Doctor Who

New today Trivia: Ridley Scott was the man originally contracted to design the Daleks, but proved unavailable. Raymond Cusick was then given the task. According to the book Doctor Who: The Early Years (1986), Cusick was given just one hour to design the Daleks.

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Planet of the Spiders - S11-E5

Trivia: The first thing the Third Doctor does on-screen is collapse out of the TARDIS, which is also the last thing he does in that incarnation.

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The Chase - S2-E8

Trivia: Such was the popularity of Doctor Who in Britain in the mid-1960s that even THE BEATLES wanted to make an appearance in the show. So a scene was written into "The Chase" to allow them to appear. The idea had been devised of including a scene on the Time and Space Visualiser depicting a Beatles fiftieth-anniversary concert in 2015, with the Fab Four dressed up as old men. John, Paul, George, and Ringo themselves were interested in the proposition, but it was vetoed by their manager, Brian Epstein. It was then thought that an appearance by the Beatles on 'Top Of The Pops' might be used instead, but no such footage was available. Fortunately, the Beatles were scheduled to perform 'Ticket To Ride' at Riverside Studios in Hammersmith on April 10th, 1965, and that footage was used instead.

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Planet of Giants - S2-E1

Trivia: This Doctor Who story was originally scripted and produced as a four-episode story, but, just two weeks before transmission, upon viewing the story, co-creators Sydney Newman and Donald Wilson felt that the final two episodes (Episode 3:'Crisis' and Episode 4:'The Urge to Live') should be combined into a single episode. The new 'condensed' episode incorporated the opening titles of 'Crisis' with the closing credits of 'The Urge to Live'.

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The Daleks - S1-E2

Trivia: When originally recorded on 15 Nov 63, the first episode of this Doctor Who story ('The Dead Planet') was found to be unsuitable for broadcast due to the soundtrack picking up interference from the assistant director's headphones. The episode was re-recorded on 6 Dec 63, which forced the production of all subsequent episodes (from episode 4 onwards) to be delayed a week.

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Trivia: In case you've ever wondered why everyone in the universe speaks English, Time Lords have the ability to telepathically understand and speak any language they hear and they're able to share this ability with their companions. (As for why everyone in the universe has a British accent, this can be put down to the fact that the Doctor is an Anglophile.).

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Captain Defenestrator

100,000 BC - S1-E1

Trivia: Many early (Hartnell-era) Doctor Who stories are known by more than one title. The first ever story is known as "100,000 B.C.". When it was commissioned in October 1963, the story was called "Doctor Who and The Tribe of Gum". This story is also widely known by the title "An Unearthly Child", and this is the title under which it has been released on video and DVD.

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The Talons of Weng-Chiang - S14-E6

Trivia: A pile of straw - seen in the road as Weng-Chiang searches for the time cabinet - was placed there to hide a modern (1970s) car which had, despite requests to the contrary, been parked in the road prior to filming, and whose owner refused to move it.

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The Daleks' Master Plan - S3-E4

Trivia: Originally the Time Destructor's core was made out of "Vitaranium." It was changed to "Taranium" after William Hartnell kept calling it "Vitamin."

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DaveJB

The Crusade - S2-E6

Trivia: The first episode of the Doctor Who story "The Crusades" was called "The Lion" (a reference to King Richard I, "The Lionheart") and was first broadcast on March 27, 1965. This episode was really bad. The only surviving copy was returned to the BBC Archives in January 1999, from a film collector in New Zealand, who had bought it at a car boot sale for $5.00NZ (about $3US). The vendor of this episode of Doctor Who had recovered it several years before from a landfill site in Wellington, New Zealand, where TV NZ had dumped it when clearing out its archives.

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The Daleks' Master Plan - S3-E4

Trivia: For many years, it was thought that every episode of "The Daleks Master Plan" had been destroyed by the BBC, in their 1970s purge of the archives. However, in 1983, two episodes (5 and 10) were found and returned to the BBC for preservation. They were found in a highly unlikely location: the basement of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Clapham, South London. No one knows how they got there...

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Marco Polo - S1-E4

Trivia: This, the fourth Doctor Who story, is one that did not survive the BBC's purging of the archives in 1972-78. Originally seven episodes were made, and first broadcast in February-April 1964: none survive in the BBC's archives, and the entire story is one that is "missing believed wiped"

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The Gunfighters - S3-E8

Trivia: For the first three seasons of Doctor Who, each individual episode had a title, as well as an "umbrella" title for the whole story (like the titles of chapters in a book). This has caused much confusion over the years. For example, the story "100,000BC" is the title of the first Doctor Who story, but this story is also widely known as "An Unearthly Child" after the title of the first episode. By the time of "The Gunfighters" (first broadcast in May 1966) this source of confusion was realised, and the practice ceased. From 28th May 1966, each Doctor Who story had just the "umbrella" title, followed by "Part One" "Part Two" and so on.

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Season 1 generally

Trivia: Before the BBC committed itself to Doctor Who, a pilot episode was made in September 1963. Once approval was given for a 13-week series of Doctor Who, the pilot episode was remade as part one of the first-ever Doctor Who story. The pilot episode was intended purely for internal use at the BBC and NOT for transmission. However,unusually, the pilot episode survived on film, and was broadcast on BBC TV on 26th August 1991, as part of "The Lime Grove Story"...a series of shows commemorating the BBC's Lime Grove TV Studios, which closed in 1991. It has since been made available on Video.

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Inside the Spaceship - S1-E3

Trivia: "Inside The Spaceship" is only one of two "official" titles given to this Doctor Who Story. It was also called "Edge of Destruction", and it is under this latter title that it is known when the story was made available on video.

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The Curse of Fenric - S26-E3

Trivia: Sylvester McCoy was given a new costume for Season Twenty-Six, with a darker jacket, hatband, tie and handkerchief to reflect the gradual development of the Seventh Doctor's personality, and to show that The Doctor himself was getting 'darker' and more serious. To surprise viewers with the revised outfit, it was decided the Doctor would begin the season 26 wearing a duffel coat over his regular clothes, the belief at this time being that The Curse Of Fenric would be the 'lead story' for season 26. Later however, it was pushed back to third in transmission order, meaning that the effect went for nought, as the costume had already been seen in the first two serials.

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Trivia: Throughout the whole of Doctor Who, the original series and the new series, The Doctor only refers to himself as 'Doctor Who' once - and this was a mistake by William Hartnal, who was getting frail. The end credits originally listed the actor playing the Doctor as 'Doctor Who', but his later changed to mainly using 'The Doctor'.

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Jeff Walker

Trivia: In the season 14 story 'The Deadly Assassin' it is mentioned that, The Doctor, like all Time Lords, can 'regenerate' himself a maximum of twelve times. After that, "it really is the end". Since the series started in 1963, nine actors have played the role of Doctor Who: William Hartnell (1963-66), Patrick Troughton (1966-69), Jon Pertwee (1970-74), Tom Baker (1974-81), Peter Davidson (1982-84), Colin Baker (1984-86), Sylvester McCoy (1987-89)(*although, according to the BBC, it was 1987-96, due to McCoy reprising his role for the 1996 TV Movie), Paul McGann (1996:TV Movie only) ...and the ninth Doctor Who will be Christopher Eccleston, who stars in a new series, planned for broadcast in 2005.

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100,000 BC - S1-E1

Trivia: It is a popular myth that the first ever Doctor Who story (broadcast on 23 November 1963) was delayed by 10 minutes due to news of the assassination of US President John F Kennedy the day before. This is not the case: the first ever episode of Doctor Who WAS delayed, but only by some eighty seconds, due to the previous programme ("Grandstand") overrunning. The source of the myth seems to have originated from the fact that, due to power cuts blacking out several TV transmitters, the first ever episode of Doctor Who ("A Unearthly Child") was repeated a week later (30th November 1963) immediately before the first ever broadcast of Part 2 ("The Cave of Skulls").

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Season 17 generally

Trivia: Season 17 had the highest audience viewing figures of any season of Doctor Who. The average audience for Season 17 was 11.2 million viewers. The highest audience viewing figure EVER for any individual Doctor Who episode was part 4 of "City of Death" (first broadcast 20 October 1979) with 16.1 million viewers. However, these figures were artificially boosted by the fact that, at the time, ITV was off the air due to a strike, leaving just the two BBC Channels broadcasting.

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Trivia: As mentioned elsewhere, Doctor Who has regenerated eight times (out of a possible twelve) Here is a short summary of the regeneration events ordered by the actor that left the series ("died")... First Doctor (William Hartnell) - weakened in a battle with the Cybermen (episode: The Tenth Planet). Second Doctor(Patrick Troughton) - forced regeneration when he was exiled to Earth by the Time Lords (episode: The War Games). Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) - radiation overdose(episode: Planet of the Spiders). Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) - fell off Jodrell Bank radio telescope walkway (episode: Logopolis). Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) - poisoned with Spectrox Toxaemina (episode: Caves of Androzani). Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker) - Rani's hijacking of the Tardis using a navigational guidance system distorter causes enough damage to the Doctor (episode: Time and the Rani). Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) - Shot by hoodlums in San Francisco, then dies on the operating table (episode: The 1996 Television movie). Seventh Doctor (Paul McGann) - We don't know yet.

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The Dalek Invasion of Earth - S2-E2

Trivia: The plot for this Doctor Who story was adapted and remade by Hammer Films into a full blown cinema release "Daleks; Invasion Earth 2150AD", which was released in 1966 and starred Peter Cushing as Doctor Who. The major change in the plot was to redate the story from 2164AD to 2150AD.

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The Greatest Show in the Galaxy - S25-E4

Trivia: For a show with a "Circus and Clowns" theme, it is appropriate that this Doctor Who story was filmed in a tent. It wasn't planned that way, but the studio at BBC TV Centre in London that was originally to be used for filming 'The Greatest Show In The Galaxy' had to be closed at short notice when the presence of dangerous white asbestos was discovered in the studio's structure. With no alternative studios available, filming was switched to a marquee temporarily erected in the car park of the BBC Studios at Elstree.

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The War Games - S6-E7

Trivia: Location filming of "The War Games" took place in East Sussex during April 1969. To depict the desolate landscape of "no-man's land" during 1917, the location shoot was done at the Brighton Corporation Refuse Tip at Sheepcote, near Brighton. The very same location had been used just a few months before, also to depict "no-man's land in 1917" by Richard Attenborough, for his film "Oh What A Lovely War"

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The Daleks' Master Plan - S3-E4

Trivia: A "missing, believed wiped" episode was found in January 2004, when 'Day of Armageddon', the second episode of *The Daleks' Master Plan* was returned to the BBC by an employee of Yorkshire Television. He had rescued the print from destruction in the early 1970s when, as a young BBC engineer, he had found it in a room at the BBC's Ealing Film Studios, which he had been asked to clear of rubbish. He disobeyed the instruction to destroy the episode and took it home with him. Arguably, he stole it from the BBC, but if he hadn't, it would never have survived. In 2013 (I forgot the episode name, but it was the one with Salamander), they found the rest of the films for another episode. The new ones were animated, combined with the already existing ones and released on DVD.

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Trivia: In 1972, the BBC began a "purge" of its archives to save costs, and amongst the shows selected for disposal were all 268 black-and-white episodes of Doctor Who first broadcast between November 1963 and April 1969. Since 1978, cast, crew, and fans of the show have recovered many episodes tagged "missing believed wiped." 97 of the 268 episodes have not been found.

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The Happiness Patrol - S25-E2

Trivia: Many people have commented on how similar the Kandy Man was to the Bertie Bassett character used to promote Bassett's Liquorice Allsorts. One of those people was the chairman of Bassett's, who wrote to the producer of Doctor Who to complain that his company's trademark had been infringed. The BBC Copyright Department replied that they believed that no infringement had occurred, although they did promise that the character would not be used again in the future.

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The Deadly Assassin - S14-E3

Trivia: At the end of episode 3 of "The Deadly Assassin", Doctor Who is attacked and has his head held underwater for a very long time. The "cliffhanger" ending of episode 3 is a freeze frame shot of Doctor Who (Tom Baker) under the water, apparently drowned. This ending elicited much criticism from Mary Whitehouse and the vocal National Viewers and Listeners Association, who lobbied to have Doctor Who taken off the air, or at least moved to a post-"9pm watershed" slot. In an interview in 1994, Whitehouse said that the ending of this episode still disturbed her, more than 14 years later.

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Trivia: Throughout Dr Who, and in many of the books about the show, there is a discontinuity about what TARDIS stands for, some people say it is Time and Relative Dimensions in Space, whereas Susan Forman, in the first episode, An Unearthly Child, says it stands for Time and Relative Dimension In Space (no s at the end of Dimension).

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Jeff Walker

The Invasion - S6-E3

Trivia: The episode was intended to prove that Earth-based stories could be produced cheaply and effectively. Ironically, it was the most expensive Doctor Who episode ever produced when made, and remained so for several years.

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DaveJB

Fury from the Deep - S5-E6

Trivia: The Doctor Who story "Fury From the Deep" was the first to feature the Doctor's favourite gadget, the "Sonic Screwdriver". The "Sonic Screwdriver" has popped up in Doctor Who stories many times since...even as recently as the 1996 TV Movie of Doctor Who (the one that starred Paul McGann as the Doctor). Sadly, it cannot be seen in "Fury from The Deep" as every episode of that story was destroyed by the BBC in 1977.

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Genesis of the Daleks - S12-E4

Trivia: The actor Michael Wisher who plays Davros always wore a kilt to the studio, as he preferred it to trousers. It is never seen, of course, as his lower body is always hidden inside his Dalek chair. (Source: DVD commentary).

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Daz

The Deadly Assassin - S14-E3

Trivia: "The Deadly Assasin" was the ONLY Doctor Who story in which the Doctor does not have a "companion" of some kind. The previous companion, Sarah Jane Smith (played by Elizabeth Sladen) was 'written out' in the previous story "The Hand of Fear", and the next companion, Leela (Louise Jameson) did not come on board the TARDIS until the next story "The Face of Evil"

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The Curse of Fenric - S26-E3

Trivia: Watch closely the scene where the Haemovores come out of the sea en masse, and pay particular attention to the two 'child' Haemovores at the back of the group. Those two were Sam and Joe Kent-Smith, who are Sylvester McCoy's sons. They'd come down to the location filming to watch their father working, and found themselves 'roped in' to the filming to boost the numbers of Haemovore monsters.

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Shada - S17-E6

Trivia: "Shada" is famous amongst Doctor Who fans for being "the show that never was". There were to have been six episodes of the story, scheduled for transmission beginning 17 January 1980. Location filming did take place in and around Cambridge in September/October 1979. However, studio recording was hit by a strike by BBC Technicians in October 1979. When the strike was settled, the BBC studios were all fully booked for other programs, so "Shada" could not be completed in time for its scheduled showing, and so it was never completed. (There was an attempt to make "Shada" the first story of season 18, but by that time, several key people, including writer Douglas Adams, had left, and the story was formally abandoned and cancelled in June 1980.

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Mission to the Unknown - S3-E2

Trivia: William Hartnell appears in the credits at the end of this Doctor Who story...despite the fact that he did not actually appear in this episode at any stage. He had a contract that he would be in the credits for all episodes, which ended after the tenth planet. Though he wasn't shown, he had to be credited.

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The Web of Fear - S5-E5

Trivia: Only episode one of this six part Doctor Who story survives, but it has been digitally restored by the BBC to 'broadcast quality'. Indeed, it WAS broadcast on the BBC's digital channel BBC4 as recently as June 26, 2004, as part of that channel's Sixties Season.

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The Curse of Peladon - S9-E2

Trivia: David Troughton, who plays King Peladon, is the son of the second Doctor Who, Patrick Troughton. Both Troughtons had previously appeared together in the Season 6 (1969) story 'The War Games'; Patrick Troughton as The Doctor, and David Troughton in the minor part of a solider called Private Moor. Additional trivia point: David Troughton shared a flat with future (sixth) Doctor Who Colin Baker at the time of the making of 'The Curse of Peladon' (January 1972).

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Season 26 generally

Trivia: Doctor Who never really recovered from being taken off the air for 18 months in 1985-86. This is borne out by the audience viewing figures, which were consistently the lowest ever for any Season of Doctor Who. The average audience figure for season 26 was 4.19 million, with Part 1 of the story "Battlefield" getting the lowest EVER audience for a Doctor Who story: just 3.1 million. The last episode of Season 26 ("Survival", broadcast on 6th December 1989), which was also the last ever Doctor Who story, got an audience of 4.8 million...probably boosted slightly by fans of the show hearing that it was "the last one."

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The War Games - S6-E7

Trivia: In one or two of the location filming scenes, Zoe is seen in the background struggling to hold her trousers up. Her belt broke, but filming was so far behind that the director said to carry on.

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The Robots of Death - S14-E5

Trivia: Robophobia, an irrational fear of robots, is at one point referred to as 'Grimwade's syndrome'. This was an in-joke reference to production assistant Peter Grimwade (later to become a director and writer on the series) who had bemoaned the fact that the stories on which he was assigned to work almost always involved robots.

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Spearhead From Space - S7-E1

Trivia: Spearhead from Space is the first of only two Doctor Who stories to be originated entirely on film as opposed to videotape; this was an emergency measure necessitated by the unavailability of studios due to industrial action at the BBC. It was also the first ever Doctor Who adventure to be filmed in colour (contrary to popular myth, NO 1960s episodes of Doctor Who were made in colour.

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The Robots of Death - S14-E5

Trivia: The deactivation discs for the robots (or "corpse markers" as they are referred to in the script) are not as glamorous or hi-tech as you might think. They are, in fact, bicycle reflector discs, bought from Halford's Cycle Shops.

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Pyramids of Mars - S13-E3

Trivia: The filming location for this story was Stargroves, a country mansion near Newbury in Berkshire. At the time, it was owned by Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones.

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Remembrance of the Daleks - S25-E1

Trivia: This story is set weeks after the time frame the very first Dr Who episode took place - there is a scene in a house, with a TV in the corner, where the continuity announcer begins to announce the start of a new Saturday early evening science fiction story - it is the announcement which launched Dr Who - it cuts out just before the the title is mentioned.

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Jeff Walker

The Daemons - S8-E5

Trivia: The helicopter that explodes into flames and crashes in this episode was simply a piece of "stock footage" taken from the 1963 James Bond Movie 'From Russia with Love'

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The Three Doctors - S10-E1

Trivia: "The Three Doctors" was the last appearance of William Hartnell in (and as) Doctor Who. The show was written to include all three actors that had played the role as a way of celebrating the shows 10th anniversary. However, by the time the show was made, William Hartnell was in failing health (due to the debilitating ailment, arterial sclerosis). Because Hartnell was so frail, he could only play the part of Doctor Who seated in a chair, reading his lines from cue cards. (The plot device of Hartnell being "caught in a time eddy" was written in to explain why Hartnell was only ever seen in the story on TV Monitors). Also due to Hartnell's failing health, his contribution to "The Three Doctors" was limited to one day's filming (Monday 6th November 1972) at the BBC's Ealing Studios. "The Three Doctors" was also the last time Hartnell did any acting: he died two-and-a-half years later, on 24th April 1975, aged 68.

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The Invasion - S6-E3

Trivia: In the animated reconstruction, released in 2006, the words Bad Wolf can be seen on a wall at one point.

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Josman

Inferno - S7-E4

Trivia: A stuntman received a bad leg injury in episode 3 when he was hit by the car Jon Pertwee was driving. Jon felt so bad about it that he became ill himself, which threatened to disrupt filming. (Source: DVD commentary).

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Daz

The Mutants - S9-E4

Trivia: This Doctor Who story, first broadcast between April 8th and May 13th 1972, is called 'The Mutants'. However, the second ever Doctor Who story, first broadcast December 21st 1963 to February 1st 1964, was ALSO called 'The Mutants'. Looks as though no-one bothered to check if the title had already been used...

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Inferno - S7-E4

Trivia: The actor who plays the man falling off the tower after being shot is actually the same actor as the soldier who fired the shot. (Source: DVD commentary).

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Daz

The Caves of Androzani - S21-E6

Trivia: On the DVD commentary, Peter Davison remarks that when Christopher Gable whacked him across the face with the back of his hand, it actually hurt quite a bit, even though they'd discussed it beforehand. Davison believes that Gable couldn't see him properly with his mask on, although a more likely explanation is that Gable got too carried away.

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Daz

Shada - S17-E6

Trivia: Plot elements from this episode and "City of Death" (The Cambridge don whose flat is a time machine and Scaroth's mucking with history to prevent the accident that stranded him on Earth) formed the basis of Douglas Adams' novel "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency."

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Horror of Fang Rock - S15-E1

Trivia: 'Horror of Fang Rock' is a story set in a lighthouse on the British coast. It is therefore ironic that this should be the only Doctor Who story to be made at the BBC's Pebble Mill TV Studios in Birmingham, as Birmingham is about as far away from the British coast as it is possible to be in England.

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The Green Death - S10-E5

Trivia: Some of the 'maggots' used in filming 'The Green Death' were in fact inflated 'Durex' condoms.

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Snakedance - S20-E2

Trivia: Brian Miller, who stars as Dugdale in this story, was the husband of Elisabeth Sladen, the actress who portrayed the Doctor's companion Sarah Jane Smith in the show from 1973 to 1976.

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Enlightenment - S20-E5

Trivia: The Doctor replaces the sprig of celery in his lapel with one conjured by the Eternals in this episode. The previous piece had been one he'd picked up in Castrovalva, which was a Block Transfer construct created by Adric. This means that both pieces of celery were unreal constructs from artificial realities.

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Time and the Rani - S24-E1

Trivia: Sylvester McCoy, although only credited as 1 doctor, he actually plays the 6th doctor during the pre-titles sequence, making him the only actor to play two Doctors.

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Arc of Infinity - S20-E1

Trivia: Commander Maxil is portrayed by Colin Baker, who would later succeed Peter Davison in the role of the Doctor.

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Frontier in Space - S10-E3

Trivia: This was the final story to feature Roger Delgado in the role of The Master. He was killed in a car crash in Turkey less than three months after the story's sixth and last episode.

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The Ribos Operation - S16-E1

Trivia: During filming, Tom Baker (The Doctor) was bitten on the left side of his upper lip by a dog belonging to Paul Seed (Graff Vyda-K). As a result, publicity stills for The Ribos Operation saw Baker wearing a plaster on his face, and for the remainder of filming he required a heavy and uncomfortable make-up application to cover the wound. The scar remained visible for much of Season 16.

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Planet of the Daleks - S10-E4

Trivia: For many years, Episode Three of this story only existed in black and white, as the colour master videotape had been wiped by the BBC in 1976. It was eventually restored in colour and released on DVD in 2009.

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Warriors of the Deep - S21-E1

Trivia: During production of this story, Peter Davison (The Doctor) and Janet Fielding (Tegan) announced their departures from the series. Producer John Nathan-Turner had offered Davison a fourth season in his role, but he feared being typecast if he stayed beyond three years on the programme.

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Trivia: Of all the actors who have played Doctor Who, Colin Baker is the only one to have been fired from the role.

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The Caves of Androzani - S21-E6

Trivia: Robert Glenister (Salateen) had starred with Peter Davison in the BBC sitcom "Sink or Swim", in which they played brothers Brian and Steve Webber.

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The Twin Dilemma - S21-E7

Trivia: Colin Baker also provides the voice of a Jacondan at Freighter Control in part three of this story.

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Remembrance of the Daleks - S25-E1

Trivia: In part 2, when Ace leaves the house, the camera goes to the TV. But they have put a VHS tape on the TV or something else, because just before it crosscuts to the group that the Doctor and Ace were working with, the TV says, "The new sci-fi series doctor..." which would almost certainly be Doctor Who.

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