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Doctor Who – The War Games

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Doctor Who - The War Games (1963) starring Patrick Troughton
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Doctor Who – The War Games (1963) starring Patrick Troughton

The War Games is the final serial of Patrick Troughton as The Doctor. It’s a very well-done, ten-part serial. It deals with himself, Jaimie, and Zoe landing the TARDIS in what appears to be the middle of the fight in World War I. But, not everything is as it seems …

Part 1

The TARDIS arrives in no man’s land during World War II. Rescued from the Germans, the travelers are put on trial by the British General Smythe. A man who is not all he appears to be …

Part 2

The Doctor finds evidence of alien technology in General Smythe’s office. With Jayme and Zoe, they make their escape in Lady Jennifer’s ambulance. But Smythe gives orders to have them killed. So they escape through the mysterious fog. And ancient Roman soldiers attack?

Part 3

Back to the car! The Doctor discovers that, in actuality, they are on an alien planet! It’s divided into different zones. Where human beings fight in endless wars.

Part 4

The Doctor and Zoe penetrate the aliens’ headquarters, where the war games are controlled. Carstairs is reconditioned …. He then exposes the Doctor and Zoe as German spies.

Part 5

In the American Civil War zone, Jamie and Lady Jennifer join forces with resistance fighters from various time zones. They prepare to launch an attack on Central Control.

Part 6

The Doctor sends Zoe to the war zones to assemble a resistance force. The Doctor remains in Central Control to to steal the processing machine. But the War Chief is one step ahead.

Part 7

The Doctor, Jaimie, and CCarstairs have escaped back to the 1917 war zone. But General Smythe is waiting for them. And he opens fire on them with a machine gun!

Part 8

The War Chief captures the Doctor. He belongs to the same race of people as the Doctor (the Time Lords, although they’re not. named at this point). He offers the Doctor an alliance. In the 1917 zone, fighters prepare to attack Central Control.

Part 9

The rebels seize control of the Aliens’ HQ. But the Doctor is forced to call his people, the Time Lords, for help. Whom he’s been running away from all these years. And he knows what they’ll do if they get their hands on him.

Part 10

The War Lord, chief antagonist of The War Games
The War Lord, chief antagonist of The War Games

The war games are over. The Time Lords put the War Lord on trial. Next, they put the Doctor on trial for breaking the laws of time. By interferinging, and saving countless lives.

[to the time lords]
The Doctor: All these evils I have fought, while you have done nothing but observe! True, I am guilty of interference. Just as you are guilty of failing to use your great powers to help those in need!’

Editorial review of Doctor Who – The War Games courtesy of

Patrick Troughton’s final adventure as Doctor Who is something of an epic by the show’s standards. For The War Games spans a full ten episodes, and gives on of the most endearing popular actors to take on the title role a fitting, and quite unsettling, send off. The last Doctor Who adventure to be filmed in black and white, The War Games sees the Doctor, along with companions Jamie and Zoe, seemingly in the midst of the trenches of World War I. But things soon take a puzzling turn, when the Roman Army appear, as well as American civil war soldiers. The mystery of just what’s going on in The War Games keeps the interest going throughout the story’s prolonged episode count. Granted, there’s some lag on its journey, but the subsequent digging into the Time Lords as a race that the adventure contains is fascinating and very welcome.

When Troughton does finally end his tenure, it’s not in the showy blockbuster way you might expect of today’s Doctor Who. And while, of course, the title character would re-emerge in the form of Jon Pertwee, it’s still some ending. Packaged up with the usual high standard of extras that we’ve come to expect from classic Doctor Who DVDs, The War Games is a strong serial, and a welcome addition to di sc. More Patrick Troughton stories would be much appreciated… –Jon Foster


  • Patrick Troughton (The Three Doctors) … The Doctor. His final appearance as The Doctor (not counting guest appearances). And he goes out with a bang.
  • Wendy Padbury (Doctor Who: The Seeds of Death) … Zoe. The Doctor’s companion from Earth’s future.
  • Frazer Hines (Doctor Who: The Seeds of Death) … Jamie. The Doctor’s companion from the Scottish Highlands in the past.
  • Bernard Horsfall (Doctor Who: The Deadly Assassin) … First Time Lord
  • Trevor Martin … Second Time Lord
  • Clyde Pollitt (Doctor Who – The Three Doctors) … Third Time Lord
  • Philip MadocWar Lord. A man who’s using the Time Lords’ technology to kidnap humans from various eras, in a series of never-ending war games. Part of a plot to conquer the galaxy.
  • Michael Napier Brown … Arture Villar
  • Graham Weston … Russell
  • Edward BrayshawWar Chief. A renegade Time Lord, assisting the War Lord.
  • James BreeSecurity Chief. A servant of the War Lord, constantly vying with he War Chief.
  • Clare Jenkins … Tanya
  • Jane SherwinLady Jennifer Buckingham
  • John Livesey … German Soldier
  • David SavileLieutenant Carstairs
  • Terence Bayler … Major Barrington
  • Brian Forster … Sergeant Willis
  • Noel Coleman … General Smythe
  • Hubert Rees … Captain Ransom
  • Esmond Webb … Sgt. Major Burns

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