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The twenty-fifth season of British science fiction television series Doctor Who began on 5 October 1988. It comprised four separate serials, beginning with Remembrance of the Daleks and ending with The Greatest Show in the Galaxy. To mark the 25th anniversary season, producer John Nathan-Turner brought back the Daleks and the Cybermen. The American New Jersey Network also made a special behind-the-scenes documentary called The Making of Doctor Who, which followed the production of the 25th anniversary story Silver Nemesis.

Doctor Who (season 25)
Doctor Who Season 25 DVD.jpg
Cover art of the Region 2 DVD release for first serial of the season
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of stories4
No. of episodes14
Original networkBBC One
Original release5 October 1988 (1988-10-05) –
4 January 1989 (1989-01-04)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 24
Next →
Season 26
List of Doctor Who episodes (1963–1989)

Season 25 saw the start of a move to explore the Doctor's past; script editor Andrew Cartmel had felt that as more of the character's own history, together with the history of the Time Lords, had been revealed, some of the mystery about the Doctor had been lost. As a consequence he, together with writers Ben Aaronovitch and Marc Platt, began developing the seeds of a new backstory, which would be hinted at throughout the season, that suggested the Doctor to be more powerful than most people were aware of.[1] This concept eventually came to be known as the "Cartmel Masterplan".


Main castEdit

Recurring starsEdit

Terry Molloy makes his final appearance as Davros, the Dalek creator (now acting as the Dalek Emperor) in Remembrance of the Daleks.

Guest StarsEdit

John Leeson who previously regularly voiced the robot companion K9 from 1977–1978 and 1980–1981, appears as one of the Dalek voices in Remembrance of the Daleks.

David Banks makes his final of four appearances in the series in Silver Nemesis as a Cyber-leader.


This season was broadcast on Wednesdays.

StorySerialSerial titleEpisode titlesDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
UK viewers
(millions) [2]
1481Remembrance of the Daleks"Part One"Andrew MorganBen Aaronovitch5 October 1988 (1988-10-05)7H5.568
"Part Two"Andrew MorganBen Aaronovitch12 October 1988 (1988-10-12)7H5.869
"Part Three"Andrew MorganBen Aaronovitch19 October 1988 (1988-10-19)7H5.170
"Part Four"Andrew MorganBen Aaronovitch26 October 1988 (1988-10-26)7H5.072
Two factions of Daleks arrive on 1963 Earth via a time corridor. They are in search of the Hand of Omega, a powerful and ancient Gallifreyan stellar manipulator hidden by the Doctor prior to his first inadvertent trip with Ian and Barbara. The Doctor and Ace are assisted by the British army to defeat both of the warring Dalek factions, even as the Daleks' human allies infiltrate their party.
1492The Happiness Patrol"Part One"Chris CloughGraeme Curry2 November 1988 (1988-11-02)7L5.367
"Part Two"Chris CloughGraeme Curry9 November 1988 (1988-11-09)7L4.665
"Part Three"Chris CloughGraeme Curry16 November 1988 (1988-11-16)7L5.365
Terra Alpha is under the steel fist of Helen A and her executioner, a sadistic robot made out of sweets called the Kandy Man. Joy is perpetual on Terra Alpha, because to be unhappy invites the wrath of Helen A's crack police force, the Happiness Patrol. Allying themselves with Terra Alpha's oppressed natives, the Pipe People, a former Happiness Patrolwoman named Susan Q and blues player Earl Sigma, the Doctor and Ace must end Helen A's reign of terror.
1503Silver Nemesis"Part One"Chris CloughKevin Clarke23 November 1988 (1988-11-23)7K6.171
"Part Two"Chris CloughKevin Clarke30 November 1988 (1988-11-30)[a]7K5.270
"Part Three"Chris CloughKevin Clarke7 December 1988 (1988-12-07)[a]7K5.270
In the year 1638, the Doctor sends into orbit around Earth a statue called Nemesis. It is made of the deadly living validium, which served Gallifrey as its last line of defence. In 1988, the Nemesis statue's orbit decays, it returns to Earth, and is pursued on Earth by three factions: the Cybermen, a Neo-Nazi named De Flores, and the mad, time-travelling Lady Peinforte, The latter faction nearly gained possession of the statue in 1638 and knows the darkest secrets of the Doctor's past.
1514The Greatest Show in the Galaxy"Part One"Alan WareingStephen Wyatt14 December 1988 (1988-12-14)7J5.068
"Part Two"Alan WareingStephen Wyatt21 December 1988 (1988-12-21)7J5.366
"Part Three"Alan WareingStephen Wyatt28 December 1988 (1988-12-28)7J4.869
"Part Four"Alan WareingStephen Wyatt4 January 1989 (1989-01-04)7J6.664
Despite Ace's protestations that she hates clowns, the Doctor takes the TARDIS to Segonax to see the famed Psychic Circus. But there they discover that the self-styled Greatest Show In The Galaxy has become something sinister: its founder, Kingpin, has disappeared; the callous Chief Clown deals violently with anyone who tries to flee; and prospective Circus stars must entertain an enigmatic family – or die. The time travellers learn that the Psychic Circus has fallen under the influence of the evil Gods of Ragnarok, and the Doctor's next performance may be his last.


The entire season was broadcast from 5 October 1988 to 4 January 1989. Season twenty-five was originally to have been broadcast in production order, with The Greatest Show in the Galaxy second. However, the expected start of the season on 7 September was postponed to 5 October as a result of BBC coverage of the Seoul Summer Olympics. Nathan-Turner still wanted to lead off the year with Remembrance of the Daleks and have episode one of the twenty-fifth anniversary story, Silver Nemesis, broadcast on 23 November – the actual date of Doctor Who's 25th anniversary. This left only three weeks in between the two serials. Consequently, the original season finale, The Happiness Patrol, was exchanged with The Greatest Show in the Galaxy.

DVD ReleasesEdit

All serials of season 25 were released individually in between 2001 and 2012.

Serial name Number and duration
of episodes
R2 release date R4 release date R1 release date
Remembrance of the Daleks 4 × 25 min. 26 February 2001 13 May 2002 2 April 2002
Remembrance of the Daleks – Special Edition
Available individually or in The Complete Davros Collection box set in Regions 2 and 4.
Only available individually in Region 1.
4 × 25 min. 26 November 2007
20 July 2009[b]
6 February 2008
1 October 2009[b]
2 March 2010
The Happiness Patrol
Paired with Dragonfire as part of the Ace Adventures box set.
3 × 25 min. 7 May 2012[4] 7 June 2012[5] 8 May 2012
Silver Nemesis
Only available as part of the Cybermen box set in Regions 2 and 4.
Only available individually in Region 1.
3 × 25 min. 9 August 2010 7 October 2010 2 November 2010
The Greatest Show in the Galaxy 4 × 25 min. 30 July 2012[4][6] 16 August 2012[7] 14 August 2012[8]

In printEdit

Serial name Novelisation title Author First published
Remembrance of the Daleks Remembrance of the Daleks Ben Aaronovitch 21 June 1990
The Happiness Patrol The Happiness Patrol Graeme Curry 15 February 1990
Silver Nemesis Silver Nemesis Kevin Clarke 16 November 1989
The Greatest Show in the Galaxy The Greatest Show in the Galaxy Stephen Wyatt 21 December 1989


  1. ^ a b Parts Two and Three of Silver Nemesis were first broadcast in New Zealand on 25 November 1988 as part of a compilation broadcast before their UK transmission.[3]
  2. ^ a b The Region 2 and 4 releases of the Special Edition of Remembrance of the Daleks was originally only available as part of The Complete Davros Collection box set, but was later re-released on its own.


  1. ^ Cartmel, Andrew (2005). Script Doctor: The Inside Story of Doctor Who 1986–89. London: Reynolds & Hearn. pp. 134–135. ISBN 1-903111-89-7.
  2. ^ a b "Ratings Guide". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  3. ^ Howe, David J; Walker, Stephen James (1998). "Part Two – Fiction: The Stories". Doctor Who – The Handbook: The Seventh Doctor. London: Doctor Who Books. p. 69. ISBN 0 426 20527 8.
  4. ^ a b DWM433
  5. ^ "Buy Doctor Who: Ace Adventures on DVD-Video from". Archived from the original on 12 July 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. ^ "Twitter / Classic Doctor Who: GREATEST SHOW is currently". Twitter.
  7. ^ "Doctor Who: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy". Archived from the original on 26 July 2014. Retrieved 19 July 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  8. ^ "Doctor Who DVD news: Update about Spearhead From Space: Special Edition and The Greatest Show in the Galaxy". Archived from the original on 26 July 2012. Retrieved 19 July 2012. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)