The War Machines


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The War Machines

Serial Code


First Transmitted

25 June 1966

Final Ratings







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Regular Cast

William Hartnell (Dr Who), Jackie Lane (Dodo Chaplet)*, Micheal Craze (Ben Jackson), Anneke Wills (Polly)*,

Guest Cast

Alan Curtis (Major Green), John Harvey (Professor Brett), Sandra Bryant (Kitty), Ewan Proctor (Flash), William Mervyn (Sir Charles Summer), John Cater (Professor Krimpton), Ric Felgate (American Journalist), John Doye (Interviewer), Desmond Cullum-Jones (Worker), Roy Godfrey (Tramp), Michael Rathbone (Taxi-driver), Gerald Taylor (Machine Operator), Eddie Davis (Worker), John Rolfe (Captain), John Boyd-Brent (Sergeant), Frank Jarvis (Corporal), Robin Dawson (Soldier), Kenneth Kendall (Television Newsreader), George Cross (The Minister), Edward Colliver (Garage Mechanic), John Slavid (Man in telephone box), Dwight Whylie (Radio Announcer), Carl Conway (US Correspondent), Gerald Taylor (Voice of WOTAN)


Written by Ian Stuart Black/Kit Pedler (idea)
Directed by Christopher Barry
Produced by Innes Lloyd


The TARDIS arrives in London in 1966 and the First Doctor and Dodo visit the Post office Tower. There they meet Professor Brett, whose revolutionary new computer WOTAN (Will Operating Thought ANalogue) can actually think for itself and is shortly to be linked up to other major computers around the world – a project overseen by civil servant Sir Charles Summer.

It transpires, however, that WOTAN considers humans to be inferior, and believes they should be ruled by machines. Exerting a hypnotic influence, it arranges the construction of War Machines – heavily-armed, self-contained mobile computers – with which to take over the world.

These prove more than a match for troops, but by establishing a magnetic force field The Doctor is able to capture one of them, which he then reprograms to destroy WOTAN. Dodo, now back in her own time, decides to remain on Earth. The Doctor enters the TARDIS alone, but Brett’s secretary Polly and her merchant seaman friend Ben Jackson follow him inside just before it dematerialises.


  • This story marks Jackie Lanes’ departure.
  • Michael Craze provided the voice of a policeman heard in Episode four.
  • WOTAN received a credit as “And WOTAN” at the end of the first three episodes, the only time a fictional character was credits as itself in the series.
  • Jackie Lane’s contract expired midway through production of this story. She does not appear again after episode two, Dodo’s off-screen departure is relayed to The Doctor by Polly.*
  • This is the last complete William Hartnell era serial, and the only serial featuring Anneke Wills and Michael Craze, to exist in its entirety.

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