Doctor Who
Season 3
Doctor Who Season 3 DVD.jpg
Cover art of the soundtrack release for first serial of the season
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of stories10
No. of episodes45 (28 missing)
Original networkBBC1
Original release11 September 1965 (1965-09-11) –
16 July 1966 (1966-07-16)
Season chronology
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Season 4
List of episodes

The third season of British science fiction television series Doctor Who began on 11 September 1965 with the story Galaxy 4 and ended on 16 July 1966 with The War Machines. Only 17 out of 45 episodes survive in the BBC archives; 28 remain missing. As a result, only 3 serials are complete.


See also: List of Doctor Who cast members

Main cast

For season 3, William Hartnell continued his role as The Doctor, and was joined by Peter Purves as Steven Taylor for a majority of the episodes. Maureen O'Brien, who had been a regular cast member of the previous season, dropped out after episode nine, 'Horse of Destruction,' from The Myth Makers storyline. That episode saw the introduction of Adrienne Hill as Katarina, a short-lived companion whose character would be killed after five episodes. Katarina was then followed by another short-lived companion, portrayed by Jean Marsh. Marsh's character, Sara Kingdom, who appeared in only episodes, all part of The Dalek's Master Plan serial.

After spending the most of The Massacre with Steven Taylor as The Doctor's only companion, Jackie Lane was introduced as Dodo Chaplet. She remained with the show for only 19 episodes, during which Purves left. Lane's final serial was The War Machines, which introduced Anneke Wills and Michael Craze as Polly and Ben Jackson respectively, who would become regulars the following season.

Guest stars

Peter Butterworth makes his second and final appearance as the Meddling Monk in the serial The Daleks' Master Plan, though his presence in the story is limited to three parts only; "Volcano", "Golden Death", and "Escape Switch".


See also: List of Doctor Who episodes (1963–1989)

John Wiles replaced Verity Lambert as producer after "Mission to the Unknown". Innes Lloyd, in turn, replaced Wiles after The Ark. Donald Tosh continued as script editor until The Massacre: "Priest of Death", and was replaced by Gerry Davis beginning with The Massacre: "Bell of Doom".[1]

The practice of giving each individual episode a different title was abandoned after The Gunfighters, near the end of the season. This season was notable for the longest serial to date, The Daleks' Master Plan, which contained 12 episodes. The record of The Daleks' Master Plan as the longest serial was eventually taken by the 14-part The Trial of a Time Lord, which spanned the whole of Season 23. The single-episode prequel to this story, "Mission to the Unknown", was not only the shortest story, but was notable for the absence of the entire regular cast. The episode came about when Planet of Giants, the opening serial of Season 2, was reduced from four to three episodes, leaving a single episode held over in the production schedule. Rather than attempt to create a single-episode story, or add an episode to an already commissioned story, it was decided to use this one episode as a trailer to set up the upcoming 12-part Dalek story.[citation needed]

Four of the stories from Season 3 ("Mission to the Unknown", The Myth Makers, The Massacre, and The Savages) are completely missing from the BBC archive, with no surviving episodes. Further, "Mission to the Unknown" and The Massacre are two of only three stories from the entire run of Doctor Who with no surviving footage from any sources (the other being Marco Polo from Season 1). Only three of this season's stories (The Ark, The Gunfighters and The War Machines) are complete. "Mission to the Unknown", however, is unique in that it is the only missing episode of Doctor Who to be fully recreated in live-action, with the student-made project having its production quality on par with that of 1960s television.

Season 3 holds the distinction of being the longest-running season of Doctor Who to date, having produced 45 episodes in 10 serials. Season 6 produced just one episode less in 7 serials.

The Massacre was the first serial that saw the lead actor cast in a dual role; William Hartnell not only plays the Doctor, but also the Abbot of Amboise. This would be repeated by Patrick Troughton in Season 5's The Enemy of the World.

No. in
Serial titleEpisode titlesDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
UK viewers
(millions) [2]
181Galaxy 4"Four Hundred Dawns"Derek MartinusWilliam Emms11 September 1965 (1965-09-11)T9.056
"Trap of Steel"Derek MartinusWilliam Emms18 September 1965 (1965-09-18)T9.555
"Air Lock"Derek MartinusWilliam Emms25 September 1965 (1965-09-25)T11.354
"The Exploding Planet"Derek MartinusWilliam Emms2 October 1965 (1965-10-02)T9.953
Two ships have crashed after a space battle, but the planet they have landed on is about to be destroyed. The beautiful female Drahvins seem friendly, but in fact it is the ugly Rills that are more tolerant and forgiving.
192"Mission to the Unknown"N/ADerek MartinusTerry Nation9 October 1965 (1965-10-09)T/A8.354
Space agent Marc Cory is investigating the sighting of a Dalek ship and discovers they have a base on Kembel. But his crew are infected by Varga plants, imported from Skaro, and start to mutate into Vargas.
203The Myth Makers"Temple of Secrets"Michael Leeston-SmithDonald Cotton16 October 1965 (1965-10-16)U8.348
"Small Prophet, Quick Return"Michael Leeston-SmithDonald Cotton23 October 1965 (1965-10-23)U8.151
"Death of a Spy"Michael Leeston-SmithDonald Cotton30 October 1965 (1965-10-30)U8.749
"Horse of Destruction"Michael Leeston-SmithDonald Cotton6 November 1965 (1965-11-06)U8.352
The TARDIS lands outside Troy during the siege. The Doctor is captured by the Greeks and given two days to devise a plan for taking the city. Steven and Vicki are captured by the Trojans, and given two days to devise a means of banishing the Greeks.
214The Daleks' Master Plan"The Nightmare Begins"Douglas CamfieldTerry Nation13 November 1965 (1965-11-13)V9.154
"Day of Armageddon"Douglas CamfieldTerry Nation20 November 1965 (1965-11-20)V9.852
"Devil's Planet"Douglas CamfieldTerry Nation27 November 1965 (1965-11-27)V10.352
"The Traitors"Douglas CamfieldTerry Nation4 December 1965 (1965-12-04)V9.551
"Counter Plot"Douglas CamfieldTerry Nation11 December 1965 (1965-12-11)V9.953
"Coronas of the Sun"Douglas CamfieldDennis Spooner18 December 1965 (1965-12-18)V9.156
"The Feast of Steven"Douglas CamfieldTerry Nation25 December 1965 (1965-12-25)V7.939
"Volcano"Douglas CamfieldDennis Spooner1 January 1966 (1966-01-01)V9.649
"Golden Death"Douglas CamfieldDennis Spooner8 January 1966 (1966-01-08)V9.252
"Escape Switch"Douglas CamfieldDennis Spooner15 January 1966 (1966-01-15)V9.550
"The Abandoned Planet"Douglas CamfieldDennis Spooner22 January 1966 (1966-01-22)V9.849
"Destruction of Time"Douglas CamfieldDennis Spooner29 January 1966 (1966-01-29)V8.657
Some six months after the events of "Mission to the Unknown", the TARDIS arrives on the planet Kembel, and the Doctor leaves the TARDIS to try to find medical aid for the wounded Steven Taylor leaving him with the Trojan girl Katarina. On doing so, he becomes embroiled in a Dalek scheme to design the ultimate weapon.
225The Massacre"War of God"Paddy RussellJohn Lucarotti5 February 1966 (1966-02-05)W8.052
"The Sea Beggar"Paddy RussellJohn Lucarotti12 February 1966 (1966-02-12)W6.052
"Priest of Death"Paddy RussellJohn Lucarotti19 February 1966 (1966-02-19)W5.949
"Bell of Doom"Paddy RussellJohn Lucarotti and Donald Tosh26 February 1966 (1966-02-26)W5.853
The arrival of the TARDIS in Paris in 1572 places its occupants, the Doctor and Steven in a dangerous situation. Tensions between Protestants and Catholics are at fever pitch in the city.
236The Ark"The Steel Sky"Michael ImisonPaul Erickson and Lesley Scott5 March 1966 (1966-03-05)X5.555
"The Plague"Michael ImisonPaul Erickson and Lesley Scott12 March 1966 (1966-03-12)X6.956
"The Return"Michael ImisonPaul Erickson and Lesley Scott19 March 1966 (1966-03-19)X6.251
"The Bomb"Michael ImisonPaul Erickson and Lesley Scott26 March 1966 (1966-03-26)X7.350
At least ten million years into the future, the TARDIS materialises on a vast spacecraft Dodo names "the Ark" where the whole human race is bound for a new world.
247The Celestial Toymaker"The Celestial Toyroom"Bill SellarsBrian Hayles and Donald Tosh (uncredited)2 April 1966 (1966-04-02)Y8.048
"The Hall of Dolls"Bill SellarsBrian Hayles and Donald Tosh (uncredited)9 April 1966 (1966-04-09)Y8.049
"The Dancing Floor"Bill SellarsBrian Hayles and Donald Tosh (uncredited)16 April 1966 (1966-04-16)Y9.444
"The Final Test"Bill SellarsBrian Hayles and Donald Tosh (uncredited)23 April 1966 (1966-04-23)Y7.843
The Doctor becomes invisible in the domain of the Toymaker, leaving Dodo and Steven incredulous. They step outside into a strange realm where the Doctor reappears, saying he recognizes the place they are in.
258The Gunfighters"A Holiday for the Doctor"Rex TuckerDonald Cotton30 April 1966 (1966-04-30)Z6.545
"Don't Shoot the Pianist"Rex TuckerDonald Cotton7 May 1966 (1966-05-07)Z6.639
"Johnny Ringo"Rex TuckerDonald Cotton14 May 1966 (1966-05-14)Z6.236
"The O.K. Corral"Rex TuckerDonald Cotton21 May 1966 (1966-05-21)Z5.730
The Doctor gets his tooth pulled by Doc Holliday in Tombstone while Dodo and Steven literally sing for their lives. The travellers are caught up in the events leading up to the famous "Gunfight at the OK Corral".
269The Savages"Episode 1"Christopher BarryIan Stuart Black28 May 1966 (1966-05-28)AA4.848
"Episode 2"Christopher BarryIan Stuart Black4 June 1966 (1966-06-04)AA5.649
"Episode 3"Christopher BarryIan Stuart Black11 June 1966 (1966-06-11)AA5.048
"Episode 4"Christopher BarryIan Stuart Black18 June 1966 (1966-06-18)AA4.548
The TARDIS materialises on a distant planet in the far future. The TARDIS crew find the planet inhabited by both the Elders and bands of roaming savages.
2710The War Machines"Episode 1"Michael FergusonIan Stuart Black25 June 1966 (1966-06-25)BB5.449
"Episode 2"Michael FergusonIan Stuart Black2 July 1966 (1966-07-02)BB4.745
"Episode 3"Michael FergusonIan Stuart Black9 July 1966 (1966-07-09)BB5.344
"Episode 4"Michael FergusonIan Stuart Black16 July 1966 (1966-07-16)BB5.539
The Doctor meets an advanced revolutionary computer named WOTAN who believes humans are inferior to machines.

^† : Episode is missing

Missing episodes

See also: Doctor Who missing episodes

Home media

See also: List of Doctor Who videotape releases and List of Doctor Who home video releases

VHS releases

Season Story no. Serial name Number and duration
of episodes
UK release date Australia release date USA/Canada release date
3 023 The Ark 4 × 25 mins. October 1998[3] February 1999[3] March 1999[3]
025 The Gunfighters 4 × 25 mins. November 2002[4][5] (3 x VHS released only in UK as part of a boxset "The First Doctor Collection") December 2002[4] (3 x VHS released only in AU as part of a boxset "The First Doctor Collection") October 2003[6]
027 The War Machines 4 × 25 mins. June 1997[7][8] January 1998[8] March 1998[8]

DVD and Blu-ray releases

All releases are for DVD unless otherwise indicated:

Season Story no. Serial name Number and duration
of episodes
R2 release date R4 release date R1 release date
3 018 Galaxy 4[a] 4 × 25 min. 15 November 2021 (D,B) [9] 12 January 2022 (D,B) [10] 5 April 2022
023 The Ark 4 × 25 min. 14 February 2011[11][12][13] 3 March 2011[14] 8 March 2011[15]
025 The Gunfighters[b] 4 × 25 min. 20 June 2011[16][17][18] 4 August 2011[19] 12 July 2011[20]
027 The War Machines 4 × 25 min. 25 August 2008[21][22][23] 7 November 2008[24] 6 January 2009[25]
Lost in Time, Volume 1
3 021
The Daleks' Master Plan[c]
The Celestial Toymaker[d]
4 × 25 min. 1 November 2004[26][e] 2 December 2004[27][f] 2 November 2004[27]
  1. ^ All four episodes animated (colour and black and white versions), remastered Episode 3 and "tele-snap" reconstructions
  2. ^ Only available as part of the Earth Story box set in Regions 2 and 4. Only available individually in Region 1.
  3. ^ Episodes 2, 5, and 10 of 12
  4. ^ Episode 4 of 4
  5. ^ Re-released in slimmer packaging in late 2016[27]
  6. ^ Re-released in slimmer packaging in July 2010[27]

In print

See also: List of Doctor Who novelisations

Season Story no. Library no.[a] Novelisation title Author Hardcover
release date[b]
release date[c]
release date[d]
3 018 104 Galaxy Four William Emms 14 November 1985[28] 10 April 1986[28] 6 July 2017[28]
019, 021 141 The Daleks' Master Plan Part I: Mission to the Unknown John Peel 21 September 1989[29] 6 May 2010[29]
020 97 The Myth Makers Donald Cotton 11 April 1985[30] 12 September 1985[30] 7 April 2008[30]
021 142 The Daleks' Master Plan Part II: The Mutation of Time John Peel 19 October 1989[31] 3 June 2010[31]
022 122 The Massacre John Lucarotti 18 June 1987[32] 19 November 1987[32] 11 June 2015[32]
023 114 The Ark Paul Erickson 16 October 1986[33] 19 March 1987[33] 1 March 2018[33]
024 111 The Celestial Toymaker Gerry Davis 19 June 1986[34] 20 November 1986[34]
Alison Bingeman
025 101 The Gunfighters Donald Cotton 11 July 1985[35] 9 January 1986[35] 7 February 2013[35]
026 109 The Savages Ian Stuart Black 20 March 1986[36] 11 September 1986[36] 4 February 2021[36]
027 136 The War Machines 16 February 1989[37] 7 March 2019[37]
  1. ^ Number in Target's Doctor Who Library, if applicable
  2. ^ Published by Target's parent companies (Allen Wingate, W. H. Allen, BBC Books) unless otherwise indicated
  3. ^ Published by Target Books (or by BBC Books under the Target Collection umbrella) unless otherwise indicated
  4. ^ Unabridged from BBC Audio/AudioGo unless otherwise indicated

See also


  1. ^ "Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide – Season 3". BBC. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Ratings Guide". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b c "The Ark (VHS)".
  4. ^ a b "The Sensorites (VHS)".
  6. ^ "The Gunfighters (VHS)". Archived from the original on 9 March 2004.
  8. ^ a b c "The War Machines (VHS)".
  9. ^ Dee, Christel (15 September 2021). "Galaxy 4 Animation". Doctor Who. Archived from the original on 15 September 2021. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  10. ^ "Doctor Who: Galaxy 4". JB HiFi. Retrieved 15 March 2022.
  11. ^ "Doctor Who: The Ark (DVD)". BBC. Archived from the original on 8 September 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  12. ^ "Doctor Who: The Ark". British Video Association. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  13. ^ Smith 2014, The Ark.
  14. ^ "Doctor Who - The Ark". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  15. ^ "Doctor Who: The Ark". BBC. Archived from the original on 30 July 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  16. ^ "Doctor Who: Earth Story (DVD)". BBC. Archived from the original on 28 May 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  17. ^ "Doctor Who: Earth Story". British Video Association. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  18. ^ Smith 2014, The Gunfighters.
  19. ^ "Doctor Who Earth Story". BBC. Archived from the original on 15 May 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  20. ^ "Doctor Who: The Gunfighters". BBC. Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  21. ^ "Doctor Who: The War Machines (DVD)". BBC. Archived from the original on 18 October 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  22. ^ "Doctor Who: The War Machines". British Video Association. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  23. ^ Smith 2014, The War Machines.
  24. ^ "Doctor Who - The War Machines". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 12 September 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  25. ^ "Doctor Who: War Machines". DVD Talk. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  26. ^ Ainsworth 2019, p. 152.
  27. ^ a b c d "Lost in Time". The TARDIS Library. Archived from the original on 9 November 2021. Retrieved 28 July 2022.
  28. ^ a b c Smith 2021, p. 33.
  29. ^ a b Smith 2021, p. 35.
  30. ^ a b c Smith 2021, p. 34.
  31. ^ a b Smith 2021, p. 36.
  32. ^ a b c Smith 2021, p. 37.
  33. ^ a b c Smith 2021, p. 38.
  34. ^ a b Smith 2021, p. 39.
  35. ^ a b c Smith 2021, p. 40.
  36. ^ a b c Smith 2021, p. 42.
  37. ^ a b Smith 2021, p. 43.


  • Ainsworth, John, ed. (2019). "Shada, Dimensions in Time, The Curse of Fatal Death and Time Crash". Doctor Who: The Complete History. London: Panini Comics, Hachette Partworks. 90 (90). ISSN 2057-6048.
  • Smith, Paul (2014). The Classic Doctor Who DVD Compendium. United Kingdom: Wonderful Books. ISBN 978-0-9576062-2-7.
  • Smith, Paul MC (July 2021). Based on the Popular BBC Television Serial. Wonderful Books.