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- Time Can Be Re-written -

Re-ordering The 3rd Doctor's Timeline

Postulated by Tim Harris    Twitter: @TimHarris  This page first posted to the internet Friday 18th April 2014.


  Stories as transmitted "Time can be re-written" says Matt Smith's Doctor as a throwaway line to explain why humans never remember such times as when Earth was moved across space by Daleks, why Amy Pond doesn't even remember the Daleks, why Yeti once walked around the underground and why Cybermen went for a stroll near St Paul's Cathedral.

If one follows that logic this doesn't half free up a lot of rules in terms of continuity. This allows me to re-write the way in which I watch my favourite Doctor Who era for a start, and change the order in which I watch them. If time can be re-written then perhaps the stories I watched have always been watched in the wrong order.

I love the 3rd Doctor Who era so much yet I've long thought that watching it in its correct transmission order made it weaker than it otherwise could be.

So I set out to re-order the stories in such a way that the stories featuring the Master (particularly the first 5) are more spread out, that Delgado's Master is not last seen running away down a corridor and that Liz Shaw, Jo Grant, Mike Yates  and Sarah Jane Smith are each in the Doctor's life for a longer time.

Well why not? So below is the list of stories in  a new order along with spurious attempts to reconcile any potential continuity problems. I'm also blatantly ignoring the fact there's a different title sequence for Sarah's stories because in re-writing the timeline here that title sequence doesn't exist even though it'll be right in front of my eyes.

Just as Brian Williams can be a companion to Matt Smith's Doctor in between stories featuring Rory and Amy, so Sarah Jane Smith can appear in between stories featuring Jo Grant, and Jo Grant can appear in between stories featuring Liz Shaw. The idea of interchangeable companions was also used in another brilliant series, series 2 of The Avengers, in which John Steed would be teamed up with either Dr King, Venus Smith or Cathy Gale each week: Steed would be teamed up with one of the three each week without the need for on-screen explanations for the absence of the other two for that particular episode.

Applying modern (post 2010) ideals onto previous eras of the Doctor's life is a fascinating idea and there are likely many avenues that can be explored if one were to do so. Not for me though, just thinking about it is mind boggling so I'm keeping it simple to the basic ideas as explained above and further below.

The re-ordering of the 6th Doctor timeline is also below as is an incomplete history of the Daleks.

Series 7 Spearhead From Space
  The Silurians
  The Ambassadors of Death
  Inferno
 Series 8 Terror of the Autons
  The Mind of Evil
  The Claws of Axos
  Colony in Space
  The Daemons
Series 9 Day of the Daleks
  The Curse of Peladon
  The Sea Devils
  The Mutants
  The Time Monster
Series 10 The Three Doctors
  Carnival of Monsters
  Frontier in Space
  Planet of the Daleks
  The Green Death
Series 11 The Time Warrior
  Invasion of the Dinosaurs
  Death to the Daleks
  The Monster of Peladon
  Planet of the Spiders

  Time has been re-written order      
Series 7 Spearhead From Space Liz    
  Terror of the Autons Jo The Master Oh, my dear Doctor, you have been naive, the Nestenes well and truly had a back up plan that was put into operation very quickly.

Liz Shaw has gone back to Cambridge to continue work begun prior to Spearhead From Space. Jo Grant's uncle has influence and has been pushing to get his daughter Jo a job. In Liz Shaw's absence the Brigadier gives in to pressure and reluctantly hires Jo on a temporary basis: he passes her onto the Doctor.

  The Silurians Liz   Liz Shaw returns to UNIT after completing work begun prior to Spearhead From Space.
  The Ambassadors of Death Liz    
  The Mind of Evil Jo The Master Liz Shaw goes on leave and The Brigadier has hired Jo Grant back on a temporary basis. The Doctor has once seen the destruction of  a planet and it is shown to be his greatest fear by the Keller machine.
Series 8 Inferno Liz   Liz Shaw is back from leave and the Doctor gets to witness his greatest fear, the destruction of a planet.
  Colony in Space Jo The Master Liz Shaw has permanently returned to Cambridge and Jo Grant has been hired full time by UNIT. The Master is seen on another planet for the first time.
  Day of the Daleks Jo    
  The Claws of Axos Jo The Master After being out in space (see Colony in Space) the Master meets Axons on the way back to Earth.
  The Curse of Peladon Jo    
Series 9 The Time Monster Jo The Master  
  The Mutants Jo   I've changed the order of this and The Time Monster around purely so that it goes space story, Earth story, space story, Earth / space story.
  The Three Doctors Jo    
  Carnival of Monsters Jo    
  Frontier in Space Jo The Master The Master has travelled back into space. The Daleks make a surprise entrance towards the end of the story and the Doctor is injured!
Series 10 Planet of the Daleks Jo   Continues from the excellent cliffhanger ending of the previous series. Jo is keen to return to Earth after this story; she has had enough of travelling in space and time and never does so again. Fully appreciating Earth once she's back, she becomes keen on ecology and of saving the planet.
  The Daemons Jo The Master The Master has returned to Earth and is captured.
  The Time Warrior Sarah   Jo has stayed on in Devil's End and the Doctor meets Sarah Jane Smith.
  The Sea Devils Jo The Master Jo is back from Devil's End and Sarah is back doing journalistic work. The Master escapes at the end and, having had enough of Earth for now, is not seen again for a very long time.
  Death to the Daleks Sarah   Unlike Jo, Sarah is very keen to travel in space and time so the Doctor, having befriended her in The Time Warrior, takes her on another journey whilst Jo stays behind.
Series 11 The Green Death Jo   Sarah has gone on another journalistic crusade. It is obvious that Jo is now growing up and growing away from The Doctor. She leaves at the end of the story and the Doctor is very sad.
  The Monster of Peladon Sarah   Having said goodbye to Jo in The Green Death the Doctor needs to get away from Earth and with Sarah arrives back on Peladon, the planet he once went to with Jo, where, low and behold, they meet someone who reminds the Doctor of Jo, Queen Thalira.
  Invasion of the Dinosaurs Sarah   Back on Earth after visiting Peladon.
  Planet of the Spiders Sarah   This puts 2 Mike Yates stories next to each other but in stretching the willing suspension of disbelief further one could, if one were truly re-writing history, stick the 1993 stage play The Ultimate Adventure in between these last two stories. At some unspecified time the Doctor has met Jason, then meets Crystal and Zog here. They have adventures together before the Doctor drops them off somewhere then heads back to Earth. It would then be a nice touch that the 3rd Doctor got to meet some Cybermen.

Somehow missed by the Keller machine as the Doctor's greatest fear are giant spiders. Perhaps after seeing an alternate Earth destroyed in Inferno the Doctor came to conclude that it might not be so bad after all??? and that his previously second greatest fear became his first.


What if things got really timey-wimey?

What might be the order of stories if the Doctor's actual timeline was such that during The Green Death the Doctor went to Metebelis Three without Jo, arrived back at a future time to find Jo gone but Sarah Jane Smith there? That Sarah knows who the Doctor is but that he has to go along with knowing her when he doesn't? That he then has adventures with Sarah but would hear the mention of giant maggots, mines, green slime and of Mike Yates having forced leave? Supposing the Doctor then returns to a time when Jo was still around (having dressed as though he's just returned from Metebelis Three) and, eventually noticing mentions of Wales, mines and deaths, realises he's at the point in UNIT's timeline where he has to deal with the maggots. It explains why the Doctor is so keen to stop anybody going down the mines in episode 1 of The Green Death; he already knows what's going to happen. Very timey-wimey. The he meets Sarah in The Time Warrior which for him is not the first time but which for Sarah is the first time she meets him. He knows that he can trust her but she doesn't immediately realise she can trust him.

The Daleks' Timeline

The Doctor first meets the Doctor in his first incarnation but a future version of the Doctor has already been to Skaro some time before, when the Daleks were first emerging. So why don't the Daleks in their first story not know who the Doctor is and why do the Daleks not look the same or be able to travel outside their city in their first televised serial?

The answer is simple: time can be re-written. Steven Moffat has shown us the way!

The Doctor has indeed met the Daleks for the first time in the 1963 / 1964 story The Daleks. At that point in time The Daleks were barely survivors of a long war with The Thals. They assumed their planet held the only life in the universe as per their long dead creator Davros. They had developed enough to travel within the confines of their city whilst hoping to eventually leave their casings behind.

Many years later in the Doctor's timeline the Timelords, knowing of the Doctor's meetings with the Daleks and fearing that the Daleks may prove a threat to themselves, send the Doctor back in time to either destroy or alter the Daleks in order to neutralise them (Genesis of the Daleks). It's this very act which causes the Daleks to develop in a different way. Davros learns that aliens do indeed exist, that he himself is not part of the Dalek successes / defeats and sets out to protect himself whilst altering the Daleks in order to better prepare them. It's possible that Davros' early Daleks, albeit able to travel outside the city on ground, ultimately became irradiated when outside and driven mad. In a timeline where the Doctor doesn't visit Skaro at this point, the Daleks rebel, kill Davros and bunker down in the lower depths of the city. They cannot leave the city through fear of madness / death and therefore re-develop their casings to work on static electricity rather than other power-sapping methods. They re-build the city upwards with floors / walls of metal which they believe they cannot leave. Many years later the Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan arrive (The Daleks).

With the interference of the Timelords everything changes: they themselves are the cause of the Daleks' universal conquest ambitions and the great Time War begins. Davros, having met the Doctor, quickly upgrades his life support systems in expectation that he may not be around for much longer otherwise. The Daleks are quickly programmed with knowledge of the times they have met the Doctor in spite of any tape recording of those times having been retrieved and destroyed. Once the Doctor has gone from Skaro the Daleks still bunker down, then rebuild the city and stay in it until such time that they can safely leave it. The Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan arrive (The Daleks) but the Daleks at this time are still reliant on static electricity. Knowledge of the Doctor's previous visit is barely known if at all to the creatures who exist at this time; Daleks don't live forever and differing generations have existed by this time, yet they know of an attempt to destroy them many years before. At the end of that story their power source is destroyed and our heroes leave. A backup power system has already kicked into operation and the Daleks live. They bide their time and once radiation levels have lowered to safe levels can use casings that can travel on land. The Daleks leave the city and the Thals, who know of space ships from seeing the Tardis, have developed a way of getting off the planet. The Daleks now have Skaro to themselves and their plans for universal conquest are born. They know of the Timelords and of the intent to destroy them many years back and it is the desired destruction of the Timelords which leads the Daleks to conquer / destroy all other species. Davros' body is still in the lower depths of the city but over thousands of years regenerates.

The more the Daleks travel out into space the more they hear of the Doctor, the more times they meet the Doctor they learn he is a Timelord. The know it is this species which tried to destroy them many years before. It is to time travel that the Daleks turn to in order to defeat the Timelords. They become interested in tracking the Doctor down hence The Chase is part of the Time War. However, it is the first Doctor they track through time, he not knowing at that point that a Time War is raging. It is some point after end of that story that Tennant, Smith and John Hurt's Doctor explains to the 1st Doctor what's happening and enlist his help for The Day of the Doctor.

In his second incarnation the Doctor meets the Daleks and on Skaro manages to turn the Daleks against each other (The Evil of the Daleks) and their great city is almost destroyed. The Daleks abandon Skaro at this point. Hundreds of years later the 4th Doctor arrives (Destiny of the Daleks) and at this time in the lower depths of the ruined city Davros revives. The Movellans are a robotic race designed to stall the Daleks' attempts at universal conquest and halt the Time War. Once Davros has escaped from the space ship in Resurrection of the Daleks the Time War enters a new phase with Davros leading the Daleks albeit with factions of Daleks still against him. At one point he has to hide out at Tranquil Repose (Revelation of the Daleks) at a time when the Daleks are losing the Time War. However, Davros leads them to greater strength by returning to Skaro and likely rebuilding an army there. Davros is killed in battle but is saved by Dalek Khan who has managed to break through a fixed point in time.

I'll likely expand on this section to include all Dalek stories once I've finally lost all sense of reality.


- Time Can Be Re-written -

Re-ordering The 6th Doctor's Timeline


  Stories as transmitted     "Carrot juice?! Carrott juice?! CARROTT JUICE?!" are the 6th Doctor's last words on TV. Not any more.

The 3rd Doctor era is my favourite whilst the 6th Doctor era is my 12th favourite. Yet a simple change to the order of the stories makes it an even better era.

In this version of the 6th Doctor's timeline the episodes are all around 25 mins long and have the same version of the theme tune throughout. The Trial of a Timelord is not one story but four stories that are connected by use of a trial. The Twin Dilemma forms part of series 22 (series 21 ends with The Caves of Androzani part 4).

Series 21 The Twin Dilemma Peri  
Series 22 Attack of the Cybermen Peri Cybermen
  Vengeance on Varos Peri Sil
  The Mark of the Rani Peri The Master, Rani
  The Two Doctors Peri Sontarans
  Timelash Peri  
  Revelation of the Daleks Peri Daleks
Series 23 Trial of a Timelord Peri, Mel Sil, The Master

  Time has been re-written order      
Series 22 The Twin Dilemma Peri    
  Vengeance on Varos Peri Sil  
  The Mark of the Rani Peri The Master  
  Attack of the Cybermen Peri Cybermen Moving this story to here helps separate the two Sil stories in this re-ordered version of events.
  The Mysterious Planet Peri, Glitz    
  Mindwarp Peri Sil The series ends on the cliffhanger that Peri might be dead and that the Doctor believes there's more going on behind the scenes than is being said.
Series 23 Terror of the Vervoids Mel   The Doctor has looked into his future to a point where he has met Mel.
  The Ultimate Foe Mel, Glitz The Master After the end of this story the Doctor returns Mel to her own time, knowing he will meet her again at some point in his 6th incarnation.

Knowing that the Matrix has been tampered with and that false memories have been implanted, the Doctor goes to check the Inquisitor's assertion that Peri is alive and living as a warrior queen with King Yrcanos. Naturally this turns out to be another joke on the part of the Valeyard and the Doctor is reunited with Peri. It is highly possible that Clara who is interwoven throughout the Doctor's lives has intervened at this point to restore matters to their correct state.

  Timelash Peri    
  The Two Doctors Peri Sontarans  
  Revelation of the Daleks Peri Daleks The Daleks had last appeared in series 21 so pushing them into series 23 gives a better spread of Dalek stories.

It also spreads out the amount of old / recurring foes appearing in each series, 3 in each instead of 6 & 2.

The 6th Doctor era now ends with:

PERI: Can't we go somewhere fun?

DOCTOR: Fun? Oh, I suppose anywhere will be peaceful after Necros. All right, I'll take you to

Freeze frame at that point suggesting that anywhere in space and time is possible, the perfect end to the 6th Doctor era. After this story the Doctor at some point bids a fond farewell to Peri and in a timey wimey moment meets Mel; he's already met her before but she doesn't know this as she's meeting him for the first time (shades of Matt Smith's Doctor and River Song). Then the Rani attacks the Tardis, and the Doctor, who like all Timelords (but unbeknownst to them) has a constitution that carrots are poisonous to when taken in quantity, and who has been weakened by the many glasses of carrot juice given to him by Mel, regenerates into the 7th Doctor.


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