually appeared in the episode. As of February 2014, however, it has not been confirmed if this is actually the case. In the wake of the special’s broadcast, Colin Bakerwas quoted in the media about the lack of involvement by the classic Doctors in the production, and made no reference to appearing”under cover, ” as it were.
  • Given that this production was made with BBC sanction (and even includes the same opening credits and theme music as the anniversary minisodes), the sequence with McKellen and Jackson, which was shot on the set of the Hobbit in New Zealand, marks the first time any”official” production related to Doctor Who has taken place in that part of the world. Coincidentally, in 2013, Jackson mentioned in numerous media interviews his hope of someday directing a Doctor Who episode in his country. McCoy stated in later interviews that Jackson’s agreeing to take part in the spoof (alongside recent series guest star Ian McKellen) was a surprise. Around the time The Day of the Doctor aired, Jackson and McKellen also recorded several interview videos in which they paid tribute to Doctor Who, these were distributed by BBC America.
  • Peter Davison previously played himself in the parody The Kidnappers, alongside Mark Gatiss and David Walliams.


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