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By Paul Scoones

"A man is the sum of his memories, you know, and a Time Lord even more so..."

Already, the first news is out about the 1988 season of Doctor Who, and it seems that the season will be doubled in length to coincide with the 25th Anniversary. Even more interesting are the plans to produce yet another 'reunion' special, to mark the 25 years milestone.

We had The Three Doctors (1973), The Five Doctors (1983), and the 'non-special' The Two Doctors (1985), and now it seems the 25th Season will include The Seven Doctors. It's going to be interesting to see how the BBC manage to do this, as two of the seven actors are now dead, and another two have firmly stated they would never come back and do another story. William Hartnell end Patrick Troughton, the 60s Doctors, have both sadly passed away, and even Richard Hurndall, who did a superb job of recreating Hartnell's role for The Five Doctors, is now gone from us. Both Bakers, Tom and Colin, will almost certainly not be available for the special, as Tom Baker has politely declined ever to go back to playing the Fourth Doctor, even for one story, whilst Colin Baker said with less politeness that he would not be playing the Sixth Doctor again, perhaps understandably, because the BBC sacked him from the role in the first place; the first time that has ever happened to a Doctor.

So the big question is, how will the BBC pull it off'? With only Jon Pertwee, Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy available, how can we have The Seven Doctors? I wonder if it will be the American trend of constructing one or two 'cheap' stories in a long-running show by screening a montage of extended flash-back clips from earlier stories.

Latest news suggests to the contrary, how-ever, with the news that the story will revolve around the regenerative regression (?) of the Second Doctor to a younger persona, to be played by either Frazer Hines, who went for the part of the Seventh Doctor, as well as playing Jamie, or Richard Briers, guest starring in Paradise Towers in October. I wonder, though, if it is a wise decision to give a 'recast Doctor' a large part, when attention should perhaps be focused on those original actors that have returned.

I do wonder if we should've had The Four Doctors, instead, with Pertwee, Davison, McCoy, and Michael Jayston as the Valeyard alias the Doctor? And what's next? The Nine Doctors by 1993? At this rate it will all be over in 2003 with The Thirteen Doctors!

This item appeared in TSV 2 (September 1987).