Doctor Who: 20 Things You Might Not Know About THE WAR GAMES - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Doctor Who: 20 Things You Might Not Know About THE WAR GAMES

It's time to say goodbye to the Troughton years...

1. The War Games was the seventh and final serial of season 6 of Doctor Who, the final story of the 1960s, the final regular adventure for the Second Doctor, and the last Doctor Who story produced in monochrome. At 10 episodes long, it is the second longest individual story (discounting Season 16s The Key To Time & Season 23s The Trial Of A Timelord, which were, respectively, 6 and 4 individual stories by different writers with an overriding season long arc) after Season 3s The Daleks' Master Plan, but Patrick Troughton's swansong didn't start out that way....

2. The 10 episodes The War Games occupied were originally intended to be filled by a 6 part story and a 4 part finale. The author of the six-part adventure, known as The Impersonators, was Malcolm Hulke, who had previously co-written The Faceless Ones with David Ellis two years earlier. The era of the Second Doctor would then conclude with a four-part to be written by Derrick Sherwin. Sherwin was in the process of handing over the script editor's job to Terrance Dicks while taking over the producer's duties from Peter Bryant, and his story was to set-up the new format which would dominate the Third Doctor's era, that of being marooned on modern-day Earth. The decision to take space travel away from the Doctor was inspired by the recent success of stories such as The Web Of Fear and The Invasion.

Problems were developing with both stories, so, compounded with Patrick Troughton informing the Doctor Who production team that he wanted to leave the show at the end of the season, it was decided to instead conclude Season Six with a mammoth ten-part Serial. Hulke was asked to collaborate with Terrance Dicks on the new season finale, with Sherwin taking on full production responsibility for the epic adventure.

3. Troughton's imminent departure from the role of the Second Doctor was announced to the press on January 7th, 1969. It was also known that Frazer Hines would be leaving Doctor Who at the same time, but Bryant and Sherwin hoped to persuade Wendy Padbury to remain for Season Seven and continue as the Third Doctor's assistant for that one season, to help with the transition, just as Ben & Polly had for the First to the Second. Padbury declined, deciding to leave with her two close friends, and the press was informed of her decision on February 24th, 1969.

4. Dicks and Hulke decided to add to the lore of Doctor Who by introducing the Doctor's own race and visiting his home planet. Although The War Games does not mention the planet's name (it would be revealed as Gallifrey in 1973 when Barry Letts pre-empted its on-screen debut in The Time Warrior by revealing the name in the letters column of an issue of TV Comic), it marks the first time he is referred to as a Time Lord.

5. Ironically, the episode where this happens, episode 8, was the lowest-rated Doctor Who episode until part one of Battlefield more than 20 years later. Just 3.5 million viewers tuned in to hear one of the most important moments in the show's history when the Doctor is first described as being a fugitive from his people, the Time Lords.

6. Much of The War Games was filmed in and around Brighton, East Sussex. If Patrick Troughton thought a special location might have been planned for his final external recordings he was sorely mistaken, as when filming began on March 23rd 1969 the cast and crew spent four days at the Sheepcote Rubbish Tip in Brighton! This very stinky dump posed as 'No Man's Land'

7. In three small acts of gentle nepotism, among the cast of The War Games was Derrick Sherwin's wife, Jane Sherwin, playing Lady Jennifer Buckingham. The role of Private Moor was written expressly for Patrick Troughton's son David (who had previously had an uncredited appearance on The Enemy Of The World, subsequently appeared as King Peladon in The Curse of Peladon in 1972, and then as Professor Hobbes in "Midnight" in 2008). Another Doctor Who family connection was Peter Craze as Du Pont. Craze was the brother of Michael Craze, who had played the Doctor's companion Ben Jackson during Seasons Three and Four (Peter Craze had also appeared played Dako in The Space Museum, and subsequently Costa in Nightmare of Eden).

8. In episode one of The War Games, the Doctor kisses Zoe. This marks the first time the Doctor kisses a companion, albeit in a platonic manner, but little did they know what was to come!!!!

9. Philip Madoc was cast as the War Lord. He had not long appeared as Eelek in The Krotons, so to disguise the fact that he had only recently appeared in Doctor Who, Madoc quickly grew a beard, and was given thick glasses to wear. Prior to his debut in the TV series, Madoc had featured in the 1966 film Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. as Dalek collaborator, Brockley. He would go on to play Doctor Solon in 1976's The Brain of Morbius and Fenner in 1979's The Power of Kroll. (Meaning The War Games was the only TV story to feature Philip Madoc that wasn't written by Robert Holmes).

10. The space/time machines that the War Chief provides for the games are only named SIDRAT once (in episode seven, when it's pronounced "side rat"). The acronym is never explained on-screen, but Malcolm Hulke's novelisation of the story reveals it to stand for Space and Inter-time Directional Robot All-purpose Transporter. SIDRAT is TARDIS in reverse.

11. In episode 8 of The War Games, the War Chief says to the Doctor,
"Stealing a TARDIS? Oh, I'm not criticising you. We are two of a kind."
Implying that he too is a renegade from their home planet. Over the years many people have connected this character to that of the Master. After all, although the character was never called anything but "War Chief" in his only televised story, there was no evidence that this was a regular moniker or modus operandi; during the story, the term "War Chief" was treated more as a title (akin to "War Lord" and Security Chief) instead of a name. This theory was compounded in 1974 when Malcolm Hulke wrote the novelisation for the Third Doctor adventure Colony In Space, re-titled Doctor Who and the Doomsday Weapon for its Target Books release.

In the novel, Hulke includes a call back to the events of The War Games while also stating that the Doctor and the Master were the only two renegades ever to have run away from Gallifrey, implying that the War Chief is an early incarnation of the Time Lord who, from his Roger Delgado incarnation onwards, would call himself the Master on television. Plus in the Virgin Missing Adventures Second Doctor novel The Dark Path, incarnations of the Master before Roger Delgado were confirmed not to have used the "Master" title.

Going further than that, the 1980s board game Doctor Who: The Game of Time & Space stated that The War Chief and The Master were indeed the same, as was the Monk, thus allowing the notion of the Doctor and the Master as the only two Renegades to stand.

Although the notion of the Master and the Doctor as the only two renegades in Gallifrey's history was canonically abandoned, the idea has been referenced, discussed, proved and/or pointedly contradicted in many licensed and unlicensed works of Doctor Who fiction across the years.

12. In the final episode of The War Games several Doctor Who monsters make cameo appearances, including a Dalek, a Cyberman, an Ice Warrior, and a Quark; a Kroton was intended to feature, but the costume was found to be in a state of disrepair. A Yeti is also seen, and the actor inside the Yeti costume was John Levene, more famously associated with Doctor Who as Corporal/Sergent Benton.

13. The actor who plays the First Time Lord is Bernard Horsfall. He had previously appeared as Lemuel Gulliver in 1968's The Mind Robber, and would subsequently play Taron in 1973's Planet of the Daleks, but, more interestingly, returned to Gallifrey and the Time Lords to play Chancellor Goth in 1976s The Deadly Assassin.

14. Many other members of the cast had appeared in other capacities in Doctor Who. Terence Bayler (Major Barrington) had previously played Yendom in The Ark (1966). Hubert Rees (Captain Ransom) had previously appeared in Fury from the Deep (1968) and would return for The Seeds of Doom (1976). Edward Brayshaw (War Chief) had previously played Leon Colbert in The Reign of Terror (1964). James Bree (Security Chief) later played Nefred in Full Circle (1980) and the Keeper of the Matrix in The Ultimate Foe (1986). Leslie Schofield (Leroy) later played Calib in The Face of Evil (1977). David Savile (Lt Carstairs) would later appear as Winser in The Claws of Axos (1971) and as Colonel Crichton in The Five Doctors (1983), and Clare Jenkins returned to her role of Tanya Lernov from The Wheel In Space for the scene where Zoe is transported back home by the Time Lords

15. As the TARDIS crew try to escape the Time Lords in episode 10, brief clips from The Web of Fear and Fury from the Deep are used to show the TARDIS in locations supposedly out of the Time Lords' reach. A model shot from episode 1 of The Wheel in Space is used after Zoe is sent back to her own time and place by the Time Lords. Since this episode is missing, the shot sampled in The War Games is the only known surviving footage from this episode. Similarly, the shots used from The Highlanders to show Jamie in his own time and the shots sampled from Fury from the Deep from Episode 1 are also the only surviving footage from those episodes.

16. The scene where the Doctor argues with the Time Lords was filmed approximately three weeks after Jon Pertwee had been contracted to take over from Patrick Troughton, but the scene where the Doctor's exile sequence (the ending of episode 10) begins was filmed several weeks earlier when the next actor to play the Doctor was still under negotiation, which is part of the reason why no complete transformation was seen.

17. The four faces proposed to and declined by the Doctor for his change of appearance were drawn by the story's designer Roger Cheveley. The script of the episode confirms, as the episode's dialogue indicates, that five faces are proposed to him. The one deemed "too young" by the Doctor is not shown. If the intention was for this unseen "too young" face to represent Pertwee, and be the one forced upon him when he is unable to choose, then it's interesting to note that Pertwee was born one year earlier than Troughton!

18. The final episode of The War Games was the last to feature scrolling end credits until part four of the Fifth Doctor serial Earthshock. (Scrolling credits would later be seen in the revived series.)

19. A viewing of The War Games, and in particular the character of Jamie McCrimmon, inspired author Diana Gabaldon to set her Outlander series in Jacobite Scotland, and to name its protagonist "Jamie".

20. Upon completion The War Games was the first story to have a large gap of time between the broadcast of the final episode and the next story beginning - seven whole months! Of course, now Who-dry years are very common (not to mention a 16 year hiatus at one time) but before The War Games there was never more than 8 weeks between one season's end and another beginning.

The War Games also hold the honour of being the longest Doctor Who story to survive the purging of the BBC's videotape archive and currently marks the earliest point in the series where first-time viewers may begin watching Doctor Who in chronological order without encountering any missing episodes.

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