Recap: Doctor Who S10 E1 "The Three Doctors"
Two Doctors are better than one. (When they aren't bickering, that is. Then you need a third one on a fuzzy monitor to break them up.)
"So you're my replacements — a dandy and a clown!"
— The First Doctor
The tenth anniversary
episode of Doctor Who
was marked with the first "Multi-Doctor" episode, a concept which would be used several more times over the coming years.
The Doctor is investigating the appearance of a mysterious blob-like creature which, it transpires, is hunting him down. Reluctantly, he calls on the Time Lords for help. Unfortunately, they're a bit preoccupied with a black hole draining all their energy, so they send his past selves over to help. The Second Doctor appears in the Third Doctor's TARDIS, and the two of them immediately proceed to bicker Like an Old Married Couple
before grudgingly opening up a psychic link ("Contact!") between them. The First Doctor is caught in a time eddy and can only advise via the TARDIS viewscreen, but he deduces that the blob creature is a "time bridge". The Third Doctor and Jo allow it to capture them and they are transported to a world of antimatter beyond the troublesome black hole.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, the Second Doctor, the Brigadier and Sergeant Benton take refuge in the TARDIS. The Brigadier flat-out refuses to believe anything that's going on, and the Second Doctor trolls him mercilessly. The First Doctor tells the group to switch off the forcefield, and the TARDIS (and with it the UNIT HQ) are all transported to the antimatter world.
It turns out that the problem is Omega, a renegade Time Lord. Omega was a stellar engineer, and his experiments enabled the Time Lords to develop time travel. But one of his experiments went wrong and trapped him in the antimatter universe. Now he wants to return, but he needs a matter counterpart to take his place, and he wants the Doctor.
Driven mad by his isolation and physically corroded to the point where only his will survives inside his armor, he threatens to destroy the universe, but he is tricked into picking up the Second Doctor's recorder — the only thing not converted to antimatter when they travelled through the black hole — and is destroyed.
As a reward for saving the universe, The Doctor's exile is lifted and he's able to use his TARDIS normally once more.
Watch it here.
- A God Am I: Omega
- And I Must Scream: Omega's body has been disintegrated, but he is still alive and conscious. He can't die as long as he believes he's still alive. And he's been in solitude for a few centuries at least.
- Antimatter: A whole world made of it. And everything transported into it is changed to antimatter too. Except if it's protected by a force field, of course.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: The Brig is rather accepting of the whole anti-matter monsters and black holes situation (he's dealt with weirder, arguably). But he immediately dismisses the idea of two Doctors existing at the same time (he thinks Three must have changed back somehow), and insists the TARDIS interior must be an optical illusion.
- Artistic License – Military: British Army officers should not salute civilians. However, given that the Brigadier thought the Doctors were about to do a Heroic Sacrifice to save the entire universe, he probably felt bending the rules was justified.
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: The Third Doctor challenges Omega to one of these... and loses, badly. The only reason he doesn't die is because the Second Doctor talks Omega out of it.
- BBC Quarry: The antimatter world, of course.
- Big "NO!": Omega pulls this one off in a disturbingly serious way. His genuinely heartbreaking wail is immediately followed by spoonfuls of Narm, though.
- Borrowed Catchphrase: Even before the second Doctor appears, his catchphrase does.
Third Doctor: When I say run, run!
- Chekhov's Gun: The Second Doctor's recorder.
- Deadpan Snarker: Two to Three, Three right back at Two, One to Two and Three, Two to the Brig, and the Brig at everybody.
- Exact Words: The Second and Third Doctors pledge that they will not attempt to leave Omega's realm before Omega himself. Omega assumes this means they'll stay with him forever. It doesn't.
- Future Me Scares Me: Or rather Future Me Disappoints Me. Also inverted, since in this case Future Me Isn't Exactly Impressed With Me Either.
- I Choose to Stay: After spending his last three seasons, trying to get his TARDIS working again and off Earth, the Third Doctor gets his wish, and then decides to stay on Earth and work with UNIT. His successor will not share the same sentiments.
- Large Ham: Omega. Evil Is Hammy indeed.
- Everybody, everybody gets at least one taste of pork products and/or scenery during this serial (for instance, ask The Brigadier his opinion on the Second Doctor's recorder...). That said, Omega. It's a wonder they were able to find any more ham for anyone else once Omega had gotten started.
- Load-Bearing Boss: Omega's will is the only thing keeping the antimatter world together. And Omega himself, for that matter.
- Morton's Fork: Omega can only escape from his realm by relinquishing control of the Singularity he uses to create the realm. Unfortunately, the very moment he relinquishes control of the Singularity, everything falls apart — preventing him from escaping.
- No Ontological Inertia: When Omega is destroyed, both Doctors are returned to the TARDIS and the TARDIS herself is sent back to UNIT headquarters.
- The Nth Doctor
- Obfuscating Stupidity: At one point, the Second Doctor rambles to Omega about his lost recorder, prompting (yet another) tantrum on Omega's part. The Third Doctor reprimands him, only for the Second Doctor to reveal he's just been testing Omega's self-control to find a weakness.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Omega could give Davros a run for his money. See Villainous Breakdown.
- Percussive Maintenance: Radio not working? Smack it on the TARDIS console. Voila!
- Puff of Logic: Subverted. This is essentially what will happen to Omega if his will does not dictate that he exists, but Omega's will proves itself too unshakable for him to just disappear.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Omega's! Entire! Mental! Breakdown!
- The Rival: Doctors Two and Three take an immediate dislike to each other, and begin sniping at each other from the moment they meet themselves. Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee, in Real Life, loved the effect so much that they decided to carry on the mock bickering, in character and out of character, Jack Benny and Fred Allen-style, in public for the rest of their careers. (In private, they actually became quite good friends).
- Real Life Writes the Plot: William Hartnell was ill and getting on in years (in fact, this serial was the last time he acted before his death), which is why the First Doctor appears only on a viewscreen.
- Rebuilt Set: Another new set to replace the one damaged in "The Time Monster" and commemorate the 10th. Typically, the Second Doctor doesn't like it.
- The Scream: Omega lets out a rather convincing primal wail when he discovers that there's literally nothing left of him but his mind and some dust, animated by willpower alone.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Omega.
- Shout-Out: "And we are all together, koo koo kachoo?"
- Special Effects Evolution: The "organism" is a video effect that, a few years previously, might have been achieved through more practical means.
- Subverted Share Phrase: The "Bigger on the Inside" line.
Third Doctor: Well, Sergeant? Aren't you going to say "It's bigger on the inside than it is on the outside"? Everybody else does.
Sgt. Benton: Well, it's... pretty obvious, isn't it?
- Unspoken Plan Guarantee: The three Doctors discuss their plan in front of everybody... with a psychic link. Of course it works perfectly.
- Unrealistic Black Hole: There's an entire world of antimatter inside it. And you can just walk up right to the singularity without ill effects. And afterwards, you can walk away from it again.
- The Unreveal: Literally. The Second and Third Doctors try to remove Omega's mask and find there is absolutely nothing left of him underneath. Then Omega lifts the helmet off his head and sees the awful result of his time in the black hole... and he goes to pieces with grief and rage.
- Villainous Breakdown: He's not exactly the definition of stability to begin with, but Omega goes completely off the deep end when he finds the aforementioned existence failure. "If I exist only by my will... then my will is to DESTROY, and ALL THINGS shall be destroyed! AAAALL THINGS! ALLLLL THIIIINGS!!!" (Cue second anguished wail.)
- Waxing Lyrical:
Third Doctor: "I am he and he is me."
Jo: "And we are all together, goo-goo-kachoo?"
Jo: "It's a song by the Beatles."
Two: "Oh, really?" *Takes out his recorder* "How does it go?"
- Which Me?: The Doctors use "me" to refer to their other self, as well as "he".
- Whole Plot Reference: To The Wizard of Oz.
- You Look Familiar: The Chancellor of the Time Lords is played by the same actor as one of the Time Lord judges who exiled the Doctor to Earth in "The War Games". This was deliberate on the part of the production staff, in order to create a link back to The War Games.