Doctor Who – All The Years is a quick examination of what was happening in the world of Doctor Who over all its years of existence. I’m not attempting to create a thorough history–just brief look back at the real-life timeline of my favorite TV show. Go back to the beginning and read about 1963 here.
(Daily Doctor Who #22)
Doctor Who kicked off 1966 right on January 1, with the eighth episode of the story normally called The Daleks’ Masterplan. That episode, and two that followed, featured a return appearance by Peter Butterworth as the Meddling Monk, making him the first recurring (not regular) character in the show’s history. The Dalek Masterplan carried on until the end of January (12 episodes all together). At the end, new “companion” (the suitability of the term is debatable) Sara Kingdom was killed off. The third season of the show continued for another six four-part stories (The Massacre, The Ark, The Celestial Toymaker, The Gunfighters, The Savages and The War Machines), concluding on July 16. New producer Innes Lloyd took over starting with The Celestial Toymaker, and new script editor Gerry Davis was credited starting with the last episode of The Massacre. The Savages was the first story to drop individual names for each episode, replacing them with “Part 1” and so on.
Over the course of those stories, there were more changes in the regular cast. Jackie Lane joined the show at the end of The Massacre (also called The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve) as cockney girl Dodo Chaplet. Incumbent companion Steven Taylor (Peter Purves) left the series at the end of The Savages. And then over the final story, Jackie Lane was eased out of the show off-camera, and Anneke Wills and Michael Craze joined the show as new companions Polly and Ben Jackson.
Sadly, half of these 29 episodes are missing, with only 14 still available. Only The Ark, The Gunfighters and The War Machines are actually complete. Out of those, The War Machines is the only one I have any memory of, and it’s never been one that impressed me greatly. It was notable in that it was one of the first stories to bring the action to the modern day. But while I thought Ben and Polly were good additions to the series, I thought it was strange that Dodo left the Doctor’s company in a scene she did not even participate in. She hadn’t even shown up in the last two episodes of the story (making her legitimately the worse companion departure ever).
Season Four of Doctor Who got going on September 10th with The Smugglers, another story that is completely missing. The Tenth Planet ran for four episodes from October 8 – 29th, written by Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis, and introduced the Cybermen to the Doctor Who universe. Even more significantly, the last episode saw the departure of William Hartnell himself from the show via the as yet unnamed (and unexplained) process of regeneration.
The show continued the following week with Patrick Troughton now playing the Doctor. His first story was a six-parter, The Power of the Daleks. This was followed by the first three parts of the historical tale The Highlanders, which introduced Frazer Hines as Jamie McCrimmon. Jamie would go on to be on the of the longest-serving Doctor Who companions ever, although at this point he was just in a guest role.
The Highlanders closed out 1966 for Doctor Who on TV, which made it the first year where the Daleks hadn’t been featured in the story running around Christmas Day.
Out of all the 1966 episodes from Season Four, only the first three parts of The Tenth Planet are actually available to watch, although animated versions of the rest of The Tenth Planet and all of The Power of the Daleks have been created.
Doctor Who also continued in comics throughout the year. The First Doctor appeared with his grandchildren John and Gillian in TV Comic. The Second Doctor debuted without any explanation (but still with John and Gillian) on Christmas Eve that year. In the meantime, the Daleks continued to appear in their own stories in TV Century 21, still written by former story editor David Whitaker. There was also a comic adaptation of the film Dr. Who and the Daleks published by Dell–with art by Dick Giordano! (Giordano is a notable comic book inker and penciler, as well as an editor–including the managing editor of DC Comics for years.)
In addition to this, there were numerous Doctor Who or Dalek-themed puzzle books, sticker books and painting books released through the year. The first “spoken word” Doctor Who product was the soundtrack to the last episode of The Chase (from 1965) which was released on LP this year. The second Doctor Who annual (identified as the 1967 Annual) was released, as well as the third Dalek Annual (an unofficial designation). It was called The Dalek Outer Space Book, was written by Terry Nation and Brad Ashton, and featured appearances by Sara Kingdom and the Space Security Service from The Daleks’ Masterplan.
The Daleks also appeared in their second theatrical movie, Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150, which again starred Peter Cushing and was directed by Gordon Flemyng. Like the first movie, it was loosely based on a television serial, in this case The Dalek Invasion of the Earth which ran in late 1964. The Daleks also appeared in their first ever skit on the TV program Blue Peter on February 3rd that year, where they came along to review cakes!
Finally, the first ever Doctor Who “long form” original story was published–a novella called Doctor Who and the Invasion from Space by J.L. Morrissey.
It was only 46 pages long, but still longer than any other original story that was published for many years. It featured the First Doctor and a bunch of original companions–Helen and George Mortimer and their children Alan and Ida, a family that the Doctor has previously rescued from the Great Fire in 1666.