Follow TV Tropes

Following

What Could Have Been / Doctor Who Classic Series

Go To

What Could Have Been regarding the classic series of Doctor Who, as well as the TV movie.


    open/close all folders 

    First Doctor (William Hartnell) era 
  • The show was initially conceived as an edutainment series, with alternating stories between the past and the future enabling history teacher Barbara and science teacher Ian to help the Doctor through their knowledge in their respective fields. As soon as the second story, "The Daleks", it started moving toward being a more straightforward sci-fi adventure show.
  • An early idea for the Doctor's backstory was that the Doctor would turn out to be a refugee from a terrible war that wiped out his people, and that he would be a Ludd Was Right idealogue who thought that technology inevitably led to apocalypse. The production team later, in an early version of "The Power of the Daleks", considered the idea of revealing the Daleks had destroyed his people. The first part of this is very similar to what happened in the revival series, coincidentally.
  • Susan Foreman, the Doctor's granddaughter and very first companion, could have been much different.
    • In 2013, early drafts of the first serials surfaced, in which Susan is an alien princess called Suzanne.
    • Carole Ann Ford has repeatedly claimed in interviews that she was told that Susan would be a very alien telepathic Action Girl, which would have used her real-life gymnastic training. Her description sounds rather like a 1960s version of River Tam. Apparently, her disappointment with Susan's actual portrayal contributed to her departure after just over a season.
    • Susan at first was meant to have a crush on Ian.
  • "An Unearthly Child":
    • The original idea for the first story saw the Doctor and his companions being shrunk. This concept was reused for "Planet of Giants".
    • Ian and Barbara's relationship was much more romantic in the original script.
    • Episode 4 originally ended with Ian making fire for the tribe and our heroes leaving peacefully. This was changed to something more action-packed.
    • Originally, the Episode 4 cliffhanger would've seen the TARDIS materialise near a Frank Lloyd Wright-style house floating in the air. This would have led into "The Masters of Luxor", a six-part story that was abandoned and replaced with "The Daleks".
  • "The Masters of Luxor" was a proposed script for the second serial, later published. The production team decided to go with Terry Nation instead, and thus gave us the Daleks. This rejection angered writer Anthony Coburn, who never wrote for the series again.
  • The original Daleks were supposed to have guns mounted on a ring around their midsection, for a 360 degree field of fire. It proved too expensive to do at the time, and this ability was never seen until the new series episode "Dalek".
    • Earlier versions of the Dalek design had rounded bases; the final angular design was chosen because it allowed the option of making the base from separate flat panels, rather than as a single fibreglass casting.
    • Cusick wanted the orbs on the casing to be flashing lights whenever they get agitated using a car battery behind the seat. However, this was cut because of budgetary reasons. The flashing lights idea were added on the dome section when the director couldn't tell which Dalek was speaking.
  • "The Daleks":
    • Originally, the Daleks and the Thals were both confronted by a race of beings from another planet, who revealed that it was their ancestors who had actually fired the neutron missile which had devastated Skaro centuries earlier. Their people had since realised the error of their ways and sought to help both the Daleks and the Thals rebuild their shattered civilisation.
    • In the original script, much was made of a forthcoming “great rain” — a periodic meteorological event on Skaro — which would reduce the radiation levels enough to permit the Daleks to emerge from their city and confront the Thals.
    • The dangers facing Ian, Barbara and the Thals in the mountains originally included mutated spiders and a fiery gas fissure.
    • The Doctor and Susan were originally sentenced to be executed in a “sonic chamber”.
    • The designer originally assigned to this serial was Ridley Scott. However, a problem with Scott's schedule meant that he was replaced by Raymond Cusick, who was thus given the task of realising the Dalek creatures.
  • "Marco Polo":
    • Originally, it was intended that the narrators would be the Doctor, Ian, and Barbara, before it was decided instead that these should represent extracts from Marco Polo's diaries.
    • Although it was the first two Dalek serials that eventually made it to film, this was the first story to be considered for cinematic treatment. In fact, it was Disney who made the approach.
    • More Rule of Funny than realistic, but Mark Gatiss said that when shooting wrapped on An Adventure in Space and Time (which reconstructs parts of this serial), he was this close to saying "Fuck it, lock the doors, we're redoing Marco Polo!" And indeed, at the time, there was idle talk of redoing one lost serial, likely this one, as part of the 50th Anniversary events.
  • "The Keys of Marinus":
    • A scene cut from the script revealed that the reason the Doctor and Susan had been on Earth in 1963 at the start of the series was because the Doctor had visited the BBC to get help repairing the colour scanner in the TARDIS, which was showing only monochrome images. He had been in such a bad mood upon his return to the TARDIS because the BBC had been “infernally secretive”!
    • Originally, the Doctor accompanied Susan and Sabetha in Episode Four (and his ring would have been found in Vasor's hut along with the travel dials and Conscience keys). This was changed to give William Hartnell a holiday.
    • According to Jonathan Sothcott on the DVD Commentary for Dr. Who and the Daleks, Milton Subotsky considered adapting this serial into another movie.
  • "The Dalek Invasion of Earth":
    • Wells was originally only to have appeared in episode three, but according to Nicholas Smith on a documentary accompanying the serial's DVD release, he talked the director into letting him lead the miners' revolution in episodes five and six.
    • The original script featured a teenaged rebel named Saida, an English girl of Indian descent who was revealed as Dortmun's daughter after his death. Saida stowed away aboard the TARDIS at the story's conclusion, becoming the new companion. Subsequently, this character evolved into Jenny, who was also considered to become a companion.
    • The Robomen were conceived as wearing only a small disc on their temple, with wires snaking into the hair.
    • Instead of crocodiles, David and Susan were menaced by mutated humans in the sewers.
    • Originally, three old women lived in the shanty in the woods, rather than the degenerate mother and daughter.
    • The original climax saw the Daleks attempt to kill all their slaves by trapping them in the mines, which would be deluged with lava when the bombs exploded.
  • "The Rescue": In David Whitaker's original draft, entitled "Doctor Who and Tanni" after one of Vicki's original names, there are a few differences from the broadcast version. Bennett was more unkind to Vicki. Notably, Koquillion had a "torch" device, which he used to paralyse Ian upon meeting and interrogating him and Barbara in the first episode. He hypnotised Ian and Barbara and tried to get them to encourage the Doctor to come out of the TARDIS, but the Doctor could see this on the TARDIS' scanner and demands the teachers be released. In a scuffle Ian's trance was broken when he was shoved against the TARDIS and Barbara's was broken when she was thrown to the ground. The beginning of the first episode also had Ian confide to Barbara that he was afraid of a time where the Doctor would close the TARDIS on them and leave like he did with Susan, to which the Doctor, overhearing, replied that there would be warning if they were to part.
  • "The Romans":
    • The creation of Tigilinus the cup-bearer was in fact a late addition to the scripts; originally, the Doctor saved Nero from being poisoned by accidentally knocking over the Caesar's goblet.
    • Originally, it was Sevcheria, not Barbara, who knocks Ian unconscious.
  • "The Web Planet":
    • Originally, the Zarbi had the ability to spit venom, but Dennis Spooner instead created smaller, grub-like creatures to fulfil this function.
    • The larvae guns were originally meant to be mini-Zarbi.
  • "The Chase":
    • Terry Nation's original draft was quite different:
      • The denizens of Aridius were originally envisaged as ugly, hunchbacked creatures.
      • The Fungoids were originally introduced on Aridius, as opposed to confining them solely to the Mechanus sequences.
      • The Doctor's explanation of the haunted house existing in a realm of human thought was in fact Nation's initial concept for the segment, which Verity Lambert felt was straying too far from the conventional Doctor Who approach.
      • Baron Frankenstein was at one point included in the haunted house scenes, while the Grey Lady was a late addition.
      • Nation discarded several further ideas for the serial, including sequences set in ancient Egypt (where the first of the Great Pyramids would be erected over the remnants of a destroyed Dalek), the planet Stygian whose inhabitants were invisible, and the mist-shrouded world of Vapuron. These ideas would subsequently be recycled in "The Daleks' Master Plan".
    • In the original storyline, the TARDIS crew would witness on the visualizer Shakespeare discussing with his wife the possibility of allowing Francis Bacon to use his name on Bacon's plays, as well as a speech by Winston Churchill; Ian and Vicki would see through the sands the vast underground Aridian city; and Ian and Barbara would not return home to Earth at the end of the serial.
    • When the TARDIS crew first uses the time viewer, they are shown stock footage of one of The Beatles' performances. However, the original plan was for them to perform dressed as old men, and the footage would have been from a reunion tour sometime in the future. The Beatles agreed to this, but some fool executive nixed the idea. Probably for the best, as if it had gone through it would have been a massive real life "Funny Aneurysm" Moment given John Lennon's early death.
  • "Galaxy 4":
    • The script originally featured Ian and Barbara. A lot of the latter's lines went to Steven, thus resulting in him losing a fight with a woman and getting trapped in an airlock.
    • The Drahvins were originally men. It was Verity Lambert who suggested making them women.
    • Maaga was originally named Gar.
  • "Mission to the Unknown":
    • The episode was originally set on the planet Varga. The Varga plants themselves retained their original name, but now became artificial creations of the Daleks, brought to Kembel from Skaro, as opposed to a natural, indigenous form of life.
    • The alien delegate Zephon was deleted from the script, presumably due to financial concerns.
  • "The Daleks' Master Plan":
    • The original intention was that the police station scenes of "The Feast of Steven" would feature a crossover with the characters and location of Z Cars. However, the production team vetoed the idea, although the Liverpool-area location of the police station survived in the transmitted episode. John Peel's novelisation of the serial references this plan by using the cast names of the Z-Cars actors for the police characters' names.
    • A spin-off series featuring Space Security vs the Daleks was contemplated. Bret Vyon was intended to be in it, meaning that someone else would have ended up playing The Brigadier.
    • Originally Vicki was supposed to be the one killed off in "The Traitors" instead of Katarina. Katarina got the axe because writers found her character too limited and difficult to develop.
    • Sara was originally conceived as Bret's lover, but this was later amended to make them siblings.
    • Terry Nation's original, untitled outline differed from the finished product in numerous respects. The setting was the year AD 1,000,000 and the Daleks had set up shop on the planet Varga. The “007 of space” met by the Doctor was called Brett Walton, the President of the Solar System was Banhoong, and Brett's traitorous friend on Earth was simply named Tom. It was the arrival of the Daleks on the “Devils Planet” (later christened Desperus) which distracted the convicts enough to allow the Doctor and his friends to escape, and there was no mention of any criminals stealing on board the spaceship. Tom elected not to betray the Doctor's party and was murdered by the Daleks for helping them to escape to “the Planet of Mists” (later called Mira). The return of the Doctor and company to Varga happened at the start of episode ten.
    • Taranium was originally named Vitaranium. There were, however, concerns that William Hartnell would be unable to pronounce it. VX2 and Vita were rejected.
    • Roald was originally named Reinaml; Lizan was originally a man named Gilson; Kirksen was originally named Kirkland; Karlton was originally named Cartlon; Borkar was originally named Barker; Daxtar was originally named Tom and the Dexter; Froyn was originally named Frayn; and Rhynmal was originally named Bosworth.
    • Communications Centre Earth was originally named New Washington.
  • "The Massacre":
    • Anne Chaplet was considered to become a main companion. As with Katarina, it was decided that her origins made her less than ideal for viewer identification.
    • Ian and Barbara were supposed to have a cameo at the end of the story and watch the TARDIS just as it dematerializes.
  • Dodo's variable accent in her very early episodes was due to changes in her character concept. She was originally intended to be a perky working-class Northern girl who would shake the First Doctor up a bit and comically stabilise his moods when he got too pompous or bad-tempered, a bit like Rose's relationship with the Ninth Doctor before the Ship Tease started, but BBC Executive Meddling decided that they didn't want children exposed to a proudly working-class and "cheeky" character.
  • "The Celestial Toymaker":
    • The original storyline for the serial was very different, and much more adult and satirical in scope. After he was fired, however, Wiles massively overspent on the previous story as a final act of spite against his superiors, leaving the incoming team of producer Innes Lloyd and script editor Gerry Davis virtually nothing to make this story with. Davis therefore had to do a massive rewrite, cutting the story right down in order to accommodate filming with as many pre-existing sets and costumes as possible, changing the story's tone from satirical to just flat-out bizarre.
    • Cyril was originally going to take the form of the Artful Dodger.
    • The original script featured the main characters from George And Margaret, the gimmick of which was that although the entire story revolved around the imminent arrival of the eponymous characters, the play ended just as they were about to appear. When permission to use them was denied, their roles were filled by other characters.
    • According to Donald Tosh, the commissioning script editor and (uncredited) co-author of "The Celestial Toymaker", the intention was that the Toymaker was, like the Monk who had predated him, a member of the Doctor's own race.
    • The serial came very close to being the show's first regeneration story. Producer John Wiles was having major problems getting along with William Hartnell, and decided to get rid of him via the Doctor being turned invisible for most of the story — the idea being that when he appeared again, he would be played by a new actor. However, the BBC didn't approve of this plan in the least, seeing Hartnell as integral to the show, and when Wiles refused to back down they responded by firing him. Which in turn resulted in another case of this trope...
  • "The Gunfighters":
    • Director Rex Tucker wanted to cast American and/or Canadian actors as much as possible to lend some authenticity to the proceedings, but this proved difficult.
    • Donald Sutherland was considered for Wyatt Earp.
    • Carol Cleveland was considered for Kate.
  • "The Savages": The advanced race was originally supposed to be played by actors in blackface as a parable about apartheid era South Africa. This got dropped except for the city's leader Jano.
  • "The War Machines": In the original script, those under WOTAN's thrall were originally intended to be discernible because their hands would take on a skeletal aspect (forcing characters like Dodo and Professor Brett to wear gloves to hide this mark).
  • "The Tenth Planet":
    • The Cybermen originally had a different design. Their faces were to be human (albeit all rather similar), with a metal plate under their hair. Their hands were also to be human, although their arms would be transparent, made up of rods and lights. A movable arm was also to extend from each Cyberman's chest unit, an accessory considered too costly to implement.
    • The First Doctor's last words were originally scripted as something similar to "No... no, I simply will not give in!" It was cut for time, but became the basis for his appearance in "Twice Upon a Time".
Advertisement:

    Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton) era 
  • An early concept of regeneration was that it was supposed to be like a bad acid trip — during regeneration (which was supposed to happen every 500 years or so) the Doctor would go through a "metaphysical change" that would mess up his brain by forcing him to relive all of his most horrible memories, explaining why his personality seemed radically different and somewhat traumatised at first.
  • Had one of Patrick Troughton's ideas been used, the Second Doctor would've been a pirate-cum-Arabian-genie in blackface. Troughton later admitted that his main reason for the suggestion had been that he wasn't confident at first that the regeneration gamble would pay off, and if the series tanked with a new Doctor he didn't want to spend the rest of his career with people thinking "That's the man who killed Doctor Who" every time they saw his face.
  • "The Power of the Daleks":
    • Terry Nation was supposed to write this story, but he was busy working on The Baron. It was the first Dalek story that he didn't have a part in writing.
    • The original script revealed that the Doctor had been renewed several times in the past; he was to open a drawer in the console which contained relics from his previous incarnations, including an earring and a metal bracelet. The scripts also specified the Doctor's age as 750, included various references to his granddaughter Susan (the Doctor no longer being able to recall where he left her), and also hinted that it might have been the Daleks who destroyed his homeworld.
  • "The Underwater Menace":
    • Zaroff was at one point assisted by a female scientist called Steen.
    • Originally, there was a character named Ebon, but it was then decided to merge her with Ara.
    • In an early draft of the story, Zaroff's motivation to blow up the Earth stemmed from his wife and children dying in a car crash and driving him mad.
  • "The Macra Terror": In the original script, the Doctor was sent to the House of (rather than “Hospital for”) Correction alongside Medok, and it was after the brainwashing attempts there fail that he was sent to the pithead.
  • "The Faceless Ones":
    • Samantha was introduced with the intention that she'd become a full companion, but the actress who played her, Pauline Collins, declined. Much much later, she would play Queen Victoria in "Tooth and Claw", though.
    • The story started life as The Big Store, which involved aliens who had taken over a London department store and were using it as a front for their invasion of Earth. One group of aliens was a faceless breed, artificially given human features in order to replace people kidnapped in the store. Innes Lloyd and Gerry Davis felt that the story would work better in an airport.
    • In the original episode 2, both the Doctor and Ben investigated the hangar but failed to find Polly, being menaced instead by a falling engine (rather than gas), and Ben and Samantha then rescued Polly in episode three.
  • "The Evil of the Daleks"
    • The serial was supposed to kill the Daleks off for good, as Terry Nation was working on a Spin-Off he could sell to America. For that reason, he was unable to write it.
    • The original script was different to the final version. The Doctor and Edward Waterfield were to travel back to Earth in the year 20,000 BC and retrieve a caveman named Og, from whom the Doctor is to deduce the essence of humanity. The Daleks' plan was to eradicate this quality from every generation of man, thereby eliminating Earth as a threat. Meanwhile, Jamie and Victoria were held hostage on Skaro. The character of Bob Hall was initially called Bill, and was a gangster. Anne Waterfield — probably Victoria's mother — also featured in the plot in the early stages of its gestation.
    • Anneke Wills and Michael Craze were both contracted up to episode 2 of this serial to appear as Polly and Ben. However, it had been decided during the previous serial that the characters would be dropped; consequently both actors had their contracts paid up and were released after episode 2 of "The Faceless Ones".
    • There were plans to make Mollie Dawson stay on as a companion before Peter Bryant decided on Victoria.
  • "The Tomb of the Cybermen":
    • Toberman was originally intended to be deaf, hence his lack of significant speech; his hearing aid would foreshadow his transformation into a Cyberman. These elements were included in the novelisation.
    • Desmond Llewelyn was unsuccessfully sought for Professor Parry.
  • "The Ice Warriors": Brian Hayles envisioned the eponymous Ice Warriors as Viking-like cybernetic creatures, with high-tech instruments on their armour and helmets.
  • "The Enemy of the World":
    • The chase scene in the first episode originally took place in a crowded holiday resort. This was changed due to logistical difficulties.
    • Initially, it was planned that the Doctor and Salamander would meet more than once, but due to the technical complexity, there was eventually only the one confrontation scene, at the story's climax (utilising editing and a split-screen technique).
  • "The Web of Fear": The scene in Julius Silverstein's house originally took place in the Natural History Museum, but they declined permission to film there.
  • "Fury from the Deep":
    • A subplot in episodes four and five was removed that involved the Weed attacking a conference, as it could now traverse the entirety of Great Britain's network of natural gas pipelines.
    • Victoria was originally to have killed Quill with her screams in part five.
    • The story originally climaxed with Jamie defeating the weed by playing the bagpipes.
    • The TARDIS originally materialised on a cliff edge. This was deemed too similar to "The Rescue".
    • Price was originally named Blake. This was changed because the previous story had a Corporal Blake.
  • "The Wheel in Space":
    • Several characters were renamed to give the crew an international feel. Nell Corwyn became Gemma Corwyn; Tanya Lerner's surname was changed to the Russian Lernov; Tom Stone gained a promotion when he was rechristened Captain Leo Ryan; Harry Carby became the Italianate Enrico Casali; and Ken was switched to the Asian Chang.
    • The plot was originally supposed to revolve around a battle between the Cybermen and the Daleks, but Terry Nation nixed that idea, wanting to keep the Daleks' supposed extinction in "The Evil of the Daleks" permanent. Of course, the Daleks would eventually come back to fight the Third Doctor, and the Daleks vs. Cybermen battle would become a reality in "Doomsday", 38 years after "The Wheel in Space" aired.
  • "The Mind Robber":
    • In Peter Ling's original version of episode one, the TARDIS broke up after passing through a magnetic storm.
    • The Master's foot soldiers were originally monstrous, faceless entities, and it was they who posed puzzles to the Doctor. Derrick Sherwin suggested that these creatures should in fact look like life-sized toy soldiers, but wanted to hold off their onscreen appearance until the end of the episode. Instead, he posited that children could ask the Doctor the riddles.
    • Ling wanted Zorro to appear, but copyright reasons prevented this. A quotation from Walter de la Mare's 1912 poem The Listeners seems to have been excised due to similar concerns.
  • "The Invasion":
    • Cybermats were to have appeared in this story.
    • In addition to St Paul's Cathedral, Douglas Camfield wanted to film the Cybermen marching outside Tower Bridge, the Houses of Parliament and Hyde Park.
    • An action scene where UNIT recaptures Professor Watkins had to be scrapped because there wasn't enough time to film it. A scene in which Gregory is killed by the Cybermen in the sewers also had to be inserted into the same episode, because the character was originally shot by Benton during the battle.
    • It is believed that Rutlidge was originally supposed to shoot himself.
      • In fact the scene of Vaughn forcing Rutlidge to shoot himself was filmed, however it was cut before broadcast, presumably for being too dark, and it is now lost.
    • One from the novelisation: Its author, Ian Marter, said that he had originally wanted to show the Offscreen Moment of Awesome rescue of Professor Watkins as a soldier fibbing, and the rescue as actually having been comically easy. He was persuaded not to.
  • "The Krotons":
    • The serial was a last-minute replacement for a story called "The Prison in Space", about a planet dominated by women. In fact, said story was scrapped so late in the day that work had already begun on one of the sets and at least one guest part had been cast. Given this and the fact that "Prison" was the only workable script the production team had at the time, it is widely believed that the production team objected to its misogynistic nature.
    • The Krotons were written with the intent of replacing the Daleks as the Doctor's principle nemesis, as Terry Nation had asked The BBC to stop using them so that he could pitch his own Dalek series to US TV networks. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) the Krotons didn't have the same impact the Daleks had, and they faded into obscurity, with Nation eventually allowing the Daleks to return to this series midway through the Third Doctor's era.
    • Frazer Hines would have originally departed in this story (or at least, the one that filled its slot) and been replaced with a male companion named Nik. He ultimately decided to leave along with Patrick Troughton at the end of the season.
  • "The Seeds of Death":
    • Brian Hayles' scripts differed from his story breakdown in several respects. Kelly was originally a man, assisted by a woman named Mary Burcott; with the former changed to the female Gia Kelly, Mary became Brent. The Ice Lords were envisaged as being more humanoid than their Warrior counterparts, and episode two would have introduced Slaar's superior, named Visek. The Martian spores were only intended to erupt after four weeks rather than almost instantaneously, and were initially destroyed by concentrated oxygen (possibly in a liquid form) instead of water.
    • Hayles was initially under the impression that Frazer Hines would depart the series and in his original draft, Jamie's role was given to a new companion named Nik.
    • A subplot in episodes three and four in which Kelly was mind-controlled by the Ice Warriors was removed.
    • The script originally contained a line where Eldred reveals that his rocket achieved the first manned Moon landing; this was altered to account for the likelihood that NASA would probably soon accomplish the feat. And they did.
  • "The War Games":
    • Spencer and other, unnamed resistance fighters were intended to die in the alien attack in part five. Also in this episode, Zoe originally misidentified the meaning of TARDIS as “Time And Relative Dimensional Intergalactic Ship”. Von Weich was to have been shot trying to escape at the end of the installment, and Jennifer Buckingham was present when Jamie and the others were ambushed. By the time part six was delivered, however, it had already been decided that Jennifer would not be included in the second half of the story.
    • In episode seven, Smythe's aide was initially a new character called Sergeant Wilkins; only latterly was the decision made to bring back Sergeant Major Burns from the first installment.
    • The script for part eight implied that the alien race controlling the Zones was collectively called the War Lords — an identification not made in the completed serial — and also included a line of dialogue in which the Doctor asserts that there are multiple time-travelling civilisations.
    • In part nine, the Doctor defined the Time Lords as being the leaders of his race.
    • Episode ten included a prominent role for an unseen Time Lord judge, most of whose dialogue was later allocated to the First Time Lord.
    • In the original script, the Doctor and Jamie took advantage of a weakening of the barrier near the floor to push Zoe through, enabling her to turn off the field.
    • Terrance Dicks and Malcolm Hulke had originally conceived the aliens as speaking in a cold “alien voice” when exercising the mind control. It was director David Maloney who came up with the hypnotising spectacles.
    • According to info from the series' official wiki, one of the enemies that was supposed to appear in the Doctor's display of past foes were the Krotons, but none of their suits were usable.

    Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) era 
  • "Spearhead from Space":
    • The Doctor was originally kidnapped from his bed and taken to a storeroom for interrogation; he escaped through a window after feigning unconsciousness.
    • The Autons were defeated in the end by a high-frequency sound Liz arranged to have transmitted from Broadcasting House at the Doctor's request.
    • For a time, Sam Seeley was accompanied by a son.
    • The original plan for the exile arc didn't involve a forced regeneration, however, Patrick Troughton chose to leave the series at the end of season 6.
    • The producers originally wanted Zoe to be sent into exile with the Doctor, filling the Liz Shaw role. This would have had interesting possibilities since she would have been stuck on Earth several decades before she was even born. However, Wendy Padbury decided to leave the show at the end of the sixth season. (Jamie had already been written out of the series by the time Derrick Sherwin was putting together the "exile on Earth" plot, so there was no plan for him to join the Doctor in exile.)
  • "The Ambassadors of Death":
    • David Whitaker originally pitched the script for the previous season, thus the story was initially developed to feature the Second Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon and Zoe Heriot. As such, it was set well into the future, and did not include UNIT. When all three actors left the programme at the end of the sixth season, it was rewritten to fit the consequential revamp.
    • The second and third episodes originally featured an army character named Lieutenant Pollard.
    • Professor Heldorf was initially a German scientist named Kuhn.
    • The human villains were originally Irish, until someone pointed out that The Troubles were going on.
  • "Terror of the Autons":
    • In the original script, the Master's bomb went off when the Doctor tried to open the box by remote control. Terrance Dicks reworked it to make Jo more prominent.
    • Initially, the troll dolls played a much greater role in the story's climax, and explained the Master's interest in the circus, which would have been used to distribute the toys.
    • Originally, it was the Brigadier who was strangled by the phone cord, as he tried to tell the police the truth about the troll dolls.
    • In the original script, the daffodils (and the troll dolls) would be animated when the temperature reached a certain level — a level which would be obtained thanks to a fortuitous oncoming heat wave in Britain. Feeling that this made the story's setting illogical — it would make more sense for the Master to carry out his plan in a tropical locale — it was decided to replace this with a broadcast activation signal.
    • The Master originally used an Auton disguised as himself as a decoy in the climax.
  • "The Mind of Evil":
    • In the original script, the Brigadier was captured at Stangmoor Prison along with the Doctor and Jo; under the influence of the Master's hypnotism, he had the missile's route changed to enable the Master's men to hijack it.
    • One of the weapons used by the Keller Machine was the image of a Gorgon-like monster, which the Doctor eventually destroys by showing it its own reflection in the mirror of the missile transport.
    • The script originally played up the tension between the United States and China, with Chin Lee attempting to frame an American delegate for Chang Teik's murder.
    • Originally, the Keller Machine was simply going to be a machine. During rewrites of the episodes, Terrance Dicks noticed that, due to plot holes, it seemed to be acting like a self-willed, living thing and thought Sure, Let's Go with That.
  • "The Claws of Axos":
    • Bob Baker and Dave Martin originally pitched this as a seven-part story featuring the Second Doctor. It involved evil aliens who land in Hyde Park in a skull-shaped spacecraft, and featured spaceship battles and even a giant carrot crashing into the park. The production team loved the story, but had it scaled down on account of impracticality and budget.
    • The use of Axonite was to have been demonstrated using a rat instead of a toad.
    • Scenes cut from the script include a Meet Cute between Jo and Bill and the Brigadier daydreaming of having Chinn taken out the back and shot through the head.
  • "The Dæmons": Nicholas Courtney suggested including the Brigadier's wife, whom he proposed might be called Fiona. Terrance Dicks was not in favour of this, however, and it was not included in the scripts. The character would eventually debut in the Past Doctor Adventures as the Brigadier's first wife, and mother of Kate Stewart.
  • "Day of the Daleks":
    • Again, Terry Nation was unable to write this story, as he was working on The Persuaders!
    • Originally the serial was to end with a scene where the Doctor and Jo went back to the lab, and saw their earlier selves working at the TARDIS console. However, director Paul Bernard refused to film it, saying "Once it's over, it's over". Script editor Terrance Dicks would later restore the scene when he novelised the story.
    • Dialogue cut from the script established that all the Daleks infected with the Human Factor at the climax of "The Evil of the Daleks" had been eradicated, indicating that that story was not the “final end” of the Daleks after all.
    • Originally, the Ogrons were the main bad guys of the story instead of the Daleks. When problems arose with the original season finale, which actually was meant to include the Daleks, this story was rewritten to incorporate the Daleks, with the Ogrons instead turned into the Daleks' mooks.
  • "The Sea Devils":
    • Originally, episode one was to include the Doctor water-skiing, which was to be used as the excuse for Jo and him being late to the Master's prison. Increasingly inclement weather made the shoot impossible.
    • The sea fort setting was a late change to the scripts: Malcolm Hulke had originally written this material for an oil rig, but Michael Briant was unable to obtain permission to film on one.
  • "The Mutants":
    • A subplot about cloning was removed from the latter portion of the adventure, as it was felt to be overly complex.
    • To effect Ky's transformation, the Doctor initially had to turn the crystal into a liquid form and inject it into Ky's neck; as scripted, the Solonians' final mutated form was an iridescent globe.
  • "The Three Doctors":
    • In the original version, Deathworld, the Time Lords are in conflict with a Federation of Evil led by a personification of Death. To avert all-out war, the Time Lords manage to convince the Federation to allow them to send the three Doctors into the Federation's Underworld domain. There, the Doctors will do battle against various realisations of Death — including zombies, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the Hindu goddess Kali, and the cyclops Polyphemus from Greek mythology — with the victor in the contests determining whether the Time Lords or the Federation of Evil will prevail.
    • Jamie was supposed to return and have a romance with Jo, but Frazer Hines was busy with Emmerdale so his lines were given to Benton.
    • Zoe was considered to return, but Jon Pertwee felt that too many returning characters would be distracting.
    • The First Doctor was supposed to meet Two & Three in person and be personally involved with their adventure in the antimatter world and the confrontation with Omega. However, because William Hartnell's arteriosclerosis was taking a serious toll on his health when he was called up for the serial, the script was re-written; initially the intention was that Hartnell would only have a major role in Part Four, but it soon became apparent that even this would be beyond him, the story was reworked again to trap One in a time eddy, with his lines being split between Two & Three. A similar workaround would later be devised when Tom Baker rejected the chance to reprise the role of Four in "The Five Doctors".
  • "Frontier in Space":
    • Malcolm Hulke intended the Draconians to be like the post-Napoleonic Hapsburgs, although their eventual execution was more akin to a Japanese shogunate.
    • The original outline had the Cybermen working with the Master, but they were swapped for the Ogrons before scripting started.
    • The human president was originally a man.
    • The final sequence in the Master's headquarters was intended to contain the giant Ogron-eating monster, but director Paul Bernard did not like the costume and omitted it, leaving the scene with just frightened Ogrons running away from something unseen. Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks felt the sequence lacked impact and a new ending was filmed in the TARDIS as part of the first production block of the following story, "Planet of the Daleks". Unfortunately, Roger Delgado was not available to take part in the new ending, meaning that he abruptly disappears in the middle of the last scene, and this ultimately proved his last appearance as the Master before his tragic death later that year.
  • "Planet of the Daleks":
    • Originally, episode five was to end with all of the Thal characters massacred by the Daleks. Terrance Dicks, however, asked that Terry Nation not include this plot point, as the series was beginning to be criticised for its violent content.
    • Latep was originally named Petal. This was changed to avoid confusion with Patel from "Frontier in Space".
  • "The Green Death": It was briefly thought that Yates' role in the latter stages of the serial might be given to Benton instead, but this idea was not pursued.
  • The Master was supposed to be Killed Off for Real during Season 11 in a Heroic Sacrifice to save the Doctor's life, in a serial called "The Final Game". The story would have revealed the Doctor and Master to be two aspects of the same person, which would explain why the Master could not simply kill the Doctor. This was scrapped by Roger Delgado's untimely death in a car accident in Turkey while shooting The Bell of Tibet.
    • Jon Pertwee was planning to stay on the show longer, but the death of his good friend Delgado took away all of his enthusiasm for the role.
  • "The Time Warrior":
    • Barry Letts wanted Bob Hoskins to play Irongron. He was unavailable, but he did recommend David Daker.
    • In the original script, it was the Doctor who killed Linx by shooting an arrow into his probic vent.
    • According to the trivia subtitles on the DVD, the entire UNIT Dating Controversy could have been avoided — apparently a cut line from the sequence where Linx interrogates Sarah Jane would have had her specify that she came from the year 1974.
    • The original script contained a full scale battle scene of knights in armour attacking the castle. Terrance Dicks realised that this was way beyond the show's budget, so he changed it to the Doctor repelling invaders with smoke bombs.
  • "Invasion of the Dinosaurs": The original script had the Doctor using a motorcycle instead of the Whomobile.
  • "Death to the Daleks":
    • Exxilon was originally a jungle planet.
    • Originally, the Daleks escaped with the cure, but the humans worked with the Exxilons to set them back on the path to advancement and were given more of the cure in return.
    • This story originally didn't feature the Daleks.
  • "The Monster of Peladon":
    • Brian Hayles originally approached this as a direct sequel to "The Curse of Peladon", taking place only slightly later in the reign of that serial's King Peladon. In this version of the story, Ortron and Eckersley are working together to turn Peladon into an independent world reaping the profit from the demand for trisilicate. Thalira is one of the king's advisors — who had been due to marry him but rejected him following his affair with Jo Grant — and Sarah and Eckersley are romantically involved.
    • The Ice Warriors were originally defeated when the Doctor managed to transmit word of their treachery to the Federation, who blockade and threaten to destroy the Ice Warrior planet.

    Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) era 
  • "Robot": Tom Baker thought it would be a great idea for the robot to sing "There's An Old Mill by the Breeze", as the actor, Michael Kilgarriff, had a lot of knowledge of music hall songs. He decided against suggesting this to Barry Letts.
  • "The Ark in Space":
    • The original script concerned a massive space ark carrying cryogenically-frozen humans, which has been invaded by the Delc. The Delc are fungi, grown from spores floating in space. The primary Delc take the form of floating heads, while their servitors appear as headless bodies. The Delc are impervious to most harm because any impact just causes the release of more spores. Fortunately, the Doctor eventually discovers that the Delc are susceptible to electrocution, and ultimately knocks the primary Delc out into space with a golf club.
    • Vira was supposed to be black and possibly Haitian.
  • "The Sontaran Experiment":
    • Bob Baker and Dave Martin wanted to incorporate some relics of human civilisation which would imply that the story was actually set where London had once stood — for instance, by having the top of Nelson's column poking up out of the ground in homage to Planet of the Apes. Much of the action of their scripts was set in the ruins of an old priory, and so many of Styre's torture devices were medieval in nature.
    • Robert Holmes rewrote episode two extensively, in the process removing a subplot in which it would have been revealed that Styre was controlling Vural's mind.
  • "Genesis of the Daleks":
    • Terry Nation's original idea for the story was rejected by the producers for being too much like his previous Dalek stories. It was Terrence Dicks who suggested he do an origin story for the Daleks.
    • The Doctor's meeting with the Time Lord originally took place in a lush garden. David Maloney and Phillip Hinchcliffe disliked this idea and changed it.
    • The role of a Kaled officer named General Greiner was subsumed by Ravon, while Sevrin was paired with a second Muto named Marrass.
    • Bettan was originally a man.
    • Terry Nation intended the Mutos to be much more bestial in appearance, their forms usually hidden by their rags.
    • Episode three originally contained a subplot where Sarah contracts radiation poisoning, recalling a similar story strand in "The Daleks".
    • Episode five originally had more action in the Dalek incubator room and ended with the Doctor's question of whether he had the right to destroy them.
    • The Thal soldiers were originally supposed to be boys aged 15 or 16 to illustrate the youth of those fighting in the war, but this was later changed to make them appear more mature.
    • There are conflicting reports about whether Davros' apparent Karmic Death at the end was ever intended to be truly permanent or not. Some sources say yes, while others suggest that there could have been a The End... Or Is It? Stinger with lights starting to flash again on his wheelchair.
  • "Revenge of the Cybermen":
    • Gerry Davis' original script had space station Nerva as a sort of galactic service station with a casino, whose gold would be used against the Cybermen. This was dropped, partly because of producer Phillip Hinchcliffe having doubts about featuring gambling in an all-ages show, and partly because of the next story being moved to the opener of the next season, which suddenly gave him a lot more money to play with. He decided to spend it on a location shoot at Wookey Hole, and so had his script editor Robert Holmes turn Nerva into a beacon orbiting a golden planetoid called Nerva, which Wookey Hole could represent. Very little of Davis' script made it to screen.
    • In Gerry Davis' original script, most of the action took place on board the Nerva beacon. The Nerva crew at this stage include a scientist named Anitra Berglund, and Warner was female. The Cybermen have been smuggled onto Nerva by Kellman before the story begins, with the aim of destroying a gold-rich asteroid in the station's vicinity. Kellman has betrayed a group of miners (led by a man named Evans, and also including Jones and Williams) who have been marooned on the asteroid for a quarter of a century; they eventually kill him by dynamiting a tunnel. The Doctor manages to reprogram the Cybermats to destroy the Cybermen using gold dust he has retrieved from the asteroid.
    • Prior to this, the space station would be operating as a casino.
    • In Davis' earlier drafts, the Cybermen appear much earlier, which explains the presence of the Cybermats on the Beacon. In the broadcast version, they do not arrive until the end of Part Two, so how the Cybermats got onto the Beacon is never explained.
    • In the absence of a concrete idea of how Tom Baker would be portraying the new Doctor, Davis originally elected to essentially write the character as a timid, reserved figure in the vein of the Second Doctor, including the use of such signature elements as his 500-year diary.
    • Originally, Cybermen costumes from "The Invasion" were to have been used, but only two had survived, and in poor condition. This necessitated entirely new outfits, which included chest panels constructed from the innards of old television sets and trousers which, for the first time, were not tucked into the Cyber-boots.
  • "Terror of the Zygons":
    • Nicholas Courtney suggested to Philip Hinchcliffe that the Brigadier be killed off in this story, as he felt he would no longer be required in the show's new format. Hinchcliffe turned down the idea, however, feeling that it would be an inappropriate fate for a character who had been so vital to the programme.
    • The script originally placed a far greater emphasis on the Skarasen and the loch. Robert Holmes felt that the Zygons were more interesting characters, especially since they could interact with the main cast.
    • This was originally written as a six-parter but cut to four parts. It is believed the majority of the cuts were location scenes.
  • "Planet of Evil": The original script had Sorenson dying after falling into the pit, but Hinchcliffe ordered that this be changed, as he felt it would too grim an ending for "the little ones"[clarification needed], and because he saw Sorenson as a victim of the planet's influence rather than an evil man in himself. Instead, a scene was added in which Sorenson is released from the pit and cured of his anti-matter contamination.
  • "Pyramids of Mars":
    • Lewis Greifer's original script saw the Doctor and his companion (generically referred to as “Jane”) attend a conference on food reserves at the British Museum, along with The Brigadier (who it was suggested might be killed off during the adventure). The Doctor's friend Professor Fawzi and his partner, Dr. Robertson, are there to unveil their work on a new type of grain which can flourish on the surface of the Moon, thereby solving the world's hunger problems. However, the conference is soon attacked by the crocodile-like Egyptian god Sebek and his army of mummies. Sebek and his master, Seth, are aliens who came to Earth millennia ago intent on conquest, but were placed in suspended animation via a powerful artefact called the Eye wielded by Horus, another of their kind. Having reawakened, they now intend to replace Fawzi and Robertson's grain with one which will result in the Moon's disintegration — which, in turn, will have catastrophic effects on Earth. The Doctor manages to locate Seth's resting place beneath an Egyptian pyramid, and is assisted by Horus and another deity, Isis, in defeating Seth and destroying the probe in mid-flight.
    • Ernie Clements was intended to survive the story, but Paddy Russell elected to kill him off instead.
  • "The Android Invasion":
    • The Brigadier was supposed to be in this story, but Nicholas Courtney had a theatrical commitment. Thus, his lines were given to Colonel Farraday.
    • Originally, a key plot element was that the Kraal androids were in fact mirror images of the people they were imitating, and this was how the Doctor deduced that “Sarah Jane” was actually a robot. It was eventually decided that this would be too technically demanding to realise, and the action was suitably amended.
    • Terry Nation envisaged the Kraals as somewhat insectoid in appearance, although this idea was not used in the design work.
    • Ian Marter preferred it if Harry had died saving Sarah.
  • "The Brain of Morbius": Terrance Dicks' version involved a space criminal called Morbius crash-landing onto a planet, and his robot servant — who lacks any sense of aesthetics — assembling a new body for him from other aliens, in ignorance of their vastly differing physiognomies. Dicks drew partly upon the costumes for the Clawrantulars, creatures which had appeared in Seven Keys to Doomsday, for the crab-like elements of Morbius' new body.
  • "The Seeds of Doom": There were talks of bringing the Brigadier and Benton back for the final episode, but due to the minuscule role, it was decided to be not worth the effort. Nicholas Courtney was offered the chance to reprise his role, but he was unavailable. When he watched the story and saw that it was a UNIT story without the regulars, his reaction was, "Oh, well."
  • When Sarah Jane Smith's actress Elisabeth Sladen was ready to leave the show, one proposed idea for her departure was to have her Killed Off for Real as the Sudden Downer Ending of a serial. A seemingly dead enemy would have managed to shoot her, with the Doctor breaking down and embracing her body upon realizing what happened. The last scene would have taken place the next morning, with other characters seeing her funeral pyre burning just as the TARDIS was dematerialising.
  • "The Hand of Fear":
    • The original outline was set in the 1990s, at a time when technology and the military are forbidden. Sarah is sent to live in a commune while the Doctor is despatched to a labour camp. There he meets the aged Brigadier — now part of EXIT, the Extraterrestrial Xenological Intelligence Taskforce — and discovers that an anthropologist named Mountford has unearthed a mysterious fossilised hand. The hand takes control of Mountford's mind and forces him to transport it to the Nuton nuclear reactor, which is in the process of being decommissioned. There, the radiation allows the hand to regenerate into its original form: a creature called an Omegan made of teryllium, which has travelled to Earth from inside a black hole. It transpires that there are actually two Omegans at work on Earth, representing different factions of their people. The “hawk” Omegans wish to destroy humanity, while the “dove” Omegans simply want to remove mankind as an interstellar threat. They have accomplished this by slowly devolving men into ape-like Trogs, which manifested itself early on as the backlash against science. Sarah is now undergoing the same transformation. This is undone, however, when the “hawk” Omegan (who crashlanded on Earth, necessitating his reconstitution at Nuton) destroys his “dove” counterpart. He then flees Earth in the other Omegan's spaceship, having configured Nuton to explode and obliterate the planet. At the last second, the Doctor manages to redirect the power of the blast to fuel an experimental rocket called the Icarus. Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart commandeers the Icarus and uses it to pursue the Omegan, ultimately sacrificing himself by ramming the enemy vessel head-on, preventing it from impacting with the Earth.
    • In a later version, a key character, Lieutenant Hawker, was later replaced by Harry Sullivan. Along with the calcified hand, an Omegan spaceship (referred to as “the Monolith”) was now discovered at the start of episode one, and became central to the storyline, serving as the location of the adventure's climax. The separate factions of Omegans were excised. Baker and Martin also introduced a new supporting character, in the form of a Time Lord named Drax. An untrustworthy Gallifreyan mechanic who wants to steal the TARDIS, Drax was conceived as a possible recurring character. He later appeared in "The Armageddon Factor".
    • The story originally filled the six-part slot eventually occupied by "The Seeds of Doom".
  • One idea whose abandonment was an unquestionable good thing — it was seriously proposed to have Louise Jameson play Leela in Blackface, and there are hideously embarrassing make-up test photos online to prove it. As it turned out, her natural skin tone was very slightly darkened to play the part, but to a level that was more plausible and less offensive for a white person who grew up mostly outdoors in the tropics.
    • Leela was originally conceived as a Victorian Cockney flower girl.
    • Robert Holmes suggested that Leela possess some sort of supernatural powers, which he thought might be inherited from a witch-priestess grandmother. Chris Boucher was not fond of this idea, and instead opted to grant her a sort of sixth sense for danger.
  • "The Face of Evil": Tomas was originally named Loke and originally had a more prominent role before it was decided to give Leela more focus.
  • "The Talons of Weng-Chiang": The true identity of Weng-Chiang was supposed to be the desiccated, decomposing Master; there are several story elements still left over from this original plan, in fact, such as the time cabinet and Magnus Greel's plan to restore himself through the life energy of others. Robert Holmes and Phillip Hinchcliffe decided not to reuse the Master, though, due to the fact that it hadn't even been a full season since his last appearance.
  • "Horror of Fang Rock":
    • This story, the Season 15 opener, was written as a replacement for a vampire-based story by the same writer called "The Vampire Mutations" because the BBC's classic serial adaptation of Dracula was set to air in 1977 and they thought Who doing a similar story would take the shine off of it. The show would finally tackle vampires with Season 18's "State of Decay" (which was effectively a rewrite of "The Vampire Mutations" which was pulled out of the archive due to a lack of available scripts).
    • In the original script, Col. Skinsale's wife Veronica appeared. She was ultimately removed.
    • In early drafts of the story, Adelaide and Skinsale survived; however, this was changed to make the story more resonant with the poem Flannan Isle.
  • "The Invisible Enemy": The script was originally structured so that the scene in which K-9 departs with the Doctor and Leela could simply be dropped if the character was not to be retained, leaving the implication that he had simply been returned to Professor Marius off-screen.
  • "Image of the Fendahl": Max Stael was originally supposed to shoot himself on-camera, but this was rejected as being too dark.
  • "The Sun Makers":
    • At one point in scripting, the scene in which Leela is stunned when entering the large safe was to have been her death scene. However, the production team decided against killing Leela, in part because to have Tom Baker's Doctor shown grieving midway through a story would have been inappropriate both for the story and Baker's version of the character.
    • The Collector was originally conceived as a large, corpulent figure, which is why Hade calls him things like "Your Immensity".
    • Director Pennant Roberts had originally intended that the giant credit cards featured in the story should resemble Barclaycards. This was vetoed by producer Graham Williams, who said that it would be free publicity for the bank.
    • Veet's lines originally went to a character named Rashif, who was dropped from the script.
    • Marn was originally a man.
  • "The Invasion of Time":
    • Leela was supposed to be killed off, dying defending the Doctor against the Sontarans. Alas, the creators felt that this would traumatise children.
    • Robert Holmes was supposed to write this story, but he declined, not wanting to return to the series having just left his post as script editor.
    • Initially, it was revealed that the Time Lords were not native Gallifreyans, but rather had been permitted to construct their Citadel there in return for ensuring that the planet's populace lived in total comfort and security. It was these indigenous Gallifreyans that Leela met following her banishment.
    • The Doctor's actions as President originally threw the Time Lords into open civil war, and part two ended with several rebellious Time Lords threatening to execute the Doctor (much as Andred does in the part three cliffhanger of the finished serial).
    • The Vardans were also to betray the Doctor, ordering his annihilation at the close of episode three.
  • After Leela's departure, Elisabeth Sladen was approached to return to the series as Sarah Jane. However, she declined, and thus Romana was created instead.
  • "The Ribos Operation":
    • The script originally called for the Doctor to be in awe of the White Guardian. However, Tom Baker insisted on playing it mockingly while trying not to laugh at how serious it all was, both much more in-character and pretty badass into the bargain.
    • Initially, the jethrik was important because it was actually a source of incredible energy which could power a fleet of spaceships.
  • "The Pirate Planet":
    • Douglas Adams' original outline involved a planet which is being mined by the Time Lords, who use a giant aggression-sapping machine (disguised as a statue) to pacify the natives. One Time Lord (stuck in the slow-time field, in the midst of his last regeneration) becomes trapped in the statue and absorbs all the aggression, inducing him to turn against his people. He causes the mining devices to hollow out the planet and now plans to make it dematerialise and reform around Gallifrey.
    • Additionally, Adams had conceived a drug addiction allegory, about a company which preys on people who fear death by offering machines which can slow time for them — but at an exorbitant price. The company goes bankrupt, however, leaving one old lady in need of a source of fantastic energy.
  • "The Stones of Blood":
    • The Ogri were originally envisioned as rocky-skinned humanoids who looked like regular stones only when stationary. To save costs, Darrol Blake elected to have the Ogri appear as large blocks throughout, although elements of the original idea — such as the large footprint found by the Doctor and Romana — remained in the script.
    • Initially, the Ogri were to simply crush people, but this was replaced by their ability to absorb blood.
    • The Megara were originally depicted as floating metal orbs. This was changed to floating lights, because it was deemed too similar to Star Wars.
  • "The Androids of Tara": David Fisher had hoped that Tara might be populated by animals resembling creatures of legend, such as unicorns (which might be natural or mechanical), and originally envisaged Till as a dwarf rather than a hunchback.
  • "The Armageddon Factor":
    • The writers initially envisaged Drax as an elderly eccentric, thinking along the lines of the aged prisoner in The Count of Monte Cristo.
    • In the original storyline, both Atrios and Zeos were populated. Astra (at that point called “Reina”, a name later changed to avoid confusion with Prince Reynart from "The Androids of Tara") was an astrophysicist who had discovered the Shadow's planet lying between the two warring worlds. The conflict had arisen because Atrios and Zeos blamed each other for a catastrophic shift in their orbits; they were being egged on by the Shadow, known as “the Presence” on Atrios and “the Voice” on Zeos. The Doctor was forced to use the makeshift Key To Time to temporally freeze both planets' armies. The Shadow's own shadow turned out to be the sixth segment of the Key To Time. His plan was to use the powers of the Key to pit one half of the universe in war against the other half. The Doctor stopped the Shadow by unfreezing the Atrian and Zeon armies and giving each the coordinates of the Shadow's “Castle of Evil”.
    • The Black Guardian originally didn't appear in the climax. Originally, the Doctor simply decided that he did not trust the White Guardian with the Key, and consequently scattered the six segments again to prevent anyone from controlling it. This was changed when the actor couldn't reprise his role.
  • A number of sources report that Graham Williams and Douglas Adams seriously considered having Romana be played by a different actress in every story in Season 17, before deciding that it would be too much work and too stressful on the writers.
  • "Destiny of the Daleks":
    • Much of the story originally took place at night, but the budget would not permit this kind of location filming, and so it had to be rewritten for the day.
    • In the original script, K-9 was trapped in the TARDIS due to a rockfall, while the Daleks searched for Davros because he can supply information about special circuitry which will help them break the deadlock.
  • "City of Death":
    • David Fisher's initial draft, called The Gamble with Time, was mainly set in the year 1928 with the Doctor and Romana, aided by Bulldog Drummond-esque detective "Pug" Farquharson, on the trail of the stolen Mona Lisa, pursuing Scarlioni from Paris to Monte Carlo where his partner, the Baroness Heidi, is using time travel technology to cheat at roulette at the casino to fund Scarlioni's time travel experiments. The Doctor and Romana ultimately discover that Scarlioni is trying to journey back to prehistoric Earth and prevent the time bubble explosion in order to save his fellow Sephiroth, who are dying from an illness he believes is caused by radiation from the accident. However, the Doctor discovers that the culprit is actually the common cold virus, to which the Sephiroth have no immunity. Scarlioni agrees to let the time bubble accident happen, in order to spark the genesis of life on Earth.
      • After the idea was floated to film the Paris scenes on location, it was decided to drop the casino angle, partly because setting the entire story in Paris would allow them to make the most of the locations and partly because, once again, the producer, Graham Williams, was having second thoughts about featuring gambling so heavily in a story. With Fisher unavailable, Williams and script editor Douglas Adams worked non-stop for several days to rewrite the story. Only a few lines from the original survived (notably, the Doctor's line about getting only "one throw of the dice" during his final confrontation with Scaroth).
    • Prior to that, the story was originally set in Las Vegas.
    • The story was originally going to start with a close-up of the Doctor and Romana which would pull back to reveal them standing high atop the Tower. This was abandoned when the special lens rented for the sequence from a Spanish firm could not be made to fit the BBC camera.
    • The artist who sketches Romana in the café was originally a much more prominent figure called Bourget, who is in league with Scarlioni.
  • "The Creature from the Pit": David Fisher's original outline was concerned with Adrasta's attempts to claim the TARDIS for herself. K-9 eventually takes Adrasta away in the TARDIS, returning her — cowed and defeated — at the story's conclusion. Upon initially being thrown into the Pit, the Doctor is attacked by Hellyn, a former member of Adrasta's team of engineers. In the final episode, a battle fleet from Tithonus (later spelt “Tythonus”) arrives, threatening to destroy Chloris with a photon missile. Erato and the Doctor travel into space in Erato's ship, and the Tithonian weaves a spacesuit for the Doctor, enabling him to reach the missile and disarm it.
  • The Dirk Gently series only exists because a strike prevented the Douglas Adams-penned Doctor Who story "Shada" from being filmed in its entirety for Season 17: the Time Travel-based plot was recycled from the script.
    • Some of the existing "Shada" footage was incorporated into Season 20's "The Five Doctors" when Tom Baker chose not to participate. The existing footage was later compiled into a 1992 video (with Baker providing linking material), and the script was later adapted into a Big Finish audio story for the Eighth Doctor. Details here.
    • Adams wrote "Shada" as a substitute for another script of his in which the Doctor decided to retire; the BBC rejected it for being too much of a Self-Parody of the show.
    • Chronotis originally perished in episode two, but Douglas Adams had become fond of the character and decided to bring him back.
    • The famous scene where the Doctor is chased by the orb while on a bicycle was supposed to take place at night.
  • "Meglos": In the original storyline, Lexa simply vanished from the action once she had served her purpose within the narrative. Christopher H. Bidmead suggested her act of self-sacrifice as a more dramatic end for the character.
  • "State of Decay":
    • The Time Lord hermit who told the Doctor about the Great Vampire was described as an old woman in many drafts.
    • Subplots involving townsfolk nocturnally wandering the forest like zombies and rebellious citizens being found with bat-like bite marks on their necks were removed from the script.
  • Adric's character was originally conceived as "an Artful Dodger IN SPACE!", though largely in terms of his relationship with the Doctor. While wisps of this concept crop up in Adric's abilities once in a blue moon, the student-mentor dynamic more or less runs headlong into a brick wall after the Fourth Doctor regenerates.
  • "Warriors' Gate":
    • The story originally opened with an attack on the Privateer by an "Antonine Killer", which led to the ship becoming trapped at the Gateway.
    • A crewman named Nestor was excised from the script, his lines being shared between Lane and Packard.
    • Very little of Stephen Gallagher's original script remained, mostly due to tensions on the set and the director's decision to rewrite the script into something resembling an art-film. Gallagher was contracted to write the novelization and based it on his original script; however he got holy hell from the BBC over this and was forced to rewrite it to match the episode as shown. The original novelization has never seen print, and may be lost.
  • "The Keeper of Traken": Johnny Byrne's original outline was set in a mediaeval-type society, divided between the scientific Greys and the zealous Blacks, led by Hellas and Zorca, respectively. Zorca summons a being called Mogen he believes is a demon, but whom the Doctor later realises is the last survivor of a race of super-beings with fantastic mental abilities. Mogen wants to take control of the powerful Source in order to use Traken as the launching pad for galactic conquest. Zorca frames Adric for murder, and the cliffhanger for episode two originally involved the Doctor, Adric and Hellas on the brink of execution, about to be crushed between blocks of steel. A key element of part four was a stolen component from the TARDIS, which Mogen uses to construct a time disintegrator with which he plans to kill the Doctor.
  • "Logopolis": John Nathan-Turner was keen to reintroduce a familiar companion to the regular cast to ease the transition from Tom Baker to Peter Davison after the former's seven year tenure in the lead role, and approached both Elisabeth Sladen and Louise Jameson to ask if they would like to reprise their parts as Sarah Jane Smith and Leela respectively. Neither were interested in going back to the programme, so Tegan was created instead.
  • Interviewed for the Big Finish non-fiction audio release Tom Baker at 80, Baker reveals that he actually proposed that the series allow the Doctor to have a romantic moment with one of his companions, albeit as a joke. (Baker's idea: that the companion kiss him, the Doctor act shocked, but then decides he likes it and asks to be kissed again.) This was decades before the TV movie broke the "no kissing" taboo. Baker didn't identify which companion this was proposed for, though given he was involved in a real-life romance with Romana II actress Lalla Ward, she's the most likely suspect.

    Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) era 
  • "Kinda": Christopher Bailey originally wrote the script with the Fourth Doctor in mind. He had originally envisioned the Doctor playing the role of a “wise sage”, but the younger Doctor anticipated by the production team would no longer suit this portrayal.
  • "The Visitation":
    • The Terileptils, and the pioneering animatronic masks used to bring them to life, were intended to return. Those plans fell through. One mask did end up being reused in modified form on a delegate from Posikar in "The Trial of a Time Lord".
    • Eric Saward had submitted this story for the previous season.
    • Saward originally intended for the serial to end with the Doctor claiming a new sonic screwdriver out of a cabinet full of the devices: we could've seen far more of the sonic in the classic series, but John Nathan-Turner decided that it made things too easy for the Doctor and was a writer's crutch. Also slightly coupled with Executive Meddling.
  • "Black Orchid": John Nathan-Turner intended for a long time to direct this story, but late in the day Ron Jones was hired.
  • "Earthshock": Eric Saward considered having the Cyber-Leader survive the story, providing yet another sign of the Fifth Doctor's fallibility in comparison to his predecessor, but ultimately decided against it.
  • "Time-Flight":
    • The story was originally pitched for the previous season.
    • Eric Saward wanted the Master to be killed off in this story, as he felt the character had outlived his welcome.
  • "Arc of Infinity":
    • Peter Cushing was considered for Borusa.
    • Patrick Stewart was considered for the Castellan.
    • It is rumoured that Pierce Brosnan was considered for Commander Maxil. (An article in Doctor Who Magazine noted that in a parallel universe, there is one hell of a version of "Arc of Infinity".)
    • The story was originally set in London.
    • The original storyline involved the Doctor suffering nightmares about his regeneration, which were actually a precursor to the arrival in our universe of an entity called the Avatar, who takes on the Doctor's form and goes to Amsterdam. Operating there as Neman, the Avatar begins to take control of human minds, striving to create a form in which it will be able to permanently maintain its existence. The Doctor and Nyssa discover Neman's plot when they land in a future version of Amsterdam, which is populated by robot guards called Sweepers, the elderly Resisters, and barbaric Anarchs. Realising that history has been altered, they travel back in time to present-day Amsterdam. There, the Doctor discovers that Time Lord regeneration is the mechanism by which the Avatar is made manifest. The Avatar is defeated when the Doctor relives his own recent regeneration.
  • "Mawdryn Undead": In one of the most potentially significant Doctor Who "tipping points" ever, the returning old character was originally intended to be Ian Chesterton (who had already been established as a schoolteacher), but William Russell was unavailable. If this had gone as planned, it's possible that Ian might have ended up as the emotionally talismanic figure of "the Doctor's oldest friend" instead of the Brigadier, and the Brig might never have appeared again after "Terror of the Zygons". Also, there wouldn't have been a "UNIT dating" Continuity Snarl.
  • "The Five Doctors":
    • One idea floated by writer Terrance Dicks was for the Fourth Doctor to be the villain the other four Doctors had to stop, figuring that if any of them were ever to make a Face–Heel Turn it would be him. When Tom Baker refused to participate in the special, however, this and any other ideas that would have made the Fourth Doctor key to the story where dropped.
    • Robert Holmes' version, "The Six Doctors", would have featured the Cybermen and their kidnapping of the five incarnations of the Doctor; in their attempt to extract Time Lord DNA to turn themselves into "Cyberlords", the twist being that the First Doctor and Susan would actually be android impostors (the former being the "Sixth Doctor" of the title) and the Second Doctor would have saved the day. Ultimately, Holmes dropped out, unable to cope with JNT's shopping list of things to put in the script. Some elements of this plotline would be reused in Holmes' own "The Two Doctors".
    • As stated before, Tom Baker was originally going to be part of the special, but dropped out at the last minute. If he stayed in the project, he would've been the Doctor that went to Gallifrey and later confronts Borusa at the end. Dicks state that Baker dropping out actually helped out, because it gave more screen time for Peter Davison since he was the current Doctor at the time. It also had the bonus of allowing John Nathan-Turner to utilize footage from the unfinished story "Shada", which he'd been trying to get on TV for several years, in order to allow Baker to appear anyway, and said footage also allowed Lalla Ward's popular Romana to make a cameo which would not otherwise have been possible.note 
    • A large number of other characters were planned to appear, but the actors were unavailable:
      • Ben and Polly were considered to appear, but Anneke Wills was out of the UK at the time and couldn't be located.
      • The continuity error of the Second Doctor remembering an incident that happened moments before his regeneration was a last-minute replacement for the original reason he recognised his old companions as illusions. This would have featured Victoria saying "The Brigadier's right", but the Doctor remembering that he was a Colonel when she met him. But, Deborah Watling had to pull out and the replacement line was hastily added.
      • The UNIT sergeant was supposed to be Benton. John Levene turned it down, as he objected to the script requiring Benton to not recognise the Second Doctor. Levene felt this was unfaithful to his character, who he felt would not forget the Second Doctor, and he declined to participate.
      • Jo was supposed to appear, but Katy Manning was in Australia at the time.
      • Harry was supposed to appear, but Ian Marter was working in New Zealand at the time.
      • Louise Jameson wanted to reprise her role as Leela again, but they couldn't fit her into the story.
      • Romana was supposed to appear, but Lalla Ward turned it down, unwilling to work with Tom Baker again. Mary Tamm wasn't asked to reprise her role.
    • In early drafts of the script, some of the Doctor and companion combinations were different. Originally, the Fourth Doctor would have been paired with Sarah Jane, the Third Doctor with the Brigadier and the Second Doctor with Jamie. When Frazer Hines proved unavailable for more than a cameo appearance the script had to be altered, pairing the Second Doctor with Victoria Waterfield. This was revised again when Deborah Watling became unavailable and Tom Baker decided not to appear, resulting in the pairings as they were screened.
    • John Nathan-Turner asked veteran Who directors Warris Hussein and Douglas Camfield to direct, but they couldn't come to terms.
    • The original script featured an appearance by the Autons. After being dropped into the Death Zone, Sarah would have been attacked by a group of them before being rescued by the Third Doctor. However, due to budgetary restrictions, the scene was dropped and replaced in the finished version.
    • The Quarks were set to return in this story, but were removed from the script at an early stage and replaced by the Raston Warrior Robot, which is the only new "monster" featured in the special, and was itself a last-minute addition, after Eric Saward told Terrance Dicks that the Third Doctor and Sarah needed to encounter one more obstacle before reaching the tower.
    • Commander Maxil was at one point to have appeared. The character was dropped from the final script when Colin Baker proved unavailable.
    • Charles Gray was offered the role of Rassilon.
  • "Warriors of the Deep":
    • In the original script, Preston and Commander Vorshak survived the massacre at Seabase Four.
    • Doctor Solow and Preston were at first male, but Pennant Roberts changed their gender.
    • The Myrka was originally supposed to be just a much bigger and stronger Sea Devil. However, the production team did not feel that this was suitably impressive, and instead had it redesigned into a quadrupedal beast. Considering the Myrka's reputation as one of, if not the worst-realised monster in the show's entire history, odds are they'd have been better off sticking with the original incarnation.
  • "The Awakening":
    • This was originally intended to be a four-part serial, but cut to two early in the script editing stage.
    • John Nathan-Turner liked the character of Will Chandler so much that he considered keeping him on as a regular companion. It was decided that the character would not have a lasting appeal and that his childlike character would quickly wear thin and lacked any clear path of development.
  • "Frontios":
    • It was originally intended that Tractator technology should incorporate human remains, but this was deemed too gruesome. This idea was taken up in "The Girl in the Fireplace".
    • The producers intended to remove the TARDIS from the show completely and create the impression that the Doctor and his companions were stuck at the end of the universe. After the Gravis repaired the TARDIS in part four, the idea of removing the TARDIS from the show was scrapped.
  • "Resurrection of the Daleks":
    • Davros was supposed to be killed off for good, until the estate of Terry Nation complained.
    • The Dalek Emperor appeared in early drafts.
    • This was originally supposed to be the last story of Season 20, but industrial action prevented it from being filmed back then. The original incarnation of the story would have been helmed by "Earthshock" director Peter Grimwade, but he fell out with producer John Nathan-Turner in the interim, leading to his being replaced by Matthew Robinson for the finished product.
  • "Planet of Fire":
    • Graeme Harper was attached to direct at one time. He ended up directing the following story instead.
    • The script originally contained commentary on issues of religious zealotry, something that was toned down by Eric Saward.
    • In the script, Peri forged a bond with the Doctor in part because he reminds her of her late father, who died at the same age as the Doctor now appears.
    • The Elder leader Timanov was written originally by Grimwade as a parody of Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini, but this element was greatly reduced in rewrites by script editor Eric Saward.
    • Mark Strickson stated that he may have stayed on for another year had he known that the following season would consist of a 45-minute episode format. His biggest reason for leaving the role of Turlough was his dissatisfaction with the constancy of cliffhangers in each serial, believing that they diminished character development.
    • The possibility of the Master being permanently killed off was seriously considered, as Anthony Ainley's contract was expiring and the BBC initially considered his financial demands for a renewal to be excessive.
  • "The Caves of Androzani": In the original script, the Doctor did not regenerate after succumbing to spectrox toxaemia, but simply because of the damage his body sustained in combatting Stotz and his gunrunners.

    Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker) era 
  • Colin Baker wanted his Doctor to dress in severe black velvet, but it got nixed as being too similar to the Master's outfit and too difficult to see in underlit settings.
  • In a 1984 Marvel Comics issue of The Star Beast/The Return of the Daleks, published during the interim between Peter Davison and Colin Baker's tenures, a small recap of the show's history is lodged between the two stories in the comic; at the end of said recap is a brief verbal teaser for the Sixth Doctor's first season, describing him as a Doctor who will return to the "cunning clown" characterization of the Second Doctor, a far cry from the bombastic egotist that Six actually ended up being. It's likely the original plan was dropped in an effort to make the show Darker and Edgier, given script editor Eric Saward's affinity for mature, gritty stories.
  • "The Twin Dilemma":
    • The original script featured the Jacondans and Gastropods being dropped totally without resolution to the plot, with the final battle taking place in another dimension against a being called Azlan who was controlling Mestor all along.
    • Ian Levine suggested that Azmael be the Doctor's old hermit mentor, referred to in "The Time Monster" and "State of Decay". Unfortunately, Anthony Steven misunderstood the nature of the Doctor's relationship with the character, and made him a tutor at the Prydonian Academy instead.
    • John Nathan-Turner was encouraged to cast two more experienced female actors as Romulus and Remus, but chose male actors because he believed it was crucial the characters be boys for the script to work. While he may have had a point about this (the twins can be read as a Plot Parallel for the Doctor's fragmented personality following his regeneration), the boys visibly struggled with their parts.
    • Fabian was originally envisaged as a male character, and the Jacondan Chamberlain as a female one.
  • "Attack of the Cybermen":
    • In the original script, it was revealed that a colony of Cryons is living inside Halley's Comet. Lytton's job was to convince the Cybermen to use the comet as the agent of the Earth's destruction in order to lure the Cyber Controller there, where he would be ambushed by the Cryons. This scheme is uncovered by the Cybermen, who then turn against Lytton.
    • Griffiths was initially killed at the closing minutes of this serial, but an under-running part two meant his character was spared and expanded.
  • "Vengeance on Varos":
    • The story was first written for the 1982 season, but was repeatedly pushed back and re-written. In its final draft, the story had a number of comedic sequences, most of which wound up being cut, and one of which, the acid bath sequence, was played seriously. The result was that the final story was much darker than originally intended.
    • Sil was originally a minor role, while the Governor was the main villain. Eric Saward suggested making him the main villain and the Governor his accomplice.
  • "The Two Doctors": The story originally took place in New Orleans and the Androgums were obsessed with jazz. The setting was changed to Spain when the expected funding for location filming in the United States fell through. Venice was another alternate setting, but was deemed too expensive.
  • "Timelash":
    • In the original script, it was the First Doctor, along with Ian, Barbara and Susan, who visited Karfel. Some vestige of this remains in the final version, as Tekker inquires about the Doctor having only one companion with him.
    • In the original scripts, Katz's amulet — given to her grandfather by the Third Doctor — was to contain a reference to Gallifrey, which Peri identified as the Doctor's home planet in order to gain Sezon's trust. Eric Saward replaced this with a picture of Jo Grant (actually a publicity still taken during the making of "Day of the Daleks").
    • The script gave an explanation for the destruction of the Bandril (originally "Gurdel") missile — that the bendalypse was neutralised via contact with the TARDIS's time field — to replace it only with the Doctor's vague assurance that he will explain it to Peri later (and off-screen).
    • In the original script, Maylin Tekker undergoes no change of heart and is instead murdered by the Borad in the process of shooting the Doctor.
    • The original script had the Borad reject his earlier inclination of mating with Peri because he can now make as many clones of himself as he desires.
  • "Revelation of the Daleks":
    • Planned shots of the Daleks being blown into the sky had to be abandoned because they couldn't get the equipment to the location.
    • The original last line? "I'm taking you to Blackpool!" Because the next story, "The Nightmare Fair", took place in Blackpool. The series was put on an 18-month "rest" after nearly being cancelled, so the edit was made to cover up the last word.
  • When the series was suspended for eighteen months between Seasons 22 and 23, a number of scripts for the original Season 23 had already been written. These later became the basis for the novels The Nightmare Fair, The Ultimate Evil and Mission to Magnus, poublished by Target Books. Big Finish created and released audio play versions of two of these scripts as part of the Lost Stories range (The Ultimate Evil was originally nixed because they were unable to agree terms with the original author, although these were sorted ten years later and an adaptation will be released in 2019).
  • With regards to the finished Season 23 ("The Trial of a Time Lord" Story Arc):
    • Peri Brown was supposed to have been Killed Off for Real in "Mindwarp", but John Nathan-Turner got cold feet about the idea after it had been filmed, hence the abrupt reveal at the end of "The Ultimate Foe" that she survived and married King Yrcanos offscreen.
    • In Robert Holmes and Eric Saward's original finale, the first episode revealed that the Valeyard was in fact the Doctor's final incarnation. The finale then opened with the Master saving the Doctor from the quicksand while the Valeyard kidnapped Glitz. The Doctor encountered Popplewick again, who led him into a trap baited with an illusory Mel. Popplewick, too, was revealed as a construct of “JJ Chambers” — who, in turn, was unmasked as the Valeyard. While news reached the courtroom of the High Council's mass resignation, the Master warned that the Valeyard had materialised his TARDIS around a time vent in the Matrix. If the vent were to be opened for too long, there would be catastrophic ramifications for the space-time continuum. The Valeyard — shown to be a pitiable old man afraid of dying — planned to use this threat to force the Time Lords to grant him the Doctor's remaining regenerations. The Master revealed that he was hired by the High Council to murder the Doctor in exchange for a pardon, but had now decided not to follow through. The Doctor bluffed his way into the Valeyard's TARDIS just as the Valeyard opened the time vent door. Struggling, the Doctor and the Valeyard plunged into the time vent while the Master had Glitz seal the door, saving the universe but trapping the Doctor for all eternity. When Holmes's death and Saward's acrimonious departure prevented both rewrites and any ideas from the original Part 14 from being used, a completely different writing team came up with a new ending.
    • Holmes' original script for the first half of "The Ultimate Foe" involved the Doctor encountering the Duke of Clarence, who accuses him of being Jack the Ripper and tries to drown him at the episode's cliffhanger.
  • The original plan for Season 24 would have revealed how the Doctor first met Mel. Then Colin Baker was fired, making this impossible.
Advertisement:

    Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) era 
  • "Time and the Rani":
    • The original pre-title scene had Albert Einstein kidnapped by the Rani.
    • This serial was originally written with the Sixth Doctor in mind. Following Colin Baker's dismissal, it was hastily rewritten to accommodate the Seventh Doctor. Originally, he was to have regenerated at the end of this story instead of at the start. The script had the Doctor staying behind at the Rani's headquarters to ensure nothing went wrong with the missile strike. The ensuing explosion causes him to regenerate. However, Baker refused to come back for anything less than a full season, but the BBC executives responsible for his sacking would only permit one serial. Neither party could come to an agreement, hence the Sixth Doctor's unceremonious demise.
    • John Nathan-Turner originally preferred not to include the regeneration. Urak would turn over the unconscious Doctor to reveal his new face. He later changed his mind.
    • The original version of the Seventh Doctor's opening titles gave the Doctor's face a more subtle, skull-like appearance. This was discarded in favor of a harder, more visible image, but the first version was accidentally aired with Episode 4.
    • Mel was going to be given a real introduction after being introduced last season as a future companion, but Colin Baker's firing made this impossible to rectify with her being seen as Six's companion, so the story just sort of keeps her already there out of nowhere.
  • "Paradise Towers":
    • In the original script, a mutated creature was living in the Paradise Towers pool. When John Nathan-Turner voiced concerns about how effectively this could be accomplished, it was changed to an aquatic version of the cleaners.
    • Pex was originally envisioned as a muscle-bound moron to parody such popular American heroes as Rambo. Unfortunately, no British actors of appropriate age and build were available, and so JNT suggested turning the concept completely on its head, by casting a small, slender actor who was clearly not the physical specimen Pex made himself out to be.
    • The original music score for the episode, by David Snell, was replaced at the last minute with one by Keff McCulloch (the DVD has Snell's unused score as an alternative audio track). Weirdly enough, both John Nathan-Turner and director Nicholas Mallett seem to have actually been okay with the Snell score, with script editor Andrew Cartmel admitting in his book Script Doctor that he was the main driving force in getting it thrown out, as he felt that the show should have a more energetic style of music.
  • "Delta and the Bannermen": In the original script, the setting was 1957 and revealed that the Americans had launched a satellite in advance of the Russian Sputnik, only to have it knocked out of orbit by the Nostalgia Tours spacebus. When Andrew Cartmel realised that the story was running overlength, it was decided to cut this element from the storyline, along with additional background on the Bannermen (revealing that they had polluted their own planet to the point that it was rendered uninhabitable).
  • "Dragonfire":
    • The main guest lead was a original character called Razorback, but John Nathan-Turner thought as the character was quite like Glitz then he should actually be Glitz.
    • Originally, Ace chose to join Kane as a mercenary, with his sovereign becoming permanently imprinted on her palm. Ace then rebelled only when ordered to kill Mel. However, these developments were felt to be too similar to Belazs' arc. She also had a stuffed dog named Wayne.
    • A pair of scenes in which Glitz accidentally triggers a trap in the corridors beneath Iceworld and must be rescued by the Doctor were removed from the script for time.
    • The script originally featured the Seventh Doctor's trait of mixing up proverbs. JNT and Andrew Cartmel had decided to tone down some of the more overtly comical aspects of the new Doctor's personality, and so these were removed.
    • There was indecision at the time that S24 was being written about which story's young female character would become the new companion (Ray from "Delta and the Bannermen" was a definite possibility, and maybe also one of the Red Kangs from "Paradise Towers"). In the alternative versions where she wasn't the new companion, Ace went off with Glitz, while the Doctor and Mel went off together as normal.
  • "Remembrance of the Daleks":
    • In the original script, the two Dalek factions were the "Red Daleks" led by the Emperor Dalek and the "Blue Daleks" led by the Black Dalek (also called the Dalek Supreme).
    • Ben Aaronovitch had overwritten his scripts for this serial and thus, several subplots were eliminated. This included a threatened nuclear strike on London, a dangerous trip from Totter's Lane to Coal Hill School for the Doctor and Ace, and Harry's extermination by the Daleks.
    • Andrew Cartmel was particularly proud of the scene where Ace finds a NO COLOUREDS sign. When it was screened to the BBC Head of Drama, he rewound the tape because the Head of Drama had missed the sequence due to a phone call. The Head of Drama felt that Ace should have torn the sign down, and Cartmel agreed it was a missed opportunity.
    • In the original script, the Special Weapons Dalek was on the Renegades' side, and, rather than possess great firepower, had the ability to fire around corners. The Imperial Daleks possessed a flying battle platform, a concept which was scrapped due to cost.
    • In the rehearsal script, Gilmore (now planning to retire) referred to his group as the Special Incursions Counter-Measures Unit and that the army wanted to take over. He said they had "some bright boy, Captain Tunbridge-Steward or something, worked for the SOE during the war" to put in charge. If included in the final episode, this would have contradicted a large number of older UNIT and Brigadier stories.
  • "The Happiness Patrol":
    • The serial was originally planned to be filmed in black-and-white to complement its Film Noir-ish atmosphere, but director Chris Clough wasn't allowed to. Sylvester McCoy said he would have begged to have it in black and white, as he thought the sets were lacking.
    • Kandyman was originally a portly, bald man with black teeth and wearing a white lab coat, with the fact that he was made out of sweets being far subtler (principally being implied via his powdery white skin). Costume designer Dorka Nieradzik turned him into the Bertie Bassett-like robot seen. Chris Clough and John Nathan-Turner wanted him to look more robotic. Writer Graeme Curry used his original intention when he novelised the story in 1990, and Big Finish also used this version in an Eighth Doctor story.
    • In the original script, the story took place over several weeks. To compensate for the fact that all the action now took place over a single night, Graeme Curry decided to have Helen A's regime already crumbling at the start of the adventure.
    • The script originally contained a prison area called Arcadia, complete with dozens of fruit machines and an elaborate go-kart game; this was replaced with the far simpler Waiting Zone.
    • In the original script, Ace tricked Susan Q into helping escape instead of Susan doing so willingly.
    • Earl Sigma originally played the trumpet.
    • In the original script, the Doctor and Ace were forced to entertain their audience or be executed. This was felt to be too similar to elements of "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy", and so was excised.
  • "Silver Nemesis":
    • It was originally scripted for the policemen at the Nemesis' crash site to be killed by a swarm of Cybermats, who hadn't been seen since "Revenge of the Cybermen".
    • Prince Edward was asked to appear in this story by John Nathan-Turner, but the Royal Family wrote a letter in response declaring that it would be inappropriate for this appearance to happen. He also tried to get Queen Elizabeth II to make a cameo. When that didn't work, they got an impersonator.
  • "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy":
    • Originally, the story began with the Doctor and Mel arriving at the circus, where they were soon thrust into the ring with a punk werewolf, a creature called the Blob, the musclebound Nord (inspired by Thor), and an empath known as the Non-Entity. Rather than performing solo, the characters competed against each other for the family's entertainment in a series of games and challenges. Of the circus staff, it was the Ringmaster who played the most overtly villainous role. The alternative circus was more high-tech and played a larger role, being occasionally glimpsed by Mel. At the adventure's climax, the circus was destroyed when the Non-Entity amplified the Doctor's rage at the needless deaths.
    • Whizzkid had originally been intended to be a computer genius who was an expert at all the Circus' games, but the evolving premise had made him essentially redundant.
    • In the original script, Segonax was a pastoral setting.
    • The robot had dialogue in the original script.
    • Captain Cook was originally killed off in Episode 1, his death being the cliffhanger. At one point, he was going to survive the Psychic Circus explosion.
    • In the original script, Bellboy was to be haggard and white-haired, implying that he had suffered electric shock treatment, but this was dropped on recording. The script also indicated that he should be lashed to a kite, not a workbench.
    • In the original script, the last episode took place during the daytime.
    • The "muck" the Doctor and Ace were going to eat was going to be pineapples.
  • "Battlefield":
    • Graeme Harper was originally asked to direct. He had to decline, as he was busy with Boon. Andrew Morgan was also considered for the job, but depending on who you ask either he was busy as well, or the higher-ups vetoed his being hired for over-spending on "Remembrance of the Daleks".
    • The Brigadier was supposed to die facing off against the Destroyer. This was approved by Nicholas Courtney, Andrew Cartmel and John Nathan-Turner. Ultimately, Ben Aaronovitch couldn't bring himself to do it.
    • Lethbridge-Stewart was originally going to be promoted to General.
    • The Destroyer of Worlds was envisioned as appearing as a well-dressed human man who later metamorphoses into a more monstrous form. To simplify the narrative, it was decided that the Destroyer should only appear in the latter guise. Similarly, the knights were intended to be dressed in futuristic combat gear that only looked like traditional armour at a glance, but this was dropped on the basis of cost.
    • In the original version, Bambera was an American captain acting on behalf of a joint US-European initiative codenamed “Camelot”. Another key supporting character was Lavender Warmington, director of a heritage group called the Carbury Trust, while the Asian student befriended by Ace was named Thai. Ace herself wielded a newly-constructed sonic screwdriver. Morgaine ensorcelled Ace and planned to sacrifice her to the demon she raised — otherwise, the demon would eradicate all life on Earth, thereby sealing the portal between this dimension and Morgaine's, and trapping A'tur. Lethbridge-Stewart called in an airstrike against the demon, and was mortally wounded; his death satisfied the demon, who then departed. Bambera killed Mordred to save Ancelyn, and a reawakened A'tur arrived, offering to bring Mordred back to life in return for Morgaine's obeisance. Bambera accompanied Ancelyn back to his dimension, while the Doctor would then continue travelling through time and space in honour of Lethbridge-Stewart.
    • One alternative ending had the Brigadier deciding to accompany the knights back to their dimension.
  • "Lungbarrow" very nearly made it to air, but was nixed by the producer in favour of "Ghost Light", ending up as a New Adventures title instead. Focusing on the Doctor reunited with his estranged family, the story was less about Sylvester McCoy and more a re-imagining of Gallifrey in keeping with his darker Doctor; less Crystal Spires and Togas, and more "The Addams Family on acid".
  • "Ghost Light":
    • One key scene was not completed due to time constraints, and featured Mackenzie encountering the night maids and Mrs Pritchard as they prepare to leave, whereupon one of the maids chases him with a machete. This explains why he is hurrying and muttering about Gabriel Chase being "a mad house" just prior to his death at Light's hands. Several more scenes were cut or trimmed in post-production due to the serial running overlength. These included Nimrod resigning his position, Light preventing Mackenzie from leaving Gabriel Chase by causing the door to become bolted, and material expanding on the spy devices Josiah has secreted in the upper observatory where the TARDIS materialises.
    • During the early stages of his development, Light was silent and had wings (which he used to smother the maid in episode three); the latter element was abandoned due to concerns that they could not be effectively realised.
  • "The Curse of Fenric":
    • Ian Briggs originally wanted Dr. Judson to be gay like Alan Turing. Because it was not considered appropriate to depict a character's struggle with homosexuality in a family programme, he transformed Turing's frustration at being unable to express his true sexual identity into Judson's frustration at being crippled.
    • Briggs originally suggested a 1970s setting. Andrew Cartmel dismissed this as being too recent.
    • Shooting on the serial went over-length to such a degree that consideration was briefly given to editing the story into five rather than four episodes. However, Briggs strongly opposed this, feeling that the narrative flow would be badly disrupted (it is not known if the BBC would have given permission for an extra episode, in any case).
  • "Survival":
    • The Cheetah People were supposed to be a lot more human-looking, with their possession by the cat-spirits of the Cheetah World represented by false eyes, teeth and some skin-colouring to suggest cheetah spots. Then someone decided it'd be a good idea to make them actual Cheetah People. The writer, Rona Munro, was less than impressed by the result, describing the end effect as "puss-in-boots" (not to mention brutally hot for the actors).
    • According to Andrew Cartmel, the initial draft of the script did not feature the Master at all, and he was introduced because John Nathan-Turner wanted at least one story in the season to feature a "name" villain. A broadly positive example of Executive Meddling, as the Master's role in the story is plausible and in character, and what turned out to be his final old school appearance reversed much of the Villain Decay he had experienced in the previous couple of appearances.
    • Sgt. Paterson was originally a policeman (and it was in this capacity that he investigated complaints of the Doctor's behaviour), but this was changed as the producer did not want a negative portrayal of a policeman.
    • In the original script, Ace was to burn Karra on a funeral pyre, connecting with her pyromania.
    • Originally, the Doctor was to transport both himself and the Master back to Perivale after their climactic duel on the planet of the Cheetah People. The Master would then confront the Doctor as to his true nature, accusing him of being something other than a Time Lord. The Doctor admits that he has evolved and is not "just" a Time Lord, before describing himself as "multi-talented". The Master then uses a Kitling lurking nearby to escape. John Nathan-Turner felt that this scene was too explicit in casting doubt on the Doctor's past, and had it excised, with the Doctor now returning to Earth alone.
    • The motorcycle duel between the Doctor and Midge was to have taken place in a disused lot or building site — thus better explaining the seemingly miraculous appearance of the sofa on which the Doctor lands.
  • The writing team had a whole 27th season planned out for airing in the second half of 1990 before the axe fell; as Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred's contracts were set to expire at that point, this season 27 would've featured both Ace's departure and the Seventh Doctor's regeneration (the latter of which never actually got planned out before the 1996 TV movie).
    • Ace would have gone to the Academy to become a human Time Lord. This was touched on in the Expanded Universe. It happened in the webcast Death Comes to Time, was mentioned as the Doctor's original intent for her in the novel Lungbarrow, and was teased in a Big Finish adaptation of the original story "Ice Time", retitled "Thin Ice". In this version, Ace turns the chance down so as to keep the story in line with continuity. (However, she did later accept the offer.)
    • Ah, the Cartmel Masterplan. Had the original series gone past Season 26, the plan was for Andrew Cartmel and other writers to delve deeply into the Doctor's history, while revealing the Doctor as a Machiavellian chessmaster (shades of this were revealed in some of Sylvester McCoy's stories like "Remembrance of the Daleks" and "Silver Nemesis"). Who was the Other? What was the real relationship between the Doctor and his "granddaughter" Susan Foreman? Had the Cartmel Masterplan gone through, we might have those answers. On the other hand, with this one there is some debate as to just how much of a Masterplan there really was — the man it's named for has freely denied having any such plans, while other writers involved in the era have suggested that it was really intended to be more of a "mood and atmosphere" or a general attempt at making the Doctor a bit more mysterious rather than a thought-out Story Arc.
  • According to Cartmel's memoir Script Doctor, he made serious efforts to try to get Alan Moore to write a script for a TV Doctor Who story. All that we hear of Moore's idea is that it would have been in the same vein as "The Celestial Toymaker" (considered by fandom consensus at the time as a lost classic due to rose-tinted memories and a pretty good novelisation, instead of the racist disaster that it became considered as after the home video release of the surviving episode and the release of the surviving audio — which among other things featured a minor villain openly using the n-word) and involved "poking into dark nursery corners".

    Eighth Doctor (Paul McGann) TV Movie — and what it evolved from 
  • Of the scripts proposed for the TV Movie, the one filmed is the only one which did not include or presuppose the destruction of Gallifrey. Every one of them had the Doctor as half-human. The book Regeneration by Philip Segal and Gary Russell goes into detail about some of the proposals for a full Continuity Reboot series that preceded the TVM.
    • The Doctor and the Master would have been half-brothers, and good and evil rival claimants for the presidency of the Time Lords.
    • Barusa (versus the amoral Borusa from previous continuity) would have been the Doctor's and Master's paternal grandfather, and on his last regeneration at the start of the series. He would have been mortally wounded by the Master, but his personality would have been Brain Uploaded into the Doctor's TARDIS so that he could continue to act as his mentor.
    • Davros would still have created the Daleks on Skaro, but the Master would have been The Man Behind the Man. After he disposed of Davros, he would have led the Daleks in an assault on Gallifrey.
    • The Cybermen would have been reimagined as apunkalyptic cyborg space pirates.
    • When not fighting the Master, the Doctor would have been searching for their Disappeared Dad, the Time Lord Ulysses.
    • One late version of the series would have given the Doctor a (non-robot) bulldog as a Loyal Animal Companion.


Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report