BB. The War Machines

Season Three - 1965/1966

Story Editor: Gerry Davis
Writer: Ian Stuart Black
From an idea by: Kit Pedlar
Director: Michael Ferguson
Produced by: Innes Lloyd
Designer: Raymond London
Incidental Music: Stock


The TARDIS materialises in London, 1966, and the Doctor and Dodo visit the recently completed GPO tower. Inside they meet Professor Brett, creator of the revolutionary Will Operating Thought ANalogue computer - WOTAN.

WOTAN is a computer that can think for itself. A project to link up WOTAN to other major computers around the world is being overseen by Sir Charles Summer. WOTAN considers itself superior to humans, and believes it should be the rightful ruler.

WOTAN exerts a hypnotic influence over chosen people, and starts up the creation of mobile computers - the War Machines. Using these machines WOTAN plans to take over the world.

The Doctor manages to capture and reprogram one of the war machines, which then destroys WOTAN. Dodo, back in her own time, opts to stay behind. As the Doctor enters the TARDIS so does Brett's secretary Polly, and her seaman friend Ben Jackson.

Regular Cast

  • Dodo Chaplet: Jackie Lane (1-2)
  • Ben Jackson: Michael Craze
  • Polly Wright: Anneke Wills

Guest Cast

  • Major Green: Alan Curtis
  • Professor Brett: John Harvey
  • Professor Krimpton: John Carter
  • Sir Charles Summer: William Mervyn
  • Voice of WOTAN: Gerald Taylor (1,2,4 - credited for 3 but not heard)
  • Kitty: Sandra Bryant (1-2)
  • Flash: Ewan Proctor (1)
  • American Journalist (Roy Stone): Ric Felgate (1)
  • Interviewer: John Doye (1)
  • Workers: Desmond Cullum-Jones (2), Eddie Davis (3)
  • Tramp: Roy Godfrey
  • Taxi Driver: Michael Rathbone (2)
  • War Machine operator: Gerald Taylor (2-4)
  • Captain: John Rolfe (3-4)
  • Sergeant: John Boyd Brent (3-4)
  • Corporal: Frank Jarvis (3)
  • Soldier: Robin Dawson (3)
  • Television Newsreader: Kenneth Kendall (4)
  • The Minister: George Cross (4)
  • Man in Phone Box: John Slavid (4)
  • Garage Mechanic: Edward Colliver (4)
  • Radio Announcer: Dwight Whylie (4)
  • US Correspondent: Carl Conway (4)
  • Policeman: Peter Stewart (1)
  • People at Inferno Club/Royal Scientific Club: (all 1) Michael Barrie, Ruth Calvert, Alan Cassell, Declan Cusse, Kathie Fitzgibbon, Gloria Forstner, Carole Foss, Fiona Fraser, Diana Hallows, Steve Hardy, Emmet Hennessy, Janice Hoye, Nigel James, Gary Leeman, Sam Manseray, Victor Munt, Barry Noble, Alan Norburn, Chris Reck, Jack Rowlands, Valerie Shelton, Tina Simmons, Mrs. S. Singh, Graham Tonbridge, George Wilder
  • Men in Market: Roger Bowdler (3), Geoffrey Witherick (3)
  • Fleeing Couple: Steve Pokol (4), Doreen Ubels (4)
  • People in Bar: (all 4) Dolly Brenna, Connie Georges, John Knott
  • Men in News Room: Ken McGarvie (4), Chris Reck (4)
  • Workers: Michael Buck, Hugh Cecil, Ray Cooper, Peter Day, Pat Gorman, Pat Leclerc, Jay McGrath, Barry Noble, Dennis Plenty, Steve Pokol, John Pollock, Mike Reid, Vic Taylor, David Waterman, Alan Wakeling
  • Soldiers: Paul Andrews, John Cook, Jay Doye, Nigel James, Pat Leclerc, Robert Pearson, Dennis Plenty, John Pollock, Mike Reid, Donald Simmons, Roy Stanton, Vic Taylor, Terry Wallis, David Waterman
  • Offiers: Lewis Alexander, Biff Byfield

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 123. Episode 1 Saturday, June 25, 1966 5:35 PM - 6:00 PM 5.4M 49%
BBC 1 124. Episode 2 Saturday, July 2, 1966 6:55 PM - 7:20 PM 4.7M 45%
BBC 1 125. Episode 3 Saturday, July 9, 1966 5:35 PM - 6:00 PM 5.3M 44%
BBC 1 126. Episode 4 Saturday, July 16, 1966 5:15 PM - 5:40 PM 5.5M 39%


  • Ealing Television Film Studios
  • Riverside Studio 1

Outside Locations

  • Battersea Power Station, London
  • Fitzroy Square, London; Old Covent Garden, London
  • Gardens, London
  • Tottenham Court Road and Kensington areas, London

Working Titles

Doctor Who and the Computers


The first draft scripts of this story were by Pat Dunlop.

The story title, writer credit and episode number come up as computer-style graphics, the first use of unusual titling.

The end credits to episode one scroll over a WOTAN symbol.

Gerald Taylor is only credited as the voice of WOTAN for episode four; the other episodes use the caption "and WOTAN", presumably to infer that it is a real computer.

The credit "Based on an idea by Kit Pedlar" is used in the closing credits, instead of the opening titles as later.

Jackie Lane departs during episode two.