A Biography of the Doctor
The Third Doctor
"Waiting for this mysterious scientific advisor of yours to turn up?"
"That's right, sir."
"I suppose he'll just materialize out of thin air."
- General Finch and the Brigadier discussing the Doctor in Invasion of the Dinosaurs
This season covers the final of the Third Doctor's life, in which he is still basing himself at UNIT HQ. In this section we have avoided putting dates on the UNIT stories, for our take on the dates for UNIT stories, see the UNIT Dating article and the History of the Whoniverse.
UNIT investigate the disappearances of several top scientists. To prevent further disappearances they gather other scientists together in one place. The journalist Sarah-Jane Smith poses as her aunt Lavinia, a noted virologist. The Doctor detects the Sontaran Linx who has been taking scientists back to medieval Wessex. Sarah stows away on the TARDIS when the Doctor follows Linx. She is captured and Linx realises that she is from the future before she escapes. The Doctor discovers the imprisoned scientists. It turns out that Linx was shot down and is trying to repair his spacecraft. The Doctor is able to free the imprisoned scientists and return them to their native time. Meanwhile, Linx finishes the repairs to his ship and leaves Earth.
Both UNIT and Sarah investigate a death at the new (not yet opened) Space World theme park. Sarah's editor forces her to work with a totally inept photographer called Jeremy Fitzoliver. The Doctor quickly discovers that Space World's Experienced Reality is a highly addictive alien technology. Eventually the owners of the park (the Parakon Corporation) admit to their alien origins and claim to be merely trying to open trade relations.
When Sarah is kidnapped the Doctor, the Brigadier, and Jeremy travel to what the Doctor thinks is Parakon's home world to find her. It turns out to be a war-torn world whose weapons come from the Parakon Corporation. He then travels to Parakon itself, where the population waste their days in ER simulations whilst the miracle plant Rapine provides for their needs. Recovering Sarah, the travellers discover that Rapine has devastated Parakon's farmland. They also discover that it has caused social breakdown on other worlds that used it. Allying with dissidents they are able to shut down the worst excesses of ER before leaving the planet.
Notes: This is unambiguously Sarah's first meeting with the Brigadier (page 15 of the novel, episode 1 of the broadcast version).
The TARDIS materialises in a completely deserted London. It turns out that UNIT has arranged the evacuation of London because of Dinosaur attacks. The Doctor theorises that the Dinosaurs are deliberately being brought forward in time. Sarah investigates the scientist Whittaker, who has written about time travel and some cold-war bunkers. She is captured and hypnotised before waking up on what appears to be a spacecraft three months out from Earth. This craft contains colonists who are planning to create a new human society free from pollution. She soon realises that three months have not passed, and eventually persuades the other passengers of the truth.
Meanwhile the Doctor has discovered that those behind the dinosaur attacks are planning to roll back time to a "golden age "of history, where the "colonists" can restart human civilisation. The Doctor is too late to stop the process beginning, but interferes with the machinery. This sendsthe plot's instigators, Whittaker and Grover, into the past. The Brigadier offers Mike Yates, who had been involved in the plot, the opportunity for a quiet exit from UNIT. The Doctor tries to persuade Sarah to join him on a holiday trip to Florana.
Notes: Sarah is surprised that the TARDIS hasn't returned to the research centre and is wearing the same clothes as in The Time Warrior, which would suggest that it happens immediately afterwards. However, The Paradise of Death has to go in that gap. Sarah is 23. For UNIT it is a month or two since the Doctor and Sarah's departure.
The Doctor and Sarah are travelling to Florana when there is a power failure. The TARDIS materialises and the Doctor has to open the TARDIS doors with a crank handle and use an oil lamp to see. The TARDIS has landed on Exxilon, which is the only source of Parrinium - the cure to a galactic disease. Both humans (who are seeking the cure) and Daleks (who created the disease) arrive in search of Parrinium. The power drain was created by the famous living Exxilon city, which expelled its creators. The Doctor manages to destroy the city, whilst one of the humans sacrifices himself to destroy the Dalek ship. The humans leave with adequate supplies of Parrinium and the Doctor and Sarah also leave the planet.
Notes: The Doctor and Sarah are en route to Florana, where they were going at the end of Invasion of the Dinosaurs
The Brigadier visits his Italian uncle Mario's castello on the island of San Stefano Minore at the same time as Sarah and Jeremy are on a holiday in the region. Mario has been having trouble with the Mafia and with ghostly monsters. The Brigadier calls the Doctor to help and he arrives in the TARDIS. The Doctor constructs a machine to probe into null-space (N-Space), a realm closely connected to our own, where perceptions affect reality. The barrier between the two has been breached in the past, and is currently unstable.
The Doctor and Sarah journey into N-Space, where they discover two significant breaches - one connected to a poltergeist in 1818, and one connected to an alchemist in 1504. They visit the two eras to try to stop the breach from occurring. In 1818 Sarah befriends Louisa, a 15-year old girl who is fated to become a well-known ghost of the castello. They realise that the Mafia boss, Max Vilmio, must be the alchemist from 1504 - as his N-Space servant attempts to kill the Doctor.
When they arrive in 1504 they discover that Vilmio intends to unite his body and his N-form, making him immortal. He might also be able to gain immense power in N-Space that he can use to take over the world. The Doctor prevents him from doing this, and seals him in N-Space before leaving. They then realise that he gets out of N-Space in 1818. They attempt to prevent this, but are too late to prevent either Louisa becoming a ghost or Vilmio's release.
In the present the Doctor is unable to stop Vilmio re-entering N-Space at exactly the time the rift re-opens. The Doctor and Sarah travel into N-Space to defeat him and are successful. Sarah stays too long, helping Louisa's N-form to escape to a "higher plane", and the Doctor cannot permanently close the rift in time. Instead he tricks Vilmio into absorbing other N-forms to the point that switching on the Doctor's N-Space machinery destroys him.
Notes: The TARDIS is still recovering from the energy drain in Death to the Daleks. Sarah's been in Sicily for a week, and it's not clear how long it's been since she last saw the Doctor.
The Doctor is driving in Bessie when he is kidnapped by Borusa's time scoop. He finds himself in Gallifrey's Death Zone, where he meets his first, second, and fifth incarnations. He is forced to play the Game of Rassilon, before being returned to his own time.
Notes: The Doctor recognises Sarah, so it's after The Time Warrior.
The Third Doctor visits Victoria Waterfield.
Notes: The Doctor can control the TARDIS, so it's after The Three Doctors.
The TARDIS travels to Peladon, 50 years after the Doctor's last visit. Peladon is an important source of the mineral trisilicate, needed to fight the terrorist organisation Galaxy 5. The miners are protesting against new mining equipment. Federation troops are called in and Ice Warrior forces quickly arrive and place Peladon under martial law. Sarah has already seen an Ice Warrior in the mines and so the Ice Warriors are not the troops that were summoned. The Ice Warriors and some of the engineers installing new mining equipment plan to sell the trisilicate to Galaxy 5. The Doctor tames the fabled beast Aggedor, and it and the miners attack the Ice Warriors, defeating them. At the Doctor's suggestion Queen Thalira appoints the miners' leader as her adviser. Meanwhile, Galaxy 5 decide that without the trisilicate, they will have to make peace.
Notes: Galaxy 5 being a terrorist organisation is established in Legacy
The Doctor tells Sarah that he wants to conduct a funeral. Over a period of over an hour, he makes over 100 short hops before finding the rocket he is looking for. He materialises around the capsule containing Laika, the dog that was sent into space in Sputnik 2, just before it is due to re-enter Earth's atmosphere. He then takes the TARDIS to the planet Quiescia, which is the solar system in Earth's galaxy that is furthest from Earth, and which has no native life forms. He buries Laika there, before travelling to an entirely different galaxy.
Notes: Page 262 says that this was straight after the Doctor and Sarah left Peladon (The Monster of Peladon)
These events are a change to the Doctor's timeline. His timeline was later changed back to its original path.
The Doctor discovers an unexpected door in the TARDIS and decides to explore. He discovers his eighth incarnation apparently dying, surrounded by temporal equations marked in his own blood. The eighth Doctor has made a mistake in his calculations and crossed his own timeline. The Doctor returns to the console room, which has started dripping blood - terrifying Sarah.
The TARDIS then materialises on the planet Dust in the far future. A group called the Remote have been causing trouble on the planet and a travelling showman called I.M. Foreman has arrived with a freak-show - 11 beings who have pushed their genetic envelope to the limit. The Remote attack and capture the town whilst the Doctor and Sarah retreat into I.M. Foreman's tent. The Remote have also, unknowingly, summoned a Faction Paradox warship.
Notes: Follows on directly from Alien Bodies prologue (page 262 of Interference: Book One. The TARDIS is en route to Earth when it’s diverted to Dust (page 263).
These events are a change to the Doctor's personal timeline. His timeline was later reverted to its original course.
I.M. Foreman reveals that he is an ancient Gallifreyan, that the other members of the freakshow are his future incarnations, and that the show is a sort of TARDIS that can draw other time travellers - like it did in 1963. Meanwhile, the leader of the Remote - actually a former Father of Faction Paradox called Fitz Kreiner - threatens to kill the townspeople unless I.M. Foreman surrenders. In response, Foreman releases Number 13 - his thirteenth incarnation - which is pure lifeforce, and wants to absorb everything around it. Number 13 destroys the Remote.
The Doctor and Sarah flee to the TARDIS and arrange for Foreman's first twelve incarnations to be sent back to ancient Gallifrey. They are mortally wounded and each one regenerates , losing their memory shortly before their first incarnation met them all. The Doctor then persuades number 13 to merge itself with Dust, becoming the planet's ecosystem. However, one of the townspeople shoots the Doctor - fatally - and the Doctor regenerates before he was supposed to.
This change to his timeline enables the Doctor to become infected with a virus released by the Faction Paradox warship overhead. The virus won't change anything about the Doctor until his seventh or eighth incarnation when he will begin to become an agent of Faction Paradox.
Notes: Follows on directly from Part One. The change to the Doctor's timeline (i.e. his early regeneration) is undone in The Ancestor Cell.
The Doctor investigates the psychic powers of the stage magician Clegg, which turn out to be genuine. Clegg is killed by fright when he looks into a crystal from Metebelis 3 and sees spiders. Meanwhile, Sarah investigates goings on in a Buddhist monastery in Mummerset which Yates has been at. She discovers that a group are summoning giant spiders. The crystal is stolen by an unknown man.
The Doctor and Sarah visit the monastery. Whilst the Doctor is talking to someone, Sarah discovers another ceremony and is transported to Metebelis 3. The Doctor follows in the TARDIS and the two meet the humans of the planet. They are slaves of the spiders, who mutated into intelligent giants after arriving with the humans centuries ago. The Doctor is captured by the spiders and told to travel back to Earth and retrieve the crystal.
The Doctor and Sarah return to Earth, where they meet the Abbot, K'Anpo Rimpoche, who happens to be the hermit who taught the Doctor on Gallifrey. K'Anpo persuades the Doctor to take the crystal to the spiders. He returns the crystal, which has the effect of destroying the Spider leader's mind.
The Doctor is severely affected by radiation from the crystal and others like it. This causes him to slowly begin regeneration. His trip back to Earth takes ten years, whilst three weeks pass on Earth. When he returns he finally regenerates in front of the Brigadier and Sarah, with the help of a regenerated K'Anpo.
Notes: The Doctor's new car, the Whomobile, is seen. The Doctor has been studying psychic powers for some time. According to Love and War, the Doctor's trip back took 10 years. For the Brigadier and Sarah, the Doctor returns just three weeks after he left.