Doctor Who Episode Guide

Individual Episode Titles of the William Hartnell Era (1963-1966)

One major point of confusion in the Doctor Who universe is the rather loose manner in which people tend to confuse the terms "story" and "episode" when refering to the Doctor's on-screen adventures. Traditionally, a typical Doctor Who story is a movie-length adventure, but broken up into four or six parts called episodes, each around 25 minutes long, each ending in a cliffhanger that makes you desperate to see the next episode.

When Doctor Who first started in 1963, each half-hour episode had its own title, even though it was only part of a larger story. Those larger stories often had no strictly designating titles themselves, and would become known by working titles that only appeared on the scripts themselves, or by sometimes mistaken notions from the fans' rumour mill, or by the titles eventually made popular on the novelizations or video compilations of the entire story. This practice continued through "The Gunfighters" (story no. 25) near the end of the William Hartnell Era.

Beginning with "The Savages" (story no. 26, from 1966) and the last four stories for William Hartnell, a more definitive practice began. Complete stories were given their own title, followed by an episode number to tell you where you were within the story while watching this particular installment. The word "episode" was now on screen, defining itself as something less than a complete story, up until "The Green Death" (story no. 69) at the end of the 1973 season.

The word "episode" was changed to "part" for "The Time Warrior" (story no. 70), and Doctor Who stories continued to be labeled in "parts" until the end of the classic show in 1989. Now with the 2005 revived show, the difference between episodes and stories is mostly a moot point, with most stories being just 1 episode long. However, the multi-episode stories have gone back to the practice from the Hartnell era, coming individually labeled so as not to discourage anyone from starting to watch something labeled "part two".

This page lists the extensive individual episode titles that appeared during the William Hartnell years, and some of the different titles that have unofficially tried to encompass entire stories.
Story / Episode Titles Media Guides & Reviews Notes


Story No. 1

An Unearthly Child

  • 4 episodes, BW
  1. An Unearthly Child
  2. The Cave of Skulls
  3. The Forest of Fear
  4. The Firemaker

- Buyers' Guide Review
- In-depth Analysis WITH SPOILERS

This adventure follows a typical pattern where the title of the first episode is subsequently used for the entire story. The story title "An Unearthly Child" became popular through being used on the novelization, official BBC video release, and now the DVD release, as well as being the only episode title visible on screen in some of the movie compilation versions of the story available for tv syndication in the 1980's.

Other popular titles for the entire story include both "100 000 BC" and "The Tribe of Gum", which appear on various scripts and other working documents used to develop the story for production.

Story No. 2

The Daleks

  • 7 episodes, BW
  1. The Dead Planet
  2. The Survivors
  3. The Escape
  4. The Ambush
  5. The Expedition
  6. The Ordeal
  7. The Rescue
- Buyers' Guide Review
- In-depth Analysis WITH SPOILERS
The Peter Cushing Feature Film re-make entitled: "Doctor Who and the Daleks"
Both the official novelization written by David Whitaker (one of the original three novelizations from the 60's) and the Peter Cushing remake are titled "Doctor Who and the Daleks", helping cement this adventure's official title. Sometimes the story is referred to as "The Dead Planet". A few backwards fanatics have latched onto a working title of "The Mutants", which is in direct conflict with the official on-screen title of story no. 63 from the Jon Pertwee era.
Story No. 3

The Edge of Destruction

  • 2 episodes, BW
  1. The Edge of Destruction
  2. The Brink of Disaster
- Buyers' Guide Review
- In-depth Analysis WITH SPOILERS
Other titles for this story include the working title "Inside the Ship". "Beyond the Sun" is also sometimes whispered about, although this refers to a completely different script that was competing for this third slot.
Story No. 4

Marco Polo

  • 7 episodes, BW
1. The Roof of the World
2. The Singing Sands
3. Five Hundred Eyes
4. The Wall of Lies
5. Rider From Shang-Tu
6. Mighty Kublai Khan
7. Assassin at Peking

What has survived?
Where is it available?

This story always seems to have been known as "Marco Polo", although some of the early working scripts were known as part of the "Journey to Cathay" story.

There are many black and white Doctor Who episodes no longer known to exist anywhere in the world, and story no. 4: "Marco Polo" is the first casualty. All seven episodes have been lost.

However, the audio portions of all missing episodes are preserved, thanks to fans with tape recorders and the devotion of audio wizard Mark Ayres and the Doctor Who Restoration team at the BBC.

Incomplete stories and missing episodes are usually indicated with grey backgrounds on these pages for easier reference, with links to more information...

Story No. 5

The Keys of Marinus

  • 6 episodes, BW
  1. The Sea of Death
  2. The Velvet Web
  3. The Screaming Jungle
  4. The Snows of Terror
  5. Sentence of Death
  6. The Keys of Marinus
Here is an example of a story that takes its title from its last episode instead of its first, largely because the last episode's title was most relevant to the entire story. The adventure as a whole has never really been known by any other title.
Story No. 6

The Aztecs

  • 4 episodes, BW
  1. The Temple of Evil
  2. The Warriors of Death
  3. The Bride of Sacrifice
  4. The Day of Darkness
- Buyers' Guide Review
- In-depth Analysis WITH SPOILERS
Story No. 7

The Sensorites

  • 6 episodes, BW
  1. Strangers in Space
  2. The Unwilling Warriors
  3. Hidden Danger
  4. A Race Against Death
  5. Kidnap
  6. A Desperate Venture
Story No. 8

The Reign of Terror

  • 6 episodes, BW
1. A Land of Fear
2. Guests of Madame Guillotine
3. A Change of Identity
4. The Tyrant of France
5. A Bargain of Necessity
6. Prisoners of Conciergerie

What has survived?
Where is it available?


Story No. 9

Planet of Giants

  • 3 episodes, BW
  1. Planet of Giants
  2. Dangerous Journey
  3. Crisis (+ An Urge To Live)
Planet of Giants was originally written and taped as a four episode story, with Mervyn Pinfield directing the first three episodes, and Douglas Camfield debuting as a Doctor Who director on the fourth (titled "An Urge To Live"). The script for the latter half of the story was felt to drag on too much, and so producer Verity Lambert re-edited episodes three and four into one episode. The resulting episode three has the original episode three's title "Crisis", but episode four's credits, which list Douglas Camfield as the sole director even though the first half of the episode was directed by Pinfield.
Story No. 10

The Dalek Invasion of Earth

  • 6 episodes, BW
  1. World's End
  2. The Daleks
  3. Day of Reckoning
  4. The End of Tomorrow
  5. The Waking Ally
  6. Flashpoint
- Buyers' Guide Review
- In-depth Analysis WITH SPOILERS
Once again, both the official novelization written by Terrance Dicks and the Peter Cushing remake (Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.) helped cement this adventure's official title. The story has also been known as "World's End" in some obscure circles. The second episode's title is easily set to cause confusion with story no. 2.
Story No. 11

The Rescue

  • 2 episodes, BW
  1. The Powerful Enemy
  2. Desperate Measures
Story No. 12

The Romans

  • 4 episodes, BW
  1. The Slave Traders
  2. All Roads Lead to Rome
  3. Conspiracy
  4. Inferno
Story No. 13

The Web Planet

  • 6 episodes, BW
  1. The Web Planet
  2. The Zarbi
  3. Escape to Danger
  4. Crater of Needles
  5. Invasion
  6. The Centre
- Buyers' Guide Review
- In-depth Analysis WITH SPOILERS
The official BBC Video release and subsequent DVD have cemented the first episode's title as that of the entire story. However, when this story became one of the first three to be novelized, the book named the story after its second episode "The Zarbi".
Story No. 14

The Crusade

  • 4 episodes, BW
1. The Lion
2. The Knight of Jaffa
3. The Wheel of Fortune
4. The Warlords
Buyers' Guide Review
This story's title has suffered only minor variations wherever it has been listed, becoming known alternately as "The Crusades" or "The Crusaders".

Story No. 15

The Space Museum

  • 4 episodes, BW
  1. The Space Museum
  2. The Dimensions of Time
  3. The Search
  4. The Final Phase
Story No. 16

The Chase

  • 6 episodes, BW
  1. The Executioners
  2. The Death of Time
  3. Flight Through Eternity
  4. Journey Into Terror
  5. The Death of Doctor Who
  6. The Planet of Decision
Episode Two's title "The Death of Time" is particularly curious, since it seems to have absolutely nothing to do with the episode's content.
Story No. 17

The Time Meddler

  • 4 episodes, BW
  1. The Watcher
  2. The Meddling Monk
  3. A Battle of Wits
  4. Checkmate


Story No. 18

Galaxy Four

  • 4 episodes, BW
1. Four Hundred Dawns
2. Trap of Steel
3. Air Lock
4. The Exploding Planet

What has survived?
Where is it available?
Story No. 19

Mission to the Unknown

  • 1 episode, BW
1. Mission to the Unknown

What has survived?
Where is it available?
This one-episode prologue to "The Dalek Masterplan" is basically considered to be a story all on its own only because "The Myth Makers" jammed itself in between. As a one-episode story, there has never been any doubt as to what its official title should be....
Story No. 20

The Myth Makers

  • 4 episodes, BW
1. Temple of Secrets
2. Small Prophet, Quick Return
3. Death of a Spy
4. Horse of Destruction

What has survived?
Where is it available?
Story No. 21

The Dalek Masterplan

(aka "The Daleks' Master Plan")
  • 12 episodes, BW
1. The Nightmare Begins
2. Day of Armageddon
3. Devil's Planet
4. The Traitors
5. Counter Plot
6. Coronas of the Sun
7. The Feast of Steven
8. Volcano
9. Golden Death
10. Escape Switch
11. The Abandoned Planet
12. The Destruction of Time

What has survived?
Where is it available?

Here is one story whose controversy over "proper" story title I will gladly keep alive. Although the "Lost in Time" DVD release, CD Audio release, and official two-volume novelization refer to this story as "The Daleks' Master Plan", I prefer "The Dalek Masterplan", a title promoted on the "Daleks: The Early Years" compilation BBC Video release and on Rosemary Howe's earlier fanzine novelization. It's basically the difference between saying "The Frenchmen's Master Plan" versus "The French Masterplan" - both are grammatically correct, depending on your exact meaning. Having an apostrophe after the plural "s" implies a limited rogue group of Daleks, in addition to simply looking clumsy as a title. "The Dalek Masterplan" sounds more like a cultural derivation encompassing the entire Dalek race, which I find far more intriguing. I also strongly believe in the Germanic tradition of creating compound words where appropriate.
Story No. 22

The Massacre

  • 4 episodes, BW
1. War of God
2. The Sea Beggar
3. Priest of Death
4. Bell of Doom

What has survived?
Where is it available?
Novelized and known as "The Massacre" for short, this story has also been referred to by the full title "The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Eve".
Story No. 23

The Ark

  • 4 episodes, BW
  1. The Steel Sky
  2. The Plague
  3. The Return
  4. The Bomb
(Not to be confused with story no. 76: "The Ark in Space".)
Story No. 24

The Celestial Toymaker

  • 4 episodes, BW
1. The Celestial Toyroom
2. The Hall of Dolls
3. The Dancing Floor
4. The Final Test

What has survived?
Where is it available?
Story No. 25

The Gunfighters

  • 4 episodes, BW
  1. A Holiday for the Doctor
  2. Don't Shoot the Pianist
  3. Johnny Ringo
  4. The O.K. Corral
This is the last story of the Hartnell era to have individual episode titles.
Story No. 26

The Savages

  • 4 episodes, BW
1. Episode 1
2. Episode 2
3. Episode 3
4. Episode 4

What has survived?
Where is it available?
This is the first Doctor Who story to have an on-screen title for the entire story, followed by an episode number.
Story No. 27

The War Machines

  • 4 episodes, BW
  1. Episode 1
  2. Episode 2
  3. Episode 3
  4. Episode 4


Story No. 28

The Smugglers

  • 4 episodes, BW
1. Episode 1
3. Episode 2
4. Episode 3
6. Episode 4

What has survived?
Where is it available?
Story No. 29

The Tenth Planet

  • 4 episodes, BW
1. Episode 1
2. Episode 2
3. Episode 3
4. Episode 4

What has survived?
Where is it available?

Additional Titles of Intrigue:

Story No. 52

The Silurians

(aka Doctor Who and...)
  7 episodes, Re-colourized
Story: A new underground government facility accidentally reawakens a hibernating race of intelligent reptiles, who have a legitimate prior claim to inhabit the Earth. The Doctor's attempts to investigate and mediate this dispute are hampered from both sides.

The friction, tension and plot continue to escalate in this fascinating character study - one of Jon Pertwee's very best Doctor Who adventures, now restored to full colour for BBC Video.

- Buyers' Guide Review
- In-depth Analysis WITH SPOILERS

Region 2
"Beneath the Surface"
3-story box set
The production team at the time had always wanted to simply call this adventure "The Silurians", which as far as I am concerned, is what the story is called. However, an oversight by someone involved in the creation of the title card meant that after the Doctor Who logo had stated itself and disappeared from the screen, the story's title appeared as "Doctor Who and the Silurians", redundantly repeating the words "Doctor Who".

Okay, everyone's entitled to make a mistake. What's truly sad is how the fanatics have latched onto this mistake since the holy event of its first broadcast in England, and continue to treat the blunder as being cast in stone and worthy of honours and all due deference. Even when completely recreating the titles again in colour for the BBC video release, the restoration team thought they should recreate the mistake in all its glory as well. Like lemmings following each other over a cliff....

Story No. 71

Invasion of the Dinosaurs

  6 episodes
  ep1 BW
  eps2-6 colour
VHS Video
This is one of those rare cases where the production team actually realized that the story's title kind of gave away the surprise of the first episode's cliffhanger. That never usually stopped them before or since, but in this case, they changed the on-screen title for the first episode, calling it simply "Invasion", while the other five episodes retained the full title of "Invasion of the Dinosaurs".

Some fans attribute the loss of all colour copies of the first episode to the fact that its title is confusingly similar to the Patrick Troughton story "The Invasion" (story no. 46), and that when orders were given to destroy held copies of "The Invasion", episode one of "Invasion of the Dinosaurs" accidentally got chucked with it. This theory seems to be more a product of the fan rumour mill and imagination than anything else.


Story No. 144
The Trial of a Time Lord
Episodes 1-4

The Mysterious Planet

  4 episodes @ 25 minutes
Season 23 did something quite unusual with story titles. The official numbering of Doctor Who stories indicates that we should count four stories in this season, yet only one title appears on screen for all of them: "The Trial of a Time Lord", with episodes numbered from one to fourteen.

The four stories making up "The Trial of a Time Lord" are still known by single, consistent titles made popular by each story's official novelization: "The Mysterious Planet", "Mindwarp", "Terror of the Vervoids", and "The Ultimate Foe".

Story No. 145
The Trial of a Time Lord
Episodes 5-8


  4 episodes @ 25 minutes
Story No. 146
The Trial of a Time Lord
Episodes 9-12

Terror of the Vervoids

  4 episodes @ 25 minutes
Story No. 147
The Trial of a Time Lord
Episodes 13-14

The Ultimate Foe

  2 episodes @ 25 minutes
Story No. 160

The Untitled 1996
Paul McGann TV Movie

~100 minute TV movie

Story: Charged with taking the Master's remains back to Gallifrey, the Doctor makes an emergency landing in San Francisco on December 30, 1999 and is forced to regenerate. The Master too takes a new corporeal form, and the two run headlong into a confrontation that could split the world apart at the dawn of the new millenium....

This remains the only story in the Doctor Who canon to have no on-screen story/episode title whatsoever. Producer Philip Segal is rumoured to have said that the story could be known as "Enemy Within" for those who need to call it something. Thanks, Phil. Gee, that wouldn't confuse it with a popular early Star Trek episode with no resemblance whatsoever now, would it?

Full-Length Stories following the 2005 Revival

Story No. 164

Aliens of London

  2 episodes (45 min. each)
  1. Aliens of London
  2. World War Three
- Buyers' Guide Review
- In-depth Analysis WITH SPOILERS
The 2005 multi-episode stories dredge up an old problem not seen since 1966 in the William Hartnell era: Just what is the official title of these stories? I'll be making my own judgment calls as to which episode's on-screen title is most apt, and picking one over the other for each of these two-parters.

Since writer Russell T. Davies himself has written that his title for episode two of this story gives away certain ...uh... "spoilers", it's probably best to go with episode one's title here: "Aliens of London".

Story No. 168

The Empty Child

  2 episodes (45 min. each)
  1. The Empty Child
  2. The Doctor Dances
- Buyers' Guide Review
- In-depth Analysis WITH SPOILERS
In maximizing his story's unpredictability, writer Steven Moffat gave his second episode what clearly seems to be a throw-away title that, although having something tangible to do with the episode, doesn't really tell you anything and probably raises more questions (and eyebrows) than it answers. The title "The Empty Child", however, is totally apt to cover the entire story.
Story No. 170

Bad Wolf

  2 episodes (45 min. each)
  1. Bad Wolf
  2. The Parting of the Ways
- Buyers' Guide Review
- In-depth Analysis WITH SPOILERS
"Bad Wolf" seems to be the best title for the overall story here, not least because it actually applies better to the second episode than the first.
Story No. 176

Rise of the Cybermen

  2 episodes (45 min. each)
  1. Rise of the Cybermen
  2. The Age of Steel
- Buyers' Guide Review
- In-depth Analysis WITH SPOILERS
Once again, the first episode of the story proves to have the best title for the overall story. Seems a common pattern is developing here....


The official Doctor Who Episode Guide Catalogue begins with: The William Hartnell Era (1963-1966)

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